"EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT 2000 Silhouette, Montana, Venture.
2000 GL model (base), purchased new, as of this writing has 142,000 miles.
In hilly country I ALWAYS get 19-20 MPG, but I drive conservatively for best mileage.
On trips, it gets 25 MPG - with required fuel stops at 600 miles. (Can your bladder last that long?)
Observation: At around 100,000 miles it began requiring more than a quart to be added between 7,500 mile oil changes. Switching to synthetic blend fixed it.
After warranty (of course), the gas gauge stopped working. Have heard this is common. Would cost approximately $400 to repair because replacing the sending unit requires removing the gas tank. Since it has a 25 gallon tank, I always fill it up and reset the odometer to zero. Then drive 400 miles and repeat.
Common to this GM engine, the head gasket had to be replaced. If you have this engine, used in many GM's, and start losing coolant with no obvious leak, this is probably the problem. If you use my mechanic and have it fixed, along with a new water pump, thermostat and hoses, it will only cost you $437. (For a small fee, I will provide his phone number.)
The drivers seat has hole in the cloth. I plan to put on seat covers, but since it has side air bags in the seats, I must exercise care to not block where they deploy.
The wipers have been annoying to me. They stopped parking, reportedly a common problem. The fix is to replace the motor because the electronics for parking are built in. (They worked fine = motor OK, but would not park.) Replacing the motor is not difficult, but adjusting them is challenging. Need to be in the right spline. And then the attaching screw keeps working loose. Should be fine (fingers crossed), now because I used medium strength lock tite.
Before the original 36 month/36,000 mile warranty ran out, the transmission began shifting roughly. Expecting a transmission to be replaced by the dealer, I ignored it. When the warranty ran out, I looked for a shop that actually does a flush, not just drain and refill. That made no difference. At 100,000 miles, the radiator was flushed. That resolved the rough shift, so I surmise there was a blockage in a coolant line (For a LONG time). But then the rough shifting returned. I liked the van very well otherwise, so resigned myself to a large repair bill coming. at 120,000 miles, still shifting roughly, I had both the transmission and radiator flushed. IT IS FIXED - works perfectly.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a better long distance driver. The rear seats are heavy, but being split, not bench, there are several possible configurations.
Listed under "The Bad" is ALL major maintenance. It has had oil changes, tires and brakes ... and that is ALL. It has the original alternator, starter, exhaust system, etc. It is only inside during maintenance, literally. It has never had the benefit of a garage. Despite that, the paint is shiny and the only rust is a small patch on the frame on a weld joint. Considering I live in snow country - SALT - it is astounding!"
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