1997 Chevrolet 1500 Pickup Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Chevrolet 1500 Pickup as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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23
Known Problems

The inside and outside door handles a prone to breaking. Commonly broken handles cannot be repaired, they will require replacement.

The windshield wipers may not work intermittently due to a faulty wiper motor control board. Our technicians tell us that lightly taping on the wiper motor when the fault occurs should temporarily get the wipers working again. Some vehicles were recalled for this problem and some were not. You will need to check with your local dealer to find out if a specific vehicle was included.

One or more heater & AC (HVAC) air delivery and/or temperature mode door actuator may fail. This can result in incorrect air delivery or temperature. If this occurs, fault code(s) stored in the HVAC control module should be available to assist with diagnoses.

The headlight switch used on the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is known to fail through normal operation. Since the headlight switch is also integrated into the interior lights, a malfunctioning switch can cause issues with interior lights as well.

  • Symptoms of a failed headlight switch include:
  • Headlights and taillights failing to turn on or off
  • Interior lights flicker, or fail to turn on or off
  • Gauge cluster lighting off or flickering with headlights on
  • Parking light malfunctions  

This issue is well known with General Motors Trucks and SUVs, and is solved by testing and, if needed, replacing the headlight/dimmer switch. Bad grounding wires at the tail-lights, and dirty/corroded tow package wires can also lead to some of these issues. 

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) front wheel speed sensors are prone to failure. When a sensor fails, the ABS warning light may illuminate and/or the ABS system may activate erratically.

The intake manifold gasket may develop and external engine oil or coolant leak. In some cases, an internal coolant leak may occur causing coolant to mix with the engine oil. Our technicians tell us that operating the engine  with a coolant/oil mix can result in internal engine damage. Replacing the intake manifold gasket should correct these leaks.

The throttle body gasket may develop a vacuum leak which may result in a higher than normal engine idle. Failed gaskets will require replacement.

A coolant leak may develop from the water pump. The engine may overheat as a result of the coolant loss. A leaking water pump should be replaced.

Extended life coolant may become contaminated and require cooling system service before the recommended 100,000 miles.

The engine may develop a misfire due to worn valve seats. This fault will cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us the misfire may or may not be felt while driving. They further recommend that both cylinder heads be removed and thoroughly inspected and repaired as necessary.

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

The front or rear differential may develop an abnormal noise due to worn bearings or another internal fault. Our technicians tell us that a complete overhaul of the affected differential is commonly necessary to correct this condition.

One or more fuel injectors may become stuck closed causing an engine misfire  and the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that this problem can be caused by some fuel additives. There are special procedures which may be able to restore the affected injector. If this fails the affected injector must be replaced.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 100,000 miles. Our technicians recommend replacing the spark plug wires also at this time.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.