A intermittent problem Ive had from day one, was during driving the vechicle, the "SECURITY" light would come on. Then after I would shut the engine down, it wouldnt re-start. The engine would turn over, but no fire. And the "SECURITY" light would flash at me. It normally would take about a half hour of sitting, and try it again, it will start. A professional mechanic friend of mine told me the 98' Full size trucks had that problem, it was a faulty Theft lock sensor, in the colum under the dash. I don't like dash work, so I haven't replaced it yet, nor will I waste the money paying a mechanic to do it. The problem only happens maybe on an average of once a year. No biggie. I do understand technology is a pain in the butt, that's why I don't understand why people swear by it. But that's OBD 2 for you. Id be happy with OBD 1.
Around 83,000 the fuel pump went out. I noticed when I first bought it, used, the fuel pump diddn't sound normal. When it would prime the fuel line after shut down, it would have a weird wine to it. I knew it was a matter of time for it. I replaced it myself with a new GM part costing me about $300.00 and a couple hours labor.
Around 85,000 Miles the ABS system started activating even on dry pavement. Being a Garage Mechanic, I determinated the ABS Sensors in the front went bad, or need cleaning. In almost 60,000 miles I haven't needed brake linings replaced, so I haven't cleaned the ABS sensors to see if that would fix the problem. And I won't tear off the linings, calipers, and rotors just to clean ABS sensors when I can pump my own brakes in a hot stop. I just pulled the ABS fuse in the fuse box under the hood to fix the problem. And I don't have ABS Brakes now. Who cares.
About 90,000 I did a tune up, changed the distributor cap and rotor. The distributor is located in the back of the motor with not much room to remove the back screw between the cap and firewall. When reinstalling the new cap, I ended up overtightened the fastening screw, and cracking the threaded tab in the distributor because GM stupidly used plastic on the ring in the distributor. Why plastic that's dumb. Had to replace the distributor, only a $50.00 part.
About 95,000 miles I had to replace the water pump. I replaced it with a high flow model. Non OE part.
Rear defoggers don't seem to work, not a big deal. Don't care that much to even look to see if it was a blown fuse or not. With a straight vertical rear window, not much snow and ice has a chance to accumulate on the back window. Done even need the thing.
Truck I think overall is a good truck. Not as good as my old 91' S-10 Pick up I had. The only problem I had with that was the rust. I got rid of that with 167,000 and it ran like it was bran new. I'm sure its still on the road today. I could do anything to that thing custom wise and never had to reprogram the ECM. That's why I liked OBD 1. OBD 2 I have to reprogram the PCM every time I do stuff custom, or look at the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light. Word to GM, if its not broke, don't fix it. We don't need a sensor to sense a sensor. That's just more to go wrong. On my K-1500 Silverado, I put a K&N FPIK Cold air intake kit on it, and a Granatelli Mass Airflow sensor in it. With that upgrade it makes the motor sound like an old 600 Pontiac when you open up the throttle. Also upgraded the exhaust system to a dual system. On my model I have 2 2 1/4 pipes going into the muffler, and 2 2 1/2 coming out. Stock was 1, 2 3/4 coming out pass side exit. So with going duals and a Flowmaster Super 40 Series Muffler, the truck cooks. Now I can take Japanese rice burners off the line, what I couldnt do before. I had them in the high end, but never off the line.
Also after those improvements, I have noticed a gain in fuel economy. From 15 city and 18 Hwy to now 16 to 17 city and 22 hwy.
I am also really impressed with the brakes on it. I bought the truck used from CarMax. I was given a listing of all the work they done to it prior to them selling it. They replaced the brake linings on it. I have put on just under 60,000 miles on thoes brakes, and they still on the truck. And all I do twice a year is when I rotate the tires is clean the rotors, linings, and calipers, removing all the brake dust. And lubing the brake slides with graphite (Anti-Sieze) lube.
Overall I think the truck is decent. I don't know how it compares to Asian imports as far as reliability goes. And I will never know. I am an American and I will always buy American. But as far as the American 3 goes I think that it has been the most reliable compaired to the Ford's and Dodge's of its competition. Considering some of my friends/ things I've heard always being intrested in cars that atleast I have my stock motor and trans. And how often small things go wrong as I compaire it to Ford and Dodges V8 models.
I have always since I bought it have done my maintenance on time, using the top of the line synthetic lubricants, yes they cost more, but I plan to have this truck untill it can't go no more. When it was new it was a $30,000 truck. In my opinion it should last over thirty years. $10,000 a year.