I have a 1996 Monte Carlo Z34 and I would not recommend this car to anyone! When its running yeah it's a great car, but when one thing goes wrong with my suggestion is to keep your check book out. This is the most trouble some car I have ever had. Just to put a new alternator on you have to go underneath the car. The battery is underneath the Washer Solvent container. In my opinion this car was just poorly designed. Unless you are the Dealer of course!!!
I have a 96 Monte Carlo z34 and have had it for about 3 to four years I would guess. I do enjoy driving the car and I like taking it on long trips b/c it is a comfortable ride, but I have put way to much money into it. The engine is designed horribly, you have to take apart fifty things just to get to what is wrong. To have spark plugs put on this car at a shop is crazy expensive sense it has that manifold over three of them. Had to get a new transmission luckily I knew somebody that rebuilt them and was good at it. Haven't had anymore problems since. Now I have a leaking water pump, and of course the center console is broke like everyone else. Do enjoy driving but need to find an easier car to work on.
I just bought a 97 Monte Z34. I have driven only 105 miles so far and already had to replace the steering rack and a pressure hose; 400 bones.
Plus I have a broken strut mount on the left rear tire, but I may just change that myself.
Question for all: Do I need a spring compressor to change strut mounts??
I own a 96 Montecarlo LTZ that has the 3.4 DOHC with 73,000 miles on it.
I had to replace the transmission. That cost 1,100 to have it taken out, rebuilt and re-installed.
My car also needs rear shock bushings.
I am thinking about flushing and refilling the cooling system using regular green antifreeze, because I work at a parts store and have heard numerous times about how the red dex-cool coolant that is in the car eats the intake gaskets.
Other than that the car runs good. Low-end power sucks, hit 60 and punch it, you're gone. Would not recommend this car to do-it-yourselfers because of how cramped the engine bay is. Make sure you have money set aside in case something does go wrong, because it will cost you.
I just got rid of mine... good riddance.
2 timing belts - leaves you dead in the middle of the road, $600 each time.
Cheap plastic idler pulleys, leaves you dead about 1 mile after they break 2x.
Same complaints about console, interior electric windows, but the car will run.
3 sets of plug wires (1 under recall).
Tranny cannot take output of engine. Engine was de-rated by GM.
Went to auto parts store to buy an alternator. Parts guy told me not to buy it; it was a major pain to put on. He was right - $600 bucks, and $400 bucks the second time.
Any doubts, look what you have to go through just to change the battery.
125k miles when I sold it.
I have a '96 Monte Carlo z34. I got lucky, I was a gift from my in-laws, but in the 2 years I have had it its had some minor, yet irritating problems.
Transmission was replaced before it was given to me ($3,500), windshield washer motor $89.00.
Intake gasket kit $105.00, dual exhaust replacement $275.00.
Glove box broken, ash tray broken.
Drivers side window switch $95.00.
I have done all the mechanical work myself to save on money, but now I have an oil leak that I refuse to fix. The 3.4 (BLOCK ONLY) was never changed from the earlier models that used to have a distributor type ignition system. All GM did was remove the distributor cap and put a plug on it. Now it leaks oil constantly, you can actually watch it seep out. You have to remove the head to fix it properly (not doing it).
Now the lower intake manifold is cracked and the dealer said the part is discontinued and can't be ordered. Other than that, I love the car. Put a cold air intake, and dual magniflow exhaust.
For a stock car it's pretty mean on the streets. If you have questions about minor engine repairs, I'm semi knowledgeable firstname.lastname@example.org