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Chevy Venture Engine Problems

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  • Our 99 Venture just turned 200k and it still runs as good as new. It's always had a very slight tick when first starting when cold but goes away in a min. or so. I've always used 5W-30 since new and it just uses a half a quart between changes (5k).
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Our 2000 does the same thing - good to know that its got another 100k in it :)
  • fknstrfknstr Posts: 3
    I can not get to the bottom bolt on the thermostat housing. What all do I have to take off to get to in on my 2004 Chevy Venture? Throttle body? Manifold?
  • accgmecaccgmec Posts: 1
    I have a 2000. I have completed the T-stat change. Do not remove the exhaust manifold. Use a 1/4" ratchet with extension and swival socket from behind the exhaust manifold to remove the lower bolt. You will need to remove the air cleaner, hoses, and throttle body. I have done it twice. The first time I used a aftermarket T-stat, then about a year later I was completeing a intake air gasket change and needed to remove the T-stat. It was a good thing the aftermarket was toast. The new one I purchased from Chevy, we will see how it does.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    2000 Chevy Venture.
    Suddenly the ServiceEngineSoon light started flashing and engine was running rough, particularly at slow speeds where the light would stay steady-on rather than flash and engine would almost 'die' at a stop light but ran reliably at freeway speeds with no indication of overheating or smoking at all.

    Added a few gallons of higher quality gasoline and drove to a quick oil change place where the mechanic broke the positive battery post because he refused to use the Remote Positive Terminal for the battery check. Engine would not start and car was towed to mechanic who replaced wiring and replaced spark plugs which had been in bad shape and had very wide gaps.

    Now cylynders 1 3 4 each misfire and have less than 100 lbs compression, all others have 150 compression. Runs much better but mechanic thinks there was recent overheating and I need a new engine. I'm not doing the 'new engine' when its running well even if it misfires alot. Temperature guage had not indicated overheating when this started, though I had added a cup or so of Prestone coolant a few weeks earlier when I noticed the plastic chamber was empty.

    Anyone have any ideas as to what is wrong with it? And what I should do???
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Random thoughts:

    First of all - people who work at quick oil change places are not mechanics...let them change the oil and MAYBE replace your air filter...that's it...

    How many miles on motor?

    What were the codes that set the service engine soon light? The blinking ses light meant a severe misfire condition which can damage the cat converter...Need the other codes to help you further...misfire codes are not always a big deal...autozone will read them for free, then post them here...Is the light still on?

    Any sign of coolant in engine oil????

    How is it running now???
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    >people who work at quick oil change places are not mechanics...
    Yeah, their guy did a 'free battery check' without realizing their is a Remote Positive Terminal.

    >How many miles on motor?
    72,000 or so.

    >What were the codes that set the service engine soon light?
    I don't have a Secret Decoder Ring. Are the codes displayed somewhere? Mechanic didn't say nuttin' 'bout no codes.
    >Is the light still on?
    Only when the engine runs.
    >Any sign of coolant in engine oil?
    Not that I know of, but since quick lube placed did the oil change they probably wouldn't have even noticed.
    >How is it running now???
    Runs better than it did but it still misses on 1,3 and 4cylynders.
    Mechanic still wants 4,500 for a new engine installation which I think is uncalled for when its not yet given up the ghost.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Go to autozone or your local auto parts chain...they have the secret decoder ring and they can tell you what codes are making the light go on...and they'll do it for free....then post the codes here...

    check your oil - if it looks like a chocolate milkshake, its got coolant in it....if so...start saving up....

    there are no shortcuts....you need the codes to determine what the car is trying to tell you is wrong, then you might be able to come up with a fix and deal with the problem...the stored codes are what tells your dashboard to light up the check engine light to let you know there is a problem...until you get them read and post, not much anyone here can tell you with any degree of intelligence...
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Go to autozone or your local auto parts chain...
    There is an AutoZone in town and an Advance Auto Parts fairly nearby. I'll try there ASAP, but its hard to drive a vehicle that threatens to stall at every stop sign and light.
    >they have the secret decoder ring and they do it for free
    After that 200 oil and radiator change and the 400 tuneup, 'free' sounds real good1

    >check your oil - if it looks like a chocolate milkshake, its got coolant in it
    Nope.. looks like oil.

    > there are no shortcuts....
    Alas!
    >you need the codes to determine what the car is trying to tell you is wrong,
    It seems to be trying to tell me more insistently whenever I back up or slow down for a traffic light. I wonder why AFTER the tune up it is still misfiring, particularly when the mechanic tried squirting oil into the cylinder and it still didn't help the compression.
    Thanks for you help.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Ultimately I believe that you're going to find out that you have an ignition problem: either a coil issue or crankshaft position sensor perhaps...I really find it hard to believe that your motor is shot based upon the info so far...IMHO your mechanic shouldn't be doing a compression check at this point, he should be doing a leak down test to check the integrity of the head/head gasket but if there's no antifreeze in your oil I'm not thinking that's your problem....if you make it to autozone, post the codes and I'll look them up and hopefully will be able to help you more. Good Luck
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    >I believe you have an ignition problem: either coil or crankshaft position sensor.
    It seems you may indeed be correct. The Autozone guy said there were two codes: P0301 and P0301-Pending.

    >I really find it hard to believe that your motor is shot based upon the info so far
    Yes. I'm a bit doubtful too. Worried about it though. Surely a coil sounds cheaper than a new engine. I got new wires and new plugs and a tune up, but I don't think that included a new ignition coil. Things like crankshaft sensors and cam sensors and timing chains are beyond me though, but even those things sound cheaper than a new engine!
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    OK...P0301 is a misfire on cylinder # 1 (like you didn't know that already) the pending code of the same # means that the computer tried to reset itself and still has the same problem as when it was reset...

    So there's only a misfire on 1 cylinder...not 3...Here's what I think:

    1. - Clogged or dead fuel injector...no gas=no fire...

    2. Bad coil - If you're getting fuel, I'm not convinced you're getting a good spark at cylinder # 1...if I remember right...the car idles very rough...take off the spark plug wire for cylinder # 1 and start the motor...can you tell any difference? If its no worse, maybe you've got a bad coil...

    3. PCM - the computer could be fried...but I doubt it...

    4. Bad head gasket...but you already said before that your oil looks good with no coolant in it so I doubt this one too...

    I wish you the Best of luck...the more I research, the more it leads me towards the fuel injector or the ignition coil for cylinder # 1...the Venture has 3 coils...I hope I have helped, even just a little...

    John
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Some new clues ... and some new questions.
    New Clue: At slow speeds and just after starting it is noticeably misfiring but as soon as I shift into REVERSE, boy does it get worse!! Far, far noiser and much more vibration!

    Now I don't know if its relevant or not but one of the occasional drivers of the vehicle does have a habit of shifting from reverse to drive while still slightly in motion! (Yeah, I hate it. Don't think its a good thing to do. Don't know if its relevant to this problem though!).

    I wonder if the AutoZone giving the codes only for Cylinder 1 means that Cyliners 3 and 4, which also had compression of less than 100 when tested, are now improved?

    For various logistical reasons, I've not yet been able to get a tank of high-test into it yet, but will do so ASAP.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I'm thinking more and more that you have a bad fuel injector for cylinder # 1 and who knows, maybe 3&4 too...maybe you want to throw a bottle of Techron in there next time you fill up - TIP: the Techron only treats 20 gallons, you may need to put 1-1/2 bottles in there to treat a full tank (27 gallons I think)

    While shifting into drive while the car is still moving into reverse is typically not a good idea, I don't think that it caused this problem...

    It makes sense that reverse would amplify the problem as reverse is ofter a "higher" gear than 1st gear so the misfire would be more obvious.

    cylinders 3 & 4 have probably not improved but the car should still run acceptably even with compression numbers that are varied...
  • ul00173ul00173 Posts: 3
    OK, I have been watching the conversation for over a week now, and thought I would throw in my two bits on the Techron fuel injection approach. I own a 1999 Chevy Venture Wagon. We lived in Chicago, and after a few years, it started to run very rough in the colder weather, and we took it in to the Dealer. Recommendation: thoroughly clean the injectors.....$200+ to do....ran great for 6 months and started running rough again. I am not stupid, so I decided to use the Techron cleaning approach which is about $10 for 2000 miles or so....cheap! By the way, our 'service engine soon' light comes on regularly now (9 years old car)....and we just put the Techron in on the next couple of fill-ups. Runs great and never is really rough. Can't make excuses for a poorly designed engine and poorly designed idiot light system.....but if what you have is a rough engine, and a 'service engine light soon', I would put Techron in for about 3-4 tankfulls....a cheap approach. If that helps you are golden. If it doesn't help....you can move up the cost chain to try something else. Let us all know if it helped. I have been operating the car this way now for 6 years!
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Okay. I looked up "Techron" and found:
    A sequined yellow top worn by a cute model;
    A Fuel Additive concentrate;
    A Fuel Injector Cleaner.
    I've figured out I should use the Fuel Injector Cleaner.

    Sure sounds like its going to be a cheaper solution to go to an auto parts store and buy the Techron stuff than to pay 4500 for a new engine. Thanks guys. I'll let y'all know what happens.

    In reading about that Techron Fuel Additive Concentrate, I saw mention of a claim that it also cleans the Fuel Sender. As I've had a wildly variable fuel guage for a long time, this product too might be a sensible thing to try as well.
  • k00l4idk00l4id Posts: 10
    Hi, I just had the joy of replacing the Thermostat. I suggest the Aircleaner, and the throttle body come off to get to it. Second, the bottom bolt, I took a 13mm box end wrench and heated it up to give a 45degree angle on it. That gave me some purchase on the stud that also holds the bracket on for the waterpipe running from the waterpump to the back of the engine. Loosen the two bolts holding the exhaust heat shield on, which will allow the shield to move just enough to get the housing in and out. Also the bottom bolt hole is slotted to make it just a scosh easier to get it in and out. Beware the aluminum clamps on the fuel lines, they bite lol.
  • louied87louied87 Posts: 2
    I have a 98 and I've had to have fuel injectors replaced on several occasions. Usually, I just buy a fuel injector cleaner (and not the expensive stuff) and it quits. Mine check engine light never goes off and neither does my ABS light (even though I had brake work done). The mechanic said I'd have to take it to the dealer to have the ABS system looked at. So, I just live with it.
  • louied87louied87 Posts: 2
    I feel like I could post a comment under every subject. I own a 98. I've had it for almost ten years. It's been paid off for 5. But in the last several years I've sank a lot of money into it. I've had the fuel pump replaced twice, several fuel injectors replaced, the tie rod replaced twice, intake manifold gasket replace, the air doesn't work even though I sank 400 dollars into that last year, the horn doesn't work, the drivers side power seat doesn't work, the passenger seat is reclined all the way back and won't sit up, the overhead console display doesn't work, the power sliding door doesn't work,the ABS system doesn't work properly, it's rusted just below the sliding door on both sides, I have to bang the CD player so that it will eject the CD. Lately, it doesn't always want to turn over on the first try. Usually on the second or third try it will start. It seems to run fine after that. Never had any major engine or transmission trouble. My problems are just a bunch of piddly crap that's really starting to get on my nerves and it doesn't get great gas mileage either. I'm looking to trade this van in for a Toyota or a Honda hybrid, but it's hard to trade in a vehicle that's paid for. Overall, it's been a decent vehicle for 4 children, but three of my kids are driving now and I don't need all the extra space. Although they are nice for hauling as well. I'm just really tired of everything not working after all of the money I've invested. Oh, did I mention the ABS lights and the check engine light stay on all the time. I wouldn't suggest anyone buy a used Venture. They are just asking for trouble.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Well, I went to the store and all I could get was some STP Fuel Injector Treatment which I added to the tank immediately after filling it with some 3.99 a gallon high-test. Its not Techron brand but I'll see what happens and will find a store with Techron if the problem doesn't resolve itself. The light still flashes and it clearly is misfiring, particularly in reverse. Still dies at red lights. Sounded a bit quieter but can't really tell for sure.
    Thanks for all your help on this ... I sure prefer buying a double pack of STP Fuel Injector Treatment than paying 4500 for a new engine!
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    FWIW - most ABS problems are related to a loose or damaged wire...its the first thing to look for....
  • ul00173ul00173 Posts: 3
    Keep adding the Techron for a few tankfulls....It eventually will clean the injectors. My 'Service Engine Soon' light is on almost all the time, and adding Techron will not necessarily make the light go off, but you should feel a smoother engine if it does the trick. I would ignore the dumb lights on this car. My 'Low Coolant' Light has been on for years, and my coolant is FULL. Go by the feel and common sense with this car....I have read that one must wait a few refills of the tank before the lights will get reset, "SES" light goes off....This happens in my car. I have also read in your thread that removing the ground battery terminal for 15 minutes will also reset the lights.....haven't tried this but it is worth a try....good luck....
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Well, I ain't using Techron additive; I'm using STP Fuel Injector Treatment. Its what was on the store's shelf!

    Does this make a difference?
    If ONE container of STP Injector Treatment in a tank of gas is good... would TWO containers in that tank of gas be better? Or would it be better to just use up the second STP container with the next tank of high test that I add?

    Someone told me that with all my "slow driving" around town and short trips to the grocery store, etc. I should take the Chevy out to the Freeway and "open her up" to 70mph for atleast five minutes. Should I be listening to stuff like that? And wouldn't ONE minute at 70mph be just as good as FIVE?
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    >the Techron only treats 20 gallons, you may need to put 1-1/2 bottles in there to treat a full tank (27 gallons I think)

    I'm using STP Fuel Injector Treatment (It was on the store's shelf, Techron was not).
    I put in only one container of it. It said 'Treats up to 21 gallons'. I added it after adding almost a full tank of hightest but I don't think my tank holds more than 23 gallons.

    Don't know if one container is good why two containers wouldn'b be better though.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Techron is the Cadillac of the Fuel system cleaners - its also sold as "GM fuel system cleaner" but others are good as well... can't hurt to put more of either in but might not be any better either.

    Are you noticing more improvement?
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    >but others are good as well...
    Its often the way that alternative products are "good enough" and sometimes even better than the brand names, but I have no familiarity with these particular products.

    > can't hurt to put more of either in but might not be any better either.
    Well, I'd rather waste five dollars as long as it "can't hurt".

    >Are you noticing more improvement?
    Since I am facing an otherwise catastrophic repair bill for a new engine,
    I am extremely motivated to "notice improvement". It may be illusory though.
    I don't know. I did determine that although it still stalls occasionally it seems to do so far less. I just drove to library, grocery store and post office, encountering several stop signs and red lights. It stalled only once and that was when I was already in the parking spot. It seems to run quieter but only slightly and I might be imagining it being quieter. I don't know for sure. I'm sure its still missing but maybe not quite as often. Just not certain about it.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Yipes!! What happened??????
    I went out prior to my being caffeinated to just lug some bags of garbage to the gate. No big deal. I probably wasn't fully awake. There was a bit of overnight glaze on the windshield so I started up the wipers figuring a few swishes and I'll see through the windshield more normally. There is this great big noise and something big and black falls off the windshield onto the ground. I figure something from a tree must have fallen onto the car but when I get out there is this two and half foot long tapered plastic/black-rubber thingie with a yellow placard on it: caution wiper system starts without engine running. Now remember, the hood was fully closed at the time.
    So where does the part go back to. As part of the oil change I think they check wiper blades. Did they remove something from the engine compartment but leave it up there in the wiper-well? Did it get blown off by the engine start-up? Or by my turning the wipers on? It seems to be from the engine compartment but with the hood closed, I think they never replaced it. Wow. I sure ain't never going back to that quick oil change place. But what about the 400.00 mechanic job? They never noticed it either? And I've been driving it around since? Just never used the wipers until this morning. Anyone able to figure out exactly where I put it back? Anyone think that mechanic was wrong to not notice something was amiss?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Yipes is right...I'll take a look at the Venture when I get home, sounds like the cover that goes over the mechanicals for the wipers...they probably took it off when they changed the plugs or wires...it probably clips right back onto the cowl...I'll post a picture...
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 51
    Thanks.
    Everything seems to be happening to it all at once.

    Now I get the 'Chand Engine Oil' message at startup ... and it just was changed!!
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Change oil light is on a timer, has nothing to do with the actual condition of your oil...procedure to reset it is in the owners manual...IIRC, you turn the ignition to "run" and you depress the gas pedal to the floor 3X within 5 seconds...
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