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Chevy Venture



  • In 1998 Venture, I have a clicking noise up front. Stops when brakes are applied or with right turn. Have checked brakes, no problems found.
  • Referring to message #602, has anyone else had this clicking noise?
  • has anyone had a problem with the automatic van door? I inadvertently grabbed the inside handle of the door while it was opening and it didn't stop. broke 3 bones, needed surgery. ended up with 6 screws and a rod in my hand.
  • My wife and I bought a 2000 WB Edition Chevy Venture about 3 months ago. Overall, we are very happy with the van (about 3000 miles so far). It's does a great job of transporting our 3 kids around town and so far we've had no mechanical problems with the vehicle. Since I'm convinced that GM employees and designers often "lurk" in these pages, I'm going to use this opportunity to note a few items that we don't like about the vehicle. Prospective buyers shouldn't take these items the wrong way. I'm simply airing a few gripes. I'd buy the vehicle again tomorrow. However, there's nothing like a little customer feedback to improve a product.

    Here are my "Dis-Likes"
    1. The "leather" seats in the WB Edition van are not predominately leather. There is a tremendous amount of cloth on the seat which completely negates all the advantages of buying a "leather" seat.

    2. The WB Edition comes with 5 captain's seats. The 3 in the middle row string together to form a "bench" seat. The 2 seats in the rear row can be positioned in either the second row or in the rear row. However, the two outboard seats in the middle row will not go in the rear row (It states this on a sticker right under the seat). WHY!!!??? The reason this is so frustrating is that the outboard seats in the middle row also both contain the integrated child seats. The GM design prevents me from using the integrated child seats in the rear row. It's completely perplexing why it was designed this way.

    3. The cupholders for the front passengers (driver and 1st passenger) are a joke. This is a minivan, not a sports car. We need more/better cupholders. In fact, with a full van (all seats occupied) there are a total of 3 cupholders (for 7 people) in the entire van!! This is just downright silly. My SUV that holds 7people, has 9 cupholders.

    4. I hate daytime running lamps. If I want my lights on, I'll turn them on myself.

    5. Please give me a drivers seat with 2 real armrests (like the Astro van). The door is not a comfortable rest for my left arm.

    6. When you fill up with gas and reset the overhead trip computer, you have to reset each and every parameter. What a pain. Make every parameter reset with one switch (like the early models did).

    7. I need a driver's side power sliding door. (Addressed on 2001 model).

    8. Both rear seat (3rd row) audio controls are only accessible to passenger seated on R side of van. Designer obviously didn't have teenage kids.

    9. Handle on rear hatch is flimsy. It's been replaced twice (under warranty). Now I just don't use it since I know it will just tear again.

    10. I don't like driving vehicles without full size spare tires, especially with the entire family onboard. A full size spare needs to be an option.

    11. Where's the tachometer?

    12. I sure would prefer cruise control buttons on the steering wheel (instead of the over-populated blinker stem). While I'm on the subject, a cruise "cancel" switch would be nice.

    Here are a few of my Likes:
    1. The entertainment system is great.
    2. Fuel economy vs my SUV is great.
    3. Dual climate controls is great. 3 zone (ala Chrysler) is overkill.
    4. Thank you for putting a compressor switch on the climate controls.
    5. I sure like the rear compressor / inflator system. Why isn't there a compartment to store my inflator hose?
    6. Engine power/torque is acceptable. Good acceleration for merging etc...
    7. Suspension seems fine. Nice ride
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    The front cup holders have been taken from the side of the passenger seat and put on front console knocking out the ash tray/lighter. For the smokers, you must my a kit from the dealer of an ash tray that fits in the cupholder. Believe you also get a lighter to use in the spare outlet.

    I would add to the list (believe does not apply to WB) the loosey goosey CD drawer which slides out, but must be engaged in a slot on the lid. The segments for holding the CD are quite tight and if the CD case is not shut tight it will not fit.
  • We bought the van about 1 year ago and this serious problem starts about 1-2 months. The van will die at lower speed, for example, in a parking lot. It happened about 2-3 times and it really concern me and my wife who drives it. A dealer checked it out but they didn't find anything.

    The other funny thing is erratic movement of the temp. gauage up to 3/4 of the dial but the dealer confirms this is normal behavier as the fan will kick in at higher temp to save gas.
  • My '97 Venture has a vibration problem when the wind speed over the van gets to 80-85 mph. That can be 65 driving into a 15 to 20 mph head wind, any combination that reaches that speed.

    It sounds like it comes from the luggage rack, but there is nothing loose that we can tighten. I suppose it could be a resonance frequency in the roof itself (how would you fix THAT). We asked the dealer about it after we had it a year, but they knew nothing about any complaints to GM. It is LOUD, and about the same timbre as a jackhammer.

    I don't know if anyone else has posted about this. I read back about a hundred posts, but can't read all 600. Any help would be appreciated.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Have you tried removing the crossbars from the roof rack? Not only will that reduce aerodynamic drag and safe you some fuel, but it may eliminate your wind buffering problem. If you need the crossbars, try moving them to different positions.

    Good luck!
    Drew Townhall co-host
    Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories conferences
  • We have the long wheelbase Venture without the roof rack and have not experienced any vibrations/noise at high speed. I have a bug deflector that DOES become rather noisy when driving in a strong headwind.
  • I have the 1998 Venture van that 'had' daytime running lights and I found them to be a real pain. I found it strange that the headlight switch shows "Off,Park Lights, and Full On , but I had no control, they are controlled from the dash mounted photo resistor. I'm not the kind of person that needs everything done for me, and I don't drive around without headlights when they are needed. I solved the 'automatic headlights" problem the day I got my van, it's a simple wiring fix, within easy reach, that anyone could do in about 5 minutes. The wiring change will not void any warrantee, is quickly reversible if desired and the light switch works the way I think it should. Chevy should stop treating consumers like idiots and calling their designs "improvements" more like what they really are...inconveniences.

  • My 98 venture is slow to heat up and provide passenger heating. Anyone else experiencing similar?
  • Any owners experience electrical problem? My sister's Venture (4 yrs old) system is on the blink - ran through 2 batteries, traction control not working, then even the lights wouldn't come on, car wouldn't start - and has been in the shop for diagnostics with nothing known yet. Anyone else have this experience? Know what to look for? Appreciate any info!
  • Gzoomer,

    There is a TSB regarding the lack of heat in 98 Ventures, I know I have the same problem. The dealer replaced the thermostat and made a modification to the heater hose at the inlet of the heater core. Seems GM had a bright idea, put a flow restrictor in the inlet hose to the front heater core to build static pressure in the line so that more hot coolant went to the rear heater core (rear Ax heater). It must have looked good on the computer but leaves much to be desired in real life. By the way, I think they should have addressed the issue of insulation on the hot water lines to the rear heater core, the lines go all the way to the back and then all the way back to the engine, exposed to below freezing temps with wind chill effects, without any insulation at all, now tell me that doesn't have anything to do with heat loss.
  • My '97 Venture has been blowing/shorting electrical things for the last 3 months. I now have a bad break control module for my TCS, a bad fuel gauge sending unit, and a short in my radio causing it to lose memory and enable the lockout feature. My dealer/mechanic doesn't know why. Also, my car is completely dead - no dome lights or anything sometimes, and then other times it's fine. The dealer/mechanic can't repeat that problem and diagnostics show that there is no drain on the battery when the car is turned off. I told him to keep looking for WHY the shorts are occurring - anyone else with any ideas of why, after 4 years, my van is shorting out?
  • I also have a clicking noise. Dealer found that a cable was loose under the car and reattached it. It was quiet for a while and then, after going over RR tracks started clicking again. I found that it comes and goes, I've tried using nylon cable ties to tie it down too, with moderate success.
  • We're looking to buy our first minivan and have really liked the '98 Chevy Venture. OK '98 owners, what do you think? Please give us your input. Consumer Reports doesn't rate it well, but Edmunds does. These messages here are mixed. What gives?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    You may want to have a look at Edmunds' 1998 minvan comparo, which includes the Pontiac Montana, the Venture's sister van (the Oldsmobile Silhouette is also the Venture's sister van).

    If you're interested in crash test reports, check out the IIHS's 40mph crash tests (click on a vehicle name for a detailed report and pictures) and

    Good luck!

    Host of Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • bigd01bigd01 Posts: 3
    Looking to replace my Dodge Caravan with a 2000 Venture, LS model. Have heard the Venture is not dependable but I've drove the vehicle and like the way it handles.

    Any in-sight on this vehicle would be appreciated...will these vans go the distance or are they "throw aways"?

    Thanks for your advise.

    Big D01
  • greg32greg32 Posts: 48
    We have a 1997 Venture extended with most of the upgrades, 41k miles. Our biggest problem to date has been the battery. It went out at 37k miles fortunately it was at home but we had it towed and had the dealer put in a new battery at our expense since the battery is only garenteed for one year. This cleared up our intermittant power sliding door problem. It wouldn't close every once in a while. Not a real problem. The only other issue we have with the car is the windows squeak when going over bump roads. This can be fixed with silicon gel applied to the window seals, but I need to do it more often than I do. I would probably buy the car again. The main reason we bought it was because of the way it handled. Definitely superior to any mini van out at the time.

    Good luck!
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Chevy 2000 and since the cold weather on East Coast the Low Coolant Warning Message has come on at the start up, but goes out after a mile or so.

    Both radiator and plastic tank are full to the correct levels.

    Has anyone else had this problem.
  • I have a new 2000 LS extended that I won and am trying desperately to sell it. I've posted it on the Edmunds marketplace and no bites in 3 months!!so since this is an exclusive venture discussion, i thought i'd give it a try. it has virtually no miles on it and is brand new like i said. The MSRP is 28515, the factory invoice is 26101 less the 3000 rebate. so real invoice is 23100. it is fully loaded. If you're in California or close, email me at or call 562-694-0121. thanks Roger
  • We purchased a 1998 Chevy Venture. We like the style, engine, and transmission. The problems we have the dealer never fixes, they are all mechanical problems. I have the sound under the drivers dash that sounds like a chattering relay. I have the pounding problem at highway speeds that sounds like it's in the roof and its loud. I have the rattle in the passenger sliding door. Also had the door's electronic module replaced 3 times. I like the van but the mechanical problems are a pain and the dealer can't / doesn't know how to fix them. Any suggestions to help solve any of these problems would be greatly appreciated. I notice many other people have these same problems / complaints. Another question are these mechanical problems fixed in the later models of the Venture?
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Would suggest that you contact Chevrolet on their website and tell them the problems and that dealer appears unable to resolve. Hopefully they may direct you to another dealer or have a GM person speak to the dealership.
  • owner4owner4 Posts: 1
    I bought a new Chevy Venture LT extended. We were between the Chevy and Honda Odyssey. Went with the Chevy because of the dealer rebate and I had $1,500 rebate on the GM card. The other factors were the Venture seats seemed more comfortable and the radio in the Odyssey stunk. The Odyssey EX would have been about $3,000 more than the Venture LT with all of the rebates considered. We owned two Honda Accords before this with good luck and it was hard to cross over.

    If nothing else goes wrong I will be satisfied with the purchase but it seems like I keep saying that and every month it's something else. Here are the stats so far. Use them as you see fit.

    4/20/00 - Picked up new van
    8/8/00 - 2,177 miles - Keyless remote quit working. Took it back and they replaced the receiver in the van and still didn't work. I had to take it back two more times because they claimed they were going to trace the wiring to look for a fault. It turns out that the new receiver they put in didn't work so they finally got another receiver and that one worked. That took three trips to the dealer.
    9/27/00 - 3,795 miles - Front plastic on dash warped they replaced it.
    - The face of the radio started peeling. They changed the radio but the dealer wasn't bright enough to realize that my radio had a CD player in it and put in a radio without CD in it. They said they would order the right radio.

    10/9/00 - 4,400 miles - They put in a different radio with a CD player in it.
    12/1/00 - 4,501 miles - The radio wasn't working right. The sound would fade in and out. The dealer wouldn't order another radio before I brought in the van. I called the GM Customer Assistance Center and complained. They told the dealer to order the radio prior to me coming in and it was replaced.
    12/29/00 - 5,591 miles - On a trip across the state the Anit lock Brake (ABS) light kept coming on. A line under the van came loose and was rubbing against something. They repaired the wiring and rerouted the harness.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Sorry to hear of all your bad experiences. As a 35 year GM employee I too got tired of the crappy dealers GM has. They think this is still the 50's or 60's. We'll fix it right one of these times but until then tough luck. The product is as good as anybodys but anything can go wrong with any vehicle as these forums tell. I took a big chance and tired a Odyssey because it's bigger and the quality is supposed to be better. Well I have had it about 4 months and not one problem. I could never say that about any of the many GM products I bought. Sometimes the company discount just isn't worth the pain in the you know what of taking them back again and again for the same thing because they don't fix it right.
  • We bought our Chevy Venture LS Van in August of 1999 and now have ~26K miles on it. THE GOOD: We love the 8 passenger seating, the ride is good, the stereo and climate systems are very good.
    THE BAD: My wife discovered at 24K miles that she was unable to turn to the left without a serious effort. Luckily this occured close to home. We took it to the dealer who discovered that we needed a new "steering rack" and the work was done under warranty. THE UGLY: Only 2K miles after the steering rack problem my wife reported a high pitched whine at speed on the highway. I drove the Van this weekend and thought that it might be the transmission. While diving at about 65 MPH I downshifted the autotrans from "D"rive to 3rd gear. Th whine stopped immediately. Surprisingly, I was not able to detect the engine revving any higher once I wnet to third. I suspect that the Van is never getting to 4th Gear and the whine we hear is the result of the engine transmission trying to shift into 4th but never making it. I'll be taking it back to the dealer again later this week. I drive a 2000 Acura TL and I am thinking about trading the Venture for an Acura MDX. I know I will get killed on the trade, but I am concerned that the Chevy is going to continue to cause me problems (just as my Chevy Lumina sedan did before I bought the TL). Any thoughts, common experiences or advice appreciated.
  • gadangadan Posts: 1
    Hi, I just bought a Chevy Venture 1998 and I realized the power door lock won't lock the doors unless I do it with the keys. The only ways it locks the doors is if I turn on the car and start driving, but if I turn the engine off, remove the keys, and hit the lock switch, does not work. The unlock switch works fine. I was told that I have to change the power lock relay, is that true? If is true, where is it located? I checked all the fuses and they look fine, besides the system seems to be working fine since the unlock has no problems. Any advice will be appreciated.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    and the experiences described in recent posts are completely unlike mine. We picked up our new Venture a year ago today, and we have had 18,000 miles of flawless driving pleasure. Everything is still tight, quiet, and in working order. How odd it is to read about all these problems others are having.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Dealer fixed this problem, but did not get to talk him as to the cause. Assume had to replace a part/sensor as the coolant expansion tank need a top of 50/50 DexCool/water. Brakes tightened up as well.

    Closing in on 20K and apart from this item we are delighted with this van.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Apart from coolant warning problem, the dealer also replaced the plastic trim along the front of the windshield, which he felt had somehow warped.
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