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Chevy Vans: Problems & Solutions



  • Thanks schwang, I'll take a look at it tonight.
  • Any luck with the rear wiper ??
  • Yes. It was the easiest fix I've ever made. After checking out a repair manaul from the library I found there was a protective dust cap that hinged out of the way exposing the fasterner nut. Nut was loose. Tighteded nut and that fixed it!
  • We recently purchased a used 2000 Chevy Venture. I purchased a manual online and tried hard with NO success for a couple of weeks now. We've noticed that the middle seat and the seat behind the driver's side are 'switched'. According to the 'diagram' on the bar under the seat, it shouldn't be like that. Even if that could be a reason for those seats being 'stuck', it wouldn't explain why the seat behind the passenger seat is stuck. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
  • chaseschases Posts: 41
    Each seat in the van has a special pin that only allows it to go into a certain location. If your seats are in the wrong location than someone forced it. You might have to do some unforcing (AKA a hammer bangging it backwards while holding the catch open.)
  • My starter sticks intermittently when I start it, has almost from day one, I am the original owner of a 2001 with 67000 miles.

    And yes, the heater could be better, I think it's a matter of being underpowered considering all the space it has to heat up.
  • Does anyone have websites where I can go to purchase the third seat sofa bed combo for my 2004 GMC Savana?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Correct!!!! If someone forced it in there's only one way to get it out...force it out. Couple of good whacks with a hammer will fix it. You may also want to put a little WD40 on the mounts just to make it move a little easier.
  • Having a 2001 Venture LT with the three separate middle seats and the solid one-piece bench third-row seat, I found that the spacing for all the seats was the same. Just take the rear seat or seats out competely, (make a couch in your garage).
    Now you can put any of the middle seats in the rear, put just two seats on one side, one behind the other, so there is a long flat 7-foot stretch down the other side, or remove one of the seats from the middle and put just one seat in the rear on one side, etc. There is almost unlimited interchangability, as far as spacing of the seats, ONCE YOU REMOVE THOSE STUDS with a dremel tool cut-off tool for instance. Take notice that some combinations will preclude using the shoulder harness, but if you move a second-row seat to the same side in the rear, you are ok, and the middle seat has a regular seat-belt which can be used if kept on the side where the clip belongs.
    REMOVING the studs does not mean the seats won't fit where they were originally, and have all the original functions, just that you can put any seat anywhere. By cutting off one side of the stud, close to the seat frame, the stud can be punched all the way out of the hole (hammer and nail-set) and you will never miss it again.
  • tlsissontlsisson Posts: 2
    Our 01 Venture has quit on me 2x while driving. Had it towed to garage, fuel lines and wires were melted to top of gas tank as well as gas tank melted some. Replaced once already. Was told lucky that it didn't blow up on me. Last mechanic said we needed new fuel pump. Has anyone else had any problems like this or know of what might be the cause? Have spent more thatn enough $ already. Don't want to put another gas tank on and have it do the same thing 25 miles down the road. :mad: :lemon:
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    We found that the reason the heater was so bad was because the thermostat was shot & sticking open...once I replaced it the heat was much better...still not great, but certainly better - seems the OEM thermostats are only good for about 80,000 miles or so...
  • robofirerobofire Posts: 5
    How many miles do you have on the engine? I haven't experienced your situation yet, but I'm concerned with the numberous engine seal leaks I have with only 31,000 miles.
  • tlsissontlsisson Posts: 2
    We have about 180000 KM on it.
  • chaseschases Posts: 41
    You can search my other posts....

    But I think---- you need to check the harness plug that is under the van located approx. under the drivers seat. My plug was shorting across the terminals. It had fooled my into thinking that 4 fuel pumps had gone bad on my van. The last one I dropped the tank to flush it out myself thinking that the tank was all gunked up, While the tank was on the ground I inspected all the harness back into the van when I found the terminal. After I pigtailed a new (to my van) plug onto the van I powered the van on to see it the old pump ran and sure enough.

    Now if you find that the plug has problems you will mostlikely not find it at the dealer or any car parts shop. You will need to go to your nearest wrecking yard to get it.
  • ancobacaancobaca Posts: 3
    Ok this is going to be long so I am sorry. My wifes 98 venture had the low oil pressure light come on and the van shut off. We couldnt get it started and had it towed home which was 6 blocks from our house. After doing some research I thought I would try the quick cheap fixes first. I replaced the oil and filter, the oil sending unit, the fuel filter. We can get the fan to start but the low oil pressure light would come on and then after a few secs would shut van off. So I sought advice from some mechanics and I was thinking maybe oil pump but everyone said they had never seen the pump go out and that it would cost $800 to put a $50 part in because its super labor intensive to take the oil pan off the 3.4L engine. So we were told it could be a few other things as well. Some said the oil pickup tube could have fallen out which would cause no oil to be sucked up into the pump. To see if the pump was actually working they said to take the oil filter off and crank it over and see if oil would come out beings that the filter is higher then the pump if oil came out pump was working at least..well that didnt work. So they said well if pickup tube came out then to take few quarts of kerosene and pour in oil to submerge pump fully and then crank and see if oil comes out..tried it and still nothing. After I changed the oil and had cranked engine over and took off oil filter the fiter was clean as a whistle which tells me no oil is being pumped. So I finally come to idea that maybe the pump really is bad. No here is my problem...can anyone think of anything besides the pump that would cause this...and #2 all the mechanics said they had never seen a pump go out and some said they wouldnt even mess with it because its a costly fix that might not even work. But giving all the things I have tried wouldnt ya think it might just be the oil pump? The van has 140k miles on it and yes 800 is a lot I think to have it repaired..but given my financial situation with 5 kids I cant afford to go out and buy brand new car, and I sure dont want to buy a used headache of someone elses. Please any help would be appreciated.
  • chaseschases Posts: 41
    Sounds like you did the correct diagnosing of the problem. The next bit of research you should do is to price search to find a better shop price for the repair.

    And yes I would repair it.

    All in all I feel that the problems these vans have all cars are bound to have similar problems at some time. It just seems worse on these vans because the average shade tree mechanic cant fix due to the shoe horn engine.

    I have had just about all of these problems that you can read about on this forum. And still I really like driving this van and I get really good gas mileage for such a high profile vehicle.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I wouldn't be afraid to spend $ 800 on it - ours is a 2000 and we still like it alot...for all of their faults these Ventures are pretty good vans - think about it...800 is 3 months worth of payments on a new one if you're lucky...and yes...labor charges are always brutal on these things because of the way they shoe horned the motor under the hood.

    All cars break sooner or later - sure sounds like its an oil pump issue, I can't think of another reason for your issue that you haven't already checked - I've heard of a couple in the 60 degree V6 motors, yours wouldn't be the first...anything can break on any car...

    Find a good mechanic that's willing to do what it takes to fix it and get it done...if you can't, maybe you can find one that would put a used or rebuilt motor in it...sure it will be more expensive than the oil pump fix but you'll be good for a long time...just an idea....Good Luck
  • cyberx1cyberx1 Posts: 4

    Had a new High Pressure Power Steering hose installed abouyt 3 months ago. After installation, heard steering nosie in engine compatrtment. Shop said that Power Steering Pump was bad, so I had pump replaced - still hearing stragre noise related to steering. Any ideas what is causing this annoying noise, which is mpost notable when making turns?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Assuming that the pump is good since it was just replaced and that you have no leaks.....I'm thinking you've got air trapped somewhere in the system

    1. Fluid level OK?

    2. Open the cap on the PS reservoir while its running...foamy??? If so the system needs to be primed/bled...procedure:

    -Fill reservoir to correct level
    -Start engine and run for 2 or 3 seconds and shut down. Check fluid level again...add if necessary. Repeat procedure till fluid level is constant
    -Raise the front of the vehicle until the wheels are off the ground
    -start the engine and give it a little gas & hold it there...turn the wheel all the way to the right and them all the way to the left (gently) Check fluid level and add if necessary.
    -Lower to the ground...with the engine still running, drive forward just enough to turn the wheel all the way to the right but don't force it against the stop, then drive forward again to get it all the way to the left stop but don't force it.
    -recheck the fluid and add if necessary

    This should get the air out of the system & get rid of your noise. You may have to do it 2x...if the noise persists or if the fluid is persistently foamy, you might have a leak somewhere letting air in...good luck
  • cyberx1cyberx1 Posts: 4
    Thank you - I will try the procedure and let you know how it turns out.

    Mark :)
  • cyberx1cyberx1 Posts: 4
    Oh, onemore thing. I took my van to the Chevy dealer yesterday to have my PS system checked. Asa I suspected, the Mom and Pop auto shop who perfromed the repairs on my van really screwed up and ther're not fessing up to it so I'm now stuck. Turns out that Mom and Pop shop replaced my Power Steering pump and filled with TRANSMISSION FLUID! Does this present a problem now as they offered to drain and refill with Power Steering fluid? Also, will adding Lucas PS fluid improve anything, in your opinion? Lastly, Checy stated the the High Pressure PS Hose was inprorperly installed and slightly bent, but Mom and Pop shops states that that is impossible in that hose can only be installed on way - what do you think? Can improper installation cause any problesm with my Powersterering system? FYI that although the noise is extreley annpoying, the stewering appesars to work just fine, to inlkuce tight turns.

    Thank you again.

    Mark in Plano, TX
    Retired Marine
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hi Mark...Semper Fi !!

    Let's break this down...

    1. Trans fluid in PS pump - hard to say what issues this could cause, depends upon the compatibility of the 2 fluids...they're both theoretically "hydraulic fluid" and I know there were some Fords that used trans fluid in the PS system...I can't imagine that there's a good way to get all of the old fluid out for sure without dismantling the system...I think I would get rid of all I could and refill with the right fluid and cross my fingers...I'm not going to be shocked if just replacing the fluid gets rid of the noise.

    2. High pressure hose - I think my biggest concern would be that there is a kink in it that is restricting the flow and possibly causing your noise...but you say that the steering is working fine...I think if it was kinked the steering wheel would be hard to turn...I've never had to replace ours so I can't say for sure if you can install it more than one I said...I think a kink would be the issue here if you had one.

    I'm not a mechanic unless there's a shade tree and some beer around but here's what I would do:

    Replace the PS fluid with the correct fluid and do the air bleed procedure...
    Check the high pressure line from the pump (its the one that comes off of the bottom of the PS pump) for kinks or restrictions.

    Then I would see what happens...Honestly, I think the correct fluid will cure the noise...and a little Lucas in there certainly wouldn't hurt either - they make good products.

    Let me know how you make out and feel free to post question...good luck

  • It seems to have all started after I hit a cat on the interstate about a year ago. Had no trouble with my van before that. Because of the damage the cat made we replaced the radiator unit which is also the a/c condenser (if I remember correctly). About a week after that replacement was made the van started hesitating on acceleration but only sometimes. Some days it would run smooth but others I'd be lucky to make it out of the driveway. We took it to the shop and they said it was the spark plugs. We paid around $300 for the plug change. 2 days later the hesitation returned and the shop then said it was the transmission. We paid $1800 to rebuild the transmission and less than a week later the hesitation returned. We left the ran sitting in the driveway for about a week, then it ran fine for a few days, then the hesitation returned. We took it to a new shop and they said we needed a fuel system service (fuel filter, injectors cleaned, PCV, EGR, etc). We paid around $200 for that and it ran great for 2 months! Hesitation returned, though, but not as often so it was easier to deal with. Just a few weeks ago it started being more frequent. Took it to a new shop and they said it was the catalytic converter screen/filter so there went $285. A few days later it was STILL doing it so NOW they say it's the intake manifold gasket and it'll be $800. This mechanic says he notices the temperature gauge going up slightly at a red light then it comes down again and that's a symptom. I've noticed it, too, but I hear the fan come on and the temp goes down...isn't that what's supposed to happen?
    Oh ,and the midst of all that my brakes went out so that was another $867.

    I'm at the end of my rope. We cannot afford a car payment (car loan was rolled into mortgage) so we keep slapping these repairs on our credit card and I'm now having emotional breakdowns DAILY over this. My husband is not any way a mechanic and just when we trust a real mechanic they slap us with a big estimate for something they THINK might be the problem. No one seems to know exactly what is wrong with this van...the computer is not giving out codes. The only one it gave was the 02 sensor and after the catalytic converter was worked on the mechanic said it might just be giving out a false reading on that BECAUSE of the converter having been clogged.

    He has no explanation as to why my gas gauge goes up and down at every turn, either. I keep thinking "THE PROBLEMS" is something in the fuel tank...maybe debris/dirt/junk is clogging up my injectors. The van ran great for 2 months after we got them cleaned last time but I kept using cheap gas so maybe things got stirred up again? Sometimes it sputters, backfires, hesitates and seems like it's going to shut off. Other times it chugs and sputters along and when I hit 45 mph it feels like something got unstuck and it got some gas and runs along. Idling it sounds fine, slowly giving it gas sometimes is okay too but when I have to give it more to get going then that nightmare begins.

    I've done research on the manifold gasket and although I know it's a known problem wouldn't the gasket have been completely GONE by now if it was really the problem? How has no other mechanic even mentioned this as being a possible cause? How is this van not giving a code for this problem it's had for a year?

    I'm at my wit's end and have no where else to turn!

  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    Hi Aurelia....

    I have no idea what's wrong with your van but.....

    I'm concerned with the fact that there are "no codes" in the computer. Everytime the motor hiccups, misfires or does something else strange, the computer saves the "event"...basically, it takes a snapshot of everything going on at the time it happens so a tech can access the records and figure out what is wrong.

    Here's my opinion - I think your EGR valve has a typically has to be a disaster to set a trouble code and it takes a long time to get that an internet search, ask a friend, somehow find out where the EGR valve is on the Venture...then remove it, clean it and replace it.

    2 bolts hold it in...clean it with carburetor cleaner and a toothbrush...there is a pintle in the middle that should move up and down...clean it and make sue it moves freely. I'm not convinced that it was removed and cleaned when the fuel system was serviced as they usually don't do that...

    Even if you can't do the work, maybe you have a friend who can? Good luck, post back with any questions...

    BTW - As for your gas gauge, the Venture gas gauges typically start to have issues about 80,000 miles...the level sensor in the fuel tank is to blame...its an expensive repair, just keep track of your mileage and get it filled up every 300 miles.

  • fknstrfknstr Posts: 3
    Did you replace the thermostat yourself or a garage?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I was going to do it myself but the car was in for an oil change and I've been real busy at work so I let them do it....

    In hindsight, I should have done it myself and saved some $ but unfortunately there are only so many hours in a day and most of mine were taken up....

    Its not a bad job...just takes a little patience....
This discussion has been closed.