Last post on Mar 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM
You are in the Chevy Venture
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Chevrolet Venture, Pontiac Montana, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Van
#1053 of 1617 Finally disposed of 99 Venture LS
Mar 01, 2005 (10:41 am)
I had a 99 Venture LS that I finally traded in yesterday on a 2004 Ford Freestar (I am sure some people will say I am trading one problem for another). We loved the Venture because of its 8 passenger seating (and therefore flexibility) but hated it because of the repair bills (my fault for not extending the warranty). Needless to say, I extended the Ford Warranty to 6yr 75K.
We bought the van off-lease about 3 years ago with 40K miles on it and have only put 30K on it since then. Besides burning oil since the day we bought it (about 2 quarts between oil changes and the mechanic could not find a reason), our van also had the following problems, most of which did not pop up until after 60K: About 6 months after we bought it, ABS brain went out ($800), our power steering pump developed a whine (although noisy and annoying, it never "broke" so I did not fix it, then the electronic door locks went out (did not fix), then the flapper that controlled the heat got "stuck" and would not always release immediately (did not fix), then the liftgate strap broke (did not fix), then the tape player stopped working (did not fix), then the infamous intake manifold went, then the lighting harness on the rear stop lights broke, then a lifter failed ($800). The final straw was when the head gasket blew last month and we had to put $1400 in to it to fix it so we could get $4k out for a trade. There are other things I could list, but I do not remember all the nickels and dimes this van took out of me.
The mechanic said the 99 Venture has just about more TSB's than any other car he works on regularly and his parts supplier tells him that the Venture family gives him more than a fair share of the busines - all of this with no support or ownership of the problem from Chevy.
It is a shame that such a great and flexible van could be destroyed by such poor mechanicals. I would not buy another Venture and, based on what I have read about my problems with reliability not being unusual I would not recommend my friends to. My father-in-law has a Venture and my sister-in-law a Silhouette and I have convinced them to dump them (they both have under 60K) before the problems start.
#1054 of 1617 Re: Finally disposed of 99 Venture LS [jerseyvan]
Mar 01, 2005 (12:57 pm)
Oh yeah, and the gas gauge stopped working also (didn't repair as the mechanic said it would cost over $100 just to do the diagnotics on it, let alone find the problem and fix it - he said it was in the electronics and was not a mechanical problem).
Mar 01, 2005 (1:04 pm)
The Freestar is a decent van, it's made about 10 minutes from my house. My issues with it are bad mileage and a questionable transmission. We decided to go with a 04 Montana because of those issues and so far it's been perfect (getting on a year now). It is a shame your van was not better as we have many friends with Ventures and Montanas and all are happy. It's one of the other reasons we bought.
#1056 of 1617 Re: Fog Light [terrehill]
Mar 02, 2005 (10:47 am)
I took off a few screws under the front fender and reached up to fog lamp. Twist the holder 1/4 turn and the bulb comes out.
#1057 of 1617 Re: remote [vanman1]
Mar 02, 2005 (11:09 am)
Thanks guys for the info. Those little remotes are expensive.
#1058 of 1617 Re: well.. [vanman1]
Mar 02, 2005 (11:17 am)
This is my first time writing on this site,but I found it because I'm service manager at a private garage and deal with these vans on a regular basis. The reason I came to this site was because my mechanic and I wondered how many "I hate Montana sites" were out there.
Pontiac Montana's,& Chevy Ventures are the van of Choice for comfort,performance...for the first 3 years of there warranty,after that they are a joke. At our garage we joke that we will name are kids after these vans since they are going to essentially pay for there way to University. I have a 2001 Montana on a hoist getting a headgasket,I have one outside waiting for a new wheel bearing(which contains the wheel speed sensor for the ABS/Trac light),tommorrow I have one coming in for a new rear wiper motor and another for unexplained coolant loss(likely intake) If any custome asks me what to buy for a used car,I specifically tell them not to buy GM. Don't get me wrong,the more of these vehicles people buy,the more money I make,but after a certain point it gets ridiculous.
#1059 of 1617 Radio in rear on head liner
Mar 02, 2005 (11:26 am)
I know that you have to put the radio in the dash on a certain station to be able to use the video/TV. But do I have to put it on another station to get the rear radio in the head liner to work. It has the head sets that play music but only what I have on the front. There is a tuner in the rear but it does not change the station. The only thing that will change is the volume. Is there a trick to make this work?
#1060 of 1617 Re: Radio in rear on head liner [billw]
Mar 02, 2005 (2:16 pm)
We had this on our van. The tuner, cd, and tape is still controlled by the front controls. When you push the appropriate button in the back, it just turns off the back speakers and pipes it through the head phones. There is not actually a tuner or controls in the back. That is, you can not listen to one station in the front and a different one in the back. However, you could listen to a radio station in the front and a cd in the back or a tape in the back and a cd in the front and so on. Hope that makes sense.
#1061 of 1617 Re: Radio in rear on head liner [jerseyvan]
Mar 02, 2005 (4:41 pm)
Thanks for your info. The reason I asked this is because there is buttons back there for AM/FM and a scan button. Thats why I thought you could change stations some how. I just bought this 1999 Silhouette about three weeks ago used and didn't know if maybe the person before had broke it.
#1062 of 1617 rear audio controls
Mar 03, 2005 (8:16 am)
You should be able to change radio stations, switch betweeen AM and FM, and go through the Pre-Set stations from the rear audio controls (when they are powered up). If you can't, then there could be something wrong with the controls, wiring or radio.
Also in case your Oldsmobile didn't come with an owners manual, look for Helm, Inc on the web to order one, or register with mygmlink.com and you can get online access to one.