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Olds Silhouette Engine and Transmission Problems

I have a 2000 Olds Silhouette that has taken on a life of its own. I can drive down the street at 50 mph without pressing on the accelerator because it is idling so high. When it is in drive with my foot on the brake it is at 1500 to 2500 rpm and in nuetral it is at 2500 to 4000 rpm. I can get this to resume a closer to normal rpm measurement by restarting the car several times until it resets itself. The TPS has been replaced although the computer is still reading this error message. There has to be some sensor that is bad and causing this problem, please help.


  • Hello ! I am having the same problem.
    I replaced the Idle speed module and that did nothing.
    I also had the throttle body cleaned and changed the pcv valve thinking it is a vacuum issue. It obviously has to be sensor related as it resets when I turn off the engine and wait 10-30 seconds.

    If I rev the engine in neutral it gets to about 3,400 then oscilates up and down and won't go any higher. Have you found a solution yet? If so please advise.

    Andrew H hessongaj AT gmail dot com
  • cvigil1cvigil1 Posts: 2
    We just had the Throttle position sensor replaced and so far so good. It has only been a few days but I have not had the problem since then.
  • I have a 2000 also and had the same problem. replace the fuel pressure regulator. I did it myself. cost about 70 dollars.

    Good Luck
  • mycar10mycar10 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. High idle occurs at high tempertures. Have you found a solution?
  • My 2001 does this also but it only seems to happen sporadically. I was thinking I had a vacuum leak but I really don't have a clue.
  • cchicchi Posts: 2
    I have a front drivetrain vibration I can't fiqure out. I have changed both driveaxles, still there. It changes with speed and dips in road and also when I turn right but not when I turn left. Any ideas?
  • I have a similar problem. See this info I posted on the "Quick Technical Question" forum:
    "Problem with 2000 Olds Silhouette minivan with 88k miles.
    I have a vibration driving above 40 mph. It seems like a pavement vibration with a frequency about that of the off the road indicators if one goes too far right (but not that pronounced). I have replaced all tires with a front end alignment, all four hubs, and tie rod ends. The problem is worse on left turn curves, going up hills, and with heavier loads (three or more passengers). Has anyone else seen this?"
    The only response was to have the CV joints checked. I have not done this yet.
  • cchicchi Posts: 2
  • I have a 1999 Olds Silhouette Premier it has 78,000 miles on it and has been running flawlessly for the last 8 years the temp gauge was consistent at slightly above 1/4 mark and never moved. About 4 weeks ago the temp gauge started to fluctuate between 1/4 and 1/2 the temp gauge moves visibly while driving.
    - 1st time in shop replace water pump due to a leak.
    - 2nd time in shop temp gauge continued to move between 1/4 and 1/2 and then over temped again. This time the heater went from warm to cold as temp rose then warm when temp went back down. I replaced the thermostat.
    -3rd time in shop radiator is losing coolant 1/2 to 3/4 gallon. Did block test no leaks, changed oil (no water in oil), checked radiators (front and back) no issues. put sealant in coolant to plug any hair line fractures. chassis is bone dry.
    -4th time in shop - over temp...temp gauge fluctuates between 1/4 to 1/2 lost 1/2 cup of coolant. chassis still bone dry. another block test no leaks. tested for Co2 in the engine compartment and around the radiator - result clean.

    Has anyone experienced any of these issues? What should the next step be? The mechanic said the next step is to start tearing down the engine. They don't want to but said they have exhausted all other external symptoms they know about.

  • eodkideodkid Posts: 8
    These mini vans are famous for intake manifold leaks. They are on the back side of the engine by the firewall so they are difficult to see but if you are running hot and losing coolant I would check that. Mine didn't have any visible leaks but I could smell coolant and apparently it was burning off when it hit the hot engine. Good luck.
  • I have a 95 olds sihouette with 75K.At about 70-75 mph it will have a vibration in it untill I take it out of o/d.This does not happen all the time.Has anyone else had this problem and what do I need to do to fix it.
  • Thanks I will try that. I also think there has to be an air bubble in the line somewhere that is impeding the flow....Will keep you posted.
  • bhoughtbybhoughtby Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Olds Silhouette. The other day when backing out of the garage, I put it in reverse and it didn't seem to engage, I then put it in neutral and then drive and it wouldn't engage. I put it in park for a bit and back in reverse, still would not engage, I gave it some gas and the it made a loud clunck and engaged all at once. It has done this for the past few days now, but only when cold, doesn't do it through the day after driving for a while. Any ideas?
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    sounds to me like the converter drain back valvle is stuck open and allowing the torque converter to drain back into the sump when the vehicle sets overnight. I am assuming since i dont have my books right here with me that this is a 4T65E transaxle and thier is a known issue with this unit. visit and look up the fixes for your transmission
  • when driving [all temperatures read normal ] there is a noticeable whine coming from the trans.shifting then becomes quite harsh . Sometimes if I stop and shut it down , sit for 3-5 minutes start on my way again ,everything is normal . There are 187,000kms on the unit and I had the trans fluid and filter changed at about 160,000kms prompted by this problem . Is there a fix or am I looking at an overhaul .
  • pignessx1pignessx1 Posts: 8
    My 2001 Olds Silhouette did the same thing. It was a manufacturer problem. The dealership replaced my intake manifold.
    Good Luck
  • fish92fish92 Posts: 3
    I am having the exact same whining and shifting problem on my 2001 Silhouette. Most days it is OK, but then it starts doing it again. If anyone has had this fixed, please let us know what it was.
  • notme99notme99 Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2002 Olds Silhouette and have since found out that when it rains, water leaks in on the driver side where the emergency brake is, infact that is where it seems to come from. I am assuming there must be a drainage problem somewhere(fingers crossed) but I am not sure where the drain hole would be.I am currently parking on about a 20-30* angle not sure if that stops the drain from working.I would appreciate any light somebody could shine on this problem for me.
  • oorobbyoorobby Posts: 3
  • oorobbyoorobby Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 '03 Oldsmobile Silhouette and it leaks water like mad. We bought it last winter and didnt notice till the first big rain that is lets water in to the dash and when you turn a corner it spills out on to your feet and pisses you off! It drained the battery once and had to get rusted relay switches replaced as they were rusted in to the on position for good and drained it. we have tried a tarp (scratces the paint) and clear slicone in the bottom part of the window is where it looks like there could be wateer getting around the bottom seals. But nothing has worked yet. there looks like some water collection inside the hood by the doors there looks like some space where water was getting in but i didnt have a long enough nozzle on the silicone gun.

    I will keep you updated
  • oorobbyoorobby Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 '03 Oldsmobile Silhouette and it leaks water like mad. We bought it last winter and didnt notice till the first big rain that is lets water in to the dash and when you turn a corner it spills out on to your feet and pisses you off! It drained the battery once and had to get rusted relay switches replaced as they were rusted in to the on position for good and drained it. we have tried a tarp (scratces the paint) and clear slicone in the bottom part of the window is where it looks like there could be wateer getting around the bottom seals. But nothing has worked yet. there looks like some water collection inside the hood by the doors there looks like some space where water was getting in but i didnt have a long enough nozzle on the silicone gun.

    I will keep you updated
  • mdatbernmdatbern Posts: 1
    I had this problem on my '99 Silhouette when the engine/transmission got hot after about 30-45 minutes of driving. It needed a new pressure control solenoid. This part has failed twice on my vehicle, once at around 42K miles and again at about 85K miles. From the dealer, it is about $700 to repair.
  • notme99notme99 Posts: 2
    Hi oorobby
    I am taking my van in to the shop on Friday and I told my mechanic about the problem he thinks that it needs to be re-sealed at the back of the firewall, but he's going to take a peek at it and let me know.I will get back to you when he tells me what the problem is.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I have a 1999 silhouette that over heated a couple days ago, also noticed smoke coming from exhaust so I turned it off and put it in garage has anyone had this problem. I think it is the head gaskets and heads but was wondering if someone besides me has had this problem. How often does this happen, my van has 119k miles.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I have the same exact problem on my olds silhouette premiere van. I just had the transmission fluid and filters changed. Of course it didn't solve the problem. Do you know what was involved in changing the pressure control solenoid? (besides $700.00).
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I found out that I have coolant in my oil so my problem is that the head gaskets are bad and maybe the heads. We will be taking the heads off soon so if you are having the same problems as me you should check your oil. Is your oil milky or marbled looking? If so then its your head gaskets maybe your heads. As for the pressure control solenoid I have no idea lol. I hope I'm not running into more problems as I go. Has your van over heated? My van over heated on me so I let it cool down. Then I was going to take it to a parts store for them to run a test on it and that is when I noticed the smoke and decided not to take it anywhere except the garage lol. I am glad I did my motor would have locked up on me if I had tried to go anywhere. The transmission is going to give you signs that there is something wrong by not wanting to change gears the way its suppose to or give you a jerk while you are going down the road. My dodge was real good at trany problems lol. There is a place online that has used warranted parts for three years called ever drive, that is where I'm going if my heads need replaced. I hope both me and you get our vans figured out. Mine is a premiere as well and it is such a nice van it makes me sick that this has happened. Who said that it is your pressure control solenoid? Best of luck.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    My van is a 2000 premiere and we had it since day one. It's a great van with the exception of this transmission problem. I picked up the pressure control solenoid from this forum. Other owners had the same exact problem (transmission whine and a long shiff). I had the same transmission problem on my Aurora, both 98 and 2001. The dealers have heir head in the sand on this one. And you ususally can't simulate the problem when it is at the dealer.

    I'm monitoring this coolant situation. My low coolant light came on last fall and I couldn't figure out where the coolant was going. I put non Dextrol coolant in and haven't had a loss of collant since. I will check the oil just to be sure.

    The more things I read in the forum makes me start to wonder about that car. These are all things GM shoud have recalled.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I have been told by other to change to the non Dextrol coolant because the other is bad on the gaskets, so hopefully you changed yours just in time to save your gaskets. But do keep an eye on your coolant and oil, these vans are bad about gaskets going bad. If you do end up with this problem make sure you don't let the van get to hot cause then it will warp the heads do to the fact they are aluminum which I think was a bad thing for GM to do. It's not bad for a smaller engine but for these it was a bad choice. And I do agree with you completely that they should have done a recall on all these problems to many to just over look. I think all the companies are thinking of any more are the sale not the quality of the product. I do hope that you get your van up and running good soon. From my family to yours all the best.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I got the transmission problem fixed by paying my local garage mechanic to replace the pressure control solenoid. It runs fine now. It cost me $550.00. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in the hopes I don't have to go into a transmission rebuild.

    Thanks to you and other forum members, I'm watching the gasket problem real close. I appreciate your response.

    By the way my Silhouette has 96,000 miles on it. Thanks again.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    Glad to hear you got it fixed. I will be working on my van starting this Friday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be too expensive I know that if you don't spin the trany, "say when your stuck and you sit and spin and spin that is really bad on van trany's" so if you keep from doing that it will make it last longer. My dad said that a trany will also act up if the fluid gets older and not changed so change it every now and then should help with the life of it. I know when I get my van up and running I will baby it to death lol. Our vans are kind of close in mileage hope it last you another 98,000.
  • joshnjoshn Posts: 1
    Hi guys, I have a 2000 silhouette with 300,000k on it. i have the same problem with the whining noise and the hard shifts. Is it the solenoid? Mine also tends to lose power on the highway when that problem begins and it boggs when i try to hit the gas anyone else have this problem as well? if so do you think its related? I also have the leak on the drivers side by the parking brake any fixes for this one yet.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I'm certainly not an expert at automotive repair. I just try not to get ripped off big time and if I hadn't gone to Edmunds with the transmission problem, I would be spending $2,500.00 on a transmission rebuild, when the problem was a $60.00 pressure control solenoid in the transmission.

    With 300,000 miles, I'm a little hesitant to say it is the pressure control solenoid. However if it is a intermittent problem only when it gets warm, I would replace the PCS unit. You through a curve at me by it bogging down when you try to accelerate. Let's see what others say...
  • Hey, in vague terms, you have to remove the cradle (sub-frame) lower the engine and trans to access the tranny side cover, remove the cover to reveal the solenoids.
  • reginoregino Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 olds silhouette that I've just changed its transmission to a 1995 Chevy Lumina. After a couple of days the van began to stop running for five minutes on the road, then it began to work fine for about 2 weeks, after that it began to stop running again on the street. I was wondering if anyone has had that same problem or what could've caused that problem.
  • I have an 2001 Silhouette with very similar issues right now. No a/c or heat either. When you add this on to the gasket issues, transmission line leaks, failed wiper motor and assembly that we've been through and the host of other recent symptoms that are telling me this thing is about to become a money pit, I'm thinking the next step is an Odyssey or Sienna.
  • I am thinking it's the intake gasket as others have suggested. But it is awfully disconcerting that the van seems to be falling a part at 80,000 miles. I have been looking at the Odyssey and the Sienna as well I just can't bring myself to spend $35k either.
  • I saw the words "no ac" and I wanted to let you know that the ac went out on my 2000 Silhouette and I went to the parts store and bought refrigerant. I followed the instructions and it took 5 minutes of my time to bring the ac back. It worked great all summer.
  • Mine is a 1999 Silhouette and I just now got the motor apart. I found out that it was the head gasket that had blown. My intake and heads are fine. I was so sure I was looking at new heads. I also found out at least from my source is that because of the stops on the head gaskets they put on, that the heads can't be torqued down far enough to insure no leaks or another blown head gasket. But others will say that's not true, why then so many of these problems. I got the set of gaskets that don't have the stops. I was told by my friend that he would take his van out after replacing gaskets and it would over heat. So then he would come back and torque some more he is now happy because his van is no longer over heating. I have a Dodge Grand Caravan and let me tell you that I have been through 3 tranys with it, the wipers come on whenever they want lol, and my radio only works on day that are moist. But the Odyssey is good my sister has had 2, but the parts for them are very high. And the Sienna is good after the year 2005 before that the motor is known to get dirt up in them. The Ford vans are bad about tranys as well. It just seems that you can't win for losing anymore. Also my brother has a dodge van just like mine and he had to replace a head on it. I was told to make sure to never run the van even the slightest on low coolant that the over flow should always be filled. I too hope that I don't have a money pit but I will say so far that 3 tranys at 1800 a piece I'm already saving, hope all goes well sorry this is so long but maybe something helped. God bless you and your family
  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    As soon as the tranny in our 99 silo started shifting hard I had the defect repaired for about $400. As soon as the intake manifold gasket started to leak I had it replaced for about $600. I guess I could have let them go and turn into bigger issues, but I keep the car serviced so it stays reliable.

    97,000 miles runs, drives and looks like 30,000 miles. I'm amazed at how well the interior and paint has held up, no rips, tears or fading in the leather, dash, door panels or carpets. The roof rack is peeling a bit and I did replace the headlamps (cheap on ebay), but the van has been on the road for 10 years so again, I can't complain.

    I would have bought a new one, but that 2007 was SO fugly I can't believe they put that abortion on the road! It makes the Aztec look like a beauty queen!
  • My 1997 Olds Silhouette conked out on me (91K miles) -- it would go into the first gear when I started driving it, but lost power once it shifted up to the 2nd. Mechanic referred me to transmission shop. They charged me $2400. Was that a reasonable cost? Also, I'm reading about the pressure control solenoid... Could my problem have started there? Thanks for any insight.
  • I recently had my transmission rebuilt but it has not run correctly. Im taking it back because it skips and the rpm are really high.It might sound dumb but I don't remember what RPM the car runs at when the car is at 75,80, and 90 mph. Currently the car runs at 3000 RPM at 65-70 MPH, I can hear the engine somewhat forcing itself. If anyone could tell me I would appreciate it. Also I wanted to ask what should I do if they don't fix it right, maybe file a complaint with the BBB or take em to small claims.

    I hope someone can help me.
  • The transmission should not run at 3000 rpm at 65-70. It should be much lower at that speed. My wife has the van today, otherwise I would take it out on the highway and give you the readings. It sounds like a botched repair job to me.
  • If you get a chance to check yourself for me, I would appreciate it...Hey theirs a 12 pack of beer in it for ya, lol. But seriously id appreciate it. I need to this car ready for a 1400 mile drive to Oklahoma at Christmas.
  • Okay, I'll do it for you just give me a couple days. My wife uses the silhouette, so I'll have to do it one night after work.
  • Thank You very much, let me know where to send the 6-pack.
  • brumpfbrumpf Posts: 14
    I pried the Silhouette away from my wife and here are the results:

    50mph 1500rpm

    60mph 1850rpm

    Residing in New York City, I just didn't have the opportunity to get her up to 70mph. If my memory is correct, at 70-80mph, she was always around 2,200rpm.

    PS. At these test speeds, there is no question about her being in overdrive.
  • Bro, I thank you with my friend. The 6 pack might take a few days but you have helped me a lot bro.
  • email me at [email protected] to send u some beer.
  • tawnymtawnym Posts: 9
    I recently put a new head gasket in my van. No head damage and it runs like a dream now. I was commenting to my dad how low the rpm's are on my van he said that's great. My 99 runs in town at 1200-1500, higher speeds it rmp's at 2000-2200. So I would say yes your van is most definitely running at too high of rpm's. Good luck and don't let them mess with you, if they say it's good and runs like that or refuse to fix it get a hold of the attorney general, they will fix it then.
  • So i took the Car back to the shop and the guy said it was fine, which i knew it wasn't. So now im gonna take it to an AAMCO and have them diagnose it and when they do find the problem I will file a Small Claims against the owner. My problem is that i don't have money to fix it again and get my money back from the shop. Im not sure how long law suites take since I need to drive to Oklahoma in December for Christmas. Hopefully I can get my car fixed.
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