1996 GMC Jimmy SLS 4.3 vortec from North America

Summary:

Jury's still out on this one

Faults:

One month after purchasing the vehicle the front brake calipers seized.

The check engine light is on intermittently however the vehicle runs well.

There is a loud booming noise from 75 kilometers and hour and up which could be from the Michelin tires only.

The oil cooler lines are leaking.

I have had no other problems.

General Comments:

I have owned many vehicles from Corvettes to F150 trucks to Austin minis. This vehicle is the most ergonomically efficient and comfortable vehicle I have owned. The interior layout is exceptional as is visibility and driver comfort. Ingress and egress are very good. I find the ride smooth, quiet and comfortable however there is wind buffeting if the real windows are open.

I know the service history of the truck and it has not experienced a lot of the problems others have had so far.

I tow with this vehicle and find the optional towing package from GM saves the truck from damage well.

The problematic areas reported by owners that I am watching carefully are the transmission, ABS and braking system, ERG- fuel injection system, front wheel bearings and 4 wheel drive switch.

After reading all the reviews here and elsewhere I can see (and believe) that the vehicle can be problematic to downright unreliable. I have owned and raced over thirty five vehicles since 1968. If problems become too frequent I will flog it, however, I wouldn't rule out buying a newer one, perhaps a 2000 or 2001.

Body quality seems to be good however paint finish is marginal. There are some chips and a small amount of rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2002

1996 GMC Jimmy SLT V6 from North America

Summary:

Expensive, Problematic Design

Faults:

The car was returned to the manufacturer because it didn't conform to warranty. The right front wheel leaked, and was corrected by regrinding, and by tire and valve-stem replacement, to no avail. Still drops to about 13 pounds in about 10,000 miles of driving. The tachometer shorted, as is apparently common in GM vehicles, and bounced around like crazy. Only replacing the entire cluster would cure the problem, I was told. My O2 sensors went after all of a week owning the car.

Worst of all was at about 75,000 miles, the entire rear differential assembly turned to garbage. Removing the plate saw several cups of dust and particulate matter come tinkling out of the case. The differential, the axles, the transfer case (remotely activated, so located next to the differential), all had to be replaced at TREMENDOUS expense.

In the course of repairing the complicated automated system, the repair somehow caused damage to the transmission, as awful sounds started coming from it, but I was assured that the transmission sounds had always been there. Being a professional musician, I know my sounds, and this was simply not true.

Mechanically, this car has been difficult since day one.

General Comments:

Perhaps the most compounding factor aside from the mechanical difficulties of the vehicle has been the dealership. Upon having a GMC specialist evaluate and appraise my vehicle for trade-in, we discovered that the ENTIRE vehicle had been repainted. Carfax revealed that I had been essentially cheated in a big way, and I went over this car with a fine-toothed comb before I purchased it. My local "certified GM dealer" is a scam artist after all.

That aside, purely focusing on the Jimmy, my SLT was the top-of-the-line for GMC SUV's in its day. Comfort-wise, the vehicle is outstanding with fully-articulating leather buckets and a very simple, easy-to-use set of controls. Outstanding cargo-space, great towing power, and fairly decent handling were accompanied by a very nice 4WD system. The braking on this car was very substandard in my opinion.

This vehicle performed at a very low level in terms of reliability and mechanics. I would not buy a GMC again, I'm afraid.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2002

2nd Oct 2002, 20:05

Okay, first off I have a 96 Jimmy SLT and I am the only owner it has ever had. I have 105,309 miles on it and I haven't had a single one of these problems. My comment is a question, where the heck do you get your info from?

7th Oct 2002, 21:17

I understand what you mean. Even though I have a 1997 Jimmy, my problems have not ever stopped. A new transmission, three alternators, a new radiator due to the "state of the art" Dexa-cool coolant that GM put in, instead of normal engine coolant. It broke down long before the estimated life of the coolant and became a solid sludge that clogged my entire system. Then there is the water pump, then the two brake repairs because the vacuum was lost on the system, then the burning out of the wiper moter that nearly caused me to wreck during a rainstorm, This car has been nothing but a piece of crap from the start. I would never tell anyone to purchase a GMC and I will never buy another GMC!