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Pontiac Montana Air Shock Problems

pnssurferpnssurfer Member Posts: 1
I have a 2000 Pontiac Montana with 100k miles. As of today, the air ride rear shocks are extended in the highest setting. When I turn off the ignition I can hear the air ride compressor kick in but the rear shocks do not disengage and the rear of the vehicle remains "jacked up" Any suggestions?


  • riggs312riggs312 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Pontiac Montana/Transport. I have a similar problem. When I get out of the van, the air ride compressor runs for up to 10 minutes. I have found a small lever connected to the compressor. If I crawl under the van, and move the lever down, the compressor will stop. I'm not sure WHAT needs to be replaced...compressor, box w/ lever, or what....

    Any suggestions??
  • wilfawilfa Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 montana and i dont think my air pump is working how can i check this
  • miket6miket6 Member Posts: 3
    Wondering if you ever found out the problem with your air shocks ?
    I have a 2005 with the same problem.
  • 24randyo24randyo Member Posts: 6
    I have a 98 Trans Sport Montana. The compressor would run almost continuously, but it wasn't really "jacked up", so I figured it the shocks were leaking. Called a Pontiac dealer and explained the situation, he said it could be the shocks, hoses or the compressor itself leaking. Just to tear it apart and have a look would be $200.00, and then depending on what it was, could be $2000.00 to fix.

    He recommended pulling the fuse for the compressor, so I did. The rear suspension has been fine, and I haven't thought about it since. Its in the fuse panel inside the passenger door, a 20amp fuse marked "ELC".
  • r705271r705271 Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 98 transport. The air comp doesn't come on any more. I've checked the fuses and none of them have been burnt. Any suggestions?
  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    Hi All, I have looked at this system and found some issues you should all look at.

    Disclaimers and notices:
    I will run through what can go wrong and hopefully this will help. Make sure the fuse in the fuse panel is removed when doing all repairs on the air compressor. At 25amps the shock may do some real harm to your hands or electrical system.
    Also do not get under your car unless the air bag system pressure is released. Do not decapitate yourself!

    Online Help
    The electrical diagram is available at Just look up the Relay and look for the additional info button. OR Link:

    Axle sensor switch-
    Attached to the rear axle via a small linkage. This part can be crushed or hit by on-coming debris and other unforeseen items when driving. It can also be water logged when driving through deep water or say putting a boat in the water.
    Make sure linkage is in good condition and using a continuity tester can be tested to see if it is still functioning. You will have to remove the linkage and harness.
    Replacement difficulty = easy =

    Rear shocks-
    Using an air bag reservoir these are simple shocks with a built in air bladder that lifts the car. Works similar to a coil over setup and uses a secondary spring for added support.
    They usually ware out at 85k to 100k.
    Any oil visible around the bottom of the rubber bag or air inlet = shock failure. $50 bucks for a replacement pair.
    Replacement difficulty = med. to easy =

    Rear Air lines-
    Only using a clip for attachment, a dental tool or pair of needle nose pliers will take them off as they are very similar to a compression fitting. When inspecting clean all the rubber o-rings at the end of the connector with Windex and grease with silicone or die-electric grease. This will help keep the o-rings supple and air tight.
    **Check the driver’s side lines for abrasion by the wheel-well. All or most of the line failures occur here.**
    If it is bad it can be replaced with a $8 kit from the parts store.
    Replacement difficulty = easy =

    Air compressor-
    To remove, disconnect all wire harness connections and 4 bolts holding the bracket cradle that isolates the compressor from the chases of the vehicle. Loosen and remove all air connections from the dryer and pull the air feed tube and filter from its hole in the frame.

    Use wd-40, or your favorite lube, to insure you do not break off any of the bolts.
    By disassembling and removing the 8mm bolts you can clean out all the ports in the head and re-grease the various moving valves and such. The side panel can come off and with a large flat-head screwdriver. You can take off the crankshaft screw that holds the piston in. Be careful, the piston has needle bearings do not lose them. The grease used is high quality silicone based grease. Contact your local air compressor repair-shop and see what they use. Castrol makes a high quality silicone bearing grease that I used but for the amount used; it’s a tad pricey.
    You can with some degree of difficulty remove the back shell of the electric motor by prying it open. You can then, clean and lube it with light oil for better performance. Make sure you use a good sealant putting it back together.

    You can service the whole compressor, but usually if they fail. The bearings then are burnt and there is nothing you can do.

    Replacement difficulty = easy =
    Overhaul cleaning and re-lube = medium =
  • gtroutygtrouty Member Posts: 2
    My air shocks are leaking and I want to replace them. Short of purchasing them at a GM dealer, where can I find the part numbers and where can I order them? Can I replace them with after market air shocks from NAPA? What is the load capacity differnece?

  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    Are you sure? leaking air or Oil?. Anyway look up you own part numbers, rock auto or Whatever, Monroe are the OEM drop in.
    Garbrel makes a better version but you will need to splice lines and make adapters as the air fittings are different.

    No change in load cap.
  • martino41martino41 Member Posts: 1
    My Venture 2000 Ext. the shocks it dosen't lift or work, the EVA fuse is ok I wuld like to know if it has an automatic level how looks and were is it? i thing this is hapend after I wash my van and that night start chilli cold wether. How much is it the pice level and the pump y or I have to go whit the Dealer to bay one. Tks.
    When I drive my van I feel ride an mule.
  • gtroutygtrouty Member Posts: 2
    The cylinders were rusty and the pump ran more then usual. Replaced with the Gabriels. Not very hard. Can't find a source for the adapter kit for vehicles with self-leveling system. I've read about teh spring I should replace to increase teh load capacity.
  • clennartsonclennartson Member Posts: 1
    I am wondering if anyone has experienced this issue and how they solved it. about a month ago my 2007 montana was into the shop because (we assumed) the rear shocks were bad.they replaced a broken front link but that did not address the problem. i left it at the shop overnight-where it was kept in a heated garage and in the morning the problem was gone. the technician stated that the problem was that the air compressor was over inflating the shocks, which was causing the noise and that the problem may have been a switch or sensor(?) that was froze over with ice with our cold MN weather. having it in the heated garage probably melted the ice and allowed this sensor to work properly. I have had no problems since until yesterday when i noticed the noise is coming back. since i don't have a heated garage to "thaw" it out i am wondering if this is common and how to fix the problem. is this any easy fix (meaning hubby can do it) or is it going to require another repair bill-i have followed these boards for years and learned much, so any help anyone can offer now is appreciated
  • btannerbtanner Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Montana that had a leaking shock and I replaced both of them myself with GM parts. I checked online and called the dealer to make sure that the shocks were correct for the model and year. Replacement was fairly easy although the the new shocks used different air hose connectors. The compressor runs right and the level is the same as before but now the ride is very rough. I can feel every bump and crack in the road pavement. The thumping got so loud that I thought the rear hatch was unlatched. Is there a way to adjust them for a smoother ride? These new shocks look like they are more for trucks, which the Montana technically is, but they are what the dealer specified. The only thing different in the install was that the original had the hose connector facing to the rear of the car and the instructions in the package said to install face forward. I installed it faced back and only read instructions after tightening the bolts. :-). I don't think this should matter but ... Anyone know how to adjust the shocks? Thanks.

    BTW, I wanted to replace both shocks and so ordered quantity 2. The packaged shocks came in pairs and so I have an extra pair now. I wonder if I should buy another Montana to use the other pair on? Or anyone need a new pair? 30% off dealer price.
  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    I would take the thing to a heated garage and leave it there over night...
    I think you got water in the compressor feed hose.

    Read my note above.........onthe rear axle small black, in the middle, can't miss it.

    Does the compressor work at all? You may have burnt it out.

    New compressors are 500 or so. Used from the junkyard are 100
  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    Did you read my post? I in no way mean to be condescending but.

    Why would you EVER buy from the stealer ship. You would have saved a ton of cash if you bought them from Autozone. For a "set" they were like 40 bucks or so.....

    They sold you the wrong ones. the Monroe makes the 2000 to 2004 OEM model year shocks. I will assume they sold you units for the New Blazer or other light truck. The shock valving is different.

    If they are OEM from GM, THEY SHOULD LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE ONES YOU TOOK OUT. Same valve, Same bolts, Same bladder, Same diameter.

    Take them back and ask for your money back.......if they say no then start yelling and throw down the Old shock if you still have one and say you tell me this is the same shock.......I can't believe this. etc.

    and then go to store and get the Monroe
  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    Well you sure can figure out if it is the issue, by gum.

    2 things

    Get a small space electric heater and place it in your cold garage and let it blow toward the middle of the rear axel. I'm not 100% sure on the 2007, where the sensor is located, but I will ASSUME, it's in the middle as is all the other years.
    Look to the rear axle for a little black box with a little arm on it attached to the Axel bar and the body of the van. Point it there.
    So come back after 2 hrs. to make sure nothing has caught fire and and to see if the heater isn't melting anything. Please use you or your husbands common sense.
    Check again before going to bed to make sure it is actually melting the ice.

    Take it for a drive the next morning and see if it is still doing it.

    If the problem stops then the ice is causing the issue with the sensor.

    In order to stop this keep using the heater OR Jack up the car once it is dry and clean and then douse the living crap out of it with Silicone Lube spray. This will displace water and make the ice fall off easier. If that doesn't work a plastic shield may be in order. You would have to make one. :cry:

    If the problem continues after the unit is thawed and de-iced have them check the sensor for a fault. He should have fixed it in the first place.......

    Hope this helps
  • ptrent2ptrent2 Member Posts: 4
    I have recently replaced the air shocks because there was a clunking noise comingfrom the rear of the van. I still have the problem only when the weather turns cold. Is there anything that is causing this to happen or is it just part of what it should do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    I have read other posts that someone who had other work done on their van and later found out the jack in the back was making the noise when it got cold... banging against the frame inside the jack compartment. I know you've probably looked at this but just an observation. Having someone ride int he back when it starts clunking could help.
  • chopperman1967chopperman1967 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Montana that has had LOTS of issues, 94K the check engine light came on and the low fuel light came on. I put $30.00 in gas and the low fuel light stayed on,... then it stalled out & wouldn't start, it acted like it was out of gas! I had it towed home, & the next day it started up just fine,... but while it was sitting there idling, it made 1 hell of a noise & stalled out,... well I had it towed to the dealership & they said that the Engine was Done !!! They said something went out in the lower end. So I had a used engine put in it that had 60,000K,.... Now before the engine trouble, there was no tranny trouble,... but after I got it back it started whining in reverse, so we checked the fluid level, it was down, we were told that it apparently had an air bubble in the system from the engine replacement,.. so anyway we filled up the tranny & shortly after we started noticing that the tranny would shift really hard and whine (but only Sometimes!) Well I took it to a tranny shop & he told me that the tranny needed replaced Eventually,... I asked how long & he said (A week -- A Year-- ?) who's to say...... Well It's been about a year, & in that time we have figured out that when it starts acting up, you have to pull over & turn the engine off, & turn the key backwards & fowards to the point of Auxiliry power (3 times) & then restart it, & it would reset the computer & run fine again,... however, recently the old 1-2-3 start trick doesn't work all the time ,... or it will work, but then about 300 feet down the road it starts acting up again,.... it is progressingly getting more troublsome,... my biggest worry is that maybe it's not the tranny as much as it is the computer,.... Should I put $2,000.00 into rebuilding the tranny or should I just say hell with it & buy something else ?

    **** If anyone has had similar issues, or has suggestions feel free to E-Mail me your responses... : [email protected]

    >> just write "montana troubles" in the subject line.

    This request expires after September of 2009 ! ~ Thanks, Have a good one.
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38

    You probably don't want to hear this but my van has been doing this for over a year now. I am NOT an expert but have done much research and this is what I know. It is likely, not garanteed, that the primary pressure selunoid in the transmission is worn out or it is dirty. It controls the presure on trany plates. The computer detects transmission slippage and after a certain amount of times it sends a signal to the selunoid to go FULL PRESSURE as a safty measure to save your clutch plates from slipping and burning up which can hatch your trany really fast. Either your plates are worn badly or your selunoid is worn/dirty causing an incorrect amount of fluid pressure which in turn creates slippage which in turn the computer sends a signal to go full pressure. Depending on how you drive, hard shifting can really strain your transmission. The dealership/trany shops will want to replace rather than fooling around with the amount of time it takes to take appart transmissions and "miss" something in the process... rebuilds are probably a good option when you really consider this. I am waiting for mine to physially fall off the van as i'm driving taking precasions to ensure if i'm on a family holiday that I know exactly where I can have the van towned (AMA coverage) in order to have it replaced and how much it will cost.... about $2500 in Alberta/BC. The effort to replace the selunoid is ~$200 parts and about $700 labour (estimate) - I am also considering this but to the transmission is hours of work taking things off and dropping from
    van. I know, probably not what you want to hear. Once it is opened up you never know what they are going to find and you'd actually have to trust them b/c you/I don't know crap about what really needs to be replaced. There are pics on the interest of the selunoids worn for the montanan but took awhile to find them.
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    I have also read some posts where montana owners change the selunoid and the problem continues.. but they never did find out why so it's a crap shoot but a good one.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    feel free to E-Mail me

    Let's keep the discussion here so everyone will benefit. Thanks!

    Steve, visiting host
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    Something I discovered over the past week... apparently there is something called a "shift kit" that you can install on some transmissions of which are for montana. The shift kit somehow bypasses the PCS and is signficantly less expestive/difficult to replace - simply dropping the trany pan you can install the $30 part which is available from zz??.com. Don't know much more than that... search automotive forums for more info... Cheers, Kennie
  • ivarjivarj Member Posts: 1
    did you find any adapters for the air hose connectors?

    Best regards,

    Stockholm, Sweden
  • ilearmmyownwayilearmmyownway Member Posts: 1
    whether you may have fixed the issue on my sisters 99 montana i lookied in the hatch area seeing on the drivers side there is a small area where you can hook up a 12v phone charger or some other devices next to it is a switch its a on and off switch for the compressor for the air ride assist turn it off will keep the pump from working i turned hers on and then turned the vehicle key switch on and almost isntantly it came on after a few mins it shut off but her issues is that i have to replace all her rubber hose lines as they are so rotted out no air is filling the shocks so that is a simple job to do but i hope this helps you out
    good luck
  • mykshoemykshoe Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2008 Montana SV6. I had a similar problem so I checked the fuses on the right side ( to the right of the glove box) Look for fuse #2-20A or #15-25A These are both side by side, the are marked as ELC and the panel, I looked at both and it was #15 that was blown It worked after I changed it. Hope this helps.
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