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1998 S-10 Transmittion Problems

My 1998 S-10 4x4 w/v-6, A/T with 182K Miles. After driving 21 to 23 miles the following happens.

1. The ABS unit activates and the light comes on.

2. The speedometer stops operating.

3. The transmission will not shift into third gear. I can manually start off using first and moving up to second. I can drive very short distances as long as I keep the RPM’s @ 2000.

My local Chevy dealership told me that I needed a new starter switch in the column and I have placed a new and it still happens.

What do I need to check?

It sounds like what they are talking about is the ignition switch. This is a common failure in these. This is why the speedo is not working and since the 12v to the transmission is supplied from the ignition switch, the 12v is not there. When you lose all power to the transmission, you get 3rd gear all the time.
The dealership is right, you need to change the ignition switch.


That is what I changed out, just couldn’t spell it. Is there a way to check voltage with my volt meter?
Parts Store talked about the Vicheal Speed Switch. Is that the part that receives the 12v from the ignition switch?
Thanks for the help.

You can check voltage to the transmission at the transmission case connector on the passenger side of the transmission. This is a round connector with 12 wires going to it. With the ignition in the on or run position you should read 12vdc at the “Pink” wire. No voltage at this plug will result in no power to the transmission meaning 3rd gear all the time. The vehicle speed sensor is located on the transfer case on your vehicle. It too will cause the problems you describe. The easiest way to check these is with a scanner. Speed sensors are nothing but AC voltage generators. There is no input or “reference” voltage going to the VSS. Take it to one of your local parts stores and have them scan the computer for codes. If you do have a speed sensor issue, a code will show up on their code reader. Post back here with the code/s they pull along with the descriptions of the code/s.


Could removing the radio to check the lights that stopped working cause this problem? I was thinking about it as I was driving to work. I pulled out the radio several months ago to check why some of the lights were not working. I put the radio back in and no none of the lights in the radio work now. I DID disconect the battery and I thought I made sure the the Anti-Theft was NOT on at the time.


I have finally got the truck to a Chevy dealer and pulled the codes. The speed sensor that is in the transfer case is giving a bad signal. I will replace it this weekend and let you know if this fixes the problem.