1997 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 5.7 Litre from North America


The most durable and do anything truck for the bucks


The first thing to go wrong with the Z-71 was the U-joints. I changed them at approximately 130,000 miles and once I got them out I could tell they had never been changed. It was a simple, inexpensive fix.

Second was the control arms, pitman arms, and tie rods which were changed at approximately 140,000 miles. The front end lasted a long time considering the abuse it takes (I do a lot of off-roading. It was a costly fix, but now the Z-71 has a completely new front end so it was worth it.

One continuous problem is the brakes. The truck hops a little when applying the brakes from time to time even with new pads, the rotors may be warped. I don't really know what the High School senior put the truck through up to 104,000 miles, but it isn't too bad.

As far as ride comfort goes, being a single cab short wheel base, it is rougher than what I really like. I'm working on making it smoother and less stiff and bouncy.

General Comments:

I personally love this truck. It has 150,000 + miles on it and it still runs like a scalded dog. With the few mods I've done (K&N cold air induction, throttle body spacer, true dual exhaust) it becomes a monster off road (I've nicknamed it the Z-Monster) and goes through and over almost anything. Gas mileage is reasonable for the power I get out of it and it is a real head turner, I've gotten a lot of compliments on it. This truck with that many miles doesn't leak motor oil,however, it does have a very minute transmission leak. I've never had any transmission or engine problems and this is the only vehicle that has never broken down and left me stranded. Funny thing is this truck has more miles than any vehicle I've ever owned. I do routine maintenance and keep it immaculate. My goal is to hit the 200,000 mile mark.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2005

5th Dec 2006, 10:37

You should be able to reach the 200,000 mile mark easily. Eventually along the way you'll experience some parts failures, However they will most likely be inexpensive. General Motors products of the 90's are some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. My father has an S10 pickup with 300,000 miles and it is still running strong. I have a 97 Z71 with 250,000 miles and she is as smooth as she was the day I bought her. I also have a Pontiac Firebird with 200,000 miles and it to still runs well considering its age. The key thing these vehicles have in common is that they flawlessly Maintained. Regular service at recommended intervals can extend the life expectancy of these vehicles to a reasonable 300,000 miles or more.

17th Jun 2011, 15:04

Good to hear. I have had mine for 5 years (173000), same minor repairs, but just finished a 1200 mile trailering project, and the tranny is looking a little shaky. Worth repairing I think!

24th Jul 2012, 01:47

LOL my F-150 hasn't had an oil change in 27,000 miles, and that doesn't seem to be hurting it. It has 258,000, and so far only replaced u-joints and tensioner pulleys...

Let's see a Chevy do that.

25th Jul 2012, 22:40

Not changing the oil after 27K miles? I wouldn't say that's something to brag about. No doubt you're abusing your truck. If it's synthetic, I wouldn't be very surprised.

26th Jul 2012, 23:15

Nope, I just use Rotella 15w40. It's a 302, it can take it...

27th Jul 2012, 08:48

Why would you insult Chevy (another good domestic truck), especially now when these wimpy Tundras and Titans are trying to take over.

Ford, Chevy, Dodge; we should all be on the same side, supporting each other.

27th Jul 2012, 19:01

I have several very car-savvy friends who go 25,000+ miles between oil changes (one in his Cadillac). With full synthetic oil, it really doesn't matter because the oil doesn't sludge or degrade. I've gone as far as 22,000 miles between changes myself, though I generally change oil at 10,000 mile intervals just out of old habits. The highest I've seen anyone go between changes is 58,000 miles (in a Ford).

29th Dec 2013, 11:06

WOW, you people make me feel better about sometimes going 6k miles on an oil change, because I work 65 hours a week and it's just tough to get it done sometimes.

1997 Chevrolet Silverado 5.7 Vortec from North America


Good solid truck


Passenger side door lock switch broke, cheap and easy fix.

Replaced front and rear u-joints at 90,000 km (worn).

Replaced water pump at 128,000km (leaking form weep hole).

Intake starting to weep at 130,000km so I replaced the gaskets (this is a very common problem for these engines.

General Comments:

1997 Silverado regular cab short box. This has been a great truck!!! Never fails to start, ride is good for a shortbox, heater works excellent in winter, has lots of power and towing is easy, even gets OK mileage if you drive nice. Looks great too.

When something does break, parts are easy to find and inexpensive, I have done most of the maintenance myself. Intake leak was the biggest job needed on this pickup.

I have owned a lot of trucks, but this is one of the best. I still enjoy driving it, and still get a kick out of the power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th June, 2005