1997 Pontiac Trans Sport extended 3.4 from North America


Still good when you think of it!!


Bought it from my brother which he bought new and never had any problems.

2 months after I bought it head gasket blew and was more than 300 miles from home.. had engine replaced from scrap yard and the engine was from a 2002 montana because I knew that when a 3.4 overheats the aluminum heads tends to bend and very costly to repair..didn't take any chances paid extra money to replace the intake gasket..

I also changed the dexcool for good old green prestone as I heard that the dexcool contains acids that helps to keep for a longer time a coolant in the cooling system, but also helps destroying gaskets.

I have read many horrible stories and (like I had) reviews on the 3.4 liters in montana and the sorts.. they might be less reliable than Honda odyssey or toyota sienna, but a lot cheaper to buy and maintain.

Let me explain... they cost 5-6000 dollars more new and sometimes used... and where I live I can have from scrap yard many parts for cheaper price (1500 cdn dollars for an installed engine) than these imports.. the imports can do 400000- 500000 km with the same engine if maintained well after that it will also be a nightmare to repair these costly wise.

A 3.4 liter engine (all made in Mexico) is averaging 200000 km before having serious problems if there are!! so even when rebuilt I can possibly hope for 800000 km with 4 engines!!..And I am not talking about the transmission which on mine never had any problems yet... I know it sounds easy.. and you might say all the time lost for doing these repairs.. but how many hours more you have to work to get 5-6000 dollars more to get these imports!!

General Comments:

However..It is my way of thinking.. you may not like it and find I forgot many other things.

But I like this van and if I had like a Chrysler or a Ford I would have thought the same way.. but I love my pontiac the way it looks, handles and haul all of my stuff for cheaper on gas than imports the same size.. and especially on parts..

In conclusion I might say like the old stuff YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2005

27th Jan 2007, 19:19

I agree. I bought a my 97 Pontiac Transport two weeks ago with 102,000 miles on it for $3,000 and plan on (if it happens and it will) doing the repairs on it. Much cheaper than buying a new car. I had a Transmission fluid leak and just tightened down the bolt a little and no more leaks. I also changed the coolant as well from the Dexcool. The green stuff does just as well. Never knew about the gasket wear, thanks for that input. Great Van. Old, but if you keep up the maintenance it will last. Better than going into debt with a monthly car payment for the new car smell.

2nd Dec 2009, 09:14

I had the same problem my gaskets messed up, so I had coolant mixing with my oil. And one of my head cylinders were cracked. SO I went to a salvage yard, pulled out a head from a Grand Am or Grand Prix, don't remember, and paid $60.

Now for the materials I needed, including oil coolant and all that junk, plus some compound to grind the d=grooves on the heads, I spent around $550. So I fixed the engine, took both heads out, cleaned the good one real well, even the rods, which had deposits on them. Point is I cleaned both heads and put them back on. So now I still have the vehicle transmission, which is still good, and has plenty potential. Engine is strong and has more life. It feels like if I just bought it new off the dealer with no miles. It peels off and everything. Has plenty of power; more than any other minivans out there at the same age as my 97 Transport.

22nd Mar 2010, 13:30

In 2005 to 2008 I owned a Trans Sport from 1997 with 300000 km on the clock at the time of purchase... when I sold it, in 2008, it had run over 400000 km... without any transmission or engine problems, actually my impression was that the engine is strong and reliable... I didn't even change the spark plugs when I owned it!! The only major repair, except for normal maintenance (without spark plug exchange!!), was the fuel pump; expensive part and annoying repair! The car often drag a horse trailer and drove everyday, long trips, short trips without letting me down! I will absolutely buy a car like this again!

1997 Pontiac Trans Sport from North America


On a scale of 1-10 I give it an 8


The window regulators are very expensive and have been a constant problem. Needed an oil sending unit at 120000 miles. Is not as fuel efficient as my other van that is the same size, but rides smoother. The lights do get condensation in them. I drilled a small hole for them to drain. After so many miles some things are not worth replacing.

The heater and A/C have never been real good.

General Comments:

Has lots of power. The seats fold up great for hauling. I like the van's looks (I think its one of the sharpest looking mini vans on the road).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2005