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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Saw your note, and although problems are posted on the site, as a Venture 2000 owner, and close to 50K miles, I would not hesitate to recommend this van. We have LWB LT

    Chrysler have approx 50% market share, and if you combine the GM triplets numbers they are effectively second.

    When Edmunds changed the format from type to manufacturer, you lost the ability to review all minivans under one heading. (Note !!!)

    If I recall the troubles with Chrysler/Ford on engine and transmission problems were far greater than we have ever seen on GM. In fact they had separate file headings becuase there were so many.

    GM transmissions are one of the most tried and tested. This unit is in other GM products as well

    When I see these posts of problems, I often wonder what sort of maintenance has taken place etc.

    No van design meets everyone's requirements, but in terms of versatility etc. Can handle 4 x 8, it is good value for money especially on 2002 on sale.

    The new specs of the 2003 show virtually no distinguishable changes.

    Good luck and keep us posted
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,972
    I'm not sure that I even remember the old review page off-hand, but you can look at 8 vans with the Vehicle Comparision Tool.



    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    I had many of the same thoughts when considering vans, I'm not really a brand-loyal person, I think all manufacturers, U.S., Japanese, Euro., all make some good & some not-so-good vehicles. It seemed that there were an awful lot of more serious types of problems w Ford & Chrysler vans...Honda odyssy (sp) is perhaps, imo, the best (mini) van around (sorry gm fanatics!), but geez its $5000 + more, and I don't believe its THAT much better! I think the gm's are the best value...knock on wood

    thanks for info on towing pkg., I think I'll just put on a decent aftermarket trans cooler, take it easy when towing (these vans are not, after all, really built for towing), and I should be alright with my pop-up camper, which is well under 3000 lbs.
  • Greetings,
    I test drove a Montana on Friday and an Odyssey on Monday. Both have strong and weak points.

    Yes, the Odyssey has a weak point or two. The one that stood out was the dash. It looks and feels great, good materials etc., but the organization!
    The gear shift blocks the blower and radio controls and other things looked to take some getting used to. In that respect the GM dash works much better. In respect to handling, with (50?) extra ponies and sharper suspension and steering, there's no comparison.

    When merging onto a highway, the Montana couldn't get out of it's own way. I don't know if having the TC on affected that. On a secondary road the rebound of the rear springs bounded forward, josseling my head fore and aft (FE2 suspension). The other annoyance about the Montana was the ac fan. The loud drone gave me a headache and the front only ac could barely cool it down at mid day. (drove the Honda at night). That is a real negative (the noise and efficiency) to me. I am hopping that with the rear ac, the fan is quieter and more efficient.

    To me the brakes on both are good. Space is about the same with better organization (that rear seat and sliding centers) for the Honda. Both are comfortable.

    The new Odysseys are coming out of a new Alabama plant, so efficiency will take another year or so. J.D.Powers says efficiency=quality.

    Current retail and future maintenance costs make me still want to look at the GMs more both new and used. But I will consider this Honda mini/S, new only.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Furth my post#281. Dealer advised that two codes came out of the van. One related to passenger airbag and the other to a device that tightens the seatbelt when the airbag goes off.

    Said they had had some Ventures with this symptom, however whether it was just a quirk related to the drivers side seat connections, but the warning light is acting properly.

    We will hold to see if it stays on again after startup and go from there.
  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    Took my case directly to Chevrolet concerning anti-freeze in my oil. E-mailed them. Got a prompt reply and they were very nice. They asked me what I wanted. I told them the minimum cost of the repair was $800. I asked them for $400. I'm waiting for their reply. Since it's out of warrenty 66,000 miles, I thought this was all I could ask.
  • I am one of those with a "problem" van, 1999 Venture. My auto is maintained immaculately! If anything extra steps are taken to ensure problem-free driving, but that is not to be. No matter how well I care for this auto it has given me problem after problem. Those of you without problems are the lucky ones.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    I know some people have a few problems, but GM vans typically have fewer drivetrain problems. You can check consumer reports.

    I also own a "highly rated" 00 Nissan Maxima SE, and while it is pretty good, the motor doesn't start very easily and the engine controller makes it surge on cruise control. We had a O2 sensor fail a few months after buying the car. Even the best rated cars have problems. Heck, a neighbor bought a slightly used low milage Lexus LS400 a few years ago, and right after he got it the front control arms needed to be replaced (???? {how does a car wear out a control arm? Bushings I can see, but not the metal arm}), followed shortly after that by the water pump. Luckily he had a used warrenty, but the point is that nearly all cars have problems and are a hassle. The ones I have heard of all type of cars that are super reliable even cavaliers, you never know. My father swears by his '88 3.8 Bonnevilles (if you can live with the alternator failures). Suggest you take some Prozac my friend.

    The fellow comparing the Honda - others have found the seats, especially the rear seats to be marginally comfortable, the radio to be worthless, lots of road noise, the transmission seems to be trouble prone, many of these vehicles pull to the right and cant' be fixed (see Oddy board if you don't trust me), and the option packages are different, fuel milage is about 17-19 while GM vans can get 23-27 without really even trying very hard. But the Honda is a darn good van in its own right, but you also pay sticker or more typically and used ones are no bargin. Crash results in one type of offset crash test was significantly better in the Honda, but the head on crash in the GM vans was very good. They call the GM vans "death traps" and such but that is a gross exaggeration IMHO. Compared to other vehicles I've owned this the safest one so far, even has side air bags and anti-lock brakes, traction control, etc.


  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    The ABWL came on while my wife was driving the van last night. I drove it this morning and it was still on. I remember reading Offham's post about moving the driver's seat, so I did the same. Presto, the light went out. Seems like there must be a connection under the seat, or maybe the seat belt retractor is going bad. Does anyone know anything about the "next gen. air bags" that are supposed to be in the newer vans? That might give a clue to the problem.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    I agree, you can get a highly-rated car that has problems, or vice-versa. Its kinda luck of the draw, new or used. I do think, though, that there are people that instinctively drive efficiently and well (like myself, in my modest opinion!), and people who don't...I always cringe when riding with people (men and women)who are either 100% full-on the gas or full-on the brakes, hitting every pothole possible, no warm-up on really cold mornings, etc etc, I think those cars don't hardly have a chance NOT to have problems! So, I think care, maint, and driving habits are often a factor in those with lots of problems (although I concede there are genuine lemons, too)

    I think my silo is pretty d.d., I've never really had a vehicle with airbags at all, so its all kinda relative

    Good point about gas mileage, that 20+ mpg was a factor in my getting a g.m., too...I had actually briefly considered a full-size, V-8 van (better for towing), but after looking at the mpg--no way. And gm minivans seem to be better than almost all the other minivans...incl honda

    I drove one honda in my van search, very impressed with power, handling (it didn't pull to right), seat layout, overall quality, but gosh, it was (I think) an '00 with about 25,000 miles and I could've just about got a new venture extended for the ungodly sum they were asking! I mean I just don't see what that much extra $ is getting you...

    (ok now i feel like going into honda & toyota boards and givin' them a hard time - lol)
  • My 99 Venture doesn't have one of these, I understand newer models do. I change my oil every 5k miles; how does this compare to the intervals indicated by the oil change light on your later model Triplets?
  • I commited to an Odyssey a couple weeks ago and have been in shock over my action, but I set out to buy something that weekend.

    As the rebates were coming to a close for 02 GM vans, there were very few of them around. I did found a Silo GLS 25 mi away. However there was a Honda dealer nearby with scads of Odys at msrp and the temptation was overwhelming.

    Why the remorse? Everything is HARD, the seats, the ride, and everything that you touch. It is still noisey. These things may ware on me as I age. The cost of a new vehicle in general also makes me remorseful!

    I understood that fuel economy was in beteen a Dodge and GM, which so far is 20/21 country and short trip driving. The tranny can be annoying in it's striving for efficiency, but so far ok. There seem to be more niceties in our corolla than this van that cost twice as much.

    The GM vans have a lot going for them (see the Edmunds comparo and how the reviewers were surprised at the delightful qualities). The rebates worked and cleaned out the lots.

    Now I'll learn to love this van for it's build quality, get up and go and versitility like I did with my ole wagon, which I expect the next owner will drive another 100k miles. I will also get a GM credit card.
  • Don't worry, the HOnda is a very good van too. Resale is stellar, and like you say power is great. The noise level is very high and radio crappy, and the arm rests were not right, etc. but no van or vehicle is perfect. If you really want to drive the Olds and see how it compares. You might find someone willing to pay near MSRP for the HOnda if you're very lucky.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    This system started on the 2000 and there is a message center. One of the messages is Change Oil Now. It is not determined by the amount of polluntant in the oil but a temperature device.

    This has come on at 3,000 miles, which is when I have always changed my oil, even if the light has not come on. I do it my self using the PF 47 AC Delco filter.

    After each oil change you have to re set the system by turning on the ignition and pressing the pedal three times within 5 seconds. I now manually move the throttle fulcrum under the hood to the stop to ensure it is correctly re set.

    The overall driving conditions in the NE with stop/go traffic etc, really puts it in the hard driving condition section of the hand book.

    Whether this all a marketing ploy by the oil companies as I believe in Europe the same models probably have a longer mileage allowance.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Since my last post this has worked OK and only twice when I started the car the light stayed on. I immediately re-started and acted normally and went out after 7 flashes.
  • As a owner of a GM mini-van I just can't understand why General Motors won't extend the warrenty for the intake manifold leaks . Honda extended the warrenty on their odyssey and others when they are faced with a problem that plagues their vehicles, but GM just won't help.
    EXTENT THE COVERAGE on the vehicles like Honda and Toyota!

    If you are listening GM, please help so we won't be forced to buy vehicles from the Rising Sun!
  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    I went through the hoops with GM with the intake manifold and they refused any help. Well, I told them I'll be buying Japanese. We drive two cars and I usually have one Japanese car anyway. They know they have a problem with this. Heck, they can't sell vehicles without incentives anymore.
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    I have a 2002 Montana that tells you how much life is left for the oil. The van has 8000 miles and I just did the second oil change. I changed the oil the first time at 4000 miles and according to the computer the oil still had 47% of its life remaining. I reset the sensor to 100% and at 8000 miles I changed the oil again and it said I had 42% of its life remaining. I think the owners manual says that oil life is calculated by the computer looking at the oil temp and engine revolutions. I always change the oil at 4000 miles, but according to the computer, I might be able to go around 7000 miles before the oil life would show 0% remaining. The system is nice, but it will not change my oil changing habits.

    Hope this helps.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Finally, found the product in Pep Boys (need it for a Jetta).

    It is called Auto Air Condtioner Cleaner and Deodorizer. Claims to eliminate Bacteria, Mold, Mildew and Odors. About $4. made by ID Interdynamics in Brooklyn NY. Have web site

    Come as a pump spray, and may need one of those red pipe extentions that you get with WD-40.etc.
  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    Is there something I'm missing that makes changing this not a horrific experience? It seems to be one part brute force, two parts dumb luck to get the new one in without wrecking it...

    '01 Montanta
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