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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    dunno about the AWD on GM cars but on Subarus (of which I have had 4) if the tires are more than 1/4 inch difference in circumference the AWD system can detect this and you can get problems.
    just something to think about if the hardware seems ok on the AWD/ABS.
    have almost 1/2 million miles on Subaru AWD and never had any drivetrain problems with them.

    as for the famous leaking coolant, when I called my Chevy dealer to ask why there was a little puddle of coolant on the garage floor under our Venture, he knew what the problem was right away. So its definitely a well recognized problem, by some dealers anyway!
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    I just bought a 2000 Venture WB with 45K on the clock. Dealer is providing a 12 month drive train warranty. What would you recommend as far as the intake manifold gasket problem? No sign of leaking so far. Is GM providing any help if it does leak? Anything else I should be concerned about? Thanks.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Have this problem from time to time and found the cure is to move the drivers seat foward. There are various wire connections underneath.Get hold of the two halves of the connection and just wiggle them and push in, eventhough may not be out. Do same on passenger side.

    Move seat back to normal position and when re start (mine flashes 7 times then goes out).

    Re start the van. Should cure if not it is somewhere else.

    Also found if you open the passenger power operated door when engine running, then close the airbag light stays on, but will go out after a few seconds but does not flash.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    To get the warrenty on a used van, for me, it depends on the price of the warrenty. True, a lot of gaskets are failing. But not all of them. And many people report that fixing them costs about $700-900 depending on your shop. Besides the coolant leak, you might have trouble with some little things like a power window or the battery, but basically these are reliable vans. Is this used car warrenty as beefy in coverage or deductable as a new one? I'd bet there more items excluded and possible higher deductible.

    The Fords, Honda, Chrysler/Dodge all seem to have worse problems, so I think you'll do ok. I'm guessing here but I think from what I've read on the boards is that Honda is fixing its problems, which honestly is more than I can say for GM's refusal to admit that millions of their vehicles with the 3.4 have a coolant leak problem.

    GM also has by far the best fuel milage.

  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    even if I end up shelling out ~ $700 for that gasket fix someday, I still will be way ahead of the game, dollar-wise, over getting a toy or honda van...

    interesting, in the "return of gm's might" thread, the gm minivans are (once again) getting raked over the coals for design, not being completely redesigned, looks, narrowness, side-impact crash tests, 3.4 V-6 problems, etc. etc. that's the perception by many people of these vans... *sigh* -- one factor that is huge with millions of people who are on a bit of a budget is, these vans are a darn good value, especially compared to the toys & hondas...I like the looks of my silo, I won't go so far as to call it a a "beautiful automobile" but I like it fine. Narrowness...that's a big plus for me! I can get both cars in the garage easily, and it makes it more easy to maneuver! Crash tests...been over that here before, in a "real world" crash, tests show these vans are quite safe. Oh well, perception is reality for most...I did a lot of homework and have not regretted my purchase one bit.
  • I said it 4.5 years ago and I'll say it again, I love our venture, 99 with 90,000 miles on it. I did just have to get the intake gasket fixed although I have been loosing coolant for 2 years. But while they were in there I had them change thermostat, replace head gaskets, intake gaskets, some other gasket, change sparkplugs, oil and do a complete coolant flushing for $928 this is the only major thing ever gone wrong with the van. Yes I have the power sdteering problem, airbag light, the rattling roof rack, the bad rear washer, the hatch handle and the overhead themometer way off but I still enjoy driving it and will really miss is when we trade it next summer.

    I also find it funny that under the list of van topics every other van has a topic dedicated to problems including a 2004 toy. None of the GMs have this. That tells you something right there.

  • psgpsg Posts: 72
    At 70,000 miles, I did some maintenance and replaced the shocks and brakes. Shortly afterwards, the transmission started slipping. After some expensive transmission work (close to $1000.00), it was determined that the transmission needs to be replaced. Okay, it happens. Since I can buy a boxed transmission from GM at cost (employee purchase program), I decided to bite the bullet and fix the van. However, before I could pickup the transmission, it started to make a lifter noise. The sound was loud enough to make conversation difficult. On the way to the dealer the noise stopped and they could find nothing wrong. The noise has come and gone twice since then, never lasting long enough to get it to a mechanic. Since we did not replace the transmission, and we now seem to have impending engine problems (besides the coolant issue), I’ve decided to trade it in. With the GM employee purchase plan, incentives, and the trade on the Montana, I could have been in a 2003 Venture for about $10,000 out of pocket. I also own a 2003 Silverado. Hey, I'm a GM fan. My father-in-law is retired from GM. But my truck just spent the day at the dealer for warranty work.

    Last night, we put a deposit down on a 2004 Honda Odyssey. It is going to cost me more money for the Honda versus the Venture. However, we typically like to keep a vehicle for more then four years and I think we will come out ahead with the Honda in the long run. We also have a ’95 Subaru Legacy, 100,000 miles and still going strong. By the way, my father-in-law traded in his Cadillac for a Lincoln. I was stunned by his decision but I guess I'm following his lead.

  • How much will the Ody be out of pocket?
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    well psg, awful sorry to hear those type of experiences! gosh, its a bad omen when retired gm employees are buying lincolns! I like my van but I'm certainly not "brand loyal" to anything...I've had great gm's, chrysler, subarus, fords, nissan & this point in time, we need a van, and the olds is sure workin' good so far

    lilblessings: wow, that's a heckuva deal! was that mechanic or dealer. I seem to remember a guy I knew 2 or 3 years ago had just headgaskets on a V-6 (Accord, or Accura not sure) for like, $1200...without ANY of that other stuff! amazing
  • Hello, I'm rather new here. I have started looking for a minivan to replace my wife's '94 Sable. I am looking at the GM triplets and am requesting some advice. I am also looking at other models, such as the Grand Caravan and others. I would like to keep the price under $17K, so I'm definitely looking for at used models. Thanks!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Transmission was a fluke, GM makes them better than Honda. Sounds like a lemon.

    $$ through the nose for a Honda. Not worth it.
  • I finally traded in my 2001 olds silo after owning it for 1.5 years, it did reached 48K still in one piece. There are several reasons why I didn't keep this van..
      1. Build quality was horrible, I have cloth seats and the plastics on the side just keep on breaking off from their screws. Plastic screws on the moldings and wheels wheels started to disappear.
      2. The instrument cluster surfaces tend to get warmer (other cars I owned normally isn't)
      3. AC doesn't blow cold air during summer, no hot air during winter (have to go to the dealership everytime the season changes)
      4. Tires don't last very long, am suspecting that the rear air leveling suspension is causing the rear tires to cup sooner.
      5. Squeaks and rattles that GM technicians can't fix.
      6. Noisy idle, could here the AC compressor vibrating (my 6 yr old high mileage car is very quite)
      7. Coolant leak, radiator hoses and thermostat problem (worst cooling system..see the temp gauge go up to the 3/4 mark and then down to 1/2) I wonder if they're putting in low quality hoses in this luxury minivan!!
      8. Front cup holder falls of from the assembly if a large size cup is used. A 3rd grader must have designed this.
      9. I don't think this van will last long, traded it while it still has value.
     10. GM Goodwrench technicians were the worst I've met even in 5 star dealerships. They tend to replace the whole system instead of trying to really fix the problem. This is an issue when the warranty is over. I'm assuming they'll save time this way (anyway you'll end up paying)
      What I like with this van...
      1. Ride quality is excellent, very quite and the engine/transmission is better than the odessy in terms of torque. I've test driven other makes and this van ranks #1.
      2. More options for the price.
      3. Gas mileage is par with V6 cars.

    Will I recommend this van, NO!!!
  • lennxlennx Posts: 73
    I have a Venture and would recommend it. Ride is good, gas mileage is 22 to 24, and 8 passenger seating means no one is left behind.

    We have had a couple of problems that the local dealer has fixed (I do not go to the dealer where I bought it). Reliability is crap shoot. My old Toyota Camry had a less than stellar record.

    Like all vans, these have their quirks and trouble spots. Take all of the differnt vans out for a ride. I think you'll find nearly every other van will excel in some area over the Venture and its siblings.

    However, when my wife and I did this, we found that the Venture was competent in most things and was much less expensive.

    Good luck.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I own an '03 Silhouette. I believe the GM vans, for the most part, represent an excellent value for the dollar. The performance and handling are excellent. The vans have excellent standard safety features only to be negated by the dismal IIHS offset frontal barrier crash test. My Olds, GM's present top of the line minivan, has lots of rattles coming from the doors,but the ride is quiet.

    I do not know how this van will endure over the long haul. I am coming up on 22,000 miles which have been trouble free. A major down side is that these vans have VERY poor trade-in value, especially my Olds since there will be no more Olds after the 2004 model year. A 2003 Honda mini, costing about $26,000 new will be worth about $18,000-20,000 in trade after three years while I'll be happy with $10,000 on a van which cost $29,000+.

    Overall: I am satisfied with the van. Would I buy another GM van in the future? Probably.
  • Our 99 Venture went about 75k miles before we had to fix anything, at which point we had the gasket, the power steering pump, and the alternator replaced. For nearly 4 years all we did was replace tires, brake pads, oil and filters.
    We will probably get another GM minivan when we are ready for a change.
  • infinia1infinia1 Posts: 174
    i don't think you can go wrong with buying a used venture. last january, i bought my 02 venture ls with 15,000 miles gm certified used for only $17,000. i have warranty untill 39,000 miles. i feel i got an excellent deal. the only major thing that has gone wrong is that the ac compressor broke but was covered under warranty. we enjoy the room and value the van offers. for us, it was an easy, excellent choice.
  • I own a 2002 Olds Silhouette with 35K on it so far an it has been the perfect vehicle. Oil changes only. I like the smooth ride and the very comfortable seats(heated). It is 32 degrees here today when I was out and the van had heat in 2 miles of driving. Heat and air work great. On a trip this summer, I got 30 mpg with air on and at 65 mph.

    You will always have people who get bad ones in anything, mine is just great.

    Good Luck!
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    being discussed here sometimes! I have the same van as gmowner above, a little over 50000 miles now, with none of those problems other than some of the plastic fasteners have come out(holding on plastic on back of rear seats and holding on bottom side panel on body, passenger side only) ...inexpensive and easy to replace those, but they (fasteners) are definitely not well designed or good quality. Otherwise, heat/air & cooling system are good & quiet (we have temps ranging from over 100 F in summer to below zero winter), idles fine, cupholders good, tires wearing well, few rattles/squeaks, etc.

    I guess this does not speak well of consistency with these minivans, which is very important with any product--whether a widget or a meal in a restaurant or a vehicle...
  • psgpsg Posts: 72
    Up until about 6 months ago and now it has more problems then I can keep track of. It's very disappointing. I didn't expect our Montana to become a money pit after only 4 years. Not to mention wasted time and aggravation. Until now I had thought GM had a perception problem. I've read lots of sad tales here but now it is happening to me. Hey, this is only my experience. Without any statistics who knows? I hope you have better luck. Once bitten, twice shy. I'm done with GM minivans.

    The Honda dealers I negotiated with are dealing. I believe Toyota has got them running scared. I'll post a price once the deal is done. Right now they are supposed to be locating the van I want. I have enough car buying experience to know it's not a deal until the ink is dry.

  • I remember when I started coming to this site 2 years ago. The Honda Ody was the darling of the mini vans, now I see that after these vans get some miles on them they are having problems also. Now, Honda is stepping up and replacing the transmission that fail, but I also see that some people are having to have as many as 3 transmissions put in before they get one that works. Even those replacements are failing again and again.

    I am not knocking Honda or anyone's van, I just think that there are more GM mini's out there than Honda's Ody. More time to have problems and more miles driven could account for something.

    Yes, I know that if you problems happen in 4 years and 60K it will make you want to look elsewhere. However, I am listening to the people who have owned Honda's cars before and now own the Ody, say, it's not the same quality as before.

    For the last year the MPV owners have been gloating about how good their vans are, now that they have some miles on them the problems are raising their ugly little heads. Not so confident about their purchases now.
  • I do agree that my experience doesn't really apply as a whole but percentage-wise, the probability of getting a crap from GM is relatively high even if you buy new. When I bought it I tend to prove to myself that I didn't made the wrong decision (denial) but as time goes by and several visits to the dealership (and people know you there very well..) I was convinced that this van is not a keeper even I have the warranty up to 75K, after that the van is totally worthless and will become a money pit for repairs. The GM salesman will tell you that they can still do repairs for the Silhouette BUT be aware that it took them weeks to order parts for my Silo since the parts are not readily available. Some parts are custom made for the Silo and the Chevy/Montana can't be interchanged. Anyway based on my experience I was able to rent a Subaru, Explorer, Cougar, Neon and Focus while the van is waiting for the parts.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    I would like to buy a set of floor mats for my son's Venture. It is a 2000 Warner Brothers edition. Would like to get a complete set of mats for the front, 2nd and 3rd row seats. Thanks for any assistance. Would prefer not to pay retail at a Chevy dealer. Feel free to email me.
  • What parts are custom made for the Silhouette? Other than the obvious trim inside/outside, I never heard of a difference.

    I believe that the dealership service will make a difference on any vehicle.. I just took my 2000 Sebring in for an oil/filter change and when I ask the tech? if he greased the rear suspension, he said, no place to grease it. I told him sorry, look and you will find two fittings. He then ask me, what year is this car?
    Would have been nice if he would have read the service writers notes which stated to grease the rears.

    Every dealer that I have taken this car to missed the rear fittings. That makes 4 Chrysler Five Star dealers that I have been to. Looking for number 5.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    I got some weathertech floormats (somewhere?) shopping online...they make some for front specifically for gm van, they fit nicely. These are the soft rubber ones that hold tons of liquid & dirt...unbeatable IMO. If you want fabric, I don't know.

    If you do a google search for weathertech, there's various auto accessory places that have 'em. They are a little costly compared to madeinchina kmart mats (around 60 or 70 bucks total with shipping, i think), but they cover the whole front area, they're large - good luck
  • I recommend this van, especially used as the resale is not as high some others so that works in your favor. I paid about $11k for a 98 olds with nearly every option about 2 years ago. My wife hated the idea of a van, but now she loves it and I replaced my Dodge Ram pickup (I don't need a macho vehicle) and for 90% of the stuff I do its much better.

    The guy with the cooling problems and what not i can almost assure you was because of substandard repairs. Sounds like he had air trapped in his cooling system the way the temp would not stablilize.

    Like others, my cooling system is bulletproof and we live withe AC on in Houston, and summer temps can get very hot. I rarely use more than #3 on teh fan speed and find the climate control in this van a strong point.

    One suggestion if you live where it gets hot, is with the extended van get the rear AC.

    My biggest complaint is the captain chairs on my model don't fold forward for loading the back seat, and it could be quieter, but some of that is my old and hard tires.

    If you can find a quality shop to maintain your car, it will really last. Unfortunately, its hard to do. i've found stripped screws, bolts that were not turned tight, etc from shops that did previous repairs on my vehicles.

  • Does anyone have a power door that nearly closes and then reopens? I've cleaned the contacts on the door pins, but it still doing it about 1/3 of the time. I'm going to try putting silicone spray on the seals to make it close easier.

    I have a 98 and figure maybe the motor is getting tired. I'd like to figure a way to disconnect it and go manual, I can close the other side manually faster anyway.


  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    Can someone please verify if your van has this loud tapping noises?

    Our 00' Silo 32K miles so far. When first started in the morning in park position, there are no tapping noises for like the first 60 secs, then suddenly the loud and distinctive tapping noises start for just about 5 to 10 secs, after that no more loud tapping but the normal engine noises.

    Sometimes this can be duplicated with the warm engine and have sat for like over 30 minutes, but it is header to reproduce.

    They sound like the fuel injectors tapping but much louder, or the valves tapping with oil starved.

    The dealer heard it once after kept the Van overnight. This is what the dealer said "Performed cylinder balance tests, unable to locate to a specific cylinder or area, may need to disassemble engine and take measurements".

    I don't want to have the engine disassembled, fear for more harm then good. So far I don't think the tapping noises getting any worst. The van seems to performance fine.

    Any idea?

  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Do a search on "57-61-24A" This TSB states "a tick or rattle at cold start may be traced to wrist pin-to-piston clearance". My engine was rebuilt at 18K miles and the noise almost was fixed but over the past 75K miles has returned to some degree. It seems to be worst near the end of the oil change period, at 4000 miles. I say 'seems' because it's variable. If it's cold, below 40 almost no noise. Mine will start within 10 secs and goes away in about a minute. Sometimes louder than other times. Engine's oil consumption is nil.
  • During the last several long trips I have taken, I decided to check my odometer reading versus the mileage markers.

    I have determined that when I go 100 miles based on the markers that my odometer is recording about 101.9 miles or about 2% too much. This jives with my other car that records 271 miles to my Mom's house in Wisconsin and my 2000 Silo shows it as a 276 mile trip.

    I currently have the required size P215/70/15 tires (Firestone Affinity LH30) that need to be replaced soon. My calculations based on factory tire specs tell me that a size P225/70/15 tire will correct the erroneous odometer reading.

    So my question is: Will there be a problem or has anyone successfully mounted a P225/70/15 (next bigger size) on their Silo?

    I was thinking about the BF Goodrich Control T/A M65 65,000 mile tire. Is this a quiet and soft riding tire? Any opinions pro or con are appreciated.....
  • My 2000 Silo Premiere has rear air shocks. I noticed that the compressor normally kicks in about a minute after I start the van and runs for about 5 to 10 seconds and then shuts off. Might this be the noise you are hearing?????
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