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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,150 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1997 Chevrolet Express transmission problems

transmission problem

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1997 Chevrolet Express Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 152005


  • miles


The transmission had an overheating problem that caused the vehicle to switch to "safe" mode. Safe mode compensated the transmission heat problem by hard shifting. The vehicle was taken to a transmission specialty repair shop where I learned that the problem was in the design of the transmission. It was the opinion of the repair shop that GM knew of the problem but would not issue a recall because the issue was not life threatening. Cost of modification was $1,600.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #5

Sep 152005

Express 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,900 miles
While driving service engine light illuminated on the dash panel. The consumer took the vehicle to a Chevrolet dealer, who performed a diagnostic test which showed that transmission was slipping. The dealer noted the next step would be to check the transmission fluid. Due to the color of the fluid it was determined a new transmission would be needed. The dealer referred the consumer to other independent shops, and they too confirmed what the dealer said. The consumer took the vehicle home and parked it. No corrections or repairs were made. The consumer called Chevrolet manufacturer, and they said there was nothing they could do. The consumer contacted Chevrolet again, and they escalated his concerns but offered no further assistance. Updated 05/06/08 the consumer stated the ABS and mass air flow sensor failed. Updated 05/06/08

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #4

Oct 042004

Express 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While shifting transmission down shifted on its own. A loud noise was heard coming from the front. Consumer drove vehicle to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that transmission needed to be replaced.

- Thonotosassa, FL, USA

problem #3

Dec 292001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


On 12-02-01 while traveling at 70 mph down the highway at 5 a.M. on my way to work there was a very loud screeching noise and I lost all power to the van, transmission gone. Vehicle towed to mark bass Chevrolet dealer in coal city, il. Mileage at 107060. No longer covered under warranty, transmission replaced at a cost of $1863.34 to consumer plus tow bill and rental car for 1 week. On 12-29-01 driving down the highway with the cruise again set at 68 mph I again lost the transmission. Mileage now at 108219 and vehicle again towed to dealership for repairs. Vehicle is equipped with a trans cooler which was installed upon purchase by the dealership and has towed a boat for a total of 30 miles. 99% of the miles are interstate miles due to work distance of 100 miles per day and traveling to visit my children and father who live in Texas and Colorado. Vehicle also seems to go through an excessive number of brakes which seem to be continuely going out and have been replaced about 6 times all the way around. I purchaed this vehicle because of the need for comfort and dependability in making long distance trips where I am mostly alone. It has been serviced on a regular basis and is in very good condition. It has only been driven by one other person and has not been mis-used in any way.

- Coal City, IL, USA

problem #2

Jan 102001


  • miles
The reaction shell broke in the transmission, disabling the vehicle completely while in traffic. This caused my wife who was driving it to essentially stall out. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the repairs to a vehicle with such low mileage totaled over $2200. Mighty poor quality. Thankfully the failure did not take place while she was passing someone, or going uphill.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #1

May 222000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission has hard shift from first to second. Sets off S E S light. Took to jerry brown Chevrolet in bufford ga, the transmission man there test drove my van with me, he hooked a test unit to see what was going on said something called staor? bushings and /or valve body, said he sees this alot in the 1997 and 1998 models. My question is if GM knew about it why are they not letting owners know and fixing them.

- Flowery Branch, GA, USA

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