Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • Sounds more like the battery is failing than a bad starter. How old is the battery?
  • New battery installed 15 months ago. Battery is ok and so is alternator. Lets say I crank the engine 5 times in a row as a test. Once or twice during those 5 cranks the starter will hesitate and then resume cranking and not necessarily the last starts.
  • Can't say if it is as easy as it use to be, but here is what the factory service manual for 2002 Silhouette says about replacing the starter motor.


    1. Disconnect the battery ground (negative) cable from the battery.


    2. Raise and suitable support the vehicle.


    3. Remove radiator air baffle assembly.


    4. Remove the starter motor BAT terminal nut and electrical leads.


    5. Remove the starter motor "S" terminal nut and electrical lead.


    6. Remove the torque converter cover.


    7. Remove the starter motor bolts.


    8. Remove the starter motor.


    Install in the reverse. Starter motor bolts torque to 35 lb. ft.


    Use this information at your own risk!
  • Thanks for the instructions. Looks simple enough.
  • I have searched high an low on this 99 shilouette van for the 02 sensor that is in front of the cat and can't find it any help??


    i have been under and over and still can't find it.
  • Should be in the exhaust manifold (the one that is next to the firewall), top side. Not an easy place to see or get at. I am looking at a diagram of the 3.4 engine and that is where it is suppose to be for the 2002 Silhouette.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Very hard to see and harder to get to without rocking the engine forward..... in the same manner used to change the 3 rear spark plugs. I won't say it can't be changed from the bottom but looks almost inaccessible.

    Do you suspect a problem?
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Our 2001 Olds Silo (wife's van) with 40K miles had a few issues that needing looking at so we scheduled an appointment with the dealer we bought the van from. In the past they have been very good for service, but time has not so good.


    The brake light was coming on and the low brake fluid light was also coming on. I took the drivers front wheel off and looked at the pads. Got out the ruler and measured the remaining thickness. Both inside and outside were still acceptable with the inside thinner at 3/16".


    The coolant tank level had dropped around 2" in the last two years since we had the intake manifold gaskets replaced under warranty. Plus, I saw a small leak on the passenger side on the gasket.


    And finally, the cheap plastic clip that holds the hood rod in place had snapped.


    So the dealer says we need new front brake pads (fine) and quotes my wife the $99 special. She wisely asks if this includes turning the rotors, and he says yes. When we pick up the van we get a bill for $150. The service writer says that the $99 he quoted did not include servicing the rotors. My wife reminded him that she specifically asked this question on the phone. He paused, went to his manager, and came back with an apology and agreed to refund the $50.


    Regarding the intake manifold gasket, he said they did a pressure test and all was ok. The small leak I noticed was oil and not coolant. And he said that Dexcool will evaporate over time more than standard green coolant and unless it drops quickly, it is not really a problem.


    The plastic clip was not covered under GM 5 yr/60K warranty plan that came with the van. It is considered a body part. CHEAP!


    Finally, after doing the pressure test, they reset the oil life meter to 100%. I quickly noticed that neither the oil or oil filter had been changed. He said that this happens automatically when the hook the computer up to the vehicle. Sounds silly to me.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Sounds like I'll have to go order some body parts. My hood rod clip also broke.


    My Olds bottom cladding clips are about 1/2 broke so its not exactly tightly secured


    The rear hatch strap MOUNT broke one side, I thought the problem was the strap itself? Wife uses it, I don't. Luckily she's tall and can use the hatch itself now. Probably won't repair or will look at junk yard some future time.


    Replacing my rear shock that was defective really made the van ride nicely - must have gotten used to the harsh ride when it was nearly frozen up and extra rattle noises.


    N7don - My buddy has a 2001 and is now experiencing coolant leak, told him of the infamous gasket. My coolant was low a bit too (again), thinking of trying that myself now that I have done the rear plugs. I bet a lot of private shops replace 3 plugs and charge for 6! I guess if you had to do it again, it wouldn't take me that 1/2 that long....


  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    "The rear hatch strap MOUNT broke one side, I thought the problem was the strap itself? Wife uses it, I don't. Luckily she's tall and can use the hatch itself now. Probably won't repair or will look at junk yard some future time."


    If the strap itself is still good, send me an email: n7don at yahoo and I send a couple pix of what I did to salvage the mount.
  • My mount broke, too. I filed the rough broken plastic flanges 'til they were smooth, then drilled two new holes on the plastic that was left. I then refastened the strap by running one of those plastic thingies made for binding together bundles of wire thru the new holes and the strap end. I did this a few years ago and it's been fine.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    N7Don sent me pictures of his fix and its pretty strong looking and creative, he used steel strapping in a U shape to replace the plastic mount and used the original bolt and strap attachment pin. I plan on copying this design to fit what scraps I have in the garage, may take some pictures if I ever get around to it.


  • i have a 99 montana (ext) auto leveling compressor will not shut off,height sensor is not working. Is there any way to let air out manually? Also wipers shut off in upright position,this happened several times while under warranty and dealer said motor or relay needed reset is there some way to fix without having to take back to dealer?
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    Without looking at shop manual (its past midnight so I'm lazy) I'd say you need purchase the height adjustment control, or have it replaced. If you are handy, its located under the rear axle and not very difficult to get to, but you will have to put ramps or stands under the van. You might look at it and see if the little arm that connects to the axle is messed up and possibly you could manually move it and release the air and stop the compressor. I know from personal experience I didn't see a fuse for the darn thing, its lumped into some other circuit, but you can yank fuses until it stops and then check to see what else was effected.


    The wipers I'm not an expert on either, but there if you remove the cover from the engine compartment you might see something amiss.
  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    Look for a 20 or 25amp fuse labeled ELC in the panel on the right side of the instrument panel. That should shut off the the compressor. If you have the inflator option I'd first check to make sure the switch hasn't been pushed. The manual suggests either this switch or a relay behind the panel where the switch is mounted will cause the compressor to run all the time.
  • I had this problem a couple of years ago, fixed it once, it has stayed fixed.

    Turn the ignition key to accessory, run the wipers on intermittent, then turn the key off when the wipers pause (which should incorrectly be "up" instead of "down"). Open the hood, pop off the plastic wiper motor/crank cover. Then loosen the crank arm on the wiper motor, manually set the wipers "down" where they're supposed to be during the pause (don't let the motor turn when you do this), retighten the crank, then turn the wipers on again. That ought to reset them. Put briefly, the governing circumstance is when the wipers are pausing between strokes while running on intermittent cycle.
  • pulled elc fuse / located control unit under axle operated lever replaced fuse. air was released and compressor is now working correctly. thanx for your help. still having trouble with wipers will try to take them apart later
  • wipers work correctly on intermittent. they only stay up when wipers are turned off. should I try this procedure for this problem
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    I drilled a hole in the strap on the broken end and put a zip tie through the hole and through the good end of the handle. It's a loop that hangs down and is easier to reach than the way the factory set it up. It's been working like that for over a year. I keep putting off buying a new one, but I know I will pay when the other end breaks and my vertically challenged wife can't close the hatch.
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    Well our early '99 silo finaly went in for it's first tune up and belt. When the Mechanic went to replace the plugs on the rear bank he saw it! The horror! Coolant! 54,000 miles and there it was, I knew it was coming as I've been smelling coolant for at least a year. I can't wait to see the bill for this.


    I can't complain, the car was very inexpensive to purchase and has been very reliable. I was more than aware of the intake manifold issue and the trans issue when I purchased the car. What a great car for the family.
  • "wipers work correctly on intermittent. they only stay up when wipers are turned off. should I try this procedure for this problem"


    I think so, but am not sure. Mine were only weird at shutoff if I remember correctly.
  • I have 2000 sil, 42600 miles and just had the gasket replaced yesterday. $860 repair and took just over a day and a half...
  • Having read your complaint about the brake and low fluid level coming on, i had the same problem with a 2001 montana. After several attempts to detyermine what was going on through dealers and mechanics I rolled in to a friendly country GM dealer one day in my travels and they put a handheld computer in to the module hookup under the dash. Ran a few checks and determined that all i needed was a some brake fluid. they did indicate that this could mean other problems with the brakes like a leak in the line, worn out pads but those things weren'nt the problem. He added about a half pint of brake fluid and i was on my way.
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    The car went in for a miss and a check engine light. I came out with

    New intake manifold gasket
    O rings
    Spark Plugs
    New Wires
    New serpentine belt
    Cooling system service
    Oil Change
    Read and clear computer

    $898.00 out the door

    I didn't buy the extended warranty, I'm miles ahead on the cost of that. The car would be out of extended warranty anyway. Now the van should be good to go for 3 or 4 more years when we will be done with it.
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    Thanks for posting. I have been watching for leaks in our brake system on the garage floor, but there isn't any. So I guess the reservoir wan't properly filled from the factory or today's brake fluid evaporates more readily . We should have asked for the worn out pads when the brake job was done, just to keep them honest. Don't know if they would of given them though.

    My dad just had the intake manifold gasket replaced on his mid 90's Grand Prix with a V6 (3.1?). It was not covered by warranty and cost $1,000, but they did give him a free loaner car for several days.

    If there are any GM engineers out there, please design the important stuff to last or you will lose all your old customers to Honda and Toyota. And could you also design a van that is easy to service.

    I like the Silhouette overall and it was the best value when we purchased in 2001, but it is definitely high maintenance. Thankfully, my wife is not.
  • Greetings all. I just wanted to sign in and send a big Thank You to "Benjisdad" for his fix for the wiper park problem. It took me a while to figure out exactly what he was saying but it worked like a dream. I had the exact same problem with my 2000 Silhouette in that it needed lubrication and that "tab" bent back up that the motor parks against. Once I freed up the mechanism and rebent the tab up, it took a few tries to get the wipers in sequence. I disconnected the main wiper mechanism from the motor shaft and tested the operation that way to ensure it was going to park. Once it did, I reattached the wiper mechanism and put one wiper arm on at a time (starting with the passenger side (lowest one) and ensured it worked and parked). Then I reattched the driver's side wiper arm and set it in position. It works better than it ever did now. Again Thanks to "Benjisdad" - you saved me about $300.
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    I had the rear wheel cylinders replaced in our '99 silo, that's where our brake fluid was going and it never appeared on the garage floor or anywhere I could see it.

    The Hondas blow transmissions, the Toyotas were blowing engines...All cars require maintenance. (so do wives).
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Posts: 168
    I'll have to check the rear wheel cylinders. Thanks for the tip.

    This van has definitely taught me that some vehicles, or types of vehicles, are better than others. Economy cars, like my 1995 Mazda Protege that I bought new, seem to be better engineered and have fewer problems. After 180K miles the car still works great with no leaks or serious problems. Even the original clutch is still fine after pulling a 400 lb. ATV and utility trailer for the last 6 years. I only wish the Silhouette, which cost twice as much, was as reliable as the Protege.
  • billwbillw Posts: 11
    I have a 1999 Silhouette. The remote is not working like it should. Already replaced the battery, still same problem. It do not want to unlock or lock. But works right off for the opening of the sliding door and the panic horn button. Is there a cheap replacement to get a new remote. Also has anyone had trouble with the rear hatch not being able to use the key. The tumblers will not turn either direction. Since I can not use the remote to unlock it, its a problem sometimes.
  • dirkworkdirkwork Posts: 210
    if you look ebay is much cheaper than dealer. but need the van one w/sliding door button of course which is harder to find.
Sign In or Register to comment.