How to Troubleshoot a Chevy S10 Truck

by Eli Laurens

The Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck is a relatively easy vehicle to repair. Manufactured on a platform dating back to 1982, the basic components have changed very little over the years. S-10's were available with either a 4-cylinder or V-6 engine, and 2 or 4- wheel drive. Variants include the Blazer and Jimmy SUV's, and S-15 long-bed models.

Determine the problem. If the truck is inoperable, charge the battery and attempt to crank it. The starter should turn the engine over until the battery is out of energy.

Listen for noises, clunks, loud tapping, or squealing sounds. The brakes will squeal under normal wear, and will clunk when totally worn out beyond maintenance. Serpentine fan belts will squeal when wet or worn. Sound can be a clear, directional indicator of a faulty part.

Check for leaks. A faulty transmission will leak red, sweet smelling fluid. The smell of an engine's oil is obvious, and usually dark brown to black in color. Coolant can be green, yellow, or red, but will usually not be oily and smells sweet. Gasoline has the pungent, fumy smell. A leak can be a clear indicator of a particular problem. Use the flashlight to peer into the crevices of the engine from as many angles as possible, as the source of a leak can be hidden.

Check the stored engine computer codes. The "Check Engine Soon," or "Service Engine" light will normally illuminate when there is a mechanical issue with the motor. Auto parts stores will scan the computer for stored codes. This can directly pinpoint the problem in minutes. All versions of S-10 based trucks will have this light, and store the codes.

Tip

  • check Use protective equipment when working on a vehicle.

Warning

  • close Disconnect battery before doing any repairs.

Items you will need

About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.

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