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Pontiac Montana



  • I bought this car used, a few weeks ago. It has approx 4700 miles on it. It was a 1 owner vehicle. The person seems to have taken pretty good care of it. The only 2 issues I've noticed with this vehicle, is:

    1. The power doors seem to unlock themselves, randomly, while driving. Sometimes, I can be driving for quite a while, when the fun starts. And sometimes, after only a couple of minutes the fun starts. I can't seem to figure out where the problem is originating from. At first, I thought it was the power sliding door's fault, but then I start to suspect the rear hatch. I can't figure it out. Any ideas out there?

    2. This 'problem' has only shown itself once. While driving, I noticed the car shifing 'hard' when changing gears. It was very noticable. I could feel the van 'jerk' when accelerating into higher gears. I stopped, parked & went into the store for a few minutes. Once I returned, the van seemed to shift normally again. Smooth as butter. Just as I've been used to since I purchased the vehicle. Any ideas on this one as well?

    Thanks for your time!
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Still no issues to report. Gas and go. Just a cracked washer fluid cap in the winter from the cold replaced under warranty. I think the 03 - 05 3400s are the newer version but it also came with a 5 year power train so hopefully we are ok.

    Love the Montana though the new vans do have a nicer interior.
  • Hi there....very new to this site....

    Wondering if anyone can give me some input on purchasing an used 1997 Trans Port with Montana package. It has 97K miles on it, but the body and interior is immaculate. I am going to test drive it tonight and the dealership is making a list of what needs done to it, since it's basically an "as is" purchase on a trade in they do not a result I am going to be able to buy it for roughly $ 3000.00.

    I am a single mom with three kids and two dogs and need something besides my reasonable used 2001 Saturn to take little trips and carry things from home store etc. I am apprehensive about buying a "trade in" and am afraid that I will buy this and get stuck with repairs and failures that no one will cover....

    Any information or input would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!


  • btaylorbtaylor Posts: 3
    Thanks for your input with this problem. Would you know where underneath the truck it would be located. Again thank you for your help.
  • sdouglas1sdouglas1 Posts: 1
    Hey everyone,

    I just very recently got a 2001 montana with 110000km on it. Used to have a FOrd Focus but wife and I have a 16 month old baby and another on the way so we thought we should upsize a bit on vehicle size. Anyhow both wife and I like the Montana but I have noticed the temp. gauge on the dash seems to float a bit. While driving it usually sits around the 70 range but when we come to a stop ie. red light etc the gage goes to maybe 1 tick above 1/2 way. Icalled the dealer and the sales guy said he has aa 2002 and his does the same this normal. The last car I had where the gauge moved like that ended up with a major head gasket issue. Should I be concerned?
  • In short: Yes, you should definitely be concerned!!
    In Long:
    Good luck with this one. You are like me and didn't do research on the Montana before purchasing! My mechanic (a very small business) replaces at least 2 head gaskets in Montanas a WEEK! He said that this is a major design flaw in these vehicles and nearly everyone who owns one will have this problem. The longer you let it go, the worse it gets until you have to replace the entire engine. We noticed it when we went in for a routine oil change and the guy freaked out because we were leaking coolant into the oil! We took the van right in to our mechanic and it was already too late, it had gone a little further and ended up costing us $1500. This just happened about two months ago. Our van had 61,000 miles when this all happened. I would DEFINITELY bet with the mileage your van has, that it has been an issue for a long time. Get it checked!
    We love the look and everything about the Montana, except the engine!! We'll never own another GM vehicle. They know about these issues, but because they aren't "safety" issues, won't do a recall. It doesn't help to fight them on it. People have been trying for years. Even if you replace the engine, you still have the issues eventually because you'd be replacing with the same engine, with the same problems. I'd see about getting your money back for it if possible. This van is nothing but trouble! Dealerships know about it also and pretend they don't because they don't like dealing with it!
  • anniesannies Posts: 1
    I also have a 1999 montana i just had the engine replaced about a month ago had 91000 miles on it. Have no idea what caused the head gaskets to go out on it we were comming home on easter and lost power then hot light came on. Being aluminum heads we replaced the motor costed 2600.00 to replace then my rear wheel bearings went out right after they are 175.00 to replace. The new motor has 70,000 on it i hope it dont go out again at 90? Other then that i love my van.And yes i still owe on mine also or it would have been in the bone yard.To your remark cars aren't made like they used to be i agree we were just looking for a beater car for my husband to go back and forth to work and everything we looked at the head gaskets are going?? What happend to the 500.00 beaters that ran for years?
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Newer 3400 engines should not have the gasket issues as the design flaw that causes this sometimes was fixed. We researched it before we bought our 2004 Montana. GM also has a 5 year powertrain warranty on the newer models and the new vans have a better 3500 engine.
  • I love my Blue Montana. It has 164,000km. I have been having a problem with the drivers' side window. It keeps getting stuck down. Anyone else have this problem?

    Also, the engine starts ruff. We paid $1,200 to have this fixed, but it still does this? What problem could this be? We have also had 3 recalls on our passenger sliding door.

    I would like to buy a new Montana, but I can only find new SV6's here in Canada. (I DO NOT like the new styling, but are they any good? Everyone is telling me to buy a Sienna, but it looks like they have major sludge problems.
  • cskipgocskipgo Posts: 1
    My 2001 Montana also started unlocking on its own. It did it at first while we were driving but has also done it while it is parked. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know what it might be? Thanks for any help.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    You may be able to still get 05 Montnana EXTs but they may have to bring one in from another dealer as I can't imagine there are a lot of them left. New ones are much better in many ways (engine, brakes, build and interior) so I would buy a SV6 Montnana even if you weren't crazy about the styling. I didn't like it at first either (which is why I went ahead with an 04) but it's grown on me. I think I like the Uplander version a bit better though.
  • kepr67kepr67 Posts: 1
    Well I am new to this site and wish I had known about it 2 months ago BEFORE I bought a used 2001 Montana from a Chrysler Dealership. I am a single mom, 38 yrs old and this was the first major purchase of my life. By that I mean I have never spent over $2500 for any vehicle, they were always cash and I never had any major problems with them. This time, I financed and made a purchase from a dealership thinking that you get what you pay for. I expected the vehicle to have gone through inspection before being marketed so I made the purchase. I was never offered any kind of extended warranty and purchased "as is" with 66000 miles on it. Two and a half weeks later, I am on my way home at night with my daughter and the coolant warning comes on, I look at the temp gauge and it is maxxed out so I pull in to the nearest gas station. I had only just started the car and traveled one mile when this happened so I was shocked that it would be overheating so soon. I bought some coolant to pour into the reservoir in hopes that it would vacuum in to the radiator so that I didn't have to remove the cap. I cranked up the heater and took back roads all the way home hoping we would be safe.
    The following day, I took it to my mechanic just around the corner from me thinking the thermostat might just be sticking. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to hear that my radiator was bone dry and they could not find a leak when they filled it. They suspected that the head gaskets were going and the estimate was $1400. I called the dealership in total dismay and they suggested I take it to a mechanic they use and they would try to help me on the cost. When that mechanic called me back stating that they would remove the water pump and timing cover and replace a gasket in front that would only costs $667, I said ok, do it. I would have my van back just in time for my vacation over the 4th weekend. Well the next day I received another call and after they got in to the repairs, found that the original diagnosis was correct and now it was up to $1600 (estimated). My van would not be ready until mid to late week AFTER the 4th weekend. :cry:
    To try and make this shorter, I received a call that my van was finished and it would be $1712.50 and I need to get the control arms replaced ASAP because the bushings are pushing out (estimated $498). This is visible to the naked eye. After speaking to the sales manager and the owner of the Dealership, they want to offer me their profit from the vehicle of $500 as good measure since I did buy it "as is" and sign papers stating that this would be the last of it. When asked to see paperwork from the inspection before putting it on the market, I was told they didn't do an inspection, but just listed "as is".
    So, just how upset to I get with the dealership given what I have read about the problems with the Montanas. Should they at least be liable for not having inspected the vehicle then selling it with it being a driving hazard or do I accept the $500 and be done with it all? I haven't even made the first payment on the loan and it has incurred $2200 in repairs.
    ANY comments would be appreciated as I now have this vehicle for the next 4 years. This whole ordeal has made me physically sick. :sick:
  • dougivksdougivks Posts: 3
    I've searched through most of the AC questions, and not found the same problem I'm having. 2000 montana with 69,000 miles. Problem is AC blows cold out of the passengers ducts, but blows hot air out the drivers side. checked the filter, still does it with the filter not there. The passenger air feels as cold as it should be, but nothing from the drivers side.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Ouch indeed. That is why I have never bought a used car, I scared of something like that happening. At least with a new car you have 3 years to have things fixed and you know it hasn't been abused. Unfortunately you may have had to buy used. It was nice of the dealer to help you though, if it was sold as is then you take your chances. Not much else you can do other than trade it in. Montanas are not all that bad in general, we know 3 people that have them and are very happy which is why we bought. Read any of the other forums and you will read about their problems on this board also. People come here for that.
  • mlovsemlovse Posts: 7
    Passenger side behind the oil pan, in front of the lower crossmember.

    Good luck!
  • bheiny3bheiny3 Posts: 4
    Probably has been discussed previously on this forum, but a search didn't turn up any specific discussions. Last spring in our 2000 Montana, half of the display light on the radio/stereo unit went dark, burned out or whatever. The dealer said it the whole unit would have to be replaced and the cost was well over $400 at least. I decided I could live with a half lighted display.

    I just purchased a new 2005 Vibe, and it has the same almost exact radio/stereo unit display. I was just over looking at the forum for Vibes, and a new post there from a 2003 Vibe owner said his display burned out completely and the cost of replacement of the unit was to be $580.

    So, I thought I would at least check over here (since I haven't visited here since 2000 when I bought our Montana) and see if anyone had discussed this problem before or had a solution other than a complete radio unit replacement. Thanks!
  • mlovsemlovse Posts: 7
    Your AC drain tube might be partially blocked. It's located on the passener side (under the van) behind the oil pan and in front of the crossmember. I should drip every 2-5 seconds on a warm humid day.

    You may also notice some moisture under the passenger side carpet if this is the case.

    Good luck!
  • Hi,

    My 2000 Montana did the same thing (right side of radio/stereo/clock went out). I thought maybe spilled some water on the floor, and it drained through.

    I think my gas gauge is going wonky. It was at almost empty and I turned a corner and it went all the way up to full, and took about 2 minutes of driving to get it kind of right.

    Lease question: I was offered a lease of $336 monthly (36 months), based on Capital Cost of $27,756, rebate of $1,000 and trade-in of my 2000 Montana at $5,500. Residual is $13,117 (All Canadian Dollars). Is this a good deal?

  • mygrayvanmygrayvan Posts: 4
    Hi, My Montana 1999 am/fm/cd display also went out within the last 3 weeks. The clock and station id can be seen very dim or by holding a flashlight at the right angle. I was told it was also very expensive to repair. When I get around to it I will take the radio out and see if there is a bulb inside that needs replacement but I will buy another radio and install it before I pay $500 to get this one repaired. Right now I am trying to find out why the "Check engine soon" light came on. I think it is from the last gas fill up but dealer said it was at least $100 just to hook it it the machine and take a look. I only have 49k miles on it. Good luck and when I get it apart I will inform you of what I see.
  • bheiny3bheiny3 Posts: 4
    and a reply to castlerock also.

    Sorry to hear you also both have had radio display trouble. I'm no where near talented enough to be replacing a radio in a van myself, but will be very interested to hear what you (mygrayvan) find when you get in there to check and see if it is a replaceable bulb or what.

    On another note I think I saw a post from you earlier in the spring as I looked through past posts, on lower intake manifold gaskets leaking. Just two months ago I got a low coolant message in our 2000 Montana, but had never seen any sort of leak on the garage floor or anywhere else. Filled up the coolant - it was low again within a couple of weeks. Took it to our local dealer and was told the manifold (I think) gasket was leaking, it was falling onto the transmission and being burned off- thus I was never seeing an actual puddle on the floor anywhere. Cost was $681 to get it fixed. No problems since.

    We drive the 2000 very little - my wife uses it to shuttle kids around town, and we use it for infrequent family vacation trips. It only has 33,000 miles on it and we bought it new (actually special ordered it for exact options we wanted back in fall of 1999). This is the only major problem we have had with it so far, other than the radio display, and the driver side power window controls not being able to lower the passenger side window (will raise it, but not lower it). So we have been lucky most likely - or just haven't driven it enough to have many problems yet.

    for castlerock - I'm afraid I have never leased and don't know if it is the way to go, or what a good lease deal would be. Thanks for the responses.
  • mygrayvanmygrayvan Posts: 4
    Hi, I had a problem that started out with "Check engine light" on, me smelling anti-freeze and the temp gauge went from pining the needle to 100 and back up. I took it to a GM Dealer and he told me that the input gasket was bad as well as a injector.He "said" It was "fixed" after spending $1280. I picked it up and drove 2 miles with it and the same thing all over again. Drove it right back and now he claims it was the water pump. I told him it's the same thing I took it to them in the 1st place. Anyway I only paid for the part...another $80. After that I still smelt the anti-freeze and called GM's and reported all me actions with them. Less then 2000 miles later the "check engine soon" light came on and guage was up & down again and now was told by 3 places it was misdiag the 1st time and it was the Head Gasket. That job would have ran over $2000 but I went back to the GM Dealer who 1st did the work and told the Manager what I was going to tell everyone about their workmanship and the Dealer I bought the car from ended up doing it for $550. This is my 1st GM car I purchased new and it only has 49k miles on it and I upkeep it very good but I will never buy another GM car/van again. I hope you have good luck with your but there are alot of reports between the heads and dexcool used in the van.It's less that 2000 miles since it was repaired and my "Check Engine Soon" light came on again.Dealer said it will cost another $100 just to put it on the machine and see what the light came on for. Good Luck..
  • mygrayvanmygrayvan Posts: 4
    Thank you, I will be sure to let you know what I find. I just sent a update to #1063. The dealer which I bought the van from new ended up rebuilding the engine and replacing the head gasket. My van only has 49k miles on it, now less then 2k miles since it was rebuilt, the "check engine soon" light came back on. I just left a R&S and was talking to the mechinc in there asking them "How many times do you need to start the van before the light goes out if it is due to the fuel cap being placed back incorrect?" He told me that it take 50 start/drive/stops, for the system to reset itself. Or I could pay them $75 to hook it up to their computer and see if thats what it is.
  • dougivksdougivks Posts: 3
    well as it turns out, upon further inspection, the seal on the compressor has gone out, causing it to spit oil everywhere on the belt side of the motor (normally the front). anyway, looking at replacement compressors, which would be the better way to go? A reman factory, or a reman Vistean compressor? they're is only a 5 dollar price difference, but i thought i saw something about a design flaw in the factory compressors.
  • tkirk8tkirk8 Posts: 2
    The brake lights on my 2000 Pontiac Montana quit working. The upper light in the middle of the rear window still works, but the two associated with the 4 bulb assemblies (one on each side) don't work. The bulbs illuminate when the headlights are on, however, when the brakes are applied the lights don't change, i.e. get brighter. Is there an easy fix for this? Thanks for your help
  • marty5898marty5898 Posts: 6
    Have you tried to change the light bulbs. My van brake lights were working but when I tried the cruise (tied into brake lights) it only worked intermittenly. Try replacing the bulbs, they are only a few bucks and may solve your problem. If this does not work, it could be the "curcuit board" in the lights or the switch on your brake pedal.
  • tkirk8tkirk8 Posts: 2
    I have replaced the bulbs several times, so thats not the problem. Where is the circuit board? I replaced the fuses on the passenger side console, I didn't know there was anything else.
  • marty5898marty5898 Posts: 6
    This circuit board is where you plug all of your light bulbs into at the back of your van. Check out the following posts:1034, 1037, 1039.
  • jamesherbjamesherb Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Montana which has been at the dealer for 2 weeks because they cant find the problem. After I drive for a while and come to a stop of slow down almost to a stop the A/C stops blowing cold, the blower still puts out the same. I have opened the hood to see if the clutch was engaged and it is not. After I start moving again it may come on after a while. The dealer has changed the control head in the dash and the cycle switch, still having this problem. I call the dealer and they really dont want the van back in their shop because they say it is working correctly and they see no problems. My extended warranty runs out in a little over 5000 miles. WHAT TIMING! Has anyone else seen or had this problem? Please Help!!!!

  • can someone tell me where they pressure bypass switch is for the AC system on the montana? I need to bypass it so I can engage the compressor to refill the system.
  • helnwlshelnwls Posts: 3

    Just wondering if anyone has had the experience of the bubbling and peeling of paint from their Montana's?? Mine is a 2002 Montana that I just took to the dealership, as it has extended warranty, to see if they could do anything for me. The dealership said they have to send it to their bodyshop and it would cost me money. I believe this is probably a GM problem, but haven't come across anything yet. If anyone knows anything, or has any comments I would certainly welcome them. Thanks.
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