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My Heap of an S-10

I have a 2000 Chevy S-10 V6 Automatic I believe it’s a 4.3L engine.

it’s been running great has 126K miles and I had a dealership tune up done at 98K miles been a very good vehicle.

lately however the brakes sound like someone stuck another disc in between the pads and the original rotors. constant grinding noise. as soon as I hit the breaks it goes away then comes back. also the break peddle vibrates only when braking hard downhill. I realize the breaks need to be changed is there any chance it’s just the pads or should I be saving for calipers and rotors.

2. there is a small coolant leak in the area of like 1 Gallon over 3-4K miles so not much but the oil change place was pretty sure it’s the water pump I am wondering if that’s something someone who is handy but inexperienced should try would buying a repair manual or spending the money on having someone else do it right be more beneficial

3. the coolant temp sensor only moves up to 1/4 point where it should be at 1/2 which is normal I am guessing it might either have something to do with the thermostat going out which may or may not explain why I also get very mediocre air conditioning. or might it just be a symptom of the coolant leak. It hasn’t overheat during the course of the past months it’s been doing this but I would hate for the gauge to be lying to me and it do that without me every knowing it.

any and all answers or advice would be appreciated I’m a poor college student so any of this I can end up doing myself without ruining anything I need to do to save money and there is a parts store within walking distance


Here’s my best advise, totally based on the information provided:

  1. The brakes do sound like they need attention. However, the rotors may only need to be turned, not replaced. Replacement costs vary on if you have ABS and/or 4WD. The calipers do not sound bad, however. Bad calipers usually cause dragging brakes or pulls to one side when braking. I wouldn’t worry about the calipers.

  2. A water pump on this truck should be easy, and is a great way for an inexperienced person to start. If I remember correctly, tho, you will need a special tool to remove the cooling fan. Some auto parts stores can probably rent one to you. Do a cooling system flush before you remove the old pump can kill two birds with one stone, especially with my advise on number 3. And make sure the gasket surface on the timing cover is cleaned off really good to make for a good seal. Make some sort of guide to help you replace all the bolts to the water pump in the correct slots. Also, if I remember right, most of the bolts have different lengths.

  3. Sounds like the thermostat is stuck open. If you do replace the water pump, replace the thermostat and radiator cap with the cooling system emptied. Even if the radiator cap is still good for now, replacing it is cheap insurance.

  4. Get a Haynes manual, also available at the parts store. It should have step-by-step directions with pictures that you can see what is involved with each repair. I got one for the first car I purchased many moons ago, and now I buy one with every car I buy. The aid they give you is well worth the money.

Your temp gague may be acting odd because you may be low on coolant.Are you regulary checking your coolant?

well as often as I can I check it about once every three days but I don’t add coolant but say once every other week. usually there is about 1-4 inches in the reservoir which I realize is probably not optimal but better than being empty.

thanks for the advice above though that’s very helpful and I will look for a Hayne manual

I came across this article when I replaced the radiator on my 2000 Blazer last year. It walks through the water pump replacement process.

As for the brake calipers, the fronts were fine when the pads were replaced at 70k. The rear calipers were replaced when the originals began to stick after the pads were changed at 80k.