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Pontiac Montana Transmission Problems



  • 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 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 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.")
  • 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 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. :-)
  • 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:
  • Hello

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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 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?
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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 !
  • Hi, i have a 2000 Montana with 35000 miles with the very same problem you have have you herd of a fix for this or what the problem might be ?
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239
    For some good info on why the 4T65E transmission known problems, surf:

    On a different forum, a person installed a "shift kit" and his van's transmission shift slippage was eliminated. Using Google, search for "4T65E shift kit" and lots of info appears. Well worth searching this area as well...

    Also... My local transmission specialists recommends transmission ATF aux cooler (rated for 5,000+ lbs trailer) be installed on all GM 4T65E transmissions. Even if van is only used for "soccer parent" (and non-Towing) driving conditions. From his experience, the 4T65E does NOT like heat. Especially from city stop/go city driving on a hot day conditions. He told me the LPD (Low Pressure Drop) aux transmssion design (like Tru-Cool and Hayden brands) are the best.

    If wondering, I installed the Hayden LPD aux cooler on my '09 Montana van. Cost me under $150 (CDN dollars) in needed materials. And, I installed it myself - to keep the cost even lower. re:

    Hope this helps....

  • My tranny went out in my 2000 van. I bought a used tranny out of a 2004 and installed it. The man said it would bolt right up, It did. But it will not shift into overdrive. Does this transmission take a different computer? I noticed the plug to the tranny has more pins than the original. Any thoughts?
  • I purchased a 2009 montana in march of this year..and I took it back to the dealer when it was two weeks old..when you take your foot off the break before your excelerate it shakes or ( idles rough) the dealership tells me it is the transmission and it is a operational charactersitc of this van. Does anyone else have this problem or know of anyone with this? It is high stall torque converter..and they started using this part in the late 2007 models. They tell me it is in all these vans but I'm not convinced. Please let me know!! Thanks
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239
    Like you, my wife (and I) bought a 2009 Montana EWB van as well. Bought in on March 30 2009. Since day 1, our van's movements has been smooth. Smooth ask silk when slowly taking off from idle and smooth as silk when slowing down, then speeding up again (after driving through the school zone). Other then battery replacement, 3rd brake light replacement (which was both under warranty), I've been very pleased with our 2009 Montana van. Especially pleased with its smooth idling and smooth take off behavior. re: No vibrations at all. Actually, I prefer the smoother feeling of this 2009 van when compared to my wife's 2003 Buik FWD "run about" 3.4L vehicle. So far, I'm glad we bought our 2009 Montana 3.9L van.

    Hope this helps...

  • Thank you that helps alot. The dealership keeps telling me they all do this and they can't fix the problem. I think I just have a bad one in the bunch, and I want them to fix it or replace it. But I wanted to know if all the montanas were doing it.
    Thank you for taking the time to reply!
  • dustiniandustinian Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Pontiac Montana with 150K miles on it. The problem is that when I've had the air on for 20 min or so, the transmission slips. "Clunk"s from gear to gear, and doesn't get better when you turn the air off. Only gets better when engine has been allowed to cool somewhat. Can anyone help me?
  • dulinaadulinaa Posts: 10
    Most likely your a/c on has nothing to do with the noises that occur after the engine is warm, only to make it warm up faster. Using the 'Mechanic's Guide to Consumer Noises" , A clunking from gear to gear could be motor mounts. A good visual check while someone shifts from park to drive, and be sure to try reverse too. While brakes applied, in drive, a small amount of accel to load the engine up could see if the engine/tranny is twisting to 'bump' the frame somewhere.
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239
    edited June 2010
    The 4T65E transmission (used with many GM 3.4 to 3.9 L engines) is average quality built. Its electronic shift based (compred to mechical shift based) and tends to run very hot. The hotter it runs, the higher the risk of problems. Even for no trailer hitch GM mini-vans, my transmission specialist recommends addition of ATF aux LPD design cooler. To him and his experience with the 4T65E transmission, GM should include ATF aux cooler with their minimum factory build. Especially if one lives in hotter climate and/or hilly regions (and don't exceed 2 passanger hauling). These transmisisons run hot and the heat creates damage.

    Based on clunking sounds, it sounds like a professional needs to replace a few individual parts and/or perform a performance re-build to it. To learn more about this specific transmission and its "common" known failures, surf entire contents of:

    After transmission is fixed (individual part replacements and/or total re-buid with a performance kit), I'd install an ATF aux cooler in your van as well. Install LPD design rated for attached 5,000 lbs trailer. Thus, making it run cooler - even for non-towing and non-hauling driving conditions.

    For my wife's Montana van, I installed - - - - - e=1678&Category_Code=hayden-transaver-cooler&Product_Count=2

    For my wife's van and its better then factor ATF cooling system, it's been running great since installing this larger then needed ATF aux cooler.

    Hope this helps...

  • mailmail Posts: 10
    Thanks! Have any details you would like to share on how you installed it? Where you put the cooler, how you mounted it then most importantly what steps you took to actually hook it up and what parts you required? (item numbers you ordered and where you got them)? Only if you are willing... there certainly are alot of readers looking at this - the montana's a notorious for these problems... I might just attempt this summer to follow your lead if you are willing to share to the novice. Thanks.
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