1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS 3.1 from North America


Very satisfied with my 1997 Monte Carlo LS


The only 2 problems I had so far is the alternator, and I had to change my gas tank from a rock hitting it.

I had the two back rear panels painted from surface rust.

The radio died on me in 2007.

General Comments:

This car is very comfortable, very reliable, and always starts on the first shot.

Very smooth ride, even with winter tires.

3.1 motor very smooth, just enough power to drive this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2011

1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34 3.4 DOHC V6 from North America


Affordable and all-around nice sports car


Water pump = $170.

Replaced original spark plugs/wires tune up = $200.

Airbag/driver side window doesn't work.

Engine light goes on once in a while, because of evap/oxygen sensor.

General Comments:

I have owned my sharp red 97 Monte Carlo Z34 for only four months, but it's been a great car for only paying $1200 and having 173k miles.

Doesn't get the best gas mileage, but has a lot of power and is a very reliable daily driver.

It obviously has more power than the 3.1, which is just a 2 door Lumina, and it just looks better.

I love the high-output and the dual-exhaust. The automatic shifter on the floor is great, and the alloy wheels are sweet.

The stereotype about the 3.4 being crappy is only opinion, and is because people beat up on their cars and don't keep up on regular maintenance.

I will admit it has some electrical problems, but it's 14 years old, so it's to be expected.

So far I have had to replace the water pump, and replaced the original spark plugs and wires; that combined was only $400.

My Mom has a 97 Lumina with the 3.1, and has nothing but problems, and it's very surprising that it's made it to 200k miles.

The tranny's shot, it shuts off, overheats, leaks coolant, doesn't always start etc.

To me, if you want an affordable reliable sports car that shifts and drives smoothly, you gotta go with the Z34 trim.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2011

1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS 3.1L from North America


The best, most dependable car I have owned to date


45000, 65000, 82000km - Brakes were wearing out prematurely. I stopped using the metallic pads in GM's free pads for life program and started using Wagers or Raybestos. Problem solved.

110000km - Intake manifold gasket leak. $800 repair.

190000km - Fuel pump died. $1200. I wanted to replace it with a high performance unit, but the stock one out performed the after market pumps. How often does that happen?

220000km - Intake manifold leak, heater core leak, water pump worn out. $2800 repair at Canadian tire (Oops!)

Two weeks later the cylinder head cracked. This was because I did not repair the intake leak soon enough. Also Canadian Tire was supposed to machine the cylinder heads in this case, but didn't even offer that to me. Another $2600 for new heads and gaskets.

240000km - Fuel tank rotted through weld seam, replaced tank for $500.

267000km - Water pump, alternator, power steering pulley, front engine gasket and belt. Did the repairs myself for about $300. Saved 10 hours labor costs. A/C stopped working, probably an old seal on the compressor. Don't really want to fix it.

240000km - Rust though on the rear quarter of the car where the metal and plastic meet between the rear wheel and tail light on both sides.

I treat the intake manifold gasket as this cars version of a timing belt. It has roughly the same duty cycle and replacement cost as a belt.

General Comments:

I had an F150 with an in-line 6 that was really bad on gas, but a beautiful truck. I replaced it with this car to save a few bucks on gas, and cut my fuel bill in half.

The car handles perfectly. When I drive down twisty roads it is like I am on rails. It is hard to hold back to a reasonable speed as I get filled with excitement.

Now I am married and my wife suffers from motion sickness, so I must now drive like I have a full cup of coffee in the car. What a waste of a great performing suspension.

The transmission shifts perfectly when racing forward, and as smooth as silk while driving slowly. The only problem I noticed is a sticky valve on second gear. If I am cruising slowly behind a bus at 40km/h and jam on the gas to make a pass, the transmission disengages drive until I completely let off the gas.

The engine has more than enough torque to make it exciting to drive up to highway speeds. Once there, the 160 horses reach their limits and passing is more leisurely and less aggressive. As it should be I suppose. The roads are not race tracks. They put the power where it needs to be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2010