Last post on Dec 05, 2013 at 2:36 PM
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Pontiac Montana, Pontiac Montana SV6, Heating / Cooling, Van
#88 of 119 Re: 2002 no warm air [adillard]
Dec 07, 2011 (8:55 am)
I am no expert and can only provide recommendations from experience. I have a feeling there are a few potential problems from more likely to less likely: plugged aux pump (if you have one), medium head gasket leak, minor head gasket leak, plugged heater core, interior heating vent door not operating properly. Your motor is not overheating it is not the thermostat.
Can't remember the last messages i've posted but I was able to get heat back by flushing (myself) the heater core... of course in the most environmently friendly way - probably more-so that any garage would spend the time to do - see my previous posts on this. Lots of crap came out of my system and i figured I had the problem fixed. I took appart and cleaned the aux pump as it was completely blocked - another reason for no heat. I blead the system of any air, replaced the thermostat (but this is not really related to the heater core in this case) and bob was my uncle... best heat ever.
About 4 months later, I started getting rough idling... and could smell antifreeze.... I knew right away my head gasket let go and stopped running the van immediately. The cost to have my head gasket replaced (including new radiator - because I pull a ski boat with my van 3000k/yr on holidays) was around $3000 at a local shop. That explains why I was getting air into my system in the years previous causing overheating, poor fluid flow, limiting heat, etc. but it must have been minor enough that I did not see antifreeze in the oil or smell antifreeze in the exhaust so I didn't know.
If your motor is overheating your head gaskets might be going and causing air to enter your system not allowing the fluid to flow. This is major problem with this van, BUT there are things you can try before going down this road. Just keep an eye on the oil (look for brown color - signs of antifreeze in oil) and smell of antifreeze in exhaust. The exhast will show signs of white/grey and if this is the case don't run the vehicle... you'll bend your push rods or damage your shaft and then your motor is pretty much toast. This could be a cause of overheating. Second reason is a failing thermostat.
1) run the vehicle and monitor the hoses going to/from the heater core - do they heat up? Is the return heater hose from the core heating up just as fast?
2) Unless your vehicle is overheating, this is not a cause of your heat in the van but, release any air you have in your system using the two pins (one on tube coming out of water pump and the other near the thermostat housing while the vehicle is idling. Be careful, you just want the air to escape, not the fluid. See how much this helps, notice how much air comes out... if there is allot it could be a head gasket leak.... but if you clear it and then the air eventually comes back, you'll know. 3) Might be worth changing the thermostat. If you don't have alot of patience, this is a real pain in the ass and probably I would not do this again myself. But if you are taking it in for this then maybe you should have them do a diagnosis
3) If you have an auxillary pump (from the sounds of it you don't), lookup pictures on the internet for location. It is a magnetic motor driven pump at 10oclock of your antifreeze overflow container on RHS of the vehicle compartment... you can't miss this as it has a couple wires going to a sensor between the bumper and the rad. I cleaned mine and it was horrid... don't think any flow was getting to the heater core and is the only route to get there. I have given instructions for this in previous posts as well. If you do this, you might as well do #4 too.
4) use my proceedures to flush the heater core.... see my previous posts and i have given detailed instructions how to do this being highly environmently friendly. If your heater core is truely plugged, you will know because you will be able to tell what the flow is when you flush it.
These are ONLY suggestions based on my experience. If you want to save yourself some headaches after bleeding the system of air first and it does not help the heat, I would book an appointment to have your heater core flushed and your aux pump cleanned. My feeling is that your thermostat and pump and potential gasket leaks have little to do with the heat in your van if your van is not overheating. It is a pretty simple thing, there is likely no fluid flow through your heater core or not enough to allow you to get any heat. If you put the blower on the lowest spead and the engine is running at operating termperature you should feel some heat... if you feel none after some time it is either flow problem or a door is stuck... I highly doubt a door is stuck but again, i'm no expert... I can see the door binding and not fully closing or opening - this is possible. The vents work on air presure so if you hear them moving you should know they are working.
If GM came out with a new extended pontiac montana van I would buy it in a second. Yes, i've replaced head gaskets but it is the most versitile vehicle on the road as long as you are willing to be constantly fixing things - no more than any other vehicle in my opinion. Good thing about it is that it keeps running and I can pretty much fix everything myself if i'm feeling broke to save dealership prices. If you are not that way then this van could be a money pit for you.
Keep us posted on what happens !
#89 of 119 A/c problem and rear air problem
Jun 13, 2012 (6:24 am)
I am not sure when this issue has started as I don't run the a/c when I drive. My husband does when he drives. We are pretty sure we have a leak but can't find it. Any suggestions?
Also, when we put freon in it gets cold and blows cold air out the front but blows hot air out the back. Does anyone know what is causing this? Please help we need air in the back for the 4 kids. My husband touched a pipe or hose on the bottom of the van while he had the air on and it was really hot. Any idea's or help please!
#90 of 119 No start after overheating
Aug 20, 2012 (4:57 pm)
ok last summer I hade a radiator that the trans. cooling lines cracked and trashed the trans. I had the trans rebuilt and the radiator replaced as well as the fan assembly. I had not issues at first but after a couple of months I started having problems with overheating. I assumed since the hoses had not been replace that I was loosing coolant and would just add. Now about 3 months ago I noticed that I had what appeared to be a rust colored back flow into the overflow res. Now recently the van started overheating again and i noticed that there was poor flow of liquid. I replaced the thermostate. Oh yes it is hard to get to thermostate but I removed nothing but the hose and used a wrench on the back bolt. So yes it is possible with patience. Anyway, I still had issue. I did not know that the system needed to be bled. I was traveling the next day down the road after replacing the thermostat. It overheated so i pulled over and turned of the engine. I waited several min trying to let it cool enough to get me home since I was a couple of miles out. I could not get it started. after several attempts and almost an hour a gentleman stops and got it started. I got home and turned it off as soon as i stopped moving in my drive. I let it cool and started the engine and was in the process of trying to bleed the air out. The engine started making a wierd noise and was shooting water and air out of the radiator opening. I quickly shut the van off. I waited till the next day and now the thing will not catch. I know I get spark and gas as it tries to catch but will not stay running. I have read several post but have not seen someone post the same problem. Any ideas? Thanks Lisa
Aug 29, 2012 (4:03 pm)
My 02 montana sat for 6 months i got it about a month ago, havent ran it that much, but changed the coolant, thermostat, and now it over heats, have bled it and everything, was fine for a week or so, started it up today and its over heating and white smoke is coming out the tail pipe, went away after 20 mins, now when i say over heating it doesnt red line but comes close to it. also have given it an oil change, havent seen anything or smelt anything different in the oil. signs and people have said head gasket is this the case or should i try something else. would hate to pour more money into it then i already have!
#92 of 119 Re: 2004 Montana No Air FLow on Heat Setting [jjallen07]
Feb 07, 2013 (2:28 pm)
Just a update to this post .... I have finally figured it out. Just recently, the Hear/A/C control center on the dashboard started to act up. The different levels for blower speed started to not work. Then I smelled an electrical burning smell...finally the blower stopped working and the knob for the blower speed selector broke. I went to the salvage yard and picked up a control unit for a 2001 montana and installed it.....NOW I HAVE GOOD AIR FLOW!!!!!!!!! GM could not even figure this air flow problem.......
This raises some serious questions about the safety of the wiring harnesses in this car. I have had to replace the rear break light assembly due to the houseing burning out. Now I find this on the heater control center. The fuel gage does not work properly...This too is noted as a electrical problem.....UMMMMMMMMM
#93 of 119 No air flow, in front for heat
Apr 06, 2013 (6:35 am)
Montana van 2001, front heater fan, little air flow, but lots of noise from fan pushing air. You can feel the heat coming from the heater core. One person said, its the motor, that drives the doors. Fortunately, I have some air flow for the front defrost and heat in the rear to warm the van. I am told I have to take the dash apart to fix this problem. This van has a number of electrical (wiring short) problems when the van runs through water. The radio stops, the LED lights for the parking, fuel guage, fail to work. When the van dries out in the warm sun in Saskatoon, everything starts working again. When the weather gets warm in Saskatoon, maybe in May! I will crawl under the van, to seal the wiring which is shorting. Same with the front head lights, which I also read, allow water in because the sealant fails after 5 years. I just used silicone to fix a failed drivers window. For me, as long as the van engine runs, the front wipers and lights work all that electronic can fail. I am surviving without have lots of air flow in the front heater, don't need the traction control, ABS, radio, etc.
I have to admit, that I like having a van fully loaded with temperature guage showing me, its -1C outside, because thats when the road is most icy. Driving in Saskatoon is a real challenge with all the potholes, and ice. I will feel a real loss when this simple temperature monitor fails.
For all you reading this threads, I found it useful to call the GM dealer. I had a very serious problem with my brakes freezing. A guy at the dealership in Saskatoon recommended I take my van to the heated garage on 1 Avenue, to dry out the brakes. I found another trick. I bought a propane torch which I used to heat the rear brake drum. I then sprayed in a small hole in the brake drum cleaner. This worked every time. Obviously, when the weather gets warmer, I will take the drum off, and clean and repair the brake shoes. I bought this Montana van for $1,000, and if I can fix these minor problems, I will have a great van, to get to work. My last comment is about replacing the spark plugs. Apparently, it costs $400 because of the cost of removing the alternater etc to get at the 3 spark plugs at the rear of the engine. I tried to find a YouTube video on this. Anyone know.
#94 of 119 Re: 2004 Montana No Air FLow on Heat Setting [jjallen07]
Apr 06, 2013 (6:52 am)
JJallen07 comment was very useful, as on my Montana 2001, the van switch failed completely this week, but then started again. Also, my radio light failed yesterday so I hit the dash, and the light came on again. Obviously, all the connectors in the dash, are dirty (0xidized), and need cleaning or replacing.
Its great, you can go the local auto wrecker and find the replacement for the heater and AC wiring and replace it.
I also, had the rear tail brake light socket melt and fail. I put in a new bulb and cleaned the socket. Again, dirt and oxidation of these sockets cause heating and melting of these parts. Thats why quality components have GOLD plating to avoid these oxidation problems. Even having nickel alloy contacts would be an improvement. When we buy a vehicle, I don`t think anyone asks this question of the dealer, what kind of electrical connectors are on the brake lights, heat lights, signal lights, as these are critical components. As long as the vehicle passes the 100,000 kilometer warranty, that is sufficient. Personally, as I fix wiring which does not operate at -50C with silicone wiring, I see this stuff, as a challenge. You know, its a cheap crapy designed wiring, but how, can it be fixed to last another 2 or 3 years when the engine craps out.
Thanks for jjallen07 comment, as I will be going to the local wrecker to fix my AC heater control. It would be nice to know, what you payed for the part....
#95 of 119 Re: A/C problems, replaced compressor & condensor [ncjack]
Jun 01, 2013 (11:21 am)
Did you ever find out what the problem was? I am having the same problem.
#96 of 119 Re: A/C problems, replaced compressor & condensor [tdchenausky]
Jun 02, 2013 (1:15 pm)
the regulator valve for the vaccum you got one in the front and one in the back it the one in the front was clogged but we replaced the one in the back which was still good so we switched them and it was working fine, the other part was the radiator hose was not long enough. my van is not totaled because 2 days before xmas a tree landed on it.
#97 of 119 Montana SV6 AC LED on dash panel won't light
Jul 08, 2013 (6:45 am)
I have a 2009 Montana SV6, and the AC doesn't work. The AC LED on the HVAC dash panel doesn't illuminate when pressed, nor does the system work on the MAX AC or defrost settings. Also the rear defroster won't work, which may or may not be related. Replaced the dash HVAC control panel - same problem. Replaced the BCM under the left side of the dash - same problem. Could this be as simple as low refrigerant? Any ideas? Vehicle has been to a mechanic, what's next? Thank you.