Howdy, Stranger!

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

Pontiac Montana



  • Has anyone gone to arbitration against GM, I have
    a 98 Trans Sport (Montana) with a lot of brake
    problems. I am using the BBB Autoline service
    in the back of the owners manual.
    Any feedback would greatly help.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 764
    Duster, since arbitration is a general vehicle issue, you might want to get more exposure by posting in the Smart Shopper conference. Check out the topic list, then create your own topic if you don't find one similar.

    Here is one where you might get some helpful information:

    Buying a Lemon

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • looked at a 96 pontiac transport 40103 mi that has a 2ft. section of paint above the front wind shield missing down to bare metal used car manager thought a car wash caused the problem salesman thought the factory didn't prime it right before it was painted. also notice all 3 wipers have paint missing on 75% of the wiper arms also quite rusty on the front frame under vehicle he claims that normal anyone got answers help Diehard
  • ok2ok2 Posts: 3
    We bought the transport because of the powerful engine and excellent/flexable seating. But our experience has not been a good one. We just traded it in on a new 2000 MPV. The Pontiac had 96000 miles on it. Here is list of the things that I can remember going wrong with it. When it was new it had several little fit and finish problems and the brake rotors were warped. Under warranty the alternator went out (while on vacation), the air conditioning went out, and there was a clunking in the front end (This took several trips to dealer). Out of warranty, 2 more alternators (about $300 without labor, EGR valve (about $170 w/o labor), Oxy sensor ($50), rear exhaust manifold ($400 with labor), 2 sets of plug wires, 3 sets of plugs, a plastic coolant fitting that broke and caused the engine to overheat, front brake calipers (about $200 w/o labor), one door handle, 2 window latches, the drivers door pull came off (repaired myself with out parts), And also a transmission at 83,000 miles ($1500). These are just the things I can remember off the top of my head. I was a GM fan but no more. Liked GM because my 89 Chevy C1500 pickup with 146,000 miles on it has been very, very reliable. no major problems at all. Still on the original clutch. But I have no faith in GM making a good car outside of maybe a Cadillac.
  • gkarggkarg Posts: 230
    I was browsing the Insurance Institute's crash tests and was horrified when I saw the Transport's results! The Astro van was as bad, if not worse...GM has really got to put some serious effort into refining the structure of these vehicles! Even the Cadillac Seville did poorly!
  • After 3 Dodge Minivans since 1988 and 2 rebuilt transmissions, I've thrown away my Dodge Salesman's business card. No more! This past week I bought my wife an Extended '99 Montana program van that seems like it will really fit the bill for us.

    I haven't given the dealer their money yet and glad it's that way. I discovered an oil leak, so it's at the shop today. It seems like I've heard of this complaint with similar GM vans but I can't remember if it's a problem that keeps recurring or not. Anyone have any oil leak horror stories? (hope not)
  • After 3 Head Gaskets, 1 Radiator, and now 1 Transmission problems with our 95 Windstar, which only has 72K miles on it. I'm now thinking of buying a new van before I find any more problems with the Windstar. Has anyone had any good experiences with their 98 or 99 Vans? Please let me know! Thanks!
  • We own a 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette GLS, and we have the same oil leak problem! I took it in on Dec. 1 and they said that hte place that i get the oil changed spilled oil all over and that is what was leaking, I crawled under there and the oil isn't coming from the oil pan or plug rather maybe a bad gasket around the top of the oil pan?
    Does that sound familiar?
    Let me know what your dealer says!
  • dusterduster Posts: 37
    I bought a new Pontiac in March of 1998,
    The master cylinder was replaced at 2,900 miles.
    I had lots of brake problems with the van. I finally gave up after 11 tries to fix it and
    with 18,000 miles on it I went to arbitration
    and won GM bought my van back. I bought a 1999
    Nissan Pathfinder used, and am very happy with it.
    I had a terrible experience with GM, they don't
    care if you can stop the van or not. The service
    manager said everything was fine. However, an independent expert hired by the BBB found otherwise. I hope GM gets there act together one day but today is not the day.

    I hope all of you have better luck than I did.
    Stay away from the GM trio if possible.
  • maximamaxima Posts: 19
    when my family leased a 1996 pontiac trans sport it had a oil leak the first day we brought it home and it stayed in teh shop for 2 days and we got a caliver coupe for the 2 days which totally sucks
  • we bought a 1996 transport on 9/11/99 with 52178 mi on it we have two months and 6000 mi and the motor blew.Chev dealer said no motors to be found. we are on a waiting list of 2000 motors we startrd at 25 motors.what wrong with this picture.I THINK GM NEED TO GET OFF THERE [non-permissible content removed] AND DO THERE JOB RIGHT>

  • i have just acquired a 1990 trans sport se from a family member. it has 162k but runs very well and rides smoothly...just one problem...
    the engine idles rough when you first start it. if you let it run for 30-60 seconds, it smooths-out and runs beautifully. It does not seem to matter if it is 15 or 95 degrees outside and it happens every time you start the engine. cold or at running temp. would the oxygen sensor be causing this??? any other ideas.
    the compression is good on all 6 cyls and there are no apparent vacuum leaks.
    any input would be greatly appreciated
  • insc007,check ISC motor-(idle speed control motor)
    it may not be extending and retracting properly, with that much mileage, check for carbon buildup in the isc passage. Also have the coolant sensor checked, and if equiped, check MAT SENSOR, (manifold air temperature sensor), if you feel confident enough to do it yourself, just replace those 3 items, the oxygen sensor most likely is not the problem with the initial 2 minutes of running , but keep in mind its a good rule to replace oxygen sensor no less than every 60k miles, for the best gas mileage and efficiency, I hope this helps, E-mail me if you need more input
  • I am wondering if anyone has heard of a recall on the windshield wipers of the Pontiac Transport?

    I have had a problem with the wipers quitting during 2 different rain storms. They just stop in the middle of their cycle.

    Has any body else had this problem also?
  • Since it was suppose to be the same system that the Aztek/Rendevous uses (and I have not heard of a problem with ordering them), and it is featured in the 2002 brochure, I'm just guessing it is a delay.
  • Heard all of the complaints, but also so saw
    "a couple" of good ones for the Trans Sport.
    I found an absolutely gorgeous '94 Trans (V6 3.8 eng) that is dark green with gold 2-tone. Rides like new from what I can tell and very clean inside and out.
    Would seat the whole family nice for $9388.00
    or should I buy that '94 Trooper (partial to Isuzu's) for 8K already?
  • Dannoel1, I had problems with my 91 Transport wipers quitting. I check the motor (it was ok) and the switch (seemed ok). The problem was the motor was not properly grounded to its hood support even though the motor mounting bolts were tight. I fixed the problem by running a wire with electrical spade terminals on both ends from the wiper motor body (slipped between one of the bolts and slipped the terminal in) to a ground strap mounting location near the hood light. The ground straps are flat, braided wires used for grounding electrical components, especially important for composite car bodies (91 Transport were composite). E-mail:

  • I've taken a really quick look at the previous posts in this category... and I thought I should add my 2 cents worth.

    I really love our 1998 Montana van. We bought it over two years ago in January 1998. It presently has 60,000 kms on it (about 40,000 miles). It takes me to and from work every day (mostly moderately busy highway driving)and has done a number of 4-5 hour out of town trips. Even at two years old it is still a really nice looking van - some people even mistake it for a new van (surprising considering the mileage!)

    It is fully loaded with just about every option that was available at the time (with the exception of the child seats - we have the 4 captain chairs configuration).

    I find it to be very comfortable and easy to drive . It is my very first van, and I found the adjustment to it to be quite easy. It drives well in any weather condition (rain, snow).

    We've experienced no serious problems with it - so far everything that has been done has been normal maintenance. The only real problem with it is the power door - it is overly sensative. It will sometimes (maybe 15% of the time) refuse to shut even though nothing is blocking the door; 95% of the time it will then shut on the second attempt. Very rarely it has to be "manually convinced" to shut (by me holding onto the door and refusing to let it reopen!). Of course, it never exhibits this "bad behavior" when we take it in for maintenance :-)

    We've also had an excellent experience with the dealer who is looking after the regular maintenance (City Pontiac in Toronto, Ontario). They treat us so well, and have always gone out of their way to make sure that we were satisfied with our vehicle. This is such a huge contrast with the Dodge dealership that serviced our previous vehicle.

    In short, I would highly recommend this van!
  • Glad to hear that you're so happy with the van!
    We just ordered a new Montana last month, and
    we're in Toronto as well... didn't get it at City
    though, bought it at Marvin Starr... it was great to hear that you find City to be good for service,
    just in case we run into problems later, with
    I was happy to hear that driving it as a new van owner was easy, too; this is our first time as well, and I'm used to a small cavalier wagon, I have been a little concerned about the transition!

    Keep us posted, now that you're almost POST warranty, about how the van does, K?
    I'm really not sure whether or not we'll purchase the extended warranty, but since we'll probably keep this van, for about 10 years, (Hopefully!) I think it would be wise...
    so many expensive repairs to these things now! IE:
    ABS brakes.

    Great info, glad I caught your letter!
  • When i brought my van in for an oil change the mechanic (?) said these are a pain for them to change the oil filter cause you gotta turn it upside down ( while it's full of oil) to screw it in. So, lots of oil spills on the suspension rail and drips for a while.

    Make sure that's NOT the cause for the (leak)!
  • sharynt1sharynt1 Posts: 9
    I own a '97 Trans Sport and it also has that renowned oil leak problem. I read some posts a while back about how to remedy this and now I can't locate them. I take the van in Tuesday to the dealer. Can anyone please e-mail me ASAP to let me know where the mechanic needs to focus? My address is: Otherwise, the only other problems I've had are minor: rear view mirror (interior glass) fell out (!) and the brakes squeal (typical GM). I love the mileage (23 - 24 mpg mostly stop-n-go), Chrysler vans ride smoother, but the Pontiac out performs them and out handles them IMO. Love the versatility and appearance and toys. Also very happy with the dealership and great salesman! Highly recommend Marlow-Werner Pontiac in Punta Gorda, FL and ask for Art Devlin. He doesn't jerk you around and that's important, especially to a woman who hates to haggle. I got the extended GM warranty and glad I did. I think it's a good investment and can pay for itself in one major repair. Doesn't have the spit and polish of Japanese vehicles (although I once bought a new Honda that turned out to be one big lemon), but I'm hoping it will last 100,000+ miles.
  • sharynt1sharynt1 Posts: 9
    Also, I want to address the Lemon Law and arbitration issue. I just went through it with a Chevy Metro I purchased. It had brake problems from early on and after 5 attempts to repair, it was no better. The GM rep. was WONDERFUL. She was very sympathetic and cooperative. The villain was the lousy service dept. manager at the dealership. After going through the BBB arbitration, I was awarded a "buy back" and GM was great to deal with in this regards. No hassle. Very nice and prompt. I bought another GM product (the Metro was actually a Suzuki) and am writing a letter of recommendation for the rep. who handled my case so professionally. In retrospect, I once had a Ford Bronco II that had steering problems. Ford was just AWEFUL to deal with and I ended up trading the lemon in when I got no satisfaction from Ford and felt unsafe driving it. That turned me against Ford products.
  • mikek2mikek2 Posts: 5
    After reading many posts in this conference and consulting many used car books it seems that if you are going to buy a used van the Lumina APV/Transport is a good buy especially with the 3.4 litre engine. (other than hard to find Toyota or Honda vans) So I am the proud owner of a 1996 Lumina APV. I took it on a 1400 km road trip immediately after picking it up. (I got a tuneup and complete new front brakes - badly warped rotors) as part of the deal. It handled perfectly and so far am very happy with it.
  • blueseatblueseat Posts: 8
    I have a 92 transport since new and 8 years later it now has a new transmission, radiator, alternator, water pump, belts, battery, driver seat belt, shocks/struts and 4 new tires, rotors turned again at 84,000 miles. 3.8 still performs fine and returns over 20 mpg.
    With what I have invested and what this vehicle is worth, I will be keeping it until 160,000 miles now...
  • Hi;
    Another owner here. I had the oily leak and $800 later its fixed. Lower intake manifold. Lots of gaskets got changed.

    On going problem. The van loses power when driving along. (not when flying over 100 km/hr). It kind of hesitates, bogs etc, never dies. One earlier posting mentioned the oxygen sensor.

    Any suggestions
  • I recently purchased a 1997 Pontiac Trans Sport Montana edition. It is a beautiful van and I have no complaints. I have a question for fellow Montana owners who have the Traction Control System option. The vehicle manual reads that if you turn off the Traction Control System (TCS) using the on/off switch located on the center console, then the TCS warning light should come on (located to the right of the speedometer on the display panel)To advise that the TCS is disengaged. I took it to the dealership because this was not occurring and they advised that the manual is wrong, and that the TCS warning light will only come on if there is a problem with the TCS. Can anyone out there advise who is correct? Thanks in advance.
  • ewlewl Posts: 2
    I have a '92 Trans Sport SE, which I dearly adore. (Forget the styling jokes- I prefer to think of it as a mini van with an attitude). Nevertheless, it may be time for something new. After some cursory investigation, I'm considering a Montana; my sister is trying to persuade me to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I've driven hers on a long trip, which was fine- and it is cute. However, it doesn't have nearly the storage capacity my Trans Sport does; nor does it seem to get quite the gas mileage of my Trans Sport. Further, my sister claims the Crash Test Dummies don't do too well in the Montana, although I can find no evidence of that. I suppose my question is: Am I going in the right direction exploring the purchase of a Montana?
  • todobomtodobom Posts: 4
    Unless it's changed between the 97' and 00' model years, the TCS light should be ON when you turn the switch on the console OFF. Further, the 00' owners manual says you should turn the TCS switch off if you get stuck in sand, snow, etc. Apparently it's not like a 4 wheel drive switch found in modern SUV's. My dealer recommended leaving TCS on all the time which makes me wonder "why even have the switch?" It sounds like the light bulb in you dash is burned out or maybe, if you're experiencing other related lighting problems, it may be a burned out fuse.
  • todobomtodobom Posts: 4
    My wife and I just bought a '00 Montana and think it's great. Lots of room, handles well, and 22 MPG. I'd definitely recommend it. As for the Cherokee, I owned a '92 (not the larger body, but a Jeep nonetheless) and found it drove like a tank. I couldn't WAIT to get rid of it.
    There was a post in the 2000 Montana forum about a month ago that dealt with the crash issue. In the Gvn't. frontal tests it didn't perform well, much better with side impacts. It pretty much depends on which report you choose to believe, for me, I value owner testimonials and from what I researched, it appears to hold up well in the real world.

    By the way, friends of ours have a '98 and love it too!
  • ewlewl Posts: 2
    Many thanks for the encouraging words. As you suggested, I checked prior postings regarding crash tests, and found but one expressing the same concern as my sister's. Not good. Although I am from Central Louisiana, increasingly I find myself driving among lunatics, in death traps like Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Pity the Jeep is not, in fact, a tank, rather than just handling like one. My husband is about resigned to driving our "dust busters" (we have two-'92 and '95) until they literally fall out from under us. By then, we may all be forced to drive electric tinker toys, sadly rendering all of this irrelevant.
Sign In or Register to comment.