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Chevy Venture Engine Problems



  • Hello
    will try this again new to this site and some how lost first message was posting .. so if it shows up twice my apologies.
    I wanted to know what other year of ventures or montanas my 2001 3.4 motor and transmisson will swap into. or just the motor if it fits the other transmissons of other yrs.
    thank you for any information I can get on this .

  • russ23russ23 Posts: 25
    I installed a 2000 Venture engine in my 1998 Venture. I had to strip the new engine down to the block and heads and reuse most of the original parts such as exhaust manifold, intake manifold w/fuel injection system, all sensors and engine mounts. The vehicles below use the LA1 engine that are probably interchangeable with some exceptions. In the case of the transmission, the same transmission was used in the 1997-98, but it changed in 1999 and I do not think you can interchange a 99 into a 97-98. You can call a transmission shop and they can probably tell you what will work since they order replacement trans.

    LA1 [taken from Wikipedia]

    The LA1 3400 ("E-code") was a bored-out version of the 3100. It retained the OHV layout of the previous engine, and was first utilized on the 1996 U platform minivans. Output for the 3400 is 180 hp (134 kW) and 205 lb·ft (278 N·m).

    1996 Chevrolet Lumina APV
    1997-2005 Chevrolet Venture
    1996-2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette
    1996-1998 Pontiac Trans Sport
    1999-2005 Pontiac Montana
    1999-2005 Oldsmobile Alero
    1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
    2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
    2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    2001-2005 Pontiac Aztek
    2002-2005 Buick Rendezvous
  • nacolejnacolej Posts: 2
    Hey what was your resolution?I am having the same problems you described in you post. I have had 2 radiators, 2water pumps,2thermostats, hoses replaced and cooling temp I'm overheating again. I'm not in a position to purchase another vehicle. I'm curious about what happened next in you case?
  • khulaid2khulaid2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 that has the same issue. it comes and goes now. ive changed the thermostat and waterpump as well. Pressure test your rad to make sure there are no pin hole leaks. Air pockets will also cause an overheat issue as well with air bubbles gathering at the temperature sensor head. Make sure all the air is bled completely out of the system. If the problem persists i might suspect that you have the common Head gasket problem.
  • markbsharamarkbshara Posts: 5
    edited March 2012
    Tiny crack in head gasket . I fixed it and changed to green water the car now runs great.
  • Honestly, I was still having problems with the van, so, I traded it in two weeks ago for a Toyota Highlander...only got $500 trade in...
  • nacolejnacolej Posts: 2
    Hey how did you fix it?
  • I changed head gasket....
  • dmosserdmosser Posts: 4
    I sold it to carmax.
  • This last week I changed a 3.4L in a 2002 Venture. The engine will come out and go in through the top. You need 2 guys who have experience in engine changes, and they have to be particularly careful around the windshield. You need to remove window washer tank, overflow tank, breather assembly and windshield wiper assembly. Tie the hood back as far as possible. Hook up engine hoist and disconnect engine. Have one guy raise the engine while the other moves the top of the engine with a pry bar, then it's simply lift and adjust. It's a tight fit, but engine will go come out and go in in this fashion.
  • jim_downsjim_downs Posts: 1
    check your tps(throttle position sensor) pull it out and check to see if it has carbon build up
  • We have had some bad luck recently with our 2003 Chevy Venture LT with 83,000 miles on it. We bought it in 2008 with 42,000 miles on it and paid to have a really nice DVD system put in it. We have had very little problems. We have had to replace both wheel bearings and have had an issue with an a/c line leak. Other than that the van was great and we loved it. Unfortunately while I was on the highway the other day the temp gauge got up to almost red and I smelled coolant so pulled over quickly and shut van off. There was a engine hot code that came up too but don't remember exactly what it said. My husband came and took a look at it. There was coolant on the ground so he added coolant even though he couldn't find where it was leaking from. We got almost back to our exit and had to pull off again b/c it started over heating again and then didn't start anymore. Long story short, we ended up paying to have it towed to our house. After later inspection of oil pan my husband said he saw coolant in there. Which led him to believe the head gasket blew. My husband has always done the repairs on our vehicles including replacing a motor in my old 98 Jeep Cherokee which to this day is still running for someone else...I was wondering if anyone agrees with my husband on this. He feels its not worth fixing and we need to buy something else. Here's the big issue, we still owe $2000 on it! Don't know if any auto dealer will accept it as a trade. We would have to tow it there and hate to have the negative equity rolled on to new vehicle. I did a Kelly Blue Book estimate on it's worth before the head gasket situation and it said it was worth around $6000. Didn't know if trying to sell it out right to someone mechically savvy would be the way to go but still would have to roll negative equity into newer vehicle. Any advice or opinions appreciated. Thanks! FYI my husband said we are never buying a Chevy again! Looking at Dodge and Chrysler vans, both more money than we want to spend, of course!!!
  • wintersetwinterset Posts: 4
    I am a shadetree mechanic. I am so proud that I decided to do the headgasket job on my 2002 chevy venture (I am the original owner). I did the job back in Jan 2011. most of the work is done from the top (except unbolting the exhaust pipe from the engine). take your time, GM gasket, new GM head bolts, and a good torque wrench, and about $20 in some speciality sockets (low clearance 10mm, and some deep sockets) that were not part of my husky set from Home Depot. Take your time, and torque according to GM specs. also get the heads machined and cleaned to remove the warp. If your van has been so good, (as mine has been), give it a chance and repair it. as it's worth about $200. Also yours was used, and who knows what the previous owner did to it. Mine overheated because of a leaky water pump. I was sick for a few years, and the wife ignored the issue. Plenty of how to's on youtube. the job took me 25 hours total and cost $450 for the gasket set, bolts, O rings, plugs & wires. resurfacing the heads cost $250 on top of this price. I know my engine is good now, and I have no problem taking my van anywhere.
  • guys i work at a car dealer and i own one of these doomed ventures. one of the techs told me that if you own a venture its not a matter of if but when with these. if your van is overheating and you are losing coolant it's a 99% chance it's a bad head gasket. if it's leaking out keep putting water in or coolant and you can be ok for a while. we used some blue devil or something like that stuff on mine and it didn't really work. but they are known for bad head gaskets. g.m. should do something for us. i've met 5 people that have had ventures since i've bought mine and they all had the exact same problem.
  • Hi guys. I have a 98 chevy venture and i been reading everybody topic but i still haven't found an answer to the big problem of the overheat. my car was overheating and it cause me lots of heartache. my tranny went and i had to get it rebuilt then the headgasket went so i had to get my heads done but the major problem that i haven't seen yet is are your fans turning. my fans don't turn on until it get 3/4 till it hits the red mark. i change the thermostat 3 time i change the waterpump twice, i had the coolent system flush but it still didn't solve my problem which is why the fans don't turn on. i had to unplug the thermostat harness and the fans turn on on high when i start the car and stay on. it help because now it don't overheat but i have the check engine light on. can so one figure how to fix his problem so i don't have to leave the thermostat unplug. Thanks so much to all of you out there.
  • russ23russ23 Posts: 25
    Man, you are a glutton for punishment!! Okay, I feel the pain, too, I have a 1998 Venture also. I solved the pain by installing a used engine at 125k. I have the set of factory service manuals and they do not make it easy for troubleshooting the cooling fans. The data is too much to paraphrase here so I can only give you some basics. The engine computer (PCM) operates the fans by opening and closing the ground for the fans. The PCM will command the low speed fan to come on when coolant temp exceeds 221 degrees. The fan will come on whenever you turn on the A/C. I am going to make a guess your A/C does not work. If that is true the two may be related as far as high speed fan operation. The fan will also operate with the engine off when the engine coolant temp is over 140 degrees. The PCM will ground all 3 engine coolant fan relays when the coolant temp is 235 degrees or the A/C pressure is too high. The PCM receives the temp data from the engine coolant temp sensor ECT. That sensor is located near the thermostat. There is also a coolant temp fan switch which operates the fan when temps exceed 230 degrees. I could not find that switch, so I believe it may be the same as the ECT. You also have 2 fuses that power the fans. To get a handle on this you need a scanner to see if the low speed fan comes on at 221 and high at 230 to 235 degrees. Without the scanner there is no way to see what the computer is seeing to begin diagnostics. That leaves you to the mercy of the local GM dealer to troubleshoot for you. Another issue is that it is obvious DEXCOOL anti-freeze has failed and probably wiped out your radiator and possibly the heater core. Look in the radiator, do you see a lot of brown mud? If so it is highly suspect. It is close to impossible to clean out the mud as EPA has banned all the stuff that used to work. There is anther option all parts houses sell after market radiator coolant fans. These fans are controled by a simple temp sensor and relay that goes to the battery. This will bypass the engine computer and operate the fans as needed. Unfortunately the Check Engine Light will stay on until your fix this.
  • smack8smack8 Posts: 1
    I had the same problem what it is these engines are pron to leak at the intake manifold i did the work my self & had heads redone also but the leak was in the intake manifold gasket i did the work with only a few tools 4 p-t days to take apart 4 p-t days to reassemble it's a lot of work but saved 2200 dollars.
  • I have been nursing my '00 Venture's(115k) head gasket leak for 2 years now. 4 yrs ago I had the intake manifold gasket replaced. Having the head gasket replaced for 2k was more than I could bare. Every 6 months or so I put in Bar's head gasket sealer(the one where you have to drain the anti freeze, not merely add to it). It's like a fibrous liquid with bits of a copper looking metal. I have been driving it locally this way for about 20k miles. The oil has been visibly ok, but I do have to add a small amount of coolant half way between my sealer treatments(if I want it at the correct level). But I probably could make it the full 6 months without adding. So although it seems not to be a "like new" fix, it can keep the car going to get back and forth from work if it's your only option. And as I found out the hard way, make sure you burp the air out of the system when refilling the coolant or she'll overheat. Also, do not use that orange dex-cool crap. That's the stuff that got us all in this mess in the first place. I'd like to add, for the first time in 2 yrs I took the car out of state this month on 2 separate 400 mi round trips. I held my breath and kept one eye on the temp gauge waiting for disaster. It made it home. But I saw and smelled anti freeze in my driveway and thought I finally blew that gasket out. Turned out the water pump started leaking, and probably while I was driving home.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Any time your Check Engine lights comes on, it will store a code in the vehicle's main computer. Many places, such as AutoZone parts stores, will read the computer codes for free and you can then review the codes online.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • Hey Kellermeier, or anyone else who has tried this:

    I'm having the exact same issue with a 2002 Chevy Venture, seems like there is this steam pressure buildup in the cooling system that prevents the water pump from moving coolant through the cooling system. I tried installing the maid-o-mist #78 with great expectations but nothing! It did not vent any steam at all, and the van is exhibiting the exact same problems. I need help! I just need something that will vent steam and not allow coolant to exit, a sort of purge system. The van runs fine when you purge the steam, the temp stays normal and the heat works, but as soon as the steam builds up it goes wonky again. Help!!!
  • Change the head gasket main one .
  • davy2davy2 Posts: 3
    Have you check the relays insiode the fuse box. There are two different ones that control the fans. Hi, low, and AC. If you turn your AC on they should both kick in. Try flipping them first, then replace 1 at a time....
  • Hello and thanks for your post.
    I was hoping you can clarify something for me.

    You indicated that you installed a 2000 Venture engine in your 1998 Venture.

    But then you say:

    “In the case of the transmission, the same transmission was used in the 1997-98, but it changed in 1999 and I do not think you can interchange a 99 into a 97-98.”

    So I am a little confused. If the transmissions are different then how did you install a 2000 into a 98?

    Also is it possible for you to indicate what specifically makes them incompatible with the different transmission? If it is just a matter of the lower end of the engine having a different connection to the tranny and is it possible to use the 98’s during the rebuild?

    I thank you ahead of time for any help you can offer!
  • russ23russ23 Posts: 25
    The engine is called a LA1 by GM. That engine fits a bunch of front wheel drive vehicles I noted in my post from 1997-05. The transmission for the first Venture/Silhouette/Montana vans were called 4T60E. In 1999 GM went to a 4T65E. The differences were a bigger torque converter (245mm to 258mm), different internal electronics, different final drive gearing and different valve body. None of that changed the configuration of the outer transmission bellhousing which married to the LA1 engine. I recommend you go to WIKIPEDIA and do a search on CHEVROLET VENTURE and you will see everything in gory detail. Click on the engine and transmission to see what I am talking about. In short the engines are interchangeable from 97-05 BUT the transmissions are not. I am not an expert on transmissions, so from what I read there are 12 different final drives in the transmissions so even through the engines are interchangeable, the transmissions are very specific to the car. In installing the 2000 engine into my 1998 I stripped the engine down to just the heads and block and had to reuse all the 98 intake, fuel injection with injectors, exhaust manifolds and old sensors. That really hurt to have to discard newer parts in favor of the old parts, but that is what it took.

    Since the discussion centers on transmissions I do not have any experience with the newer 4T65E trans. My old 4T60 E is absolutely flawless and shifts like the day it was installed at the factory. I have 176,000 miles on it and it runs circles around the two Fords (F150/Lincoln) my family runs. Those are somewhat clunky on shifting and both those vehicles have had transmissions rebuilt. The F150 at 62k and the Lincoln at 100k. Ford does not know how to build a transmission, but their engines last. In the case of GM the engines seem to be like Ford transmissions. So in the end there are both about the same.
  • Thank you for taking the time to respond. The way I read your original post I misunderstood what you where saying. So in short the LA1will fit a 97-05 chevy venture but not the same for the transmissions.
    This leaves me with one last question:
    When I go to buy the master rebuild kit do I get one for a 98 or a 2000 engine?
    I found a large price difference between the two.
    My first thought is to get a 98 kit as you noted all the old parts from your 98 had to be used on the 2000 block.
    Is this correct?

    Thank you again!
  • russ23russ23 Posts: 25
    I cannot help you on this. If you have a 1998 engine you need to get 1998 parts. Just because the engine fits from 1997 to 2005, does not mean the internals such as rocker arms, cranks, piston rings, bearings will not be different. I did mention in going from a 1998 to a 2000 engine I had to use all the old external parts such as exhaust, fuel rails and injectors, etc. Those old parts bolted on just fine with NO parts left over. I got burned trying to rebuild my 1998 engine. Threw a ton of money at it just to change out the cam bearings and when done it leaked oil horribly. I trashed that engine and got a 2000 Venture engine out of the junkyard and I have been happy every since. Have 40,000 miles on it and it does not use oil and 19 mpg. You would have to look at the parts listing for both engines and compare to see the difference. I strongly recommend NOT rebuild a 1998 engine. Too many things to go wrong and a ton of cost for proper machining. You should be able to get long blocks for under $2000 which is probably cheaper than trying to rebuild it yourself. Since the external parts on the 1998 are different from the 2000 that also meant the gaskets would be different as well.
  • luis1234luis1234 Posts: 1
    edited September 2013
    i bought two chevy ventures i fixed both from head gaskets they over heated!!!.....but both did the same thing i fixed put every thing back and now wont start turns over but wont start funny they both did the same thing!!!....aaaaaggggggh!!.....its frustrating cant figure it out and now one of them does not show check engine light it wont come on cant figure it out i thought it was computer,gas pump,well any one has a clue plz reply plz!!!......... :confuse:i have two vans not running all i did was change the head gaskets did not hange any thing else!!!?
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