Chevy Venture Heater Problemsby Geoffrey St. Marie
Heating problems are a frequent repair need in some vehicles. Chevy Ventures have some history with related issues, which GM has officially recognized to some extent. Follow basic troubleshooting techniques to determine if further attention is required.
Although respected sources, like Edmunds, have given positive overall reviews of the heating and air conditioning system on the Chevy Venture, and although no recalls have occurred, some consumer reviews are replete with frustrations. GM released at least two service bulletins beginning in 2003 that indicated defects with coolant leaking and intake manifold gasket operations in the Venture. GM Service Bulletin Number 03-06-01-010 was the first. However, head gasket problems also have been reported.
With any heating problem, check the engine coolant level. Access your owner's manual for your year's model to check where the test point resides under your hood. If it is low or empty, this could very well be the cause of your woes. If the level holds, you've likely found the solution. If it drops quickly, you may have a leak. Check for the smell of coolant or a puddle of it underneath your vehicle.
If you have a leak, you probably will need to have it serviced. This will be the case if the head gasket is the cause. Unfortunately, replacement of a head gasket is one of the most costly repairs you can perform on any vehicle. If this is the case, you may want to weigh the prospective repair cost against the replacement cost of a new vehicle and how that manifests long-term.