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Pontiac Montana



  • w2323w2323 Posts: 60
    If you need to look into extended warrantys, sams has one that has no deductable for about 1100.00 7 years/100k miles most other firms only have 6 years. You can take your car anywhere you want even the dealer no deductable. You have to ask sams about the 7 year/100k and no deductable its not on their site. Just call the 1800 number on your sams card and pick extended warrantys.

    Hope this helps you guys.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Dirkdaddy gave you some good advice. I want to elaborate on a couple of things.
    First, if you are really considering letting your Corolla go for only $2000 for a 98 with 70K mi. Respond back to me, I'll give $2,500 right now easy. (Hell I'll even come to Washington to pick it up.) In other words you are taking a beating on that car that you don't need to. Believe me I am currently in the market for a used Corolla/Prizm, and the car should be an easy!!! sell at $5,000 or more depending on condition.
    Check out Edmunds TMV on your Corolla you will be very suprised.
    As far as the Previa vs. Montana debate you are having: I would shop around a little more. I am very confident you can find a GM van that is newer than 97 with less mi for less than $9,500.
    I think that because the one you are considering is a 97 (the first year of production) it is more likely to have some maintenance problems than subsequent years.
    A good resource I have found is MSN carpoint for checking the reliability history of any vehicle. Go to and click on autos, then go to used and find your vehicle. Then just click on reliabilty reports for the year you are considering.
    As far as the Previa is concerned, they are not bad vans, but working on them is difficult at best if you do your own maintenance, the engine is under the floor of the van, lying on its side.
    Also because it is a 93, the A/C system has the old R12 refridgerant. If youe ever have any problems with the AC system it will make the cost of repairs significantly higher.
  • dave231dave231 Posts: 17
    Sorry for the late respnse, I have been busy. No special procedure for depressurizing system just replace filter by squeezing clips and then crank engine. I have not seen any leaking fuel yet. good luck
  • tm666tm666 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of buying the 2002 Reg Length Special Value Model Montana. Don't need a big van and this seems to fit my budget. I like the fact that it comes with standard captains chairs in the second row. Plus lots of rebates now. anybody have any input on the regular length models as to reliability or negative experiences they had with one.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    The length is really preference, should not effect reliability.

    We only have 1 child but I shopped for and bought the extended, its not THAT much bigger and heck, if you're going to drive a van anyway, the driving experience isn't that much different IMHO, and the room inside is considerably more. you supposedly (haven't tried) have room for a 4x8 sheet of plywood in the extended, that sold me as I'm replacing a pickup.

    Also check the deals on Olds, they have extended warr built in.

  • bcd99bcd99 Posts: 45
    A 4x8 sheet easily fits in my '01 Silo and a 10 or 12 foot long pipe or piece of anything will fit in between the front seats and still allow the rear door to shut. About the only thing you can't haul would be a load of mulch. Unless you have a trailer.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Did I miss something? I haul mulch in my minivan. Granted, I have to shovel it in. I put a cheap blue tarp in the back and up the sides, and have at it. Slides out easily too when I get home.

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  • bcd99bcd99 Posts: 45
    OK, you can haul small quantities of mulch on a tarp. I meant you can't get 4 scoops of mulch dumped in like you can with a pick-up. But I guess next time I woin't have to borrow my friends F350 dually to get mulch, I'll just throw it in the van. *S*, nah I like driving the F350 with it 8 liter big block.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    lol, the truth comes out :-)

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  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    #5 Pontiac Montana

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  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    the cladding, my Montana have the bottom half unpainted , and I wonder if waxing it will make it turn grey, what is your trick to keep it nice and shiny ??
  • burst80burst80 Posts: 1
    The Montana's have inherent A/C problems with the blower switch and the compressor. I have had 4 repairs. I have had 4 fuel injectors replaced. 4 repairs on my sliding door. There is 37,000 miles on the van now and GM will not help me. Don't make the same mistake I did.
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    Hello burst80. I was wondering if you could give us some more details on the A/C problems you have had. Like you, I have a lemon, '99 Montana, but GM forgot to paint it yellow.

    I had the A/C compressor replaced because it made a rattle noise when the A/C kicked in. The new A/C compressor has been fine.

    The other problem we have had intermittently is the A/C blower will quit for no reason. If you turn the blower switch to the off position and then back on, the blower will start running again. This problem comes and goes, but has been a while since we last experienced it. Have you had this problem? If so, what was done to fix it? We have the rear A/C unit also with the Ext. version van.

  • I had a similar problem with my Pontiac Transport. The A/C blower will stop to work without reason and after turning the A/C off and back on (sometimes) it will work. Or it will start working just by itself. At the end it just died. I replaced it (pretty easy to do BTW). No more problems after that.
  • drobin59drobin59 Posts: 26
    I've got a 99 montana that has 55,000 miles on it. In just the past two weeks, the manifold cracked, an emissions sensor went out and now the A/C compressor went out. Needless to say, this all adds up to a $2,000 bill! I don't think these things should fail in a car that's 2.5 years old! Anyone else have any problems like that?

    Thanks for any help you can give me!
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    if it makes you feel better, my 2000 maxima lost a O2 sensor at 12,000 miles / 10 months, and now is getting hard to start. The manifold cracking is bizzare. A/c compressors can fail if you run out of r132 freon. have them check for leaks for sure. with other makes you would probably be due for a transmission, so i guess pick your poison. The GM vans don't usually have that sort of trouble, i'd fix it and move on.

  • I have a 2001 Montana and since day 1 it has been making what sounds like a belt rattling noise in the engine. This mainly occurs when you come to a stop (like at red light), the rattle will happen anywhere from 5-25 seconds and stop. The A/C is not running when this happens. Every time I take this to the dealer the sound never usual. Any input/comments out there?
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    On your rattle, you don't really give enough information to go on, but since it rattles after the vehicle is stopped, that rules out some things. I'd have to guess a exhaust heat sheild is loose or something like that. I'm not sure what you mean by belt rattleing sound, as they usually only squeal if loose.

    One thing you could try is to kill the motor or take it out of gear right after coming to stop and see if that kills the noise.

    Also check Trans. fluid.

  • gmfornowgmfornow Posts: 2
    Hello folks. First let me say that this is an excellent message board, full of great tips. I have a 97 Transport LWB 4DR with 80 km / 50 miles. We have been mostly happy with it for 5 front brakes/rotors, new rack&pinion steering column, new tires (two of them had blown radials), a pain in the #$@^%! rattle in both sliding doors (finally solved), and a few other minor problems here and there. However, over a period of the first 3 years we would notice our expansion tank level down about an inch (not alot of fluid, but), usually just prior to an oil change. The dealer explained that it was caused by evaporation because the expansion tank was not sealed. The usual top up and we were on our way. On two seperate occasions we had the coolant light illuminate while driving on the we took it to the nearest dealer and had it topped up. I never saw any coolant under the engine during this period. Just prior to the almighty Warranty expiring I took it in to the dealer and demanded they look for a leak. The van had 59 km / 35 miles at the time. They couldn't find a leak using the pressure test method, so they decided to put dye in the coolant and take another look. Nothing found after 1.5 days. Finally they told me there may be a leak at the water pump seal, so they replaced the pump and seal and off I went semi-satisfied. Two years later I am still topping up coolant occasionally (read 2/3 times a year) when once again the coolant light comes on. This time I go to top it up and I put nearly 2 pints in...not good. So I take it in to have it looked at, naturally at my expense and they tell me I have an internal leak and they think it might be bad, but will have to take off the intake manifold and have a look...probably a gasket or worse a cracked head if no gasket damage is evident. If I'm lucky, with a head pressure check and polish, plus new gasket, I'm good to go at about 1 g note. Well, no such luck...after removing the intake it looks like my engine has been idling for 5 years. A lot of gunk (read: Preston and oil mixed and burnt on to the heads and valve assembly). Only good news is it is pretty clear that the upper head gasket was the least two seperate cracks. Soooo a new estimate $2000 + cost of crank/cam/head inspection/polish - independently of course at my request. Basically, they have to remove the entire engine out of the van and disassemble, clean, inspect as above and try and remove all traces of the gunk, reassemble and hope all is well. Then generously offer a 90 day warranty. So far I have been able to convince GM Canada to foot half the bill, whatever that may finally be and fork out for a courtesy car. ( which I am currently driving while I decide whether or not to give them the green light. Any ideas or suggestions on what to do? The van has been running loss of power, no knocking, cold am valve tick sound (probably caused by loss of oil lube/pressure from gasket crack), otherwise the van seems really good. Should I push GM to offer more on the repair? Are there any hidden warranties? Quick cleanup/fix and sell? If repair, anything special to look for to ensure its done right?
    Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance. gmfornow
  • missedbassmissedbass Posts: 48
    there seems to be a lot of vans out there with the mysterious coolant leak and most of the leaks come from the intake manifold gasket. How did the oil look when you changed the oil or checked the dipstick?
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    You have reported the incident under warrenty, GM should repair it - free. Its the same issue you had under warrenty the blew you off on. Hope you took it to a GM dealer for repairs, otherwise, they may balk a lot. Good luck. I also have some sort of leak. not in oil for now.

  • mjb56mjb56 Posts: 170
    I would advise you to contact Pontiac via e-mail on their website. I had the same problem, but I caught it early on. Our vehicle was out of warranty but GM covered it 50%, which I felt was fair. I got a good response via e-mail. They immediately assigned a case number to me, which indicated that something was going to be done. And it was. Good luck.
  • gmfornowgmfornow Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response. I wrote quite a long winded story so I wasn't sure anyone would take the time to read it. Any how, my last oil change was in Jan/02 and Jun/01 before. I didn't actually look at the oil on either occassion. I had it done at Costco. The dip stick checks seem to be fine. I have been using Castrol Synthetic for the last 4 years...its probably what may have prevented my engine from falling creates an excellent molecular bond/lube for the metal parts...better than conventional oil because it doesn't lose its viscosity or breakdown. All my repairs and most oil changes have been done at a GM dealer. So maybe thats why they are willing to cover 50% of the bill so a goodwill geture. But I think they should p/u the whole tab since I had this problem in my estimation for at least 3-4 years. And after looking at the condition of the head and intake assembly (valves, rockers,springs, etc.) its obvious that the damage has occured over a long period. Even the GM mechanic told me the same thing. I will probably end up agreeing to the complete removal and clean up of the engine at 50 % and hope that its done right, but I don't have a lot of confidence that the repair will be done well and will last. I think I will have to bite the bullet and dish out $1000 -1500 for my half and maybe try and trade it in...big lessons learned:
    A. don't buy new thinking I will have no problems.
    B. don't accept the dealers fixes unless I am 100% happy.
    C. no wait...what am I thinking...I have an AUDI A4 2.8 my 3rd Audi in 15 years and my last one was 18 years old and still ran as good as new...with a no creaks or maybe the moral of the story is...

    Thanks gmneveragain
  • pukiepukie Posts: 2
    I have a 99 Transport/Montana with a few problems that shouldn't be happening with a van that is less than 3 years old. I currently have 60k miles on it. The warranty ran out 25k miles ago, so there seems that there is not much I can do in that department.
    Here are the problems that I am having.
    #1. Like alot of other Montana owners in this site, I too have a problem with disappearing coolant. Where is it going? I top up the over flow tank about once a month and then the low level coolant light comes on about a month later.
    #2. Airbag warning light on steady. This only happens when my gas gauge drops under 3/4 tank. Once I fill up with gas, the light goes out until the gauge reads under 3/4 tank. Go figure! Explain this one to your mechanic. I have been keeping an eye on it for 2 months now, and the same results every time.
    #3. Hard upshift. I have to be careful when drinking coffee while driving. My vans upshift is so violant some times that I wish my airbag would deploy so I don't get a broken nose on my steering wheel.
    #4. WIPERS. THOSE D#$M WIPERS. I have replaced them twice now because they run into each other and get bent in two. I had the wiper motor looked at with no fault found.
    #5. Drivers side electric window. It never ever goes all the way up unless given a little bit of help with my hand.
    #6. Within the first 3 months of owning the van, the paint dissappeared from the front bumper. It began by bubbling and then flaking off. Yes, this was covered by the warranty and has held up since.

    I believe that this is all of it.
    I can't really afford to get these problems fixed because hey, I'm still paying for the van.

    I'm just praying that it holds up until the payments are done atleast.
  • startgstartg Posts: 1
    I am looking to buy a 1999-2000 montana. I want to know if the 3.4 litre engine is a good one? has there been any problems with it?
  • jservicejservice Posts: 11
    Hi all.

    I'm new to the forum, and I've read lots of interesting stuff. I have real mixed emotions about my 97 Trans Sport.

    I bought the van in September from a GM dealer here in Toronto after it had come off a lease. It had about 75,000 km on the clock, and was initially very pleased with it. Bought an extended warranty (3 years) and wondered if I was just throwing my $1,800 away or not. It turned out to be the best money I've EVER spent.

    At about 115,000 km, I had the notorious coolant leak problem. After topping up the reservoir a couple of times, it was diagnosed as an intake manifold gasket problem, and covered by the 3rd party warranty. At the same time, I had noticed the transmission was "hunting" for 3rd gear. The cause? 3rd gear clutch pack had blown itself apart, so the tranny had to be rebuilt. Total cost to me - $100. Total cost to warranty company - $3,500.

    It's now about 4 months and 9,000 km later. Four days ago, the engine died on the highway. Tried to restart it and couldn't believe the noises from under the hood. Towed it to the dealer. They've partially disassembled my COMPLETELY SEIZED ENGINE to discover a broken camshaft. The warranty company is sending out their adjuster. I guess they want to see if they can weasel out of paying. They demanded to see evidence of every oil change I've had done since purchasing the van 20 months ago. I don't think the warranty company has a leg to stand on - I've changed the oil every 3 months or so (6,000 km). My guess is that this repair will set the warranty company back another $4,000 or so.

    Thing is, that's not the only problems I have with the vehicle. Since it was in the shop anyway, I told the service advisor about the following:
    1. A/C compressor leaks oil from front seal
    2. Power sliding door is inoperative for the 4th time in 20 months
    3. Rack & Pinion is stiff
    4. Rear self-levelling shocks are leaking hydraulic fluid

    This should put the 3rd party warranty company out about another $1,500 - $2,000.

    At the end of all this, the warranty company is out about 10K. If I hadn't purchased the warranty, I would HATE this van.

    I'm curious about the broken cam thing... is this common with the 3.4L engine? Has anyone else run into this much trouble with one of these vehicles? Right now, I plan on selling this thing before the warranty expires in 16 months
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Good Gosh, don't come near me!!! You've got a HEX on you!!


  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    It's the Extended Warranty Hex!

    No warranty, no problems :-) (and boy do I hope this one has legs in real life since I'm driving around "bare").

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  • ody01ody01 Posts: 100
    Olden days each division made quality engines. Now all share corporate junk engines. Old 3.8L V6 in Transport much superior current 3.4L. Some 4.3L V6 good. All GM 4 cylinder engines junk. GM needs Honda 3.5L V6 for good minivan.
    Sedona also much better than GM minivans.
  • jflandersjflanders Posts: 1
    I'm looking into buying a Montana. Our dealer has a DEMO available. It has 2200 miles on it. How much should I ask be deducted from the price?
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