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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • This has been a tough fix for my mechanic. He has been on the mechanic's internet site. The usual places of leakage show no sign. My Olds Silouette has a transmission cooler and an oil cooler -- but they seem fine. I think the mechanic settled on the intake gasket, after inspecting the rear gasket. Of course, all the hoses needed to be replaced. He suggests GM may issue checks if there is a common occurence among owners. Any others having this problem?
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Search this discussion group for "manifold leak". Appears it's a common problem.
  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    I have my first out of warranty problem on my 2000 Silo. I can't complain too much with 53k I guess. The heater airlfow is "stuck" coming from the vents and the floor. If you move the switch to change the airflow location it makes no difference. The blower works fine however. I figure one of three things: heat/cool control unit, vacuum line, or god forbid a stuck damper door. Can anyone suggest how to troubleshoot this?

  • Thanks "n7don" for the search tip. I have printed them out to document the intake manifold problem. Still, none of these many comments relate to oil getting into the coolant - just a coolant leak to the garage floor. Happily, the problem was fixed. Apparently my particular problem is rare (anyone)?
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    I don't have a leak in my silo...knock on wood, but from my reading here and elsewhere, I understand the notorious leak can range anywhere from barely noticible, just external and sometimes hardly even enough to drip onto the ground, all the way up to extremely bad, where it gets coolant into the oil and/or leaks bad enough to cause overheating.

    leftyga1, is your van under warranty? If not, and gm helps out with the leak fix (labor, parts, discount, whatever) please let us know. It would sure be a relief to know that gm would pick up even a little of this rather large, costly job since its obviously quite common, and obviously due to THEIR flawed design/part.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Hmmmmmm: Caravan/GC was #1 by a LARGE margin. Odyssey was firmly in #2, GM's combo # 3. Venture/Montana/Silhouette, # 4 was Chrysler Voyager/T&C, Ford Windstar #5, and Toyota Sienna a distant 6th place.
         How few in sales were the Mazda MPV, Kia Sedona, Volkswagen Eurovan?
         Considering GM sells THE most vehicles of any company, the low sales of the GM triplets is another indicator of the decline of GM.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    There are passages that let coolant circulate from the engine block and through the head into the lower manifold and through the radiator. One at each end of the head, for a total of 4. If the gasket leaks externally, the coolant ends up on the floor. If the gasket leaks internally, the coolant ends up in the crank-case (oil). Now for you statement of oil in the coolant.... if that's what's really happening and not coolant in the oil, I'd suspect some other source such as the transmission oil cooler which is in the right radiator tank or if you have an engine oil cooler, it's sandwiched between the oil filter and engine block.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    I would carefully examine the sales figures for GM as compared to ANY other brand worldwide. GM was and still is the sales leader. Just because one particular line of their vehicles is not a segment leader does not indict the entire company. Please check your facts before making such a broad statement.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    What GM brand and model sells more than the competition?
         GM will probably NEVER sell me another vehicle. GM does NOT have reliability of Toyota. All Toyotas have been better reliability than any of the GM vehicles I have owned. My Ford F-150 also has better quality than any offering from GM that I have owned.
          Toyota does not re-label cheap junk from Korea as does GM.
  • artgpoartgpo Posts: 483
    Since this is a discussion area concerning GM triplets, I'll make this my final off-topic comment.

    The two worst vehicles I have owned were a Toyota Corolla and a Nissan Van. I will refresh your memory to inform you that Nissan bought back ALL the vans from that particular generation because of an engine fire hazard. Perhaps someone else can enlighten me but I cannot remember any other car maker buying back all the vehicles involved in a recall, not even GM.

    Sure, my experience goes back a number of years but that is also my point. I don't believe the GM vehicles of 2004 are significantly inferior to any others on the road and, in some cases, they are far superior.

    No one will win this peeing contest so you go back and enjoy whatever it is you drive and so will I.
  • I have been have a popping and or thumping noise coming from the rear of the minivan. It has been checked by the dealer twice and they can here it. I was told that Chevy Know about the noise and has no fix or idea of what it is. The dealer has told me the truck meets all GM Specs. but the noise is still there. A Dealer gives the mechanic 15 minutes to find the problem because after that they don't get paid for their time. If you add a lot of weight to the rear the noise goes away which leads me to believe it is the shock or spring supports that are flexing and allowing metal to move. Try it yourself and see.
  • just4fun2just4fun2 Posts: 461
    There is a service bulletin No. 01-08-66-009 dated 10/2001 that is for "creak in the rear of the vehicle". Noise coming from the left rear while going over a bump,braking or acceleration.

    Don't know if this is what you are experiencing, but, might be worth a try. Good Luck.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    This is a long-shot.... try retorquing the upper shock mounting bolts to specs. On the 98 Montana it's 62 ft-lbs.
  • dlubindlubin Posts: 66
    Well, we had our 01 Montana (24000 miles) in this past weekend for a clicking sound in first and reverse (at low speeds), and a groaning from the steering. They diagnosed a bad wheel bearing for the groaning, and gave us a print out of a TSB claiming 'piston slap' for the clicking, claiming it was normal.

    Well, two days later the car wouldn't shift out of drive (or shift at all), and now it's dead in the shop while we fight for a NEW not rebuilt transmission. At least with MajorGuard we have another van that'll hold all of the car seats!

    Any suggestions for how to handle this? Will a repair really fix the problem??
  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    Although there were no replies to my earlier message, I thought I would share my heater resolution with everyone. The mode switch was not working (floor, vent, defrost, etc..) Dealer diagnosed a leaking vacuum hose under the dash. They said they took the dash apart to find it and charged me $130, but I wonder if they really did. I also asked them to check the operation of the thermostat since the temp gauge always ran on the cool side and the heater would never "burn you out". It was defective and I had them change it for $188 (high, but a nightmare on these vans). I also had them do a coolant flush for $90 since I'm pushing the 5 yr mark on my 2000. It was a $400+ day, but the heater works well now and the temp gauge reads about the 3/8 mark when warm.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    having replaced my van's shocks and not tightening the upper bolt sufficiently myself, it does indeed make a loud knocking noise. very easy to tighten up if you have a large socket and a 10" extension. I'd bet that's what it is, exsp. since it quiets down with a load.

    good luck -


    ps. finally replaced my michenlins with a fresh set at 96K (I'm thinking they were original equip on 98 olds?) They wore like iron. New ones also rated at 60k miles.

    Drove to Austin and back, avgd about 57mph even with some city driving and got 23.5 mpg even using the AC (winter is warm here usually)

  • Thank you for that bulletin of 01-08-66-009 or #627619. There is also a bulletin 02-08-59-003 10/2002 which is #10000163 for the rearend rattle on the Venture. GM can't figure out what it is other than structual but not a driveabality problem or a threat to the safety of the truck eventhough they don't know what it is.
  • dplachtadplachta Posts: 109
    The Detroit News carried an article this past Sunday about the new minivan replacing the venture. Included are pictures.

    I thought it looked pretty good.
  • Is it GM or the dealer that can't find the noise. If it is the dealer, try another one, if it is GM, ask them why they won't try the service fix procedure, that's what there for. Good luck!
  • Two weeks ago I went to visit my mom in Wisconsin and lost control on a county highway on some black ice sliding into a ditch and then hit a culvert at about 40 mph causing me to go airborne about 15+ feet over a driveway and landing upright on the other side.

    Thank God that no one else was with me because they would have been seriously injured whereas I lucked out without a scratch except for a slight bruise below my right rib from the seat belt.

    My Silo wasn't so lucky. Got about $7000 of damage, mostly underneath the van when I hit the top of the drain pipe in the culvert. Major items needing replacement are the engine cradle, radiator, a/c evaporator, front bumper, struts, right front fender, both front wheel spindles with brakes, 3 of 4 wheels and so on....

    My question to you guys is what should I do after my Silo is repaired. Should I keep it and hope it's OK or should I get rid of it assuming that it will not be as safe as before the accident?

    Your opinions will be greatly appreciated.... Paulie
  • I have tried different dealers and GM is involved. They here the noise and have done over the whole undercarriage. They are clueless and will not change any parts because everything LOOKS good. If it doesn't look broken they will not change it. They just don't know.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    A magazine reporter is looking to interview automotive technophiles who have DVD players, MP3 players, satellite radio and/or surround systems in their cars and cannot wait for the next big thing to come so they can add it to their rolling entertainment centers.
    Please respond no later than Wednesday, February 4 to with your daytime contact info, make/model of vehicle and a sense of the entertainment technology you have and aspire to own.
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • The TBS that I quoted only involves drilling 4 holes and installing 4 pop rivets. The whole procedure is rated at .5 hours. I know that service reps/mngrs can be impossible to deal with, but as a goodwill, do something for the customer, GM should do this.

    I think that I would keep going higher up the GM chain until I get to the top. I would think that the dealership would try this and if it didn't work, absorb that half hour labor(plus the cost of 4 rivets), to satisfy a customer.

    Good Luck.
  • I have a Chev Lumina APV with the 3.4 L engine. It seems to still be going strong at 170,000 kms. I had to change the transmission at 110,000 kms, however that is the only big problem I have had. I noticed a small amount of coolant leaking about a year ago. My mechanic added some stop leak and everything has been fine since then. As there has been no major problems so far and the resale value is so low I may as well keep it for at least another year. After that I don't know what I will purchase.
    My other car is a 98 Honda CRV that has had no problems with about the same mileage as the Van. I feel like I could easily get double the mileage out of the CRV. However the Chev van, I don't think so.
  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    Re: crash. Glad to hear that you are okay. Me personally, it would bug me knowing about all the parts that were replaced, but they are not really welded structural parts. I would make sure that the van drives at least as good as or even better than before the accident. Then I would see what you could get out of it on trade. Expect to be disappointed. Try 3 or 4 dealers. Do lots of research on Edmunds and others before going to a dealer. If they won't give you enough for it, you could try selling it yourself. If it doesn't work out, just drive it and don't sweat it.
  • Door Lock have been quiet for a while till my wife got lock in the back seat because the child proof locks in the back seat were flip on, I let her out and flip them off, that started the problem back up again.
    Door locks work on their own 2001 Olds Silhouette the door lock go on and off (up & down) on their own sometimes while the van is just parked/off, other times while going down the road? They will not do this in the shop / the dealer can not fix, only does this every few months, but when it does, it happens a lot and is very fast many times for a min. or two?
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Our 2001 Olds Silo's Transmission failed at around 23K miles. The dealer's mechanic rebuilt the tranny instead of installing a remanufactured GM one. I guess it was at the dealer's discretion and I was ok with them doing it in-house. It has worked fine since last September when the work was done. We are now at 30K.
  • baveuxbaveux Posts: 175
    It is me or what, I just broke my second keyfob !!! They seems to break at the "eyelet" very easily.

    At first my dealership refused to replace it under the warranty but I've found that their is a TSB covering it ( 03-08-52-003 Apr 03 )

    So they are on order, geez you feel good when you win a battle once and awhile !!!
  • 01 Olds Silhouette Van has Intermittent Barely Audible Buzzing noise from R Rear or R rear side of Van it is a low level sound, will happen 1st time in the day at the 1/4 to 3/4 mi range.
    Note:It is Not the ABS self-check and Not the Air shock
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    The 98 Montana has a safety warning buzzer that will activate if the power sliding door is open and the vehicle is put in gear. It's kind of a 'sick' sounding buzzer, not very loud. Might see if this is the noise source.
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