1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z-34 3.4L V-6 from North America
A pretty car, but don't expect to win the Winston Cup in it
Needed a tune-up after a few thousand miles of ownership. This cost me almost two hundred dollars for parts and labor. What moron designed a car that requires half the engine to be taken apart to get at the rear three spark plugs??
Lights were always coming on that shouldn't have been. The "Check Engine" light and I developed a love-hate relationship. It would taunt me by coming on, staying for a few minutes or a few days, then going out by itself before I could get it to the dealership. The same thing happened with the "Brake" light until I added some fluid.
Having come off a series of much older cars, I didn't know that GM had switched to orange Dex-Cool antifreeze/coolant in 1996. I also didn't know that adding regular green antifreeze to the engine would precipitate the Apocalypse. I did this a few days after I bought it. As I was closing the hood I noticed the tiny sticker "Do not add regular antifreeze! Engine damage or fires can result" that was sticking on the frame about three feet from the coolant reservoir. A call to the dealer and a few minutes with the owner's manual scared me so much about the possible consequences that I ripped the coolant reservoir out and drained it completely.
This car was nice, but not as sporty as the red paint, aluminum wheels, and spoiler would lead you to believe. Pick-up wasn't the best, and the engine whined like it was REALLY being stressed when I'd have to go up a hill or pull onto the Interstate for my daily commute to work.
The car used a lot more gas than I'd have liked, too. Frankly its gas mileage was only slightly better than the 1984 Lincoln Town Car I replaced it with.
The interior was sparse and bleak. The rear seat barely had room to take a single passenger, much less two.
My girlfriend liked the car a lot -- of course, she wasn't the one who had to deal with the fact that the engine must have been inserted into the car with Vaseline and a shoehorn, which made it impossible to work on.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 7th January, 2002
1st Mar 2010, 05:04
LOL. After seeing your Vasoline comment, it took be back to my Monte days of my 96 Z34. Uugghh!
I had to replace 6, yes, 6 alternators on that car. I bought it when it was only a year old, and had 30 thousand on it... after two trannys and 6 alternators later, I called it my $100,000 car because of the beautiful location of the alternator down by the passenger wheel... it was NOT EASY to get to. Just like EVERYTHING else in that car.
My standing joke back in the day was that the car rode more on the tow-truck instead of on the highway. LOL. But, I do have to say when things were running right (10%) of the time, the car ran and looked beautifully!!! That was definitely my baby for almost 10 years. After all the drama with that car, I drove it to the dirt! But thinking about that car still puts a smile on my face, despite all the tragedies!