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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    After all these comments about possible causes, I think you need a second opinion from an independent mechanic/transmission shop or a different dealer.

    Steve, Host
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    RE: the hose for the rear comes out the bottom

    I think the place you reconnect this is 1/2 way up the tank on the rear washer motor. Mine also fell off - suggest a small zip-tie or thin wire that can be "bread bag twisted" around the hose on the connector.

    I know the washing fluid tank has two motors on my '98, one about 1/2 way up and the other at the base. The one 1/2 way up is the rear, so you won't jepordize your critical front windscreen viewing my over-using the rear - so keep it full.

  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Sorry you are having trouble. A transmission is about the worst thing besides an accident that could happen to a vehicle because of the cost to fix. BUT - the price the dealer quoted seems a bit high, I know my local shop would likely beat that although thank gosh this vehicle has not needed any of that work. Try a good local transmission shop. The one near my house is where the police and county vehicles get taken, the guy knows his stuff.

    I asked about Honda, Chrysler, Ford, he laughed. He said "I see 'em ALL" - "eventually, they will all fail".

    GM has quite a good reputation for building a great transmission, so the early problems you are having are quite abnormal.

    Things to check -
    * fluid level, engine running in park, warm, level
    * if level is low, look for leaks
    * change filter and fluid as suggested, see if that helps. Use correct fluid.

    Good luck, let us know how it turns out.

  • paulie9paulie9 Posts: 32
    Make sure that the trans fluid level is in the xxxxx'ed area of the dip stick. You must drive your van for at least several miles, with fluid warm to the touch, then check on a level surface with the engine running with trans in "park" and emergency brake set. Your owners book should have a section on how to check the transmission fluid. Follow the instructions to the letter.

    To little fluid (at least 1/2" below add mark} will cause slippage or no car movement (racing engine). Too much fluid (more than 1/4" above full mark) will cause air bubbles or foam in the trans fluid which will cause your trans to slip or shift erratically.

    If fluid level is correct, then I also suggest getting a trans fluid flush/change.

    If the previous steps don't resolve your problem, then take your Montana in for a second opinion.

    I had recent bad experience's with my once trusted neighborhood mechanic;

    Last year I had many engine misfires in cylinder 4 on my 97 Buick Lesabre. After doing diagnostics my mechanic said that I needed a new engine at about $2500. Hoping that something else was causing the misfire diagnostic code, I did a lot of research on the internet and decided that there was a good chance that #4 fuel injector was clogged. Had it replaced at Pep Boys, they where the cheapest at $180, and problem was fixed.

    This year I noticed that the starter was skipping/pausing when starting my Olds Silhouette. Mechanic said that I needed starter to be replace for about $350, so I decided to try and do it myself. First step is to disconnect battery cable which I found to be a little loose, so I tightened it and problem is now fixed.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    We bought an 04 Montana and it came with a 5 year power train warranty on it and I think the new GM vans do also. So far we love the van. Transmission failure on GM vehicles is low as they do build good ones in general. I would keep up the pressure on GM to fix it though, you never know what a letter to head office might do. Just a thought.
  • kyleokyleo Posts: 6
    Thanks for the responses! The shop I took it to replaced the filter and fluid. They also found a large amount of metal in the pan. I drove it unil...

    On the way home last night, the transmission went out. There was a bit of shuddering, then slight grinding noise, then nothing. Luckily, I was able to coast into a parking space. GM wants $2,500.00 for a new one. (Sigh) With such low miles, I wonder if Pontiac is willing to help out a loyal owner?
  • rickt2rickt2 Posts: 1
    Thanks for a great post! Procedure and codes extremely helpful.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    You can get a rebuild for a lot less.

    I would put pressure on GM though. I have read stories where they have paid for 1/2 or all out of good will. I would keep trying and write some letter / call anyone in Detroit you can.
  • kyleokyleo Posts: 6
    The local shop quoted $2,400 to rebuild with only a 2/24k warranty. GM is a 3/50k at $2,500 so they're not too far off the mark. I talked with the service writer today as the van was being towed in. He said the GM rep was there today and that he'd talk with him about seeing what GM would do..... (Just called back) The rep wants to have the tranny inspected before making any decision... I'll keep you posted.
  • jasonmjasonm Posts: 2
    Has anyone had any problems with the drop down tv that is on the Premiers? I just bought my van and the TV is not functioning. Where do I start?
  • kyleokyleo Posts: 6
    Follow up... no luck with GM. Apparently, I'm too far away from the warranty "time" for GM to offer help (says GM district Rep). I found a TSB on this: 03-07-30-017

    I don't have the $3,000.00 (after tax)to get this replaced... so I'm in a real bind here (have 4 kids)...

    Is there antyhing else that I can do?

    I wish I would have found this site before I bought the van:

    Apparently, there's also a big problem with the lower intake gasket on many of the V-6 GM motors..

    I guess there's a lesson to be learned here. It's not likely that I'll purchase another GM, since there are lots of other makers out there backing their products with MUCH better warranties.

    Transmission toasted at 35,000 miles... Thanks GM.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Lower intake gasket doesn't affect all vans and later models have updated 3.4L engines.

    Sorry to hear about the transmission though. It's not common at all but nothing is for certain. I would shop around for a transmission. I think the new vans have a 5 year power train warranty as does our 2004 Montana.
  • My door just quit today 38.400 miles ,everything works ok,power locks/unlock,I can open it manualy ,all fuses are ok,relays are ok,but the owners manual doesn't show you which one is for power sliding door ,The door switch in the van doesn't work either,I sure could use a photo , if you have mail it to.. Thanks
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Have you tried resetting per message #1065?
  • Thanks , I'll try that tomorrow , This van had some recall repairs on the door also,I'll have to check into it .
  • Boy .. Do I feel like an idiot .I had no idea that I must have hit the sliding door overhead lock switch the other day when I put on the courtesy light.I went nuts looking under the dash ,pulling all the fuses and the relays out,switching relays,I looked up today ,and said .".What is that switch for",what a dope !!!
  • I have a 1990 silohuette 3.4 with 30,000 mi. that has intermitant belt chirp and a grind noise. I thought it might be a water pump, because the noise would stop for a while if I tapped on it. Changed the pump with no effect.Are these known for belt tensioner problems and if so is it difficult to replace? thanks.
  • kyleokyleo Posts: 6
    Thanks. I found a local reputable transmission shop that will save me about $400.00, so I'm having the van towed there now. Pontiac still charged me the $91.00 fee to look at the transmission..... Funny thing though, going through the yellow pages I see most transmission shops offer a free diagnostic service, or do it for a nominal fee of $40.00. Pontiac, or GM for that matter, has lost me as a customer forever.
  • dmontanadmontana Posts: 6
    Hope someone has a suggestion. I have a 2000 Montana, and water is getting in somehow at the passenger side, rear near the storage for the jack? Carpet is soaked, my jack storage bag) is actually full of water?
    There is plastic trim at the back by the hatch, where the two pices meet, I see water dropletts at that seam.

  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Recently removed the tensioner on a 98 Montana (3.4l). Held on with a single bolt. Don't recall the metric size. Fairly easy to do.
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