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GM's triplets Venture, Silhouette, and Montana



  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    Just curious, most of the vehicles I've had 1/2 quart is still within the OK range on the dipstick- provided I've started with it at or near the "full" mark. It usually has to go to nearly a full quart low to drop to the "add" level on the stick. Are you saying it starts out full, gets down to "add" range and you add 1/2 quart and it just barely is in the "safe" range? Or is the 1/2 quart to get from the lower "safe" to the top of the "safe" range?

    From my memory the van requries 4 quarts w/ a filter change, but my Maxima requires 4.3 quarts US - and if shops only put 4 quarts in you start off about on the bottom of the "safe" range. Just wondering if you're starting off with it topped off.


  • bob550kbob550k Posts: 148
    If you have antifreeze in the oil it will appear in the oil filler cap in the form of little beads.

    The loose specifications of the drive train are going to cause a little oil consumption or leakage for that matter especially around the rear main seal, so don't look under there. They are built loose to reduce friction to improve MPG, you may have noticed that your rather large van goes a long way on a tank full. A 1/2 quart isn't bad in 3,500 miles, it's really pretty good.
  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    Well, If I am losing anti-freeze it's a minute quantity, but any at all only means a problem that will get worse. The half quart lost was for 5000 miles. I agree, not a big deal, but I'm being hyper-vigilant. The van is a nice model. I really don't have a problem with it, and if the Blackstone report comes back ok, then all will be well. However, I saw a loaded Olds Silo at a firesale price of $22,500...
  • TSB # 01-07-30-023A
    Harsh 1-2 Upshift, SES, MIL, or CEL Illuminated, DTC P1870 Set (Replace Valve Body)
    1996 Buick Roadmaster
    1996 Cadillac Fleetwood
    1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade
    1996-2000 Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette
    1996-2000 Pontiac Firebird
    1996-2000 Chevrolet and GMC Light Duty Truck Models
    1996-2000 Oldsmobile Bravada
    with 4L60-E Automatic Transmission (RPO M30)
    Built Prior to January 15, 1999 (Julian Date 9015)
    This bulletin is being revised to update the Parts Information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-07-30-023 (Section 07 -- Transmission/Transaxle).
    Some customers may comment on a harsh 1-2 upshift and the Check Engine Light or Service Engine Soon indicator is illuminated.
    Typically, these vehicles will have been driven more than 32,000 km (20,000 mi) before this condition occurs.
    The scan tool may show a DTC P1870 set as a history code.
    A harsh 1-2 shift or DTC P1870, caused by wear in the control valve body, may be difficult to duplicate when the transmission temperature is below 93°C (200°F).
    The condition may be due to wear in the control valve body. This wear occurs in the bore that contains the TCC isolator and regulator valves, and results in poor, or no, TCC apply.

    DTC P1870 is a type B code. The conditions for setting the P1870 DTC must occur on TWO CONSECUTIVE TRIPS (ignition cycles, with a drive cycle) before setting a P1870 history code.
    When the conditions for setting DTC P1870 are met (first trip), the PCM commands maximum line pressure and harsh 1-2 shifts are the result.
    This may result in a harsh 1-2 shift with no history code if the conditions for setting the DTC required for the second trip are not met, on two consecutive trips (Ignition cycles, with a drive cycle).
    When the conditions for setting the DTC are met, on the second consecutive trip, a DTC P1870 is stored as a history code.
    When the P1870 code is stored, the PCM will turn on the Service Engine Soon (SES), Check Engine Light (CEL), or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL).
    Install a control valve body with the revised TCC regulator and isolator valves. These valves are used in all transmissions produced after January 15, 1999 (Julian Date 9015), and all of the service parts currently available through GMSPO contain revised TCC regulator and isolator valves.

    If all of the following conditions are true, it is not necessary to rebuild the transmission or to replace additional transmission components beyond the control valve body.
    Transmission operation is normal before the transmission reaches operating temperature, or before DTC P1870 is set (no slips, flares, or missing gears).
    The torque converter is not blue or overheated.
    The transmission fluid is not burned or has no burned odor.
    The transmission fluid pan contains no abnormal debris (clutch material, bronze, brass, or metal fragments
  • who answered my inquiry. Someone on the Transmission Trauma topic board supplied the above TSB for me. My car had the exact problem as listed here, diagnosed today. My check engine light never illuminated, but the code was stored. So if anyone experiences this, expect a $500 bill. Thanks again for the input. That's what is so great about this board, people helping each other...
  • Just came back from our 1st extended trip with our 2001 Venture LT. Van performed well except for the following incident;
    3 hours into the trip, the seatbelt light came on even though all seat belts were fastened. Then,after stopping for lunch, the FOB would not work, had to unlock doors with key. Started the van, put the van in drive but the automatic door locks did not work. Had to close them by hand.
    Then once we got on the highway, the auto alarm started coming on all by itself. We would shut it off with the FOB, but one minute later it would go on again. This occurred for the next 30 miles.
    Called ONSTAR, they ran a diagnostic but could not find anything wrong. Then the alarm stopped and the symptoms never reappeared. ANY THOUGHTS?
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    I believe there is a thing called BCM Body control Module or something like that that controls the functions you had problems with. Buick Rendevous/Pontiac Aztek uses simular controls and there have been posts about problems, can not recall any van problems. Would not have any specific warning lamps on the dash and probably not something OnStar could pick up on.
    Call you dealer, may have to reprogram or replace. Good Luck and post back.
  • dorene2dorene2 Posts: 28
    Hello over here in Chevy Venture land. My husband and I have been playing some numbers games with the Honda dealers over the 2002 Odysseys. I am truly exhausted and decided to check out some Amerian models. I am interested in possibly the Venture with the Warner Bros. package. Any feedback or suggestions? I didn't realize there were so many choices in those models! Do
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    hello gm van owners, I'm a longtime edmunds reader, occasional poster...

    I posted a message about a month or so ago, decided to get one of the gm vans (used, 99 - 01 extended). Taking my time looking, but have begun checking some out here & there

    Amusing to look over various websites where people post reviews of the really wonder how they can possibly be talking about the same vehicles! one will say "way underpowered" another will say "wonderful power." One will say "horrible engine/highway noise" another will say "its so quiet I can't tell its running." One will say "nothing but trouble" and outline about 50 things that have gone wrong in like, a year, and the next review will say "we've driven the heck out of this van for 3 solid years and the absolute only problem is a flimsy cupholder." And the list goes on & on......

    anyway, my questions for the gm van experts here: first, how much stock should I put in the edmunds website used car "custom appraisal" feature? I found a 99 sil. premier in really great shape, beatiful cond, runs great, well-maintained...however it has 66000 miles. the edmunds appraisal says (private party sale) should be ~$13600 (US), going down to ~13000 with the fairly high miles. I offered the guy 14000 (he's asking 16300), he said he'd go 15000 rock bottom...well heck! I don't know if 14 is 1000 bucks too much, or if 15 is a good deal! (he, of course thinks he's givin' it away for 15, lol)

    I guess where i'm coming from is, (besides edmunds quote) is that by the time our 36 month loan is paid off, this vehicle will be well over 100000 miles, at which point, imo, the trade in/resale value plummets, regardless of whether its still in great you all think $15000 is too much? edmunds prices are much more "real world" than kelly b.b., but that ($13000) almost seems a bit low.

    Question 2: I understand all 3 gm vans are mechanically pretty much identical, but are there fit & finish, build quality, etc. differences between chevy/pont/olds? (or should I just follow the old advice of getting one built on say, a thursday and not a monday!)

    thanks for any input!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Any idea how long the guy has been trying to sell the '99? He may come around to "our" way of thinking if he doesn't get any action for a couple of weeks. There's a lot of used cars out there due to the 0% financing. Try checking your local paper or car lots for some more comps too, and good luck.

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • I have a '99 Venture Ext. with 56,000 miles on it, power door, traction control, CD/tape etc. and would be happy to get 12,000 for it. I think your guy is way over priced. Seems like he is either upside-down on his loan or out to make enough $ for a downpayment on something else. Keep looking, there are tons of these vans coming off lease and dealers are only asking $14,000. My $.02 worth.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    I know he's been advertising that premier for at least 3 weeks...probably the only reason he went down to 15! I got the feeling that he's not too pressed, financially, to get rid of it. He'll probably just sit on it till someone gives him 15 or more... but maybe he'll get a harsh dose of reality, too!

    Comparable vans are priced around 16-ish...but most all of us who sell used vehicles in the classifieds play the game of pricing it 10 or 20 % over what you really want to get. Hard to tell what people are really getting versus what they were asking

    I think I've pretty much decided that unless he goes to 14000, I'll just look for a venture. For $15000 I can get a (00 or maybe even 01) venture with half-or-less that many miles. My wife is attracted to the leather & "gadgets" on premier, but I really couldn't care less--as long as i have ac & cruise I'm good (although honestly power windows are darn handy--and we did see a couple ventures without 'em!)

    In fact the "self-leveling" suspension feature on sil. worries me a bit, I've heard more than a couple horror stories over the years, of cars with that pneumatic suspension stuff (caddies, subarus, & others) where they start having problems with those compressors, valves, hoses & lines, and nobody can ever get the %@&;%$ thing working right again.

    So, the search continues! thanks for the input
  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    Just got my report from Blackstone. Oil has antifreeze in it. Not much, but it's there. They suggest I increase oil changes and try to live with it. Problem is, will it get worse? What is the big fix? Are there any little fixes?
  • mizeumlmizeuml Posts: 50
    I traded a '99 Montana back in June that was loaded and extended model. It had leather, traction control auto level, RH side power door and 73k miles. I got the dealer up to $12500 for the trade in and he is trying to sell it for $13900. The van was clean and I still have the GM 100k mile warranty that I could transfer to someone. You can do better if you look around. I live around Raleigh, NC.

    As for the auto level feature, the air compressor in the back is nice especially for blowing up tires. I have never had to use the spare tire, but it always seems to be flat and having the compressor would be nice. I never had any problems with the air shocks on the '99 Montana. I did not pull anything with the van, but I think that the auto level would be nice for that.

    We traded for '02 Montana. It is loaded and has the DVD/Montana Vision. This is awesome if you have young kids. Our 4 and 6 yr old don't fight in the van anymore. This van also has the auto level, so I'll post a message if I have any problems with it. The new van also has dual sliding doors, definitely a nice feature also.

  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    thanks mizeuml

    I think this guy took really meticulous care & maint of the van, and thinks that transfers to better resale $ (even w 66000 miles), which is true to a point--which is why I offered 14000 vs the 13 that edmunds said it was worth. regardless, I think thats water under the bridge.

    I am definitely looking at getting a vhs or dvd in whatever I end up with, with 3 young kids it may save whats left of my sanity!

    Re. the leveling shocks - I think I'm actually more concerned with that when a van gets up to 5 or 6 + yrs old--that's when those kind of things start wearing out & nobody can figure out how to get it fixed or rebuilt properly...people who only keep vehicles for a couple years probably won't have such worries. Not positive, but I seem to remember the "cartalk" guys saying one time to stay away from vehicles with leveling systems...

    we're gonna look at a couple ventures this weekend. Maybe offer a lady around $13500 for a nice 99, low mile, loaded venture we saw last weekend. She wanted $15500 and said she "wasn't prepared to go below 'bluebook' at this point." I started to tell her "well, bb isn't REALLY what you're probably gonna get..." but it was hopeless-her van was in good shape and by golly it was worth bluebook! lol

    I am getting psyched to get a van, though! I've had various subaru wagons, a couple SUV's, sport sedans, sports coupes, a couple motorcycles, etc., but never a van. despite the cliches about soccer moms & driving an emasculated vehicle, the darn things are big & tall & wide & roomy and you can get all the kids, dogs, junk & belongings in it, and that's what they're all about! and unlike say a suburban or exhibition - which i briefly considered - they don't get 10 mpg, which, even if i was a zillionaire, would just kill me!
  • pathy58pathy58 Posts: 15
    If the Silo is still there go back and give him one last offer. We just purchased the 02 Premier and have grandkids that only say " the movie is over Papa put another one in". My Son-in-Law cannot believe how quiet they are. Anyway any one of the three Chev, Pont or Olds will make you a great van. I prefer the Olds because in my opinion I think the ride is a little better. I have been a GM fan for a long time. I also run a OO Pathfinder and I love the 240 horses. Good Luck with whatever you purchase.
  • mmayermmayer Posts: 2
    Does anyone have a copy of TSB 01-01-38-010a? I have a one-year old 2001 Montana with about 8,000 miles on it. Ever since new I have had a problem with an intermittent noise like jackhammering or a really heavy rattle/rumble when the A/C is on, the rear a/c is on and the engine is idling and in gear. It will only do it if the engine is turning about 800 rpm or so, if I juice it up to 1000 or beyond it goes away. Of course, even with all the descriptions I give them the dealer "can't duplicate customer complaint" Even after I DEMONSTRATED it for them. I was looking at All Data and saw this TSB and figured it might be it. If anyone has any info, please let me know. Other than that, my wife loves the Montana.

  • mesazonemesazone Posts: 51
    With all these problems people seem to be having with the engines in the GM triplets, is there any hope GM will be smart and replace the 3400 engine with something new? It seems like these vans have had this engine with the same problems since their inception. I considered the Montana in 98 and 2000 but have decided to forgo for a couple more years. Maybe even just get the Excursion (or it's replacement) with the new 6.0 Powerstroke. We don't need one right now so I'm in no hurry.

  • jeberjeber Posts: 91
    what problems are being had? I am aware there is the mysterious coolant-loss thing people are having, but are these engines known for being problematic otherwise? I'm truly curious as I will be driving a gm van powered by said engine in the next week or two! In my fairly extensive research, I've not really found a common problem with the 3.4, certainly not along the lines of ford head problems or chrysler trans problems, but I'm open minded...

    but anyway, let me know - knowledge is power, & all that sort of thing - if I end up with van with a bit of warranty left, I'll be workin' hard to get whatever it is fixed for free!

  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    FYI - I got my '98 GLS olds in Jan 02, 62k miles. It has every option I think except the sunroof, and those are hard to find and not that desireable IMHO. I found the Olds to drive a lot better than the Pontiac I drove, but the tires were some cheap junk on the pontiac and nice michelins on the olds with the aluminum wheels. I guess the chassis is probably the same, except maybe shocks.

    The self-leveling is very nice I think, as with so much cargo capacity you may be empty one minute and full the next. Inflating stuff is also nice like soccer balls and tires. I don't think the system is very complicated. There's a sensor/computer for axle position, a compressor and some lines. It deflates and inflates all the time, even when I'm sitting on the back putting on cleats. Even my motherinlaw can sit in the rear and not sag the suspension! I specifically wanted a van with that option.

    As for complexity, I'd be more concerned about paint, crash damage, engine/transmission shape, leather wear and tear, electrical problems etc. The Body control computer is amazingly complicated and the service book on things like power door operation flowcharts take pages and pages and pages to troubleshoot, so I'd be more careful of electical problems.

    PS. my van was not a-1 condition (would not have made cut for dealer lot) but was very good and neighbors thought it was new, and I got it for $11k "as is". there were a few minor issues like outer tie rods, broken fog lights, a missing cover on the air compressor and some small wear on the seats, but we were going to use the pee out of it anyway, so price was good to me. And the thing drove like dream and was loaded with features.

    As for reliability, read this forum and you'll find a cross section. Occassional lemon and most people by the same van again, except with the DVD player for kids - that seems tobe a constant thumbs up! Mine is only 1 so we have a ways to go before I'll need to worryabout that.

    ps. I'd go EXT length, it drives about the same and you won't regret the extra room and its easy to park. REar passengers have legroom! Also go rear air for sure unless in cold climate.
  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    I forgot to say, I'd consider that fellow's trade in from NC for the $1500 diff and you know the history on the van is sound mechanically with remaining warrenty. But don't get 'hooked' one van, its very easy to do but there are lot on the market esp with the 0% rates out now.
  • jeberjeber Posts: 91

    we've definitely decided on extended - after our first look at a ventures several weeks ago, which was an ext and a non ext at a dealer, it was a no-brainer that we need extended

    I guess if self-level system is pretty simple it would be alright--I think some of the ones that had bad problems in years past (subaru & cadillac come to mind) were needlessly strange and complex--computer controlled, multiple rubber air bladders and such

    The van in NC is a little too far from southern colorado! lol
  • sintrasintra Posts: 15
    I just read your post about the Transport you saw in England. Well, I have a 1998 Opel Sintra (Vauxhall Sintra in the UK). It is one of the "triplets", built in Doraville, like the others, but with a Cadillac Catera engine (3.0 V6 but 201 hp).It is SWB. GM don't make them any more. Instead, in Europe they sell a Chevrolet Transport with the 3.4 V6. How about that, triplets ? no, quintuplets!
  • hhua1hhua1 Posts: 41
    Anyone ever notice this problem? This is the second time we notice that Our 00' Silo, 18K miles, has bad raw fuel fume coming from the area of the fuel line connector between the gas tank and the fuel filter. This only happens in hot weather, and the air conditioner was used. When I opened the gas cap there was also lot of pressure with raw fuel fume forced out. This odor more noticeable due to the van was parking in the garage. There are no signs of anything wrong, no check engine light, coolant level is normal, although engine compartment seems very hot.

    Any thought? Thanks in advance!
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Thanks Sintra for your note. Is this Chevy made in Europe or at Doraville.

  • sintrasintra Posts: 15
    This Chevy is also made in Doraville GA,it is a long wheel base only; they stopped making Sintras after selling 45000 of them only, in Europe.
  • offhamoffham Posts: 344
    Thanks Sintra;

    I did go to the Chevy site and put in a European Country and lists all the Chevy models available.

    The Transport is available everywhere, except the UK..due to left hand drive. Only the Corvette and Trailblazer are available in the UK.

    I wondered if the Chevrolet name in Europe as more "cache" than here..!

  • sintrasintra Posts: 15
    In France anyway, the name Chevrolet has no particular connotation. I think they chose it to name the minivan because it is better known over here than the other GM names. The previous Transport was called Pontiac though.
    I like my Chevy/Oldsmobile/Pontiac/Sintra very much. I have had it for four years now and I have had no problems apart from an early coolant leak on the water pump, fixed under warranty. It has done almost 50k miles. I particularly like the ride, the roadholding and the acceleration (201hp).It has an automatic gearbox and an auto levelling rear suspension as standard. I don't really know why they stopped making the Sintra, the official reason I read on the GM/Opel site is that the market in Europe was more in favor of smaller vans like the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira.(which they sell a lot, it is true) The German press said it was because of the rather poor crash tests results...They also made a Sintra with a 2.2l engine and a manual gearshift (my daughter has one, she lives in Luxembourg) and a diesel one. That's more than quintuplets now!
  • mesazonemesazone Posts: 51
    I have only heard of the coolant problems. I guess it just seems like there are a lot because so many complain about it. There are other problems with the Montana people have posted, but haven't heard about any of them for a while. Maybe those problems were corrected? Or people are getting them fixed? Like water in the back where the tire jack is, the compass/thermometer, power doors breaking and whatever else people were complaining about. Just my observations. I know that no matter what you buy, you will have problems and that is what the warranty is for.

  • dirkdaddydirkdaddy Posts: 313
    That would seem like a nice road trip, fro NC to CO! NC is very nice and a good way to see the country and get acquiainted with the new van! LOL. These things can go like 600 miles on a tankful, and are pretty comfortable, so it might not be as bad as you think!

    Good luck, agree on the EXT. There isn't much disadvantage to the longer van, except maybe if you have tight parking and don't need the room.

    ps. GM has used the rear self-leveling for years. My dad had a '88 pontiac 4 door with this feature, and it appears to be exactly the same underneath the car, and he's never had a lick of trouble with it. The same system has been used for many years by GM. I think it is not going to give you problems. The one thing I don't really care for is how bouncy the air shocks are, but the standard rear springs / shocks are really flabby and a worse option IMHO.

    pss. Thanks for the transmission information. I have the cold 'hard' 1-2 upshift but don't think its really worth fixing such a small problem that clears up when it heats up.

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