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Pontiac Montana

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  • gatorgator Posts: 11
    Ventureman,

    Not sure about a delay feature, how so? You can disable the power feature from the front seat, and it kicks back quicker should it hit an obstruction but I don't know of a delay feature. I'll have to read the manual to see.
  • Purchased a 98 Montana 1 1/2 weeks ago. After about 6 months of research online and reading all I could get my hands on - I was ready to go. Paid $600 over invoice. They tried to sell me the farm but I stuck to my guns - the trick is to read all the information you can on the internet - remember dealer holdback, advertising, etc - I brought all the information out up front and there was no BS right from the start.

    We love the vehicle. It has all the bells and whistles - power door, leather, tow package, dual AC, etc, etc, etc. 3.4L engine was the largest 98 van I was able to find to pull my boat. I needed something big enough to pull the boat, but at the same time also wanted something that looked good. There are too many Dodge and Plymouth's out there, and the biggest engine offered was a 3.0L.

    We wanted the 7 passenger captain chair seating and that seemed to be the difficult part - finding one with that seating arrangement. I did notice however that the mounting of the seats on the vehicle looks like it could accommodate all the different seating arrangements. So - if the dealer wanted to bad enough - they could order the buckets and pull the modular bench out to satisfy my bucket requirement - if they really wanted to sell me the vehicle that I wanted.

    Now, for my list of defects:


    1. Left rear bucket seat - one of the locking clips which locks the seat to the floor was not put together correctly at the factory - which did not allow the seat to fully lock into place.

    2. Left rear modular bench seat locking pin was broken off which did not allow the seat to fully lock into place in the floor.

    3. Several scuffs and scratches on the running boards - apparently when the vehicle was built or the dealer did the prep - they dropped the seat and scratched the plastic.

    4. The big rubber weather strip on the passenger side door - is only glued to the inside of the door - mine was not properly aligned on the door and was pulled off half way, upon delivery. Don't know if this will become a problem down the road if the stickum looses it's stick.

    Took the vehicle back to the dealer today - they said they would fix everything - we'll see how that goes.

    As far as anything else about the vehicle goes:

    Changing the oil is going to be a blast - I can see the oil filter from up above - but have no idea how I am going to get it out from below.

    Hopefully I won't have to change the battery - it looks like you have to pull half the engine compartment apart just to get at it.

    Spark plugs - don't even know where the 3 in the back are located - I'll let Pontiac figure that one out when the time comes. They say they are 100,000 mile plugs.

    Other than those minor issues - we love the van. I pulled all the seats out and did my own scotch guard - 2 cans from WalMart at $5.49/can - much cheaper than the $100 they wanted at the dealer - probably for the same stuff.

    Planning our first trip this week - I let everyone know how it handles during our 16 hour drive back home.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
  • The scoop in the spark plugs is that you have the remove the rear motor mount bolts and use a jack underneath to swivil the engine to get at the plugs.

    Let me know your opinion of the noise level and if you hear any rattling from the cladding on the outside of the van. I'm considering the Pontiac or the Chevy.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMAn
  • Haven't heard any rattling from the cladding on the outside of the van - guess I'll be listening for it now and let you know.
  • Total Transsports sold for the 1998 model year is 58,155. Total U.S. GM minivan sales for 1998 model year is 193,522.

    VentureMan
  • scannerscanner Posts: 295
    VentureMan,

    Where did you find your sales figure data?

    Thanks
  • GM 1998 Model Year Sales Figures:

    href="http://www.gm.com/mo_pr/mo_pr_dt.htm?id=478"

    Hope this helps.

    VentureMan
  • ChanesChanes Posts: 1
    Okay, is there much difference between the 98 and 99 versions. Either in price or features??

    My wife and I just started looking last week, and I said I would never get a minivan, but the Montana/Transport is pretty "cool" looking!!
  • Well, As best I can figure, for 1999, Pontiac got rid of the wimpy name "TransSport" and replaced it with the rugged "Montana" name (not that this is a good reason to buy, but the '99 won't get mixed up with the ill famed TransSport name when you go to sale you car later on).

    They also added Sport blue-tinted power "heated" mirrors w/fold & stow feature. Also, you get an extra 5 HP (now 185 HP) and an extra 5 pounds of torque. I will tell you though, my friends '97 Chevy Venture minivan (same as Pontiac) moves uphill without a hitch.

    The price is the same for 1999 as far as I figure.
    I am still trying to figure if I want the Montana over the Venture (the former costing about $600 more). Otherwise, it is a styling issue.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMan
  • I forgot one other new feature. There are also three new color choices for the 1999 Montana. Can't wait to see them.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMan
  • I read that the 99 Montana has a second generation power door. I hope this means that the door is a little more sensitive when something is in its path. I read that the current power door gives you quite a jolt before retracting, went to the dealer and got in the way of the door and it almost knocked me down before retracting. This concerns me as to what kind of damage this door could do to my 15 month old if her leg or arm got in the way. Any comments on this matter ?
  • I would think the best way to answer this question is to put you arm in the way and let the door close on it and see how much it hurts. I put a item made of paper in the way and it didn't seem to compress it much before retracting. I guess I will have to try this.

    Also, if you find out what this second generation door is, please share it. I've been wondering for some time myself.

    Best of luck.

    VentureMan
  • gatorgator Posts: 11
    Well, I would think that the pressure from the power door would be less than if you slammed a manual slider on somebody's arm or leg. Exercising a little caution when operating the door is a great trade-off for the cool utility of the power door. BTW, took my 99 to the steeplechase last weekend and it was a hoot to stand about 30 feet away from the van and use the power slider feature on the key fob to confound the various drunks walking past the van. Great fun.
  • Has anyone noticed an unusual manufacturing technique on the 99 montana where a material that appears to be tape of some sort is used extensively around that rear hatch opening? It is also used along the edge of the bottom of the front door frame. It is painted the same color as the body, But you can easily tell it is tape. I may be putting a deposit on this car tomorrow and I'd really appreciate anyone who has some info on this sharing it with me!
  • Is it tape, as in cheap tape? Or is it a strong metal ribbon tape? I'm sure it is fine. Probably a tighter seal than using a rebber plug. Let us know how you new van is.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMan
  • I am purchasing a 98 Transport in a couple days and to prepare I have read the entire thread of this group, among other things. I can say I feel better informed. Although I am from Canada, all your insights are useful. Thank you to everyone for sharing your personal stories, especially the people who shared progress reports.

    ptCA
  • I haven't had a chance to look at any of the 1999
    Pontiac Montanas yet. There were two dealerships
    in my area (San Francisco Bay Area) last year and
    now they have closed up shop. Has GM been
    consolidating franchises?

    I am very interested in the Montana, but I am
    worried about logistics if the need came up for
    servicing by a dealership. I cant very well
    travel 45-60 minutes each way to a dealership.

    Has anyone ever heard of a Chevy dealer performing
    warranty work for a Pontiac?

    Thanks for any help.
    VentureMan
  • After reading through 144 messages re: the Pontiac Tran Sport/Montana, I am considering a 1999 Montana. I would be interested in hearing any comments about the "Traction Control" in winter conditions.

    I am leaning toward an AWD minivan from Chrysler, but I would like to hear comparisons with "Traction Control".
  • gatorgator Posts: 11
    I have 1000 miles on my 99 so far and so far so good. No defects or problems have reared their heads and a few neat features have been discovered. The headlights are automatic, the interior lights all come on when you remove the key for ease of egress and gathering all your stuff without having to open the door first, the interior lights fade out when all the doors are closed, and after 10 minutes or so the interior lights shut themselves off if a door is left ajar to save the battery. I am also pleased with the range of the 25 gallon gas tank(even around town). Recently removed all the rear seats and loaded the thing with lumber and plywood to finish a deck and it swallowed everything with aplomb (I have the extended version which I highly recommend). I also recommend getting the eight seat configuration, you can always take one out to make an aisle. Power slider continues to be a crowd-pleaser. All in all still extremely pleased with the van. We'll see how it goes as the miles start to rack up.
  • To VentureMan:

    I don't really know if a Chevy dealer will service a Montana, but considering that most everything except some trim pieces are the same on the Venture, I think it's worth a try. Also, you should look at the maintenance schedule, because it's greatly reduced via a number of improvenments.

    My 98 Trans Sport Montana is great!

    Enjoy!
  • Safty IS important.

    But lets keep it in perspective. The chances of a minivan driver getting into a real bad accident is next to zero; for injury rates, see href="http://www.carsafety.org/ictl7.htm"
    For death rates, see href="http://www.carsafety.org/ddr7.htm".

    There are so many features and considerations that each of us must consider before making a significant purchase ( close to $30k after taxes).
    To eliminate a choice simply on the basis of one
    crash test --that is least likely to happen to a
    minivan driver-- is paranoid. And the injuries
    from a frontal crash will only pertain to adults
    (children should not ride in the front seat).

    All Volvo owners I have met are safty paranoid.
    They are willing to settle for a smaller and more
    expensive (and in my opinion, ugly) vehicle with
    great safty engineered into them. But death rates
    for Volvos are not any better the the GM minivans
    href="http://www.carsafety.org/ddr2.htm".

    So Volvo is one of the most safe cars on the road
    and yet its injury and deaths are no better than
    minivans.

    Buy a minvan because it meets your needs and
    likes, and not because of false hysteria.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMan
  • I bought a 1997 Pontiac Transport Montana new last October. In the year we have put 28000 miles on it. The tires are billed as self sealing. We got a nail in one. Took it to the dealer to have it patched. Less than a week later, we took it back to have it patched. After three weeks of trying to get it patched, it developed a bulge then burst. The nail was no where near the 1/4 inch spike they advertise. The computer does not seem to be very accurate for gas mileage. We have gassed up many times, expected 23 miles per gallon or better because the computer said we got that over all, but got closer to 20 miles per gallon. The vehicle seems to have problems with cross winds. When you drive along a road that has a rut running even with the direction of travel it has problems. Over all gas consumption is 20 MPG. Mostly pleasant to drive. Breaks started sqeeking about 10,000 miles, a sales man told us 12000 is standard mileage before brake pads need to be replaced but we have about 1/2 break pad usage.
  • Thanks for the good after purchase report on the Pontiac Montana. How is the interior and such holding up? Are the self sealing tires the only big problem you have?

    There are products you can put on brake pads to reduce squealing. Ask a good mechanic at a service station.

    Is the gas mileage related to going greater than 55 MPH? I noticed that I get the best highway mileage at 55 MPH and it goes down as I speed up. In Calif, people travel at 65 to 75 MPH all the time.

    Please report further is there is more to report.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMan
  • VentureMan:
    The dealer explained that the tape is a special weatherstripping placed over the seams that are formed during assembly. They are supposed to protect the seams from the elements. Sounds good,but looks 2nd class. Nonetheless, delivery day approaches and at this point it will take more than some tape to turn me against the Montana. I've done more comparative shopping for this vehicle then any other car I've ever purchased, so I'm only looking forward to it. Someone just told me about something called the Montana Thunder, has anyone ever heard of it?
  • To mommyflyer:
    I've see some Trans Sport SEs available at '98 closeout prices around $20k. If you can find these deals where you live, and can add GM incentives on top, you might be wise to consider a new SE. The power door is great, but we had to have ours adjusted after about 7 months. Fortunately the dealer service was first-rate, and it was a positive experience.

    TO: BBergie

    We get about 28 MPG at 55-60, and about 26 MPG at 65-70. The powerplant is very effecient but a mini van punches a big hole in the atmosphere; I've run in traffic (trucks) at 75 MPH and got 34MPG with the traffic moving the air for me.


    Enjoy!
  • I heard the Montana Thunder is a model to come out in 2000. Thats all I know.

    VentureMan
  • GM is offering free installation (well, almost free) of its OnStar navigation system until Dec 31, 1999 for the GM minivans. This normally cost $1300 to have installed. You will have to have a Cell phone service and subscribe to OnStar for one year at $270/year. Not a bad price for the extra piece of mind.

    If your air bags deploy, the OnStar system will automatically notify GM, and GM will send an emergency vehicle to your location (it knows where you are via satellite).

    Or if you car is stolen, GM can locate your vehicle and disengage the fuel supply (I believe this is part of the security package).

    Or, if you lock your keys in the car, they can unlock it via satellite. No waiting for a tow truck.

    Get lost in the back country and not know were you are? The navigation system will tell you.

    Doesn't sound bad for $270.

    Best of luck,

    VentureMan
  • 23452345 Posts: 11
    The Montana Thunder is a concept car that GM showed off a year or two ago. It is a totally different van than the Montana. It was extremely cool looking and had some really great features. I can't remember what all the features were, but check out this think to check out the Thunder. I would be extremely surprised if it was in showrooms in 2000. I heard it was very poplular.

    http://www.auto.com/98autoshow/photos/
  • Wow, how did you mine that gem? Actually, looking at the picture, imagine it without the grounds effect package and 70 profile tires instead of 40 profile. Now imagine the regular Montana taillights instead of that light array in the window. Is it beginning to look like the short version of the Montana yet?

    I OWN a montana, and to quite honest with you, I never figured out the marketing behind it. Take a minivan, give it white walls tires and make a soft effort to imply its an SUV competitor, give me a break! We picked it over the olds because we thought the suspension was a little stiffer, not because we would ever try four wheeling in it!
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