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Chevy Vans: Problems & Solutions



  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Assuming that the pump is good since it was just replaced and that you have no leaks.....I'm thinking you've got air trapped somewhere in the system

    1. Fluid level OK?

    2. Open the cap on the PS reservoir while its running...foamy??? If so the system needs to be primed/bled...procedure:

    -Fill reservoir to correct level
    -Start engine and run for 2 or 3 seconds and shut down. Check fluid level again...add if necessary. Repeat procedure till fluid level is constant
    -Raise the front of the vehicle until the wheels are off the ground
    -start the engine and give it a little gas & hold it there...turn the wheel all the way to the right and them all the way to the left (gently) Check fluid level and add if necessary.
    -Lower to the ground...with the engine still running, drive forward just enough to turn the wheel all the way to the right but don't force it against the stop, then drive forward again to get it all the way to the left stop but don't force it.
    -recheck the fluid and add if necessary

    This should get the air out of the system & get rid of your noise. You may have to do it 2x...if the noise persists or if the fluid is persistently foamy, you might have a leak somewhere letting air in...good luck
  • cyberx1cyberx1 Posts: 4
    Thank you - I will try the procedure and let you know how it turns out.

    Mark :)
  • cyberx1cyberx1 Posts: 4
    Oh, onemore thing. I took my van to the Chevy dealer yesterday to have my PS system checked. Asa I suspected, the Mom and Pop auto shop who perfromed the repairs on my van really screwed up and ther're not fessing up to it so I'm now stuck. Turns out that Mom and Pop shop replaced my Power Steering pump and filled with TRANSMISSION FLUID! Does this present a problem now as they offered to drain and refill with Power Steering fluid? Also, will adding Lucas PS fluid improve anything, in your opinion? Lastly, Checy stated the the High Pressure PS Hose was inprorperly installed and slightly bent, but Mom and Pop shops states that that is impossible in that hose can only be installed on way - what do you think? Can improper installation cause any problesm with my Powersterering system? FYI that although the noise is extreley annpoying, the stewering appesars to work just fine, to inlkuce tight turns.

    Thank you again.

    Mark in Plano, TX
    Retired Marine
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hi Mark...Semper Fi !!

    Let's break this down...

    1. Trans fluid in PS pump - hard to say what issues this could cause, depends upon the compatibility of the 2 fluids...they're both theoretically "hydraulic fluid" and I know there were some Fords that used trans fluid in the PS system...I can't imagine that there's a good way to get all of the old fluid out for sure without dismantling the system...I think I would get rid of all I could and refill with the right fluid and cross my fingers...I'm not going to be shocked if just replacing the fluid gets rid of the noise.

    2. High pressure hose - I think my biggest concern would be that there is a kink in it that is restricting the flow and possibly causing your noise...but you say that the steering is working fine...I think if it was kinked the steering wheel would be hard to turn...I've never had to replace ours so I can't say for sure if you can install it more than one I said...I think a kink would be the issue here if you had one.

    I'm not a mechanic unless there's a shade tree and some beer around but here's what I would do:

    Replace the PS fluid with the correct fluid and do the air bleed procedure...
    Check the high pressure line from the pump (its the one that comes off of the bottom of the PS pump) for kinks or restrictions.

    Then I would see what happens...Honestly, I think the correct fluid will cure the noise...and a little Lucas in there certainly wouldn't hurt either - they make good products.

    Let me know how you make out and feel free to post question...good luck

  • It seems to have all started after I hit a cat on the interstate about a year ago. Had no trouble with my van before that. Because of the damage the cat made we replaced the radiator unit which is also the a/c condenser (if I remember correctly). About a week after that replacement was made the van started hesitating on acceleration but only sometimes. Some days it would run smooth but others I'd be lucky to make it out of the driveway. We took it to the shop and they said it was the spark plugs. We paid around $300 for the plug change. 2 days later the hesitation returned and the shop then said it was the transmission. We paid $1800 to rebuild the transmission and less than a week later the hesitation returned. We left the ran sitting in the driveway for about a week, then it ran fine for a few days, then the hesitation returned. We took it to a new shop and they said we needed a fuel system service (fuel filter, injectors cleaned, PCV, EGR, etc). We paid around $200 for that and it ran great for 2 months! Hesitation returned, though, but not as often so it was easier to deal with. Just a few weeks ago it started being more frequent. Took it to a new shop and they said it was the catalytic converter screen/filter so there went $285. A few days later it was STILL doing it so NOW they say it's the intake manifold gasket and it'll be $800. This mechanic says he notices the temperature gauge going up slightly at a red light then it comes down again and that's a symptom. I've noticed it, too, but I hear the fan come on and the temp goes down...isn't that what's supposed to happen?
    Oh ,and the midst of all that my brakes went out so that was another $867.

    I'm at the end of my rope. We cannot afford a car payment (car loan was rolled into mortgage) so we keep slapping these repairs on our credit card and I'm now having emotional breakdowns DAILY over this. My husband is not any way a mechanic and just when we trust a real mechanic they slap us with a big estimate for something they THINK might be the problem. No one seems to know exactly what is wrong with this van...the computer is not giving out codes. The only one it gave was the 02 sensor and after the catalytic converter was worked on the mechanic said it might just be giving out a false reading on that BECAUSE of the converter having been clogged.

    He has no explanation as to why my gas gauge goes up and down at every turn, either. I keep thinking "THE PROBLEMS" is something in the fuel tank...maybe debris/dirt/junk is clogging up my injectors. The van ran great for 2 months after we got them cleaned last time but I kept using cheap gas so maybe things got stirred up again? Sometimes it sputters, backfires, hesitates and seems like it's going to shut off. Other times it chugs and sputters along and when I hit 45 mph it feels like something got unstuck and it got some gas and runs along. Idling it sounds fine, slowly giving it gas sometimes is okay too but when I have to give it more to get going then that nightmare begins.

    I've done research on the manifold gasket and although I know it's a known problem wouldn't the gasket have been completely GONE by now if it was really the problem? How has no other mechanic even mentioned this as being a possible cause? How is this van not giving a code for this problem it's had for a year?

    I'm at my wit's end and have no where else to turn!

  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hi Aurelia....

    I have no idea what's wrong with your van but.....

    I'm concerned with the fact that there are "no codes" in the computer. Everytime the motor hiccups, misfires or does something else strange, the computer saves the "event"...basically, it takes a snapshot of everything going on at the time it happens so a tech can access the records and figure out what is wrong.

    Here's my opinion - I think your EGR valve has a typically has to be a disaster to set a trouble code and it takes a long time to get that an internet search, ask a friend, somehow find out where the EGR valve is on the Venture...then remove it, clean it and replace it.

    2 bolts hold it in...clean it with carburetor cleaner and a toothbrush...there is a pintle in the middle that should move up and down...clean it and make sue it moves freely. I'm not convinced that it was removed and cleaned when the fuel system was serviced as they usually don't do that...

    Even if you can't do the work, maybe you have a friend who can? Good luck, post back with any questions...

    BTW - As for your gas gauge, the Venture gas gauges typically start to have issues about 80,000 miles...the level sensor in the fuel tank is to blame...its an expensive repair, just keep track of your mileage and get it filled up every 300 miles.

  • fknstrfknstr Posts: 3
    Did you replace the thermostat yourself or a garage?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I was going to do it myself but the car was in for an oil change and I've been real busy at work so I let them do it....

    In hindsight, I should have done it myself and saved some $ but unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day and most of mine were taken up....

    Its not a bad job...just takes a little patience....
  • neustkgneustkg Posts: 35
    I own a '02 Chevy Venture and the passenger side rear window recently became disconnected from the window clip. When you push the button on the control panel, the motor cycles, pushing the window outwards. When you push the button now, the motor still works, but since it isn't connected to the window, it doesn't open. The connection seems to be a ball and socket. I tried pushing it back in place, but it looks like the connection is more complicated. Is this something that can be easily replaced/repaired?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373

    I've never taken it apart but here's a parts explosion on the assembly...maybe it will help...


    Looks like there's a pin and a retaining screw and that's all that holds it together...

    Good Luck :)
  • vicarsvicars Posts: 2
    We have a 2003 Venture. If we are on a trip and stop for gas or food (running 30 min or so), it will not crank back up. After cooling off, the van will crank like nothing is wrong and runs good after that.

    We have replace the cam shaft and crank shaft sensors with no results.

    Does anyone else have this problem???? :(
  • pin2pin2 Posts: 2
    I have purchased a "T" connection from an aftermarket manufacturer to wire my trailer. According to their instructions, I am supposed to connect it to a wiring harness connection that should be located in the left rear of the vehicle, between the body and the plastic panel below the window. I practically dismembered this part of the van but I cannot find it. Could it be that it is hiding behind the AC compressor? I would like to know before I continue to disassembel more panels.
    Thank you very much.
  • sxymama08sxymama08 Posts: 2
    I bought my 2000 chevy venture about 3 months ago. When we first looked at it the airbag light was on. The dealer took it to a garage and "fixed" it. It's been working fine since then until about 2 days ago. Now it's back on. Also about 2 weeks ago the check engine light came on. No idea why, it won't go away. We also have the gas gauge problem, it's always full! I'm planning to try the suggestions I saw to fix the gas gauge. Does anyone know what to do about the warning lights?
  • chaseschases Posts: 41
    My airbag light comes on after my wife moves the drivers seat either forward or back. To get my light to go out I have to reach under the drivers seat and wiggle the airbag plugs around. Then it's fine till the next time the wife moves the seat again. You need to check the codes for the check engine light.
  • boltonof6boltonof6 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 chevy venture and I found my connection on the drivers side rear under the car near the rear air pump. Mine had a cap on it and tied to another harness.
  • kayfusleekayfuslee Posts: 16
    Same problems here w/2000 venture. But my airbag light goes off when I wiggle the wires under the passenger seat. My gas guage hasn't worked for over 2 years. Got used to using the trip meter. Hope that doesn't go next.
  • birdfansbirdfans Posts: 1
    I recently installed an after market trailer wiring harness. It was very easy(or I thought). I disconnected the plugs on the passenger side which are easiely accessible behind the bumper. I tied the drivers side in right at the connected to the brake/tail light assembly. Both tail lights work, only one side(drivers)turn signal works, and only one brake light (drivers) works. The trailer lights themselves are good because they worked fine with another vehicle.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Could I need a heavy duty flasher fuse? What else could it be?
  • neustkgneustkg Posts: 35
    We have an '02 Chevy Venture that has the outside temperature reading on our upper console that has kept fairly accurate temperature readings so far. Recently, on very hot days, it has displayed very low temperatures (like 60s or 70s when it should have read in the 90s). After a while, it usually bounces back to what I think it should read.

    Does anyone know what might be happening to the temperature probe? Anyone know where the temperature probe is? Is there an easy fix? I'm not going to take it into the shop for something like this as the vehicle has +90k miles on it. I'd like to know if it is something I can easily fix.
This discussion has been closed.