11th Jun 2004, 09:37
I agree wholeheartedly. My 1999 Montana Extended (61k) is in the shop as we speak. I've had the same problems I've read about here with the transmission, power door, hatch strap breaking, driver's window not going down fully, head gasket leak ($1700), temp display malfunctioning, radio station indicator malfunctioning, OEM tires splitting down the sides after 20k miles, spare keys never able to start van, van intermittently not starting (getting 3rd battery today), and so on. I'm actually arguing with the service guy today since he says there is nothing wrong with the transmission. However, the problem is an intermittent loud whining followed by a huge clunk when shifting into each gear. The sounds are so loud that it seems that the trans will fall out soon! My wife needs to take my 3 kids on a 7 hour trip this month and I'm not certain our van will make it with the trans acting as it is. If the service dept. refuses to fix it (I have an extended warranty too), then I may have to rent something for her to drive for my own peace of mind! How's that for customer satisfaction. Never another Pontiac. Never another GM.
15th Jun 2004, 10:08
The service departments at most major dealers are filled with inept repair rejects.
The transmission problem with this van should be no more than a $500 fix, and that's including $65/hour labor charges. The transmission is not what goes bad, it's actually the valve body within the tranny. It can be rebuilt without taking the tranny out of the van. Try taking it to a tranny shop, look on MSN Carpoint, they list what actually is wrong with the tranny.
As for the head gasket, you just can't buy a van these days that doesn't either have tranny problems or head gasket (or both).
If you think you'll be doing yourself a favor by going Dodge, go ahead and you'll regret it the rest of your life when you're replacing trannies every 20K miles, and head gaskets to boot, and making do with poor gas mileage and a weak motor and drive line.
28th Oct 2006, 09:22
1999 Pontiac Montana.
Will never buy one new.
Have a used one and have had nothing, but problems.
Electrical in nature, mostly. Both front power windows stopped working; the overhead console (temp/mileage, etc) quit working; the stereo controls mounted on the steering wheel work occasionally, and the radio display is randomly functional.
We had similar transmission problems to those above: violent shifting into 2nd and 3rd. I found it to be a vacuum leak.
Will stick with Ford.