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Scrap it or not??? (2003 Pontiac Montana)

san72san72 Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Pontiac

Well I had an eventful day with my 2003 Pontiac Montana. So far its been a decent family van. Almost 200,000 miles and yet to need any major repairs. Well today while sitting in a parking lot with the van on but in park it started to shake horribly. Not like a vibration but a trembling/buckling of some sort. I turned it off and tried to turn it back on. It sounded like it turned on fine but I could not feel the vibration of the motor which felt very odd since everything had full power like the car was on. So I turned the key back and tried it again. It would not start. The engine was turning and the power was fine and strong. I knew it wasn't dying or the battery (experienced plenty of those instances in my day). It felt like it wasn't catching something or something wasn't working with the motor to turn it on....hard to explain. Anyways, waited 10 minutes and tried again. This time it turned on but it took a LOT of power to do so and it was LOUD. I threw it into reverse and started giving it gas. The engine would rev but the wheels hardly moved and that horrible shaking was going on. I knew I wasn't going anywhere so put it in drive and went as far forward as it would go.

Called for a tow and when he saw that I was a girl (no judging!! ;) ) he immediately looked to see if it was a simple dead battery. He smelt the dip stick and said you fried your tranny. That was that and it was towed home.

After talking with my husband who is doesn't know much about cars either and tossing the idea of scrapping it I keep thinking it just might not be the transmission. I didn't think a car could move anywhere with a shot tranny let alone in reverse. It has had some slipping issues but very rarely. One thing that does come to mind is during the winter when coming to a stop the van will jerk forward for a second even with a good amount of pressure on the brakes. It only does this when it is very cold. Also we have had some electrical issues. (ABS light stays on, gas gauge not accurate/fluctuates)

Really don't have the cash to spend on a huge repair or multiple inspections...



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042

    That's a pretty high mileage vehicle, especially for an older minivan. I'd think that any money you put into it would only be to stave off the eventual, but fast-approaching, demise of the vehicle. I priced it out, which you can also do here:
    since I had to guess at some of the options. It didn't come out to much.

    If it were me, I'd skip all of the diagnostic expenses and repairs (there will be some, regardless of what the actual cause is, and I doubt they'll be cheap) and save any money you do have, and what you can get for scrap value, and use it to buy something with more life left in it.


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