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Oldsmobile Silhouette



  • have a '98 and had the water in the headlights too. The bulletin from the dealer says to clean out the water, silicone around the light, and drill a small hole in the bottom corner of the light. Lights have been ok since then. If it didn't work he would have replaced the lights.
  • Well, the power seat is different in the bottom bolster than the rear, so I'll have to live with it or get into rebuilding the foam. Not a big deal for me but may try something if I get foam from a relative who does upolstery. If he lived closer I could get the whole deal done!

    I found outer tie rods worn out on my van, and replaced them myself yesterday. Very simple if you have the tools (19mm), large adjustable. Got it aligned this AM, what a difference. The sloppyness I had figured was just part of the van is gone and its precise now. Checked rear brakes and they were fine, reworked a loose mud flap thing on the pass side and ready to go. Looking good!

    Getting 22-23 MPG on my trip computer invcluding getting hosed in xmas traffic jams and some highway. Not bad! Our Maxima gets about the same and only holds 4 really. But the van makes you appreciate the maxima!

  • I haven't read all of the messages but have been somewhat surprised by the positive tales of the reliability. I have a 97 GLS and have had many problems. Just spent $2500 on a new engine at 71k. It threw a bearing while the dealer was test driving it while it was there for a different repair (so they said). Have the "service engine soon" coming off and on due to a slipping transmission over the last couple of months. And recently with the cruise on it started revving almost to redline and wouldn't shift. It finally shifted after a couple minutes and I drove 300 miles without any more problems (except for the warning light came back on). I have friends with the same van that haven't had a single problem. Maybe the 98's are better and/or maybe I've got a lemon.
  • I have just got a '98 gls but if you had the service done on it and maintained fluids your experience does not sound typical judging from the posts and people I've talked to. The vans I looked at (about 60-70k miles) the guys told as far as repairs one guy had a new belt installed and other a battery and tires. I was impressed with the reliability record of those vans and CReports shows good powertrain reliability.

    The manual says if the transmission acts up to check the fluid, but I assume you did that. I don't know what to tell you but it seems you had bad luck so far. It may or may now continue depending on in part the quality of work done at the dealer.

    If you had $500/month payments for five years on a new van, you'd pay for those repairs quickly...does that make you feel better?
  • Has anyone removed the battery for replacement on this vehicle? How do you get the ground off? I can move the fuse/relay box but that still doesn't really afford what I'd call access to the terminal.

    What would normally be a 5 min exercise looks like it will be a hassle. I got the special tool for removing the side terminal wires, but in two attempts at messing with it did not succeed. My shop manual is not here yet, but thought someone might know.

    My battery is ok but there is a lot corrosion on the POS terminal I need to clean off before I consider the van to be all ready to go.

  • Looking at buying a GLS with a stow a way seat and 2nd power door before the incentives run out in 24 hours.

    Would you still reccomend purchasing one of these?
    If so, what is a good price? I am being quoted $31,000 out the door with a 100,000 mi warranty.

    This does not seem that great since a Honda EX-L with the same warranty is costing me $32,000 out the door and that is $1,000 over MSRP. I know the low interest is plus.

    Too bad I have 24 hours to make this purchase before that extra $500 goes away.
  • yzfyzf Posts: 65
    Sweingast - doesn't sound like that great a deal to me. My wife and I got a 2001 Olds Silhouette earlier this summer - the Premiere edition with dual power doors, tow package and gold package (didn't care about the latter) with the fold down seat. Stuff like the VCP/Video screen, back up warning system, leather, seat warmers, triple climate zone, etc. etc. came standard with the Premiere edition and we paid about $31,000 in the Mid-Atlantic region. The van was brand new and had about 5 miles on it total. We opted for the 0.9% financing offered at the time (pre-0% financing).

    As for liking the van/reliability - we love it!! Reliability with over 6K has been quite good. We did have some minor problems and the power door latch recall, but those were all quickly and efficiently addressed. Van runs great. Seeing what else is out there and the prices, we'd do it all over again with the Oldsmobile Silhouette in a heartbeat - but the price has to be right!

    Good luck.
  • I did get the transmission serviced not too long ago. The mechanic made it sound like I may have damaged the transmission pulling a trailer, which I did only once. I'm not ready to give up on the van just yet since it does have a new engine with a 3 year warranty, but I don't trust it on a long trip anymore. Some one at work told me about a good transmission place that I think I might try instead of the dealer. The maintenance reps at the dealer recognize my name and voice which tells you how often I've been there lately.

    You are right about buying a new one though. We had a car show here in Indy last weekend and they are all expensive. I pulled out my CR and you are right about the reliability also. Although it seems like it was worse in 97 and keeps getting better.
  • hhuahhua Posts: 16
    We lost one of our 00' premiere mag wheel center hub cab, only the aluminum part not the whole hub cab, it fell off during an highway trip. The adheresive wasn't there or was weakened. It costs $20 for the new one. I glued, the inside of all hub cabs where the lug nut holes are. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the aluminum when applying the glue, it can dent the aluminum surface. Our silo has been good so far, with the passenger power sliding door recalls are the only major problems, it seems to work ok after three dealer visits. I sealed the leaks on top of the lift gate myself.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    If this was a glued on piece than I think it should have been covered under warranty. Did you check. If they turned you down I would email or call Olds and explain that it came unglued and should have been replaced under warranty. GM is pretty generous with warranty. I just got rid of a 97 Geo Tracker 4 x4 and had a problem with the stickshift not going into reverse. Even though it was out of warranty for over a year and dealer was fixing it at over $1200 I called the toll free number and explained that it only had 24,000 miles on it and the problem was from rust on the inside of trans. and I had no control over it and all mantainance had been preformed every 3,000miles. They ended up covering most of it. I paid about 350 of the total bill. So go for it.
  • I had a salesman tell me that the traction control only works up to 22 mph on the Ventures(assume it's the same for all GM minis).

    Does anyone know if this is true? Is it true for all/most minivans as well(Chrysler, Ford, Honda, etc)?
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    Thats true on the Honda too. I can't understand how it could help you at a speed any faster than that.
  • Rob, my understanding from reading is that the GM Traction Systems that use the brakes (The Vans, Aztek, Bonneville, Grand Prix GTP) sre called "All Speed" Traction Control. I would assume it means just that. The other type of sytem is called Enhanced Traction System (Like the Grand Am) and it is only a lower speed system, can't recall ever hearing a speed, but 22 MPH sounds right.
  • At higher speeds I would hope that if you hit a slippery section of the road the traction control might enable your vehicle to regain it's traction quicker than a vehicle without.

    I'm not talking about doing 60-70, but today here in Ohio we got hit with a good amount of snow and traffic was doing about 40 mph. It would be nice to know that if you hit a slippery section TCS might be able to help you regain your traction.
  • I didn't mention that the salesman is trying to sale me a vehicle without TCS when another dealer has one with TCS.
  • hhuahhua Posts: 16
    David, Thanks for the concern! Yes I got it replaced under warranty, but forgot to mention that.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Ok, my aforementioned used '98 GLS has trac control, and a switch.

    two quick questions - I don't see a light saying "TCS disabled" or something like that when I push the button to disable it. On most cars when you disable that a light comes on to warn/remind you.

    So, is the TCS the 25mph variety or the unlimited speed variety?

    Around here in Houston, about the only time I've seen the "LOW TRACTION" light come on when I was leaving a gas station and goosed it on some sand. I do plan on going snowboarding in New Mexico eventually and was just wondering about TCS and dreaming of snow.

    I used to have a turbo shadow 5speed and I could downshift at 65mph into 4th in the rain and the motor would spin the front wheel easily, that sort of thing could be a benefit at speed if you had ice. Certainly the v6 isn't going to break the tires loose over 5mph in most non-winter situtations on the road. I was wondering how it will it cope with our Texas mud.... I realize it doesn't increase traction, just limit wheelspin, but it sounds interesting for a squirrel like me to try messing with it the next time I'm at a festival and the van is already muddy....

  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    I found out my van had a worn outer tie rod and replaced both sides then took it to be alighned and a tire with a nail removed....and...while they were at it, I paid a bit extra and they flipped the whitewalls to the inside and rebalanced the tires. Had them keep the same rotation. Anyway, the whitewalls were driving me crazy they were so grandma and ugly (IMHO), now the van looks much improved. Now, I'm going to be cheap and just drive the tires on it until they get worn - heck, its just a minivan anyway.

    I did rotate the tires on the '00 Maxima myself and rolled one over to the van and then got down to where it looked like it was mounted to the van and took a picture - looked really sweeeet and totally changed the van's personality. If you didn't know the The max has 17" stock aluminum wheels. If I can figure out a way to post the pic I will. Anyway, another wierd thing was that the overall tire diameter was EXACTLY the same size as the van's. If I look at that pic enough I'll think about upgrading to 16" rims and lower profile tires...

  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    The traction control system on the GM minivans is "all-speed" at low speeds it uses a combination of torque reduction, gear changes, and braking, at higher speeds it uses only torque reduction and gear changes (if available). Torque reduction is achieved by retarding timing and in extreme cases by shutting down cylnders. As long as the transmission is not already in high gear lockup, an upshift can be used to stop wheel spin. Re: dirkdaddy # 498, there is a trac off light that should come on when you disable the traction control system or when the comupter disables it because it detects a malfunction. Maybe the light is out on yours, it should come on for a couple of seconds at startup as a test. The traction control system always starts on at each startup, so if you normally like to drive with it off, you have to push the switch each time you start the car.
  • trarogtrarog Posts: 1
    Tonight after putting my son in the backseat I pushed the button for the door to close. I forgot something so I stuck my arm back in to grab it. I pushed on the sliding door to get it to start closing and it did not stop. My arm was kind crooked so I could not get it out. The door only stopped after it nearly broke my arm between the door and the door casing. Thank the Lord this was not my child's neck! Have any others had this problem. I am going to report this to Oldsmobile. My understanding is that the door stops closing if it comes in contact with any obstruction. Needless to say, that is not what happened, and I have a nice bruise to prove it. Let me know what you think. Thanks!!!
  • My slidign door will stop if abstructed. It takes some force to stop it. I don't think it would crush a child, but a child would not be able to hold it back with one hand either. I bet they have a safety spec for this feature that your dealer can test for you.
    This is our second Silhouette and so far the power doors have worked better than we expected.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    You must consider that the power doors must operate in many conditions, wind, rain, snow, and uphill, etc. The threshold for reversal upon hitting an obstruction is always a judgement call. Too low and the thing wouldn't close under some circumstances. GM put the level required a little high for some people but I really doubt it would injure anyone seriously. It seems to react faster if you jerk back on it rather than a gradual squish. Hopefully you can suck it up and figure out how to keep limbs out of the door (Grin). You kid wouldn't make that mistake twice if they got a little bit of pressure applied to them. Better to learn the lesson there than in traffic or using power tools, etc.

    RE; trac control. I know it works as I had it activiate in some sand one time, but and I see the light come on at startup, but it doesn't light when I hit the switch. I have the service manual on order so I should figure it out soon.

  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Has anyone removed the battery connection box and seen a wire lead that come off the loom right near the fender and one of the main harness looms? I was messing with removing some corrosion from my battery termial and noticed I had a sensor type electrical plug on about a 3.5' wire lead coiled up under there. It has about 3 clips that will hold it to the body of the van although I could not figure out which holes were the ones it was used with.

    As my van was used, I have no idea if this is normal or not, but I doubt it. The engine works fine and everything but the trac control light when turned off a the switch works like it should.

    I'm dying to know what it is but unless one of you knows I'll have to wait until I get the service manual.

  • I want to install the trailering harness that came with my '01 and the instruction sheet that came with it is not very clear. Should the dealer have installed this before delivery?

    There are six wires on the end, but the harness on my trailer is only four pin. Where do the wires go? Does anyone know the color codes?
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    I found out by looking in my service manual (3 volumes and yes it took a while) the missing wire was for a underhood light that some jack@$$ stole. Probably the repo guys. Oh well, for the price I paid, its something I can replace.

    re: trailering - I can't remember and am too lazy to look it up for you but do some internet searches for trailer lights and I'm sure you'll find something on it.
  • cccjpmcccjpm Posts: 6
    I have been a lurker here for sometime (since before I bought my van in March of 2000) and I want to thank everyone for their help on helping me decide on the Silo.

    Well I now need some information. We have the 2000 Silo GLS, which has leather seats. We have had to have the “slot in groove” backs put back together on the driver’s side seat more than a few times and are now on our second replacement seat cover. To make matters worse the same seam on the back of the passenger’s side split and they have also put another cover on that one. The new covers don’t look “right” of course and the service manager tells me that they probably won’t until the summer when it gets hot and then they will “conform” to the seat. My wife has been handling the situation until today. We got the Van back yesterday and the service dept. failed to reattach one of the arm rests. Now this is a minor thing, however I have felt like the service dept. (guys that I know) have been giving my wife the run-around and just patching and not fixing the problems for some time (it has been months since we took it in the first time and this has been fixed on the driver’s side at least 4-5 times). So this morning I went in and talked to the service manager. He informed me that this was the ONLY van he had this problem with and that the fix (seat cover) was covered by a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty. The Van’s warranty runs out in Sept. and I want to make sure what he’s telling me is true (I plan on contacting Olds about the warranty). This is the ONLY problem we have had with the van.

    Is anyone else out there having a problem with the “slot in groove” seam on the back of their leather seats?

    ’00 Silo GLS
    25,000 miles
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    DD, the domestic Silhouette does not have the underhood light. For some reason, the export version (which has always had four wheel disk brakes by the way) does. The real telltale sign is that there is no switch for the light under the hood. I have had a 1999 and now have a 2002 Silhouette and both have the wire but no light.
  • 99% sure my brother's 1997 Montana has an underhood light. Think they eliminated it for 1999. I also believe that there is a mercury switch in the light unit that turns on the light when the hood opens.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    You have to remember that the Montana is a Pontiac and although they are the same van they can carry different options and equipment in order to keep them apart. For example Pontiac vans can be had with 2 tone paint where as I believe the Chevy and Olds can't. If you still want a light under the hood may I suggest you think about the ones they put on pickups (at least my 96 was this way) as they come on a reel that lets you pull the light out about 6+ feet. Would make it real handy.
  • hardestyhardesty Posts: 166
    Way cool! I have only had 1999 & newer vans, so I just assumed there was more missing than the light. Since the 2002s still have the wire, we all could just go in and order a new light assembly (with the switch in it) for our "1997" van. Thanks for the info, it always bothered me that something like the hood light was removed from production models.
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