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Pontiac Montana



  • alingaling Posts: 598
    Hi there,

    I suggest that you click on "See all responses" at the top of this page (or click here), and read through the messages in this forum if you haven't already.

    You may also want to visit the Montana's sister vans topic: Olds Silhouette topic, and the Chevy Venture topic As with this forum, click on "See all responses" to start reading from the first messages in the topics.

    Hope this helps!
    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • I own a 1994 Pontiac Transsport and I DO NOT recommend to anyone to buy one. I had multiple problems with my van, small one and big ones, the list is pretty long.
    Please see crash test on this vehicles, I am so upset. The reason that i still have mine is because I have no chice at this moment. Please read about other vans or any other vehicle that will fill your needs, but not this van. Learn from my mistake.
    Take care friends!
  • We own a 1990 Pontiac Transport and are looking to sell it or keep it. We've had yearly problems with it and don't find it very reliable. Wanted to know if anyone else has had the same expeience. This van has 100877 Miles. Please share your experiences with this same type of van.
  • Had the same issue with the TCS on my 97 Trans Sport, Needed to replace the switch on lower panel. Still doe not light up indicator when switch is off as manual indicates. Have you had any luck with the dealer? I just bought this van and had a GM dealer do an inspection before I purchased it($81). They happened to MISS at the time that the rear wiper motor was shot($500), traction control switch inoperative ($257), rear compressor shot(replaced a line to fix it $100)- Didn't solve the compressor problem, when I took it back they told me needed a new level ride sensor (want $600). Has been back 3 times for long start (cleaned injectors @ changed plugs- $299) and they still haven't solved that problem either. I am going to have a serious talk with these people. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY INFO ON ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS....PLEASE HELP. I have spent a considerable amount of $ and they have only been able to get the changing of two fuses right to fix my sliding door and electronic mirrors ($80.) I also own a 99 Jimmy from the same dealer - love it but am really losing patience with GM!
  • I was considering purchasing a 95 Transsport at a reduced price of 7200, it has 89,600 miles. There are two previous owners of which took excellant care of the vehicle. It is in beautiful shape. 3.1L V-6 power throughout. What is the dependable life span on these vans?
  • The crash result tests for the montana can be found on this web site a look at that then tell me you're willing to spend that amount of money on a van that isn't designed with safety in mind.G.M. claims 5 star rating but have a close look at the fine print,that's only if the van is hit on the passenger side near the back of the van.WOW everybody crowd into the back corner of the van...passenger side only!!!!!
  • a 1995 Pontiac Transport. It has 77,000 miles on it. Lots of extras. Seems to possibly have some air trouble and the steering wheel moves up and down when it should be locked into place. We are diehard Honda fans but can't afford one yet. This van has a 3800 V6 engine and is in great shape. The are asking $7100, it seems like a good deal but would like some advice. You can email us direct at THANKS
  • Dear Interested Readers:

    While I love my Transport for it's looks, versatility and performance, I have experienced several minor quality problems and one major problem --- Oil Consumption. Ever since I bought this van it has consumed a significant amount of oil. They have been monitoring it for the past 40K miles. In addition, the 3.4 engine has a tech bulletin out on it for noise (engine piston knocking). It has and continues to sound like a diesel engine, particularly on cold start-up. The dealer actually changed the pistons out (per the tech bulletin instructions) and the noise persists and after a year even seems to be worse.

    Good looks and performance aside, I would be wary of reliability and quality. This van may go for ever, but because my issues persist, I continue to have concerns.
    Best of Luck!
  • please check out this site they are an independent government funded agency with no ties to any auto. manufacturer.they tell it like it is.why are german , japanese and swedish cars always ranked higher than north american cars in safety and quaility...WAKE-UP G.M.
  • Have 43000 on it and no problems other than few little ones when new.Was my wifes and childrens van, until 3 weeks ago, bought them a 2001 odyssey,sold my car and I am now the proud driver of the transport.Took good care of it when my wife had it,I know how it was driven and maintained,so hopefully will have good luck with it! I really like it,rides good,3.8 liter good power. Took it for a 900 mile camping trip last week.Avg.70mph with a peak speed of 104mph(I live in Texas,flat straight empty roads).Avg 26.4mpg which I was very happy with.Took 3 seats out of it and slept in the back,put padding down,and was verrrryyy nice.By the way i was by myself.Biggest problem had was one time the power door motor did not shut off when my wife went to work, so it ran for 8 hours and killed the battery.Was under warranty they replaced motor and battery and no other door problem.If I had more power door problems I would not have bought the new van with 2 power doors.Twice the chance of something going wrong!Well anyway like the van and have had good luck with it!
  • Yesterday and today I smelled electrical smoke so badly inside my 2000 Montana that I took it to the dealership at noon today for a check up.
    Has anyone experienced this burning electrical smell when the ehater and /or defroster was on? And what was the cause?
  • We are having a problem with our van not starting. It first happened in July on vacation in Ontario (we live in MN), then 3 weeks ago, again today. It simply will not start. We had it towed to the garage in Ontario, then it started up when they took it off the tow truck. They disconnected the battery and couldn't find anything wrong. Said it was probably the computer -- needed to be reset.

    No problems until 3 weeks ago. Towed to our mechanic. Couldn't find anything wrong with it. Disconnected the battery and then tried to start it -- wouldn't start. Left it overnight, and when he went out the next morning, it started right up. We've been driving it almost daily for the past 3 weeks and haven't had any problems till last night. My DH turned the key, and "click". He then moved the tilt steering wheel up and down (suggested by my brother to see if it might be the ignition wiring/switch causing the problem), and the van started. I drove it this morning with no problems. Then went to start it 2 hours later. It just makes a "click" when you turn the key to start it, and another "click" when you turn the key back to the off position. Tried moving steering wheel tilt up and down, disconnecting battery, jiggling wires, etc. Still won't start!

    It's not the battery -- all the lights, etc. work. It just won't start. Anyone else have this problem???

    Also, as far as the reliability of this vehicle, here are the problems we have had with it-- what I can remember off the top of my head. (We bought it with 65,000 miles in 95. It now has 135,000.)

    serpentine belt, alternator (2 or 3), driver's side seat broke off! (welded it back in place!), sliding door handle wouldn't work from inside (fixed), rack and pinion, shocks, brakes, emergency brake will not hold (when adjusted to hold, it drags when you release it), handle came off parking brake (like described by peter in England above), drink holder in front falls out(little tiny clip broke off that is supposed to hold it in!), wipers sometimes decide not to come on, new head gasket, lock on back hatch will not open without key or won't lock -- ever, sliding door will open only with excessive strength and you need to pull on the handle 2-3 separate times first (tried the WD40 etc!), ABS brake sensor (about $200). That's all I can remember at the time!

    We change our oil every 3000 miles, keep tires inflated at appropriate pressure, etc. ("well-maintained"!)

    CR DOES recommend avoiding the 92, so I'm wondering if the newer models have improved???? What kind of van to go with when we can afford to dump this one??? Can't afford a Honda or Toyota, either! :(
  • I purchased a 1996 Transport last October and we have always had a problem when you are driving over 60 mph, I get an awful howling sound on the driver side by the window. I cannot tell if the window is not properly sealed or if it is the wind going through between the side mirror and van. But it is driving us crazy when we drive on the expressway. If I roll down the driver side window a little I cannot hear the sound any more. Has any one else had this problem? Other than that the van is great. Please e-mail me at Thanks.
  • Just wanted to weigh in with my experience.

    We bought a new 2000 last year. We selected based
    on price and features versus both the Chrysler
    and Honda products we looked at.

    We were able to get a 1500 rebate and 0.9 financing so we saved a considerable amount over
    the competition who acted as if you should feel
    privledged to buy their product.

    After 25000 miles we feel like we made the right
    decision. The Montana is not perfect. We think
    the suspension is a little clunky and the engine
    could be quieter (I would prefer that GM put
    the 3.8L V6 in this van). However, the interior
    seems to be holding up well, the tires and
    consumables seem to be doing fine and overall
    we like the ride and handling. I think for the
    money, it is a very solid minivan. Time will
    tell whether it holds up over time. But for now
    I would give it an A-.
  • bobvvbobvv Posts: 1
    I've just bought my '01 Montana ext. a week ago and I think this van is great. I got a loaded one with everything but the over priced montanavision . This van has all the looks,ride,comfort,and power that was looking for,( Dodge=old lady grocery getter, Chevy=beater,Ford=its a Ford!, Honda=no looks andits foriegn!,Toyota=beater) I know its still new and will keep you posted on any problems , but for now I'm going to load up my family of 5 and go for a cruise to the Smokey Mts. and put the sports suspension to the test on some of those hilly roads,and see how the van holds up.
  • perhaps someone can help me - i am looking at crash test results for the montana in consumer reports. The offset crash test results show it as having a poor performance, but it is shown as having above average results with respect to injury claims. My hypothesis is as follows: 1) the offset crash test results do not accurately portray real crash situations 2) there are features in the montana (such as superior braking for example) that prevent it from getting into the simulated crashes 3) injury data unreliable Can anyone out there shed some light on these possibilities???
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    There was recently a lengthy discussion about this in the Chevy Venture topic. Rather than have it repeated over here again, I recommend that you have a look at the posts in that topic starting with #658, by clicking here and reading onwards.

    WRT the real world crashes, the offset crash test can predict the performance, but there are other variables to consider as well, of course. You may be interested in these real world front offset collision pictures of the GM minivans. Note the same buckling of the roofs/doors as in the IIHS offset crash test in all of these vans, as well as the updriven steering wheel columns. Again, there are other variables to consider, but it could happen: (Keep clicking on the "next" button to move to the next picture).

    Good luck

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • I swore up and down left and right i would never buy American again....Well we bought a 2000 Montana in Nov. of 1999 and have been turned around,On certain GM vehicles that is!,Pontiac seems to have there ducks in a row.I'm actually researching a 2001 Grand Prix GTP for my next Vehicle,after driving 4x4 trucks for 16 years i've had it with the lousy gas mileage!The Montana is a big vehicle and is VERY comfortable,We drove from Central Mass. last Summer to Lake George N.Y. ( fully loaded with 4 adults and two children,and a soft sided storage pod on the roof)and was shocked at how comfortable this van is,rides like a dream,This trip is what turned me on to Pontiac and getting a car again!
    I recommend this van to anybody!Thanks PONTIAC for getting me psyched about GM again and wanting a car again!!!!
  • Hi.. my wife has a '99 Montana with 42,000 mi on it. The "Check Engine Light" just came on. Was wondering if this light is programmed to come on at this time for periodic maintenance (oxygen sensor, etc) or if there's actually something wrong with the engine. Has anyone else had this light come on and, if so, what was the problem? Thanks.
  • Eddiemad.....Bring it to the dealer,I hope you have a extended warranty on your van!
  • eddiemad,

    The check engine light doesn't come on unless there is a problem. I had the same thing happen with my 99 Montana (now with 43,000 miles). The solution to my problem was the gas cap wasn't on tight. Carefully check to see if it is loose before tightening. It takes a couple of minutes for the light to go off but solved my problem.
  • The only time the TICS light on the dash should come on is at start-up and if there is a problem with the TICS system in which case the light should remain on.

    The reason for the switch is to disable the TICS system in case of getting stuck in mud etc. When the TICS system senses wheel spin, it automatically applies brakes and limits ram. Being able to shut the system off is important when performing an emission test with a dyno where both front wheels must spin at highway speed.
  • bcbobbcbob Posts: 13
    since I picked up my 01 Montana. My wife and kids love it, and I kinda like it too (staunch Ford fan, eh). I'm impressed by the ride and handling. Pick up isn't too bad for the engine and size of the van. Get a loud vibrating sound from the left rear that lasts for 5 seconds or so, most often just after start up but sometimes after shut down too. I kind of suspect that it's got something to do with the compressor or air leveling. Fit and finish is much better than many here described, only a small burn spot on the driver's seat for which they're going to replace the cover. No rattles, no creaks, no leaks. Fuel consumption is off it's Energuide rating by about 4l/100km but maybe that will improve as I get a few more km on it. Had a weird one happen this morning: got a scraper out and one of the overhead lights stayed on after all the others went out. Had to get in, let the lights turn off, then push the light off. Light wasn't on last night or this morning. At least I didn't think I left it on. Started fine, no sign that anything was wrong after, ie., light didn't stay on again. Overall, not too shabby.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Although I have the Chevy Venture version, Montana owners may be interested in a new halogen bulb by Sylvania 9004CB which produces a white light. This gives better spread on low beam and longer range on full. About $15.00 each @ Pep Boys
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    It has been posted on the Chev Venture site that State Farm have listed the Montana as one of 36 vehicles that could get an insurance break. This comes from an article last November when SF made this list available. It is not clear whether it applies to all States. In NJ SF do not know anything about this although I gave them the article.

    Woul be interested to know whether any Montana/State Farm clients have any info.
  • In reference to:

    As you suspect, the vibrating noise at the left rear is the air compressor for the load leveling. Assuming it behaves the same as my '98, it will come on whenever the load in the rear is increased, even with the ignition off.

    As for the light staying on. It probably was on the night before and was not noticed. There is a provision in the electronics on the vehicle that will shut off power to all the interior lights after some time (don't know how long) to save the battery. So the light would no longer have been on in the morning, but would have reactivated when you opened the door or started the vehicle.

  • The pictures at are disturbing, but keep in mind that you are only looking at one source there, and they are not independent. It is certainly true that a car can perform significantly better on a test than another, but keep in mind that the results are for 1 type of test only. (Frontal offset - deformable barrier)

    The NHTSA ratings show a different picture, out scoring the Sienna in one category of crash. I am not sure if I am comfortable with the Montanna's performance yet, but keep in mind that looking to one soure that evaluated one test, ON A MODEL THAT IS 4 YEARS OUT OF PRODUCTION AND THEN EXTRAPOLATED TO 2001 WITHOUT ALLOWING FOR ALL THE ADDITIONAL SAFETY FEATURES (SIDE AIRBAG, SIDE HEAD AIRBAG, PRETENSIONERS ETC.) added since the model that was, in fact tested, is not something that I would consider conclusive.

    Plenty of resources out there, don't hang your hat on just one of them.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The IIHS has not retested the GM vans because there have been no structural changes made to the platform. They do this with all of their tested vehicles, not just the vans. Even with pretensioners, the results wouldn't have changed much in the offset crash test. The safety cage would still have be compromised and the dummy would've ended up in about the same location. Side impact airbags are irrelevant in the IIHS since they don't deploy in front impacts.

    FYI, the NHTSA also carries over the crash test results from previous model years if there have been no structural changes. They just don't tell you about it.

    The Sienna that was tested did not have side impact airbags, so the 4 star side impact rating for the front passengers does not apply to a Sienna with that option.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
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