1997 GMC Sierra Z71 SLE 5.7 vortec from North America


Waste of time and money going to the dealer


The problem I have with this truck is unbelievable. Between 50,000 and 60,000 mile the reverse transmission went out on me, steering pump broken, and electrical fuel sender broken. I probably spent 3g fixing all these problem.

Now the engine is lock on me. To replace around 3 to 4g. This will be my first and my last truck from GM. Buy chrysler, life time warranty on engine and transmission that's my next step.

General Comments:

This truck is a good lease for two year, beat the crap out of it and give it back. Probably that's what somebody did to me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd August, 2007

1997 GMC Sierra SLE Vortec 305 5.0 liter from North America


This truck has its good days and bad days..


Motor has a knock to it since I've owned it. Probably from the mileage.

First problem, the truck had no heat, replaced thermostat. Simple fix.

Right when I bought the truck it had absolutley zero power, originally thought it was the nature of the 5 liter motor chevy put in it. Turned out to be a combination of bad spark plugs, badly work cap and rotor, worn out plug wires, an air filter that had 1998 written on the rubber casing with a yellow marker, and a fuel filter.

Truck still had no power and the catalytic converter was rattling, had it gutted at the shop I worked at.

After that the truck left me stranded twice. The first time the peacock valve on the bottom of the radiator let go, since GM decided to use plastic screws, the screw cracked and blew out on my way to school one day, leaving the truck to be towed. The second time the truck blew a brake line and I hit the car infront of me. Thank god the kid didn't care and drove off after inspecting the damage. The truck had to be towed from there. Thank you AAA.

Truck was getting horrible gas mileage and still running a bit rich (could see black smoke coming from the exhaust), had a brand new catalytic converter put on.

Truck began running extremley rich and loaded up to the point that it would stall out and blow black smoke like a diesel. Did the routine tune up maintaience, but that still didn't solve any problems. Had a new cat. put on, still didn't solve problems. Replaced all the 02 sensors, map sensor, temp switch, tps sensor and coil. Still no fix. Unplugged mass air flow sensor and the problem was solved, put a new mass air flow sensor on from the junk yard for $52.

Windshield wiper motor decided it wanted to die, replaced that for 40 bucks from junk yard.

Drivers door handle, both inside and outside broke, replaced both for under 50 bucks from junkyard.

Door hinge pins on drivers door are badly worn, as this is a common problem on these trucks. Have the hinge pin and bushing kit, but still haven't put it on.

The truck had a lot of play in the steering and was almost impossible to keep in a straight line on the highway. Replaced pitman arm with a brand new one. Within 5,000 miles it wore out again and am now having the same problem.

Both upper and lower ball joints on both sides of the truck are badly worn, drivers side is so bad that the front wheel hits the lower control arm.

Brakes are horrible, actually they are disgraceful, my father has the same truck and the brakes are just as bad. On the highway you have to pick a lane if the traffic infront of you stops suddenly. Everythings been replaced by either me or the previous owner, still nothing fixes it.

General Comments:

This trucks isn't too bad considering the mileage. However my dad has a 1994 that has the same mileage, but only had a few brake jobs and tires.

The performance isn't bad considering what it has for a motor, the 5.0 wasn't ever much of a powerhouse, but the truck does get going, considering it has 3.42 gears and is 4 wheel drive. This doesn't handle at all, however you don't buy a truck and expect handling, however there is a lot of body roll. I owned a Dodge Dakota before this that would take corners like no other. This truck has the Z71 package which is absolutley amazing off road.

The interior is very classy and one of the main reasons why I bought this truck. It is that nice gray color with the bench seat. The seats are real comfortable and the steering wheel has a nice feel to it. I like how the steering wheel is bumped out a few inches from the column unlike the 1994 model trucks. I believe this is because of the air bag. The only thing I wish this truck had that it didn't come with is the third door. The back seat isn't to roomy, but whats it matter to me right?

The outside of the truck is real nice. Whoever had it before smashed it up pretty badly, since there is bondo everywhere. I had all of the bondo work fixed and the truck looks real nice. It has a real nice shine to it and the truck looks real nice with a set of 1999 Tahoe Z71 wheels on it. The truck is a solid bright red color, which is a real eye catcher.

I am considering finding either a rebuilt or brand new Vortec 350 for this truck.

Hopefully this truck doesn't have any problems for a while, these repairs get costly and just flat out aggravating...

If I do buy another one of these trucks it will have under 60,000 miles, since there is to manyu problems to deal with after 100k.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2006

21st Mar 2007, 22:43

You may want to go to DOT 4 brake fluid. It has a higher heat resistance. At work we had to change out 1-tons to DOT4 because the DOT3 would boil and then get spongy. Our '96 Suburban has similar probs, but I have adjusted driving habits to accommodate for the stopping distance (which still isn't as bad as what you are experiencing) instead of paying for brake flush service. I also got better braking ability with new pads. Nothing special just AutoZone's lifetimers.