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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • ashewittashewitt Posts: 28
    I have a 95 astro with the dutch doors and it has started to accumulate water in the bottom section of the hatch. It accumulates in the bottom and when you open the hatch up the water runs out from the corners. There doesn't appear to be any leaks on the inside and no water runs down the inside of the glass. The seals appear to be good and there are no rusted areas to indicate leakage. Any ideas???
  • gillwagillwa Posts: 1
    I bought my first AWD Astro in 94 and kept it 3.5 years. During that time the only problem I had was a worn tie rod end that came from me not greasing it regularly. I traded it in on a 97 when it had 50k miles on it and now have 48 on the 97. The only problem we have had with the 97 was a broken heater control knob it just developed a small, and I emphasize small, leak at the front right axle seal. This was replaced for $130.00. Thats the only repair bill I've paid since '94. I have paid for services but this is the only repair. In my opinion, the Astro has been a great van and I just came from the dealer lining up my 3rd.
  • looramlooram Posts: 17
    Hey! Chevy should read your owners manual. The auto headlights are supposed to go out when you hit the dome override button five times.........or maybe its just that you cant read. Get a clue and stop wasting computer memory space.
  • kderrick1kderrick1 Posts: 1
    I am currently looking at a 1987 Astro with 124k miles on it. Original owner is selling for $5500/obo. Oil and filter changed every 3000 miles and has papers to prove. Had transmission checked every 5000 miles. Test drove and it drove great. He has put new brakes, cat. converter, starter, water pump, alt., belts, wheels (17" Konig), tires, shocks, flowmaster dual exhaust system, carpet, headliner, and paint. I think it's a steal, considering new paint, wheels, and parts are worth about $4000... blue book value is $4000 as well. Looks good, but want to know what fellow owners think of these vans. I drove Astro's for a couple years in 1994-95 for my work, and thought they were fairly reliable good trucks... but not too knowledgable about '87 model.
  • I have owned this gashog for a year, mostly intown driving. Bought in Concord, NH where the dealership has always been polite, willing to work to correct problems-transmission,brakes-Butthe Chevy dealership in Nashua,NH wanted to charge us for all the work we had done on warranty at the place where we bought it. This is inconsistent with what the info in the warranty book states about "any gm dealer" will fix warranty problems. I'm returning to Dodge manual shift 4WD PU Quad. Been there-good truck.
  • kmixkmix Posts: 1
    I am currently in the market for a minivan. Found
    an Astro at a local dealer.This van is a 2000 and
    despite the fact that it is in the used dept i suspect that it had not been titled(searched by carfax).my question is gm is giving a rebate on astros and i would like to know if the rebate would apply to this van. Any ideas any one????
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    This sounds like a good question for Car_Man, host of Smart Shopper. Check over there to see if there are any current topics that might fit your question.

    Good luck!

    Vans host

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • ivanwareivanware Posts: 1
    I bought this in March of 1999 for $1200. It is a 92 and at the time had 264,000 miles on the original engine. The van had been used as a flower delivery truck. The only engine problem I have encountered is that it does need a ring job because it does smoke. My mechanic recommended 20w50 weight oil and "no smoke" as a much cheaper remedy which has worked great. I have had the same problem with the door handles but these are cheap to fix(less than $40). I have been very pleased with its performance. It now has 290,500 miles and is running great I highly recommend this van.
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    I have a 1999 with 33K miles on it. I get about 20 MPG in warm weather. I get 15-16 in cold weather. I use a block h eater and i also use synthetic 15-50W motor oil. I have very happy with the van. It has a good comfort level for me and my kids when they ride with me. I ordered this van with the positraction rear axle which is only about $ 300 vs $ 795 for AWD. Also this rides better and it pulls very well and gets better MPG than AWD.

    I have had the van for some time now. LAst winter i found the stock "tiger paw " tires to be useless on a mild ice coating so i replaced with four cooper snow tires . Fabulous improvement. I left them on until last week.

    With snow tires, my sample cases in the back and the positraction , plus the great ground clearance the vans has been great in all types of driving. Also you get a good view of the road in the bad weather and you are a little bit higher than some of the road spray. The wind does not seem to bother it very much either. I think I had more wind effect from my Chevy Caprice than the van!

    Highly reccomend this van to anyone needed a good all around unit that can carry people , "Stuff" ( like a Sear Lawn Tractor maybe?) and be economical to drive and SAFE in bad weather. Anti Skid brakes well nice too!

    One note: You will sit higher in this van than most pickups and all other " mini-vans" on the road. Do not get too snobby. OK? We Safari people don't want to get a reputation. Can we help it if others have bought the wrong vehicle ?
  • chris173chris173 Posts: 1
    we love our 95 LT 2wd it does all well but snow,we can tow up to 5000 lbs with it. Ours has the limited slip rear also (more useful for mud and towing then snow). All our friends try to tow with minivans without tow packages and worry that they will make it up hills whale we just turn of the overdrive and fly up hills with 3000lbs in tow. this van is great we would recomended it to any one.
  • dgreggdgregg Posts: 1
    Bought a new 2000 Safari and like it overall, but
    it feels like it floats and doesn't seem to track
    smoothly in wind, curves, etc. This is during
    ordinary driving. This week I towed my 2000#
    pop-up camper and had to be on constant alert due
    to periodic fishtailing when changing lanes, being
    passed, crosswind, etc. I have pulled this same
    camper thousands of miles with two different
    Mercury Villagers and never had a sway problem.
    Has anyone had similar experience with handling on
    the Astro/Safari?
  • looramlooram Posts: 17
    I traded my 97 Safari in for a 2000 Astro AWD this past January. My 97 use to do the same as your 2000 does,sort of floating when being passed etc. I found that if I loosened up on the sway bars it corrected the problem. Of course if your not using sway bars then ignore this. In addition, I was way over weight, I was towing about 6000 lbs. I know thats alot but my Safari never overheated, nor did I have any other problems while towing. I bought my 2000 Astro because we moved to Nebraska from California. So far it has worked great in the little snow we got this past winter. The AWD though really sucks when it comes to miles to the gallon. I drove back to California this past summer and the best millage I got was 18 MPG, that was flat freeway,65mph cruise control, not towing anything. Not very good considering its a V-6.
  • digger9digger9 Posts: 2
    Own a 93 Astro CL. 4.3 engine seems bullit proof,
    now has 155k on it and is using a little oil, approx 1 qt every 1-1.5 months. Keep oil and other fluids changed regularly but the body is going south quickley. New York winters are tough!
  • jackm4jackm4 Posts: 1
    We purchased a '98 Astro LT May 1998. I had to replace the transmission at 41k, no dealer/manufacturer help at all. Buy it new and you get 36k mile warranty. Buy a new trans to put in it and get a 50k mile warranty. Explain that one to me. Also, our gas pedal sticks, tensioner arm for the s-belt broke off, fuel pump hums like crazy, squeaks and rattles everywhere. Has anyone else had similar problems? Chevrolet is totally unwilling to accept any responsibility for either a bad design or bad quality. Help!
  • Just turned over 90k on our 1996 Chevy Astro van this morning on the way back from a long drive. The ride is forgivable when you need to help move a family member halfway across the country. Acceleration is slow but strong. Going full-speed up the hills on Missouri's I-70 was a simple matter of natural selection.

    Between 70 and 75 MPH the wind noise coming through the driver's side pillar was really annoying, so to kill some boredom I stuck my fingers into the weather-stripping around the door. The wind noise varied greatly when I did this, so at our next rest stop I messed around with the weather-stripping, pulling and twisting and folding it. Back at highway speed, the wind noise level was actually lower, so my guess is that with the thousands of times that door has been opened and closed it has compressed the rubber seal to the point where it no longer makes full contact. All we need to do now (besides get the oil changed again) is head down to the local Chevy dealership and have them install a new seal.

    I said last week that this old truck has probably only traveled half the miles it's gonna see in its lifetime.
  • Question:

    I am looking at 1995 and 1996 Chevy Astro vans. All are listed as 4.3l V-6 engines, but some are listed as "Vortec" 4.3l V-6, or "high output" 4.3l V-6.

    Did Chevy introduce the Vortec V-6 in 1995 or 1996 (I heard it was 1995) and did all Astro vans of that year come with Vortec V-6 or was this an upgrade from an ordinary V-6?


  • henkelhenkel Posts: 1
    Hello. I am a big fan of Safari/Astro vans. Mine is up to 236000. I have had a few friends get over 200k as well. From reading town hall I get the feeling the newer vans are not as tough. I am considering replacing mine with another Safari/Astro. 1995 looks like a good year any suggestions? I have 2wd now and am looking at AWD. It is the best Van around if you don't mind putting new brakes and tires on constantly... I have had to replace the usual fuel pump and alternator by now, but drive train seems unbeatable. Just look around they are everywhere.. Max
  • Recently, our 1997 GMC Safari AWD completely shut-off in the middle of a 4-lane highway at about 60 mph. Luckily, my wife was able to maneuver to the berm of the road, without accident or injury, but it was a pretty scary situation for her and our three children. Since it was Saturday, our GMC dealer was closed for the weekend, so we had it towed to a M-Wards service center, where it was determined that both the alternator and battery needed replacement after only 41k miles.

    As many of you know, when power is interrupted to the radio, the Theft-Loc system kicks in and must be re-set using existing codes when power is restored. Some of you may already know where this story is going...the Theft-Loc feature was already active when we picked up the new van, the codes were never recorded anywhere, and our ever-so-generous dealer wants $33 to re-set a code, even though the warranty book says to contact the dealer if the code is lost or forgotten. I followed the procedures in the manual, but can only get the LCD display to show "inop" If anyone has the codes, or knows a way out of this, I would be grateful for the solution. Kind Regards to All.
  • In spring 1997 we purchased a new Safari van (97 model). Problems that followed: Power driver window would not go up. We fixed that ourselves after the dealer had it twice. Sticking accelerator. Wipers work whenever they want. Leaking on driver side on upper part of windshield when it rains. New transmission at 55k miles. Transmission went out at 12midnight on a family vacation on interstate 75--not fun!! Alternator and battery replaced at 60k. That went out at a stop sign at a busy intersection. My only warning was about 15 seconds of the battery light being illuminated and then no power in my vehicle. We are so fortunate that we were not injured during these equipment failures. We are ready to trade in for another vehicle.
  • We have toughed it out with our '93 Safari AWD (bought used few years ago). We've had mixed success, but overall we've been pleased. Now at 116k miles. Love the size, acceleration/power, towing capacity, high profile on the road. Get fairly good gas mileage (20mpg hwy). Big problems with electrical circuits to windows, rear Dutch door. Annoying problem with paint... lots of peeling. Anyone else have that issue? I've heard it was a poor GMC paint selection. I wonder if they'd correct it or try some other remedy (cash?) and how to go about prodding them to help out. It seems like a real quality blunder. We've got the only '93 van on the road with skin cancer!!!

    Now looking around for a replacement. Leaning heavily towards the Odyssey, but I will be sad to give up all that space and height.
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