1996 Chevrolet Caprice Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Chevrolet Caprice 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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Known Problems

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.

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 transmission extension housing seal may leak fluid, replacing the worn seal will commonly correct this concern.

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

The distributor may develop internal faults. This can cause a rough running engine or stalling condition, the Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate. Our technicians tell us that the distributor should be overhauled or replaced to correct this concern.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000 miles and the spark plug boots should be checked for hot spots and cracks.

You may be able to prevent transmission problems by servicing the transmission and inspecting the fluid every 30,000 miles. If the fluid is dark or burned then the transmission system should be completely flushed.

4.3L V6, 5.0L w/Fuel Injection
The Engine Control Module (ECM) can fail and cause stalling and engine/transmission drivability concerns.

GM recommends replacing the engine coolant at 100,000 miles; however, our technicians tell us that the coolant may become contaminated and require a complete cooling system flush every 60,000 to 70,000 miles.

A burning smell may develop due to an oil leak form one or both valve cover gaskets. Resealing the valve cover will generally correct this concern. However, the valve covers should be inspected and replaced if damaged.

Our technicians recommend flushing the brake fluid every 60,000 miles.  Brake fluid that is dirty may cause problems in the brake system.

The idler arm or pitman arm may wear causing looseness in the steering. When this occurs the front suspension will not be able to be aligned correctly.

The alternator may fail causing the battery to run down while driving. The engine will stall if system voltage gets low enough.

An oil leak may develop from the distributor o-ring seal requiring replacement of the seal.

The auto level ride compressor may fail causing the rear of the vehicle to ride to high or too low.