GMC makes really good trucks. For the last six years I have been driving GMC and I like them a lot better then the bow tie chevy's. The only problem I have with my current 2002 GMC Sonoma SLS Ext. Cab ZQ8 is the tires. Center tread wears out faster no matter what pressure is in the tire. That problem is with the tire manufacture not the auto maker. In most cases the tire manufacture replaces the tire if needed to.
I have a 2002 GMC Sonoma 4X4 ext cab with 90K miles. It seems like all the plastic around the doors etc.. is loose. The rattling is driving me nuts. How do you fix it? Also the 3rd door handle (plastic) has broken 3 times. The dealer told me it was a design flaw. Design Flaw??? "Then recall it and fix the problem." I told him. That got me nowhere. Finally I had a machinist friend make a new handle out of metal. It hasn't broken since.
Tires have barely any grip, but nice for burnouts. Lots of creaking, hood release doesn't work, truck seems slanted when parked, but lots of power and it's a nice light truck, throw on some wheel spacers and a wide body and the truck looks sick.
These trucks are poison - and the guy who said he likes them better than the Chevys - it's exactly the same as the S10. I have the 4.3; has good power but the truck is junk!
Paint flakes off bad, cab corners are known to rust out, the bearing assembly needs to be replaced all the time (bearing, ABS speed sensors, etc., the engine light is always coming on, not great on gas, poor payload (and brakes) for hauling/towing etc, electronic 4x4 works when it wants too - and the placement of the oil filter is the most retarded thing I've ever seen (definitely made for the mechanics so they can change the oil easily, not so good for the user off roads or hit snow bans at the end of the driveway).
I'll probably never buy another GM - no wonder they needed a bailout!!
I have a 2002 GMC Sonoma and I would have to agree that the trucks have so many rattles it is unreal.
The A/C is acting funny also. I am not sure actually what it is, but it doesn't want to stop running. Also have had a lot of radiator trouble.
I had kind of thought I was critical of the truck since I was driving a 05 Silverado and it is differently a step down. I will stick with Chevy's from here on out.
2002 GMC with the ZQ8 Package. Come on guys, I paid $4000 for this truck 2 years ago, I've put 58,000 miles on it (Currently 164K) I've replaced the front brakes, tires, intermediate shaft, spark plugs, and the fuel pump. Front end is still tight, and besides a little rust on the 3rd door the truck is still solid. Go buy a Toyota for $4000 and tell me what you get! You'll spend double in repairs/maintenance, but you will tell yourself it's alright because it's a Toyota and it's going to last you.
Sure the tires center tread is wearing faster, I would like a smoother ride, but it's a truck. The only real issue I have is the radio has a lot of static, and I've tested a different antenna/radio with no luck.
I have mixed feelings about these trucks. I have 2. My first one is a 97 Sonoma 2wd with a 2.2L manual transmission ext cab.
The only problem it ever gave me was the A/C compressor leaked the freon out of the front seal.
The wiper circuit board was replaced under warranty (known issue with all GM cars/trucks).
It does have this funny rattle that has driven me crazy trying to find, it seems to be in the dash up high. When you hit sharp bumps is when it's most noticeable.
I currently has 170k miles. No problems from my paint at all. In fact, it still looks as good as the day I bought it. Although I know how to properly care for a paint job as I am a painter, but only by hobby.
I liked it so much I decided to get another one. Only this time a fully loaded 02 SLS ext cab with a 4.3L automatic. Which now has 105k miles. Which has also gave me way more problems than my 97 did. Sort of.. all very minor problems. But being a mechanical type guy and a boat load of tools, none of them have been something I couldn't fix for cheap. Thermostat, gas cap (caused a evap system leak, throwing a check engine light) and the pass window came out of it's track. 3rd door handle broke. (another common problem with these trucks, which you can buy metal ones all over the net to get rid of the plastic ones, search for "3rd door handle").
And a very known problem that all the 4.3's will eventually need right around 100k miles, new intake gaskets. GM thinks a plastic gasket was a great idea...wrong! The coolant they use, (Dexcool) is known to damage certain types of gasket materials. GM had ultimately lost a class action lawsuit for this. But thanks to the bailout, the lawsuit is no longer valid. Or you could get them replaced for free.
The gaskets are roughly $50 and takes a mildly mechanically inclined person about 2 hours to replace.
The problem is, in the GM service bulletin, if you over tighten the intake, it will cause damage to the crank bearings and ultimately ruin the engine. (sounds crazy, but they claim it's not fiction).
My advice... look into a Colorado or Canyon. Both offer a inline 5 cyl which has more hp and torque than the 4.3, and gets better mpg. Same thing with the 4cyl engine, more power.
Come on, it's a great truck for the money. I've got the '02 ZR2 SLS ext cab. Have 287,000 miles on it, made GMC replace the frame at 70,000. I now have it welded around the front A-arms because those damned robots at GM can't heat temper a weld for Sh7t.
Replaced the front end 12 time since I got it, the drivers side door welds are tearing away from the cab (I guess that nuts and bolts were to fancy for GM to consider).
Also have the plastic on the drivers side door liner screwed in place, and now crack the window to close the door, not to mention the weather stripping I had to add around the driver door to keep the wind howling from driving me bonkers.
Have the brushed aluminum ram guard and running board plus air gate and cargo guards.
This is a best buy truck. Treat it like the hooker GM intended, and it'll run till the wheels fall off (I'm assuming 500,000 miles), so all in all, it cost me less than one dollar for 10,000 miles I've driven it.
12 front-end replacements, multiple frame issues and bodywork issues... Yeah sounds like a great truck... I've seen mid 90's Toyota's with more than 500,000 and they haven't even had close to the amount of work your truck has needed.
First you stated you had GM replace the frame at 70,000 miles, then you said it currently has 287,000 (which is fine). However, you then went on to say you've only driven it 10,000 miles. And it only cost you a dollar? So you were able to get all the things necessary to make a vehicle run (gas, oil) for less than a dollar over a 10,000 mile period? Right, that's gonna happen.