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Old 04-07-2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default Problems with my Chevrolet S10...please help!

I know I have another thread that I just made about my truck...but I figure whoring and problems should not be in the same thread.

Today on my way to work my truck just dies on me. No prior indication, gauges were fine, no check engine light, no wavering idle, nothing. Had started up fine too. Only lights that were on after the engine died were the battery symbol and check gauges lights.

I barely manage to haul it over to a nearby parking lot. I try to start it, no dice. Engine turns easily indicating good battery charge but no start. I pop the hood, find nothing wrong, get back in and try again. Truck starts. Once it'* running everything again appears great, no check engine light, alternator shows good voltage, no warning lights whatsoever. The check gauges light disappeared too.

I make it about 15 feet before it dies again. I try to crank, nothing. Wait, crank, and it starts fine. Somehow I managed to make it the rest of the way home, but all the while I could feel the engine try to die periodically and the only way to keep it going was to hit the gas and it would literally snap back to life.

This truck has new AC Delco platinum plugs, a new distributor cap, relatively new fuel filter, new O2 sensor, I run fuel injector cleaner in it regularly...basically I have been doing my best to keep this truck in top running order and again, it gave no prior indication that it was going to fail.

Now, I've been doing some research and I've discoverd that the fuel pumps on these trucks may be problematic...does this sound like a fuel pump failure to you? No trouble codes mean no misfire which would indicate electrical problems...it idled maybe a tick rougher than normal but it'* hard to tell because the 4.3 is somewhat of a rough engine without a balance shaft...

I also didn't see any evidence of a vacuum leak. I haven't been hearing any hissing or whistling sounds, nor did the idle waver. It did surge or fall sometimes but not continuously...just in one spurt, and dramatically.

Any ideas you have please post them, I need help. It'* going to be hard to get this truck anywhere like this and if I take it to a shop and say "I have a problem" I'm literally at their mercy...

I kind of hope the fuel pump is the problem but also not...I do because it'* an easy one source problem, but I don't because it'* expensive and there'* no way I could do it myself.

Anyway, any help you could offer is most appreciated...I hate to make it seem like all I do on here is ask for help but **** keeps happening. :(
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:18 AM   #2
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Well, the 4.3 does have some problems. The CSFI (Central sequential fuel injection) unit can go bad, they are famous for going bad at any given time. Usually they will start with stalling, then bogging and stalling, then will eventually start leaking, and lead to a CEL code for running too rich. I think I paid $139.99 for mine, and it included a new FPR. A way to determine if this is bad is to pull your intake hat off the throttle body, and with the engine off, open the throttle body, and take a big whiff. It will smell of fuel under normal conditions, but when the CSFI unit is leaking, it will smell very strong of raw fuel. Then, CAREFULLY take a flashlight and shine it down into the intake, there may be fuel pooled in the middle of the intake, if so, it'* time for a new CSFI unit.

The S10s are also notorious for fuel pumps dying. The bad thing is they are VERY expensive compared to H-Body pumps, so be prepared to shell out $300+ for a new one if it is determined to be bad.

Also another problem these engines have is they use DEX, and this is bad because the LIM gaskets on the 4.3 are literally paper thin, and are made up of the same material that the 3800'* LIM gaskets are. Mine were near failing on my S10 I had, and I changed them out. The whole process is slightly more complicated than the 3800'* LIM gasket job, but it'* better than dropping a new crate 4.3 in.

Other than that, get around those problems and that truck will go forever.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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Thanks for your quick reply. Is there any way to tell if the CSFI unit is failing if it hasn't begun leaking yet? If that is my problem, it sounds like it'* in the early pre-leak stages going by your progression.

I've heard about the LIM gasket problems too. I just got the coolant flushed in an attempt to stave off this problem, don't know how much it will help. Truck only has 46,000 miles on it so hopefully those are still ok. Are there aluminum gaskets available for those like there are for the 3800?

All this sounds very depressing but very fitting to my situation.

Anyway, I'll take off the intake connector when I get home and look down into the throttle body to see what'* there. From the sounds of things, I hope I see plenty of fuel there. Cheapest apparent solution so far.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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I took off work a little early today because this has really got me down, and I needed to find out what was going on. I checked the pump by turning the key to the on position, came on and ran consistently for about 3 seconds every time...it was audible, but not too loud I guess...hard to base a comparison. It sounded like an electric train motor but louder. Best I can do for comparison there.

Took off the intake hat and I smelled gas. Not too strong. Looked in with a flashlight and didn't see any puddled fuel.

Could it be my fuel pressure regulator?
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:43 PM   #5
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Any thoughts? I haven't been able to do much with it since I've been trying to fix my Buick'* power steering but any advice is welcome.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:46 PM   #6
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Getting word on an S10 forum that it might be the crankshaft position sensor. Still working on it.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:20 PM   #7
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Truck is fixed. Took it into the shop today to a trusted mechanic friend of mine, needed a new ignition module and coil pack. Runs good as new now.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:54 AM   #8
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Well, it'* not fixed.

Took it to work today and it did the same thing in the exact same place...same time and distance from my home as before. Only this time it was much worse.

This time instead of snapping back to life and being normal for a while, it sputtered and stumbled and backfired it'* way along. No check engine light. Just the check gauges and battery symbol when the car died.

Something else I noticed, I turned my hazards on to warn other drivers that I was in trouble...yet they seemed to work sporadically. They would not flash but rather hold steady at times, such as when the car died or when throttle was not being applied...once throttle was applied they would flash normally again.

Any ideas? I'm at a loss. I don't see how the problem could completely disappear and then come back worse than ever.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:36 PM   #9
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Forgot to add, last time it was in the fuel pressure was checked. It was okay and holding well, so that pretty much rules the fuel pump/injectors out.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:56 PM   #10
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Never worked on an s10, but it sounds like there'* a voltage issue. What year is the truck? Could there be a bad ground somewhere?
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