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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro

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Comments

  • dlm1954dlm1954 Posts: 57
    The rear doors on these Astros are notorius for leaking, Sometimes mine will leak real bad and I'll put some kind of rubber conditioner on the gasket and it'll quit leaking sometime for a year or more. But there is a whole lot of other places it can leak to the roof from small rust holes you can't see because their on the top or the floorboard.I'd wait until the next hard rain and see if I couldn't see where it was coming from which is your best bet.DLM1
  • egillettegillett Posts: 14
    First thought is the seal at the top of the rear hatch or doors (close vehicle up and have someone run water on the roof while someone inside looks) and my second thought is if you were useing tha air conditionioning, check that the water from the AC is draining to the outside. If it isn't, run a flexable rod up through the drain hose from underneath and the pastie muck will flow out. When this is clogged, the water backs up and spills out under the floor rugs. :)
  • egillettegillett Posts: 14
    Make sure the rear bumper has not been "bumped" and is up against the bottom of the door. It doesn't take much! :cry:
  • hulscherhulscher Posts: 3
    Thank you for your input - we appreciate!
  • smrbsmrb Posts: 1
    I replaced the fuel pump and it wont pump gas out of the tank. I can hear it prime when turning key on.I unhooked fuel line at filter and had the key turned over but no fuel.The vehicle is also draining batteries.It ran when i parked it.The fuel pump i replaced was only a year old. If i can hear the pump and am not getting fuel what could be the problem.If i pour gas in carb the van runs until that gas is used.
    i have dropped the gas tank in my driveway 4 times looking for problems.Could i have hooked up the pump wrong?Where is the underhood fusebox/relay?
    Help ME please.I was hurt at work and can not afford to go to a mechanic.I need to sell this van badly.Thanks
  • hulscherhulscher Posts: 3
    GREAT! The seal idea is what my husband is planning on doing tonight. But do you know where the AC drain is located? Many thanks!

    :D
  • gawgadavegawgadave Posts: 1
    I have two rims with tires on them. You can email me directly for pictures and info. GawgaDave@yahoo.com

    Also, check with Discount Tires, they keep some in their warehouse system.. new they were $500+ used you could get around $200.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Hi all. First visit to this particular forum. I just purchased a 2004 Astro Cargo for work. It appears to be in fairly good shape. Clean and the cargo floor is hardly scratched indicating light usage... anyway, it came with a key fob attatched to the key, but it doesn't seem to work. I changed the battery and still no go. I am not certain if it has a keyless entry system or not, but the inclusion of the fob with the key makes me think so?

    It does have factory power locks (and windows-surprise on a cargo van), and I was curious how re-program the fob with out going to the dealer and paying them $80 bucks to perform what I am sure is a 2 minute job. Is there anyone out there that knows how to do this? I know on my Impala I just scroll through the settings on the radio, but this can still has the old 90's style Delco AM/FM only stereo. If I can get the fob to work that would be great, but if not, it's no big loss since I have never had a fob on my work vehicles before, but it would be nice to have it working...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    I just bought an Astro Cargo - 2wd. I specifically shied away from the AWD due to the horror stories I heard about with the AWD failing and the gearing causing the lugging...

    Is there a way to tell what gearing I have - whether it's 3.42 or 3.73??? The van seems to have really good get-up-and-go - even more so than my 4.3 powered S-10. It also has pretty good power on the highway. I'll look down and realize I am way over the limit. I haven't tried passing anybody yet and I actually haven't had it above 60 MPH yet, but the power around town has been more than adequate.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    thx - I just looked and I have 3.42 gears... guess it's a good thing I only have 2wd :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    I did some research and was able to figure out how to re-program the key fob. It appears that GM used this method for several vehicles that do not use the radio to set certain settings. (mid-late 90's and early 00's models)

    Step 1: Get in the vehicle and close all the doors.

    Step 2: Hold the unlock switch in the vehicle to the "unlock" position.

    Step 3: Turn the ignition ON, then OFF, then ON and then OFF

    Step 4: Release the unlock switch - the vehicle should lock and unlock the doors. This is to let you know the vehicle is in "program mode" and that you are ready to program.

    Step 5: Press and hold both the unlock and lock buttons on the key fob at the same time. After several seconds the vehicle should respond by locking and unlocking the doors. The key fob is now programed. Repeat this step with all the fobs (generally up to 4) that you wish to program.

    Step 6: Turn the ignition on and then off to exit program mode.

    If you have more than one fob you wish to program, you must program them all at the same time. These steps I found were actually for a Silverado, but I also found them for an Envoy too and so I tried them on my Astro and it worked. You must also make sure that the fob you are programing is meant for your vehicle. Meaning that even though a lot of GM fobs look exactly alike they have different codes. a fob from a Silverado may not work for an Astro... And then also make sure that your vehicle is actually equipped with a keyless entry system.

    So there you have it... I know I answered my own question, but I thought I would post it anyway since it might be of good use...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    There isn't one. There is nothing on the market today that is what the Astro/Safari were. You can either go to a smaller car-based minivan like the Caravan, Odysee, Sienna route which will have the seating needs taken care of, but as far as towing efficiently, I don't think they would really be up to the task.

    You can go the full size SUV route with the Tahoe/Expedition/Sequoia. Not as much cargo and seating as a minivan, but full sized towing capabilities. Gas mileage is much lower than a minivan, but it does tow well and Edmunds just finished a Tahoe longterm and were quite pleased with... when it was used as intended. You can go even larger with the Suburban/Expedition EL, but again you sacrifice fuel economy.

    Honestly, I think your best bet might be GM's new Lamda crossovers. The GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave. They have as much cargo and passenger capacity as a minivan, but also the ability to tow. They are front drivers, but AWD is optional. But they are not a "van" and do not have sliding doors. PLus they don't carry the stigma of being a "mini-van" If you care about that. But they can cost well north of 30k. You might also look at the Mazda CX-9. Edmunds has just added both an Enclave and a CX-9 to thier fleet. The Mazda is smalller, which might be better, and the Enclave is cushier... With both vehicles in the fleet, you will be able to do some good comparing and see if either of these vehicles will fit your needs.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    It seems that the door lock actuator on the sliding door of my van has quit working. The other day I noticed that it wasn't locking (or unlocking) when I hit the lock button on my remote. I thought it was a fluke but then today I did some testing and it doesn't lock/unlock with the power door lock switch either. All the other doors lock/unlock fine with either the keyless remote or the power switch. I did notice the other day when I originally noticed it not locking, that it would sometimes lock and sometimes not and sometimes it was reall slow to do so. The lock mechanism itself seems fine. It doesn't stick, or seem tight. No abnormal force it needed to lock the door. That is why I assume it is the actuator and not a stiff latch. I felt in there and didn't feel any broken parts, no can I hear anything inside the door when I do hit the lock or unlock switch.

    Does anyone know how to change this, or get to it? I took off the cover panel (its a cargo van so it doesn't have a plastic trim, just a metal plate secured by several screws), and I was able to partially see the actuator and feel the lock rod coming towards the lock, but it seems to be tucked back behind the locking mechanism for the latch. Almost seems impossible to access.

    One other thing I noticed is that the rear door handle seems very stiff. Like it needs to be adjusted. It shuts fine, but the handle takes quite a bit of force to open. The lock too seems to be stiff. But this lock does seem stiff. The key hole looks like it may have been jimmied at one time and could be to blame. The key still works in it, but if it's not too hard I would like to replace it. I WD-40'd it all and it works better. The locking mechanism doesn't seem so stiff, but the door latch still takes the same amount of force to open. It does however work most of the time with the power door locks, although it takes a couple of pushes of the actuator sometimes to get it to open. I haven't noticed whether the WD-40 I sprayed helps this at all since I just did it today and haven't had a real chance to test it out.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    I'll check that and see... I remember looking at the contact points, but don't recall them being overly dirty. I just bought the thing and it was detailed before I took delivery, but this could have very easily been missed.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Seconding spikes comment - keep the Astro. But if you do want to replace it, then there is nothing out there that will compare to the Astro, but the closest thing to it would be GM Lamda SUV Crossovers...

    The GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave. But with all of them costing near 30K and up, unless you really need one or want to spend that much, I say your Astro will have as much more utility and will ultimately cost you less (even with less MPG) than one of these will. With only 94K on your van, it should go easily to 200K with no major issues. If you are thinking to get something more fuel efficient, remember that the new vehicle will cost upwards of 30K. You probably won't recoupe that in gas savings. Even in repairs to keep the Astro on the road won't cost as much as the new vehicle.

    But if you do want to replace the Astro, the only thing I think that comes close to the both the utility, people hauling, towing, fuel economy, cargo space is the Lamda platform. I think the Acadia is the best, the Buick the cushiest and the Saturn is in between the two. The Acadia can haul more than a Tahoe (although not tow as much), get better fuel economy, and carry the same amount of people in better comfort. The dis-advantage to the Lamda is that it's tow rating isn't as much as the larger Tahoe or even the Astro. But it does have a respectable tow rating and if you don't tow frequently then the tow rating will be sufficient to meet your needs.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Sounds like it is either a stuck baffle or a disconnected vacumn. As far as fixing it, not sure. I'll do some research and see if it is self-serviceable.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    It sounds like the motor is toast. The cost to have a shop put in a motor will probably equal what the van is worth. You may get lucky and only have a burnt valve and may only need top end replacement, but reason you lost oil pressure also needs to be adressed, so a new motor is probably the best and safest route.

    How many miles are on the vehicle and what do you use it for? If you use it regularly and for it's intended purpose- hauling people around, for work as a contractor (is it a cargo van?), towing and such it would be best to fix it and keep it depending on the reliability of the rest of the vehicle's parts. The cost of fixing it may indeed be less than a different vehilce and provide many thousand more miles of service. But if it has so many miles that only rigorous maintenance is keeping it on the road and is now equaling a car payment a month, then you might be better replacing it with something more reliable. Don't just fix it a keep it for sentimtal reasons ("...I've replaced a bunch of things over the years...") The vehicle is not a sick child and not worth pouring more money into it if it would better spent elsewhere. When it all comes down to it, the vehicle is just an appliance and when it has lived it's useful life, junk it and get something else.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    first let me clear up some confusion about my name... you stated "thebigirl" when it is really thebigal - meant to be read the-big-al :shades:

    anyways, not sure if I can help on the starter issue and it's a bummer that you have such a lemoned vehicle... I just bought my Astro. It's the 4th vehicle with the 4.3 V6 drivetrain, 2nd Astro and all of them I have been very happy with.

    A few years ago I had a '95 S-10 with the 4.3 that started exhibiting intermittent starting problems. It wouldn't click, but it would grind. It wasn't the starter hitting the flywheel grind it was inside the starter somehwere. It would do just what your van is doing. It would be fine for a few starts and then it would have issues for a bit and then it would be fine. I traced everything, checked all my wires, made sure all the corrosion was cleaned if I found any and replaced a couple of cables too I think just to make sure the corrosion hadn't gotten inside the cables.

    Nothing helped and finally the starter just quit working. I had to push start the vehicle everytime I wanted to start it. I decided I best just replace the starter. After I did that I had no problems getting the vehicle started. After anylisis of the problem, I determined that there was a broken tooth or a worn gear inside the starter. When that particular tooth lined up properly, it wouldn't enage the rest of the starter and grind. Or so I determined. What might be happening to you is there might be a bad connection in the solenoid that sometimes works, then the connection is broken and then it won't work unitl the connection is made again. There could be enough of a connection that it will work, but the connection is so fragile that it doesn't take much to break, or make it. It could be inside the solenoid and be non-servicable. So if you have done everything except replace the starter - like making sure the cable are good, that there is no corrosion at the batter, the battery is indeed good, the connections at the starter are good and there is no corrosion there either, then the next step is to replace the starter.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Not sure how to phrase this question, but I'll do my best.

    I am looking to see how or if there is a way to program how my vehicle locks/unlocks the doors when it is placed in drive or park, how the lights flash when I hit the lock button on my fob remote and also how the horn sounds when the lock or unlock button is hit.

    My vehicle is a 2004 Chevy Astro Cargo Van with a keyless entry system. I have figured out how to program new remotes, but I also wonder if there is a way to manage the other settings. I know that on my Impala I just use the radio to set all these settings, but my Astro has the old style (90's style) AM FM head unit. I'm almost postive there is a way to personalize these settings, but I'm not sure how to do it beyond programng the key fobs to work with the vehicle. Anyone out there know how to do this?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    just read your post and it brought a couple of questions to my mind... I currently own an '04 Astro with almost 90K on it and an '01 S-10 with over 110K on it. The Astro gets about 15 MPG average (this is with ladder racks over the top) and the S-10 gets about 16-17 now. It used to get almost [the s-10] 19 in town and I could push it to 24 on the highway. Both idle exactly the same which is a little rough, not really chugging, but a little rougher than I am used to. The S-10 didn't used to idle so rough. They both have the 4.3 drivetrain, which I understand, aside from a little different programing to give the Astro version a little more power, is identical.

    Would this type of problem be fixed by the procedure you just descibed?? I haven't been throwing codes, nor do I seem at a lack of power, but these two vehicles provide my livelihood and I want to make sure they run well into the 100K.... I would like to make sure they make it to 200K.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    I have noticed something over the past several weeks that I have had my van and that is it has a fairly large turning radius. Just as large as the full size van I replaced. I thought it a bit unusual that this van has such a large turning radius and I don't remember the Astro that my family had several years ago having a large turning radius (although I don't think I paid much attention, but I used it to deliver papers and had to get it into tight spots and don't remember it be overly difficult to do...

    So my question is, do the later model year Astros have a larger turning radius than the earlier years???
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    I was wondering if tires had anything to do with it... I have 215 70 16's and I was kind of thinking that it was because they went from 15" to 16" rims. I also looked at the wheel at a full cock and noticed it wasn't turned as much as my truck is. I didn't get out though to look at wheel well clearance which could be why it's not turning in as much.

    Oh well. It is what it is and I just have to plan my turns accordingly.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    junk yard or dealer... I ran into that problem a few weeks ago after I unsuccesfully tried to break into my locked van from the rear and completely damaged the lock cylinder. When I called the auto parts stores, all they had was a cylinder for an older (would fit an '88, but not an '04). They couldn't find anything else to do with the lock mechanism so I am assuming they didn't have an actuator either. The dealr on the other hand rattled off a list of parts, but the prices were pretty high. $60 and above.

    I would go to the junk yard and try there. I am sure that there are a plethora of vans (especially the older ones) that would have a rear door lock actuator. I am also pretty sure that pretty much any year would work since these vans didn't change a whole lot (at least in door function) from when they were built to when they were retired. I actually woudn't be surprised if a door actuator from an '04 fit and worked on an '88...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Okay, so hopefully this post will help take the focus away from the backbiting going on ;)...

    Every man has his tools and what works for him, so let's just leave it at that?

    Anyway, as far as having the right tool, I sure could have used one today. My van has recently started making the most horrendous grating sound as well as shuddering horribly while braking. Time for new brakes! I had recently stuck my hand through the wheel and noticed that the rotors were also going to have to be replaced (before any one jumps on me for not paying attention or jumps to conclusions, let me get to the end of the post first ;)). I had just bought the van and I have only put about 5K on it since I got it. When I was test driving it, I didn't notice anything in particular, at least not to the level I was experiencing, wrong with the brakes.

    Then several weeks ago, it started making these sounds and shudder when the brakes were forcibly used. They didn't seem so bad with easy stops. Panic stops however were not fun to experience. That's when I stopped and checked the pads and the rotors out. The pads appeared fine, but the rotors didn't look so hot. They weren't overly grooved out, but they were pitted and the outer edges were pretty rusty. I knew I would have to replaced them along with the pads. But there was nothing dire (I was afraid I was metal on metal) about the situation so I have just been living with the van's poor stopping abilities the past few weeks.

    I finally stopped by the auto parts store today to get new rotors and pads to rectify my problem. As a side note, somewhere along the way, I also noticed that the van also has rear disc brakes instead of drum. They are next on the list, but I really haven't taken a close look at them. But since the van is on jacks right now, I might as well. Anyway, I get home and proceed to jack up the van and take the tire off. Now I am facing a caliper setup I have never seen. (My experience portfolio isn't very large, but large enough that I feel comfortable doing these sorts of jobs) After calling a friend and poking around the caliper setup, I realize that instead of the standard Chevy front end setup that I am used to from my S-10 and the full size van and the full size truck and the previous S-10 which utilized a wheel/hub all in one rotor and a caliper over the top, this has a bracket mounted to the spindle with a front wheel drive like rotor under it and the caliper mounted to the bracket, with the pads being mounted in the bracket.

    I also realized that the allen key I have gotten out will be no good as I now need an 18 MM socket and a T55 Torx head. Groan. Back to the tool box. Now I proceed to TRY and take off the bolts. First the caliper bolts. They won't budge. I HATE torx heads. HATE THEM. I hate them even more than allen keys. They always seem to strip. Maybe I just don't know how to use them, but they always seem to strip, or slip out of the bolt you are trying to remove. Anyway, the caliper bolts will not budge, It doesn't help that I can't get any leverage underneath the wheel well. I crank the wheel so that the bolts are atleast facing towards the outer edge as much as possible. Still not much clearance, but better. I still can't get them to budge. I beat the socket wrench with a hammer. No go. I grab a larger box wrench to create a cheater bar. Still no go. I WD-40 them. Still no go. I switch to the 18MM bolts holding the bracket and can't even get them to budge. This is getting ridiculous. I knew the bolts would be tight, that's to be expected but this is unreal! A simple 30 minute job is turning into an hour now. I get mad and call my buddy back up. He has a couple of tools I don't have including an impact wrench.

    I spray the bolts down with WD-40 again to let them sit and penetrate while I go get the impact wrench. I come back and go back at it. The impact wrench pulls off the 18MM bolts. I take off the caliper assembly and realize that I am going to have to get the caliper apart from the bracket in order to change the pads. So I put the caliper assembly back on the spindle and bolt it down so I can try and get the caliper bolts out. I hit the top torx head with the impact wrench and it slowly comes off. YEA!! Only one more bolt to go. By this time I am feeling pretty good. I go to take off the bottom bolt and WHAM! It won't budge. My air compresor comes on to keep the gun going. It still won't budge. I stop. Glare at the bolt. Get my cheater bar set up and try and break it free. It keeps wanting to slip and I can just feel the pain of a SNAP and a CRACK. So I stop trying with my rigged cheater bar setup. I call my buddy back up and he's surprised that the bolt won't budge. He has a longer cheater bar that I can come and get. (He's laid up with a busted foot, otherwise he'd come help). Before headed over, I hit the bolt one more time with the impact. It shears the torx head socket in half. (It wasn't designed for use with impact wrenches. Good thing I've got another, although still not designed for use with an impact)

    I go an pick up the larger cheater and show my buddy my old rotor. He's mystified by the pitted look. I tell him the pads "look" almost new - meaning that they look like they had just been changed. But something was causing my shudder (warped rotor-like shudder). He agrees that the rotors are indeed shot. I get back home with my last option with this longer cheater bar. I apply imense amount of leverage to try and break the bolt free. (also all this time I have been applying liberal amounts of WD-40.) The wrench slips and I crack myself on the head with my fist (at least it wasn't the cheater bar). I get mad, grab my hammer and beat on the bottom the caliper. Then I give up and go inside.

    I'm hungry, grumpy, tired and beyond frustrated. What should have been a 30 minute job has now turned into 3 hrs. Whoever put these brakes together last seemed to think that tighter must always be better. As I thought about it, the tire was also very difficult to remove. I was mystified why the pads look so new and the rotor aside from the rusted outer edges and inside on the back side, appeared to be in okay shape. It was very pitted however. So I am thinking that the brakes were the last time the tire was off and instead of new rotors and pads, they just did pads. Then over-tightened every thing and then put the wheel back on and over tightened that as well warping the rotor. I probably applied in the upper end of the 100's (like 150-170) ft lbs or torque to remove the wheels. I don't really know because I didn't have a gauge, but I have removed a lot of wheels in my lifetime that have been properly torqued and this wheel, was definately WAY over torqued.

    continues next post...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Anyway, I have now given up and gone back inside to vent my frustrations. I get online and realize a new caliper/bracket setup will cost me close to $200 for a set (replace one side, you have to repalce the other right?) Just for one lousy bolt that won't come off. I don't want to do that, but if I can't get the bolt off, what am I to do? Groan.

    After about 45 minutes or so, I go back out side to get the truck ready to sit over night and cleanup a little so I can tackle it again tomorrow. Just for the heck of it, I hit the bolt one more time with the impact. The bolt STARTS TO TURN and then COMES OFF!! YEA! FREAKIN YEA!!! Hallaluja. The WD-40 finally penetrated enough for it to do it's job. I pull the caliper assembly apart and pop out the old pads and pop in the new pads and put everything back together. Well almost. I left the other side for tomorrow and I need to replace the once stuck caliper bolt. The head is pretty thrashed and halfway stripped. I don't want to put it back in and have it strip completely the next time I have to replace the brakes. So thats tomorrow's job. But first I'll jack up the other side and spray the snot out the bolts on the passenger side, because I'll bet they are just as tight. Then let them sit for a while. Maybe then they won't be such a bear to remove. Also I am going to find the doofus who screwed them on so tight and screw a bunch of bolts into his head really tight. :D...

    So there's my very long saga.... ENJOY!! :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    Yea! I finished the brakes this morning. Only took a few minutes (about 20) to finish up. The bolts on the other caliper were indeed a little tight, but they came off. New pads and rotor swapped in, tires back on and a short test drive later all seems well....

    Now if only it went this well last night.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,068
    I do that for BIG things... and oil changes. I refuse to crawl under my car and do my own oil change. (I did them for so long at a quick lube place, I can no longer do it the "hard" way) Brakes, spark plugs, hoses, and maybe even a fuel pump I will do. I might even attempt the leaky valve cover gasket that is plaguing my truck. I actually enjoy working on my vehicels and gives me a sense of accomplishment once I finish and it works right. But I also know that I don't know it all and will probably have to take one of vehicles into the "shop" eventually.

    Ya - the dirty hands suck. I still have grime encrusted at the tips of my fingers. I do sometimes wish I could find a "trusted" auto shop, but since moving I haven't found one to replace the one I used to have.
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