17th Dec 2008, 14:16
Thanks for the review.
I am in a position similar to yours, I want a small pickup truck to haul lumber and do minor home stuff around with. I am also looking to something that gets good mileage and is reliable. I don't really care about performance or ability to tow huge loads.
How would you rate the transmission on your S-10? I'm assuming you have the 5 speed. Is it relatively easy to use and smooth? Is the clutch overly stiff? Does the engine jerk back and forth in traffic?
I am debating between a 2.3L Ranger and an S-10 and I hear the Ranger is pretty good. The S-10 is way cheaper when used though.
4th Mar 2009, 15:51
Reply to Dec 17 comment: Yes I do have the manual 5-speed. The clutch and gearbox are both smooth and easy to use. However, when the clutch is out, there is a whirring sound that comes from the transmission. It has done that since new and has not caused any problems to date at 41k miles so I assume it is normal.
Also when engaging the the clutch while shifting, there is a noticeable clunk in the drivetrain, which I assume to be coming from drive shaft play. Not a problem, but also not good in my view. My Toyota after 200,000 miles never did that. I have driven 5-speed Rangers and they are equally sloppy in my view with very stiff gear boxes and clutches, but overall are probably better trucks.
If I ever go with another small truck, it will definitely be Toyota or Nissan. The domestic car companies don't care to build a decent small truck.
25th Mar 2009, 19:38
Here is an update to my original review.
The truck now has over 41,000 miles on it, and unfortunately I still own it, just having passed my 7 year anniversary of ownership. As anyone can see, it is still not used very much.
The repairs have escalated since the initial review. Last December I took it in for front brake work and was told by the CarX tech that it needed an idler arm. That's back when it had just under 40,0000 miles. It also needed shocks, which were also about seven years old, and the seals went bad over time. No biggie about the shocks but the idler, I thought, was premature by a long shot.
After I did some research, I discovered that these trucks and the Blazers have an unreasonably high incidence of steering linkage and ball joint issues. I replace the idler and shocks myself on New Years Day, but shortly afterward noticed what I thought to be excessive play in the steering. I figured the steering gear box needed adjusting, so I finally took it to a GM dealer this week. I was told by the service tech that it needed an intermediate steering shaft. I have never had to replace one of these on all of the cars I have owned with recirculating ball steering. After $472 I picked it up today and there is still lots of slop in the steering.
I am not alone with steering problems, especially at low mileage. 99.9% of the driving this truck has had has been on paved urban roads. I am very disappointed with this truck and with GM, not just because of my problems, but also because of all of the others I have read about. I am switching back to Toyota once I am financially able to. GM is its own worst enemy and deserves to fail. The sooner the better.
24th Jan 2010, 19:20
I read some of the comments about the S-10 pickup trucks. I have a 2002 base S-10 with a 4cyl./manual transmission. It has 142k on it and has been a great little truck. Only repair other than regular maintenance was a smog pump at 90k; all other parts are original.