It appears that we will be in the market for a new (to us) minivan in
the next year. My wife really likes the Buick Terazza or Saturn Relay.
Does anyone have any experience with these new vans from GM? I
noticed that they have the 3.5L or the 3.9L engines in them. Is the
3.5L an updated 3.4L (maybe with the intake manifold gasket finally
fixed)? Is the 3.9L the "shortstar" engine from Olds?
That's enough questions for now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
wfyehl at comcast dot net
Thanks for that link.
According to that link, the 3.5L engine is based on the 3400 V6 60 deg
engine. So I have to ask again, is the intake manifold gasket problem
rectified with this iteration of the engine?
We will not really know for years. GM had intake manifold gasket
problems with the 3.1->3.4 L family of engines for over a decade with
multiple "fixes" along the way. Who knows if they finally have it
sorted out or not?
I was buying a part at the local dealership for our '94 Olds Silhouette,
and talked to the guys there for a while about the 3.4 and the new 3.5.
They didn't have much info on the new engines, but stated that there
is another 'update' for the intake manifold gasket on the 3.4. He also
mentioned that according to what they see, these gaskets need to be
replaced every 50K-70K miles. That is absolutely ridiculous.
I will keep a close eye on the service history of the 3.5 before looking
The 3.5 appears to be a minor revision on the 3.4. The 3.9 isn't a
Shortstar, but seems to be a further development of the 3.4/3.5 family.
Some if not all of these new V-6s are being made in China.
Personally I think that the new nose job on the GM vans looks horrible,
but that is a matter of personal taste.
Do check out ALL of the minivans on the market today, not just GM's
getting old designs.
I apppreciate your help. But it would be difficult to purchase other
than GM. My dad retired from Buick (I still get the employee discout).
My Brother works for Saturn, my father-in-law works for GM truck and
Bus in Flint, my brother-in-law works for GM powertrain, and another
brother-in-law works for EDS (works on Uni-graphics (SP?)). Plus, I
have uncles that work for GM, and cousins. I would, most likely, get a
PEP car/van if I decide to purchase 'new'. I bought a foreign car once,
and the family didn't like it (Subaru in the 80's). Most of the GM
products that I have owned, I have liked. It would be hard to not have
a vehicle with the 3.8 (or one of its derivations). I have had a
vehicle with that engine in it since 1991 ('87 GN, '86 delta 88, '94
Park Ave, and current '94 Olds Silhouette). I know these engines very
well, and really like them. If I could find a newer van with the 3800
in it, I would buy it in a second, but that ended in 1995.
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