1997 GMC Jimmy SLS 2.6 Vortec from North America


Better be a mechanic to own one


Since day 1 always had anti-lock trouble, dealer says not supposed to be able to stop with anti-locks, but have a controlled skid. I can start at the top of a snowy hill at 15mph and put my brakes full, by the bottom I'm doing 35mph and about to have a heart attack! I slam the car into bankings or run over people's bushes to stop. According to the dealer that's normal. They refuse to disable anti-locks. Learned to shut ignition off if I want to stop in snowy weather so anti-locks don't get power.

11 miles bolts flying out of the engine. Yup, that's 11 miles.

75 miles windshield wiper failed.

200 miles noticed a missed bumper holder from factory; bumper was rubbing against the car and had worn through to bare metal. Dealer replaced bracket, and patched the missing paint & protection with touch-up. Shoddy.

12,000 miles noticed dealer installed alarm almost always goes off at night when it's a warm day and then turns to freezing at night. Most often between 1:30am-3:30am, neighbors not happy. Dealer has failed to fix repeatedly. I now must keep my alarm off at night from fall-spring.

24,000 miles ball joints replaced.

32,000 miles CV joint replaced.

35,000 miles rear universal joint replaced.

35,000 miles ball joints replaced.

46,000 miles ball joints replaced.

48,000 miles sunroof wouldn't close. Hasn't happened since.

50,000 miles takes twenty minutes and two people to get the front hood open. Haven't been in accident and everything seems proper.

51,000 miles drivers door beginning to drop when open, difficulty shutting.

53,000 miles weathering around windshield has separated from car leaving an open channel for water to go into the frame of the car.

54,000 miles ball joints replaced. Complained. GMC dealer says only 10,000 mile warranty on ball joints. That's ridiculous, don't get GM ball joints.

61,000 miles both low beam headlights failed, couldn't turn them on no matter what I tried. Next day was fine, hasn't happened since.

61,000 miles gas gauge no longer works.

61,500 windshield wipers intermittently work.

62,000 miles backup lights no longer work, not bulbs.

67,000 miles ball joints gone again, realize only one year out of 6 did I not need to replace them, but the year after I didn't need replacement needed to replace twice as many (4). From 1997-2003 hasn't failed I need 2 ball joints a year replaced.

67,000 miles anti-locks constantly on even when accelerating or coasting. Anti-lock motor finally blew, greatest thing to ever happen, I can stop now without fear anti-locks will engage.

67,000 miles lost speedometer/odometer.

Dangerous un-adjustable head rests. Top of headrest lies right at your neck underneath head. In accident when you get whipped back into your seat headrest nicely stops your neck, but not your head I think your head might come off and land in the back seat in a hard accident, at the minimum would be paralyzed. 1998+ models have a proper head rest for the entire head probably just because of this reason.

General Comments:

Most comfortable seats besides the dangerous headrests. The back seats are IMHO the most comfortable seats I've ever been in. 1998 models have much higher/corrected headrests.

If you get the CD player, has incredible features, it's over sized so won't fit in most vehicles (won't be stolen), sounds incredible.

Car looks wonderful.

The full sized rear tire attached to back of vehicle takes up 25% of your view out the back. Difficult to see with it.

I've been amazed how well it can go up slippery hills, but it's in-ability to stop on slippery hills has kept me home many a snowy night or forced me to drive a front wheel drive car instead and leave my 4WD Jimmy at home. The anti-locks have caused me many near heart-attacks, death experiences, and panic attacks.

Too bad, the car looks wonderful IMHO, great job to the designer. Cd-Stereo has all the features anyone could want and a lot more. Manual transmission seems to be geared more for power than for fuel economy. Fantastic on bumpy roads & four-wheeling (I have off-road suspension). It's inherently problem ridden especially the front end and it's unusual to have a lot of electrical problems in these vehicles, but mine seems to fall into it. I've now given up and trading it in. Now that the anti-lock motor has fried my satisfaction as of late has greatly improved.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th April, 2003

25th Aug 2009, 16:58

These vehicles are absolute garbage. Poor quality all around. I wouldn't take a new one if it was given to me.

11th Jul 2011, 17:50

You can pull the fuse under the hood that controls the anti lock brakes. You will then have regular brakes that you pump yourself.

12th Jul 2011, 11:01

"50,000 miles takes twenty minutes and two people to get the front hood open. Haven't been in accident and everything seems proper."

Spray some white grease all over every hinge and cable you come across at least once or twice a year. All of my cars and trucks go to the junkyard with silent doors and hoods that open on the first try!

1997 GMC Jimmy SLT 4.6 vortec from North America


Would not think twice of purchasing another Jimmy

General Comments:

Three weeks after taking ownership of my Jimmy, the ball joints broke on the passenger side. I took it back to the dealership where it was purchased from and the problem was corrected, even the driver side was repaired due to the amount of damage found. The cost for the dealership was around $2700 complete. No loss of vehicle, the dealership provided a loaner vehicle.

I had a lack of heat when turning the fans on inside the truck. The thermostat was changed and the heater core was blown out to no avail, they were not the problem. The problem turned out to be the dash, the turning gauge had a bad spring behind the face plate. Total cost was $40 including thermostat.

After 146,000 kilometers I had to change both universal joints. The rear joint was completely seized and the front was not far from that state. Cost was $400.

The newest problem I have come across has been the rear wiper is not working properly. The motor is trying to create movement, but the gear continues to slip. I have not fixed the problem yet, but expect less than $150 to be repaired.

I have been happy with my purchase. I have heard the nightmares of the "lemons" and am glad I haven't needed to pay out very much thanks to the dealership taking care of factory errors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2003