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Pontiac Montana



  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    I can only comment from my own experience. I too had the pistons replaced around 30k miles and the cold-start tick returned shortly thereafter.... however the tsb stated the cause of the noise was the fit between the piston and wrist-pin and not piston slap. Sometimes the noise is there, but most of the time it isn't. That was 100k miles ago so at this point as long as it goes away in a couple minutues, I don't worry. Still using 5W-30 oil with minimal consumption between 4k changes.
    The OE rr air shock did leak. It was next to the exhaust resonator so I cut it out and put a shield over the tailpipe at that location. Replaced w/Gabriels at 64k.
    Replaced rear wheel cyl at 128k. There was a slight seepage but causing no problem. Still have OE rear brake shoes.
    I occasionally pull a 2800 lb Coleman popup camper without problems.... in fact the van is more stable than my shorter wheelbase 03 Envoy. To be fair I did install an aux. trans oil cooler, which I've done on all my vehicles.
    My overall fuel econ is around 22-23 but I do a lot of highway only type driving.
    AC still works good at 130k and in AZ summers.

    Knowing about the lower manifold gasket leak I changed mine around 94k. Cost, not including my labor, was under $75. The gasket was just starting to seep.

    Things not on your list that I've done include replacing the harmonic balancer. The drive pulley was misaligned to the point the belt would fail prematurely. and I put a set of reconditioned injectors in to correct a misfire.

    At 61000 miles looks like you've had your share of problems. I generally do most of the routine maintainence on mine and do try to follow other people's experience as a "heads-up" on what to look for. My dealership experience has been less than favorable!

    I can't complain about power. Love the room and utility and everything still works. As long as it starts we plan on keeping it.
    BTW I normally don't read this forum but happened to check it. Generally only post in the triplet forum.
  • frymanfryman Posts: 19
    We have a 1998 Transport. Ran for 149000 with absolutely no trouble. At 149000 had to replace the heads (they weren't cracked yet but since the head gasket blew I decided to replace them as they were showing surface cracks). Also replaced the catalytic converter because it would show a catalytic efficiency fault every 200-300 miles. Car now has 156000, little rust and runs good. Everything still works but the radio display. It does have the lower end noise when cold but it goes away during warm up. It has been the most reliable vehicle we have had (Ford, Hyundai and GM).

    AS far as the radio goes, this is the second stock radio and the LCD display flickers and shows jibberish most of the time. No correlation between hot and cold. Any thoughts or known fixes?

  • I have a 2006 Montana. While steering, there is a "clicking" that can be felt in the steering wheel. Also, there is a "crunch" or a "rumble" which also can be felt. I've had it to the dealer 3 times - and finally I was told that there is no fix - it's something to do with the spool valve. Called GM, and the same thing. There is a TSB on it, and I have to wait until they come up with a fix. Meanwhile, problem is getting worse and louder. So, my van drives great so long as I don't have to turn!!!

    Anyone else experienced something like this?? I am going to a good independent mechanic now, cause I get nowhere with GM. They even told me that since there is no fix to this problem, if I took back to dealership, they would charge me to have a look at it again - because like I said, it's getting worse.

    I told GM that this is crazy because I have a 2006 vehicle with less than 30K km's on it, and it's basically worthless. With the noise going on, I couldn't give it away.

    Any advice?
  • I have a 2000 Pontiac Montana with Transmission and many more problems. Unless GM comes forward with a statement and some form of compensation, this will be my last GM vehicle ever. I think they were cutting corners with poor in house part machining quality and possible supplier management issues. In 2004, just outside warranty and less than 50,000 miles, it starting shifting rough. In March 2005, at 65,000 miles, AAMCO replaced Torque converter, bands, actuators etc. at a cost of $2,100. 15,000 miles and 18 months later same problem: AAMCO now thinks it is located in the Valve Body. AAMCO is pretty good about it are willing to help and do labor free. In addition: Loosing coolant due to a leaky intake manifold gasket ($830) and with valves hanging because of coolant in the lubrication system (Oil came out Orange colored) New front wheel brake cylinders (stuck) plus rear cylinders leaking brake fluid: $850. What happened to the cylinder honing process?

    Leo Grassens
  • petripetri Posts: 1
    Hi all,
    we just got ourselves a used Chevrolet Trans Sport (the name for Pontiac Montana here in Europe), year 2000. The problem is, the owner's manual seemed to be missing. I'm wondering if anyone has an extra copy, or even better, an electronic version of the manual. Would make it easier to be able to use all the features of the vehicle :) I would also be happy with the manual of another year-model, as long as it is more or less the same car.
    Thanks in advance!
  • My 99 Montana has this same shifting hard problem. It will shift extremely hard (sometimes), and then after I stop, turn the van off, wait a couple minutes, start it again, it is fixed...for an indefinite amount of time.

    Did you ever find the problem?

  • guestguest Posts: 770
    you might want to change the map. i have problems with it shifting hard when i first started it up. i put in a new map and the car runs like it is new.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    You might try regisitering on this link:
    Not sure if European VIN's will work but worth a try. Digital owners manuals (pdf) are available for around 5 yrs back.
  • My husband and I are the proud (yeah right) owners of a 2003 Pontiac Montana. We had no trouble with this van until it got about 80,000 miles, then its like it just fell apart. The first thing that went wrong was the evaporator box. $1,100.00 to get fixed, it was either do that or have my floor boards rust out from all the water leaking on them. That was Sept. 2005. June 2006, the AC stops blowing cold air, so I take it back in to see whats wrong. Its the AC again, the compressor this time. $700.00 to fix it, that is the price I am quoted. I told them I was not spending that kind of money on that van right then, and for them to just put some freon in it and we would see how it goes. So far so good. Then sometime during winter 2006, I am riding down the hwy. and hear this noise coming for the front tire, I thought it was flat or something. Nope, wheel bearing needs to be replaced. That was $200.00. Then the next week it does the same thing, on the same tire. I took the van back in, and they replaced it at no charge ........ they said the part could have been faulty. Well, now when I turn the wheel to back out of a parking place, it makes this loud popping noise. People in the parking lot will turn around and look at me. I dont know what this noise is. Anyone have any ideas. THEN ........ today I am on my way to a friends house to pick her up so we can go shopping, and I have yet ANOTHER problem develop with this piece of crap. As I am accelerating, the van starts to jerk, it does this when the vehicle is shifting. Does this mean that my transmission of going to fail me now? I am soooooooooo ready to be rid of this vehicle, but we owe more on it than what its worth. We tried to trade it a few months ago, and the dealership only wanted to give us half of what we still owe on it. Apparently they know its a piece of crap too!!!!
  • OMG. don't tell me this! i just bought an 06 montana, 17,000 miles, in service since january this year! and am taking it in to service tomorrow for a crunch/ rumble (your words are exactly how i described it to the service man this a.m.) i keep hearing. sometimes sounds like the steering and other times like in the wheel area... like bad tie rods but without any driving/ handling problem.
    i'm new to this forum, this vehicle, and am a single female :) what is a TSB?
    also, any one have problems with the auto door? takes ALOT of resistance to stop mine from closing. i don't trust it to reverse for my son or grandson's hands when it takes my daughter's whole side of the body to trigger! thing nearly knocked her over before it stopped and reversed!!
  • Takes alot of resistance before door will go back. Be careful with the door around kids.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    vango06, a TSB is a Technical Service Bulletin. You can find a list of the TSBs for your model here: Maintenance Schedules, Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • i don't see the spool valve problem listed in the tsb?
    :confuse: airamee
  • jeez. great feature for a family car huh? why no bulletins on this? the caravan "stow and go" feature got bombarded as a potential entrapment danger. so why not the auto door as a high risk/ potential danger to little fingers and hands? takes the first lawsuit i bet. :mad:
  • Hi, new member, first post. I got a great deal on a '99 Montana extended this past summer. Has 125k miles, already had the manifold problem fixed before I got it, and it has run great now for six months. During the summer, we had a few problems with the back hatch handle seeming to not engage, but it would always work on the 2nd or 3rd try. Now that cold weather snapped last week, it does not engage, so we cannot open the door. As far as I've seen, Montanas (or at least this model) do not have a hatch release switch/button up front, and no key hole on the outside, so we're kind of screwed right now.

    Anyone heard of this? If I got the car in a warm garage for a while, would it possibly work again, so I could open the door and perhaps grease something? Or has some cable snapped? Arg-- if it only had a button or switch up front to release it, we could live with it for a while (I am between jobs right now and can't afford costly repairs).

    Any help appreciated. Thanks.
  • That lower end noise you're experiencing is due to what's call unskirted pistons. Older engine manufacturing used skirted pistons to keep uniformity of the piston inside the cylinder as it moved up and down. The manufacturers decided to go unskirted to lower the reciprocating mass and simply to reduce weight internally of the engine. The stroke (up and down travel) of the piston is shorter in the newer engines and don't necessarily need skirts. As the engine gains heat, you gain expansion ... no noise.
    As for the radio freaking out on the display, it's the display going bad. Even the dealers don't replace a radio with a brand new one ... they send them to a repair facility, GM certified, and get a swapped repaired one or repair the original one when a repaired replacement isn't available. These radios have issues
  • I just found this site while doing some research.....hoping the someone can help me.

    I bought a 2001 Pontiac Montana (used) in April of this year. Since I bought it the following has happened....4 days after I got it the transmission went in it(136,000km) got it back from the shop and the lifters were gone in it.
    For the last 2 days its been overheating took it in said I needed new that fixed in they are telling me its the head gasket!!! Any suggestions on what I should do? Were there any recalls on this van for things like this?

  • supermommy, I hate to say this, but these vans are just pieces of crap. There are people who have posted on this forum that have had minimal trouble, but for the most part, things dont sound good for the old Pontiac Montana. We had to take ours in to the shop a few weeks ago,(see my above post) and something is wrong with our tranmission. A TCC or something like that, also having to have on of the gaskets replaced. Total cost about $300.00! Right here at Christmas, how lovely. The man that owns the shop where our van was fixed says that he sees these Montanas in there all the time. He said he had three in there in one week. Two needing new tranmissions and one needing a new motor. He said that the Montanas are just not good vehicles. The resale value on these things are bad too. We tried to trade ours back during the summer, and they only wanted to give us half of what we owed.
    Anyway, I hope that you have all your problems resolved with your van. Its a shame that these vans have so many issues and problems, its really a cute van. Next time, however, Im buying a Honda!

    Oh, and last night my van did something it hasnt done before. I was waiting to go in to a store last night, but I was waiting for a friend to join me, so I shut the van off and turned the key back to I could still hear the radio, and my warning light thingy (the place that lights up that tells you low fuel, door ajar, ect ....) it just kept flasing all the warnings ....... door ajar, rear hatch ajar, security, low fuel, battery warning, ect ....... What was that all about? It didnt do it when it was cranked up and running.
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
    Hi, 99transportonr,

    I've moved your post to the Montana Transmission Issues discussion, where you may be more likely to get an answer. Hope you get this figured out soon :-)


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • I have a 1993 Pontiac Trans Sport (3800 V6) it has 142000 on it. I got it used about a year and a 1/2 ago. This problem was their when i looked at it but i assumed tune up or something simple. It only had 125000 on it and i paided $950 for it, i didn't think that was bad. The problem is that when you reach about 45-55 mph (mostly up hill) ut will chug. It is a hard nocking in pull and if you push it down forceing it into passing gear it will run fine. I had like 3 tranny guys bet their job that it wasnt the problem. I did a tune-up, mass air flow sensror (helped but not it), throttle Position sensor, and fuel filter. The fuel pump was replaced before i purchased it so i didn't think that it was it. I hope that someone can help me, i hate to get rid of it because it is in really good shape.
  • If as you state the vehicle operates normaly when its not under a heavy load at low rpm, i.e. acceleration in overdrive, then the most likely cause is a weak spark, normally due to one or more weak coil packs, however could be plugs or plug wires. This is a known issue with 3.8l GM engines and will caues the chug that you describe. Good luck.
  • No. The front display/control panel is held on by ears that can be popped out with a little pressure. The display also has two plugs that must be removed from inside the radio. But the repair is not simply a bulb replacement - the display must be replaced. So it has to be sent off to a repair facility for replacement with a repaired unit.
    See the dealer.
  • I posted a message early and already got a reply. But i just wanted to add the latest findings. Just yesterday i was checking my fluids like have to do every other day and found a strong smell of gas in the oil. The smell was so strong you could smell it like 10 feet from the van. I don't know if this will change your thought on the problem. I was thinking maybe fuel injector. Please help i am getting desperate. I also have a 94 Grand Prix that is dieing so i need this van.
  • I had a 1997 Transport Montana, and it was the worst vehicle I ever owned. We nicknamed it Elmer, because we had to carry a tube of glue to glue the parts back on as they fell off. We live in New Mexico, and travel a lot on rough dirt mountain trails. The Pontiac was worthless. We actually stopped one time to walk around the van and see if anything had fallen off. It developed a horrible tappet noise at 110,000 miles... I poured some chemicals in it to shut it up, and promptly drove it to the dealer to trade it off! Lost a lot of money on that piece of crap, too. Went back to the Ford Aerostar, which is an indestructible tank. Will drive it forever.
  • headachheadach Posts: 17
    thank you burns5907, i heard that was a problem but i wasn't sure. I just wanted to double check. I also heard and was wondering if it has anything with the (boch)? Spelling,. pligsa that i put in it. I don't have the money to do a tune up right now but i will try.
  • headachheadach Posts: 17
    i have had some more fun! This time not as major as the other ones. I was wondering if anyone knew anything about window problems. My drivers side window only sometimes goes down and it is hard getting it closed again. I thought it was the motor but recently my passenger window won't go up. so i tired the control on the passenger side and it works fine. I think it is the window buttons on the drivers side. However i saw there is a thing called a Window Regulator. Please can anyone tell me what part it is.
  • ckunichckunich Posts: 2
    I don't know if you are still checking this message board but I have been trying to fight with Gm over the paint on my 2001 silhoutte---same thing as a montana. It started to mildly bubble at 3 years-they said I was past my warranty. Now it is doing it all over the hood. I have met strangers in parking lots with the same problem. This is crazy.
  • bikeralbikeral Posts: 6
    i have a simular problem with the paint on my hood bubbling
    up but, my problem was with a poor paint job after a small fender bender.
  • Had a similar problem....minor fender bender....GM dealer repainted it. The paint came off. We discovered the dealer failed to primeer before the painting, so they did it again, and failed to primer it again! This happened 3 times. I gave up on the dealed.
    Jack in Colorado
    PS: Looked at a new Toyota Highlander today...I'm sick of GM crap!
  • frymanfryman Posts: 19
    I have a 98 Pontiac Transport with 160K on it and occasionally the check engine light comes on. The only code showing is P0420 which is Catalytic Efficiency. This happened this summer and I replaced the catalytic converter and it stopped for about 6 months. It has started back up, coming on every 100 miles or so. Suspect that the next thing to replace would be the post converter O2 sensor but was looking for any guidance.
    I will probably never sell the van so if I remove the converter (dont live in a state with smog check), will that stop the check engine light or will it now continue to report catalytic efficiency problems because the converter is gone.

    By the way, this has been a very good car. Other than warped intake gasket at 127k and blown head gasket at 149K, it has rock solid.

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