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Oldsmobile Silhouette

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  • On occasion I notice a problem when my transmission is shifting gears. Sometimes the shift is not smooth (as normal) and is harsh, jerking from one gear to the other. The oil is clean (red and not burnt), can't feel any type of grit in the oil and it's at the proper level. I've experienced this situation twice in the past two months. Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be?

    Norman
    Montreal Canada
  • I heard via a old post that the transmission harshness you sometimes feel is just some small component controlling the shifts is slightly worn, but it has no effect on durability of the drivetrain. I considered getting it fixed on mine, but I quickly blew it off. A dealer should be familiar with the problem, although I can't remember if there's a TSB on it, but I seem to think there was.

    After it warms up it seems to be normal, so I ignore it.

    DD
  • It may be related to a bad vacuum pump in the tranny. It fixed the same problem in our 00 Silo (at least until it went bad again-2 more times). It was part of the reason(s) we dumped ours with 41k miles. It was pretty annoying when it occurred, hopefully yours is still under warranty. Good Luck!

    Marty
  • 2001 Premier about 45K. Bunch of minor problems including heated seats failing 3 times.

    At about 35K the passenger sliding door would make creaking noises. This would occur even if you are not hitting bumps in the road. After taking it in, they replaced some seals on the door and it was ok for about another 10K. Now the noise is back and the power door is starting to make noises. Seems to get louder in cold weather like the door seals are loosing pliability. Anyone experiencing this?

    We noticed on the 1999 models which my father-in-law has that the sliding doors are made different and their ride is much quieter. The rubber seal on the 1999 model is attached to the body frame and not the door. On the 2001 model it is attached to the door. We already had this fall off once and then have the door close on it rendering it useless so we had it replaced.

    gm.
  • I have a 2001 GLS with 13K and just began having problems with the alarm system. It goes off randomly day or night, in the garage or outside. It beeps the horn 5 times and then stops. As anyone else experienced this? The dealer can't figure it out.

    In general, I'm a little disappointed in the van. To date I have had to have the following done:
    -Recharge the AC
    -Resurface the front rotors
    -Replace the front tie rods
    -Replace a headlight housing
    -Have the power sliding door fixed twice.
    -Replace 2 interior trim pieces.(they kept falling off)

    Its a shame because the van is a great highway cruiser and a pleasure to drive. I had a 98 Silo before this one and it had alot of problems. I bought the 2001 because I liked the design, versatility, features and ride. I was hoping that being in its 5th year of production the bugs would have been worked out by GM. I'm sorry to say that if I pull out my 98's service records and I compare it to my 2001's I see a disturbing similar pattern developing.

    I've heard the Silo is going to be rebadged as a Buick. Does anyone know anything about it?
  • My 2000 Silhouette, has just 38925 miles today…

    I had been thinking that I had make a good decision of buying this vehicle, until two weeks ago, low coolant level lights was on. Checked it out, low in coolant, added ¼ gallon coolant; two days later the lights came on again, added another ¼ of coolant; two days later the lights was on third time. There was no outside leaking sign, I realized that something definitely wrong. Along with this, the rear brake started to make noise before the vehicle stopping. Took to the Dealership, they told me, Intake manifold gasket failed causing coolant leaking into crank case, mixed with engine oil; and both rear brake cylinders leaking brake oil. Total repair bill: about $2000.00!

    Fortunately I just bought a extended service plan from Warranty Gold in October, when the vehicle passed Factory bumper to bumper warranty. The policy I bought is 6 years (6 years from the data I buy the policy) or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first with zero deductibles. Warranty Gold paid $1,750 (much higher than the price of policy) plus three days of rental car. I paid the balance of $250, this is for the clean up the whole engine inside/outside cooling system.

    GM does not backup their product or their customer!
    My vehicle only had 38,600 miles at that time. I called GM customer service, I even spoke to the GM Customer Service Manager, her last name is Freeman. What I asked for was this major repair happened only 2000 miles after expired the factory warranty, it is a major defect of the vehicle. I want GM to cover my $250 clean up cost. As you may expect, GM refused to to so, they even blamed me for not taking vehicle to the Dealership earlier…

    I bought two GM vehicles so far, both are Oldsmobile. It is very likely to say, this is my last GM product.

    Good luck.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    GM turned me down for an out of warranty alternator for the same reason, not using the dealer for maintenance/repair. I didn't take it to the dealer cause they wanted over $100 more for the repair and I do my own maintenance. BTW these so-called customer service mgrs are contractors; you are probably better off making your complaint thru a GM dealer who may go to bat for you especially if they think of you as a future customer.


    So, if you need a $2,000 repair you can probably get it done for about $1,500 thru an independent shop.


    Small claims court is still a good option IMO if you didn't have extended warranty. GM is still the largest car company in the world so you can't expect them to cover all the out of warranty claims they get.

  • rawahrawah Posts: 2
    Folks,

    Does anyone have the specs for the OLDS Silhouette (1998) premium sound? OLDS dealer does not have access, Olds customer service is of no help - refered me to Delco. Delco will not provide to a retail customer.

    Any ideas? Cheers
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    GM is now providing a 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper extended warranty on all new Oldsmobiles. It is unfortunate GM refuses to assist you with this problem that seems to occur with alarming regularity. I do believe they are no worse in this regard than any other manufacturer.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Actually, I think that DC has been much more generous with out of warranty dollars. I got over $4K worth on one vehicle! Nothing from GM.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Even a failure rate twice that of normal may be seen as bad but not warranting special action for customers out of warranty, but this leaky gasket is another story. I have not nor have I heard of anyone having a leaky gasket in less than 100,000 miles on any other brand car or truck. On the other hand, I am not sure I have heard of any of these vans going 100k without a gasket being replaced. That tells me that this is a special case where GM should replace for free (or at least after 100 customer dollars) the gaskets out of warranty. I have a problem with the part failure, but I have an exponentially greater problem with way it is being handled by GM.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    1998 Olds Silh with 78,000 miles....
    Heater has become very slow to heat especfially the defroster ! Usually my wife drives the van.
    Today I got the heater to work by playing with the hot/cold dial. It seemed like the more I played with it the stronger the air flow ????
    I noticed a huge difference in air flow.
    Cold is quite strong while the hot setting drops by about 40 %. Is this normal ????
    I have already changed the cabin filters...
    topped off the antifreeze.
    Any suggestions... besides a 20 minute warmup !
  • To CapeCod, you may want to have the thermostat checked and check heater hose to make sure it is not pinched or plugged.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    Thermostat seems okay...
    Guage goes upto its regular, below half,
    guage position...
    When I adjusted the warm/cold dial this morning I got what sounded like a flapping noise.
    After I moved it back and forth 10-20 times the noise went away and flow of heat seemed better.
    BUT shoud the hot setting have only 60% of the air flow of the cold position ?????
    I once or twice had the a/c blow warm air only to have the problem go away. That time I was told a "door" might have been stuck open or closed because of humidity... sounded good... cheap to fix !
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    For those of us dealing with manifold antifreeze leak... try visiting the GM triplet's site listed under Olds Silhoutte. They have a discussion re: ground up walnut product which GM used to put in for leaks. Seems they stopped the proceedure with DexCool. A GOOGLE search led me to a Cadillac discussion re: GM Cooling System Seal Tablets

    part #12378254 Interesting !

    http://caddyinfo.netgetgoing.com/howtosealantconfusion.htm

    Think I may give my dealer a call re: magic tabs !
  • Thanks for all the advise! I will do some follow ups and post updates here.
  • I have a 98 Silhouette and have the same problem with the reduced air flow in the warm position. I do notice that as the engine warms the airflow improves. We've learned to live with it since the dealer says that all these vans do that.
  • I have a 98 Silhouette Premiere with the video entertainment package. I've never been happy with the sound quality from the rear speakers when the video is operating. I've had to have the video module replaced several times (the first time was a couple months after purchase) because the rear speakers kept cutting out. It tooka few months before the parts-swappers at the dealership finally replaced every component before figuring out it was the switching module. I would like to know if anyone else has this poor sound quality problem (lots of distortion), and if so, what they did to fix it. I have a 6-year, 100,000 mile bumper-bumper warrenty with no deductible (courtesy of GM for earlier engine problems) so would be quite willing to take it in for repairs if there is something they could do.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    palwoda: re. sound, if you've got the "cutting out" problem taken care of and its just distortion, I would say it sounds like just poor quality speakers (I used to be a car audio freak back-in-the-day). Factory speakers are often real bottom of the barrel garbage. You could probably get some speakers for $75 - $100/pair (of course the sky's the limit there) that would be a vast improvement. the aftermarket ones should probably screw in & connect to existing holes & wires. Of course, wouldn't probably be free warranty work at dealer, maybe you could get speakers & talk them into installing. If it ain't the speakers, maybe take it in to a specialty car stereo place, see if they can give some insight...of course they would want to sell you a bunch of new stuff, but I've occasionally run into some really helpful, knowledgeable people who can provide advice without trying to get all your $.

    Curious as to what your "earlier engine problems" were...was it the notorious intake gasket leaking problem?
  • rjp7rjp7 Posts: 1
    Just started to see a few drips of coolant. Took it to the dealer and they did a pressure tests and claimed to replace the lower intake gasket at 34K miles. They recommended I replace the Dexcool and put in typical green antifreeze which they said sisn't have the issues with Dexcool. I did so after having the system flused by them. After 1 day, not I have green antifreeze drips. I aheb already called the dealer (left a message afterhours) My wife drove the car and noticed an engine noise (very faint) that we didn't notice before the supposedly gasket replacement and coolant replacement. I drove it and it is very faint. Could a GM tech be so incopetent so as to have replaced the gasket incorrectly and allow the green coolant to mix with the oil? I wouldn't have thought so, but????Also, not being an auto expert, I noticed on the sevice order they specifically replaced the lower gasket. Is there an upper one - the leak is on the passenger side. Any comments. Also I noticed Warranty Gold paid $1750 for a $2K bill. Is there a reason why? I bought a different extended warranty (I have 34K on the car it's not yet in effect). It is 1autosource with the zero deductable. Since I had to have the gasket 'fixed' before 36K, do I smell preexisting condition issues with my extended warranty if I have issues down the road after 36K?
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    Mine seems to have gotten worse since I started idling to warm car up in below zero weather.
    What would be a reasonable price for local mechanic to repair ???? Also should i let him switch to the standard coolant ! I'm at 80,000 miles so I doubt if GM would offer an $$$ assistance ! Clearly is a GM issue though.
    I don't buy Fords due to transmission and A/c problems. May avoid GM because of the Dexcool!
    Good thing there are imports ! Latest car is a Toyota powered VIBE with Toyota transmission !
  • eaganeagan Posts: 25
    well, until now we have dealt with the minor problems with this car...the cheap plastic trim above the sliding door and the rear speakers not working...but now with about 37 or 38k mi on our 99 premiere...the trans is done...don't know what to do from here...warantee is up and this car is only 3 yrs old...any suggestions?? or similar problems??
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    Local mechanic diagnosed manifold leak as expected.
    Decided to try some stop leak first before going for the $450. replacement of gasket.
    Now after putting in the stop leak the Check Engine Soon light has come on ???? Since he had torn down some of the connection to find the leak could this be a poor connection ??? Van seems to run fine !
    Do these lights come on at a set mileage ?
    I'm at 78,000 miles.
     Could it be from the Stop leak ????
    Will the light go away if codes are read then reset ? Tonights temp is expected to be -20 for all of you in the warmer parts of the country !
    Thanks.
  • My Silo is two years old today (75,300 miles!).

    This van has been almost trouble free, only tires and a "Check Engine Soon" light about a year ago that only needed resetting by the dealer ($100, ouch!). Still running original brakes, I check them at the tire rotations, and they still look really good.

    No coolant leaking, though my wife's 97 did have the intake manifold problem about three years ago, fixed to the tune of $800. We have also had the transmission rebuilt due to a bearing failure in the fluid pump. The horn on her van quit working a few weeks ago. Checked fuse, OK. Replaced the underhood relay, and that fixed it (only about 10 bucks at parts store). Another oddity on her van was last month when the wiper blades hit each other and broke one of them. I think one may have been slightly frozen to windshield and was slightly bent, causing them to hit.

    I would again recommend that anybody looking for replacement tires consider the Michelin Symmetry.
    Rides like a dream, fantastic treadwear, and very quiet. Only $84 at WalMart. Have them on both vans, couldn't be happier. Original General tires were absolutely terrible.

    Mikey
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,176
    Thanks for the report. That's a lot of miles in two years!

    A lot of the auto parts stores now read CEL codes for free - I wonder if they can reset the light too?

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • msleymsley Posts: 2
    I just purchased a '97 Silhouette with only 37,000 miles, thinking I had got a good deal. I have since found out that the lower intake gasket is leaking. The dealer I purchased it from is going to replace it, along with replacing the leaking water pump and replacing the torn belt. From what I've been reading, I'm scared to death!
  • Actually, they had to recalibrate the unit. It might have been a bit more involved than simply resetting it.

    Mikey
  • I think that if the dealer is going to replace the gasket (about an $800 job) you shouldn't have any more problems.

    Actually, if I could find a used GM van that I knew the intake gasket and water pump had just been replaced, I'd be more likely to buy it.

    Our 97 with the replaced gasket has been fine for the last two or three years since then.

    Mikey
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,176
    Letsgetmikey, I just looked around the net and it does look like Auto Zone and the rest can reset the CEL with their scanners.

    Recalibration would be another ball of wax though and that didn't occur to me since I usually relate recalibration to the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) and other computer controlled stuff. Thanks!

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • msleymsley Posts: 2
    Mikey, thanks for the information. I feel alot better about my new purchase.

    I also found out that the A/C compressor was also replaced at 35,000 miles.
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