Pontiac Montana Electrical Issues



  • labrat68labrat68 Member Posts: 4
    I had the same problem on my montana. there is a wiring harness on the passenger side front floorboard under the carpet where th e floor board curves down from the firewall to the floor pan they made a 2 piece wiring harness and patched them together . They seem to corrode at these patch points causing a number of electrical issues. I just trimmed the bad part of the wires off and used crimp heat shrink patch connectors from walmart and electrical heat shrink tubing to fix. Plus rear tailight socket issues cause a wide variety of electrical issues too. I hope this helps before you spend alot of money on switches. I have baught alot of parts on ebay that are greatly discounted without fail. Just do not but from people or dealers from outside the us.

    Good Luck!
  • fennigs4fennigs4 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Pontiac Montana van and the last couple of months I have had nothing but problems with my brake lights. i have replaced the bulbs so many times and getting sick and tired of it. The lights will usually work for a day or two once new ones are in and then they blow or just don't work. There is never a problem with the brake light in the center above the back door though.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    This is a common problem with this vehicle....see many, many, previous posts about this. It's the bulb socket...the black wire is shorting out with the colored wires due to a substandard plug material that cannot take the heat....it melts.
    Replace the plug (pig-tail) with a new kit...about $40 plus your labor...use crimp connectors.
  • fennigs4fennigs4 Member Posts: 2
    Where can I get this part? Do I need to go to a dealer and order it? I went to an Advanced Auto store today and they had no idea what it was I was wanting and said they couldnt get anything like that ordered,
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    At Dealer.
  • larrym13larrym13 Member Posts: 1
    How long can the battery remain discnnected without affecting the memory?
  • daviddjddaviddjd Member Posts: 1
    I hope I didn't screw my van up too badly. I have the same burnt tail light plug plug issue on a 2001 montana. I tried to file and clean the connections, and I may have either loosened or corrupted the groung on the plug. Now the van won't start. It sounds like the starter is "grinding" but not even trying to turn over. Is this possibly because the assembly is no longer grounded? I kind of freaked and went ahead and cut the ground wire going into the plug assembly, so now I know its not grounded - and not starting.
  • ronkeyronkey Member Posts: 11
    The tail light does not have anything to do with the starting system.Make sure the battery connections are clean,and tight,Be sure the battery voltage is good,you may have to charge the battery.Or it may be a bad starter.Have the battery checked out to make sure,but try charging it,and see if the engine will turn over,I am assuming the engine is not turning with the starter,.
  • ronkeyronkey Member Posts: 11
    It is possible the door jam switch is the problem.
  • ronkeyronkey Member Posts: 11
    Check all fuses,and if they seem to be all good,replace the body control module,
  • semis57semis57 Member Posts: 3
    It looks like it is the starter. I will check the rear tail light plugs to be safe but it has become a regular occurence to have electrical faults when the van is started with the remote. They go away with a shut off and re-start.
  • ron1977ron1977 Member Posts: 1
    my 2003 pontiac montana's power door locks are locking and unlocking by them selfs. can anyone tell what the problem is PLEASE? it's driving my wife and myself crazy lol.
  • smu2002smu2002 Member Posts: 2
    I have replaced the alternator twice in the past two months and am now having issues again. The battery has also been replaced. Not always, but sometimes when I turn the key nothing. The lights come on but the van will not turnover. If I boost it the van starts fine and then slowly loses it power until it dies again. I am thinking that it has to be something else at this point. Perhaps a short or something that is killing the alternator. Very odd. I took it to the dealer and they told me the alternator is bad. Thoughts?
  • ralowthralowth Member Posts: 1
    Hello all,

    I have a 1999 Pontiac Montana, that is currently saying its overheating, after many weeks of replacing things and searching we finally figured out that my fans are not always turning on. Some days they wont even turn on at all, we are almost 100% sure that this is the soul problem now, we have replaced the relays and it still has not helped the problem, I was wondering if anyone knew how to run a switch to bypass the relays into the inside so I would be able to turn on the fans manually?

    The vehicle DOES NOT overheat while driving at a constant speed, just in stop-and-go traffic. When the fans turn on, the vehicle IMMEDIATELY cools off, so when air is going into the engine it cools itself off. When I first turn the engine on, it takes about 20 minutes of idling for it to get to the red-line overheat area. If the fan comes on, it will cool off tremendously, leading me to believe that the problem is simply no air getting to the engine.

    Any ideas how to safely wire a switch or some contraption to make the fans turn on manually? Also, that would be a good way to test the fans and see whether or not they are even good themselves anymore.

    EDIT: Also, SOMETIMES the fans will turn on when I turn the A/C on, but that is also sporadic. I tried the "disconnect the coolant temp sensor" trick I read to get the fans to turn on, that didn't work.
    Read more at http://www.pontiacforum.com/pontiac/showthread.php?t=24586&kcplink=1
  • ptrent2ptrent2 Member Posts: 4
    have the mechanic check your cylinder heads. I had the same issue and found out that the original owner's mechanic did not flush out all the Dex cool antifreeze and it ate away at the cylinder heads. After they assessed the situation i did not have any more problems.
  • haluskahaluska Member Posts: 1
    I have had the same problem with my 2005!

    Sometimes I'll turn the key to start the car and I won't get anything. No starter, no clicks, no nothing. The only that happens is everything electrical turns on. I'll have to let it sit for awhile (maybe 5 - 10 minutes) and then it will usually start right up like nothing was wrong.

    I think I can even hear my fuel pump or maybe some switch associated with the 120v adapter clicking away along with the interior lights being on.

    Any ideas? Thanks!
  • smu2002smu2002 Member Posts: 2
    In follow up, I am not sure if this helps but a GM tech told me that these vans are known to have starter issues. More specifically, he said that there is a wire that runs from the one part of the starter to another and that it has had corrosion issue. Replacing the starter would help. So with that I replaced the starter and have not had the problem happen again (knock on wood). That was about a month ago and all is good. What he said all makes sense to me now, form if the wire had a partial short in it it would explain why it was both sporadic and would start with more juice (boost).

    Hope this helps.
  • sstiller01sstiller01 Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Pontiac Montana's front wipers move very slowly (when they move) and will stay in the full up position, and then over a period of time move back to the close or home position. My first thought is the motor is going bad, but after reading some of the postings, I'm not so sure and think there may be something else causing the problem. This occurs on the mist, any of the delayed settings, as well as low and high. Any thoughts?
  • mcrrtmcrrt Member Posts: 93
    We had a similar problem with the rear wiper on our Chevy Venture (same as Montana). Over time, moisture and "crud" had worked it's way into the wiper's motor shaft and caused it to seize up.

    Try spraying the wiper shafts with WD-40, then turn the wipers on an intermittent setting. When the wipers start to cycle, use your hand to gently "help" the wipers move back and forth; this will work the WD-40 down the shafts and get them lubricated. You will probably have to repeat this procedure (spray the shafts, "help" the wipers move) several times before they resume working the way they should.

    Hope this helps! ;)
  • montana06montana06 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 Pontiac Montana SV6. Same exact thing happened to me. You need a NEW wiper arm mechanism (~$200.00). Apparently some oxidation occurs and causes the wipers to not move at all! We tried replacing the motor but that was not the problem. We bought the part from our local dealer and installed it ourselves. The hardest part is getting the mechanism out. Once it is out replacing it is a breeze! After we replaced mine, I could not BELIEVE how well they worked. We could have spent over $1,000 with trial and error @ the dealership, did some research and figured out the problem. Now we need to replace the rear wiper! Good luck to you!
  • cleokcleok Member Posts: 3
    2002 Montana. Any idea why fan not work on position 5. Should be full 12volts. I checked fuse and want to get to switch. cannot figure out how to get plastic frame off around control center. It's loose but something on each side is holding.
  • simbamisseysimbamissey Member Posts: 3
    My 2000 Montana was bought used and the fan had only 3 speeds. I had the dealer fix it by changing the fan control and later I was told that this was due to the Cabin Air Filter being too dirty. Indeed it was clogged and what I was told that this will cause excessive heat build-up on the fan control switch. There is 2 screws that hold the (temp/radio and storage/cup holder) cover that is right behind the cup holder (pull on the cup holder and you will see it.) I have mine out now as like most other Montana owners, my Delco radio has burned out 2 of 3 lights behind the display. I did this job myself but it is tricky..A lot of good info I found on the net.
    Good luck
  • cleokcleok Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for your input. I had taken out two screws and it is loose but seems to have a tab or something on each side, still holding. Was wondering if more covers (to the sides) need to be removed ? And if that is even going to get me where I need to get. I saw a post that said the fan speed module was above the pasengers feet.
    Did you fix the display on your radio ? Mine has a couple lights out too. I didn't know what that involves but could probably do it. I repaired car radios thru the 70's & 80's for a living.
  • simbamisseysimbamissey Member Posts: 3
    Hi Sorry I just noticed that there is 2 more screws behind and above the cupholder. I was not able to figure out how to remove the cupholder but I was able to go in on the side of the cupholder and remove these last 2 pesky screws,

    I replaced the lights with Radio Shack =The Source (Canada) with these lights

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102815&cp=2032058.2032232- .2032295&parentPage=family

    It was not easy to do and took me a couple of hours. I used a 40 watt pencil type soldering iron and a medical Magnification light with adjustable arm.
    Please,please change all 3 at the same time as I changed 2 and the 3rd. burn't hours after.

    Let me know how it goes!
  • simbamisseysimbamissey Member Posts: 3
    Sorry I should have added this post on the procedure to replace the Radio Display lights.

  • doxz614doxz614 Member Posts: 1
    Strange One. My Montana Remote does not work for Locks. The switch on either the Drivers Side or the Passenger Side will not Lock the doors, but will Unlock all doors. If I use the key in the door it will Lock and Unlock all doors. ???
  • cleokcleok Member Posts: 3
    Did the remote ever work for you. Is it original. The switches commonly go bad. Mine (2002) will lock doors but not unlock them.
  • help69help69 Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2011
    i had this problem on my 99 montana. i drove it up a steep bank. got the radiator cap the highest point of the cooling system filled it up and never had a problem again.it took awhile to get all the air out but it sure made a difference. for wiring diagrams go to badgerlink.net have your library card number and it posts a lot of them for different cars.
  • help69help69 Member Posts: 3
    my sliding door would not work. on the driver side under the carpet the wiring goes thru there. the orange one was the door.water gets in there.works just fine,
  • help69help69 Member Posts: 3
    there is a about five or six places that water will get in these Montana's.I seen a post about them . i would guess that your problem is moisture.
  • janeybjaneyb Member Posts: 1
    I'm having a weird situation with my drivers side power window. It has a difficult time rolling down (very slowly until it's almost all the way down, but it rolls up just fine. Does it need a new motor? If so, why does it roll up easier than it rolls down? Thanx :-)
  • mailmail Member Posts: 10
    I am having the same problem for about 5 years. Don't know if I want to go into the door. I'm suspect that the window is sticking on the upswing b/c when it is hot out it goes up faster, when cold slower. Also i've noticed on the montana that when the van is reving the window goes up much faster... as if power has something to do with it... could be a bad motor and it performs better with more juice. Let us know if anyone tries to fix this... just not worth my time going into the door, i've done so much more on this van - list something and i've likely fixed it myself.
  • stig2stig2 Member Posts: 1
    I recently acquired a 1999 Montana with less than 100,000 miles. It's in excellent shape, but there are some electrical issues.

    The primary one is that the indicator lights are completely wacked. When I signal, the lights flash quickly as though one was burn out, but they are not. When I step on the brakes, the flashing slows, but the brake lights flash too.

    Any ideas ? Is there a central control module that handles indicator & brake lights that can be replaced ?
  • jeprimejeprime Member Posts: 2
    To all of you that have had issues when you use your turn signals or brakes, or even in reverse: it is the connector to your rear lamp assembly - both sides. GM engineers (or de-engineers, as I call them) failed miserably on this particular model. I owned a 98 Venture - and currently own an 00 Montana - same van - same problem. The problem eventually would drain the battery to the point that it would not hold a charge: "parasitic drain" was the term used in an earlier post.

    I found a solution: went to my local pull-a-part and found a newer model (about 04 or newer) pulled those lamps off and replaced the old ones. It has completely solved that problem.

    However, the window motors suck and need replaced - has to do with the "de-engineered" system that lifts the window. I'm fairly certain that a lot of cleaning and a little grease in the grooves might resolve this matter.

    The starter problem that I am currently having is kind of weird. It worked perfectly for the entire time I owned it. Recently, it would give my wife issues: not engage the flywheel. She called it "just spinning and grinding". I took the starter to Auto Zone and it tested fine. Bought another one and it does something similar. I checked all the teeth on the flywheel and they are all there and not worn. It seems to me that the starter simply does not completely engage the flywheel. Was wondering if anyone else has had this issue and if they found a solution.
  • jl2994jl2994 Member Posts: 1
    starter issue you may need to shim the starter i had a pontiac sunfire that had a similar starter issue worked out great. gm shims can be found at autozone'
  • novice75novice75 Member Posts: 1
    can you post a photo of the part you speak of or explain it better, i kind of get the picture but not entirely sure what you mean? "it is the connector to your rear lamp assembly - both sides." I am having this problem and need to fix it soon...my vehicle registration depends on it...and I am past due at this point as it is...thanks I don't wanna put time into fixing the wrong things....done that already....:(
  • unclmartinunclmartin Member Posts: 1
    The problem relates to a poor design in the rear driver's side turn signal and brake light assembly connector. All 5 lamps use one terminal for ground. That terminal gets overheated and melts the plastic causing the ground terminal to get corroded. Cleaning the terminal will only fix it temporarily. replace the connector. you should be able to find a replacement connector on-line.
  • ksrjreedksrjreed Member Posts: 1
    I am in need of some big time help. My 2003 Montana shows no power when you get in but when I lift the hood and unhook the fuse box from the stabilizer bar and move the fuse box around I can get it to start but once I put everything back to the way it goes, and turn the van off and try to restart there is no power once again.
  • vondava3vondava3 Member Posts: 1
    I too had the slow passanger window, took it in and had it repaired but it didn't last long (about 8 months). I have had this problem since 2008. Good luck to all, as they get some milage on them they have more and more issues.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    Good morning vondava3,

    I see that you had your window repaired but that the repair didn't last - was this done at a GM dealership or at another shop? When was the repair performed? We'd be happy to check into this further if the work was performed with a GM dealership - let us know via email at [email protected] (include your name, Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • bix49bix49 Member Posts: 6
    The starter on my 2002 Montana quit a few days ago. Working 1 minute not working the next. I took it off and had it tested at a local parts store who confirmed it was bad. I lose all electrical power. I bought a rebuilt starter brought it home and installed it. When I tried to start the van, again nothing. In addition I lost all electrical power. nothing electrical is working.
    the battery is good and fully charged. I rechecked the connections to the starter. Checked all the fuses, Both under hood and dash mounted and they all appeared ok I am at a loss. Has any one else experienced this or does anyone have any ideas on what could have caused this total power loss?
  • labrat68labrat68 Member Posts: 4
    edited December 2012
    I do not know if this will help you.


    starter fusible link, relay main fuse blown, is there power to the starter?
  • bix49bix49 Member Posts: 6
    Yes, there is power to the starter but it's not associated with turning the key. The starter begins making a whirring sound when I attempt to reconnect the positive battery cable. The negative cable already being connected. I will again check the fuses and look for the fusable link you mentioned. Am I correct in thinking that the fusable link is on a separate line that connects
    to the positive side of the starter along with the cable from the battery? Also does the fuseable link do more than protect the starter circuit? I will look very thourouly for a blown main fuse. I have been thinking that there's just one thing that has caused all the power to the vehicle to go out. I'll write again with my findings. Thanks for your suggestions.
  • bix49bix49 Member Posts: 6
    Well, I think I'm closing in on the problem. I tested all the relevant fuses and they were all good. It was getting a little cold by the time I finished so I wasn't able to get to the fusible link which I'm now pretty sure is causing the problem, at least with all the electrics except the starter. I hate to admit it but I believe I incorrectly reconnected the wires to the solenoid. If you're still out there labrat68 let me ask you this. The cable from the battery connects to the post on the solenoid that has the cable running into the starter. Is there another line that also connects to that post. The line with the fusible link? Once I know that I think I can get things working again. One more question. Could mis-wiring the starter like I'm pretty sure I did, damage it and cause it to malfunction. This is the second rebuilt starter I bought from the same auto parts store where the solenoid does kick the Bendix gear out without spinning it. Although it could just be my bad luck.
    Any input would be appreciated.
  • bix49bix49 Member Posts: 6
    Hello, I've got a problem or maybe 2, with my 2002 Montana that I hope someone can give me some advice on, because it's driving me crazy. I replaced the starter and when I tried to start the van, nothing happened. I had cleaned all the connections prior to installation and made sure that the connections to the solenoid were correct. All fuses and relevant relays were checked and all were good. The battery was at full charge 12.6v. When I turn the key to the start position I can hear a click from the relay but the purple wire at the solenoid showed no power. I finally got around to jumping the starter and the van started. Checking the dash I found the battery light on. The battery was not being recharged. After a lot of reading and some phone calls, the conclusion I came to was 2 possibilities. A burned fusible link or 2? Or a bad neutral position switch. I haven't found the switch yet but the 3 other wires besides the battery cable that attach to the solenoid all appear to have fusible links. They all "appeared ok." I pulled on them and could detect no streching and I didn't feel any soft spots, but is is a little cold here and the wires are pretty stiff. Do you think I'm on the right track and what do you think I should do next? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bix
  • jeprimejeprime Member Posts: 2
    I failed miserably on following up with everyone. I did resolve the starter problem. I purchased a rebuilt starter and got the same results: starter just whirs, completely missing he flywheel. A friend suggested I return the rebuilt starter and pay the difference for a new one. Took the rebuilt one back, tested it to be on the safe side, and it tested fine. I installed he new stater and voila, it started right up. Had no problems with that ever since. Has something to do with hear shroud not set to properly engage with the flywheel.

    HOWEVER....the engineers do not just fail on the lights, fuel pump, and the windows. They really messed with the stupid 3400 engine. If you start having overheating problems, I know the proper solution: junk it. It costs way too much to replace the engine, and repairs are never forever. It seems the water grooves and the oil grooves run side by side. After several years, the thin sliver of steel that separates them wears out, allowing oil to infiltrate the cooling system, and vice-versa. The only sure way to repair this is to replace the engine. That is about $1500 to $2000, depending on who you get to rob you.

    All I can say is that the Montana was a good little van, took me all over the country, until the overheating thing started. Then, it was a short 4 months until I finally sold her to the local pull-a-part. Anyway, happy mechanic-ing.
  • jeannette3jeannette3 Member Posts: 1
    Hi all. I bought my 2003 Montana new, and I have loved it for most of its life. Lately, though, I'd say in the last 2 years or so, I've started to fall out of love with many aspects of the electrical system. First, the dvd player stopped reading most of our dvds. We replaced the dvd system at the dealership, but it is still having the same problems. Then the clock display light went out. Then the driver side window started dragging when I rolled it up. The passenger side window can't be controlled by the driver side controls anymore. The traction system went out. The oil light is perpetually on...even when I get the oil changed. Within the last week, I start the van, and the radio changes to a different BAND. I have to press the BAND button to put it back on the radio. I have less than 68,000 miles on it, so I haven't driven it into the ground by any means. Any suggestions for this teacher who has little money to spend on figuring out and fixing the problems? :cry: Thanks.
  • bix49bix49 Member Posts: 6
    I recently had to disconnect the battery in my 2002 montana, and since the radio has the safe guard feature I though I would be writing about the codes just to get the radio to work. when I reconnected the battery the radio turned on fine. I didn't even lose the presets. I did have to reset the clock and now every time I turn the van off the clock goes back to 12:0Thanks,0. Anyone have any ideas?

  • lilwaginlilwagin Member Posts: 2
  • lilwaginlilwagin Member Posts: 2
    The van ran good and we parked it for a few months. We try to start it now and with a good battery everything is dead. No lights, no horn, and when you try to start it all you hear is a click. The motor will not turn over.. we have tried jumping it and still same thing happens. Would appreciate any help or direction someone could give me..
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