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Pontiac Montana



  • Hi.. my wife has a '99 Montana with 42,000 mi on it. The "Check Engine Light" just came on. Was wondering if this light is programmed to come on at this time for periodic maintenance (oxygen sensor, etc) or if there's actually something wrong with the engine. Has anyone else had this light come on and, if so, what was the problem? Thanks.
  • Eddiemad.....Bring it to the dealer,I hope you have a extended warranty on your van!
  • eddiemad,

    The check engine light doesn't come on unless there is a problem. I had the same thing happen with my 99 Montana (now with 43,000 miles). The solution to my problem was the gas cap wasn't on tight. Carefully check to see if it is loose before tightening. It takes a couple of minutes for the light to go off but solved my problem.
  • The only time the TICS light on the dash should come on is at start-up and if there is a problem with the TICS system in which case the light should remain on.

    The reason for the switch is to disable the TICS system in case of getting stuck in mud etc. When the TICS system senses wheel spin, it automatically applies brakes and limits ram. Being able to shut the system off is important when performing an emission test with a dyno where both front wheels must spin at highway speed.
  • bcbobbcbob Posts: 13
    since I picked up my 01 Montana. My wife and kids love it, and I kinda like it too (staunch Ford fan, eh). I'm impressed by the ride and handling. Pick up isn't too bad for the engine and size of the van. Get a loud vibrating sound from the left rear that lasts for 5 seconds or so, most often just after start up but sometimes after shut down too. I kind of suspect that it's got something to do with the compressor or air leveling. Fit and finish is much better than many here described, only a small burn spot on the driver's seat for which they're going to replace the cover. No rattles, no creaks, no leaks. Fuel consumption is off it's Energuide rating by about 4l/100km but maybe that will improve as I get a few more km on it. Had a weird one happen this morning: got a scraper out and one of the overhead lights stayed on after all the others went out. Had to get in, let the lights turn off, then push the light off. Light wasn't on last night or this morning. At least I didn't think I left it on. Started fine, no sign that anything was wrong after, ie., light didn't stay on again. Overall, not too shabby.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Although I have the Chevy Venture version, Montana owners may be interested in a new halogen bulb by Sylvania 9004CB which produces a white light. This gives better spread on low beam and longer range on full. About $15.00 each @ Pep Boys
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    It has been posted on the Chev Venture site that State Farm have listed the Montana as one of 36 vehicles that could get an insurance break. This comes from an article last November when SF made this list available. It is not clear whether it applies to all States. In NJ SF do not know anything about this although I gave them the article.

    Woul be interested to know whether any Montana/State Farm clients have any info.
  • In reference to:

    As you suspect, the vibrating noise at the left rear is the air compressor for the load leveling. Assuming it behaves the same as my '98, it will come on whenever the load in the rear is increased, even with the ignition off.

    As for the light staying on. It probably was on the night before and was not noticed. There is a provision in the electronics on the vehicle that will shut off power to all the interior lights after some time (don't know how long) to save the battery. So the light would no longer have been on in the morning, but would have reactivated when you opened the door or started the vehicle.

  • The pictures at are disturbing, but keep in mind that you are only looking at one source there, and they are not independent. It is certainly true that a car can perform significantly better on a test than another, but keep in mind that the results are for 1 type of test only. (Frontal offset - deformable barrier)

    The NHTSA ratings show a different picture, out scoring the Sienna in one category of crash. I am not sure if I am comfortable with the Montanna's performance yet, but keep in mind that looking to one soure that evaluated one test, ON A MODEL THAT IS 4 YEARS OUT OF PRODUCTION AND THEN EXTRAPOLATED TO 2001 WITHOUT ALLOWING FOR ALL THE ADDITIONAL SAFETY FEATURES (SIDE AIRBAG, SIDE HEAD AIRBAG, PRETENSIONERS ETC.) added since the model that was, in fact tested, is not something that I would consider conclusive.

    Plenty of resources out there, don't hang your hat on just one of them.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The IIHS has not retested the GM vans because there have been no structural changes made to the platform. They do this with all of their tested vehicles, not just the vans. Even with pretensioners, the results wouldn't have changed much in the offset crash test. The safety cage would still have be compromised and the dummy would've ended up in about the same location. Side impact airbags are irrelevant in the IIHS since they don't deploy in front impacts.

    FYI, the NHTSA also carries over the crash test results from previous model years if there have been no structural changes. They just don't tell you about it.

    The Sienna that was tested did not have side impact airbags, so the 4 star side impact rating for the front passengers does not apply to a Sienna with that option.

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  • As I said, I am still not sold on Montana's performance. Your point about the Sienna and the NHTSA scores reinforces my overall point, which is don't take one source as conclusive.

    As far as your conclusory allegations about the pretensioners not changing the offset crash test results, yes and no. The same safety cage intrusion would be expected, but I don't think the femur load predictions can be reliably extrapolated. One of the things that an accident re constructionist looks at in trying to set out the kinematics, at least as my limited experience goes, would be the pelvic forces. In fact, I think one of the measures at NHTSA is some kind of force measurement for pelvis I load or some such thing. Now, the lap portion of the belt should function the same regardless of pensioners, but I am fairly confident I'd tear someone up in Court if they were attempting to offer expert testimony saying they could reliably and accurately predict the movement of the pelvis when the torso is allowed different degrees of movement in two different scenarios.

    I will have to momentarily defer to you on the side impact and curtain air bags not deploying in the offset crashes, cause I don't know otherwise. But, it seems silly to me that this is the case. An offset crash induces a rotational force because 60% of the car is undergoing a different acceleration than the other 40%, thus an important measure is the travel of the head and does it slide towards the driver door (a pillar, b pilar contact, I believe is the jargon.) Cripes, if this is something that is measured, then why is all of that built in safety sitting there unactivated?
  • galergaler Posts: 3
    Our 98 transport extended van has been pretty reliable until now. We have had some electrical problems - front auto door lock buttons not working due to corrosion of wiring in both front doors (repaired by dealer several times even after warranty ran out), service engine light coming on (readjust gas cap position or fill with gas), seat belt light comes on when everyone is hooked, temperature gauge goes haywire occasionally. However, now with 59,000 miles on it we are told we need to replace the transmission with a remanufactured one (about $2000) or overhaul the existing one (about $1700) because seals are leaking inside. This started about a week ago when shifting from park to drive when van was cold. Wouldn't move - acted like it was still in park. Shifting back to park and then to drive again works. Dealer is offering no recourse and haven't heard back from Pontiac. Have serviced regularly but never changed transmission fluid because wasn't recommended. We bought this expecting it to last 10 years without major problems and have loved it to this point. Anybody else out there with transmission problems on newer transports?
  • I have no information specific to Pontiac, but I can tell you I just 2 weeks ago got Ford to pay an out of Warranty claim by going to NHTSA's site, reviewing the incident reports for my make, model, and year, copying the posts that were about my specific problem, and presenting them to the dealer. There were about 10 posts out of maybe 125 from vehicle owners who had experienced my problem specifically.

    Don't look in the TSB section, but rather look in the consumer section.
  • ricric Posts: 1
    We have a 1999 Montana and like it a lot. We wanted 8 seats, and didn't want the power sliding door. Accumulating $4300 of AM Card points and paying ~200 over invoice also brought the cost down quite bit.

    We have a few minor quirks and wondered if anyone else has the same quirks

    1. Wing windows on the sliding doors chatter when open (locked open)

    2. the rear window washer pours rather than sprays the rear window. Had the dealer replace twice and still just pours.

    The last item. Does anyone know how I can disengage the auto headlight system or know where the sensor is? I don't mean the DRL's. There are many times I don't want the head lights on and would like to have the ability to turn them off.

    Other than that, we think the car is great. We had a 91 Transport before and liked it and never had a problem with it (~115000 miles).
  • Does anyone know if the Montana's have Teather Straps for child safey seats? If so what year did they start? I noticed there are hooks on the
    rear seats of the 2001 model, but since they did not actually have the strap i am unsure if they
    actually support a store purchsed teather strao
  • We have really enjoyed our van! One catch, our 1999 Montana is now on its third transmission with a fourth coming soon. The problem was irregular shifting. No locking up as described above. They first tried to rebuild the original. Originally the seals had burned out. The last two times they have put remanufacuter units in. This all started at about 24000 miles. Fortunately it has all been covered by the warranty. We have also seen a new radio because of the display panel and a new gas gauge. We are now negotiating with the dealer/GM in leu of the lemon law.
  • engine12engine12 Posts: 17
    Our 2000 Montana has Tether straps,No Tranny problems yet,Radio was replaced,part of the display would not light up,Gas gauge is fine,Bought ours Nov. 99 and have 31500 miles logged,rear tail lens was replaced due to moisture inside,we are averaging 22-23 miles per gallon mixed driving,mostly highway,love the van and are planning to buy a PONTIAC G/P GTP within the next year,seems pontiac has improved a little and will buy American again after a long period of owning imports.....GM,PLease don't let me down again!!!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382

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  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    I have Venture 2000 and the headlight sensor is on the top of the dash in a tiny hole next the the red anti theft light.

    Of course if you cover it up they will be on all the time. I have looked in the fuse guide but nothing isolates this without disrupting something else. Why is it such problem ?
  • oemmanoemman Posts: 1
    We have our 2001 Montana for 2 weeks now and are happy we got it. My wife and sons wanted a van and I did not. We had a 94 Transport 6 years ago that we liked alot and was a good vehicle mechanically. We decided to test drive the Montana and were extremely happy with it's looks,ride,and features. We love the room and most importantly, the second row captain's chairs really keeps my 2 boys from fighting. Great vehicle!
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