1990 GMC S-15 Reviews

1990 GMC S-15 Sierra Classic 4.3 Liter/Fuel Injection from North America

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 4.3 Liter/Fuel Injection Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance148000 miles

Summary:

Small pickup truck, big expensive problems

Faults:

The seat belts stopped restraining properly at 90,000 miles.

The heater core stopped working and leaked antifreeze all over the passengers side floor at 95,000 miles.

Piston rings started burning up at approximately 96,000 miles.

Carrier bearing eroded away at around 100,000 miles. This made a tremendous thumping sound, shook the whole vehicle, and made some passengers "seasick".

Front and rear universals in awful shape, also needing to be replaced at 100,000 miles.

The water pump stopped working at 120,000 miles.

The oil started leaking, also at around 120,000 miles.

The starter went out at 125,000 miles.

Transmission seal needed to be replaced at around 130,000 miles.

The frame split between the cab and the bed at 135,000 miles.

The doors never shut completely, even though everything was in place. Rainy days were spent with garbage bags on the front seat.

Sometimes, when I closed the door, it would lock automatically. There are no power locks in this truck, by the way.

The air conditioner was dead when I bought the car, and I was told it just needed to be recharged. That didn't work either. The A/C was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The antifreeze leaking was so excessive, that the floorboards started to rot, and the carpeting started to mildew. No amount of vacuuming prevented or fixed this, and it certainly didn't rid my truck of the awful smell.

Stock tires are very hard to find, and usually need to be ordered. It is, however, safe to go one size up. (These tires are almost always in stock, and fit like a glove.)

Rear wheel drive. NOT good for the winter, with or WITHOUT sandbags.

No airbags, no anti-lock brake system (ABS), or any other measures to prevent personal injury.

The crew cab seats in the back are very uncomfortable for people over 4 feet tall.

The doors need to be locked before you start driving, because they will fly open at approximately 25-30 mph.

General Comments:

This truck has a TOUGH body, that is resistant to rust. The rusting was very minimal, and the body is still absolutely GORGEOUS.

This truck has been in two accidents. The first, it shaved the whole side of a brand new forest green Expresso caravan clean off. There is only one small dent on the truck from that, and that's on the fender. Barely visible, but the van was TOTALED. Tough truck.

In the second accident, the truck was rear-ended, with the assailant slamming into my tailgate at almost 50 mph. I suffered minor injuries, because the truck has NO airbags, ABS, or preventative measures to injury. But the truck only suffered a severely dented tailgate, that won't close all the way anymore, but is a small price to pay for somebody else's ignorance. The damage could have been WAY more significant if the truck wasn't as tough as it is.

The truck has two fold down, crew cab style seats in the back. These are very inconvenient when all of your passengers are grown, but are an excellent size for your little ones.

The 1990 GMC S15 is an excellent size for those learning how to drive. You can see over everything, because it is only a small pickup truck, and fits perfectly against the curb when parallel parking.

Rear wheel drive is very convenient when making tight turns.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2004

13th Feb 2005, 15:57

This truck is great. Although the paint is chipping, I love this truck. I hit a wall going 20mph and the truck only has a dent in the bumper. I have the 350ci engine and I put an headers, a cat, and a muffler on this truck, it made a difference. The truck is quick off the line, due to the gearing, and can beat the rice rockets with no problem. Bravo GM, Bravo.

1990 GMC S-15 high sierra 4.3L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.3L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance85467 miles
Previous carFord Mustang

Summary:

A great and reliable truck

Faults:

The radio stopped working at the 65,000 mile mark.

The seat belts began to not work properly recently.

The computer had to be replaced at the 80,000 mile mark.

The leaf springs had to be replaced at 83,000 miles.

The shocks had to be replaced at 75,000 miles.

The rust is very noticeable.

General Comments:

This is a great reliable truck, and even though it seems a lot has gone wrong with it... it is running very strong considering how old it is becoming. This is a great truck and I recommend it highly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2003

24th Sep 2004, 09:42

Just wondering, but how is it that the rust is very noticeable? Rust was the least of my worries when it came to my 1990 GMC S15. Even here in NY, there has only been a minimal rust problem. You're right though, good truck. :)

6th Sep 2006, 20:17

My dad bought his s-15 brand new in 1990.

I've since bought it from him and it's never failed to get me from point a to point b.

Sure It won't retain an exhaust system for more than six months and it's rusting like crazy, but it's the best truck I've ever driven.

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 2 reviews