Running Loud after Over-towing


I recently towed a 16’ camper with my '99 S-10. It was apparently too heavy for it, but I had no choice but to haul it about 600 miles. It was a very hilly drive and I was revving the engine almost all of the time. It didn’t appear to be running extremely hot though, according to the gauge.

Since then the truck is running much more loudly, even when I take my foot off the gas with it in gear. It actually makes a noise similar to an 18-wheeler when I imagine they do the same. There’s a brief pause in engine noise when I stop giving it gas and then a “farting” noise for lack of a better word.

I haven’t noticed a drop in fuel efficiency, and I don’t know much about engines, but I’m wondering if I’ve done something to the valves or piston rings or something.

Could there, perhaps, be a leak in the exhaust system?

Hmm, that’s a good idea. I’ll take a look and see if I can see anything.

From the exhaust heat generated from towing something that the vehicle was never designed to tow, it probably burned out the exhaust manifold gaskets.


S10 Blazer or pickup? 4.3 V6 or 2.2 4 cyl? My 2000 S10 Blazer (4wd, 4.3 6cyl, 3.42 rear) with the towing package has a towing rating of 5000 lbs, the 2wd is rated at 5500 lbs. According to the Owner’s Manual, Overdrive should be avoided (D4, use D3 instead), especially under these conditions.

Awesome, that’s even more specific. If that’s it, how hard do you think it would be for me to fix it?

It’s a 4cyl pickup.

Boy! You’re lucky you didn’t blow the engine towing a 16’ trailer that distance!

But, if this truck has an automatic transmission, you might want to check the condition of the transmission fluid. You might find it to be pretty burnt up.


It’s a manual.

I am willing to bet the leak is under the hood, in the form of a cracked exhaust manifold.

The temperature gauge might not have moved, but trust me, parts of the engine got much hotter than they were supposed to.

Have someone hold a shop rag over the exhaust pipe. If you feel pressure building up and the engine starts to slow, the exhaust system is probably intact. If you hear hissing or pressure does not build, listen around for where the gases are going.

Hopefully you have a leak is gasket or blown muffler.

Thanks, I’ll try that.

TaoW80, let us know how it turns out.