Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM
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Chevrolet Venture, Pontiac Montana, Heating / Cooling, Van
#1 of 6 2002 Chevy Venture
Feb 23, 2012 (12:20 pm)
First off I'd like to thank everyone that helps out here. It's much appreciated!
We have a 2002 Chevy Venture with the 3.4. About a week ago the heater would only blow cold air so figured it needed a thermostat. I put it off for about a week since it wasn't overheating. Plus my wife is a teacher in town and only has to drive a few blocks each day. I drove it to the auto parts store and finally started overheating. On the way there I noticed the temperature gauge would sometimes spike with slower speeds and go back down with higher speeds. The heater would also blow hot and the gauge would drop when going fast. It wouldn't do that all the time though. At times, even while going fast, it would still overheat. I pulled over once when the needle was getting up there and shut it down. I waited a couple minutes and started it back up. The heater blew hot and temp went down. I figured all of this was symptoms of the thermostat until I stopped at the auto parts store and noticed steam coming from the engine compartment but couldn't tell exactly where it was coming from.
When I returned home I swapped the thermostat and tried bleeding the system. The bleeder screw by the thermostat housing was seeping coolant but the one by the water pump just had air coming out of it and continued to only blow air. No coolant is being sucked in from the overflow tank even when the temperature gauge was getting up there. The radiator fans are blowing. The heater is still blowing cold and engine is still overheating. There is a coolant leak that is coming from somewhere below the throttle body or kind of to the rear of the thermostat housing. I can't see exactly where it is coming from. All I can see is steam coming up from that area. If you are looking at the engine from under the hood it is coming from the lower rear right.
From all the reading I have done I'm guessing it's the lower intake or possibly the head gasket? There's no antifreeze in the oil or vice versa. Are there any small hoses in that area that may be leaking? If a head gasket blows would enough coolant shoot out the side to cause the steam? I've heard that's possible with a blown intake gasket. You can tell that it has had some very light seepage out of the intake towards the front over the years but nothing serious. I've also had to add about a quart of oil every 3000 miles over the past few years. There just seems to be a bunch of light seepage out of quite a few gaskets. Not sure if any of this is related but you can just tell that many gaskets could stand to be replaced.
The van has 140,000 miles on it and it has been a great van. We bought it when it had 30,000 and the only thing I have had to do to it was replace the ac condenser and the battery (if a battery even counts). We are going to be looking for a new vehicle soon but I would like to fix it to get more out of it when we do sell it. I would really like to get a few more months out of it. Heck, if I replace all gaskets the wife may have to keep it for another 5 years! I'm pretty sure I'd be living on the streets if I told her no new vehicle.
I could try and take a video of the area where it seems to be leaking and post it on youtube if it would help.
If it is the intake should I go ahead and replace the head gaskets while I'm down there?
Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to make sure I hit everything. If I need to elaborate on anything, please let me know. Any help would be appreciated!
#2 of 6 202 Chevy Venture
Jan 04, 2013 (6:48 am)
I have experienced the same problem with brian's chevy venture. appreciate any suggestions...thanks
#3 of 6 Re: 2002 Chevy Venture [marinegrunt]
Feb 27, 2013 (12:49 pm)
Hi Brain -
I think I have the same issue. I have a 05 Pontiac Montana with the 3.4L, blows cold air from heater when you come to an idle (stop light). My mechanic says its the intake gasket $600-700. Is this car worth the fix?
Few months ago the car temp gauge would rise. Mechanic bled the air out of the system and things have been fine. No longer get the overheating, just the cold air from the heater.
Would like your opinion on what to do.
#4 of 6 Overheating Chevy Venture 2004
Mar 24, 2013 (5:34 pm)
My van overheats, but not all the time. My husband replaced the thermostat, water pump, and radiator hoses. The heater will blow cold air and then the temp guage goes up. Not sure what to do at this point.
#5 of 6 Re: Overheating Chevy Venture 2004 [cranberry1]
Mar 24, 2013 (6:48 pm)
I feel your pain. My 05 Montana is now always blowing cold air when the heat is on. My mechanic wants to start with the intake gasket ($700), but also feels it may be the head gasket (even more money). My family is debating getting rid of the car, but it only has 76000 miles and the body is in great shape. Any suggestions?
#6 of 6 Re: Overheating Chevy Venture 2004 [cranberry1]
Mar 24, 2013 (8:53 pm)
I also have an iisue witht he carper on the floor of the drivers side being wet. I did see one post iwth the same problem. That started before the overheating. Is it the heater core hoses or a loose clamp? I am not liking what I am seeing on here. Need to find a new vehicle.