Where are these running gears made?

I’m considering buying a 2001 GMC Sonoma pickup, and I will if the running gear is made in Japan, anyone know?

I don’t understand your question. By running gear do you mean the engine, transmission, and drivetrain? If so, no, it’s not directly made in Japan. But I’m sure there are parts and pieces on that truck made in Japan. Also Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Poland, Czech Republic and perhaps Germany. After 12 years the truck is bound to have have repairs using aftermarket parts that come from all over the world.

Just curious, why would where the parts are made influence your car-buying decision?

Good luck with that–all recent cars are a melting pot of tech from around the world. A lot of parts on a car are made by top-tier suppliers, and they have factories all over the world too. My current Chrysler was assembled in Canada from US and German parts, with the electronics made who knows where. Toyotas are built in Indiana from US and Japan parts. All of the big-3 have factories everywhere, incl. Mexico. (which is one place I’d avoid a car from) Even cars of the same model can have parts from very different origins and be assembled in very different places, depending on where they’re sold. And if that isn’t confusing enough, automakers partner with other ones too–my GF’s Honda is an Isuzu. Some GMs were Suzukis and Toyotas in past yers. Some Fords are or were Mazdas, A few GMs are made in Australia and Japan, some of the defunct Saturn brand have Honda engines. A few Dodges were Mitsubishis, and the Dodge Sprinter van was a Mercedes. (and I’d take the Chrysler tech over Mercedes for reliability and repairability any day over Merc) The list goes on and on…

There was a poster some time ago who had a Volvo and wanted the dealer to install genuine Volvo brake parts.

He asked to see the box with Volvo printed on it and the pads were made in India and the rotors were made in China. Which proves the futility about location of manufacture. It’s the Quality and the manufacturing process that counts. Some of Ford’s best cars are built in Mexico, while I would not buy a Volkswagen built there, in spite of VW’s long term presence there.

by ‘running gear’ I meant the drive shaft and tranny.

hy? I was told by a really good mechanic that 130K mi is OK for the Japanese made running gear, not so good for domestic made. I figure if Toyotas and Hondas , Japanese autos, are noted for the high mileage they get, it makes sense.

Many ‘Japanese’ vehicles are made elsewhere. It’s pretty wide open, as noted above. Most well-cared-for vehicles are good for about 250k. I wouldn’t pick my vehicle based on the country that made the transmission.

My son bought a 2001 Chevrolet S-10 last summer which I think is the same thing as the GMC Sonoma. When he was searching for a small pickup truck, I advised him to make his purchase after having a mechanic check it out and not based on the manufacturer of the truck. My son was initially looking for a Ford Ranger, but after he took two to be checked out by his mechanic, his mechanic advised him to take a pass and essentially told him to run away from the trucks. At any rate, the S-10 he did buy was given a clean bill of health by his mechanic.
I’ve ridden with him in his S-10. It’s a 4 cylinder with an automatic transmission. I don’t think it has a running gear but more a “shuffling along” gear.

I thank all who posted, I think I’m gonna keep looking for a Toyota, Honda or Subaru. I live in northern Ca if anyone has one for sale!

To answer the OP’s question the 4.3L is made in either Michigan or New York. The 2.2L is made in New York and the automatic transmission is made either in Michigan, Ohio, or Mexico

I was told by a really good mechanic that 130K mi is OK for the Japanese made running gear,
not so good for domestic made.

This is a very weak (and illogical) reason to shape the choice of a vehicle purchase.

:This is a very weak (and illogical) reason to shape the choice of a vehicle purchase."

+1. The reasoning may have been true in the 1990s, but Ford and GM, at least, got schooled on reliability by Toyota and Honda. And their trucks always got more attention than the cars anyway since they make so much money on them. The most important discriminator for a high mileage vehicle is how well it was maintained.

Maybe you should avoid any really good mechanic who feeds you a line of BS about 130k is ok for Japanese running gear.

Yes, If the vehicle had a Japanese running gear, it will always without exception go at LEAST 200k miles. There is a law in japan prohibiting any breakdowns for any reason until the car hits 200k miles.

If there is any failures before 200k miles and it gets reported, the Japanese government fines the automaker 10 percent of the original selling price of the vehicle, Therefore the automakers take breakdowns seriously over there.

The ONLY exception to this rule is the timing belt, Those must be replace no matter what the salesman says.

IMHO, The last generations of s-10s are junk. Balljoint eating, 4l60e sunshell breaking, intake leaking, oil cooler line leaking, door hinge pin needing junk… And im a chevy man.

Not to mention the 4.3 liter with cfi injection. The spider injector is 400 bucks.

I’d have to say that every recent Blazer, Jimmy, Sonoma, and S-10 I’ve seen with over 120K on it has been pretty well used up, which is a shame, because the old, basic S-10s were tough little trucks. Even if the urban legend that the ones with Japanese ‘running gear’ are better, you’ll still suffer suspension problems, myriad electrical woes, and disintegrating body hardware and cabin pieces. Good luck even finding one without the check engine light on.

@WheresRick LOL, who told you that? You won’t find a car in Japan with 200k on the clock. Their automotive taxation scheme is such in Japan that most cars are disposed of (usually exported) before they get anywhere close to 200k miles.


I was being snarky. :wink:

@FoDaddy Yes, the feedback I got so far is that in Japan when a car reaches the age of 10 years, there is a whole raft of components that have to be replaced, regardless of condition. This stimulates the domestic car market. Japanese drive much fewer miles than we do, so there is a thriving export market for these mint condition cars to countries where they drive on the left side of the road. We lived in Malaysia (where they drive on the left) and many taxis were ex-executive Toyota Crown models, bought for a song.

The situation got so bad that used car dealers in New Zealand and Ireland complained to the government that their business was being ruined by these good cheap import which often went for only $300 per car.

Very few cars in Japan reach 200,000 miles since that would mean between 25 and 30 years worth of driving. Japanese driver want the latest and you will find very few older cars on the road there. Commercial vehicles may reach 200,000 miles and such a rule might apply to them.

It is true that Japanese manufacturers test their components for very high endurance so that the export market benefits; this has established the reputation of Japanese cars in general. Russian Ladas, Yugos, Chech Skodas, and Fiats all bombed in the export market because of a lack of quality and reliability.

Breakdowns on Japanese roads are very troublesome as they cause massive traffic jams. But I think @WheresRick misunderstands the reasons for Japanese quality. Like the camera business in the 50s and 60s, the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) wanted the car business to succeed. They adopted Deming’s quality control principles and the rest is history.


I was being sarcastic, it was a joke. :wink: