8th May 2010, 21:30

I purchased a 2003 GMC Sonoma Crew Cab new, and the body is the poorest piece of engineering I have ever seen. One of the rear doors developed a big scab under the paint, so there was internal contamination as it was stored in winter, so no salt exposure.

The wind noise is uncontrollable. I removed the roof rack and then the hood deflector, thinking that might be the source of some of the noise. The dealer replaced all the rubber seals, which on a new vehicle is a waste of time. Just poor engineering, and the rear end is howling already.

I have been a GM man for forty years, but this is the last straw. The whole thing is just built cheap, and it shows more every day I own it. Me and GM are done for good.

11th Dec 2010, 20:13

I just bought a 2003 S10 reg cab 4.3 Vortec fleetside bed. It's at 72K, and the motor is still brand new, the drive train is still running like a champ. Both places don't have any squeaks, leaks, rattle sounds, any noise you can imagine. I don't know what you people are talking about. I think you shouldn't blame the truck you drive; it's the driver that doesn't take care of the machine. That's who's to blame. It's not hard to do cosmetic and motor repairs yourself. I'm not a mechanic by the way. I'm just a soldier that is deployed.

12th Dec 2010, 12:34

Sure it's always the driver's fault their vehicle falls apart... You got lucky to get one of these trucks that actually runs good. My experience with GM has been horrendous, and I won't ever buy one again for it. $1,000's in repairs, and not one that I have ever had made it to 100K miles before needing many many repairs... all with good maintenance.

All I can say is good luck with yours. Hope you do better with it than I did with mine. And thanks for fighting for our freedom! Be safe, and I hope for your quick return home!

13th Apr 2011, 15:45

Are you sure that you tightened the flexplate?

11th Apr 2013, 09:25

For starters, the upper intake is plastic, not the lower, which is aluminum. The gaskets go out because of the junk Dexcool; it eats the plastic gaskets. Replace them with a steel Fel-Pro flush cooling system and fill it with green.

The 4WD goes out because people fail to check old vacuum lines; common sense.

The 4.3 V6 is the best V6 out there if you maintain it, as with anything. And you people with squeaks; get a damn grease gun.

11th Apr 2013, 13:04

No, keep the Dexcool, but change it often. And never use green unless it was green in an older car. I have universal that I would refill where Dexcool was. But I change mine every 3 years in my Corvettes. I had a new S-10 extended, no issues, only sold for new Silverados after 2004. More room. I liked the driveability of the car-like drive with the S-10. My kids loved facing sideways in the rear seats.

I buy new cars frequently, so my experience may be better than most. We also have new Fords and Mazdas in our family.

11th Apr 2013, 14:28

Our 11-year-old GMC just hit 116,000 miles. Thus far the total repairs include two light bulbs (if you call that a "repair"). No brake jobs, no shocks, no hoses, no belts... NOTHING.

The body, paint and interior could pass for new. It runs and drives like new. Even though GM recommends a tune-up at 100,000 miles, it has yet to have one. Except for the fuel filter, it has never had any filters or sensors replaced. It has never had a drop of transmission fluid, coolant or power steering fluid added. I did add a couple of ounces of brake fluid at around 100,000 miles.

To me, it just doesn't get any better than this. My family has owned a lot of vehicles over the years. This is by far the most solid and reliable vehicle we have ever owned.

14th Apr 2013, 07:03

If you had a factory Dexcool antifreeze, do not ever switch to green. Leave even a small amount and you'll have a major fluid clash. You can go universal yellow, but I would stay completely with Dexcool. Change it often and you should be fine.

15th Apr 2013, 14:30

I've heard the Dexcool urban myth for years. Our GM vehicles have gone way over 100,000 with the original Dexcool in them with never a change or flush. We've never had a single problem with any of them.

16th Apr 2013, 09:27

It's not a myth; do it at least every 5 years. Don't mix green and orange Dexcool ever. It's far cheaper to do a flush every 3. I have dedicated Green Yellow and Orange for all my cars, as do many of my car club friends, and being in many tech nights, I don't even mix Dexcool with Yellow Universal. Same with brake fluids and power steering. I don't use GM power steering fluid in my son's Honda ever. Some people just open a container and dump it in. Or put 20w50 oil in a 5w20 vehicle and have no start up lubrication in the cold. Learn your car, each one, and stick to dedicated fluids. Otherwise, good luck with that.

16th Apr 2013, 16:42

Flushing Dexcool and replacing it with regular green doesn't affect anything as long as you remove 100% of the Dexcool.

This involves removing the water pump, thermostat and every hose including heater hoses. Take a garden hose at high pressure and flush the block, heater core and radiator. Fill it with green and you are good to go. I did this with a 97 LeSabre in our family 3 years ago, and ever since never had any problems like it did with Dexcool.

The Dexcool problems mostly affected GM engines that had cast iron blocks such as the 3800, 4.3 Vortec and the 90 degree 3100-3400 V6.

Dexcool is one of the reasons why GM was almost kissing pavement; what a shame.

17th Apr 2013, 09:44

So why not flush and go universal yellow? Why even remotely use green? And how do you flush late models that do not even have radiator caps?

I own Corvettes. I refill through the thermostat after its removal. Air pockets can result otherwise. I remove the reservoir bottle and clean it. I stay Dexcool; not even a consideration. And I change in under 3 years. My engines cost too much to take your recommendation. I run green however in my 1970 Chevelle SS. I change it every 3 years as well.

18th Apr 2013, 14:04

Oh man.... Dexcool. Yeah, the stuff is awful. Years ago I decided to put some in my '96 Tacoma. 100,000 miles later I noticed the coolant basically turned clear, which I thought was odd. I decided to change it and fill with ordinary coolant. When I drained it, I could not believe how much crap came out. A lot of it had clumped together, and the underside of the radiator cap, as well as inside the radiator from what I could see with my flashlight, was totally covered in reddish scale deposits.

I ran the truck for 2 days on the most concentrated coolant flush I could find. The amount of crud that came out when I drained that was incredible. About a year later I decided might as well change the water pump. As with the radiator, the inside of the water pump was totally covered with a thick layer of red scale. I then decided to flush the system 2 more times, at which point still more debris came out.

That was well over 12 years ago, and I change the coolant along with a good flush every 40,000 miles. It's only been in the last time I did this a year ago that most of the old Dexcool crud finally cleared from the system.