1997 Chevrolet Camaro 3.8 Series II V6 from North America


Mid-level performance with high class looks


Ignition coil died a week after purchasing the car, resulting in a misfire and a flashing Service Engine Soon light. This was replaced under my extended warranty. The problem has not resurfaced.

Car would not start in a city park. This was caused by the wires for the PassKey system breaking or coming loose. This requires the ignition key cylinder to be replaced. Generally, this is a part that needs to be replaced every five or six years due to general wear. The part is relatively cheap, but the labor will kill you ($99 CAD part, $300 CAD labor), and cannot be easily done by a backyard mechanic.

The shock sensor for the factory alarm shorted out, still have yet to replace, trying to find one on eBay. :)

Wipers are messed up. When turning the wipers off, they will park themselves straight up on the windshield, as opposed to going down and sitting neatly at the bottom. Required a replacement of the wiper motor, a VERY EXPENSIVE part (to the tune of $400 CAD), find a used one if you can.

General Comments:

The car, with its 3800 Series II engine, is quick, and can certainly hold its own against most imports you hear buzzing around these days. Thanks to this powerplant's use on the Grand Prix GTP, aftermarket is sprouting up everywhere.

The interior (despite what most say) is very nice. Kinda like a Corvette interior. Black is best. :) The seats are also very comfortable, and will hold you in place for those occasional 40 MPH yield turns. ;)

The exhaust note is nice, although not quite up to par like its V8 big brother.

The car hugs the road with its beefy P245/50ZR16 Goodyear Eagle GS-C tires.

The suspension is not too punishing either, and still provides a nice ride.

The T-Tops do not leak, and are great for... any day in the summer.

If you have snow where you live, as I do, learn this: Respect your throttle. This car is better in the winter than its previous generations, but is still not easy to winter drive. The tires will spin VERY VERY easily and the rear end will choose its own course if you're not careful. Learn to correct when the rear lashes out, and you'll be fine. Also, make sure you have your block heater cables out. I forgot to, and one nice winter day, the snow got moist, then the next day it froze to the tune of -52 degrees Celsius, and I couldn't open the hood because the latch had frozen shut. If you can, get a winter beater.

I love this car, would DEFINITELY buy another one, and next time, I'm getting the LT1.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st February, 2004

1997 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 5.7 from North America


A car not worth buying


My water pump was leaking and caused the distributor to malfunction. Both parts were replaced at 45,000 miles. Wiper motor assembly malfunctioned. I had the entire assembly replaced at 45,000 miles. Fuel pump sending and receiving unit failed at 38,000 miles. The unit was replaced. The clutch assembly was replaced due to slipping at 32,000 Miles.

General Comments:

This car has great performance.

However the car has had serious problems and after having all of the ignition parts replaced, it still shuts off while going down the road and will not restart.

This car has been in the garage to be fixed more times then any other car I have ever owned!

I have been told by other camaro owners that they have had the same problem with the water pump leaking that caused the distributor unit to malfunction.

If you plan on buying a 97 camaro Z28, be ready to have problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th December, 2003

25th Jul 2004, 17:32

I'm a dealer in St Louis Missouri. I have owned probably 75 1996-2002 Z-28's All joking aside... The only problem I've had is a power window motor in the door replaced. I feel as though you will never buy any car that won't cost a few dollars in repairs regardless. The Z-28 is a whole lot of BANG for the buck. I'm not one to write in on comment boards, but the views you have are night and day from mine. It is possible you just got a lemon... all makes and models a few are bound to make it past quality control. Thank You, David Peters.

16th Sep 2004, 17:05

I agree with the dealer. I have also only had to replace the window motor, at 105000 miles.

27th Mar 2005, 07:22

I also own a 97 z-28 and have had minimal problems with it. All cars will need some sort of repair as the years go by. I happen to love my camaro. I paid a lot less money than I would have for a vette and it performs superbly. It starts and and runs great every time I get in and it has never left me stranded. I would recommend the purchase of the fourth generation camaro to anyone looking for a great performing car on a budget.

12th Apr 2005, 22:42

I'm in the same boat as all of you. I have a 30th anniversary and my window motors break on a daily basis, haha. The stock differential is made of glass, but it was a good excuse to get 410s. The car is a great car. IT REQUIRES TLC aka maintenance.