6th Aug 2003, 20:08

I have a 97 Chevy Venture with a 166,800 and only replace the water pump and the intake gasket at a 155,000 and no other problem out of it I would buy another Venture.

8th May 2004, 06:46

I also have a 1997 Chevy Venture. Loved it at first, but now nothing but problems. The driver's side window switch stopped working, the A/C doesn't work, and when the gas gauge gets to 1/4 tank, it goes back up to the over full mark, plus the brake light and blinker have a short. What is a person to do?? I don't think I will ever buy another Venture.

4th Jun 2004, 09:01


I bought my 1997 Venture van new, and have had many problems also. The van has 53,000 miles now. The latest problem is gas leaking out of a very hot fuel line underneath.

Most of the problems happened in the warranty years.

The problems were fuel gauge, rack and pinion, air condition compressor, leaking brakes, transmission, power window, power side mirror.

The motor is holding up OK.

24th Jun 2004, 19:43

Driver side window, on occasion, won't budge, neither up nor down. Then for no apparent reason, it works again.

Other than that, a pretty reliable vehicle. Am taking the car to a dealer tomorrow because the "service engine light soon" came on as I was returning from a long distance drive on mostly highways.

Came on line to read up as to what may have triggered the dummy light


22nd Jun 2006, 14:01

I have a 1997 Chevy Venture and have close to 200000 miles on it. The service engine soon light stays on. My air condition just went out about 3 weeks ago without any warning and now its 97 degrees outside. The driver window is offtrack and won't roll up all the way. There are some problems with this vehicle, but then all vehicles carry problems no matter if new or old.


30th Nov 2006, 16:49

I too own a 97 Chevy Venture. I have had it about 2 years and I am experiencing the same problems, power windows working when they want to, now the right one won't come up at all, and the a/c is on the fritz. I also have problems with the fuse blowing out all the time, that controls the odometer, and gas gauge. Seeing that I bought it used, I was not aware if some of these problems were due it being used or just defects. Over all, I enjoy the van, but these electrical problems are a constant headache.

3rd Dec 2006, 11:47

I bought my '97 Chevy Venture used about a year ago, and thought it was the best vehicle purchase I had ever made for my family. Even though it had nearly 140,000 miles on it, it had a smooth ride, looked sleek and fashionable, and the engine purred like a kitten. I'm a tolerant man, so when I had to replace normal things like the alternator, or starter, it was no big deal for me. But when it died on me last week and my mechanic told me I now need a new motor, now it's got me wondering. Is it worth it to replace something that expensive on such an old van with now nearly 180,000 miles on it? Is that something that could have been detected before I even purchased it? Should I stop buying used, bite the bullet, and go new?

13th Apr 2008, 18:43

I've owned over 50 vehicles of all sorts. The one I've had the longest (7 years) is a 97 Venture.

I did have the intake manifold problem, and the window switch has been replaced twice. Those are common/known problems. I've got 107K on mine.

The Vans are mixed bag; but I love it because it gets very good highway mileage (25-27 MPG at moderate highway speeds; 60-65 MPH).

My A/C still works (and NO, it doesn't make the engine lurch at all; that could be a bad motor mount; but the dealer that told you that was likely just trying to placate you--regarding the first comment) and the transmission is great (so far).

We have put an electric brake controller, hitch and air shocks on it for towing. It TOWS WONDERFULLY! I can't believe what it can tow. I towed my 2005 Escape Hybrid on a 7x16' trailer; that's about 6,000lbs and it towed fine. Now, w/o the electric brake controller that would be suicide.

I do one thing many owners of American cars don't--I GET THE MAINTENANCE DONE! Change your tranny fluid every 30-50K and you will really help it out. If you don't you'll be complaining how your tranny went out. $100 or $1500-$2000, your choice. I've towed 15,000 miles with the Van, and the tranny has recall impressed me; I'm on my 3rd fluid change since buying it at 55,000 miles in 2001; now 107,500.

LUCAS transmission fluid additive has served me well too.

Some of the electrical problems above sound like either bad grounds, or elec component failure; check the voltage w a cheap $15 meter from Walmart/Any auto store to make sure it's in the proper range; they are easy to use.

If you do have to get the manifold intake repair done (not necessarily the head gasket--get a compression check) get the plugs changed too!!! (If it's time). Don't use that ORANGE fluid in the radiator; use the green; flush out all the orange, it clogs up after a while.

Happy trails!

19th Jan 2011, 14:14

I've owned my 1997 Chevy Venture for going on 4 years. There are some things that are prone to go out, and that is the head gaskets, due to it get so hot under the hood, and there's not enough ventilation for it all, but that is really the only thing that I've had go wrong with my van, and it has almost 200xxx miles on it.

20th Feb 2015, 19:07

The power windows may need a motor.