The Pontiac Montana is a minivan that was made by General Motors from 1997 to 2009. It was affordably priced, with a roomy interior, and had reasonable gas mileage. However, Pontiac Montanas have already depreciated quite a bit over the years. Don’t leave without first reading up on common Pontiac Montana faults.
Montanas made between 1999 and 2006 are only worth 8% to 12% of their original value. The 2006 model is expected to lose 4% of its current value in five years. This means that the Pontiac Montana can potentially be a great deal for buyers interested in getting a used MPV.
How good is the Pontiac Montana?
Although the latest Montana minivans have already aged over a decade, owners have reported that they are still satisfied with their vehicle. However, various parts, such as the intake manifold gasket, tend to wear out .
There are also some parts, such as broken taillights, that require immediate attention. But for the most part, it’s as simple as replacing the malfunctioning parts. The cause of these problems can even be attributed to normal wear and tear. We will cover these issues later in this article.
Reliability scores for the Montana average 3.5 out of 5.0, which is good but not exceptional. Meanwhile, other owners seem to hold their Montanas in higher regard, as their recent reviews are in the 4.0 to 5.0 range.
Most of them report that the vehicle has some minor faults that they consider normal for a vehicle of its age. “It has never left us on the road and it drives comfortably. I’m happy with it,” says one owner. Many homeowners echo the same sentiment.
Common Pontiac Montana Faults
Although many owners find the Pontiac Montana affordable and decently reliable, some models still have various problems. Some of the common failures of the Pontiac Montana are:
1- Leaks in the water pump
Owners of some 1999 to 2005 Montanas have reported their minivans overheating. Upon investigation, they found that their water pump was leaking. A water pump leak is a common Montana problem.
The water pump is part of the cooling circuit and is responsible for the circulation of water or coolant through the engine. A leaking water pump will eventually cause a lack of coolant in the cooling circuit, causing the engine to overheat .
To fix the problem, owners simply have to replace the faulty water pump. Replacement water pumps for the Pontiac Montana cost around $30 to $60.
2- Erratic changes
Erratic shifting is another common problem on 1999 through 2006 Montana models. While transmission hiccups are sometimes just a byproduct of aging, the Montana’s transmission problem is caused by a faulty pressure control solenoid.
The pressure control solenoid controls the fluid pressure to the clutch friction plate. Defective pressure control solenoid results in harsh, lag shifts and causes the transmission to make screeching or whining sounds.
Replacing the faulty pressure control solenoid involves disassembly of the transmission, which is expensive and labor intensive.
3- Rear light failure
The rear brake light or rear turn signals on some 1999 to 2006 Pontiac Montanas have been known to fail. It seems that there is something causing the bulbs to stop working, as most owners have reported that even newly replaced bulbs do not work.
But, this problem is due to a faulty socket, not a faulty bulb . According to some users, the wires inside the tail light assembly were worn.
Replacing the faulty taillight would be an easy fix for this problem. However, there are several users who have fixed this problem by disassembling the headlight and looking for burnt wires.
The cause of the problem is a connector inside the taillight that has become disconnected or loose. Some owners were able to fix the problem by using new wire segments to connect the two points or by removing the burned segment and tying the remaining wire segments together.
5- Coolant leakage
Several Montana owners have reported that their air conditioning stopped working. The A/C failure is caused by a refrigerant leak in the minivan’s condenser. The refrigerant is responsible for absorbing the heat and redirecting it away from the cabin and into the condenser, where the heat is dissipated.
GM has developed a new condenser and mounting bracket to keep it from falling off. However, replacing the leaky capacitor should fix the problem . A replacement condenser for a Pontiac Montana costs around $60 to $100.
4- Failures in the intake manifold gasket
This is the most common failure of the Pontiac Montana . The Montana’s intake manifold gasket can fail, causing an oil or coolant leak. However, this leak is usually internal and not always visible from the outside. Oil and coolant may mix due to gasket failure. Some owners were able to detect the problem when the low coolant level light on the instrument panel came on.
Others experienced overheating issues. When this problem occurs, the engine is at risk of being damaged because the coolant should not be mixed with the oil. If you do, you will interfere with the lubricating properties of the oil, and then the engine will not be properly lubricated.
Pontiac Montana models from 1999 to 2005 are affected by this issue. Replacing the lower intake manifold gasket should fix this problem for most owners. However, there are some owners whose engines are
damaged as a result of the mixture of refrigerant and oil.
These unfortunate owners had to pay for expensive engine repairs. To avoid costly engine repairs, owners should have their vehicle serviced immediately at the first signs of intake manifold gasket failure.
The Pontiac Montana also has problems with other parts like the brakes, steering, and air conditioning, but they are less common. The most common problems on this list are the ones Montana homeowners should look for. If you know the most common problems with the minivan you’re considering buying, you’ll be able to catch problems before they become serious.