Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Olds Silhouette Engine and Transmission Problems



  • oorobbyoorobby Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 '03 Oldsmobile Silhouette and it leaks water like mad. We bought it last winter and didnt notice till the first big rain that is lets water in to the dash and when you turn a corner it spills out on to your feet and pisses you off! It drained the battery once and had to get rusted relay switches replaced as they were rusted in to the on position for good and drained it. we have tried a tarp (scratces the paint) and clear slicone in the bottom part of the window is where it looks like there could be wateer getting around the bottom seals. But nothing has worked yet. there looks like some water collection inside the hood by the doors there looks like some space where water was getting in but i didnt have a long enough nozzle on the silicone gun.

    I will keep you updated
  • mdatbernmdatbern Posts: 1
    I had this problem on my '99 Silhouette when the engine/transmission got hot after about 30-45 minutes of driving. It needed a new pressure control solenoid. This part has failed twice on my vehicle, once at around 42K miles and again at about 85K miles. From the dealer, it is about $700 to repair.
  • notme99notme99 Posts: 2
    Hi oorobby
    I am taking my van in to the shop on Friday and I told my mechanic about the problem he thinks that it needs to be re-sealed at the back of the firewall, but he's going to take a peek at it and let me know.I will get back to you when he tells me what the problem is.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I have a 1999 silhouette that over heated a couple days ago, also noticed smoke coming from exhaust so I turned it off and put it in garage has anyone had this problem. I think it is the head gaskets and heads but was wondering if someone besides me has had this problem. How often does this happen, my van has 119k miles.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I have the same exact problem on my olds silhouette premiere van. I just had the transmission fluid and filters changed. Of course it didn't solve the problem. Do you know what was involved in changing the pressure control solenoid? (besides $700.00).
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I found out that I have coolant in my oil so my problem is that the head gaskets are bad and maybe the heads. We will be taking the heads off soon so if you are having the same problems as me you should check your oil. Is your oil milky or marbled looking? If so then its your head gaskets maybe your heads. As for the pressure control solenoid I have no idea lol. I hope I'm not running into more problems as I go. Has your van over heated? My van over heated on me so I let it cool down. Then I was going to take it to a parts store for them to run a test on it and that is when I noticed the smoke and decided not to take it anywhere except the garage lol. I am glad I did my motor would have locked up on me if I had tried to go anywhere. The transmission is going to give you signs that there is something wrong by not wanting to change gears the way its suppose to or give you a jerk while you are going down the road. My dodge was real good at trany problems lol. There is a place online that has used warranted parts for three years called ever drive, that is where I'm going if my heads need replaced. I hope both me and you get our vans figured out. Mine is a premiere as well and it is such a nice van it makes me sick that this has happened. Who said that it is your pressure control solenoid? Best of luck.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    My van is a 2000 premiere and we had it since day one. It's a great van with the exception of this transmission problem. I picked up the pressure control solenoid from this forum. Other owners had the same exact problem (transmission whine and a long shiff). I had the same transmission problem on my Aurora, both 98 and 2001. The dealers have heir head in the sand on this one. And you ususally can't simulate the problem when it is at the dealer.

    I'm monitoring this coolant situation. My low coolant light came on last fall and I couldn't figure out where the coolant was going. I put non Dextrol coolant in and haven't had a loss of collant since. I will check the oil just to be sure.

    The more things I read in the forum makes me start to wonder about that car. These are all things GM shoud have recalled.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I have been told by other to change to the non Dextrol coolant because the other is bad on the gaskets, so hopefully you changed yours just in time to save your gaskets. But do keep an eye on your coolant and oil, these vans are bad about gaskets going bad. If you do end up with this problem make sure you don't let the van get to hot cause then it will warp the heads do to the fact they are aluminum which I think was a bad thing for GM to do. It's not bad for a smaller engine but for these it was a bad choice. And I do agree with you completely that they should have done a recall on all these problems to many to just over look. I think all the companies are thinking of any more are the sale not the quality of the product. I do hope that you get your van up and running good soon. From my family to yours all the best.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I got the transmission problem fixed by paying my local garage mechanic to replace the pressure control solenoid. It runs fine now. It cost me $550.00. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in the hopes I don't have to go into a transmission rebuild.

    Thanks to you and other forum members, I'm watching the gasket problem real close. I appreciate your response.

    By the way my Silhouette has 96,000 miles on it. Thanks again.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    Glad to hear you got it fixed. I will be working on my van starting this Friday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be too expensive I know that if you don't spin the trany, "say when your stuck and you sit and spin and spin that is really bad on van trany's" so if you keep from doing that it will make it last longer. My dad said that a trany will also act up if the fluid gets older and not changed so change it every now and then should help with the life of it. I know when I get my van up and running I will baby it to death lol. Our vans are kind of close in mileage hope it last you another 98,000.
  • joshnjoshn Posts: 1
    Hi guys, I have a 2000 silhouette with 300,000k on it. i have the same problem with the whining noise and the hard shifts. Is it the solenoid? Mine also tends to lose power on the highway when that problem begins and it boggs when i try to hit the gas anyone else have this problem as well? if so do you think its related? I also have the leak on the drivers side by the parking brake any fixes for this one yet.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I'm certainly not an expert at automotive repair. I just try not to get ripped off big time and if I hadn't gone to Edmunds with the transmission problem, I would be spending $2,500.00 on a transmission rebuild, when the problem was a $60.00 pressure control solenoid in the transmission.

    With 300,000 miles, I'm a little hesitant to say it is the pressure control solenoid. However if it is a intermittent problem only when it gets warm, I would replace the PCS unit. You through a curve at me by it bogging down when you try to accelerate. Let's see what others say...
  • Hey, in vague terms, you have to remove the cradle (sub-frame) lower the engine and trans to access the tranny side cover, remove the cover to reveal the solenoids.
  • reginoregino Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 olds silhouette that I've just changed its transmission to a 1995 Chevy Lumina. After a couple of days the van began to stop running for five minutes on the road, then it began to work fine for about 2 weeks, after that it began to stop running again on the street. I was wondering if anyone has had that same problem or what could've caused that problem.
  • I have an 2001 Silhouette with very similar issues right now. No a/c or heat either. When you add this on to the gasket issues, transmission line leaks, failed wiper motor and assembly that we've been through and the host of other recent symptoms that are telling me this thing is about to become a money pit, I'm thinking the next step is an Odyssey or Sienna.
  • I am thinking it's the intake gasket as others have suggested. But it is awfully disconcerting that the van seems to be falling a part at 80,000 miles. I have been looking at the Odyssey and the Sienna as well I just can't bring myself to spend $35k either.
  • I saw the words "no ac" and I wanted to let you know that the ac went out on my 2000 Silhouette and I went to the parts store and bought refrigerant. I followed the instructions and it took 5 minutes of my time to bring the ac back. It worked great all summer.
  • Mine is a 1999 Silhouette and I just now got the motor apart. I found out that it was the head gasket that had blown. My intake and heads are fine. I was so sure I was looking at new heads. I also found out at least from my source is that because of the stops on the head gaskets they put on, that the heads can't be torqued down far enough to insure no leaks or another blown head gasket. But others will say that's not true, why then so many of these problems. I got the set of gaskets that don't have the stops. I was told by my friend that he would take his van out after replacing gaskets and it would over heat. So then he would come back and torque some more he is now happy because his van is no longer over heating. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan and let me tell you that I have been through 3 tranys with it, the wipers come on whenever they want lol, and my radio only works on day that are moist. But the Odyssey is good my sister has had 2, but the parts for them are very high. And the Sienna is good after the year 2005 before that the motor is known to get dirt up in them. The Ford vans are bad about tranys as well. It just seems that you can't win for losing anymore. Also my brother has a dodge van just like mine and he had to replace a head on it. I was told to make sure to never run the van even the slightest on low coolant that the over flow should always be filled. I too hope that I don't have a money pit but I will say so far that 3 tranys at 1800 a piece I'm already saving, hope all goes well sorry this is so long but maybe something helped. God bless you and your family
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    As soon as the tranny in our 99 silo started shifting hard I had the defect repaired for about $400. As soon as the intake manifold gasket started to leak I had it replaced for about $600. I guess I could have let them go and turn into bigger issues, but I keep the car serviced so it stays reliable.

    97,000 miles runs, drives and looks like 30,000 miles. I'm amazed at how well the interior and paint has held up, no rips, tears or fading in the leather, dash, door panels or carpets. The roof rack is peeling a bit and I did replace the headlamps (cheap on ebay), but the van has been on the road for 10 years so again, I can't complain.

    I would have bought a new one, but that 2007 was SO fugly I can't believe they put that abortion on the road! It makes the Aztec look like a beauty queen!
  • My 1997 Olds Silhouette conked out on me (91K miles) -- it would go into the first gear when I started driving it, but lost power once it shifted up to the 2nd. Mechanic referred me to transmission shop. They charged me $2400. Was that a reasonable cost? Also, I'm reading about the pressure control solenoid... Could my problem have started there? Thanks for any insight.
Sign In or Register to comment.