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Chevy Express/GMC Savana



  • Hello all!
    Is the '01 Express LT good or not? My mini-van is rough riding besides hard to fit into;
    However the LT is on a 1/2 ton chassis;
    We won't be towing with it, however, just hauling the family around;
    Would a conversion van from a decent converter be better/not?
    Thanks for the time;
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    I would also like to get consumer inputs on the 01 Express LT or Savana SLT. We currently have a 01 Safari SLT AWD but wanting more room. We currently get about 14 in the city & 18 hwy. It seems the full size van would achieve about the same. We borrowed one last night to see if would fit in our garage & it fit but was pretty darn long. It was very comfortable inside & very large plus the entertainment system was really nice. The dealer has tried to sell his Express LT with Ebay but no luck. They are trying everything to move these vehicles due to car purchasing slump & gas prices. Any input on these vans would also be appreciated.
  • I compared the cost and utility of minivans vs. the full sized vans. The mini vans offered more options and accessories and better gas mileage. The full sized vans offered more room and greater comfort for each passenger. For essentially the same price (or less) I got the bigger van. My preferences are for comfort and perceived safety over getting a few more miles per gallon. I haven't regretted buying it and we really enjoy having the larger van.
  • apmapm Posts: 11
    I have a '99 gmc safari van and I posted a message in the astro/safari column about my problem. The shop I went to found service bulletin no. 00-06-04-018. Peculiar problem that involves plastic filler neck that may allow gasoline to extract compounds from plastic that will clog the fuel injectors. It caused difficult starting problems when the engine was cold. A new filler tube, fresh gas, cleaned fuel injectors solved the problem. GMC service didn't help with costs. The service bulletin refers not only to astro/safari vans but to your vans and c/k models of specific yrs. ranging from '97 through '00. No recall involved as of yet.
    Good Luck.
  • I have a 1500 that has had both the Catalytic converter and the muffler replaced twice. So counting original equipment, I am on my third of each. I do not haul or tow anything. It has 38000 miles on it as of this date. I have changed the fuel filter, used different gas etc. I am fed up with this van. My previous van (believe it or not) was a 1991 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.0 that never had a single problem.
    Right now there is again an intermittant rattle from the exhaust and I am again dropping it at the dealership. It has been about 3000 miles since the new muffler was put on. I could not recommend this van.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    I got a feeling your letting your vehicle run at idle too long while parked. A vehicle should never be run very long at most 10 mins. Otherwise you overheat the catalytic converter. I wouldn't be surprised if the muffler problem is related. I guess a lot of heat is created and not enough air flow is passing through the system. That likely leads to more moisture at the muffler end causing rusting from the inside out.

    Try another brand! Good luck!
  • oak4oak4 Posts: 5
    I'm in the HVAC service business and purchased a new 2000 Savana 3500 van in 4/00. I drove Fords for 8 years when working for someone else, but I'm a GM man so I chose the GMC. I took the van in at 12k miles for a front end alignment but you had to pay $175 because it didn't happen in the first 7k. A few months go by and my front pads need replaced at less than 20k. I'm now at 37k and noticed my brake fluid getting low. I check my front pads and there at 50%(I used Carbon/Metalic)so I pull the rear driver side and find an axle seal is leaking and the shoes have oil cooked in them. I take it to the dealer and offer to pay them for other services while its in the shop(transmission service,fuel filter)so they could make some money on the job. I told them to call me if the seal couldn't be replaced under warranty. They call me and say for $50 they could repair the seal, but they say I need a new engine belt $81, front brake service$141, rear brakes cleaned and adjusted(their seal failed)and rear end fluid replaced. I paid for the rear end service and other repairs for $350. What bothers me is that I know at 37k I'm out of warranty but that seal had to be leaking for some time and I think they should have serviced the rear end and replaced the shoes. The van also backfires at times when first started, outside mirrors are useless at speeds over 35 because they vibrate so much the Firestone tires will only last to about 40k and rear brakes will need replaced at 50k. I purchased the 1 ton van thinking it would last a long time. The Fords I drove (E250) would get over 70k on rear brakes and no less than 50k on the front. Ford will not give you any crap about a front end alignment at less than 36k. Tires were good for 60 to 70k.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    Making a general comment that Fords are better, only because your dissatisfied with the brakes and alignment is insufficient evidence for a comment like that. Yes, others have complained in edmunds about the short life of brake pads, and in 2001 this was one of 5 upgrades GMC made (longer brake life). Tires now for 2001 used are Michelin, not Firestone....perhaps that solves that problem. An axle seal leaking could happen to any vehicle depending on what you drove over or through. That is a hard one to comment on, I have not come across that complaint. I have seen as many complaints for Ford as for GMC and Dodge. It is hard to say which is the better vehicle in my book. At least Fords and GMC/Chevy ride and handle well, and have more modern design, that leaves Dodge in the corner. After that it is personal, I for one love the tons of leg room on the GMC, and the slight differences in reliability between GMC and FORD are in my book negligible when leg room is what matters to me (and easy access to the rear of the vehicle).

    Bottom line........ I wouldn't hesitate to buy either GMC or Ford except for my preference for leg room. So I oredered the GMC 2001 Savana 2500 extended passenger van, 5.7L, 3.73 axle, loaded, a few months back.

    Improvements for 2001 on GMC include a improved torque converter on the 4L80E heavy duty tranny, improved longer lasting brakes, more robust door handles and ignition lock, upgraded audio, quieter alternator, introduction of 8.1 L, and more advanced powertrain control modules for the other gas engines. This was the biggest year since it's introduction for changes!
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Did they fix the mirror vibration problem that has plagued the van from day one?!!! oak4 - does your van have power or manual mirrors? I am trying to figure out if the power heated mirrors are the only ones with problems like this.

    What do you mean more robust door handles and ignition?!! They look and feel the same to me. My mother in law just got a '01 Savana SLT on the 6th, it all looks ant feels like my fathers '98 conversion as far as the handles and ignition, unless they changed the key to the one with the big head on it and I didn't notice. That key head change would force an ignition switch change, besides GM probably only changed the key because it was the only vehicle left with that style of key, and it's cheaper to have all or most car lines use the same type of key cylinder, they get a better volume discount. I work for GM so I know how they think. I do like the van other than the mirrors, my fathers conversion has only had the front brakes done once and he has 65k on it, rears are at 70% roughly. We do our own work so I know for sure, not just what a shop tells me.
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    The term more robust door handles is the exact wording I read in a one of the articles on the net, unfortunately I cannot remember the source. I think they are referring to the inside mechanism, because I see no visible surface difference either. I guess this same reasoning applies to the ignition lock.

    I have heated mirrors and so far their is a very slight vibration on rough roads, and I was aware of it only because of the reported problems I read in the past. I do not consider it to be a problem at all, although time will tell. It only has a bit over 4000 miles now.
  • Where would you sell a new unpainted "go industries" downspoiler and a rear bench seat(4 person color neutral/tan) in the Los Angeles area?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    Salvage yard or eBay?

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  • oak4oak4 Posts: 5
    My van has the manual mirrors.
  • Has anyone had experience driving the same van (model and size as well as same rear-end axle gear ratio) but with the two different engines?

    I have had solid performance for the past 2 and a half years with the 7.4 liter engine. Recently I drove a Silverado 1500. The half-ton silverado's are more quick than the van from the start. I don't know about the power curve for the 8.1 liter. I wonder, how does it compare with the 7.4 liter?
  • go to post your lemons here under the pickup board section. I had a 2k 6.0 that was flawless and i have owned several 7.4 s in different trucks, they are fast but the 8.1 is much faster but i could not keep up with engine repairs or fuel costs.... 9mpg at best. I now have a 2002 6.o and i am back in heaven after my trip to he** with the 2001 8.1
  • I am a mechanic with a MAJOR leasing company and some of the recurring problems we encounter with GM Vans are as follows:
    Power steering pump leaks;
    Instrument panel problems;
    Engine oil cooler lines on 6.5 diesels;
    Light problems, especially signal,marker light sockets at $ 60.00 or more a pop!
    Sliding door mechanism that is made out of plastic and difficult to change. (read high labour charges)
    Other than this they're GREEEAAAAAAT!
  • rikstrrikstr Posts: 4
    I have about 9k trouble free miles on my 2001 Chevy Express cargo 3500. I use mine for appliance service, so it's pretty loaded down. The ride is great for a 1 ton. I'm getting about 11mpg, give or take 2tenths. Doesn't seem to matter that much how I drive it air on or off. My only complaint is that GM didn't put a larger tank in the 8.1liter. There is lots of room under there. At 275 miles you start getting a little nervous, it's on E. A 40gal. would have been better. On the whole I really like it alot, especially the power...........
  • I have a 97 1500 w5.0, Geneva Conv. bought used 6 months ago with 45,000. I like it except for the following: had rear end problems, needed new bearings. The drivers side window stays down sometimes after it goes in the auto down position. Not the motor or the switch. #156 (drddinky) says the fix is the connector behind the seat. ?
    Please help. Thanks.
  • Mine is a 2000 also with 5.0 litre engine with 40K. Had the same intermittent problem that has gone away now for a year. I noticed that the problem only happened when the window is all the way down.
    To avoid the window not going up, I pulsed it going down that first year. I did not want the dealer to fool around with it even under
    warranty. Braking is better now than after the last service at 30K, new pads + resurfaced rotors.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    ....but I'm here to announce the new Chevrolet Vans Owners club now available on Owner's Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Vans.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

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    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.

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