'98 Chevy S10 2.2L (4-cyl), start-up issue and third-eye brake light issue

Old 09-08-14, 09:27 PM
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Exclamation '98 Chevy S10 2.2L (4-cyl), start-up issue and third-eye brake light issue

Hey all,

New to the forums here. Also relatively new to doing my own mechanical work on my truck lol (but learning a lot, and fast).

I have a '98 Chevy S-10 2.2L (4-cyl) extended cab with a manual tranny; just bought it used 2 weeks ago. Got it as-is, and no service records were provided to the dealer I bought it from, so since then I've been working on getting a "maintenance baseline" so to speak...changed the air filter, fuel filter, and spark plugs, flushed the radiator, and had the starter replaced when it died during the radiator flush (was going to do it myself but it sits on top of the exhaust pipe where it comes out of the manifold, and I couldn't get the bolts loose to move it out of the way like the repair manual says). Also had the A/C fixed (new compressor/dryer/Schrader valve/orifice something-or-other). Still need to do an oil change but the oil isn't that bad. I also have either a faulty oil sensor or oil gauge (occasionally it'll read zero oil pressure and then self-correct a moment later; every time I check the oil it's nice n' full).

The two issues I'm currently having: the third-eye brake light ("high-mount center light") is out; old bulbs were good but I replaced them anyway, and the fuse is good. I'm pretty good at basic stuff, but I'm no electrician by any means lol, so a wiring issue makes me nervous.

Other issue: stalling on ignition. I left to run to the store next door earlier tonight; the truck started up but was spiking and dropping the revs like "WHOO-ooo-OOO-ooo-OOO" (sorry I'm not good at describing it lol); a brief press of the gas pedal evened it out. The check engine light also stayed on after the initial few seconds. When leaving the store about 15 minutes later, the truck would turn over and start but immediately drop revs and stall; this happened 3-4 times before I decided to let it sit for a few minutes. Upon retrying, it again spiked and dropped the revs until I gave it a little gas, the check engine light was still on, and I got a faint whiff of gas smell in the cab (that went away immediately once I popped it in reverse and started moving). It ran basically fine back home - all couple hundred yards haha - but it was running just a little rough.

Some online research seems to indicate that two of the most likely explanations are a bad camshaft sensor or a bad crankshaft sensor; I have no idea how to check these, let alone replace them if necessary. I have around a third of a tank of fuel, and I know the fuel gauge is not giving a false reading. Battery voltage, oil pressure, and engine temp gauges all read normal. The spark plugs I replaced last week all looked good except for one that only had some ~very~ minor corrosion. There's no distributor to check, and I haven't the foggiest idea where my fuel injectors are, much less how to check them. There's a small chance that I have a bad O2 sensor as well (check engine light has come on before and self-corrected rapidly), but I'm thinking that may not be the case with this stalling issue. Finally the truck was running fine just a few hours earlier, no issues whatsoever.

Any ideas anyone has as to these two issues would be greatly appreciated!! I don't have a lot of $$ to dump into this truck, but it is my only means of regular transportation right now, so the more I can do myself the better it is. Thanks!

[EDIT]: Also it should be noted that I can see no leakage of any kind underneath the vehicle.
Old 09-09-14, 02:38 AM
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Welcome to the forums! In order to get a concise detail of what is happening to the engine, I would stop by a local parts store and let them hook it to a diagnosis meter. It is usually free and they can tell you what is going wrong with the engine, so you don't have to guess. They can also clear any standing codes which may be hindering its running, although they may come back.

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