6th Dec 2002, 18:52

My 98 Venture with 50,200 miles had to have the 3.4L engine replaced due to camshaft failure. There was virtually no warning, as in indicator lights... GM insists that the failure occurred due to poor maintenance, despite documentation showing otherwise. In my quest to understand the underlying cause of the failure, I repeatedly received unsolicited comments from mechanics such as "Oh yeah, that engine has a history of the camshaft locking up". Can we do anything collectively, to get GM to accept responsibility for this engineering flaw. I would be happy with just a portion of my $3,800.


4th Jan 2003, 02:55

I have a 1999 Montana and on December 30th 2k2, my camshaft broke as well. Seems I am finding more and more people with the same problem. Looks like I too am going to get stuck with the cost of a new engine for my van. I have been a loyal GM users since I could drive. NOT ANY LONGER! Think I'll go with Chrysler and there 7 year or 70k mile power train, instead of GM and there 3 year 36k mile warranty and not willing to do anything to help people with an obvious and frequent problem with there engines.

31st Jan 2003, 10:03

I have a 1999 Montana. At 34,000 miles and three years six months the transmission started shifting hard. Pontiac paid fifty percent of the repairs. Now at 36,283 miles the lower intake manifold gasket leaks, the low coolant sensor need replacement, and the control module for the power door locks and security system is dead. Pontiac says tough luck, it's out of warranty. I feel those components were bad or faulty from the start. The Montana is my third and last Pontiac.

21st Feb 2003, 16:00

I also have a 2000 Montana which has been a nightmare. It has 44K miles and two weeks ago my "low coolant level" light went on. I brought it in for service and they called and told me it would be $925.00 to repair. I almost choked! I eventually got them do drop it to $400.00 since I was only 5 weeks past the warranty period. I had to pay a $200.00 deductible and pay for some hoses or some other parts that would need to be replaced. Yesterday, my husband noticed some antifreeze in the driveway so we brought it in again. They told me my head gasket needed to be replaced for $1360.00. Again, I vehemently complained and they again said I would have to pay the $200.00 deductible, but that was it. I am so disgusted with this van and am extremely nervous about what is going to go next. I thought when I bought a $30K van, it wouldn't need any major repairs for a while. I guess I was wrong. I have two young children and all I want is a dependable vehicle!!!It's back to foreign cars for me. I will never buy a Pontiac again.

21st Apr 2003, 23:40

I have a 1998 Pontiac Transport Montana, 74,000 miles, owned since 1999. One month ago I had the low coolant light come on while driving on the Autobahn (stationed in Darmstadt Germany). Garage said it was water pump; replaced it. Following week we had an anti-freeze leak on the garage floor. Garage replaced freeze plug. Still have a leak (small drop here and there) and today we now have a loud tapping noise coming from the engine. Oil level is fine and shows no sign of anti-freeze contamination.

Previous postings sound like it could be a camshaft on its way out the door. (or hood)

Any ideas?

P.S. This car does get driven HARD. Very routinely cruising at 100-107mph.

6th Jul 2003, 11:28

My 1997 Pontiac Transport with 51,000 well maintained miles experienced the dreaded lower intake gasket failure also. The dealer wanted to completely flush out the cooling and crankcase systems, replace water pump, gaskets for $1500.00. This didn't include new hoses or radiator, heater core as I found out that the dex-cool antifreeze eats away at these parts. this also didn't allow for complete engine failure on restart. that would not allow the cost of work performed to apply to a new engine. I looked up on the internet at the thousands of GM complaints on this subject and told the dealer to split the cost or work out a trade. they offered me $3500.00 on trade. I went to the same dealers Honda lot and received $6500.00 in trade off a 2003 Honda Odyssey. dealer is an auto mall in Louisville, KY. P.S. the Transport also lost both headlight covers, wiper failure, steering recall, brake rotors replaced at 10,000 miles, gas fume leak from upper intake gasket, right rear signal bulb left out from factory, spare tire held no air, engine always had "normal" ticking. right power window failure. constant wobble from 25 - 45 mph that dealer could never find a problem with. I'm sure there are other problems I can't remember. we bought it new, and traded in a 1995 Grand Am that wasn't much either. good luck!!!

5th Aug 2003, 16:09

This sounds too familiar. I have a 1997 Transport and have experienced similar problems. Lost both headlight lenses, $125 each to replace, intake gasket replaced $841, causing leaking coolant, front wheel hub seized - private garage charged $650 to replace - dealership quoted $2000 for same repair, heating system failure $200 repair, rack and pinion steering problem that would force the car off the road after turning left, very serious problem and finally total engine failure, the garage said it threw a rod, but it sounds like its the crankshaft. Please post any solutions for compensation you may have found, Ontario specifically if possible. And for good measure - my radio light doesn't work along with my rear window washer fluid.

9th Oct 2003, 13:39

Fortunately, I'm still under warranty. Had the intake manifold leak a couple of months ago, which was repaired under warranty, but still rather annoying. And now I smell coolant again... should I be concerned about my camshaft? Additionally, the brakes have started pulsating and making noises, and I'm told the front brake pads are almost worn (this is at 47,000 km... this usually hasn't been a problem for me until 80-100,000km). However, I'm not sure that worn brakes will cause a pulsating sensation. (I'm going to try an independent garage... at 32,000 km I was told the brakes were 70-80% left???)

Then there has been the plague of minor problems, such as the air bag sensor went south, air conditioning pump broke, computer had to be reset, and trim problems. I would expect these problems at 100,000 km plus, but not in the 20-50,000 km range. I'm currently considering ditching this vehicle before my warranty runs out.

22nd Oct 2003, 08:59

I bought this van used in May of 2002. I thankfully bought the extended warranty with it. It was driven for four months without any problems, until I started having problems with the engine loosing coolant. The manifold gasket was replaced under warranty and fixed that problem.

Now, after owning the van for 1 1/2 yrs., I have had roof leaks, which seem to be caused by the luggage rack screws working loose. After tightening them, it will stop for awhile. Now I am having problems with the transmission at 58,000 miles. The engine will rev up and not go back down for some reason. Because of this, when you shift, the transmission slams in and out of gear. Also, sometimes it will not change gears at all, until you pull over and switch it off and back on again. I had the rear signal lights short out because of water seeping into them. I fixed them myself, and by sealing them up with silicone I have had no problems since. I also have had the van cut off when driving slowly in traffic. I don't know the cause of this yet. And now, to top it all off, I am having problems with the lights and switches of the radio, A/C, and traction control buttons.

I think I will try to unload this troublemaker before my warranty runs out at 75,000 miles.