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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • found it, thanks friend. what IDIOT puts 2 fuse boxes on a vehicle??? I was looking in the main box and found nothing like what i was looking for. no wonder GM is going down the drain.

    Can't wait till the wife lets me trade the pig in on a Caravan.
  • Subjective-This started with a rough idle when cold that smoothed out once hot. I sought online paid help and was advised to check out the coolant temp sensor, other educated advice was to check fuel pump pressure cold then hot. I was talked out of the fuel pressure idea since"fuel pump does not know hot from cold.(I have since found support that maybe it does...I'll get back to this)
    Objective- 265000 mile EGR valve, clean IAC valve, new plugs wires, spark plugs, rotor, radiator.
    Temperature sensor checked out ala Haynes manual as OK electrically and coolant level is fine. The van seemed to idle less rough and took less time to smooth out after topping up a minimal amount of coolant.(Maybe my imagination?) It still did not seem "right" I keep re-visiting the fuel pump idea with my online advisor yet he never gave any response just directed me to "free parts store advise". Meanwhile van did not start not start, engine won't turn tried for a second the first time yet failed after that. The fuel pump can be heard at the gas tank working. I pulled the starter and took it in and it worked on two benches. I was directed to a possible bad fusible link or some other wiring. I checked all wires from the battery to ground; to the starter and all are passing at least 12V even the one with the fusible link that connects to the generator/alternator. Initially with this little cheap battery alternator tester I got 5V when connecting the positive cable from the battery to the other two wires that connect to the started solenoid from the alternator. Since the alternator connects to ground it appears a circuit is being made here. I decided to double check with my UEI multimeter and it registered 12V at this point which I trust more. So it appears the wiring to the starter is OK? Why won't the van start?? Is the idle problem and the starting problem related or just coincedence. Can anyone shed some light because I am about to replace the starter and hook everything back up but I wanted to make sure I did not miss anything diagnostically
  • If your starter is not turning over it is electrical, knowing you have a good starter. Once the starter is back on the vehicle and all the wires are hooked up. Start at the starter connections, with a 12v test light clip the end to a good ground (not the starter). Then check the main cable terminal at the starter from the battery. If it lights, then have someone turn the key has you hold the test light on the solenoid wire. If it lights your problem is at the starter, if not start tracing it back.
  • Thanks for the reply. If I understand you correctly a 12V test light completes a circuit if there is voltage available(say from the battery) and lights if the circuit is not open. Would this not bo the same thing my multimeter does when I connected the positive clip on the end of the each starter connection and the negative lead on the cars ground wire to the engine block and it read 12V+. Now this was with the starter out of the vehicle. Are saying having the starter in place and putting a load on the circuit(turning the key)is different from doing the same thing with the starter out of the vehicle. If so I will try try that. Otherwise every wire circuit tested good with my meter from ground to it terminal end as passing 12+volts and continuity. Now one thing I did not do was disconnect the wire from the alternator to the starter and isolate to test it because that involves removing the alternator. It appears to me that if the circuit from the battery throught the alternator to the terminal end shows continuity there should be no need to take it off. Please correct me if this is not the case.
  • using a meter or a test light is the same. just eiser to use the test light. but if you have 12v at the stater and and silonoide and the starter is good then you may have a ground problem.
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    We have a 2001 Safari AWD with 124,000 kms. It came factory with P215/75R rims and rubber. Our van pulls ok under 50 mph but on the hiway above 55 mph, she feels very sluggish. Too sluggish. Like an old tired dog. If wondering, our van has factory 3.43 gears. Many have told me that our AWD should have been designed with 3.73 gears - due to its extra 300 lbs of AWD tranny equipment. Unlike some Safaris, our van is only used for family trips, to/from sports events and pulling up to 3,500 lbs utility trailer. When only me driving on the hiway, its ok (sluggish but tolerable). But if cargo and/or pulling a utility trailer the hiway (especially against a wind), our van often drops into 3rd gear. That's how much she's "lugging" on the hiway when between 60-65 mph.

    Instead of changing the FWD and RWD gears, I was thinking of installing P215/70R tires instead. At 60 mph, our speedo will only be out 3 mph but it will have higher engine revs (and less weighted tires to spin). Being an AWD, will smaller rubber (same rims) make its AWD system do weird things? Will its ABS system do weird things as well? In other words, has anyone tried 4 x P215/70R tires on their AWD van without any problems?


  • thelekthelek Posts: 3
    The Safari/Astro comes from the factory with P215/75R/15. Any changes you make with the 15" size will be insignifant. You can go up to 16" (I am running P225/75R/16 on mine and tow a 2700 lb trailer with no problems) but I really don't think that changing the tire size will fix your problems. You should seriously consider just changing the gear ratio and be happy with that, I will run about the same in $$ in the long run if the tires don't need to be replaced.

    If you do really want to just change the tires, go all the way down to 215/60/15. I really don't think it will do much good for your problems, but it won't have any adverse affects on your rig except to kill your MPG.
  • When all else fails with this model van put about 1 pint of ATF fluid in a half full gas tank. This was approved for my 98 Astro through my local Dealer and GM. In my geographic area we use re formulated gas, Ethanol. The Ethanol ie: alcohol, dries out the injector seats, the ATF fluid cleans and lubes the seats. I have heard of using fuel system cleaner, not fuel injector cleaner also works. Good luck,these vans are a constant problem.
  • I have a 1998 GMC Safari. There is a whine noise that sounds like it's coming from the rear end. The easiest explanation is it sounds like a plane taking off on the tarmac. It gets louder as the car picks up speed. It doesn't sound like the engine, cause you can hear it seperate from the noise. I thought at first it was the new tires I had put on, since it didn't start til then. However, I had them exchange the new tires with another set. And it's still making the noise. Any Ideas???????
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    Sounds like the gears in your van's rear end are going (or starting to go). Might want to get an automotive shop to investigate it further.

    If wondering, Safaris/Astros do have under built rear ends. The "most often" hold up during normal driving conditions but tend to blow when towing many hours above 4,000 lbs. Here's a small cut / paste from one consumer report:


    It is possible to modify the rear differential to increase durability in intensive usage. To do this, install a bigger oil pan and fill with a high grade oil. 85W140 for standard (non-locking) differentials, and for antislip differentials use 70W90 synthetic oil.

    Source file: Motors (look for GENERAL MOTORS Chevrolet Astro, GMC Safari) in the list.


    As a suggestion, get your local auto shop to replace the oil in its rear end. Go with the thicker 85W140 (or 70W90) Synthetic oil and hopefully, the whining sound will go away.

    Hope this helps...

  • Well I am back trying to get this van to start. It is a 1995 V^ with 260K . It has new fuel filter and the fuel pump engages when the key is turned. It has a new distributor cap and rotor. It has a new egr valve and the iac has been removed and cleaned. It has a new drive in the starter motor and new solenoid. While seaching for a solution to a rough idle when cold that smooths out when warm the van stopped starting. The rough idle caused me to investigate the coolant temp sensor and it checked out electrically and the amount of coolant is OK. The battery voltage is 12.25v and the positive and negative wires are OK and the ground has been cleaned and tightened. Any help would be appreciated at this point. I looked in the Haynes manual and it also lists the ignitiion swith as a possible culprit??? The van will not turn over and the the starter just makes a EH,Eh,Eh,Eh sound that gets weaker the more I try to start it so I tried to jump it off and no go with that.
  • I have a 1995 gmc safari... they recently change water pump, gas pump and fuel filter but now its leaking gas down the exhaust.... does any one know why this is happening .... my van its been parked on my drive way for too long now and i miss it very much i need to get it running again before starts snowing please if anyone knows i will appreciate any recomendations.... i heard it could be the fuel presure regulator... what u guys think??? can you give me any hint??? does have this happen to anyone around??? :sick: :cry: :P I love my van so much I am desperate to get it fix soon
  • Well I am back to trying to get this van to start. All wiring to starter checked out and engine is starting, belts are turning, fan is turning but the "engine won't rotate" as this appears to be the symptom. I tested and replaced ignition coil. Turn on key and hear the fuel pump working but can't test pressure(not running) except when car is off no gas spits out of the relief valve but when the pump is energized(key on) gas spits out so it appears the pump is working just can't tell how well. The engine now makes a puttering ("plop..plop") sound. Someone said I didn't have enough gas fumes so I filled the tank up and the plop got very loud and smoke came out of the engine compartment. AAt this point I don't want to have it towed in...I need to start this van. Any help is appreciated?
  • I have an automatic release, back hatch on my 94 Chevy Astro Van and I can not open the hatch. The left side seems to be frozen and will not release. I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to fix this problem as the dealer wants $100 just to diagnose and I am hoping this is an easy problem to fix.
  • I am a 6' 3" large guy and the astro drivers seat (neither manual or power)went far enough back for leg room for me to consider driving a long distance, but 4 bolts to remove the seat and 4 more to remove the track and its a simple matter to relocate the tracks rearward on the seat bolsters about 4 inches, they are bolted together and there is room to relocate them by simply drilling 4 new holes and re installing them. The same could be done to the passengers seat also to accomodate a large rider. have done this to 2 different astro vans and had no problems.
  • 99 astro van, where is the temperature sending unit located on the engine block. temp gauge not rising past 100, passenger compartment appears to have good heat. any ideas?
  • i had the same problem on my 94. you have to get the door open first then at the top of the door where the wires run into the door peel back that cover and one of your wires are probably broke in two. one of mine was broke and the other was ready to brake.
    good luck
  • ok i have an interminent problem with the fuel pump not working at all. ok somedays i kicks in and the van starts and not a problem. otherdays it wont start no fuel, the pump makes no noise. i have chenged relay switch, fuel pump, fuel filter, i have cleaned all grounds. and when its not running u check every thing and i wont start, but the next after not toching a thing the fuel kicks in and it runs great. i am wits end guys any help would be much appreciated.

    what am i missing what makes fuel pump work one day and not the next and work again another day
    (95 safari awd)
  • I am having a similar problem yet my van won't start at all.It just turns but won't turn over . When your van won't start is the belt turning and the starter engaging but engine won't turn over? This will help me decide to drop the fuel tank and change out the relays and pump which I have not done yet. Look for my posts for the history.
  • mine turns over and every thing it just doesnt start or run, if yours is turning over spray starter fluid in the carb if it runs for that little bit your not getting fuel and thats my problem. i just got done taking mine for a long drive ran great but im afraid the second i put it back on the road no fuel again!!!
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