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
#916 of 1617 Re: Warrenty [dirkwork]
Aug 03, 2004 (2:07 pm)
i checked into the warranty today. i can get the 3 year/36,000 mile major guard, no deductible, for $1095. it's not as long as i would like, but cost is a big consideration at this time. i can put 10% down and pay the rest over 12 months with no interest. that's about $83 a month.
almost all items are covered by major guard, including some wear and tear items. the exclusion list is minimal. the new gasket was phased in february 2003 so i have the old one.
the biggest repair i had under the new car warranty was the replacement of the ac compressor. that cost gm about $900. my biggest worries are the intake manifold gasket, the ac system, and the transmission, which has shifted oddly only about 7 times in 20,000 miles.
i'll think about it tonight. peace of mind just may be worth it since money is tight. my venture is very reliable. that and because of previous excellent chevrolet vehicles is why i bought it. plus, it was priced very well. a comparably priced odyssey had twice the mileage. and it's now known honda's aren't perfect (auto transmission problems).
Aug 05, 2004 (12:18 pm)
I just got the van I purchased long distance and am trying to fix her up. Van runs great now that I debugged the smoging problem.(needed fuse replaced for sig lighter to pass)
I keep running into problems getting body panels used. I can get them from the dealer but would rather run other options first. All the wrecking yards around here say that they don't have any vans in there yards and don't find any on thier searches.
2000 chevy venture: looking for front right fender, and front bumper.(lt brown) I would also like to find the jack compartment tools and cover. (tan)
Any help would be appreciated.
Aug 05, 2004 (12:28 pm)
Aug 06, 2004 (1:20 pm)
Hard to belive that all vans that are undrivable get crushed instead of parted out. You may need to indeed look around or call some close by big cities autorecyclers. I'm in Houston and we have some yards, but the ones near me are small and never have what you want. I have some minor items I was thinking of looking for in a yard but never has it gotten to a priority for me. Let us know how you fare. There are cheap body replacement parts made for some cars but they are not the same quality - on a Shadow I had a hood that didn't fit 100% and it started to rust. Depending on how you're going to use the van and how nice you want to get it would determine the best option for you.
How rough is it? How much did you pay?
#920 of 1617 low coolant sensor
Aug 07, 2004 (8:25 pm)
Could someone please tell me where the low coolant sensor is located on my 2000 montana 3.4? Thanks Charles
#921 of 1617 Re: low coolant sensor [terrehill]
Aug 08, 2004 (6:56 am)
On our 98 Montana it's on the passenger-side radiator end-tank just below the top transmission cooler return line. Typically this sensor will be on the side of the radiator where the bottom hose is located.
#922 of 1617 Question for Dirk: Front strut replacement
Aug 08, 2004 (7:25 am)
In a previous post I recall you had replaced the front struts on your van. At 104K miles the Montana is under damped and has a slight wander. Nothing unsafe but noticeable to me (wife doesn't notice it)
There's no obvious "play" in any of the componets. It appears both Gabriel, Monroe & Delco make replacement struts. I liked the Pontiac's handling but have no idea how these replacement units compare to the OE FE2 option suspension components. Any recommendation(s)? Did you replace other components such as ball joints, rack & pinion unit and/or strut bearings?
On a side note, I still use 5W-30 Mobile 1 104K miles in Arizona. Occasionally pull our popup tent trailer. I did install an aux. transmission cooler & temp. gage. Transmission fuild temp. rarely exceeds 200F & still has firm shifts. I installed a drain & annually change the filter & replace 6 1/2 qts. of ATF. Wife loves driving it.
I'd agree dealer repair errors can make or break a customer's experience. While I'd agree the problems shouldn't exist in the beginning, not repairing them correctly for the long-term can really reflect in a customer's opinion. I had several problems when our van was new. It took an extra ordinary effort to "convince" the service dept. that 50 deg rear discharge air temp. (which was the same as their shop temp) was not satisfactory. I finally installed a RadioShack temp. probe on the rear suction line to show it was near ambient. The rear unit TXV wasn't opening! There are differences in dealer service dept. however unless a warranty item I try to avoid them altogether.
#923 of 1617 N7Don - strut replacement
Aug 09, 2004 (10:23 am)
Well, the strut job really was a pain. I consider most jobs a challenge to my brain and toolset, but honestly I am not sure I'd do that one again.
I went with Gaberial struts to match the rear air shocks. I had other vehicles with Monroes, I don't know if there is much difference for this application. The rears made the most difference, but the fronts are stiffer and you don't get front end dive like I used to and cornering is good enough to elicit my wife to yell and curse at my technique long before its even close to squealing the Michelin's. The handling of the Olds (not sure of the other makes) will surprise people. I did not replace anything else, the strut bearings are usually OK, and I had done the outer tie-rods before. Grab the wheels when its jacked up and try to move them side to side, if you get just about ANY play, something is messed up. If you suspect the ball joints try out and in from the bottom for play.
Anyway, I had the factory manual (a waste of money in my opinion, nothing like the excellent Dodge manuals I've had) and it said "remove top bolts, remove lower bolts, remove strut." or something like that. The upper bolts are located way far under the dash and with the engine and windshield wiper linkage to contend with, its barely accessable by humans. You have not even enough room for a 1/4" socket wrench and socket, nor a air-ratchet, you have to use a hand wrench and only can turn it like 1/4 turn at a time! Adding to the frustration is that the nuts are dented ones that are a sort of "lock" nut and will not spin off in your fingers once loosened up, they must be turned all the way off with a tool. I'd recommend getting those new fancy ratchet box ends (from Craftsman or some quality brand like that. Yea, they are like $50 but this job is perfect for them!! An excuse to get some new tools too!) I didn't (???) as I was already into it (had planned on using my air ratchet but it didn't fit). Oh well.
The lower bolts on the hub use large fasteners, it helps to have a FULL set of metrics, I'm talking like a 24 or 26mm. Then the bolts must be driven with a small sledge hammer - the book said nothing, I had to call a mechanic friend.
Anyway, its doable. I haven't even covered using the spring compressor to change the struts. I used a air wrench to make that go faster, turning by hand might take a while.
If you don't have the above tools and like using them, its not for you!
I also found earlier when I bought the van used was the outer tie-rod end was worn out, but I replaced that and the front end is solid. The wierd sensations you get turning a lot like in a parking garage are I think the struts/spring package and many GM FWD vehicles have this same feeling.
5x30 sounds thin for such a hot climate, I use 10x30 synthetic on my '98 that now has 107k on it. I used to use Mobil 1 (its great) but the Wal-Mart Tech brand synthetic is a dollar less /qt and for such an old van seems to work well and not burn off. I don't have to add any until nearly 5k miles on a change, and I change it about then anyway.
I need to change the trans fluid and coolant soon, but I'm waiting for a free weekend.
Hope this helps -
#924 of 1617 drivers window
Aug 09, 2004 (10:55 pm)
I'm having a problem with the power window on the drivers side of my '98 Trans. I had trouble with the window going up all the way and it seemed to be the actuator (arms were bowed) Some nice person broke out same window so I replaced the window and the actuator.(motor included) All was well for a couple of weeks. Now all of a sudden the same problem has reoccured. Anyone had this problem? Any ideas? Thanks.
#925 of 1617 Re: N7Don - strut replacement [dirkwork]
Aug 10, 2004 (5:06 am)
Thanks for the feedback. I've got a good compliment of tools, including metric, air compressor and even a cooler place to work on it. During the summer we live at our cabin in northern Arizona. I saw how the upper bolts were buried and the ratchet box end would be ideal.
Previously I had changed the leaking OE rear air shocks with Gabriels. Also removed the rear resonator muffler that was close to the leaking shock and replaced with straight pipe. No noticeable difference in sound, both inside and out.
The worst job I ever undertook on the van was changing the thermostat. The manual stated to remove the cross-over exhaust pipe which looked to be more difficult than the one paragraph in the manual! So I made a "curved" wrench.... and 5 hrs later it was changed! Later I found it was much easier if the upper manifold was removed.
Oil..... I've used 5W-30 for many years without a problem however I change oil around 4000mile intervals. Walmart's brand of synthetic is harder to find on a regular basis. I looked yesterday in a super WM store and none in stock.
Yes the van does handle reasonably well. The Pontiac came with the towing package which included FE2 suspension option. I replaced the OE General tires (noisy and harsh) with Michelins. I think they would run forever but I hit a curb and damaged the sidewall and couldn't blame it on my wife (she was with me!) So I had Costco put on a set of BFG's.... and quite honestly was pleasantly susprised. They are quieter and less harsh than the Michelins however don't know how long they'll last. About 1/2 the cost.
While it sounds like a job for the not-faint-of-heart I'll probably delay doing until next spring. Again thanks for the info.