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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    The temperature gauge on my 2003 Silhouette usually hangs around the 1/3-1/2 mark. When the weather here is cooler it will be closer to 1/3. In heavy stop and go traffic w/o the a/c being on, it will go beyond half until the fan comes on and cools it off. On a hot summer Dallas day with the a/c on, the gauge will be pegged at 1/2.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Update. I tighten the upper shock mounts to specs (62 ft-lbs) and seems to have cured the noise problem reported earlier.
  • lennxlennx Posts: 73
    Choosing oone van over the other came down to option packages for us. We like the Pontiac better but the option packages made it too expensive.

    The Chevy option packages gave us what we wanted without adding anything extra to drive the price up.

    As for which dealer is better - that is s local thing. It sounds like you have done this and the Chevy dealers are better.

    Of course you can bring your Pontiac to Chevy dealer. After the first couple of visits, we opted to bring our Venture to a Pontiac dealer. Some dealers do not like this but others prefer to take my money for service and GM's mony for warranty work.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Re previous post, went with Goodyear Weather Handler at Sears. On sale saving over a $100 on all four. Total cost $325 including balance, disposal etc. Set pressure at 34 lbs. Great ride compared to Symmetry.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
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  • I have a 99 Venture with 76k on it. The airbag light will usually stay on once started. This problem happened long ago and the dealer said there was a loose connection to the driver seat airbag. I believe it might be the same problem as the seat position seems to have something to do with it. I have verified all the cables under the seat are securly connected.

    If this is the problem, is the entire system disabled, or just that airbag?

  • I hope someone can help with this problem. Here's the brief history on my 2002 Montana Thunder:
    Dec '02 replace LR wheel speed sensor
    Jan '03 replace RF wheel speed sensor
    July '03 replace LF wheel speed sensor
    Sept '03 wiring/connector repair
    Nov '03 re-connected LF wheel speed sensor
    We had our first dusting of snow this weekend in Toronto and the AWD/ABS light came on again just as I got on the highway!!! As in the past, slush/water seems to make the warning light go off when there's a problem.
    Having bought the vehicle for its AWD feature (and especially since the ABS feature doesn't work when the AWD is disabled), I can't go on like this (my wife drives the kids daily, the family skiis in the winter and we don't know when the systems will kick out next). Any suggestions, etc. would be appreciated (other than the obvious, which is to buy the new Sienna w/ AWD!).
  • Sorry, I can't help with you problems. I have never seen a Thunder around here, does it have turn indicators in the outside mirrors? Thanks.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    sorry to hear that, but the first thing that comes to mind is "lemon laws"

    these vary from state to state, certainly Canada, but basically if they can't fix a given problem/defect after x number of tries, they (manufacturer) might be legally required to buy back the van

    although you've probably already considered this, I thought I'd mention it anyway!
  • Seen this problem on a couple AWDs serviced at a local tire shop where I get work done. GM has new wheel bearing part number that seams to have cured the AWD ABS light problem. Take your receipts back to the dealer and have them check the numbers installed against the TSB new numbers. Should be same in Canada as US.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    dunno about the AWD on GM cars but on Subarus (of which I have had 4) if the tires are more than 1/4 inch difference in circumference the AWD system can detect this and you can get problems.
    just something to think about if the hardware seems ok on the AWD/ABS.
    have almost 1/2 million miles on Subaru AWD and never had any drivetrain problems with them.

    as for the famous leaking coolant, when I called my Chevy dealer to ask why there was a little puddle of coolant on the garage floor under our Venture, he knew what the problem was right away. So its definitely a well recognized problem, by some dealers anyway!
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    I just bought a 2000 Venture WB with 45K on the clock. Dealer is providing a 12 month drive train warranty. What would you recommend as far as the intake manifold gasket problem? No sign of leaking so far. Is GM providing any help if it does leak? Anything else I should be concerned about? Thanks.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Have this problem from time to time and found the cure is to move the drivers seat foward. There are various wire connections underneath.Get hold of the two halves of the connection and just wiggle them and push in, eventhough may not be out. Do same on passenger side.

    Move seat back to normal position and when re start (mine flashes 7 times then goes out).

    Re start the van. Should cure if not it is somewhere else.

    Also found if you open the passenger power operated door when engine running, then close the airbag light stays on, but will go out after a few seconds but does not flash.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    To get the warrenty on a used van, for me, it depends on the price of the warrenty. True, a lot of gaskets are failing. But not all of them. And many people report that fixing them costs about $700-900 depending on your shop. Besides the coolant leak, you might have trouble with some little things like a power window or the battery, but basically these are reliable vans. Is this used car warrenty as beefy in coverage or deductable as a new one? I'd bet there more items excluded and possible higher deductible.

    The Fords, Honda, Chrysler/Dodge all seem to have worse problems, so I think you'll do ok. I'm guessing here but I think from what I've read on the boards is that Honda is fixing its problems, which honestly is more than I can say for GM's refusal to admit that millions of their vehicles with the 3.4 have a coolant leak problem.

    GM also has by far the best fuel milage.

  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    even if I end up shelling out ~ $700 for that gasket fix someday, I still will be way ahead of the game, dollar-wise, over getting a toy or honda van...

    interesting, in the "return of gm's might" thread, the gm minivans are (once again) getting raked over the coals for design, not being completely redesigned, looks, narrowness, side-impact crash tests, 3.4 V-6 problems, etc. etc. that's the perception by many people of these vans... *sigh* -- one factor that is huge with millions of people who are on a bit of a budget is, these vans are a darn good value, especially compared to the toys & hondas...I like the looks of my silo, I won't go so far as to call it a a "beautiful automobile" but I like it fine. Narrowness...that's a big plus for me! I can get both cars in the garage easily, and it makes it more easy to maneuver! Crash tests...been over that here before, in a "real world" crash, tests show these vans are quite safe. Oh well, perception is reality for most...I did a lot of homework and have not regretted my purchase one bit.
  • I said it 4.5 years ago and I'll say it again, I love our venture, 99 with 90,000 miles on it. I did just have to get the intake gasket fixed although I have been loosing coolant for 2 years. But while they were in there I had them change thermostat, replace head gaskets, intake gaskets, some other gasket, change sparkplugs, oil and do a complete coolant flushing for $928 this is the only major thing ever gone wrong with the van. Yes I have the power sdteering problem, airbag light, the rattling roof rack, the bad rear washer, the hatch handle and the overhead themometer way off but I still enjoy driving it and will really miss is when we trade it next summer.

    I also find it funny that under the list of van topics every other van has a topic dedicated to problems including a 2004 toy. None of the GMs have this. That tells you something right there.

  • psgpsg Posts: 72
    At 70,000 miles, I did some maintenance and replaced the shocks and brakes. Shortly afterwards, the transmission started slipping. After some expensive transmission work (close to $1000.00), it was determined that the transmission needs to be replaced. Okay, it happens. Since I can buy a boxed transmission from GM at cost (employee purchase program), I decided to bite the bullet and fix the van. However, before I could pickup the transmission, it started to make a lifter noise. The sound was loud enough to make conversation difficult. On the way to the dealer the noise stopped and they could find nothing wrong. The noise has come and gone twice since then, never lasting long enough to get it to a mechanic. Since we did not replace the transmission, and we now seem to have impending engine problems (besides the coolant issue), I’ve decided to trade it in. With the GM employee purchase plan, incentives, and the trade on the Montana, I could have been in a 2003 Venture for about $10,000 out of pocket. I also own a 2003 Silverado. Hey, I'm a GM fan. My father-in-law is retired from GM. But my truck just spent the day at the dealer for warranty work.

    Last night, we put a deposit down on a 2004 Honda Odyssey. It is going to cost me more money for the Honda versus the Venture. However, we typically like to keep a vehicle for more then four years and I think we will come out ahead with the Honda in the long run. We also have a ’95 Subaru Legacy, 100,000 miles and still going strong. By the way, my father-in-law traded in his Cadillac for a Lincoln. I was stunned by his decision but I guess I'm following his lead.

  • How much will the Ody be out of pocket?
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    well psg, awful sorry to hear those type of experiences! gosh, its a bad omen when retired gm employees are buying lincolns! I like my van but I'm certainly not "brand loyal" to anything...I've had great gm's, chrysler, subarus, fords, nissan & this point in time, we need a van, and the olds is sure workin' good so far

    lilblessings: wow, that's a heckuva deal! was that mechanic or dealer. I seem to remember a guy I knew 2 or 3 years ago had just headgaskets on a V-6 (Accord, or Accura not sure) for like, $1200...without ANY of that other stuff! amazing
  • Hello, I'm rather new here. I have started looking for a minivan to replace my wife's '94 Sable. I am looking at the GM triplets and am requesting some advice. I am also looking at other models, such as the Grand Caravan and others. I would like to keep the price under $17K, so I'm definitely looking for at used models. Thanks!
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