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Chevy Venture



  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Great to hear from someone getting that many miles on these vans. It gives one hope, especially after reading and experiencing the various problems on this forum.

    Do you think it is better to switch from Dexcool orange to Prestone orange (are they the same?) or just do a thorough flush and switch to green antifreeze. I have used Prestone orange for 182K miles without any problems whatsoever on my '95 Mazda Protege. Of course, that is quite a different engine than our 2001 Olds Silo. with 45K miles.

  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    Switch to the yellow/orange that is the universal and can be used or mixed with either red or green. Stay away from the Dexcool - the way my old mechanic explained it, GM went with the dexcool across the board without upgrading their gaskets first. The Dexcool is more acidic, and reacts with different alloys than the green coolant.

    Another problem that came up recently was a small coolant leak. I still have original hoses and thermostat, but I did replace the water pump about a year ago - did it myself, very easy and inexpensive. My leak was where the lower tranmission coolant line goes into the radiator. A repair would have been extreme, possibly requiring a new radiator! I used a Prestone leak stop, and it fixed it right up. Stay away from Bar's Leaks and other similar products.
  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    I had to have my hood repainted recently - I had a lot of rock damage that caused the clear coat to peel off in spots. I also had a patch of corrosion - the hood is all aluminum, and this is very unusual - has anyone else had a similar experience? Even the auto shop at the dealership was at a loss. The corrosion was a white flakey powder and looked like rust bubbling up under the paint, but the paint shop fixed it all up. Just curious.
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    Not sure if its the same thing, but just about every aluminum fire engine I've ever seen has galvanic corrosion at the door handles. Even though the manufacturers put rubber gaskets between the steel door handles and the aluminum body panels, dampness allows the corrosion to occur. It presents itself as bubbling paint and a powdery residue under the paint in areas adjacent to door handles and other dissimilar metals.

    It doesn't seem to weaken the metal that much, but it is unsightly. If you're seeing this type of thing in the middle of the hood, seems hard to explain. (Unless, of course you mounted a big hood ornament!! ;) )

    Is there any other material in contact or nearby the parts of the hood that corroded?
  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    It was on the folded edge near the passenger wiper blade, and a dollar bill folded lengthwise could cover it, but it was growing beneth the paint. I did a little research, but I ended up talking to a metalurgist at the college I attend. There are three reasons that can happen (normally) - the metal was not properly treated at the factory, but that is easily checked before assembly. Another is to have contact with steel - the steel and aluminum need a barrier, or the steel will lose strength and rust easily and quickly, and the aluminum will lose strength and corrode. The last is interesting - if there is a bad ground in the vehicle, the aluminum can corrode. The aluminum around a bad connection will corrode, and it can even be found that way. I also found out that you can test you antifreeze with an amp/ohm meter to check its charge. If it is wrong, corrosion is occuring inside the aluminum engine and radiator. I also had an alluminum brake connector beneth the driver corrode heavily - yet the one next to it was fine.
  • gadwellergadweller Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where I can buy a used upper intake manifold for a 1998 chevy venture. I am trying to replace the one that someone cracked (w/o my knowledge) and apparently now has caused a major vacuum leak. Thanks...
  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    There are many online junkyards with used parts - do a google search on what you are looking for. The one that looked most interesting was this one -
    Copy and paste it into your address line.

    If you can see the crack, you MIGHT be able to use some engine silicone to plug it for a bit.
  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    To anyone out there with a need for any suspension work needs - get it all done at once!!! I recently had my struts replaced, and had a failing tie rod. No problem, was expecting as much after 191,000 miles. Unfortunately, now that the new struts are pushing the wheels down harder against the ground, the ball joints now appear to be bad! The problem is that the stupid ball joints did not appear to be bad when checked by the mechanic because they were locked up tight. The original parts do not have any grease fittings, so once it is gone, they do things like that. The worst part is that they do not have any real play in them, they just creak, groan and respond poorly. Not to mention that a failed ball joint can eventually result in joint separation - not cool. :sick:

    ((I actually ripped a hole in the rubber grease boot on each and spay oil in once every couple days to keep it freed up - good enough for now, and my 7-year-old gladly had this task added to his list of weekly chores!))

    Bottom line is this - the parts are not real expensive - its the labor - get it all done at once! It all has to be taken apart and aligned anyway. It is easier for a mechanic to pull out a new part than mess with an old one. Make sure the replacement parts have grease fittings on them for longer life.
  • paulazpaulaz Posts: 1
    It's called filiform corrosion & is typical on airplanes, occurs when water & salts are trapped under a paint chip
  • kakojrkakojr Posts: 5
    just wanted to let you know that it sounds like your alternator is bad. but without properly testing you really cant be sure.. and when you say your ABS light comes on even when your not using it? You are always using your abs unless its disabled.. its probably a wheel speed sensor going bad or not getting enough voltage... that will turn on your light. your brake light will only come on if there is a problem with the fluid. perhaps you have an electrical problem as well. I would get it checked by someone who has a scanner... NOT A DEALER... go somewhere that makes there money on other things, like tires and ask there mechanics if they have a scanner.. pay the 60 to 70 bucks to find out whats wrong. then call other places to find out they're price to fix it... as for all the other people that complain about prices of auto repair.... WHERE ARE YOU GOING??? Think about this... I take my venture van to about 6 different places... I talk to the mechanics not the service guys... I listen to what they say and i judge them.. If i think they're just trying to get my money i go elsewhere... if i feel confident in that mechanic, ill let him work on it... take it from me, I AM an honest ASE certified mechanic. I know how they work... I still go to other places when i dont have time to work on my own vehicle.. or its something thats out of my league... like why wont my dash lights come on.... or the radio lights... i know its not the fuse. but not sure how this venture van works. I am not an electrical mechanic... sorry to ramble on but nobody else has this problem and i was reading yours and had an idea of what your problem was...
  • kakojrkakojr Posts: 5
    I am a mechanic, and I can't figure out why my dash lights wont come on. I have a 97 chevy venture with 120k miles. I have had it since 40k.. I have had only minor problems with my van... I am sorry all you other people have had bad luck with your vans.. I do my regular maintenance, oil changes etc. I have worked on alot of venture vans, and all they're owners have praised them... with the exception of the few that just think that if a car starts, its ok, and when there's a problem, its a piece of junk... cars have problems all of them do...but anyway, onto my problem..
    I've checked all the fuses, and just testing different things, i've come to the conclusion that I am lost.... everything works except the dash lights and the radio lights, now the radio lights come on but go off when the headlights come on... there is a dimmer switch that dims the dash lights and i'm thinking that this may be the problem... but before i spend over 100 bucks for this i want to know if anyone has had this problem and if they found a solution... thanks
  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    I have had some really strange electrical problems in a lot of makes and models since Detroit began started using computers in cars. Everything is connected in sequence to circuits and computers, so if one component fails, strange things can begin to happen. Every lighting problem I ever had or helped others to fix was caused by a bad bulb - I even had my dome lights come on when I hit the brakes.

    Sometimes a bulb filitment can melt instead of break fusing itself together and completing the circuit creating bridging circuits that should not be. Look for bulbs that are not as bright as the others or burnt out, even if they have nothing to do with the interior lights. You could also try pulling the fuse on non-essential components (like the radio) and see what happens.

    If not, I think your problem is your headlight/dimmer switch. I would imagine you can use an ohm/amp meter to check it out befor sure. You might even try cleaning it and its connections with electronics cleaner.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 268
    "everything works except the dash lights and the radio lights" I think I had this problem a month ago or so, somehow one of the overhead console switches had gotten turned off.
  • jim1venjim1ven Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Venture, which has had very few problems, but now the ABS light
    is on after I drive about 3 to 4 miles. Any suggestions on where to take the van to have this checked out? I am under the impression that a whole slew of diagnostics can be preformed by 'plugging' my car into some sort of terminal or 'reader'. Does this mean that I need to take the van to a specialist? Or can I go to a trusted Brake, Tire and Wheel dealer? I like the idea of going to the Chevy dealer where the car was purchased, but am worried about having to pay a premium. Thanks
  • ts60423ts60423 Posts: 52
    Unless you recently won the lottery, DON'T go to a dealership. I have had some good results with warranty stuff, but I have had some really, REALLY bad stuff happen there too - really stupid mistakes that cost me a lot of money.

    Ask around - find someone that is ASE certified and has been in business a long time, long enough to have regular customers, accountability, and never hesitate to answer all of your questions. Word of mouth is best, look for the happy customers, ask for mechanic horror stories, if you know someone with a fleet of vehicles, they usually deal with one shop - you might even figure out where to go by learning where NOT to go.

    A good shop will have a diverse range of specialists to cover all of your needs, and Make a list of problems and take it with you, since putting the car up on a lift and doing an inspection will take time and cost you a little.

    I do not believe that the computer stores much in the way of compter codes for the brakes. Most car parts stores can read and clear your codes for you free of charge, and will even help you at least check your brake fluid and add some if you need it (mine is a 2000 too - adding brake fluid is impossible!).
  • Hello all. I have a 2000 chevy venture that is displaying the change oil message on the dash. I did change the oil and now I can't reset it. I was told to use the odomoter/trip control and toggle it until the word "OIL" appears. However, this doesnt work.
    Any ideas??
  • roadrun1roadrun1 Posts: 1
    Bought new, currently 73,000 miles on it. Service engine comes on after 2-3 hours of freeway operation and stays on solid, goes out after several stop starts. Had fuel system service performed, injectors cleaned and plugs replaced. So far happens only on freeway dtiving. What to do now?
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Auto Zone stores will do a free code read on the check engine light. Their scanners (or any one) will give the code number and system affected. Once you know this, you can start to eliminate possible problems.

    For example, the code read they did for me on my car showed the neutral switch being bad. But this could also be caused by the PCM connection being bad or the PCM not getting voltage or the wiring between the PCM and the neutral switch being bad. So check engine codes do not necessarily give one simple answer to a problem but rather a more focused number of possible causes. This is where the knowledge and experience of a good mechanic comes in.

    If you desire to do it yourself, the Haynes manual for GM minivans has several pages of check engine code identifications related to Emission problems. You can find these manuals at your local library reference desk or at Auto Part Stores. And ALLDATA for $24/yr. has a lot of good TSB and diagnostic code charts for troubleshooting.
  • agt_cooperagt_cooper Posts: 202
    Check your owner's manual...

    The procedure to reset the oil change message involves turning the key to on (but not starting the car), pumping the gas pedal three times, then turning the key off, all in 5 seconds.

    The owner's manual will give you all the details.
  • tina503tina503 Posts: 2
    My husband and I purchased a used 02 Venture $17K w/ 40,500 miles 11/04 for me. I was so excited to find an affordable used van with all the features I wanted (dual power sliding doors, leather interior, CD player w/ GREAT sounding stereo, captains chairs w/ cup holders, lots of storage bins, very roomy, 3rd row seat folds down flat). Things were going great until early 4/05 when the CD player stopped working - wouldn't pull in a CD. No one drives the van but me or is ever in the car (my kids are small) without me and I didn't break it! I've had other cars with CD players - I know how to work it!

    Took it to the closest dealership and they told me to replace the radio/cd player with a refurbished unit would be $550! I about choked. We decided to do it. Then mid-May I'm sitting at a stop light and the temp gauge is sitting all the way in the red hot - then check engine light goes on, then check oil light goes on. I about croaked! Take it to the dealer, they say not sure...maybe cylinder head warped because it kind-of over heated, but didn't really overheat so coolant didn't kick in to cool it..and possibly warped the cylinder head. (They never did come up with a theory on why it overheated!) Would cost $500 to tear the engine down and diagnose the problem - not to mention the cost to try and fix it! They then continued to hee and haw about what was wrong for 2 days, so we had it towed back to the dealership where we bought it...they discredited the warped head diagnosis and said it was probably the gaskets (but would never know because the 1st dealership threw them out when tearing the engine down.) :cry:

    After 2nd dealership replaces the gaskets, $1,000 later and 9 days later, I have my car back (this dealer picked up half the tab - this is where we bought it and they felt really bad about the problems). One week later the A/C stops working!! Then the next day the temperature gauge starts fluctuating all over the place (never all they way over to hot, mind you - so coolant probably not kicking in). It's now back at the dealership where we bought it - I'm still waiting to see what all is wrong this time. :lemon: We've already sunk $1,500 into this flippin' car since April. :mad:

    I'm looking at Odysseys tonight - I think we're going to lease a $29K car - trading this stupid thing in - and be done with it! I really did like the Venture when it was running, but I'm a Mom and I need a dependable car! One lesson for sure, don't buy a Used Venture without buying the extended warranty - dummy me! :(
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