Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Pontiac Montana



  • philyuenphilyuen Posts: 4
    My 98 Montana has 9000 miles and has the following items fixed/replaced:
    1. Short on power door fixed.
    2. Front turn signal housing replaced
    3. 3rd row seat seatbelt fixed because it was blocking the seat from moving up.

    Watch out for condensation in the headlamp or turn signal. GM will replace them without asking any questions. Fix it before the warranty expire!
  • inuvikinuvik OregonPosts: 134
    I had a 1997 Transport. GM ended up buying it back under the lemon law in the state of Oregon. It was constantly in the shop. Door problems, door problems, door problems!!! ABS problems, electrical problems, transmission problems and to top it all off, the engine developed piston slap at less than 10000 miles and needed to be replaced.
    I had a 1994 MPV that I absolutely loved but had the new car itch. The Transport was thousands less than the Mazda. After litigation with GM, they cashed me out the full retail price of the Transport and I went back to Mazda. See my post in Mazda MPV topic #23.
  • dranoeldranoel Posts: 79
    I have a 1994 Transport w/60,000 mi. Original everything except tires, battery, and an a/c recharge. Electric side door--never a problem. Do I like it? It does it's job very well, I view it as a very good home appliance.
  • carmacgcarmacg Posts: 1
  • tmihotmiho Posts: 5

    Just a smidge over 1 year and 25k miles. Dealer warranty replaced headlamps with moisture, fixed right rear window electric motor (opener), but I paid for expensive micron airfilters replacement.

    Still love the vehicle. Runs super smooth at 80-90 mph and hauls wife's wheelchair, mine and my kid's rollerbaldes (et al), golf clubs, and stuff very nicely.

    NOTE: remember to close tailgate before pulling out of the garage. Back window is over $500.00. I guess that's what I get for being in too much of a hurry to get to work.

    I do like the specifications and articles regarding the new Odyssey. I'll consider it next purchase.

    PONTIAC: If someone from Pontiac reads these boards (they really should pay attention) please pass along the concept of Performance Mini-Van. Montana GTP, Borla exhaust, 17" grippers, 1 1/2" it and they will come.

    Pissed off a little 97 Mustang V6 the other night racing up a long two lane freeway on-ramp. Kept up with him for the first 1/8th then he sloooowly pulled away. I always floor it on on-ramps no matter what; I hate getting on a 65 freeway at less than 65. He just happened to be there next to me.

    Took a small trip to San Diego the other day. Buddy's Expedition can hold 7 people but no wheelchair. My van can hold 7 people AND the wheelchair. Granted, their shoulders are a little closer in the middle seat, but sheesh, you'd think the Ford Land-Yacht could carry the chair too. Plus I get way better gas mileage and it fits in the garage.

    Mini-Vans are the unsung hero of vehicles. They are able to do most things fairly well and are decent looking these days.
  • sherkhansherkhan Posts: 1
    We baught a '97 Trans Sport with 21K miles over a month ago. It is a short wheelbase. It now has 22.5K miles and the following problems:

    1. Moisture in headlamps & foglights
    2. Rear wiper & washer do not work
    3. Rattles and squeaks from rear door.
    4. Noises from rear windows
    5. Rear right seat does not slide
    6. Rear right power window does not work at times
    7. Slight jerks when moving forward in "D" (foot off the accelerator)
    8. Weather strip coming off on all doors.
    9. Brakes squeal
    10. Slight oil leak (don't know where)
    11. Right outside plastic trim loose.
    12. Slight rattle/ping when engine is started (lasts only for 1 to 2 secs)
    13. Slight hesitation moving forward
    14. Brakes act funny when the van is just started and I need to use brakes. Under normal driving they work fine. I am not sure if ABS is working properly.
    15. Strange noise while driving around 50 MPH. Seems to be comming from wheels. Can't figure out what exactly it is. sounds like "shuck....shuck...shuck"

    I must say that the fit & finish is very poor. The Van drives good. Let's see how well it does in the next 10 months before my waranty expires. I will get rid of it if problems persist and go with a Honda.

    Has anyone bought an extended waranty? Are they as good as the manufacturer's? Bumper-to-bumper? For how much?
  • rpdrrpdr Posts: 2
    I'm new to this and I'll make it short. Our '96 Cavalier z24 died on a road trip. We had it towed to a dealer and after a long "wake" listened to the mechanic's eulogy and started walking the lot looking for a car. Since the repairs necessary on the Cavalier put us upside down money wise our only real option was tacking the difference on a used car ($4000 !). This was especially discouraging since the most we planned to spend that day was lunch at Mcdonald's drive thru! We didn't like anything the dealer had. The sales mgr. said that several "program" vehicles were just purchased at auction and were on their way back to the dealership. We waited for a 98 Transport to arrive. When it did we were pleasantly surprised. It had 22000 miles on it and here are my initial impressions (we've had it a month and 2000 miles):

    1) It rides better than any car I've owned. Very quiet and very smooth.
    2) It has a real "peppy" feel. I've rented other brand minivans in the past that seemed to reluctantly lug you down the road. The Transport glides down the road effortlessly (is the tack there to brag about the small amount of RPM it takes to achieve speeds?) With a slight but pleasant bouncy feel on secondary roads.
    3) The driving position is exceedingly comfortable. Everyone seems happy with the rear seat comfort although I've only carried relatively average height females. At 5'10" I don't find the rear seats uncomfortable but they certainly don't envelop you. Is there any van where the seats recline all the way horizontal? That would be an improvement in the Transport.
    4) So far we are absolutely thrilled.
    5) We took it to a local Pontiac dealer when we got home and I've never had better treatment and timely service (Beamon Pontiac, Nashville)...they addressed the following:

    Brake pad replacement
    Headlamps replaced (moisture)
    Console squeak

    They provided me a car overnight and transportation back to work. I was amazed. I will keep y'all posted.
  • rpdrrpdr Posts: 2
    To SherKhan:

    Most everything on your list should be under warranty and much of it seems like neglect from a previous owner. This was the case in our vehicle and coincidentally we had the same "shuck shuck shuck" when driving and discovered it was a tire that had a puncture plugged may have the same problem.
  • KrachankoKrachanko Posts: 1
    I own a 98 Transport Montana with about 8K miles. I changed the oil myself for the first time a few weeks ago. The dealer did the first oil change. When the oil filter is removed, the oil runs down the front side of the engine and over some wire harness that is there. What a mess! I am wondering if there is a trick to removing the filter without creating the mess. Either someone at the dealer had a trick for doing this, or they were exceptional about cleaning it up (yeah, right). Has anyone else experienced this? Has anyone found a trick to remove the filter without the big mess? There is so little room in the vicinity of the filter I can't imagine trying to hang something to guide the oil away from the engine.
  • btiptonbtipton Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1999 transport which has leaked water through the roof by the overhead light by the rearview mirror. Has anyone else experienced this problem and have you had any feedback from your dealer or GM. My dealer is currently awaiting a response from GM as he has had 2 complaints about this problem.
  • No water in my lap Sir. But my window doesn't leak. Have the rear view mirror replaced so you can see behind you. Maybe the water is coming in there.
  • monerbmonerb Posts: 1
    We have had a few problems with our nasty Pontiac. Power door failing while open (couldn't get it shut manually by myself), wobbly headlights, and driver's seatbelt breaking. That all happened before the first 500 miles on our '99 Montana.
    We haven't had any problems since (we have 2500 miles on it now), but it has got to be the most uncomfortable car I've ridden in. We took a four hour drive to pick up a puppy, and it was horrendously uncomfortable. We had problems with our daughter's booster seat, the seatbelt clips sit way too low for my husband to reach easily-VERY frustrating. The lumbar support is in the wrong place (isn't it supposed to be for your LOWER back?) and if you have wide shoulders, forget it. The front seatbacks are extremely narrow at the top. I tried to get comfortable the whole trip, failing miserably. If I was comfortable on my lower back, my upper back hurt and vice-versa. Car butt set in after an hour. My husband and I were squirming the whole way.
    All I can say is that the phrase "I hate this van..." was uttered many times.
    It's a good thing the puppy was worth it....
    as for any other family trips, I told my husband I would follow in our '99 Hyundai Sonata- an absolutely wonderful car.
  • I have owned a 1990 Trans Sport for two years and absolutely HATE it and will trade it in tomorrow. It had 64K miles on it when I bought it and now has 84K. The door handles on the sliding door and passenger door have both failed and needed repair. The windshield washers, both front and rear, do not work. The distributor self-destructed. The front end has a thump in it when I go over bumps that two front-end shops have been unable to diagnose, including the Pontiac dealership. The radiator became totally plugged up. The water pump failed. The alternator failed. The exhaust system rotted out. Now one of the racks in the rack and pinion steering is leaking like a fishnet and will cost $500 to repair. Everything inside the car rattles like it is coming apart. The turn signal lever keeps coming off. Some of the seat belt buckles no longer work. The front seat belts no longer retract. The power seat switches are in such a stupid location that they have all been broken off. Other than all this, it STILL sucks.

    I would NEVER advise someone to buy one of these. All of these issues are related to inferior engineering and quality control, areas a manufacturer is not inclined to change. I won't even LOOK at a new one tomorrow.
  • In addition to the above post, the interior lights are wired wrong. Finally, going down a steep mountainous road, with 6 boy scouts in the van, the brakes overheated and TOTALLY failed, putting all of us at risk.

    I think that about covers everything.
  • dusterduster Posts: 37
    I own a 98 TRANS SPORT MONTANA, I think it was made on a Friday at 4:30 p.m.(around Happy Hour). I have 15,000mi on it. The power door broke down, brakes are terrible and have been repaired many times. Headlights replaced,trim broken off, driver door sticks. GM quality at its best!
  • mse1mse1 Posts: 2
    Welcome to the club.
    I hope some GM execs read these postings, along with others (Toyota, Honda, even Hyundai Sonata) and compare them. They will see how much people love and appreciate (NOT) their GM products as opposed to others.
    They need to get their act together and start producing quality stuff, not to mention better looking vehicles. The 2000 Chevys are horrendous.
  • Just bought a 1995 Trans Sport, and I am looking for any input.
  • pepinopepino Posts: 1
    Have a 96 Transport with 22,000 miles, needed to have gasket replaced on intake manifold, leak antifreeze. Very convenient, but a little top heavy. We like it, looking to purchase a new Montana.
  • We are looking to buy a minivan this week and have narrowed it down to the 1999 Montana, Windstar and Grand Voyager Expresso. Any input? How reliable is Pontiac? Will it last me 10 years?
  • mse1mse1 Posts: 2
    It might last ten years, but if you read a lot of these entries, not without many assorted and varied problems.
    I regret my Montana purchase. Sounds like you want an American made van. Well, the MPV has a Ford engine....
  • daverosedaverose Posts: 233
    We just bought a 99 Oldsmobile Silhoutte regular wheelbase for $250 UNDER invoice, financing 100% with GM at 0% interest for 3 years; an interest savings of between $3 and 4 thousand. While we did not look at the Pontiac sister vehicle, the Montana, I like the cladding all around the bottom, which could help it last 10 years for you. We have 2,000 miles on Bubble, my wife's name for the vehicle, reminiscent of he mechanic grandfather's calling the line "Oldsmobubble." The acceleration is wonderful. Except for the poor locations of the cupholders, of the CD of our cassette/CD configuration, and the absence of a light under the hood, it's a nice vehicle. We've taken it on two trips. I understand the seat fabric and padding and suspension tuning are different between these GM sisters, but my wife and I liked it in the Chevy Venture we tested and, of course, on our vehicle.

    We still own a 1987 Dodge Caravan (one of the Voyager's sister vehicles) 2.6 Mitsubishi 4-cylinder engine, regular length with just over 142,000 miles. We had to replace the airconditioning compressor, but have had no other major problems. My wife's brother's family is on their third Caravan (second Grand) since 1981, so they seem pleased with the line.

    My wife could not comfortably fit behind the wheel of a 99 standard length Caravan which we were offered for $800 UNDER invoice. (A check with the Edmund's site at the time showed us that Chrysler was offering dealers something like a $700 to $900 icentive on their mininvans, which I seem to recall doesn't expire until September 30.) She could fit in a Grand Caravan and it was offered at the same $800 under invoice, but we don't need a vehicle that large and we didn't want to pay the additional.

    We were very impressed by the features of the Windstar in an afternoon look and short test drive, but it was considerably more expensive than the others and only comes in the longer length. I've read other postings in the Town Hall that cite engine noise and engine failures in the Windstar.

    I would not dismiss the complaints about any vehicle you see in the Town Hall, but we Americans do tend to complain loudly and vehemently and complement softly, when we complement at all. So factor that in your thinking.

    In your quest (no double-meaning intended) just remember to offer low. Good luck.
  • tom3ktom3k Posts: 91
    With the possible exception of the Windstar, those vehicles might make it 10 years, but I wouldn't bet on it. Had been seriously looking at the Montana. Liked the acceleration and the seating configuation. Found a used '99 (yes, '99)Montana with all the right options (rear a/c, 8 passenger, even the right shade of red) below market at a credit union sale a couple of months ago. Were nearly ready to buy until we asked ourselves "will it last 10 years?" The immediate response was "probably not". We ordered a Honda Odyssey the next day.

    Good luck on your search.
  • We previously owned a 1995 Pontiac Transport and after 4 years and 54000 miles we traded it for a 99' Olds Silhouette. The Pontiac had only one Problem, the first 439 miles the Oxygen sensor went out but thats the only problem we had with it, Good Luck
  • Wish I had more. Maybe I wish I had less. Can offer that a bought a used 96 Transport with 67,000. Rotors shot. Rear power hatch solenoid shot. Side power door does not respond occasionally. Is otherwise solid. I think so anyways. Any ideas why the side power door sometimes won't operate? Is it the solenoid here too?
  • We live in an area where 4WD is a must on occasion. (In colorado on a BIG hill). How well does the traction-control option work? Should I stick with conventional 4WD vehicle??
  • I just bought a 1998 TransPort. So far every thing seems OK. I have 6000 miles left on factory warranty. There is moisture in one headlight and the moulding around power sliding door is broke, hope the warranty will take care of this.

    My wife loves to drive it. She said it drives better than our 88 Astro.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Mgdevault, sorry I don't know how well the traction control works. I can tell you, if you buy a new vehicle, you should equip it with a set of dedicated snow tires during the winter time. In your area of town, this already may be the consensus, I don't know.

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • I am looking for ideas for protecting the floor
    of my new minivan. The kids play soccer, ski and
    are often muddy.
    Email me at or post here.
  • Check out WeatherTech floor and cargo area mats. I have them on my Sienna (for over a year) and have been extremely pleased. My kids have been in the van with muddy/slushy boots and the flooring still looks brand new.

    I know there are several vendors for WeatherTechs. I got mine at

    (I also emptied 4 cans of Scotchguard in the van the day after I got it )
  • You can also use throw rugs. A friend of mine used them in her jeep. She said they worked great. When they get dirty she put them in the washer/dryer and reinstalled. I plan to try them in my Pont. Transport I just brought. Hope this might help.
Sign In or Register to comment.