1998 GMC Sonoma SLS from North America - Comments

5th Jun 2004, 07:32

I own a 98 high rider 4x4 with 102000 miles on it and had the ball joint replaced once, My u-joints once and my alternator 3xs over all I drove this truck very hard and it, s still spinning like a top interior seat levers broke and seats wear quickly, but over all for a mid sized I think it, s a tough truck a truck that drives like a truck want a smooth drive a sedan.

22nd Oct 2006, 18:00

I've owned my 98' sonoma for about 3 months now I have not experienced any of the above problems. It handles and drives superbly. It is also very fuel efficient which is a plus. I love my sonoma.

9th Nov 2007, 14:46

Hmmm, here's a summation:

I have a 98 GMC Sonoma (4.3 V6, extended cap, 2WD), and it started off good. For a few years! Then, the problems started.

At 65K miles, the transmission completely blew out. Since then, I've had 2 more water pumps put in, a brand new radiator, a new windshield wiper motor (it was scary how it would go out in a heavy rain), the third door latch has busted twice, both seat recliners are broken, the drive shaft broke (was replaced), the rear axle broke in two (even the mechanics found this to be puzzling, but they replaced it), and the AC went/is out (has been for 3 years now, scared how expensive it's going to be).

I will NEVER buy a GM vehicle again.

10th Nov 2007, 13:53

I have a 97 Sonoma with the vortec automatic, 160K miles and no expense beyond what I consider maintenance or normal wear.

However, about a month ago it started shutting off while driving. Very random, sometime going a week without doing it then doing it 3 times in 1 day. Best I can recall it never happens while accelerating just cruising or coasting at low speed. Mechanic cannot recreate problem or find it with diagnostic machine or inspection. Obvious concern about steering locking on a curve and/or getting rear-ended.

Anybody have experience or ideas? Help!

20th Mar 2008, 21:13

My grandad has a '98 Sonoma; there are four things wrong with it.

First, the wipers only work when the truck is dry.

Second, the engine has a distinct "rattling" noise that is caused by the timing chain.

Third, the brake calipers are too tight on the rotors, and they squeal when you don't apply the brake.

Fourth, the AC doesn't work in the fourth position.

The truck has only 57,000ish miles on it, but he is very neglectful with his preventive maintenance. The truck runs like a top and is very reliable, great on gas, and utterly brilliant.

Oh, and I love American cars.

22nd Mar 2008, 21:34

I have a 98 GMC Sonoma SLS.. V6 4.3L. I love the truck.. perfect for me. The only problem I have is my driveshaft.. it has busted on me once on the freeway.. it seems the U joints and hitting eachother or they are hitting the bar itself. If anyone has any advice or opinions on how to fix this please write back to this.. it is a hard knock and I think it will go out again soon. Is the engine mounts or maybe the frame is off?? Please help.

25th Mar 2008, 08:04

I've owned a 98 S10 for 10 years now. What a great truck. The original tires lasted 126,000 miles. It's the same transmission, a 5 speed manual. The engine is a 2.2l with 240,000 miles on it. The rear brakes are original... Maybe I spent $400 in maintenance on this truck in ten years. I replaced ball joints and U-joints. Wish I had two more of these.

6th Apr 2008, 10:40

I've had my 98 Sonoma V6 ext cab since 2001. At first it was a great truck. I loved the way it handled, the ride was smooth not at all like a pick up truck. I traded my 87 GMC S15 Sierra for the Sonoma. It wasn't long before the third door latch broke. Then the driver's seat recline broke, then the a/c went. I did some research and found the third door latch, and both seat recliners are defective. GM did nothing to recall or replace with better parts. Repairs are close to $400 per latch. The truck currently has 146,000 miles.

Last year I began hearing a loud vibrating rattle. Since I had replaced the U joints and V joints twice already I thought that was my problem. Long story short, I had to have the entire rear axle and assembly replaced. Lucky for me the garage had to pay for the repairs because the missed it the first time. BTW, there are some 98 Sonomas out there that were factory lowered. I have one. The parts for the standard 98 Sonomas don't always work in the lowered ones. This is especially true with the axles and suspension.

Now the pins and bushings in the driver's door have failed and had it not been for the fact the hinges are welded on, the door would have fallen off. In addition, there is a bubbling sound coming from under the hood that has been there since I bought it. No mechanic can find the cause.

I have always been vigilant about service and maintenance. I'm disappointed with this truck. I hate to say it because I am a die-hard GM fan.

7th Apr 2008, 10:36

I own a 1998 GMC Sonoma Hi-Rider SLS. I purchased it used with 16k miles on it. It now has 140k miles. I have driven this vehicle very hard over the years up here in northern New England. I have experienced some issues, but nothing that is so dramatic as to make me swear off GMC or to insult this vehicle.

AC--went early and would have cost $600 to repair, so I never bothered.

Ball joints--have replaced both once and one twice.

Transmission--had it rebuilt.

Brakes--I have replaced the front rotors.

Water pump--I have replaced the water pump once.

3rd door latch--needs to be replaced.

3rd door water seal--moisture has gotten in over the years and I now have a rust spot at the bottom latch of the 3rd door.

But here's the thing: I've used this to tow, offroad, haul material, camp and more for 9 years. Trucks are tools to be used this way, and things will break.

Conclusion? Very satisfied with this vehicle. The Vortec V6 is a great engine. I have no regrets.

8th May 2008, 08:50

I've had a sanoma for almost 2 years and I have only had to replace the u-joint, and brakes, normal things I sappose. my wipers, and everything else work fine the only problem is its not 4-wheel drive. its great on gas, and I would buy another.

15th May 2008, 16:05

My Regular vehicle was in the shop and I borrowed my mother's 98 Sonoma. I had noticed the windshield wiper problem more than a year ago and advised her to be wary of driving it in the rain. Same thing occurs now when I drive it, wipers stop in mid cycle, only way to get them to return is to hit the washer function. Driver's side window is erratic, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Today it rained hard and the electronics went totally out, stopping dead in the middle of a six lane major highway at lunch hour rush.

Car had to be towed. I put the charger on it and as soon as the charger was hooked up, the lights came back on, the battery showed full capacity, very strange and dangerous behavior for a vehicle and not a vehicle I would want any one in my family to drive.

It is interesting to see that others have had the same exact set of problems I am encountering in my few weeks with this vehicle.