1997 GMC Sierra SLE 1500 5.7L from North America

Summary:

Reliable and strong, great looking truck too

Faults:

Typical things with this year of truck such as:

- Windshield wiper pulse board.

- Intake gasket.

- Water pump.

- Fuel pump.

- Interior door handle breaking (driver's twice).

- Speed sensor.

General Comments:

When I bought this truck, it was mint, fancy.

Great power, the 5.7L Vortec never missed a beat, ever. Great acceleration, pulling power and brake stand ability.

I am a logger, and from the day I bought that truck, I worked it hard. I replaced the shocks once, tie-rod ends and ball joints once, and I drove those logging roads hard. Hauled 100 gallons of fuel a day, as well as tools.

I also towed a 28ft hard top ocean boat with this truck; other than being a little squatty, it worked.

I did my regular maintenance, and it paid off.

The 4x4 worked always, and I could pull out of NASTY situations. Never any tranny problems, in-town driving and hills I always clicked it into 3rd.

500kms/tank, and I drove at 120-140km/h.

I would recommend the 95-98 Sierra's to anyone, as the are strong, comfy and reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2010

1997 GMC Sierra SLE 5.7 liter vortec from North America

Summary:

Amazing truck!

Faults:

No problems other than a fuel pump and an alternator, but no other problems.

General Comments:

Amazing vehicle. Runs new. Solid looking. Relatively low maintenance.

Cheap to run and good gas mileage. Doesn't get any better than this.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2010

1997 GMC Sierra Z71 5.7L V8 from North America

Summary:

Excellent truck. Period

Faults:

So far I have had zero problems with this truck, aside from routine maintenance.

I will have to do brakes in the front soon.

General Comments:

This is my second full size GM pickup. My first was a 96 Chevy 2500. I bought it with 350000km on it and drove it to almost 400000. I was intending on keeping it for a long time, but the offer for the new truck was too good to pass up.

All in all, I will never buy any other than GM trucks.

My Z71 is almost impossible to get stuck, and has amazing stock horsepower and torque.

It has an excellent stance and outer appearance, and the interior is roomy enough to sleep 3 people (believe me, I've done it.)

Perfect 10/10 from me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2009

1997 GMC Sierra 5.7 from North America

Summary:

A standard reliable vehicle, but maintenance is required

Faults:

O2 sensor had to be replaced.

Front brakes are being replaced as I write this.

General Comments:

This vehicle has been parked most of its 12 years. Only had 2 owners in its lifetime. For a truck that hasn't been used much, it still operates well, but with time that will fade.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st September, 2009

1997 GMC Sierra SL 4.3 Vortec from North America

Summary:

Solid truck, well built and cheap to drive

Faults:

Gas tank leak and fuel lines needed replacing at 164,000kms.

A/C condenser got a leak around 170,000kms.

Hard brake lines are rusting out badly, will need replacing within 10,000K.

Transmission makes a deep rattling sound when the engine is cold and at a stop.

Transmission began hard shifting during a 4hr road trip, but the problem went away.

A few burnt out lights on the climate controls.

Various paint flaking, but still holding up well for a 11 year old truck.

General Comments:

I got this truck basically stock and added a small lift kit and 31" tires. Everything worked well with the truck and there hasn't been any major problems during my year of ownership.

The 4.3 is a strong engine, but better off for mini-truck and not the full-size models.

My model is 2WD. It handles well even in the winter as long as there is a good set of tires on the truck. I run BFG-A/T.

The interior is bland but still comfortable. The stock bench seat is of good quality and the upholstery still looks brand new.

The truck handles very well and is a comfortable cruiser. I get anywhere between 14-16 MPG city, and usually 20mpg on the highway depending on speed.

Although the gas mileage is not that great for a V6 the truck makes up for it in the fact that it is very cheap to maintain. By just doing regular maintenance I bet this truck will go 300,000KMS + no problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2008

1st Sep 2008, 11:03

UPDATE:

Hey I wrote this review, I would like to update it.

The truck now was 182000KMS and last night the transmission went out on it. It began slipping on the freeway then spewed tranny fluid out everywhere (very burnt smell and dark brown). Going to the mechanic to see if it can be rebuilt or must be replaced.

Kind of disappointed as the mileage is so low. I don't tow anything with it but as with any used car I don't know its history. Gas mileage has been 16MPG city AND highway. Possibly its so low on the highway due to the failing transmission. I'll update when I get the diagnosis and price to fix.

8th Sep 2008, 15:50

UPDATE #2.

$1775 to fix plus tax (rebuild, new torque converter, new flywheel). Shifting better now and gas mileage seems to be slightly better. Going on a 8hr road trip this weekend so lets see how it holds up.

19th Mar 2009, 15:53

UPDATE #3.

March 19-2009.

Well winter is over. I got it all cleaned up and there's a bit of rust showing on the bottom of the doors. Otherwise the truck has held up well considering I didn't get an oil spray this winter. I'm almost at 190,000 KM's now. No new problems to report! The GMC lives on...

Going to replace the ball joints in coming months, they're not worn out at all, but it seems like some good preventative maintenance.

15th Dec 2009, 15:53

Update #4 @ DEC 15-2009.

Had to replace the alternator last week. While driving I was having voltage drops from the normal 14 to 10. Suspected the voltage regulator was broken, which is an internal part of the alternator. Overall really easy to do yourself, approximately 20 minutes (removal+installation) and $170 total for a brand new (NOT rebuilt) alternator.

Currently at 204500 KMS and no problems.

30th Sep 2010, 18:47

Thanks for giving the updates! Good to know how the truck's treatin' ya down the road :)

17th Jan 2011, 14:41

Update #5 Jan - 13- 2011.

Unfortunately while passing someone on the highway, the motor blew a head gasket, at 225000 kms. No previous warning signs to indicate the head gasket may be failing. The truck has now met its end. Which really took a hit on the wallet, as I just had all new ball joints, tie rods, universal joints and shocks installed less than 3000kms ago.

I am left questioning the actual durability of these older (and newer) GM motors.