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Chevy Venture Engine Problems



  • Thought I'd give an update on the overheating problem. In December, we noticed the Venture was leaking coolant. I finally took it in in January. Turned out the intake manifold gasket was leaking (I had it replaced in spring 2006). The dealer shop also replaced the thermostat and crankshaft sensor (he recommended it since the mechanic noticed it was partially disconnected). Had it flushed well and replaced the coolant (switched from green to dexcool). No more leak, so I was happy about that. This weekend, we drove into the mountains the same route where the vehicle overheated last fall. It held temperature well the whole way. So I'm very happy about losing the overheating issue.
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    You don't say where it looks like its coming from...if you can see where its coming from its a lot easier to help you guess what it is.

    about 105k it could be the water pump...
  • Sorry, I didn't update. Turned out to be the lower intake manifold gaskets. Had all the gaskets replaced by dealer and leak stopped. Also replaced thermostat. Was hoping it was water pump. Prob. would have been cheaper.
  • hogmohogmo Posts: 2
    As a follow up to this post, the overheating problem is definitely the sludge. And given that I'm not a mechanic, my management strategy is to just put the same DexCool into the cooling system. After going just 20,000 km, the sludge had built up terribly. I had the system chemically flushed at Mr Lube and now its working properly again, no overheating problems. There was an awful lot of sludge in the system! So, I guess it will be another flush, same time next year.
  • groelzjgroelzj Posts: 1
    Russ23, I saw you mention that you had done a writeup on replacing the engine/rebuilding it in one of your other posts. I don't know if you still haunt these forums, but I'd love to hear what you ran into in doing this. I just picked up a 2001 Montana with a blown head gasket. I grew up on a farm, so I'm not terribly intimidated with pulling the engine, but it's nice to know what all needs to be looked at or even replaced.

    Thanks in advance,
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    edited March 2010
    I have a 'new' engine from a different 2000 Chevy Venture and the Service Engine light won't go off, the coolant overheats with an orange or a red warning message, the engine runs at normal temperatures only if I add two or three EXTRA quarts of oil beyond what the dipstick indicates is necessary. The car also often stalls at stop signs.

    So what is the real problem?
    Oil pump?
    Coolant pump?
    Amount of coolant? Type of coolant?
    The engine is getting too hot, but is it due to coolant or oil problems?
    Amount or type of oil?
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    Mainly I want to know what I should DO now?
    I've had hot coolant messages too often and I don't like adding oil if I'm not sure I need it.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    I would stop driving and have it looked at. You do not want to overheat these engines once! Sounds like head gasket and/or intake problem. Adding more oil than max is a very bad thing. Lower end bearings may be shot.
  • I am intreasted in finding any ideas or places for mods or origanal rocker pannels and fenders and front drivers door.
  • sonnyace71sonnyace71 Posts: 2
    edited March 2010
    I just had my 2000 do this and it needed to have new spark plugs and wires. and a fuel pump it will cost around 1200 to 1400 in the right place thats parts and labor. but in the long run the van is a good one to keep alive. i am in the middle of doing the body of mine to make it better still. have them check the fuel pump too for leaks and the egr valves too.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    I think the mechanic who changed the oil may have been the one who put in too much oil but if so I've been driving on it for over a month... and its been overheating that long too, I think. Now it has way too much oil in it, but at least it now runs cooler and I don't get either gauge warnings or the smell of hot metal. So maybe I'm better off with too much oil in it? I'm only doing real short trips until I can get it looked at, but I worry every moment.

    Trouble is, that is the only decent mechanic around here. Well, halfway decent mechanic.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    Just make sure the oil is oil and nothing else. Does it look a little milky? How much over filled is the oil? If it's a pint or less, no problem. Anymore you have a time bomb brewing.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    Its at least two quarts and probably nearly three quarts over full (estimated) since I added two quarts myself and it was already over full. No Hot Coolant messages since I added the oil. Runs cooler now.
    How bad a time bomb?
    What will happen if it goes off?

    Oil looks like oil, not milky at all.

    Is there an oil pump anywhere? How do I know if its working?
    Is there a coolant pump anywhere? How do I know if its working?

    I wonder if the oil change people just added oil without draining the old oil out? Or they drained the old oil out but added too much new oil?

    I can't afford to lose this engine or to have any major repair jobs.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    Your use of the term "time bomb" scares me. I'd like to drive it to the seven mile distant mechanic but wonder if even brief errands around town for grocery shopping or something are going to wreck the car?

    One person contacted me directly and said that the stalling was probably a separate matter entirely. That may be, but its the oil/coolant/temperature situation that really scares me, not the occasional stalling at stop signs.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    Excess oil will cause the oil to be churned and in turn will increase pressure within the engine. The increased pressure will start to find it's way out of engine oils seals resulting in oil leak(s) not to mention increased oil consumption. Best thing to do is drain it to proper level and take to mechanic. Your oil pan isn't deformed (dented)? is the dip stick the proper length without any deformities?
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    >Best thing to do is drain it to proper level and take to mechanic.
    You mean not even drive it that seven miles to get there, but drain off three quarts first?
    >Your oil pan isn't deformed (dented)?
    Not that I know of.
    > is the dip stick the proper length without any deformities?
    Yes. Its the same type dipstick that was present on the former engine in that Chevy Venture 2000. I think it has five little holes in the dipstick to indicate the range that is proper. Also some cross hatching on the dipstick.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    I would drain the oil first.If you can't, you could drive the 7 miles real slow, 25 mph and under, and you may be ok.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    Okay. I'm going to recheck the dipstick and take off the oil fill cap again and look inside. If everything still seems to be too high (which I expect will be the case) I'm going to try to get under the car and see if I can locate and loosen the oil drain. I'll guess I'll just put a pan under it and try to close it after I think about two quarts has run out.

    Oil must have been too high for a long time though, so I'm not sure if all this worry is proper. I did read that high oil levels cause the fast spinning crankshaft to whip up the oil into a froth that the oil pump can't pump. That sounds bad. Don't think I can afford to lose this engine or have any major problems with it.
  • I have had that problem chasing the misfire, i found it to be a codepo304. which was the #4 cylinder . i should have done the compression test first . but i didn't . and bought new wires plugs and a coil pack . . the problem was from when i had the intake and heads replaced . the mechanic , over tightened the exhaust rocker arm bolt , which after 4k miles finaly pulled out of the threads . i put it back on with a healy coil. . i went to the junk yard and found a new rocker arm and push rod, ( if you go used , look at the 8 th letter in your vin number and get the same . cause most used a 10mm bolt , i had the newer 8 mm bolt .) so if you have a misfire. it is not always a coil, plug or wires . it could be a pulled / stripped rocker arm bolt ! i hope this helps
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    Mechanic's conclusions:
    The excess oil was probably the fault of too much oil being added at the last oil change. I should not have added even more oil. Overheating problem was coolant, not oil related.

    The overheating and hot-coolant warnings were probably due to a faulty thermostat in the coolant system. He pressurized the coolant system and determined there was no warped head gasket or anything and it did not appear that there was coolant mixed in with the oil, it was just oil.

    Total Bill: Staggering!! And far more than I can deal with.
  • fleastifffleastiff Posts: 52
    edited April 2010
    I tried to drain the oil here, figuring I'd drain off about two quarts and then drive there, but getting underneath the car was real difficult and I couldn't find the oil drain. So I simply drove it to the mechanic (6.9 miles) and road speed.

    He fingered the inside of the oil filler neck and he pressurized the coolant system. No leaks found. So he figured it was the thermostat which had malfunctioned.

    He had been worried that the two Orange Hot Coolant warnings and the one RED Hot Coolant Warning might have warped the head casket, particularly if I shut the engine off prior to adding the coolant.

    He seems to think I was lucky. I probably SHOULD have focused more on the coolant system when that was the warning since I never did get any low oil warnings. I guess I should have thought of the thermostat sticking but it just never did occur to me!

    Dip stick reads high still but no where near the ridiculously high levels it did before. I think that place just puts in more oil than they should when they change the oil.

    He fixed the doohickey that releases the hood catch so that is one annoyance out of the way.

    He did say to "save my pennies" for a new radiator sometime.
  • Completely agree. Had similar problem with mine and code was P0341, camshaft position sensor. Cheap replacement part, but difficult to install. After installation, engine runs perfectly.
  • I have a 97 chevy venture, 2400 v-6 overheats on an idle or in traffic. unless the air conditioning is on. can someone help with this problem, replaced thermostat, temperature sending unit and also 2 of 3 relay switches...can drive in the cool of the evening as long as wind moves through radiator.
  • azuazu Posts: 84
    Sounds like either a failing water pump or something wrong with fans not coming on when they should without the a/c on. With the a/c on the engine fans come on automatically regardless of engine temp. That could be from a bad ECM.
  • bethany380bethany380 Posts: 1
    The fans in front of the engine are not running, except they will turn on every great once in awhile and they have a loud sound to them. I had the water pump changed and the thermostat changed and it still does it. If I drive fast the temp will not go up as high but if I have to stop at a red light it will go straight to the top. If you open the hood you can smell the heat from the engine. What can I do or what steps can I take to see if it will fix the problem? I have already spend over one thousand dollars and now I don't have much left so its up to me to fix it. Any help would be appreciated.
  • k00l4idk00l4id Posts: 10
    edited May 2010
    Ive also experience the same problem. Turned out there was a pinhole in the side tank of the rad, causing an air bubble in the system. I would suggest making ssure that ALL of the air has been "Burped" out of the cooling system. I had to pull my rad and solder up the hole and re flush the system, should take about 6hours total to get all the air out of the system. Pull the rad cap off, top up the system, drive it for half an hour, park it and check the temp of the rad cap. Im going to bed dollars to donuts that its stone cold(the rad cap). crack the bleeder screw next to the thermostat housing and allow the air to escape. Once the engines cooled down enough top the rad up and close the screw. repeat the process. Just a side note, on mine, the temp would react normally after the first top up and air bleed. Continue to burp it until you are satisfied that all the air is out. On the final burping of air, i would suggest leaving it overnite with the rad cap off, top it up in the morning, run it for half an hour(driving not idling) pull it into the driveway, top up the overflow and mark on the bottle where the level is hot, let it cool down and see where the level is. if the overflow is empty theres still air.
    first check the flat grey connector thats in front of the fans , sometimes they get burn inside , second do you have rust inside the radiator? this indicates theres a air escape and is not completely sealed or have air inside , need to purge by loosing the 2 valves , one near the water pump and one near where the thermostat is.
  • jeffer65jeffer65 Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    could you tell me where to find the cam position sensor in the engine compartment ? thanks. Mine usually misses at higher speeds on the freeway car jerks alot what about yours?
  • poffinpapoffinpa Posts: 1
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