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Oldsmobile Silhouette

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
Please continue discussing the Olds Silouette van

Here is a link to the past discussion:

Oldsmobile Silouhette Any Opinions?


Vans host


  • dwgdwg Posts: 43
    A few weeks past I posted a question about future model changes for the Silhouette. Does anybody know what GM's time table is for the next generation of its minivans? I know nothing is in the works for 2001. I'm curious whether the 2002 or 2003 model year will bring about the next change. I read somewhere that the Bravada/Jimmy/Blazer are due for a makeover next year (for the '02 model year presumably). My guess is that the '03 model year will bring the changes to the Silo/Venture/Montana.

    Any additional intelligence on this subject would be appreciated.

  • kevinvsrkevinvsr Posts: 12

    According to Motor Trend online's future vehicle forecast, the Silo is due for a "Facelift" in 2002.

  • Just yesturday my wife found out she was pregnent with twins. We were planning on buying a 2000 Cadillac Escalade but that won't be happening any more,(we already had 2 kids)now we have to decide which minivan to buy. We like the idea of the captins chairs of the Silhouette so we can put the 2 babies up there and the two others kids can sit in the back seat. We presently have a 1998 Chevy Tahoe LT but that won't be able to fit in everyone. One other problem that we have is a minivan can't tow a '98 24 foot Crestliner Ski boat, but a SUV could?!?!?(And my Seville STS can't) We are going to have to do some switching.
    Which minvan is the best for towing??
    Any Opinions? We have never done minivan shopping before!
    Thanks Alot(Tim M.D.)
  • dwgdwg Posts: 43
    Thanks for the info.

  • bigfigbigfig Posts: 35
    I posted a question on 4/3 concerning water leak around lift gate. have not heard response from anyone. would appreciate hearing from someone if they have had this problem. see my original post on Silhouette-any opinions-577

  • It was mentioned by someone earlier in the topic postings. I don't have it in mine, although, truthfully, in sunny New Mexico it doesn't rain much and it isn't leaking at the car wash or when i wash it. Did the dealer have a TSB for it?
  • pdr2pdr2 Posts: 6
    If towing is your main concern, the GMC Safari/Chevy Astro is the best/only choice. Most minivans are made for people hauling. The Safari/Astro is really a midi van (a little bigger, ok alot bigger(taller and wider but not longer) than the rest). They are not a car-like as the silo/venture/montana/T&C/Honda etc. but is more like an SUV but with seating for up to 8, and it still fits easily into your garage. I have the Chevy Astro. It is nice. My wife loves the higher seating position. I bought it for its seating capacity and its large behind the third seat area. Mine has the dutch doors which are great!!! Dual air is fantastic (I live in Houston Texas and it is a must). I also own a 2000 Silo which is much more of a car ride, quiet, smooth, fast, powerful. I did not get the towing package/ load leveling because I do not tow anything, besides I have heard complaints about noises and failures. The Astro can easily pull a boat with its standard suspension so you don't have to worry about extra stuff(extra costs more too), but if you want a smoother, more car-like ride, the silo will give you that, then just add the towing package. Glad to give you info on either of these vehicles.
  • It has been H E double hockey sticks at work the past 26 hours so I have not had time to respond to you. I guess towing would probably be a concern but I could downgrade on the boat, I never have time to use it anyways. The car-like ride probably would make my wife more happy, since I will hardly ever be driving this vehicle. I for sure will have my wife get the rear air cond(GLS?). and I like the power sliding door idea, but we have had kids in the hospital for finger sprains and etc. related to doors. I also like faster and quiet vehicles and the Astro isn't right?? The only problem is we presently have a Tahoe and going from a high seating position to a lower one would take some getting used to for my wife, I already sit low('99 Cadillac STS)! How about reliability Records? If they are both average that's OK.
    Tim M.D. :)
  • We have owned out Olds Silhouette since July 99 and it has been quite an experience. At 3,000 miles on our way to Pittsburgh our transmission went. Of course GM would not replace the transmission right away and did some bandaid work.

    Two weeks later the "Bandaids" fell off and our car was back in the shop, this time they decided to try another method to fix the problem.

    One month later right before our 1000 mile trip, car started stuttering and spitting. We informed GM that they either replace the transmission or give us a new car. Finally we have a new transmission. Car has been o.k. since but I still feel a little uneasy on long trips. I really do not have a lot of faith in the car and would not buy another GM Van.

    Our seatbelts started tearing from wear where my childs carseats are anchored. The seatbelt in the second seats have worn at the upper anchor of the seatbelt. This is a little disconcerning. Has anyone else had this problem????

    Good Luck with your vans, hope they hold together better than mine!
  • pdr2pdr2 Posts: 6
    My Astro is a 98 and have only replaced a power window motor. I took it in, (luckily it acted up as I demonstrated the intermitant non-rollup of the window) and they replaced it within the hour. In my 2000 Silo, my windshield had a slight fuzz on passenger side, I showed it to the shop, they ordered me another and replaced it. I read in Consumer Guide, Consumer Report etc. and in some of the reports they had twenty five year olds, no children, non marrieds (and not looking to either) rate the vans (naturally it was no mustang, soooo you know the outcome of that review) but the charts at the end showed poor reliability. This worried me. I have followed these vehicles in these reports since 1990, and they always show GM with poor reliability. So, I conducted my own survey of real owners. When I saw an Astro drive by, or a Silhouette, Dodge Caravan, I would ask them how did they like their car. 100 percent of the GM owners said that they loved their car. Most had owned another for at least 10 years prior ( and those I had read were much worse than the newer much improved ones!) The Dodge Caravan owners that I interviewed had a very different response (they loved (ok liked ... ok they wanted to trade them in) their car too but had a long list of repairs which always included a transmission or two). GM has done alot lately in upgrading their electrical design to aid in reliability. The Astro motor has been around for a long time (tried and proven) and their transmissions (if you ask a transmission repairman) are very reliable and durable (for towing). The Silo engine gets great gas mileage, and their power makes the car feel very light, and the transmission is smoooooooth. I have checked on the web for other owner reports and most (95%) have a very favorable opinion of their Silo. I enjoy mine and I am very critical of vehicles especially my own (I don't want to upset other peoples view of their own car). Bottom line, GM like all manufacturers make good vehicles, some are designed better that others, and some put together better than others, some have had several years of refinement behind them (Silo, Astro), some are in their first year or so (Honda, MPV) you just need find a good dealer, close by, that will work with you just in case you need him. (If reliability is really, really high on your list Toyota Sienna, and Honda rate really, really well) (The Toyota was too small for my many family trips, luggage, skateboards, rollerblades, friends, kitchen sink, and I just couldn't bring myself to buy a car from a brochure (the Honda), I had an MPV, it was great, I loved it, my wife loved it, my kids loved it, but now too small, and the new ones are brand new, all new, too new). Have fun!
  • wholiganwholigan Posts: 148
    This is a very good point. Unless you are an Ody owner [ ;-) ], most folks use a web site like this to vent their automobile frustration. My 95 Windstar brought me to Edmunds! That being said, the items you tend to see in these sites tend to be negative; Unless, you are one of the few that used this site as a research mechanism. In which case, you are more likely to post follow-up after a purchase with your own personal experience.

    I make one simple argument: One cannot make the blanket statement that one car is better than another. That is simply one individual's opinion. In fact, "opinion" is almost all you will read in these sites - personal opinions and/or experiences. I take almost everything I read here with a serious grain of salt... On the other hand, I would not want it any other way. I want to read the good and bad. I look for patterns in what people are writing about. I will draw my own conclusions from there.

    Personally, I hate to read when people have bad experiences with cars. It does nothing but make us waste lots of time, energy, and patience; not to mention money.

    As for my experiences, I have owned vehicles from Ford (2), GM(1), Honda(1), Nissan(1), and Mazda (1). I have had generally good experiences with all manufacturers except one (I'll let you guess which!) and, unless the economics dictate otherwise (e.g., they offer to buy it back), I will not buy another vehicle from them. The Olds I owned was a 1989 Cultass Ciera. Drove it for 10 years and 150000 miles. The only non-scheduled maintenance item: had to replace the radiator at 87000. Had a serious case of rust, and yet, if I had not had twins I would still be driving that car.

    I will be buying a Minivan probably within the next two years. Until then, I will read, read, and read...

    2003 Honda Odyssey EX-LRES - Midnight Blue Pearl
    2004 Honda Accord EX-L Graphite Pearl
    2007 Honda Civic EX - Atomic Blue
    2013 Honda Civic LX - Crimson Pearl
  • the voice of reason....well done! Thanks for sharing your experiences....
  • again, a voice tempered with reason!

    FWIW, i've too found all manufacturers make good and bad vehicles. The reliability variances between them all are really quite small.

    Except for the ford and chrysler tranny problems, i think they're all about the same.
  • harshweharshwe Posts: 5
    purchased a new 2000 venture and picked it up last thursday evening...

    We drove to the parents to visit over the weekend. It rained Sunday evening (van parked outside). While loading the van this morning, we found that the floor mat (behind the third row of seats) was soaked. It appears that the water came through the "hole" where the wiring goes from the van to the liftgate. The wiring is inside a "rubber hose" for protection, but the water appears to have gotten past the boot and then dripped from the rear most dome light...

    the Dealer "hasn't seen this before"... they are going to start figuring it out tomorrow...
  • bigfigbigfig Posts: 35
    I posted a question about water leak before but my leak was discovered that the seal around the left quarter window was not set properly. the dealer repositioned the seal,water tested and did not leak thereafter. the next day during washing the silo noticed water dripping from the rear most dome light as you mentioned. am bringing van back tomorrow to the dealer for this correction. thanks for telling about your case. seems my problem is the same as yours. I live in New Orleans and we always have rain and do not want this to be a on going problem.thanks(harshwe) for your post.
  • harshweharshwe Posts: 5
    saga continues from post #14...

    We took the vehicle to dealer on Monday evening. They fixed the rubber hoses / rubber boots on Tuesday and water tested it (found no leaks). I washed it Tuesday evening and it leaked in the same spot but ran down the rear most side pillars. I returned to the dealership with it on Wednesday morning and had to get "hostile" with dealership to get their attention.

    They "fixed" it again on Wednesday and water tested it again. I washed it last night and could not get it to leak from what I could tell. I voice my opinion with the Service Manager this morning that they should have worked on all four ends and not just the ends of the hoses that attach to the rear of the vehicle.

    suggestions... make sure they take both hoses apart and put them back together (all four ends) and insist that they use silicone sealant on the various parts when putting it back together.

    notes... I have called chevy customer assistance and voiced my concern regarding the general design (or lack of design) regarding these rubber hoses / rubber boots. The 1998 and 1999 Venture / Silo / Montana have different hoses with different boots (a neighbor and brother-in-law have not had any water leak problems with their 1999s).

    I hope you have better luck with yours than mine.

    [email protected]
  • I had my new Oldsmobile Silouhette GL for less than two months and had 2000 miles on it. Overoll I love this van for its engine, gas milage, comfort and looking. But there two things makes me a little disapoint are: the rattles from driver side sliding door (it is not powered), everytime I close the door, it sounds like something broken; another problem is "water leaking". Every morning I could see the water spot on the garage floor behind driver side rare wheel, whatever it was raining on provious day and, I never using AC so far. Where the water comes from?
    Thanks for any information.
  • 4steri4steri Posts: 7
    The water leak can becoming from the muffler
    if you drive the van infrequently or short trips
    water builds up with in the muffler. That being said if you look at the rear(back) of the muffler you'll see theirs a little hole towards the bottom
    to drain any water that may have accumalated. It's design this way and it sounds theirs nothing to worry about. It's to save the muffler from rapid corrosion. My 99 Montana has the same design
    and it leaks water because it's driven once a week
    mostly short trips. It dosen't have a chance to reach full operating temperature which requires a min. 16 km (10 miles) one way to avoid this leaking on a daily basis.
  • Yesterday last year is the day we got our 1999 Sand Oldsmobile Silhouette GLS. We now have almost 28,000 problem-free miles. The only issue that we have had to visit the dealer was a factory problem with the glue on one of the interior pecies. We have had no water related back-end problems or power door problems. I would reccomend this van to anyone. I have had 2 fuel injectors to the tune of ($1,140) go out on my 1998 Pontiac Grand Am (68K)with the 3100 V-6 and that is making me wonder if more will go out. Has anyone had problems with the fuel injectors on the 3400 V-6 in any GM minivan or in the 3100 V-6? We have not had any problems with ours. Oh well, everything is fine now!
    I hope everyone had a safe and happy Easter!
  • Are any of you current or prospective Oldsmobile Silhouette owners concerned with the POOR rating given to this vehicle by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (Please see rating and explanation at I am very concerned with this. I have large financial incentives (employee in family discount & GM Card Rebate points) if I were to buy a GM vehicle. However, I can't bring myself to spend a lot of money on a new vehicle that is less safe than my current paid for vehicle (1994 Mazda MPV).

    Does anyone know if GM has officially responsed to the POOR rating given to its line of minivans?
  • bigfigbigfig Posts: 35
    response to harshwe...
    brought my van back last thursday to the dealer and showed them your message concerning your problem on your Venture. they also had never seen this on any silo or venture since they are both a chevy and olds dealership. They water tested while I waited for the van to be serviced. they showed me that the water was going thru the boots and running to the left side of van exiting between the panels of the air inflator. they sealed both boots with silicone sealant and water tested again. No Leaks. The next day I washed the van and also could not find any leaks. Hopefully all has been solved. I also called Oldsmobile customer assistance and made them aware of this problem so they can inform their design dept.
    My latest discovery is that someone failed to put tray in for the ash tray.Since I am not a smoker,did not even think to look at the ashtray compartment when I picked up the van. Was more interested in seeing that there were no scratches on the body,tears in the leather and other major things. How we can overlook some things.
  • SAhladasSAhladas Posts: 35
    Call it sour grapes if you want, here is GMs response to the IIHS offset test.

    Be sure to check out the topics crash tests and Oddy vs silhouette for recent discussions on this subject. One crash test does not a safe car make.
  • mcozensmcozens Posts: 3
    3200 miles and happy. Did have one problem, was driving and heard a strange noise on the roof!
    Thought something was caught on the roof rack.
    The weatherstripping had come out from around the front windshield, and was flapping on the roof.
    It looked like there was no adhesive/sealant on the top, and little around the sides. Dealer fixed
    right away. Getting great mileage. Seems like you go forever on a tank. Will update in a few months.
  • silopremsiloprem Posts: 1
    Bought 2000 Premier Van in February. Similar to SAFETY CONCERNED had a lot of GM Card rebates, but was concerned about IIHS test results. Admit I still think about test, but have convinced myself it wasn't worth losing the rebates. Don't think van is dangerous or unsafe, but could be improved from safety standpoint. How often do you have a 40 mph frontal offset crash? I think most crashes would be side impact or frontal head-on or rear-end--and not at 40 mph. My wife and I are both over 40, but not eligible for AARP, so we aren't what you call reckless drivers.

    In any event, other than thinking about the test from time to time, couldn't be happier with the van. We went to Florida from Chicago (2,800+ round trip) in late March. Entertainment system is great for long trips, with or without kids. Seats are comfortable. Especially liked battery saving feature when I left an interior light on after pre-setting radio stations in our garage. It's a nice idiot feature. Engine and tranny seem excellent. Another nice feature is built-in air compressor. Agree with other comments that the range is unbelievable with 25 gallon tank. We haven't had any problems so far. Would recommend this van to anyone.
  • drivehard1drivehard1 Posts: 20
    We own a 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette GLS with about 17,000 miles. There is a slight engine noise when the van is warm and only in park. It sounds like marbles rubbing, I've heard of a problem like that in another post where the owner had to overhaul the engine, there is no noise in drive, reverse but only in park! Do you think if I would try a higher octane gas It could solve the noise? I use regular 87 octane, but could it be I could use a higher octane gas. I really like the van and don't want to have the engine rebuilt.
    Thanks alot!!
  • tauberjtauberj Posts: 61

    We got our Premiere on 12/1/99 and absolutely love it. The traction control works great in the snow. The van is quiet, handles well, and gets great gas mileage. We find the leather seats are comfortable too, whether sitting in the front, middle or rear rows. Spend the extra money for the heated seats if you get leather, it's well worth it! Last, but not least, is the video system. We're glad we got this as we recently made a round trip from NJ to Detroit with a 3 and 6 year old. The video system made the long drive enjoyable. We set rules for our kids on when the video is allowed to go on, so they know what to expect.
  • ggsteveggsteve Posts: 5
    I can't believe no one has experienced the maddening problems we have had with water in all but one of the exterior light lenses on our 97. I'm talking about pools of water, inches deep! The hazard lenses and headlight lenses in the front and the passenger taillight lense in the rear all have water in them. Both of the headlight lenses and one hazard lense were replaced back when the car was in warranty, but the problem persists with the new lenses. It has to be an embarrasment to a dignified brand such as Olds that they have to put up with this.
  • I had the water-in-the-headlight syndrome on my 97 silo...looked like miniature aquariums. Could have raised golfish in there. Both sides were replaced under warranty, and problem has not re-occurred with new assemblies. Haven't seen water in the tail lights, though (knock on plastic).

    You're right, it's maddening.

    I miss the old days when you could buy a round or square headlight, install it in two minutes, and be done with it.
  • joehedgesjoehedges Posts: 4
    Actually headlights are easier to replace today. I was suprised to find that you can replace only the bulb on modern headlights, no screws or retainer rings. Simply pull the connector and give a twist to the bulb holder. The new bulb comes with a new holder.

    I don't know this to be true on GM's it was the case on my 90 Chrysler.
  • marleahmarleah Posts: 7
    I've read the insurance instute evaluations and the GM response. I agree that you cannot evaluate a vehicle on only one test, and that the front offset crash test is evaluating a very rare and unusual accident. HOWEVER, take a look at the 5 mph bumper tests and you'll see some interesting $$$ numbers. I think everyone can agree that backing into a pole at 5 mph isn't that unusual. If you do it in a new Ody, you'll pay @$560 (which I consider ludicrous), do it in a Silho and it's @$2,600!?!! Criminy!!! Feedback?
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