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Chevy Venture



  • First off I'd like to thank everyone that helps out here. It's much appreciated!

    We have a 2002 Chevy Venture with the 3.4. About a week ago the heater would only blow cold air so figured it needed a thermostat. I put it off for about a week since it wasn't overheating. Plus my wife is a teacher in town and only has to drive a few blocks each day. I drove it to the auto parts store and finally started overheating. On the way there I noticed the temperature gauge would sometimes spike with slower speeds and go back down with higher speeds. The heater would also blow hot and the gauge would drop when going fast. It wouldn't do that all the time though. At times, even while going fast, it would still overheat. I pulled over once when the needle was getting up there and shut it down. I waited a couple minutes and started it back up. The heater blew hot and temp went down. I figured all of this was symptoms of the thermostat until I stopped at the auto parts store and noticed steam coming from the engine compartment but couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from.

    When I returned home I swapped the thermostat and tried bleeding the system. The bleeder screw by the thermostat housing was seeping coolant but the one by the water pump just had air coming out of it and continued to only blow air. No coolant is being sucked in from the overflow tank even when the temperature gauge was getting up there. The radiator fans are blowing. The heater is still blowing cold and engine is still overheating. There is a coolant leak that is coming from somewhere below the throttle body or kind of to the rear of the thermostat housing. I can't see exactly where it is coming from. All I can see is steam coming up from that area. If you are looking at the engine from under the hood it is coming from the lower rear right.

    From all the reading I have done I'm guessing it's the lower intake or possibly the head gasket? There's no antifreeze in the oil or vice versa. Are there any small hoses in that area that may be leaking? If a head gasket blows would enough coolant shoot out the side to cause the steam? I've heard that's possible with a blown intake gasket. You can tell that it has had some very light seepage out of the intake towards the front over the years but nothing serious. I've also had to add about a quart of oil every 3000 miles over the past few years. There just seems to be a bunch of light seepage out of quite a few gaskets. Not sure if any of this is related but you can just tell that many gaskets could stand to be replaced.

    The van has 140,000 miles on it and it has been a great van. We bought it when it had 30,000 and the only thing I have had to do to it was replace the ac condenser and the battery (if a battery even counts). We are going to be looking for a new vehicle soon but I would like to fix it to get more out of it when we do sell it. I would really like to get a few more months out of it. Heck, if I replace all gaskets the wife may have to keep it for another 5 years! I'm pretty sure I'd be living on the streets if I told her no new vehicle.

    I could try and take a video of the area where it seems to be leaking and post it on youtube if it would help.

    If it is the intake should I go ahead and replace the head gaskets while I'm down there?

    Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to make sure I hit everything. If I need to elaborate on anything, please let me know. Any help would be appreciated!


  • I have experienced the same problem with brian's chevy venture. appreciate any suggestions...thanks
  • Hi Brain -

    I think I have the same issue. I have a 05 Pontiac Montana with the 3.4L, blows cold air from heater when you come to an idle (stop light). My mechanic says its the intake gasket $600-700. Is this car worth the fix?

    Few months ago the car temp gauge would rise. Mechanic bled the air out of the system and things have been fine. No longer get the overheating, just the cold air from the heater.

    Would like your opinion on what to do.


  • My van overheats, but not all the time. My husband replaced the thermostat, water pump, and radiator hoses. The heater will blow cold air and then the temp guage goes up. Not sure what to do at this point.
  • gjankowgjankow Posts: 2
    I feel your pain. My 05 Montana is now always blowing cold air when the heat is on. My mechanic wants to start with the intake gasket ($700), but also feels it may be the head gasket (even more money). My family is debating getting rid of the car, but it only has 76000 miles and the body is in great shape. Any suggestions?

  • I also have an iisue witht he carper on the floor of the drivers side being wet. I did see one post iwth the same problem. That started before the overheating. Is it the heater core hoses or a loose clamp? I am not liking what I am seeing on here. Need to find a new vehicle.
  • tpj8499tpj8499 Posts: 3
    Hi.everyone....I have a 2005 Chevy Venture. No problems 200,000 km on it.....the gas guage decided not to work yesterday. Does anyone know what i need to do to fix this. Do I have to drop the tank....
  • tony17112acsttony17112acst Posts: 35
    edited May 2013
    tpj: it is more likely the stepper motor failure that controls the needle on your dash. They are ALL flawed. You can get new stepper motors on ebay for like $2 a piece. I had the same thing happen on 4 of all of my GM autos (2 Montanas + 2 Trailblazers) and EVERY time I replaced the stepper motor first and it was fixed. Do a search on "stepper motor" to find directions on how to replace it/them. PLEASE change ALL of them while you have the panel off, because they will ALL fail very soon. It's a stone cold fact. -Tony
  • tpj8499tpj8499 Posts: 3
    thank you tony17112acst I wil check this out
  • tpj8499tpj8499 Posts: 3
    Hi everyone. My 2005 venture has a windshield leaking problem. There is rust at the top of the window and i assume thats the problem, i guess what in am looking for is a cheap fix ...any idea's........
  • dweb99dweb99 Posts: 2
    TSB 626222 dated 20 Sep 2001 might cover this even in a 2005. The only problem is that we don't have access to TSB's as far as I know.
  • :) I don't know but I was looking for a lot of used vans and drove them all ended up with this one and mechanically it runs fine just having a few problems with the dummy light sensors I believe ,but it runs great and has a lot of bells and whistles and just to have a van that the middle window opens is a miricle ,far as I'm concerned it's a keeper
  • psphpsph Posts: 1
    Well today i understood that overheats at closter is not overheat at engine...why? Cluster is just a display and engine work with temp sensor...some chevrolet clusters have failure: speedmeter, temp and/or gas tank, but it's just the display...I hope this help you...
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