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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana

I have a Chevy Venture. So many of the posts in each of the three current discussions apply to all three versions that I've started this unified discussion. Please post any common topics here.


  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    I agree it would be nice to have all the posts on the GM trio on one board. If everyone follows suit, it will make things much easier. However, my guess is that all this board will do is add one more to the list I check on each visit.
  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    I read all three - it'd be a lot easier to just read one. Maybe the hosts will lock out the others and let this one go forward as the 'authoritative' group for the GM Minivans.

    -Dan L.
    '01 Montana
    '00 BMW 528i
  • I think this is a good post since the drivetrain and chassis are the same.
    How many Venture,Montana, and Silhouette owners have had the leaky headlights,water in the jack compartment, and engine knock on start up problems?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Let's watch this one for a week or three and see how it goes. (That'll also give me time to get caught up from my move that killed my computer last week).

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • We bought a 2001 reg Venture Van last summer and enjoy it. We are experiencing a thumping noise from the back end whenever we hit a bump. Any suggestions as to possible cause? It is going in to the dealer's in 3 days to be checked out.


  • This could be the tire jack getting loose in its right rear cubby, or the spare tire under the car.
  • checked the jack before and it is ok. Took the spare tire out for the winter and put it into van, thump is still there.
  • Could be the load leveling compressor loose if you have that feature.
  • Just back from the dealer and they were unable to figure out what was causing the thump. However the complaint is on record and we will see what develops :-)

    Thank you to those who offered suggestions

  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    After an 5 month search for a used Premiere, I found a '99 with 24,000 miles on it. We've had it for a few thousand miles other than a bad electric door lock switch, no complaints. Engine knock on start up doesn't hurt anything so what's the issue? I have the complete service history provided by the factory and the former owner didn't have much to complain about. This is a heckuva nice van, I found it to be the most comfortable, with the best options on the market and what a great bargain at $18,000 and still under bumper to bumper warranty! Along with the powerfull V6 the car gets good MPG and this car has every option that was offered except the 16" wheels. Very nice and very comfortable.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    Last night we had a record low of 17d F., the lowest it's been since we bought our Venture two years ago. This morning there was a small transmission fluid leak at the gasket. Could this be related to the unusually cold weather?
  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    This will seem like an odd question, but my '01 Montana (w/ Montanavision) has red stick-on dots all over the place - on different panels, under the hood, on the backside of the rear view mirror..

    Any ideas? Some sort of quality (or lack of) check?

    -Dan L.
    '01 Montana
  • bcd99bcd99 Posts: 45
    I have a 2001 Silo and since the weather got cold the gas shocks that lift the door only open it about halfway. If you open the door fully the shock hold it there. Anyone else have this problem, I'm thinking of complaining to the dealer. My father-in-law 1988 Olds 98 has the original gas shock on his trunk and hood that still work and open fully, I think a 2001 should not be having problems already.
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    Aren't the hatch supports covered under the bumper to bumper warranty?
  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    I've even had that issue with my BMW, but only when it's brutally cold, and it sat outside for a while. The van sits inside most of the time, so I don't have any experience with how it acts in the cold

    I agree with you, 1/2 way is unacceptable.

    -Dan L.
  • hhuahhua Posts: 16
    Our 2000 Silhouette (3.4 v6) 16K miles has very minor oil leaks at the gasket between the manifold and the head. I can see three steaks of oil running at the driver side front bank. There are no leaks from the passenger side. I can't see the rear bank so, I assume there are no leaks there. There was oil trace below the leak on the oil pan. I never see any oil dripping on the garage floor. I cleaned the oil pan and will keep monitor it.

    Just wonder if this is a common problem, should I be worry that the leaks will get worst, and have the deal fix it now while it is still under warranty. I would hate to have the dealer try to fix this minor problem, and may introduce a more serious problem.

    The car has been very good so far, we got 21 mpg avg since new. Only minor problems were the liftgate water leak, and the passenger side power slide door problem. Both problems seem to be fixed now.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    I would go for this as I have found interesting info on the other two.

    Suggest the the three separate vans be archived and we kick off with this one. Also the Chevy Van Owners is not getting a great following.
  • carnaticcarnatic Posts: 3
    we have a 1999 Pontiac Montana. Has only 22,000 miles on it. Been in the shop over a dozen times. Sliding door problems, brake problems, anti-lock problems, coolant leak, transmission fluid leakage, electrical problems, drivers seat problems, more squeaks and rattles than a yugo. In summation--typical General Motors Junk. Would not recommend one and I have purchased my LAST General Motors product! SO BEWARE-before you buy one--check out the reeports on them!!
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Sorry to hear about your problem vehicle. I believe your Montana is one of the few lemons out there for this trio. By reading the posts on this board, the vast majority of owners are quite pleased with their GM vans and the infrequent problems. Good luck with your next vehicle.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    To anyone interested....Got my Extended Component Engine Warranty for the engine knock in mail yesterday from GM, 5year/100,000 mile for engine only. Guess I won't be keeping this vehicle for 10 years after all.

    Ray T.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Hey, I had just proposed this 3way forum just last week, I got beat to the punch.

    FYI - We just got a used '98 Olds Silo GLS EXT in December 2001, and its been wonderful. I have only had a few minor things to fix (normal on a used vehicle)and the van looks, feels and drives like a new one! With the steep depreciation curve (sorry folks, just a fact) these are excellent used values. This thing has very comfortable seats even in the back, every feature you could get at the time, and even in houston traffic we get 23.5 MPG on most tanks, and one tank I got 24.6. Its like a luxury car, a pickup and van all in one.

    I do have a few minor issues I need to address, such as a small coolant leak that I think is from the intake manifold gasket - that's one of the few known problems on this motor. Thanks to these boards I know its not just mine.

    Anyway, if in the future someone has a question for the service manuals, I forked over the $100+ and bought a set. I also am a weekend mechanic and can help diagnose problems.

  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    Glad to have on on board Dirkdaddy. I also will go along with the triplet suggestion. Only problem I have is the ticking on cold start. I don't like it, but I haven't heard anybody actually having a breakdown because of it. Will this problem get worse?
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    I answered this on the Montana board, so I'm reposting an edited version here for posterity.
    I don't have GM's info in front of me, but basically new motors like the 3.4 are engineered for gas milage and low friction. Piston skirts have been greatly reduced, piston rings are lighter and there are fewer of them than they used to use. This is part of the cause of the startup noise. Also, GM makes them a bit "loose" so they spin easier and you get better gas milage. This is why some new cars have "acceptable" oil consumption of a quart every 4-5k miles. On the 3.4, you certainly can't argue with the milage of these things. I get 23-24.5 around town/commuting by rolling into the gas instead of stabbing it.

    Also, I remember reading on this on a past message on the Montana list that basically a bullitin explains that a supplier got a tolerance slightly off on the fit of the piston, but when the motor heats up and metal expands, it fits just fine. I belive its just a noise issue and not a motor problem. Just think, you could have endless transmission problems or pulling to the right like a lot of Honda Ody owners, this noise is a non-problem in my book.

    If someone has the "official" GM line how about posting it?

    Hope this helps, DD
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    is actually called "piston slap" by GM and their official word on it in the latest TSB is "normal conditon". When I first documented complaint at dealers they noted on repair ticket "Customer states engine making a ticking/knock sound duriing cold start-up. (Reply) GM is aware of problem and is working on a fix". Previous TSB's admitted it as a problem with a fix in the works, now it's normal, I say GM is just covering it's butt at customer's expense. But if you complain about it you will get a extended component warranty for the engine only. You have to document complaint at dealership then file complaint with GM customer service.
    I have NEVER had a GM product or any other new engine do this, it is not normal. The only problem is time, how long after the warranty is gone will it last before major failure? No one knows, it's a gamble. I prefer GM to back up their claim in writing if this abnormal condition is normal in their eyes. I spend 30k on a new truck, which I normally keep for 10-12 years, I don't expect to hear lifters or pistons tapping right from the getgo, if you have a 3 year lease I would'nt be so concerned, but to each his own from one backyard mechanic to another.

    Ray T.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    "No one can take advantage of you without your permission"!

    Truer words never spoken!

    Ray T.
  • kkollwitzkkollwitz Posts: 274
    My rear washer won't spray. I hear the pump running, and there's plenty of fluid. I understood from an earlier post that someone had a kink in the fluid tube stop flow to the rear. Can anyone suggest where I might look for a kink in the line?
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Add some fluid to the reservoir. Even though there is plenty of fluid, the pickup for the rear is mounted high in the reservoir so that you will have fluid for the windshield long after you run out for the rear.
    The kink is a possibilty as well, but I can't help you much there, except to say that I would first look at the rear door, thats the only area subject to movement.
  • If you go to the silverodo post on engine knock the same problem with piston slap is noted. there has not been any engine failures due to the knock. If your van is still in warranty and you make enough noise they will take your van and replace the pistons. That's what I hear. The last thing I'll do is have someone tear down the motor just to replace pistons. I don't have too much faith in dealers or repair shops these days. I agree you should not hear any noise from the engine especially after paying out $30K. I bought a 6 year/100K warranty, if the motor goes I'll get it fixed under warranty otherwise I'm not going to worry about it.
  • bcd99bcd99 Posts: 45
    Prior to buying my 2001 SiloI had a 99 VW Passat Wagon. Loved the car, sunroof, tiptronic tranny, great gas milage, fast turbo 4cyl. EverythignI expected from a German engineered car, ecept the repeated problems that made any American look like a gem. Every 1000 miles the check engine light came on, it lost oil (not leaked), it was in the service manager possesion more than it was in my garage. After 2yrs of repleacing eveything except the engine they said it was the gasoline causing carbon build-up. They said the oil comsumption was normal. Three weeks after it was changed by the dealer (2 yrs of free maint) there was no oil in the pan at all. So to sum it all up there can be a lemon from any carmaker.

    P.S. This triplet section is great, would be great if there were fewer threads instead of honda oddity this and honda oddity that.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Just FYI, when I noticed my used '98 Olds wasn't getting rear wash fluid either after filling the tank, I had someone hit the switch while I was looking at the tank and saw fluid was spraying out of a unattached hose behind the tank. Seems GM used a short peice of special hose to adapt from the pump (mounted on the tank) to the hard plastic line. Mine had zero slack and was not really long enough to reach deep inside the rubber adapter hose , so the pressure would blow it off. I found some small dia vac hose worked as a conversion, but it required using some small wire zip ties to keep it from leaking around the small dia plastic hose.

    We love the van and its a excellent vehicle. I like the highway gearing the best. The transmission works very well, and the passing gear at highway speeds is almost un-noticable to passengers but moves the van well.

    My latest problems are the squealing brakes in the front and disappearing coolant. I will look at those front brakes soon, but all the parts are new, must just need some of that antisqueal TLC. The coolant - I can't see where its going but not in the oil. I'm guessing the intake gasgets are to blame, but letting it get worse for now. Will pressure test it to see if I can find the leak. Maybe try some of that glow in the dark you put in the coolant.

    The procedure in the GM service book for replacing the intake manifold gasgets is pretty involved but not rocket science. A lot of stuff has to come off the motor such as the valve covers, alternator, thermostat, throttle body, coil packs, EGR, upper and lower intake manifold, pushrods(!) etc. I'm guessing (book didn't say) that in practice the mechanics take loose the front motor mounts and tip the motor to the front to gain access to the rear.

    If I felt better about dealers doing the same quality work I can do, I'd take in into them, but I'm thining of doing it myself all in one day. I have to use my air tools and garage for something to justify it once in a while!

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