98 s10 truck, 4 cyl, 2 wheel dr, manual trans, 140k miles, replaced motor 3 years ago, replaced fuel pump 18 months ago, gets very poor gas milage ( feels like less than 15mil/Gal). Starts O.K., but I am fearful of driving it because of the shaking and general increased noise and lack of power went giving gas.
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IF by issues you mean failing continuously then check the following points. Bearings fail from several reasons --1 over preloaded==excessive nut tension 2 lack of adjustment ==lack of nut tension 3 lack of or excessive lubricant==4 incorrect type of lubricant== 4 not replacing the bearings as a unit ==5 unbalanced wheels==6 wheel alignment issues
get under the vehicle (use ramps) and check all linkages for movement pull push on the anti roll bar links, pull push on steering rack and pinion and linkages, any excessive movement, jack each wheel at a time, using a bar check the lower wishbone joints for movement, get the bar in the gap between the wishbone and lower part of the shock. and pull down, if any movement in ball joint up and down replace. while wheel on vehicle check for movement in bearing you will feel a tiny amount not much but pull and push on wheel with opposite hands on 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock and do the same at 9 and 3. now with both wheels off the ground but with the tyres still on, have some one holed one wheel and push pull on wheels each side there should be even movement between both wheels, if everything is fine with the the steering linkages and this dose not feel or sound right then this could be the problem also to add if the inside and out side of the tyres are wearing then the tyre pressure is wrong and needs adjusting to the right tyre pressure .
The ford ranger has less problems,and is easier to work on,and easy to diagnose ,when it does have problems,but for the most part the ranger ,all the way.Ranger does not have a lot of power,but is a very good truck.
Its best to just drive it until it quits, you got yourself an exceptional blazer, start messen with trans. now i think would be a mistake, take the mechanics advise, drive it, and enjoy it for as long as you can. Consider yourself luckey most people don't get half that milage before the trans. has to be replaced or rebuilt.
We have a 2001 Chevy Impala as well. About 3 months ago, we encountered the same symptoms. The catalytic converter was bad and had to be changed out. The cost, for a universal catalytic converter, was about $300 but this fixed the problem. I hope this helps.