1997 Chevrolet Venture LX 3.4 from North America


Very good value for long term use


The water pump leaked at 50,000 miles.

The headlight covers keep falling off, until I epoxied them.

The wiper assembly failed, under warranty.

The transmission failed at app. 86,000 miles.

The front brakes need replacement every 18-20,000 miles.

The headlights are the absolute worse! Even high output bulbs don't help.

The engine has the same annoying "rattle" everyone else complains about, since day 1.

Shocks and struts replaced at 82,000 miles.

The power steering pump seal began leaking at 82,000 miles.. still leaking at 151,000.

Radio flipped out at about 50,000 miles.

Plastic on front seat broke about 45,000 miles.

Gaskets around windows dry and "rattle/squeak", started about 20,000. Dealer said to coat with Vaseline every year.. this worked, but is annoying.

For unexplained reasons, this van has used a little anti-freeze every few months, since new..don't have a clue why, but after 151,000 miles, I ain't gonna let it bother me now.

The cheap plastic clips underneath, holding the brake/refrigerant, vacuum lines all have broken. I fabricated my own brackets/clamps.

General Comments:

Now for the good.

This van has been through severe "mom-mobile" duty.

It has never stranded us.

The transmission failed, but still got us 10 hours home from Florida.

The water pump was like the easiest on the planet to change, took longer to get my tools out.

The vehicle paint and body has held up well, and when clean, looks near new.

We did not really spend much money on it for repairs until after 50,000 miles.

So far the parts have not been too expensive.

At 151,000 miles, the motor runs EXACTLY as when it was new. The same rattles, but has plenty of pep/power, does not smoke, and uses no oil.

It is comfy and handles very well.

Everything inside works perfectly, with the radio the only exception, which was easily replaced.

It has performed well, and the extended wheel base has been a joy. We travel everywhere in it, and it keeps going and going. Parts wear out, and I don't mind spending a few dollars to keep her on the road. Cheaper than buying a new one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2004

12th Apr 2006, 15:48

Did you make a typo when you wrote this review? I do know for a fact that there was no such a thing as a 1996 Venture. There was a 1996 Lumina APV, but that was replaced by the Venture for 1997.

28th Jun 2010, 20:22

Um... I have a 1996 Chevy Venture.

1997 Chevrolet Venture 3.4 liter from North America


I loved this van, until it left me stranded with no confidence in it's reliability


The van just up and left me stranded. I was driving and it went chug chug and died. It would not restart, so my son and I pushed her off the road. The engine lights did not come on and there were no tell tell signs of smoke -white or black. After 10 minutes or so, and turning off the air conditioning and radio, it restarted, but ran very poor until we got back home. The engine lights never came on until we put her on a tow dolly to take her to the dealer. She would not run long enough to drive into the bay. They did not read the codes, but said we needed a new motor. Do I really need a motor? It has had regular maintenance - oil change every 3,000 miles, new air filters and spark plugs. What would cause the motor to die without any warning?

The serpentine belt needed to be replaced at around 40,0000 miles.

The automatic door locks started working intermittently at 100,000 miles.

The horn has never worked well. It takes two men and a boy to get the exact two spots on the steering wheel pressed at the same time to hear the horn, which is extremely quiet.

The headlight covers fell off and both needed to be re glued.

The passenger door spring and spacer fell out so the door closes on people.

The radio knob broke off.

The front wipers both have broken off where the wiper fluid squirts out.

The air filter is hard to get to.

It is hard to get the three back spark plugs in.

It has had a lifter rattle since we've owned it.

The plastic on the seats have cracked.

The rear door handle broke out of the plastic.

The brakes need to be replaced between 18 months to two years and adjusted through out that time period.

We've needed to rebuild the seat belts several times as they lock or don't lock depending on which seat you are in.

The passenger mirror vibrated itself right out of the casing and broke off.

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

Review Date: 19th October, 2004

9th Jul 2008, 01:21

I bought my '97 Venture in 2006 with 133000 km on it. I paid the same price as for a newer model with more mileage, thinking I'm doing a good deal. Big mistake.

2 weeks after owning this vehicle, the engine died on me in the middle of the highway, 140 km away from home. I had no engine light coming on, fluids were fine. 3200 dollars and many headaches later, the van is running properly after replacing the engine with a 70000 km one.

If I could turn time I would not buy a Venture anymore. One of the reasons for buying it was the fact that my previous minivan was a Chevy Lumina that I got for free from a friend with 340000 km it. Never had a problem with it, I drove it up to 370000 km and passed to another friend of mine for free as well. Now it's at 400000 km and still going. That made me think the Venture will be an evolved model of Lumina Apv. Not even close. Think twice before buying a Venture, better buy an Lumina Apv with twice the mileage.