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Pontiac Montana Heating / Cooling Problems

ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222


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  • I bought a new air filter and thought it would take 5 minutes to change, just like all other normal automobiles.

    But when I couldn't separate the housing far apart enough to get the old on out (much less get the new one in), it turned into an HOUR AND A HALF!!! GOD, I am angry!

    How does ANYONE change this air filter, including mechanics? I am a very strong 38 year old man and I simply could not separate the housing apart far enough to take out the old filter. I ended up completely destroying the old filter just to get it out. I also had to remove the coolant overflow tank, the thick round brace which holds the tank, and several wire harneses just to get some leverage! Then as I was pulling as hard as I could the whole cover popped off the mass air flow sensor and shattered part of the housing. :cry:

    I even own the shop manual and it says so innocently and simply to just separate the housing at the top and replace the air filter. It doesn't say that this simply cannot be done. There isn't any room for it to separate!

    I just sold my Chevey Venture (same car) and I had no problems chaging the air filter.

    Does anyone know a trick to change this thing? I had to use every ounce of strength I had working on this so much so that I had to actually take breaks because of muscle fatigue. I have used less energy in a weight session, it was so bad.
  • We own a 2001 Pontiac Montana mini van. We took the van in to have a/c checked as it was only blowing out warm air. The dealership said it was a condenser problem and would cost about $800 to fix. My parents also have the same year montana and their condenser also went in their van. I called the GM toll free number and asked if there was a recall and she said no. She did say that all complaints are reviewed and if many are being reported, recalls may be done. When you call this number, they do give you a claim number just in case. Anyone that has a pontiac minivan that has/or had this problem, please call the number I am about to give so that the problem can be reported. The dealership has said there are many problems with the montana a/c condensers. I am definitely seeing many problems with the condensers when seeing all the message boards from people on the internet.
    GM can be contacted M-F from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Have the following info available:

    Your name, address, and home and daytime telephone numbers.
    Your vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which can be found on your registration
    Dealership name and location
    Vehicle delivery date and current mileage
    Nature of your concern Customer Assistance Center

    Inside the U.S.: 1-800-762-2737

    Inside Canada: 1-800-263-3777

    I got the number off of the GM internet site under contact information.

    Hopefully, a recall will occur if enough people call and report that they have or have had the problem. It only takes a couple of minutes to report the problem.

    Thanks!! Hope this helps!!
  • I also own a 2001 Montana and have had ongoing problems with the van. In 2003 we replaced the condenser and the compressor @ $2000.00. This past Friday July 28,06 we brought it in again to the dealer for what was diagnosed as a cracked condensor, again! Cost to fix $1100.00. We didn't have it done. It was not a pretty seen at the dealership. They told us we needed to talk to GM about the problem. I did contact GM back in 2003 and got know where with the problem.
    I will call again on Monday.
    I am amazed how many people have had problems with this model.
    We also had to have new brakes, Head Gasket, Wiper motor and ongoing items I can't reemember off the top of my head. The worst part of the whole thing is I still am making payments on the loan I took out for this van!

  • ncjackncjack Posts: 1
    I have 2002 Pontiac Montana with approx.76K. Just replaced compressor & condensor. Mechanic says everything checks out ok like Freon, etc. The left (2) of the (5) vents in dash are blowing very warm, humid air while the remaining (3) vents in center & right feel cool not cold but dry. Any clues to this problem?? I just spent $1400 & we're still very hot with no A/C. Any help will be greatly appreciated!!
  • tanjotanjo Posts: 6
    I am having a problem with the AC in my 2000 Pontiac Montana Van. Even with the air conditioning on high, it blows hot air. I had it in to the mechanic and he couldn't find a problem, but suggested we put dye in it to see if they could find a leak. They couldn't. He had recharge it and it worked for a couple of days. A few days later, it was blowing hot air again. After looking at it, he suggested that we bring it to a dealer to have them look at it (as he couldn't see anything), and let him know what they said. We paid for an hour tabour at the dealer for them to tell us that we needed a new condenser and that they were not sure if that would fix the problem or not, and they again suggested the dye. We brought it back to our mechanic with the news, and he said that he had checked the condenser, but didn't see a problem. We decided to have our mechanic put in a condenser, it cost less than half than the dealership quoted. Well, here we are a few days later, and we are getting hot air again...

    What should our next step be?

    Thanks in advance for your help! :)
  • layoriclayoric Posts: 1
    Hey, we have a wiper motor problem too! Does someone program these things with specific life spans or something?! Just ordered one from NAPA and picking up on way home. Also just got new brakes a month ago. Ours is an 04 model though. I guess with the new models they're getting worse and not better...
  • rnjhuntrnjhunt Posts: 2
    I fixed a wiper motor problem by running a separate ground wire from the motor to a screw on the frame. It seems these motors are not grounded very well. No problems for 80,000 miles since the fix.
  • rnjhuntrnjhunt Posts: 2
    Found out mine was the control on the dash - when I put it to cold, it would blow warm - would never go all the way to cold. There was nothing wrong with the A/C, just the mixer. Get a manual and dig into the dash to loosen up the linkage or check the vacuum that runs it.
  • On my sons 99 montana, no heat control. a/c, air flow, etc. works great but no heat... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. daughter in-law and 4 grand kids are gonna freeze to death this winter.
    Thanks, Mark
  • Our 2003 Pontiac Montana will only blow warm air from the heater when the vehicle is moving. Vehicle blows only cold air when stopped. The higher the speed, the warmer the air temp. Can feel the temp cool as you slow and stop. Recently took to mechanic who couldn't find a problem but cleaned heater core which did allow for warmer temp while driving. Have a newborn and live in a cold climate so it's very important that we are able to warm up the van and maintain a warm temp when stuck in traffic. Any ideas?
  • Hi the mechanic obviasly check the coolant level, that being ok. I would replace the thermostat. If your in a cold climate you can also block part the the rad, BUT YOU MUST HAVE A GAUGE TO KEEP AN EYE ON ENGINE TEMPERATURE!

    PS anyone have any info on my transmission

  • teytey Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2002 montana and notice that my engine temp. rises more than half the gauge but not reaching the red portion. I went back to the dealer and he told me that it is normal for montana's to have this temp. I just want to know from you guys if it is really normal to have this engine temp.or theres somthing wrong with my engine or gauge.

    thanks and hoping for reply
  • Hi,
    I have the same issue with my 2002 Montana, Just started on the weekend. Do you have any updates on the issue?
  • teytey Posts: 2
    i went to GM dealer to have my key duplicated and programed and i asked one of mechanics if it is normal to have this temp. fortunately he also owned a 2003 montana and he told me it is really normal coz he is also having this kind of temp.
  • We have a 2000 Montana and have the same thing with the temp gauge. It usually is caused by a slow leaking lower intake manifold. Common in GM 3.1 and 3.4 V6's Just keep a check on the coolant level.
  • akelloakello Posts: 1
    My husband and I have the same problem but ours eventually overheated on the interstate one evening. We then had to replace the water pump and then the temp. gage never went up. It just started today but the low coolant light comes on and the heat gets cold like the AC is on. When the coolant light goes off the heat gets warm. We have put coolant in and there is still the same amount in. When the light comes on the temp gage will go up really high and when it goes off the temp gage will go down. We have been told to replace the thermostat. Does anyone have a suggestion??
  • Hi I have a 97 Transport/Montana and I am having the same problem I live in Manitoba and it get's to like -40 and I have no heat have you gotten the answer to your question, I have two kids and we freeze in the darn thing, we tried adding excellent coolant but still nothing. It totally suck if you have any suggestions can you let me know
    Thanks, Sherry
  • jegjcjegjc Posts: 2
    May be you need to clean the whole heating system (may be the little heating rad is plugged). Is your thermostat in good shape or had been changed. If the coolant is dirty... change and have a good flushing and cleaning.

    jegjc :)

    québec city canada
  • mrallmrall Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Pontiac Montana with about 130,000 miles. A couple of weeks ago the heat stopped working and the temp guage was running on the high side. I started looking around for some information on this particular issue on the internet to see what could be causing it. Based on what I could find, I decided to start with some of the minor parts first to see if they would fix the problem. I bought a new waterpump (less than $30 at the local auto parts store) and a new thermostat. At the same time I bought a new serpentine belt because you have to take the old one off to fix the waterpump. The waterpump on these cars is actually pretty easy to replace as it is up front at the top left of the engine. I think most mechanically inclined people could tackle it themselves. The thermostat is another story. I bought an AC Delco replacement for $15 at the auto parts store. It is really hard to get to. I think I saw another post mentioning this but it is on the right side of the block behind one of the exhaust manifold pipes/shield. The screw at the back is very difficult to get to. I did manage it but I have small hands and I could bend my arm (very uncomfortably) to get to it. I don't know how they do it at the dealer but I wouldn't be surprised if they take off some parts to get in there. I took off the air filter and the hose that runs from it to the throttle body which helped. While I had that off, I replaced the air filter which is not easy as anyone knows who has these vans. At any rate, so far, the temp guage is running more in the normal range so I'm hopeful it is fixed. I think the thermostat may have been the issue as the waterpump I replaced did not look bad and still turned freely. Now my concern is that I may have a manifold gasket leak. The lower manifold gasket seems to have some seepage. I haven't noticed a large loss of coolant though so if it is leaking, it may be slow. I'm anticpating it going at some point based on the history of these engines. If anyone wants more details on what I did for these repairs, let me know. I'm just a shadetree mechanic so what I know is limited.
  • mlkuttermlkutter Posts: 4
    The rear air blows hot air.
    The front air works but doesn't seen to blow at full force on high anymore.
    Any suggestions? :sick: :lemon:
  • richardp2richardp2 Posts: 4
    I am having somewhat the same problem with my 1998 Montana. It just started a few days ago not blowing any air of any temp out of the A/C vents. I read another blog here and am thinking a vacuum hose maybe loose or broken that controls the linkage of the blower. I can hear the blower fan blowing it just doesn't come out of the vents properly. If the vacuum trick works I will write back.
  • fixcarfixcar Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Montana that I purchased from a neighbor two years ago. It runs great now, but I am not looking forward to winter, as the so called "heater", puts out such a little amount. Everything in the climate system has been checked/replaced (including the thermostat)and still no heat! I am thinking that there might be an aftermarket electric type auxiliary heater available? These were available years ago, but I think there were fire related problems, so they took them off the market? Are there any new realistic ideas of how to get more heat? What was GM thinking; making a car with no heater?
  • Help! My 2002 Montana will not put out any warm/hot air. With the temp control at full cold the air moves just fine. The engine runs just fine and at normal temperature. When I turn the temp to hot the air flow goes to nothing and I hear the fan running just fine. Is there a door directing air over the heater coil? Where is it and how do I get to it to see if it is working? Thank you for your help!!!
  • mailmail Posts: 10
    Hi Mrall, your posting was Really helpful for me. I was wondering if you had to drain coolant from the engine in some way in order the change the thermostat? I can't seem to find any information on that and I was really impressed that you were able to replace it with only having to take off the air filter and tubing to the throttle body ! Thanks again !!! K
  • We replaced the thermostat in our 2001 Montana. Now it seems even worse! The temp goes up very fast when your driving and you have to turn the car off and release pressure/steam from the bleeder vavle by the thermostat. Is it possible to put the thermostat in wrong? Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated! :confuse:
  • 24randyo24randyo Posts: 6
    I have a 1998 Trans Sport Montana. Was having the same problem, it kept losing all of it's refridgerant, over about a two week period, and blowing warm air. Had it recharged with dye, still couldn't see a leak, but it still leaked out in two weeks. When recharged with dye a second time, the mechanic finally found that one of the pipes in the cooling manifold in front of the engine had been rubbing against a part of the transmission and rubbed a hole. The hole was against the transmission and the dye was undetectable as it leaked out because it was such a slow leak. He changed the manifold ($80.00 part, 1 hour labour) and it has worked ever since.
  • I'm having the same problem. i have replaced the thermostat and still no heat. I have the same year of van and would like to get this problem fixed as it is quite cold here in canada. Can anyone suggest any ideals or fixes to this problem.
  • Mine is a 98 Trans Sport Montana. I live in Canada as well, and have had very little heat when it gets below freezing. I was driving on the highway in December, with very little heat, and my temp guage went way up. I pulled over, shut it off, checked the coolant in the reservoir, seemed OK. I thought it might just be the thermostat. Started it up, temp was back down, drove down the highway a couple miles, and it was right back up again. This time, it didn't want to run very well. Had it towed to a garage, found that one cylinder was full of anti-freeze. Once he tore it apart, found that one cylinder head was cracked. It had never been using anti-freeze in the past, and had never been overheated that I know of, so somehow this head must have cracked as I was driving. It was $1500.00 Canadian to do the repairs (which I have found out since was a pretty goood deal). I thought that this may have solved the lack of warm air problem, but it didn't... it hasn't changed at all. Apparently, the no heat and the cracked heads or blown head gaskets are very common for this type of GM engine (3.4 litre V6). All I can say is, you are either lucky or you're not when it comes to this kind of thing with any vehicle. Always pay attention to your coolant level, and don't just look in the reservoir, take the rad cap off and check there too!
  • kenniekennie Posts: 38
    I have been dealing with the same heat problems. VENT AIR FLOW: If you are having trouble with AIR FLOW from the vents, I had the same problem and it was fixed after the dealership traced one of the vacuum hoses (about 2-3 mm black wire) that runs over the top left hand (pass side) of the engine and found two cracks, one on top of the engine and the other down behind the battery/fuse box. Back to the heat problem now... van heats up to operating temperature but occasionally goes 1-3 ticks higher but does not overheat but when sitting at idle (say at a light) the heat coming from the vents quickly turns from semi-warm to cool. I've had the coolant system flushed (not the heater core thou - they charge separately for that) but no change in heat. I'm tempted to have the core flushed but will hold off until I look at other things first. When I step on the accelerator I get better heat - revving the engine gets good heat (temporarily) until the engine returns to idle. I'm suspect of two things (again i'm no expert), a restriction of some sort is keeping fluid from either getting to the heater core (air lock somewhere) or a heater core blockage/partial blockage. Since I don't know how the heater core is designed i'm not sure what the likely hood of an airlock/blockage. The other thing i'm considering looking at is the auxilary coolant pump installed on 2000+ vans and manually installed on earlier vans in canada (because its cold here). The aux pump is located around the coolant tank (RHS) and is attached to a temperature switch in front of the engine rad. I'm not sure what i'm going to do next but probably fool around with it before taking it to the dealership... $125/hour adds up really fast and want to use a little grey matter and try a few things first. Your comments/suggestions are always welcomed. I think i'm going to try to lift up the front of the vehicle and try to burp the system as discussed on other feeds then possibly pinch off the aux pump, remove and test with a bucket of water to see what it is actually pumping and when (at what temperatures) it is pumping. Went to the dealership and asked about this pump and they said they have never heard of it going.... but then again FORD dealerships won't admit their springs break (when 1000's of people it has happened to) and the GM won't admit to glasket failures in their montana's... oh so many examples. Anyway keep the ideas flowing everyone. Maybe there is someone out there who has removed and tested a aux pump.. what am I going to see/expect? Cheers.
  • kenniekennie Posts: 38
    2000 Pontiac Montana heating problems in the winter time...


    I was delighted this weekend to find an unexpected solution over the weekend that may help some readers that have higher mileage Montana vans. My previous post outlines the problems I have been faced around heat in the van when it gets cold outside (being from Alberta). Through the process of elimination I thought and read about the various components of the heating systems that enables heat in the cabin. Fixing the vent was the first step as the air flow was definitely not producing what was needed. The next was the coolant replacement that needed to be done anyway so doing the flush was practical to do. All the hoses appeared hot just from inspection the thermostat was doing it's job in keeping the engine a fairly constant operating temperature regardless of the weather. So it came down to some sort of blockage or air pocket. I eliminated the air lock with the "professional" coolant flush. 2000+ Pontiac Montana vans have a factory installed Auxiliary Coolant Pump (previous years had them installed by the dealer). These pumps enable greater flow of hot coolant to the heater core needed for cold Canadian winters. I was told that these never fail by two separate dealers. In addition, i've looked high and low for information on these pumps but there does not seem to be any.

    So here is what I found... first the pump should only work on temperatures lower than 'around' 0 degrees controlled by a temperature switch near the front of the radiator behind the bumper. Even though it appears to be running and the hoses are hot, this does not guarantee that it is working. After removing and disassembling it, it turns out that the motor actually spins a magnet that in turn spins an internal propeller to move fluid. If the propeller damaged or seized the motor will still spin giving the impression that it is working. Also, if the motor is not running (temperatures above 0 degrees), then a small amount of fluid can still get through thus the hoses remain hot. With the pump not working the symptoms of little or no heat unless the engine is revving makes perfect sense to taking a closer look at the aux pump.

    Anyway, when I removed it (if you have the skill) and carefully took it apart (only if you have the skill) it is possible (not guaranteed) you may find that it is seized. Using some common sense, I remove it from the engine (without draining coolant - use a bucket to hold up and drain the hoses out a bit), tested it and then proceeded to disassemble/clean/re-assemble/re-test it and put back on the vehicle (put the pump on the outlet side then fill the pump and other hose with fluid/water unit at the top then immediately put on the other side quickly so that minimum air gets in). I've got heat now just like I did before.

    I'm trying to teach my son that using your head and moving through things carefully and thoughtfully you can troubleshoot many thing that even a dealership would not catch right away because we have the free time and they don't. If this information helps solve your problem and you don't need to take your vehicle to the expensive dealership then please help me with supporting the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada in which I support whole heartedly each year at the link which you can paste in your internet browser - it is the MS Society of Canada Site for which I have a annual team that raises money for those with this terrible illness and I will show him how being mechanically inclined in life helps others:

    All for now... and good luck !
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