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Chevy Venture



  • Hello everyone. Having a problem and wanted to see if anyone has any input. First, let me say I love my 2000 Venture. I bought it with about 20k miles on it, so it was still in warranty. No problems until last Friday, when the mileage is at 37,025. That's right - 1,025 miles out of warrantly!

    Came out Friday morning to hear a clicking sound coming from the van and a bad burning smell. After cautiously peering around the car and under the hood, and seeing nothing obvious (don't know what I was looking for anyway!), I started the van and had a Low Coolant message. Just had the oil changed a week before and they supposedly checked all the fluids. Drove to a nearby filling station where they checked the coolant, said it should be fine, but added water anyway. Still have message and still smell burning smell. On the way to the dealership, I notice that my turn signals are not functioning at all -- no lights or clicking sound. Also, when putting car in park, doors will not automatically unlock -- I have to do it manually.

    At dealership, they say sounds (and smells) like something burned up under the dash and warned me that I may be looking at $300-400 just in labor to diagnose the problem. What can I do? They did say that since it is so recently out of warranty, they would do best to have Chevy cover all or part of it, assuming that they don't find that a wire or something was pinched in a previous accident. The dealership where I purchased the van (a different one) told me there were no previous accidents.

    After talking to them Saturday afternoon, they said there was a lot of damage under the dash from things burning up but they were still looking into the cause of the problem.

    My questions to you: Anyone ever have or hear of this? Is this common? Where can I check about recalls or this type of problem? What's the liklihood of Chevy helping out with this?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    Easton, MD
  • leeroy3leeroy3 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a used 2000 Venture WB (13500 mi), and love the van. I have noticed two things that I will be taking the van to a dealer for:
    1) At engine idle (at rest or in motion), I hear a high pitched whistling sound that corresponds to a variation in interior/exterior light intensity (flickering sort of). When I take off, or resume speed, the noise & flickering go away. I contacted dealer about this problem and mentioned Service Bulletin #110501.

    2) With all doors & hatch locked, I am able to open the passenger side power sliding door from the outside (haven't tried inside). Although the security system comes on (lights blink & horn sounds), I am still able to open a supposedly locked door. I contacted dealer about this problem and mentioned Service Bulletin #99048.

    Has anyone seen these problems? I will re-post when I get the van back from the dealer on Thursday.

    Covington, KY
  • yzfyzf Posts: 65

    Sounds like your dealer is trying to help out. I've had Chevy's for a number of years (now own a Chevy Camaro and Olds Silo). Electrical problems do not seem to be extraordinarily high for GM vehicles. To check for past recalls and Technical Service Bulletins for your Venture, go to On the left hand side there is a menu with "RECALL" listed as an option. From there you can search various bulletins and such based on MY, Make and Model of vehicle.

    Good luck.

  • Hi...I am a Venture fan, and would probably buy a third when this one wears out. I have had some mechanical problems,but the deal here in Chandler has always been pretty good about diagnosis and repair.

    Specifically, the compressor started missing and burning, so they replaced it. The leads to the fuel pump corroded for no apparent reason(we live in the desert) and they replaced those. And, finally the CD player decided to quit. They replaced it.

    I think the Venture is a value. I disagree with the folks that say having a tv in the van takes away from the "togetherness" of a family trip. The trips are quieter and less stressfull for everyone. AND, absent a plexiglass divider, I can still smell the togetherness from time to time.

    I hear that Chevy is considering a plexiglass noise divider between the first row and the back rows for 2002. Lets hope they follow through. Maybe a slot big enough for Happy Meals is all you need. The divider is coming under their safety program, as all of you parents with 'sippy cup' aged children can attest; getting nailed in the back of the head with an empty sippy cup is a driver distraction.

    One question....On the 2002 is it DVD only or DVD and VCP?

  • Have a 98 Venture LS..Great drivability,snow handling,versatile vehicle..Only drawback is the GM interior...Kind of chinsy...The ceiling is a thin shell.Power mirrors can be more stable when adjusting..(Stronger mirror motor)..Door panels same as ceiling...But overall,,we are happy..I bought ours used with 16k on it for 17,000..That was 1 1/2 yrs ago...
  • I see that there are a few folks that have been having engine problems. Ours stopped the day after we bought it with about 3450 miles on it. April 200. It was a salemans driver car before we bought it.Finally got it started after poking around. Next was at about 7290 when it started sputtering and then died when trying to make a turn on a major highway in Virginia.(April 2000) Towed into dealer. Unable to duplicate at dealer but found that starter wire and positive battery cable loose.Dealer fixed that. Next was coming home from Florida in April of 2001 and the engine died in the Welcome Center (Northbound) on I-95 in SC. Car would not start again. Towed into dealer just over border in GA. Next morning the dealer started the car up without any problem. Computer showed problem w/anti theft system program. Replaced program. Service manager said he would almost guarantee this would not happen again (99% anyway) While travelling on the NY state Thruway out of Albany northbound during the rush hour, the engine quit again. Got over to shoulder. Shut down and then started right up again. About an hour or so later while passing a truck on I-88 across to Binghamton NY the engine quit again. Got over to side, thanks to the alertness of the truck driver who noticed that I was having a problem. Started up again made it to dealer in Binghamton who said that it was the Anti theft program which had been replaced in GA. Said that chip should be replaced. Took to dealer in Virginia after talking to Chevrolet. Dealer had over night with tech driving the vehicle home and back. Service manager said that they could not duplicate the problem and since Chevrolet was aware of the problem and that the engineers were wroking on the problem, it was now up to Chevrolet to do something. I am putting my notes together and will present things to Chevrolet. My wife is afraid to drive the van because we have to travel a major highway with speeds of 55+ and lots of 18 wheelers.I will keep you appraised of what happens.
  • I have a minor (I hope) but annoying problem with the wipers in my '97 Transport. The wipers do a great job while swiping the windshield but when turned off, they do not park below the top lip of the hood as they used to. The problem is intermittent - will work sometimes when the van is moving slowly but they never park while travelling out on the highway. I've received a couple of different suggestions thus far but am curious as to the thoughts of this group. Thanks in advance.

  • dave231dave231 Posts: 17
    I have 97 transport with 118K. Good car but it has had problems. 1st GM routed a wiriing harness on the drivers side under carpet over a stud, over time the wires drove into the stud and weird stuff statred happening, so I fixed it. Also driver side windows glass does not go up correctly, I have to push it back as it rolls up. The biggest problem though has been a major water leak were the e-brake goes through the floor panel, it is a poor design that allows water to come up and soak the carpet, very hard to find, you have to pull carpet up. hope this helps
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Only thing I have seen in print is that Venture 2002 will offer DVD entertainment facility and Positrak 4 wheel drive as per Astek.
  • Does anybody know if there's a liftgate tent (like the Aztec's) on the market for the Venture?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    I see a few advertised now and then, like this one I found doing a search. Maybe someone has actually used one and can recommend a brand?

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • dave231dave231 Posts: 17
    Does anyone know where I can get plastic molded to fit car mats for Chevy silo/transport like the ones commonly used for SUV's? thanks
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344

    You can get these for the GM vans in black, gray or tan. MacNeil Automotive are the company at
    1800 441 6287.

    The whole lot, front, two for middle, two for third and cargo area liner run about $280.00

    When you get them, the front passenger and third row have to be trimmed to fit properly. This is not hard but you need a strong pair of scissors.

  • The problem was security codes in the system. The codes had to be cleared and the ignition module replaced. Now it starts like a dream! There were others on this site with similar problems. Perhaps this will help. Only resolution to air bag light issue was to replace seat belt buckle. Reoccurs though, anyone have a different fix done that resolved problem permanently? Also had A/C odor problem. Dealer cleaned and deodorized the system. Waiting for parts for the installation of a fan kit that is supposed to dry the ventilation system after the engine is shut off. Kind of a wierd solution... Has anyone had the fix done? Did it help. It is in a TSB for 1999. Newest development, the compass on my Venture's trip computer is giving crazy readings. It said 57degrees today when it was 78degrees outside. Anyone else had this problem? How did you resolve? Was it related to any other electrical problems? Let's keep each other posted on problems and fixes. It really does help.
  • We have a 2000 Venture that is almost 2 years old and has almost 20000 miles. Last month an electronic part for the ABS went. Recently we're received the "Low coolant" message.

    We brought it in, and after a day were told that it was an intake gasket leak. After another day, the gasket was replaced but a lifter wouldn't work. After the third day, they said it was fixed, but the engine made a ticking noise that it had never before. I refused to drive the van. The dealer is infuriating, as they keep saying the van will be ready and it isn't. I've made 3 wasted trips in (they gave a cavalier) to pick it up. Now it has more problems than when I brought it in. I'm frustrated and dissatisfied with Chevy and the dealer. I'm worried that some further damage was done that may not appear for awhile. I hoped to keep this van for years, but now I don't know what to do. Any suggestions? Shoudl the dealer do anything for me?

  • Fear/Hope, could you describe your starting problem? I have a problem that occasionally involves an extended crank that lasts for 2-3 seconds. I used to let off the key sooner and it wouldn't start, but would start immediately when I tried again. It will do this once or twice a week. The dealer told me it was a design quirk with the 3.4 engine that involves a camshaft and crankshaft sensor that must line up or it will lead to an extended crank. The sound of the starting is sometimes "sputtery". Was this your problem?
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Over the weekend did a 280 mile run from NJ to Boston, with quite a heavy load - daughter back to BC and stuff..

    Later that day found that initial shift from 1st to 2nd was clunky and subsquently heard a bearing type noise. On arrival at hotel checked transmission fluid and it was the right color, but air bubbles on the dip stick.

    Next morning everything appeared OK and today for the run home. I am planning to get it checked as still under warranty and see what maybe wrong.

    Seriously considering fitting a transmission cooler, as have to think that fluid overheated, but want to avoid any costly damage.

    Anybody else experienced this sort of condition.
  • harris5k~
    I had intermittent starting problems. They were just as you describe except I don't remember a sputtering... I also experienced very hard starts. It always starts harder when it is cold, but before they were unusually hard. Dealer told me some s*** too. I got fed up, knowing it was not normal, and called GM and complained. The car is still under warranty so they called the dealer to arrange to have it fixed. Then when I took it in the dealer found the problem. The number for GM is on the Chevy site under customer service contact information. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Don't give up. I still have other problems with this van I am trying to get taken care of.
  • Have the same problem on 98 olds. sometimes it is accurate other times it is off by more than 20 degrees. I think it is the sensor by the radiator but I haven't had it checked yet. Strange thing is, once I get on the highway and go over 60mph, the temp usually goes back to normal.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Spoke to dealer and it is not a warranty problem at the moment, so decided to go to transmission specialist. It appears that there is too much fluid in the transmission that caused the foaming.

    I will have the old taken out and replaced as well as having a transmission cooler fitted ($120 incl labor and parts), eventhough I will not be towing anything. This is a small investment to ensure the transmission stays healthy.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344 has all the 2002 info and prices
  • According to dealer there is a bulletin on the interior light flicker. There is a part replacement, GM10292525 W/STR-F/D. Someone asked about lights flickering as he/she made a right turn. Talk to your dealer about this fix. Hope it helps.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Had the transmission cooler fitted today, make is Hayden. The whole lot including transmission service new fluid, cooler and labor was $180.

    For me this is a good investment against possible major transmission damage if it had not been done.
    Mileage was 32710.

    However, the fuel gage has taken on a life of its own and once under half the needle waves around, so that will be fixed by the dealer under warranty.

    As you can see getting close to the 36K, if it is going to go, now is the time.
  • yzfyzf Posts: 65
    Spoke too soon about loving the GM (Olds Silo) minivan we got earlier this summer. Wife and I took it to the Outer Banks this past week. While down there, the van developed a metallic clicking noise in the steering column. It appears when the van is warmed up and running. Depressing either the accelerator or the brake will temporarily stop the noise, but as soon as you let up on either, the clicking starts again. It definitely sounds like its within the steering column. Any one else have similar problems in a GM minivan? Also, the three zone climate control is acting up. The driver's side temperature never cools down to degree the passenger side or rear does. Any one have ideas on that one? Van is going back to the dealer this week with only 2K on it - yup, just 2K.

  • I sympathize with your difficulties. These vans are known not to be very reliable. I am sorry I bought one, but have to struggle with it for now to avoid losing thousands of dollars. A lot of people put down Consumer's because sometimes they miss the mark. But every time I have followed their advice with an auto I have been happy. The cars on their reliable list have proven so, and those on the avoid list are often very troublesome (like our GM vans). We live and learn. Next time will be different for me... Hope you get your issues resolved. I haven't had those exact problems.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Dealer confirmed that fuel gauge sender was at fault has replaced it. Hopefully it will be OK from now on

    Transmission cooler seems working OK and changes are really smooth as before

    Still like this van eventhough Consumer Reports knock them. Again, just look at the other vans listed on this site and problems.
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    I owned a 1997 Chevy Venture Extended Wheelbase with the power sliding door and loved it dearly. Decided to go shopping around last month for a trade in and when looking at the 2001 models, came across some new Oldsmobile Silhouettes on the lot. Now as much as I like the Ventures, I soon realized that the Silo's were a step up, very plush. Dealers are trying to move them and even though they sell for about 2,500 more than a Venture, you can get it for the same price as a Venture (with many more options), but the kicker with the Olds is a 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty! I know that some are saying Olds is going out of business in the next few years, but parts will be readily available at any GM dealer for years to come. Heck, they have the same engine! Also, knowing that the Ventures, Silhouettes, and Pontiac Montana's are identical and made at the same plant, decided to purchase the Silhouette. If you are considering purchasing a Venture, you owe it to yourself to at least look at the Silhouettes. As a former Venture owner and 20 year Chevy man, I and my wife are pleasantly pleased with the decision. 60K warranty helps and no more silver grill! Also, the Olds doesn't have the black plastic molding that runs along the sides like the Venture. The Olds has the molding, but it is the same color as the van and blends in. Good luck!

  • abooaboo Posts: 1
    I have a 97 venture with 53000 miles. I have had the low oil level light come on ,I replaced the switch in the oil pan and still the problem persists so I jumped out the switch light still comes on has anyone had this problem ?
  • The 2002 AWD GM minis are now being built. Our 2002 Silhouette Premiere AWD was built 06SEP2001. AWDs should start showing up on dealer lots soon, and you can order one now. The Olds comes with the 5yr/60K warranty, but it does not look like many will be built, as our dealer (Chevy/Olds) just stopped new Oldsmobile sales yesterday as part of the dealer buyout program. They said that most Olds dealers had already signed up for the buyout.
  • Does anyone know how to remove these bolts? I can see the bolt heads underneath the car, but they're smooth; no apparent way to exert any force on them.
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