I went to drive the truck today for the first time in a week or more. Something told me to check the oil, so I did. The dipstick was bone dry. Yikes.

It smokes at startup, just for a second. It has ever since I got it. I have heard people say the Chevy 4.3 can do that for years and it’s not a huge deal. It is the valve seals. A little bit of oil seeps past them when you shut it off and then that oil is burned up when you turn it back on. Well, it’s been 2,000 miles since I bought it and changed the oil in April 2015 (yeah, I’ve put 2,000 miles on it in a year-and-a-half). And, it doesn’t leak enough to stain the driveway nor the street where it stays parked, so stupid me hasn’t checked it. Oh, the idiot light never came on, either.

I added two quarts of oil and that got it back up to where it’s supposed to be. So it is burning 1 quart of oil every 1,000 miles. Ugh. There’s a valve cover gasket leak, too, but nothing extreme.

Sigh. I hope the valve seals job fixes this, because I can’t go pouring a ton of money into this thing with the baby on the way. Luckily, my mechanic friend doesn’t charge me labor and I usually help him out a little. So, we’re hoping to do the valve seals and the a/c compressor replacement at the same time.


The a/c compressor leaks a bit (we have to charge the air once a year), but the more concerning issue is that it basically sounds like a Cessna trying to take off under the hood. It’s not long for this world, and I’m not in the mood to have it lock up on me.

Oh, and it’s going to need tires too, damn it. They’re practically new tread-wise, but they’re so old that the edges are all cracked and dry rotted. This means they need to go bye-bye, right? Oh, and both back tires have slow leaks.


Good thing this isn’t my daily driver. I only drive it when I have to take my mower to my friend’s yard (I mow it weekly for $30.00) or when there is severe weather in the forecast and I don’t want the 6 to get hailed on.

I don’t want to sell my truck. I’ve grown to like it. Hopefully, the valve seals job fixes the oil burning, I can find some new-ish tires for cheap, the a/c compressor replacement will keep that system good for a while, and then Rizzo the S10 will be happy.


Side note: The 4.3 is like one of the toughest engines. Ever. 2 quarts low on oil for God knows how long and it’s no worse for the wear. Even when it was low, there was no noise or loss of performance.

Side side note: The a/c compressor itself has already been replaced once and here it is dying again. Although, there’s a giant sticker on it saying it is a remanufactured unit. Therein lies the issue, I think.