10th Mar 2006, 06:50

I had my upper and lower manifold gaskets replaced in Aug on my 1997 Montana, 125,000 miles on it. Just the other day I was driving it and it started to run rough and got to where I was going, about a block away. We looked at the exhaust and knew right away that the gasket had failed again. Now it sets in the shop and hope they will honor the warranty. Since they have to tear some of the engine down, they could simply say it's a head gasket and I will need to pay for it. We will have to see how honest my mechanic is.

4th Jun 2006, 18:50

Okay, looks like we are all in the same boat.

We bought our 1998 Pontiac Montana van used - two years old, 17,000 miles on the clock. We loved the way it drove, got good mileage for a van, plenty of space decent seats and good gizmos).

No problems until a couple years later. I had a problem with a loss of water from the cooling system. A radiator shop we visited said we needed to replace all the gaskets, at a cost of $1000. We figured we were being scammed so we took the car to a Pontiac dealer. He flushed the system and did a couple other things, for a few hundred dollars.

At 41,000 miles, we are stopped at a red light. Motor stops - no noise, no previews, it just stops. Tow to the Pontiac dealer (its Sunday, of course). Tells us the engine seized, we'd need a new engine.

We are of course upset- two spun lower rod end bearings at 41k?? Surely GM will help us out on this clearly defective engine.

He asks for our oil change records. I have few, as I change most of my oil myself.

The dealer, after charging $4,000 for a new engine, says sorry, we won't help you out in any way. Can I talk to the district rep? Sorry the district rep will not speak with me.

Did I mention my daughter was getting married in two weeks? I borrowd her 2000 Malibu to visit my DOA Montana - the gas is low so I'm on the way to fill-er-up. BUT - the fuel pump fails -- another $500 dollars, thank you, to fix a fuel pump - did we tell you GM fuel pumps fail if you run the tank low??

I get the engine replaced for $4,000 and write to the brass at GM. Nice polite letter. The have one of their stooges call me and say sorry, we won't help you, but if you want, we'll give you a voucher towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle if purchased in the next year. I say, no thank you, you miss the point. If you help me out on this thing, I will be impressed by GM's commitment to its customers. They say too bad.

I find out later that my cousin had a Montana a year or so newer that cooked an engine with 48,000 miles and my daughter's father in law lost the same engine on a Buick with 5,000 miles. Do we see a pattern here???

Now, a couple years later. The ABS/Brake/Traction Control lights come on. They say we need a new brake system computer, $350 for the parts only. I put a new junk yard unit in, now go.

GM had a chance to make me into a loyal long term customer. Instead, they made a lifelong enemy. I may not have gotten my $4000 reimbursed, but I guarantee I've told enough people of my problems that I cost them at least that much in missed sales.

Does anyone know if any barracuda lawyers are planning a class action suit against GM for this engine??


Disaffected in Erie.

12th Jul 2006, 12:49

I have had the same problems as all of you! We bought our 99 Montana in July of 2001 with 47K miles on it. In April of 2003 with 93K miles on it, I starting losing coolant, and had to have the intake gasket replaced for a grand total of $874. 6 months later (102,042K miles) I was replacing the engine because the camshaft broke! Another $3417. Guess what guys... The NEW engine now has 44K miles on it and I have to replace the intake gasket again!!! What is going on with these vehicles to keep causing these problesms? At what point is a recall made? There have course been many other problems, but this has been the most extensive.

14th Jul 2006, 19:19

If any of you hear of a class action suit I'd love to get in on it! My Montana has been nothing but a money pit, and I like most of you will NEVER purchase another GM vehicle.

8th Aug 2006, 23:35

We have had our 1999 Pontiac Montana for 2 years as of this time it has cost well over 4000 dollars in repairs and today quit completely on us... the dealership tells us it is the alternator that causes the a/c to quit working and the ABS and pass key light to come on... we are putting another alternator on it tomorrow and hopefully that will cure yet another problem on it... it has been making a whining noise and we can only hope and pray that the camshaft hasn't broken or spun a bearing... but with all the problems we have read about in this forum the outlook is not bright.. we also had and still have electrical problems on this vehicle as well as the water problems it really sounds like this vehicle should have been recalled a long time ago.. Another Dissatisfied Pontiac Montana owner in Texas.

17th Aug 2006, 23:06

Hi everyone, just few days ago I bought my Pontiac Transport 1999 with 126k. I was researching on-line for recalls to make sure if there is any recalls, so I can do something about it. Therefore I came across this site. After reading all these problems, now I am afraid to drive my van. Now since I bought it, what kind of maintenance should I do before things get bad??? Any advice will help. Thanks.

25th Aug 2006, 11:30

Wow. I could have written almost every single one of these letters. We bought our 2000 Montana minivan 4 years ago. Made the last payment yesterday! For the most part, it has been a good vehicle, except for these issues:

The brakes have always squealed, although the mechanic says they're fine. Still a little disturbing.

Electrical! Half of the radio display is dark. The radio no longer turns down when the car slows, sometimes the side mirrors won't move, the left turn signal comes and goes, the gas gauge is possessed! It goes from full to empty in 2 seconds flat. I have actually run out of gas in a busy intersection, wearing a business suit and high heels (Try pushing your car out of the way in those!) during rush hour.

Now, I have no brake lights. The airbag light is always on. The change oil light is always on. The low coolant light is always on. Now, the traction control light is always on. The transmission clucks when it's hot outside. Our mechanic is at a loss, and will be tearing it apart, once again, this afternoon. What a money pit this has been!

As for Pontiac giving a darn-they don't. I've tried calling them, e-mailing them, and writing them. All they care about is if their mechanics have always done the work on my car. Well, they haven't! Who can afford that? Plus, they never fixed it properly in the first place! And yes, they also offered me a coupon for money off on my next GM purchase. Yeah, right! I'd rather take the bus. I have been driving since 1976. I have always owned GM cars. This, however, will be my LAST!

Does anyone know if there have been recalls? Class action suits? If so, sign me up!