Some positive feedback... Do you have some??


spike88
03-15-2009, 06:14 PM
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During a 4 mile peddle bike ride today, I seen a "friendly looking" lady loading 2 kids and some minor stuff into her Montana van. Being at street's curb side (instead of a laneway), I decided to stop my peddle bike ride and ask her a few questions. Especially since my wife & I are "still researching" a possible future '09 Uplander / Montana purchase. In summary, this lady told me the following:

- She's the first owner of her '08 Montana EXT van. Bought off the showroom floor - last spring.
- It's got 2nd row buckets and 3rd row bench seat. Same configuration I'm looking at.
- Her van also has the factory Hauling / Towing package with onboard air compressor with factory air shocks. I didn't see a trailer hitch on her van. She told me that she doesn't load her van down with too much "stuff", and has never heard its compressor pump activate. With 2 small kids and light weight stuff in rear cargo area, she's probably right. re: Not enough rear "down" compression for the system to auto-level itself.
- She told me that for the first 1-2 months (during its engine "break in" time period), she was discouraged with its poor MPGs. But after break-in time period, her van's MPG became much better. And seems to get better each month she drives it. Especially since she's getting lighter and lighter foot on its gas peddle - unlike her previous sport car that loved to go "zip zip" around the sharp corners and off the lights.
- This lady told me that against strong wind and up hills, the her van's 3.9L engine pulls with ease. Doesn't struggle, then down shifts - like some of her previous under powered vehicles. The 3.9L keeps going and going - without a struggle.
- She told me that 3.9L is actually "too much" power for winter / ice roads. The FWD wheels would rather spin instead of lugging, then locking down with traction. Smiling, she looked at her van and said, "winter rubber would eliminate most of last winter's easy spinning situations. Those factory all-season rubber isn't really made for our winter roads".
- I asked her about the SUV look in the front of her van. She smiled and said, "ya - some love it and some folks don't. Just like some folks like the SUV look of Ram pickups and some folks don't". To me, very smart lady in her comparison.

In the end, the chatty lady did say she'd order the Montana / Uplander again. Especially the '08 Montana EXT van - same configuration she bought for her family. For her long family trips and minor cargo hauling, her van works great. Her husband uses their other vehicle (smaller "run about" vehicle) as their daily commute vehicle. Thus, their Montana van is used more for family travleing and cargo loading situations. Being the "most efficient" on MPG isn't a major concern.

Sure was nice hearing some positive feedback about Montana / Uplander vans. Especially from somone who drives their locally - who has the same driving conditions and same family hauling needs as my family. Reading many of those online reviews (especially the older reviews with 3.4L / 3.5L engine) was getting depressing.

Do you have positive feedback with your 07, 08 and 09s as well? Just wondering...

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'97ventureowner
03-15-2009, 11:09 PM
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- She told me that 3.9L is actually "too much" power for winter / ice roads. The FWD wheels would rather spin instead of lugging, then locking down with traction. Smiling, she looked at her van and said, "winter rubber would eliminate most of last winter's easy spinning situations. Those factory all-season rubber isn't really made for our winter roads".
Exactly the same situation I experienced this past winter. We've has 150" of snow so far and I live on top of a big hill. This was the first tome in a long time I couldn't get up the hill.The tires would spin and sometimes during the winter I would have to turn off the traction control to stop the wheel spin and get through the mess. When I had a similar issue with my Venture, I remedied the problem with snow tires. That is what I'm doing in preparation for next winter. With new snows on the Venture I had, I could go anywhere.
- I asked her about the SUV look in the front of her van. She smiled and said, "ya - some love it and some folks don't. Just like some folks like the SUV look of Ram Pickups and some folks don't". To me, very smart lady in her comparison.
That was one of the improvements GM made to these vans that I liked. Add that to the 17" wheels which makes the van higher, and it seems like you are in an SUV.


Sure was nice hearing some positive feedback about Montana / Uplander vans. Especially from somone who drives their locally - in my same driving conditions and same family hauling needs. Reading many of those online reviews (especially the older reviews with 3.4L engine) was getting depressing.

Just to clarify, the 3.4s were never in the '05 and up vans(exc. '05 Venture), only 3.5 and later the addition of the 3.9 as well. The 3.4s used in the pre '05 vans had a better track record after the issue of a redesigned LIM gasket in '02. ( '03 to '05 exclusive).

Paul94Z28
05-03-2009, 09:49 PM
Love my 08 Uplander LT. Bordeaux Red, Grey Leather. A change coming in from the Chrysler product for sure, but once you get past the side entry to middle entry with the seats it is easy. Got it as a PEP through GM.

Nice balance of power and options. 15K miles, had since Nov 07, only issues are single TPS sensor gone bad and occasional grinding when starting (common issue) that will be repaired on our next service visit.

That and we drowned a remote fob :(

So Far, So Good.

'97ventureowner
05-03-2009, 11:52 PM
Love my 08 Uplander LT. Bordeaux Red, Grey Leather. A change coming in from the Chrysler product for sure, but once you get past the side entry to middle entry with the seats it is easy. Got it as a PEP through GM.

Nice balance of power and options. 15K miles, had since Nov 07, only issues are single TPS sensor gone bad and occasional grinding when starting (common issue) that will be repaired on our next service visit.

That and we drowned a remote fob :(

So Far, So Good.

:lol: I lost one of my remote fobs for my Uplander just after Winter. Ilike to keep the spare fob near the window that faces the driveway where the van is parked and one day it just disappeared .:dunno: Looked all over for it. Just purchased a replacement on eBay for $13.95 from a seller in Canada. Now I have to re-synch both remotes together to get them all on the same page. Had the van since 10/06 and it has a little over 33,000 miles on it. The factory radio w/ CD just started acting up last week. I tried to play a CD that was in the player and was receiving a CD Read Error message. Loooked around on the Web and found that it sems to be a common issue with many different GM models. Talked with a friend who's a service manager at a local Chevy dealer and he said my best and cheapest alternative would be to go to the salvage yard and get a used one for $100 and replace it myself. ( I'm not too keen on used electronics like radios.) I saw a nice aftermarket CD AM/FM unit at Crutchfield for $160 but upon further reading found that isn't my best option either.he description said that if you have a factory DVD system and install that player you would only be able to listen to the audio through headphones and not the vehicle's sound system. That won't work for my son who is deaf but has cochlear implants. He needs the vehicle's sound system. I put a DVD in the player and it played just fine so I think I'll just forgo using the CD and use the radio by itself, plus I have an FM transmitter that I have hooked up to an mp3 player and play the mp3 player through an unused FM frequency. That option gives me 100's of songs without having to change CDs. Other than that the van has been great.
Did a 4 wheel brake job at around 30,000 miles. Used NAPA's New pads called ADAPTIVE ONE, which was recommended by a fellow mechanic. They are ceramic on one side and semi metallic on the other and are supposed to "adapt" to your driving style and last longer than other pads on the market. Time will tell.

spike88
05-04-2009, 07:35 PM
Hi '97ventureowner.

As a suggestion, take your existing CD Disc that doesn't play very well in your van and "copy it". Ensure you copy it to high quality CD media. Then, give it a try in your van. If wondering, there's a few computer CD Players that act the same way. re: They won't play low grade CD media but will "consistantly" play the high quality CD discs. Something about track quality and head alignment. Give this "use better CD media" a try (for a few of your son's favorite CDs) and see if it helps.

If replacing your Radio / CD Player unit, I'd get a much better 3rd party replacement. If your GM CD player did it once, then odds are another GM CD player will do the same in the future. Especially if your GM friend says its a known problem. Go "better" 3rd party (from specialized auto store) and good for the life the your vehicle.

Good luck!!!!

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'97ventureowner
05-04-2009, 08:41 PM
Actually all I use is burned copies of CDs that I make on my computer. The problem isn't the CD not playing, I haven't had an issue yet with the dozen or so CDs I've made, it's the point that the player will not eject the disc. That is the problem that many report and is just as common as the player not playing home recorded discs .
On the note of an aftermarket player I really can't do it as it won't work with the factory DVD player. The factory DVD player needs the factory radio to be able to broadcast the sound in the whole vehicle's system. If I used an aftermarket player , my kids would have to use ear phones to be able to hear the sound and my son cannot do that as he is deaf but has 2 cochlear implants which allow him to hear fine, except the microphone is located on a processor a few inches above the ear, so headphones for him are useless for the time being.
At least the DVD player still works with the existing CD player and I.ll keep it that way as long as it still works. Thanks for the suggestion though.

There is an issue however as you stated with the quality of discs used and whether or not they are CD-R or CD-RW for some players.I'm stating this for any member who may see this post in the future looking to solve an issue with their CD player as something to consider while troubleshooting their issue.

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