I bought my 1999 Venture about three years ago at 129,000 miles. Since then, 30,000 miles later, I have had to change a brake caliper, water pump, 2 serpentine belts, wiper motor, and now a power steering pump.
This van may get about 20/mpg, but it has not been that reliable for me. It has left me stranded a couple of times. I am a college student, and am kicking myself in the rear for going with it over the Chrysler that was the same price.
Hint/trick to keep your Venture engine maintained easily.
What we do for any work at the rear of the engine, head gasket, tune up etc... just remove the two engine supports at the front (5 minutes) and the engine can rock forward giving you easy access to the complete engine.
Keep in mind... if you bought your Venture used you have a 40%+ chance it has higher mileage than shown due to the ease of digital (under 1 min) and reg odometer roll back.
Wheel bearings on most go out at 80k miles.
Intake gasket at 120k miles.
Fuel pump at 250k miles.
Head gaskets go because YOU overheated the engine because of low coolant, and usually shows after you finally replace the intake gasket.
The total of all the repairs above would be $1500.
If your van parts fail sooner than shown above, you may have higher mileage on your van than shown.
I don't know who your mechanic is, but I strongly suggest you find a new one. If your floorboards are being soaked with antifreeze, it is because your heater core is damaged. An intake gasket will not cause this. I have repaired many of these. My opinion of the Venture/Montana minivans are like many other... Things break after a while. I hear many complain, however I bet that they don't look after them properly and do scheduled maintenance. They go a long time if you do!!!
I have a 1999 Chevy Venture, and after reading many of the posts, I have a lot of the same problems.
I recently replaced the engine with a re-manufactured engine due to the cam lifters and cam shaft. I am now dealing with the service engine light. Replaced both O2 sensors, EGV valve (twice) and the mass air flow sensor. According to the computer it is the EGV valve. Light is still on and kind of chugs a little when you are stopped or the van is just idling.
I noticed many posts about the wipers staying up; before you replace the motor, try spraying a lubricant on it (like WD40); that worked for me. Worth a shot before you pay the money for a new wiper motor. Mechanic said the next step is the computer might need to be replaced (gonna love finding out how much that is going to cost).
I agree. I've 200,000 miles on my 1999 Venture, and I've replaced some parts, all inexpensive repairs. When something goes wrong, it seems to be a big problem, but at the end of the day, there is a very easy fix. I change the oil and air filter twice a year, and the van runs great. A few months ago I got a great deal on an Uplander 2007, but still have the Venture; they're really nice vans.
A easy fix for rocker panels rusting out; install mud flaps on all four fenders. This will stop a lot of salt going on the under body. I have done this on all of my vehicles, and it works.
My Great Grandma applied mud flaps on all four wheel wheels on her 2003 Buick Century when she bought it new, and it did keep her rocker panels from rusting. However, the paint on one of the front fenders chipped where the mud flap was attached, and I think it may have rusted a little there. Not to mention on a purely objective note, I think any vehicle looks terrible with mud flaps. I would much rather just rinse the car off good once a week during the winter months.
An even easier way is to wash your vehicle, and then install a flat sprinkler on your hose, and drive over it to remove the undercarriage salt. Mud flaps protect the outside rear quarters and the vehicles following you.
My sister has a 99 model, and she said it won't go over 5 mph, and it just started it one day out of the blue. She lives out of state, so it's hard for me to help her without being around the van. I'm trying my best to help her out, but I'm finding myself in need of help. I don't know much about these vans, other than it's about the worst van Chevy made in my opinion.
Please help. Thanks.