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Pontiac Montana



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Thanks Craig! But I just link to them, I don't write them:-)

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  • I have a 2000 Montana. I have had numerous problems with it from a new transmission at 8500 miles to windshield problems,water leakage, brakes, seats, your rattling sound (which is the air compressor), all sorts of electrical problems, computer problems, metal gas tank cover (which the whole left, rear panel had to be replaced), battery problems and now the sliding passenger door. If you haven't bought one yet, DON'T!
    Your rattling sound is your air compressor. The relay switch and all of the wiring in there is faulty! If you have already bought one, print this out, bring it to your dealer and check with them in the event that this would happen to you, what you DON'T have to pay for. Also find a good lawyer like I have just in case!
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    Hello Duster. I have a 1999 Montana that has had several problems. One problem in particular still has not been solved after 10 attempts. The van now has 48000 miles. I tried to get GM to buy it back when it had about 21000 miles (about 9 months old) but they wouldn't. At that time the one problem had happened 5 times and in North Carolina they should have been required to buy the van back. I talked with the GM AVM but he was rude and would not work with me. He would not return my phone calls and would only offer to trade it in or give me a 100,000 mile warranty. It took about 4 months to finally get this out of him. I chose the extended warranty because it would have cost too much to trade in, high mileage. I tried to go to arbitration, but by the time I filed the van had over 24000 miles and they would not help me. The problem I am having is oil seepage on the bottom of the oil pan. The GM AVM tried to tell me that this was normal because the pan is a casting, but it gets bad enough that it blows back on the transmission pan and smells of burning oil. The dealers have changed the pan a couple times and replaced the rear main seal, but the problem keeps coming back.

    When you filed for arbitration, how many miles did your van have and how long had you owned it? I am considering contacting the GM AVM again, but I wonder if I'm wasting my time again. I have been working with a different dealer and they have been better than the dealer that I bought it from, but the van is having other problems now. The intake manifold gasket has been leaking since about 21000 miles and will need fixed sometime. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  • imhip2imhip2 Posts: 30
    And here I thought I had problems with my 2000 Odyssey that I took Honda to arbitration on because it vibrates at highway speeds. I also lost in arbitration because of "harmonic vibration" and am looking to possibly replace the Odyssey. I thought the 2001 Montana Ext might be a good choice and craig40's post seemed to be positive (I also had a Windstar with probs before) but then I read petescakes and mizeuml's posts and now consider myself lucky. It's a good looking van, and practical (eight seats - great idea) but I might just stick to the beast I know.

    Good luck you guys
  • blendengblendeng Posts: 12
    Does anyone know if there is a roofrack on the 2001 Montana?
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    Hello imhip2. You might want to stay with the Honda. We had a '92 Accord and it was the most reliable car we ever owned. Although the Montana may have nice features and drive nicely, it has been a real headache taking to to the shop, over 15 times in less than 2 years. Here are a list of problems that we have experienced. I'm sure others have had these problems also and I know from other postings there are other problems with these vans that we have not experienced.

    1. Oil seepage on bottom of oil pan. Oil pan replaced twice and rear main seal replaced once. Problem continues, been to dealer over 10 times for this problem.

    2. RH passenger door ext. mirror been replaced twice because it would lose it's setting when door was shut.

    3. Third brake light replaced on rear door due to cracked lens, came from factory this way.

    4. A/C compressor replaced due to rattling noise when engaged, think bearing caused noise.

    5. Air bag indicator light comes on intermittently, fixed twice and now is starting to come on again.

    6. Rear A/C drain hole sealed shut from factory, caused LH rear fender to fill with water.

    7. Lumbar supports in both front seats make popping noise, nothing done.

    8. Tilt forward handle on RH center captain seat fell off, was replaced.

    9. Bad odor from defroster, electronic dryer module installed. Problem has come back and the A/C system was disinfected. Will continue to be a problem.

    10. Engine dies at stoplight, happened twice, never found problem.

    11. Trim piece in floor for RH captain seat broke, was replaced.

    12. Intake manifold gasket leaking, has not been fixed yet. I'm afraid to have them pull engine until it becomes worse.

    13. A/C blower cuts out, never found problem.

    14. RH passenger interior door panel replaced, damaged when mirror was replaced.

    15. A/C system charged.

    These repairs have cost GM over $3000 in warranty expenses, I'm sure they would have cost me twice this amount because of the dealer mark-up that GM does not have to pay for parts and labor.

    Maybe I just got a bad apple, but GM does not think so because they are not willing to take this van back. I'll think twice before I buy another GM vehicle after the way they have treated me. I had a '96 Dodge Grand Caravan before this and it had problems too, but not this bad. My biggest problem with the Caravan was that it burned a quart of oil every 3000 miles, started after approx. 60,000 miles, 3.3L engine and Dodge said this was normal. Needless to say I got rid of it at 84,000 miles because I felt it had something wrong with the engine to burn oil like that. I have considered the Honda Odyssey myself. Good luck with the Odyssey.
  • dusterduster Posts: 37
    Hi Matt,
    I am sorry to tell you that once you pass
    a certain number of miles arbitration is no longer
    a option. To all posters the guidelines are in
    the back of your owners manual. The BBB usually
    follows the state's lemon law that you live in.
    I first reported my problem via certified mail
    at 7,000 miles. Make sure you follow the rules
    of the BBB or you can go to court (which takes much longer). When you have high mileage its to late, again see the owners manual. Always contact your local state to find out the law. GM tried to tell me there was nothing wrong with my power door NOW ITS A RECALL!!. GM offered me extended warranty and 3 car payments back. I told them see you at arbitration. You need to keep copies of all your records of repairs and certified letters sent to GM. Bypass the dealer after they have tired to fix the problem at least three times(some states require reasonable number of times). Brakes are a safety concern and as such have different rules.
  • imhip2imhip2 Posts: 30
    As you say, perhaps you got a lemon but to pack all of those problems that into one Montana? Must have been built on a Monday morning after a bender on Sunday night (Superbowl party?) . As for the 92 Accord, I had a 91 Accord and yes it was the best car I ever owned. If you do consider an Ody, besure to visit the Ody problems VII board. There are a few things to look out for like vibrations, transmissions, air conditioners, power doors etc. There are alot of posts. Maybe because when we bought our Honda's we expected too much based on our prior Honda experiences. Beware, the Honda of old is not the same as those of today. There are a few people in the Ody forum I mentioned that have gone the arbitratin route in the US. May want to check there for help.

    Also for arbitrations, yes be very prepared as Duster said. The arbitrator actually commented that I was very well prepared for my case. Did it effect the outcome of the buyback? No. Harmonic vibration is a common characteristic of the Odyssey and not a reason for buyback and not a manufacturing defect. In Canada we need to prove a manufacturing defect but can get a full buy back if the vehicle is under a year old and has under 25,000 KM. Otherwise the amount is reduced based on usage for up to 160,000 KM or 5 years which ever comes first. No lemon laws in Canada.
  • Just wanted to let all you perspective Montana buyers know, I have been very happy with my 2000 Montana. It is now 15 months old, with about 17,500 miles. Here are the problems I have encountered: 1.) Driver/front-seat cup holders broke. 2.) Rubber strip on bottom of power sliding door came off in a couple of places and got chewed up by the opening and closing of the power door. That's it! Both problems were of course covered by warranty.

    Things I love about my Montana: eight-passenger seating, cargo/passenger versatility, integrated child seat, air compressor, and Montana vision!

    Things I hate: cup holders (or rather lack of useable cup holders).

    Things GM should offer: comfortable integrated booster seats for children 40-80 pounds, and lap/shoulder belts for ALL passengers
  • rickslickrickslick Posts: 27
    is going fine. It is my 2nd as we had a 97 Transport. The only problem I've had is the air bag lite comes on for no apparent reason. It doesn't get much driving since I bought my 01 Acura TL in January though. mostly drive the van to church and to dinner. It has started to vibrate on the front end though when I drive it after a cold start. I will check to see if all the weights are on the tires though.
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    Hello imhip2. I mentioned the harmonic vibration problem with your van to my wife and she said her '92 Accord had the same type of problem. She bought the car before we got married. She said the dealers tried several things but could not figure out. Finally she had the front rims replaced and that fixed it. They mounted her front tires on a new sets of rims and the problems was solved. Her car had steel rims with hub caps. You might discuss this with your dealer if you haven't tried this type of fix yet. No one at Honda thought this would help her car, but it did.

    Good luck,
  • imhip2imhip2 Posts: 30
    Had all rims (steel) and tires repalced. Helped a bit. Had a dynamic balance (Hunter gsp 9700 balancer) done a week ago at a tire shop about 50 miles from me and vibration is gone. Tire shop also found defective Michelin. Had to order a replacement. Honda couldn't fix. Said it was normal. Thanks again Honda for letting me down. Hondas customer service is really pathetic as they think they can do no wrong based on their past reputation. The attitude is you can't have a problem. If my dynamic balance holds, I will be happy with my Ody for the first time since I bought it 25,000 KM ago.

    I only wish your problems with your Montana could be fixed as easily. My problems now appear to be caused by either Hondas lazy customer service people or because they are incompetent.

    Good Luck
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    Glad to hear you got the vibration problem fixed. I have never heard of a dynamic balance before. I appreciate the information. Don't know what we'll buy next to replace the Montana, but will probably stick with it until the 100,000 mile warranty runs out. I'll have to admit that the 25 mi/gal is pretty nice right now with the price of gas. The Grand Caravan we had before was doing good if it got 20 mi/gal and it had a smaller engine. We have to take the Montana in for the recall on the power sliding door so I might have them take a look at these other problems while it is there.

    Take care,
  • bcbobbcbob Posts: 13
    that my Montana isn't a nightmare like yours. Been there though, had a 82 K-car that was in for repairs so often in the first couple months I asked for a reserved parking space. No such thing as buyback or arbitration back then, I had to put big lemon signs on the roof to get Chrysler to stop blowing me off. Their initial reaction was to threaten to sue me! I told them they could serve me at the dealership because that's where I was spending most of my time. Luckily they backed off and got down to fixing the car after the editor of our little local paper explained to them how newspapers worked.

    They eventually did fix it and it turned out to be a decent little car, no major problems after that and I learned to live with the misaligned doors and high speed vibrations. But they never did honour their extended warranty and reimburse me the $700 I had paid out on rental cars while they fixed it. What really bugged me wasn't so much all the shop visits but how badly they began to treat me as I kept coming in trying to get the same problems fixed, and their attitude when I started to complain about it. Won't even look at a Chrysler now, even though I have many friends who've never had a problem with theirs and won't own anything else. I imagine you feel similarly about GM.

    As for my Montana it's still doing great. The only complaint I have is with the trailer wiring; found the brake lights, running lights and signals, and we think we've got the right one for the ground, but we can't figure out what the other two wires are. Seems to be completely different from anything else including other GM configurations. The local GM dealer doesn't even know, so they just ignore the OEM harness and hard wire a connection in. If anyone knows what the different wires are for I'd really appreciate it.
  • billdelpbilldelp Posts: 5
    any one having problems with an engine tapping noise around 45,000 miles?
  • rmillar3rmillar3 Posts: 6
    Response to bcbob. My Montana came with a trailering option with wire harness still loose. It was never installed. You mention two extra wires in the harness over and above the normal 3 and ground. From my trailering days, if this harness is wired into a 7 pin Bargman connector, the two extra wires could be for either electric brakes, backup lights or a charge line to the trailers battery from the tow vehicles charging system. Just now going out to the van to look at the supplied harness, there are 6 wires, all being 20 a. So, the extras are probably not for electric brakes or a charge line, they would have to be at least 14 a. for the brakes and at least 8 a. for the charge line.
    As for how my Monty is going, well it's still short on boots but otherwise has performed nicely over the first 3 months I've had it. I did a little investigating with the local General Tire dealer on any manufacture warranty on the tires, the answer was no, unless the tires were defective, loose ply, side wall or tread failure. Going back to the dealership where the van was originally purchased, they said no warranty existed except for the original owner. DEAD END!!
    Steve, your notice on the GM recall on the sliding door is actually on right side power sliding doors covering 1997 through 2001 models. The potential problem is, if, after the power door closes, it may not latch. Thus if driving down the bumpy road, turning a corner, or excelerating, the door may come open and allow the right side second row passenger to exit the vehicle. This might be a big problem unless there is someone you're trying to get rid of, eh. The fix is to have the dealer replace the sliding door unlatch actuator. The recall number for us Canucks is 2001059 with Transport Canada.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Pretty funny--are you going to remove the seatbelts too to help "insure" that "someone" falls out? :-). Thanks for the clarification.

    btw, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the OEM Generals that came on my Quest. Never had any good results with warranty claims on tires either; by the time they pro-rate them, it's easier to just buy a better tire, imho. Don't know what your local Canadian Tire stocks.

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  • jmairjmair Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 99 Montana which I really like. I do have a couple problems that I would like some advice on.
    One is when I switch from the vent to the A/C or defrost I get an awful smell coming from the vents for about 5 minutes, any thoughts?
    The other is when I start it up in the morning, it sounds like a diesel engine.

    Any thoughts or comments will be appreciated!!

  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    This was covered by a technical bulletin issued in Feb 99. Ref 99-01-39-004 and ask your dealer to fix it under warranty.

    Would be very concerned over engine noise at start up as could be lack of oil circulation. Would have dealer check it out.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Pontiac's stylish box

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  • ken41ken41 Posts: 4
    A year ago I heard that Pontiac was going to offer AWD in the 2002 model. I see that the Aztek already has it. Does anyone know if the Montana is on schedule to get it too?
  • sk13sk13 Posts: 1
    When I place may 200o Montanta in park and let go of the brake, the van often rolls about 8 inches. Is this normal?
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Versatrak will be offered on extended length Montanas for 2002.
  • bprice4bprice4 Posts: 3
    My passanger side mirror on my 2000 Montana will not stay in adjustment so I finally took it in. When I told the Svc Mgr he shook my hand and said he has the same problem on his. He replaced his miror, but still has the problem. One would think Pontiac would put a fix in for this problem because the impression I got was "just live with it". He said he would order a new one, but he doubted that would help. Any ideas out there from anyone other than Pontiac!
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    I had the same problem on my 1999 Montana. The passenger door mirror always lost its setting when we closed the door. I had the mirror replaced and it fixed the problem for a while. Then the replacement mirror started doing the same thing. I took it in to the dealer and they replaced it again. This mirror has been doing pretty good. It has not had any problems yet has went longer than the two previous ones. The driver side mirror has always been fine. Have them replace it and maybe you'll get lucky.

    Good luck!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    "New minivans prove GM hasn't lost the edge."

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  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    I have a '99 Montana 7 passenger with its lease about to expire. The buyout is pretty high ($18k), but the car only has 11,000 miles on it. It's got the touring package, cd, etc etc.

    Should I buy it, or look at an '01? Were there major changes?

    Major dislikes include brakes, a radio that won't adjust volume properly, and a bit rattly interior.

    Likes include the steering, power, and that unbelievably useful air compressor.


    -Dan L.
  • rbb2rbb2 Posts: 70
    There are a few changes on the Montana. The most significant is the fold flat 3rd row with stowage center behind it. This is very useful and the 3rd row and stowage can be removed if needed.

    There is also the rear parking aid and a new stereo. My understanding is the cupholders are sturdier in the new models also. Both sliding doors are now power. Also, with the 2001 you get Onstar for 1 year free which includes 30 minutes of free phone calls a month. It's pretty cool.

    It would be in your interest to explore the possibility of a new one. Especially because they are offering 0.9% financing up to 60 months or $2000 cash back.

    You can build a vehicle at and even search dealers inventory for the exact one you are looking for. I spent a lot of time there prior to our purchase.
  • ajk2429ajk2429 Posts: 1
    Most significant thing with my purchase of the Pontiac Montana was that I bought GM. I swore I'd never do this, but quite frankly, was impressed with this one as well as the Chevy Venure, which is essentially the same van.

    Only disappointment was the Dealer installed TV system--the VCP was put in under the rear seat. The Chevy Warner Brothers edition has it in the front console under the CD player on the floor and that was my expectation when I had the new TV put in. I can live with it, however.
  • galergaler Posts: 3
    I previously posted a message (#392) regarding transmission problems with a 98 TransSport at 59,000 miles requiring replacement or overhaul. The service manager has told me there will be a service bulletin released shortly concerning transmission problems with the TransSports/Montana. We have still not had ours repaired since we are waiting on the release of this bulletin. Anybody else hear anything about this? I have sent a letter to Pontiac customer assistance - no response, not even acknowledging receipt of the letter. The regional rep has not been any help at all. The service manager expects him to show up on a certain day and he doesn't, no explanation or notice of when he will show up. Does he really exist? I am really disgusted.
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