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Pontiac Montana Transmission Problems

candlemaker2candlemaker2 Member Posts: 67
We need help and we need it fast. I hope someone can shine a light on this delema. We just bought a 99 transport in April of this year.I am primary driver as my husband works out of town. Anyway, in April when I drove on the highway, the transmission was straining to shift then it snapped into gear. My husband said, you just need to get used to it. Well when he drove it on his days off he noticed the problem too. We took it to a GM dealer who found a code and said the fluid was burnt. the dealer we bought it from went half on the bill and had a *good used * transmission installed. This was June 12/06 and we got a 90 day warranty. Right away we noticed the gear indicator lights would go off while driving. Sometimes they would come on other times not. Sometimes a bump would bring them back. I noticed the long shift again as well as shudders and a howling sound when you reverse.
I spoke to a mechanic and he said to have the computer checked out. It is now back in the shop and I am waiting for word on it. Can anyone relate to this or offer some sound advice? It would be very much appreciated.
Thank you


  • dave_justdavedave_justdave Member Posts: 29
    Stop hoping for things and take it to another garage in town, preferably one that deals with transmissions. Get an independent appraisal of what is wrong and how it can be fixed. Even if you have to pay for this, it will be worth it. Then go back to the dealer you bought from (if there is remaining warranty) and get it repaired properly. If they wont fix it and it is still within the warranty period, go to the Better Business Bureau. If you are past warranty, then just go to the most reliable repair dealer in town, get them to fix it right, otherwise you will be stuck with many more days in the repair shop and possibly another ruined transmission in the near future. Just my two cents.... Dave
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    The indicator lights going off sounds like an electrical connection issue somewhere- maybe a loose plug. No advice on the other problems, sorry. :(
  • candlemaker2candlemaker2 Member Posts: 67
    Thanks for the reply jerrywimer.
    That is what we thought too. Now we are wondering if maybe it is some kind of warning that something is going on within the transmission. We used to have a Dodge Caravan . A couple of times all the indicator lights under p r n d 1 2 etc would come on all together. Then we started having transmission problems with it.I don't remember what it was but it was something expensive to fix.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    The only reason the electrical connection came to mind for me was that I had a transmission replaced on an 88 Chevy Beretta several years ago. When we got the car back it would intermittently act up in a similar manner. The dealers' mechanic pulled a harness loose at the transmission, sprayed something in it to displace moisture, then made sure it reseated properly when he put it back. No more problem!

    I hope you have similar luck fixing your problem.
  • candlemaker2candlemaker2 Member Posts: 67
    yes, we had thought it may be something like that too.
    It is back in the city at the shop that did the original work. They have a transmission specialist so I hope he can figure it out.
    I hope it is that simple too, thanks
  • candlemaker2candlemaker2 Member Posts: 67
    Actually they ran a host of tests and said the transmission is OK. The dealer is getting it into another shop Mon. to have the electronics tested. he said the mech told him he thinks it is misfiring and that is why it seems like the transmission is not shifting. I asked what misfiring meant and he said something within the computer that tells the trans to shift etc.If that is the problem, who knows what it will cost.
    The dealer is being great, the van has no warrenty but they are covering at least half of the repair cost.
  • rogerhuntrogerhunt Member Posts: 3
    I have just bought a used 2001 Montana. The seller tells me that he hasn't had the timing belt changed. The vehicle has 96,000 miles on it. Should I rush out and get it done now or do I have any leeway ?
  • 99transportonr99transportonr Member Posts: 5
    Hi bought a 99 Transport 2yrs ago, this summer was out of town visiting friends and trany starting jerking and hard shifting. I checked fluid it was a bit low ( no signs of leaks at all?) has me wondering.Topped it up, has been fine with the exception of a little hard shifting a few times. Had trany fluid flushed a month ago now its got worse. Anyone pulled one apart before any tips, anyone had one replaced? how much? any help would be nice :)
  • 99transportonr99transportonr Member Posts: 5
    Hi bought a 99 Transport 2yrs ago, this summer was out of town visiting friends and trany starting jerking and hard shifting. I checked fluid it was a bit low ( no signs of leaks at all?) has me wondering.Topped it up, has been fine with the exception of a little hard shifting a few times. Had trany fluid flushed a month ago now its got worse. Anyone pulled one apart before any tips, anyone had one replaced? how much? any help would be nice
  • bikeral44bikeral44 Member Posts: 4
    before you go to the expense of rebuilding the tranny. check out the map sensor. i had simular hard shifting and jerking when i first start the car. you can check out the sensor without changing it. unplug the sensor and ride arounf for a while if the trouble stops then its the sensor and not the tranny. if you don't know what and where the map is ask your mechanic to show you. let me know if thats the problem [email protected]
  • fclayfclay Member Posts: 4
    I have a similar problem with my 1999 Montana transmission that another writer had. I have a problem with the transmission slightly late shifting and at the same time hard shifting. It did not happen very often when I bought the van with 70,000 miles on it a year ago. It would show up when the 4th gear would hard shift and when I stopped at a light, it then it would do it every gear. If I stopped and turned it off for 20-30 seconds and restarted it, then it would be fine. It now is happening more often and I am taking it to have a computor road test done. Would like to know if anyone else had this kind of problem and what was the outcome?
  • deestesdeestes Member Posts: 3
    I am having the same apparent problem with my 99 Montana (as fclay). Did you find the cause of your problem and what was the ultimate solution?
  • fclayfclay Member Posts: 4
    Not as of yet. Closest I came is the Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid (PCS). Maybe the problem, i don't know yet.
    Let me know if your mechanic thinks thats it too.
  • ejg80sejg80s Member Posts: 4
    Also having similar problems with my 1997 Trans Sport Montana with 115,000 miles on it. Happens on highway when a hard shift is needed at a high speed to go up a hill. I pulled over and did not shut the van off and then tried to drive again and it was stuck in 4th gear. I pulled into a rest area, turned off the van for a while to eat (about 20 mins), then started it up and pulled back onto the highway. The problem cleared up and the check engine light did come on after about 10 mins. Drove it home on the highway making sure I did not hard shift the van at any high rates of speed.
  • deestesdeestes Member Posts: 3
    I plan on taking it to the local Pontiac dealer for evaluation. I will let you know the results.
  • michamaiumichamaiu Member Posts: 2
    Hi, everyone! I haven't seen my problem posted, but if anyone reading the forum has similar symptoms, let me know! My '01 Montana has a "whining" noise that sounds like it's downshifting, but it is not. The engine RPM stays constant. It seems to happen around 40 mph when I let off the accelerator, and goes away if I accelerate. This has been going on for quite a while, almost two years I would say. I have taken it to my local mechanic who diagnosed it as a planetary gear problem (he happens to be a transmission specialist, by the way,and I regard him as very reputable), and said it could fail tomorrow or last for years to come. I just got back from a 1,000+ mile road trip which he advised not to take, but I felt confident as this vehicle has been doing this for quite some time.
  • deestesdeestes Member Posts: 3
    Fclay it appears your mechanic is correct. I took my Montana to the local dealer and they ran a scan. Code indicated pressure control solenoid. Service mgr. indicated past experience was that solenoid sheds fragments that contaminate valve body. Engine/transmission must be suspended to remove cover and valve body for removal and cleaning. $100.00+ in parts but a ton in labor. Long story short...$900.00 later transmission is fixed and working properly.
  • montana2001montana2001 Member Posts: 3
    My 2001 Montana whines when driving over 60mph. The sound goes away when off of the accelerator, Also makes a very loud grinding/vibrating sound when in stop and go traffic and feels like it is trying to lunge forward and the brake pedal is pushing back. When I let go of the brake and then re-apply it, this pedal pushback and grinding/vibrating stop. Took it to the dealer today, they have stated the pressure control solenoid could be at fault but it isn't going into 4th gear (overdrive) this sounds similar to the problem that deestes and michamaiu reported here. Did either of you experience this this way or anything close? Should I just replace the pressure control or do I need to replace the planetary gear. Please advise.....
  • soulman613soulman613 Member Posts: 5
    Hello fclay

    I have 03 montana and it has the same issue as yours.
    Shifts 2 & 3 are kicking late, plus mine has the radiator
    coolant is getting oil leak. I would appreciate if any one
    can help in these problems. rebuilding the Trany is expensive. Any thing I could do before I run into deep bocket delima?

    This is my first time here & it's very informative.
    Thanks to you all who's trying to help.
  • fclayfclay Member Posts: 4
    Hey soulman,
    Go to #20 by deestes, he and I had the same problem and got the same solution. Ours was the Pressure Control Solenoid. AS for the radiator, it sounds like you may have a seal leak at the manifold. I took mine to the mechanic and asked for a check of my Pressure Control Solenoid, you may find your solution to the other problem in the process.

  • jswizjswiz Member Posts: 2
    I have similar problem, slipping transmission doesn't shift when hot. Drive in cool weather all day, no problem. Drive in warm/hot weather and the transmission misses gears all the time. Loses power but RPM's don't change. I was going to trade it in and the sales man (20+ years experience) said he thinks it definitely NOT the tranny, but more likely the Catalytic Converter. An old one (2001 112k miles) has junk in it and won't operate properly especially at normal temps and/or the Ox Sensor might be bad. He was certain there was no problem with the tranny itself? any help, opinion, experience? Long drives on highway and stall/surges occur (when hot), drive around the neighborhood and hardly notice any problems, some loss of power on starts but not many noticable?
  • michamaiumichamaiu Member Posts: 2
    montana2001: well, at 78,000 miles, it gave out on me. Started grinding horribly then just wouldn't move. Lucky for me it happened just around the block from me and within a few blocks of my mechanic (the transmission specialist!) Had a rebuilt installed and we're back in business. My mechanic was right, he said everything was pretty chewed up inside. He said he has seen this before and actually had just replaced one on an Aztec (same unit). The vehicle is driven mostly by my wife, but I do recall her saying she was noticing grinding or vibrating, too.
  • battleaxe68battleaxe68 Member Posts: 2
  • oneeye1977oneeye1977 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 Montana, when the tranny gets warmed up it has a high pitch humming noise. It also starts slamming into gear at the same time. 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th. It only does this shifting to higher gears not on a downshift. I have changed the filter myself and had a GM dealer flush the tranny, no changes have happened. I can't get it to do it for them, so they think I am just making it up. Need help with what to do from here!
  • harleyvanharleyvan Member Posts: 2
    Don't forget to add lubeguard when you change tranny fluid! It will smooth out the shifting and extend life of tranny! I am anti-additive but this is the exception! Want proof go to the best tranny rebuild repair facility in your area and you will learn that they add lubeguard after they rebuild! Best 15 bucks (about 7 bucks wholesale) you will ever spend on these crummy vans! My tranny has 135k with no problems!!!
  • battleaxe68battleaxe68 Member Posts: 2
  • oneeye1977oneeye1977 Member Posts: 3
    i finally took it to another dealer for a different opinion, found that a pcs sensor was bad. replaced it and about $350 later everything thing seems to be ok. the part wasnt that expensive but there is some labor envolved that is the costly part.
  • soulman613soulman613 Member Posts: 5

    I had same issue with 2003 Montana.

    Shift delay or hard kick on 2 & 3 shifts.

    Specially uphill very hard .

    check on climbing hills.

    Also check the over drive..

    Switch from Drive to #3 & see if there's any changes.

    It runs on the highway but the inner city

    stop & Go is the problem.

    Ask one of the chops to check any error Codes

    of the tranny. ( 0742 ) is what mine shows.

    Good luck.

    Let me know if you find solution .

    [email protected]

    Takr care.
  • harleyvanharleyvan Member Posts: 2
    No and you didn't even spell it right. It is lubeguard! This is not that hard and don't ask me technical questions I only have a 3rd grade education. I did learn from owning 3 of these crap vans (which by default GM admitted and stop making them) (venture, silhouette, and montanna) that the transmission usually wears out around 115k I have been able to extend life by changing every 50k and adding lubeguard (google it)I now have 150k on Montanna. As near as I can tell God put lubeguard on this earth to extend the tranny life of these crap vans!

    I due add lucas to gas @ fill up (4 ounces) and have an increase of 1.3 miles per gallon.

    Do not ever add any oil additive. I have used Mobil 1 since 1979 and Redline is better. Amsoil gets 3rd place and with the exception of a couple the rest are not true synthetics and are petroleum based and are strictly for suckers. Changing your oil is more important then brand loyalty but Mobil 1 will make you sleep better!
  • heritageheiheritagehei Member Posts: 1
    I have the same issue on a 99 Montana (whining and hard shifting from 3 to overdrive when hot). It takes about 3 hours before the problem occurs. Mr Transmission says that it needs at least $1700 of transmission work or possibly a rebuild at $3200. Another mechanic says just drive it until it fails since for most situations it works fine.

    Does anyone know the best response to this issue?
  • jswizjswiz Member Posts: 2
    I had similar problems. A whole host of non-accelerating, misfiring, and gear changing issues.

    The tranny's wear out at 115. Maybe get by longer but how much?????

    Sensors on the pipe are main culprit for misfiring which can also cause some tranny like problems.

    Full tune up with plugs, ignition, fuel filter, etc... is also important.

    A complete tune up and new pipe with sensors should do the trick, but tranny will wear out. Use additive and drive cautiously and you will be many more months out of it, but don't forget, it is a GM mini van, not even close to my Honda Odyssey....
  • writerwriter Member Posts: 121
    Phil Edmonston's 2007 "Lemon-Aid . . . Trucks" book says that there was a TSB for 2001 - 6 transmissions which was an "upgrade kit developed to improve durability." I used the Edmunds TSB and recall finder for this TSB and I did not see one that sounds like it. This series of books is generally well researched (though you might disagree with some of the expressed opinions), however, that does not mean errors are not possible.

    Does anyone know of a TSB that would apply to a 2003 Montana transmission that sounds like this? If so, what is the number of the TSB? Also, if you know, what exactly is the "upgrade"?
  • writerwriter Member Posts: 121
    I think I have found the TSB: It seems to be "06-07-30-011 May 06 A/T - 4T65-E Updated Internal Components." I would still like to find out what the update consists of, but as soon as they say "internal components" I can guess that the only way to make use of the upgrade is to rebuild the transmission. So that much answers what a good chunk of what I really wanted to know, which was, of course, if I could cheaply upgrade my current transmission. (Answer is "probably not cheaply.")
  • oneeye1977oneeye1977 Member Posts: 3
    I took my 2000 montanain and they told me it was a PCS valve that was bad. They replaced it and it works fine now. The part wasn't expensive really, but you will have about 6 hours of labor when they replace it. they have to drop the tranny enough to take a plate off of it, which includes loosening the motor mounts. So you will probably have to take it to a dealer. they can do the work in a day usually. Shouldn't cost more than about 300 dollars, maybe a liitle more depending on the hourly rate they charge.
  • writerwriter Member Posts: 121
    Regarding TSB "06-07-30-011 May 06 . . ." I have pretty much exhausted my usual sources (and more). I got a chance to see the TSB briefly, though I did not get to make a copy and bring it home. If you have the transmission repair manual (this goes beyond what is in the main minivan repair manuals), then the TSB is regarding the replacement of 2 parts in the transmission with new revised versions. The parts are bearing 671 and dam number 673. From the descriptions, it sounded like the point of the changes was probably to address the flow rate of the fluid, which would likely impact the lubrication and cooling. I doubt if the person I talked to has had any request to do this upgrade on a transmission, but he guessed that it would probably cost around $600 - $800 Cdn., if I had exactly that much work done (pricing at about $100 / hr. rate). If I want to do this, I can afford it.

    In my case, this leads to even more questions. Because I have bought my 2003 Montana used, within the last couple of months, I have very little idea what kind of history it has had. Since it was built around May 2003, I expect that it has the new intake manifold gasket. If the engine made it this far (about 130,000 km) without an intake manifold gasket problem, I think I can trust that it is ok.

    As for the transmission, there are reports posted of people having problems at around 150,000 km. So I might be on the verge of having a transmission problem. But such problems are not so precisely timed. What if my vehicle had a transmission problem at around November 2006, and it has already been rebuilt, and as a result of that, it also already has the upgrade? If the reports are typical, then it is not that unlikely. In that case, further work right now would be a complete waste of money.

    So it seems unlikely that I should take my Montana in to service for just this much work right now. I think I will wait till some other problem shows up, and if it looks like the motor needs to be pulled, then that might be a good time to ask to have the transmission inspected and upgraded. At least that is how I feel about it today. I could change my mind tomorrow.

    Anyway, do not expect that I will have anything more to say on this matter, hopefully for a very long time. :-)
  • bc0205bc0205 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 99 or a 98 pontiac montana that drive fine on the highway but has a hard time getting going in stop and go traffic. does anyone know if this could be a tranny problem or something else? :confuse:
  • soulman613soulman613 Member Posts: 5

    I bought 03 Montana and I have the same issue like yours.

    I have taken to different Mr transmision and even to GM and was told

    I have to replace the Tranny or rebuild it.

    It's not a good feeling. I got it from an auction at the beginning of this

    year and they say it might cost you around 2500 dollar.

    I know what you are going through.

    Good luck & wish me luck too.

    Bye now.
  • soulman613soulman613 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks Frank for the feed back. To night is the first time I have loged into
    the forum. I will follow your advise and please send me any think , I mean
    any Info about this Montana.

    Thanks again.
  • monty8monty8 Member Posts: 2
    I know these transmission issues can be frustrating. My 2000 Pontiac Montana tranny started slipping last summer. Replaced valve and still slips, occasionally. After a lot of thought I am choosing to replace the tranny, eventually. That is my only problem with 'Old Blue' and $2000 won't even pay the taxes on a new one. New Montana's seats aren't as user friendly. One with all the options I currentlly have would be over 35,000 dollars. I have 185,000 km on her and she has never let me down. No rust, interior like new. I say she is good for another 100,000. One key factor to my luck is continual manintenace. She has never gone overdue for an oilchange, if I plan a long trip I take her in for a check up. No more costly than maintenance on an import, almost same results. Tranny can go in any vehicle. I love the old Montanas. They get pretty good gas mileage and are super comfy for long trips. My next vehicle will have side curtain airbags.
  • tcharrontcharron Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 Montana and just recently the change oil light came on halfway before the oil is due for a change. The light only stays on for a minute or so when I start the motor. I checked the oil level and it is good and the oil looks clean. I've tried to reset it, but it still comes on. Is it a sensor? Any thoughts?
  • bckyrdmechbckyrdmech Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Montana that I was told the PCS needed to be changed in the transmission. My son decided to drive it for a short distance after that, and now it does not have any forward motion at all (it feel like it is slipping), but reverse works fine. He also said that overdrive quit working on him shortly before the rest of the forward motion went. Could this still be the PCS? I am considering just replacing the tranny, and I would do it myself, but here is my question for that: If I were to do this, what is the difference in the BRB and BCB transmissions, and how do I visually tell the difference to make sure that it is the correct version? I was told it currently has a BRB transmission.
  • tranny08tranny08 Member Posts: 1
    my 1998 transport montana has a whining noise when stepping on the gas and sometimes when idle. It goes away when just coasting with your foot off the gas pedal. As soon as I step on the gas it starts up again. Brought it to a mechanic and he said to replace the whole transmission. All he did was put it on a hoist and said he heard noises in the tranny and something is ready to go on it. My check engine light is on and he didn't even check that out. The van switches gears real smooth as if there is no problem. This all started when I ran out of gas one day. Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
  • pacecar68pacecar68 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 Pontiac Montana with about 48K on the odometer.... Sometimes it will shift hard. You start it up and all the shift points seem hard. You can then turn the van off restart it and the shifts are all smooth....I had the tranny serviced (pan drop method) at 30K and plan to do so again at 60K. Is there something "electrical" or "computer-related" to consider regarding the occasional hard shifts?
  • brm5114brm5114 Member Posts: 6
    I was about 100 miles from home. Had been running fine for about 30 minutes, all of a sudden tach ran up and trani was in nuetral. Pulled over and tried all gears..nothing! Let it cool down, tried again ..nothing. Had it towed home, dropped pan and drained old fluid. New filter & fluid..still nothing. Shift linkage is good. Check engine light had come on a week before..latest code # P1870 "transmission component slipping". Car has 199K but engine still running well. Any chance this is something simple & inexpensive?
    Anyone experience the same?
  • soulman613soulman613 Member Posts: 5
    Hello every body
    2 Problems - 1 : Driver side window power switch burns every time.
    2: late kick - shift change- 2nd & 3rd Only..

    When It passes 60km/h speed it runs well but when you stop & move
    that's when the kick and shaking noise come.

    I had a year and half & still driving because it's very expensive to change
    the Tranny which a lot of people said is the issue.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  • brm5114brm5114 Member Posts: 6
    The power window switch for the driver side is wired in series with the switch for the passenger side. One of the two switches may be shorted. If not, suspect the power window motor.
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    Well guys, transmission problems hea? You are not alone. I have a 2000 Montana which started acting up just over 1 year ago and currently have 150k. It's the same observation as most montana's with trany trouble: error code slippage, hard shifting, turn off engine to reset codes and runs ok until it slips again a few times and then back to hard shifting, wineing noise when in hard shifting mode. Did research and most often it is one of the selunoids (sp?) inside the transmission (there are pictures of a worn one on the internet). Anyway, quote is around $2750 to have the transmission replaced - if to speak to low-cost or any transmissionn shop that works with montana's they will have a refurbished transmission ready to install in their rack - most shops suggest that it is not worth the time/effort to take apart and diagose and risk missing components that need changing out that brings up the bill anyway. For city driving i'm planning on just letting it die then replace it but taking it easy on the peddle when shifting as it is hard on the engine if your flooring it when it is doing this. Unless anyone has any success stories where a shop has taken appart, replaced all parts (do a proper job) and put back to gether for the same price as a new one or a re-built one then i'll probably just stick it out a little longer unless someone can convince me otherwise...
  • kdufourkdufour Member Posts: 1
    my transmission slipping on my 99 Montana i changed the oil and filter but once it warmed up it was skipping down the road, it would shift it gear OK now with new oil but still was skipping. almost like the engine was misfiring but its the transmission. any ideas.
  • shampooguyshampooguy Member Posts: 1
    I had the same issue with my '05, hard shifting after 10 minutes of driving. I researched it on, and there was a member there that installed a $30 shift kit from on his van, and it stopped the hard shifts. I did the same, flushed with Dexron VI fluid, and all is well.
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    VERY curious about the 'shift kit' you instaleld... can you tell me more about it, where I might find it, how you installed it, how long it took and what you think it actually does? Thanks !
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