I have a 2002 Chevy Venture and was told last night that the head gaskets need to be replaced on an almost regular basis after so many miles. I do not see an oil residue on the sides on the block. There is however a little oil on that has puddled. I do not know how long it has been there, but it is dust covered. Please let me know if this is a regular problem.
Oil normally leaks from the VALVE COVER GASKET(S). Most older cars do this; a small amount leaking from the valve cover gaskets should be watched to see if it gets worse. Make sure what is leaking is either oil or coolant.
If you need a head gasket, antifreeze (coolant) would be leaking from the engine and the coolant level will go down. Or, if the leak is internal the coolant could end up in the combustion chambers (cylinders), which is bad news, or into the cooling system, which is also bad news. Please have a good mechanic check which is leaking.
Although Ventures suffer from some head gasket falures, with good maintenance may owners have never had this problem. Whever tells you this is shooting from the hip (guessing).
The biggest headache for Venture/Montana and Silhouette owners was/is a leaking intake manifold gasket (IMG) (not head gasket) which allows coolant into the engine.
Keep an eye on the coolant level in the reservoir. The level in the reservoir should be at the FULL COLD mark when engine is cold.
Do NOT wait for the message center on the dash to warn you of low coolant, check under the hood once per week.
If it drops slowly but steadily and you do not see any EXternal leak, you’ll have a IMG INternal leak.
A quick check is looking for light brown milky type oil on the bottom of the oil filler cap.
Here’s a heads up for you: try to stop water (usually in the form of rain) from landing/sitting on the arm rest window/lock switches. It comes in when you open the window to reach for the coffee.
I just replaced the double power window switch and it’s hard to find one from a auto wrecker that works as there never (almost) is any windows in the wrecks and the switches are corroded. The dealers want an arm and two legs and don’t send a limo in the price.