16th Dec 2009, 20:15
My dad bought a 2000 Montana brand new back in 2001 as a left over model, I'm glad to say that he is lucky he bought the most base model you can get, no cruise, no power windows, no power doors, etc. so we haven't experienced some of the common problems associated with those options. Although we have had quite a bit of problems with this thing, same as above pretty much (not all of them though, luckily). Currently our truck has 213,000km (132,000 miles) and it seems to be doing quite well right now, my dad paid $28,000 for this thing new, right now he'd be lucky to get $1,500 for it. I would recommend staying away from these trucks unless you are handy. If you absolutely need a minivan, I’d pay the premium price of an import, in the end you generally get what you pay for.
1st Feb 2010, 22:14
Sorry to hear about all of these problems. I bought a 1999 Montana used with 82,000 miles on it about 5-6 years ago for I think around 4500-5000, not a whole lot of money.
The intake gaskets were redone at 70,000 miles, which was before I bought it. It now has over 160,000 miles on it, and runs good.
I have had to replace the brakes once, one front wheel bearing right after I bought it. These are normal items and no big deal.
The fuel pump started to act up, and I pulled the tank to replace it and found it was just the connector on the top of the tank corroded, replaced that and then also cleaned and repaired the connector for the fuel pump under vehicle by drivers side. Didn't have to replace the pump, and that was 1.5 year ago.
Yes the airbag light finally came on, (big deal). and the ABS quit working at 140,000 miles, I could fix it, but it doesn't bother me, we drove for years without ABS brakes.
Just yesterday the power slider quit working, 160,000 on it so things are bound to start wearing out.
I know the engines are prone to fail intake gaskets and head gaskets, so I keep an eye on it weekly, and if I ever get coolant in the oil, I will stop driving it and fix it before the engine is destroyed. The cam and crank failures are caused by coolant in the oil.
I also drained the Dexcool coolant and flushed the cooling system and filled with Fleetrite ELC coolant. All in all, it's been a good vehicle for me with few problems.
6th Jun 2010, 19:20
Wow! I can't believe what I just read. Nearly all the comments. I was just trying to figure out if there was some kind of recall on my rack and pinion steering on my 2003 Pontiac Montana, since it is making a sputtering noise when making sharp turns. I don't know if I'm one of the lucky ones or my turn has not yet come, but I'm the owner of a 03 Montana. Purchased it brand new and now has 92,000 miles on it. Garage kept at least half of the year (mainly during winter), I've done all maintenance on it. NEVER been in the shop. Did replace the battery last year with another AC Delco, and replaced serpentine belt and pulleys when starting to squeal.
I learned my lesson from a '97 Malibu I had when pulley ruptured after squealing for sometime and took out a lot of things with it.
I also am keeping a very close eye on the coolant. This was a hard lesson for me from the Malibu I had, which I ended up fixing myself.
In the seven years of owning this van, I've barely had to add any coolant. KNOCK ON WOOD! This has been a spectacular van in every way, knowing anything could go wrong at any time. Probably more like a "miracle van"!
This is an extended Montana with all the options! I have been waiting for the power sliding doors to go, but still haven't. The kids open and close them constantly! Just general maintenance and upkeep is all I do to keep this thing running.
Cosmetically, the van looks like the day we bought it brand new, underbody still looks brand new. Absolutely no rust.
Just a little worried about this steering issue I may have. It has been doing this for the past couple years, and seems to be progressing rapidly. Happens when making sharp turns at either direction at low speeds. If anyone has a solution or knows of a recall, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much!
27th Jun 2010, 20:42
All the problems with the intake gaskets going bad and anti-freeze getting into the oil are true. Once the anti-freeze hits this oil, it instantly ruins the cam bearings and ultimately crystallizes the so called camshaft, (a hollow tent pole). These vans require care like a baby! Do not beat the crap out of it, if you notice the temp hotter stop engine immediately!
I paid $500.00 for my 98 with a bad motor, I replaced the 3400 with a 3100, the van is in perfect condition. $500.00 for the 3100. $317.00 for tires and sha-bang, I love this van! Lots of power, rides like a caddy, drives like a beautiful princess, seems to run on air.
Oh yeah, don't let anyone tell you that you can't pull the engine out the top as I did! In a weekend I had her all done! If your 3400 goes bad, I recommend the 3100 swap, just swap the 3100 intake for the 3400 and you will like the change. $1400.00, and what a sweet ride.
One problem, my drivers vent, and the left and center vent seem to blow warm air, and the pass vents are cold, cold, cold. I tore it all apart, (dashboard). Is it possible that half cond core got plugged? This is the only problem. I drive this van more than my 03 Yukon XL and I sure do love that truck!
17th Oct 2010, 22:33
Just bought a 1997 Montana for 1750.00. Ran fine for few days, then everything starting falling apart. Service engine light on, said MAS sensor, engine runs smooth while driving, but when idling the engine is pumping oil at 5psi. Hopeful I can get the car lot to purchase it back. One big mistake; do not buy one of these.
17th Jan 2011, 02:39
DO NOT BUY THIS VAN!! -- unless, perhaps, you are mechanic with the tools and knowledge to keep it running, and love the thrill of diagnosing and tinkering.
I've had only one car I consider a dog in my 30 years of car buying: this 2000 Pontiac Montana I bought used (at 72K).
* Fuel pump replaced at 82K.
* Transmission replaced at 86K.
* Fogged headlamps.
* Dome light falling out.
* Tail light harness shorting problem, causing top tail/brake lights to burn out within weeks of replacement.
* A week or so of phantom door chiming (seems to have fixed itself on its own!).
* Air bag/engine light coming on and going off randomly. (Thank goodness I no longer live where I have to do an annual inspection, and lights on would get me sent to the repair shop)
I also feel blessed I have the model with the manual doors and windows. Seems to be many problems with the power models.