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Chevy Express/GMC Savana



  • Decision to buy and extended warranty should be based on:
    how long you expect to keep the vehicle
    how well you maintain and treat the vehicle (fully loaded with heavy plumbing supplies?, towing?, hard driving?, not regularly checking fluid levels, etc.)
    your expectation of the vehicle's reliability.

    I plan on keeping mine for 8 years.
    I don't expect any GM to be as reliable as my old honda was even though it had transmission problems. So I got the extended warranty. I try to take better than required care of it (easy driving and frequent fluid changes), so I am perhaps paying too much (warranty and extra care).

    Make sure you have written evidence of taking it into the shop for the transmission--especially if you don't get the extended warranty.

    Over 12,000 miles on big problems.

    Hope you enjoy your van as much as I have been enjoying mine.
  • lmp3lmp3 Posts: 2
    My 2000 Chevy Express Van 5 litre V8 uses 1 quart of oil in less than 1000 miles. I am using 15w40 motor oil and the van has only 6000 miles on it. I asked one Chevy dealer and they told this is normal,I dont't think it is. Also out of round brake rotors seem to be problematic with these vehicles, no wonder they go through brake pads prematurely.Richard,Richard
  • Just both a 2000 Conversion van with the Mark III package. I traded in a 1997 Chevy van with Mark III package with 102,000 miles. The only problems I had with the '97 was the door windows not working(Dealer never did fix that problem) and a broken gas gauge that caused me later problems when dealer replaced float in tank and caused tank to leak because they replaced the gasket wrong.
    Other the van was great---thus the decision to buy another--same engine, 5.0 engine. Hope this one is as good as the other.
    The salesman told me the 2000 5.0 engine had more horsepower and torque than the '97 engine. Is this true?
  • wes16wes16 Posts: 4
    I do not understand it but you might try 5w30 and see if that helps your consumption. My Buick will use (burn) 10w30 but not 5w30.

    Good Luck!
  • Caution! You are in warranty. Use only the oil weight the manual says to use!

    Any good mechanic will tell you that, during the break in period, you can expect higher than expected oil consumption as the parts wear-in.

    Keep good records, fill to the same spot on the stick, always measure when the same temperature (hot). Take the records to the GM dealership and they will have guidelines to compare to your oil consumption.
  • lmp3lmp3 Posts: 2
    Your observation makes sense. When the first number of the oil grade or viscosity ends in 5 it denotes a much higher quality oil. Another example of this would be comparing 10w40 oil to 15w40 oil. the 15w40 being a much better grade of oil.I live in the deep South and it is very warm here most of the time. Most vans also have very clostraphobic engine compartments which mean very high motor oil temperatures
  • from philly60 at 19000 the air compressor went 25500 trans would slam 1st to 2nd shift so hard it would hurt your back. service light came on,and they replaced valve body. trans quit at 62400 miles . dealer instaled a factory rebuilt unit, I drove 1/2 mile from shop it quit .2nd new trans still working 2300 miles later.1st brake job 24500 miles. driver side window quit 31000 miles. at delivery the rear was so noisey you here it above radio. 3 rears later from 2 dealers finely got it right. I had bought a 5 year 100000 mile warranty from american mercury ins co for 550.00. they paid 1950. dollars less 50. deductible, waiting for check. this unit has a 350 vortex engine 4 speed auto trans 3.73 rear with positrack. Gas milage is 14 to 17 mpg. oil milage at 65000 mi.has never burned any. oil is changed at 3500 to 4000 mi. 15/40 DELVAC mobil oil is the best is comforting to find out I am not the only one with trans troubles,as dealer claims very few problems.
  • I've seen quite a bit of written about the transmission slipping in 1st than banging hard into 2nd (see #75 for a comprehensive wtite-up). Has anyone had this fixed properly? If so, please explain remedy and how long ago (in miles) it's been since last occurence. Any other comments?
  • I own a chevy express with a explorer conversion package. The conversion package is fine. I have the same a/c cycling problem. The a/c which blows ice cold, cycles every 10-15 seconds. My 1996 did not do this. The dealer tells me it's normal. Yeah right!!! Also, i have had 2 alignments in 6000 miles. My 96 had 3 alignments in 32,000 miles. My 2000 has had 2 sets of tires, a complete rear end and a drive shaft changed for a vibration problem. I feel it was a alignment problem. I love the express van, It has great design, super bright headlights, wide opening doors and you can not beat the 5.7. I have not had transmission problems with either van but I have not had many miles. My a/c problem and alignment problems are the current pains in my butt!!. I did buy the extended warranty this time. When they fix my a/c problem I will post. As for buying a dodge or ford, I feel the dodge is out dated and the ford may have the same quality control problems. I do not think that the big 3 care all that much about the full size van line.
  • After having the first transmission replaced by a rebuilt while under warranty at 17000 miles I have added a trans oil cooler to my 97 Savana Starcraft conversion. I also cahange the trans fluid and filter every 15-20K miles even thogh the maintence chart with the owners manual says 50k. I use this van for road trips only and when in town keep the trans on 3 instead of D. Been informed that it will keep changing to and from overdrive repeatedly while in town driving which can eventualy cause early wear. I now have 50K and still no trans difficulties even though I do tow while on the road. Will keep you up if any changes occur with the trans after all the preventative measures.
    The dash instrument cluster was replaced under warranty after 12k miles still no problems. Had the front end alligned after 300miles they (dealer) tried beg off of this but I found every new car I have ever bought (except my Toyota and Honda) had misalligned front ends and the van was no exception, I was insistent and they did it. (got under and checked).
    Starcraft was great replacing VCR and other minor things on their end. Still no drivers window problem but after reading these stories I remain on the lookout.
    I wish Toyota or Honda made a full size van for conversion but then it would probably use US parts and the quality would be in the pits as GM, Ford and Mopar.
  • Well I finally traded off my '97 GMC Savana and have real mixed feelings. With the transmission still having the 1-2 shift problems off and on, the brakes needing replacing at 46K and a few other odds and ends, I decided now was the time. We babied it until the check engine light went off and took it to a dealer and traded it off for a '00 Isuzu Trooper. BIG change in purpose of the vehicle. If the van would have given peace of mind and no tranny problems we probably would have kept it. Really hated to say goodbye to such a beautiful conversion van. GMC has lost my business from this one. Buyer beware. Whoever buys this van better purchase a warranty or they'll be hurt.
  • Karen,

    Do you ever purge this, or any part of this, list?
    I'm not sure if it's admissible, but this list and the items mentioned may be of use down the road. I find it incredible that the same items are continuously being mentioned, yet GM seems to be very, er, unhelpful.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    Sorry for the slow reply.

    Topics/Discussions over 50 posts are not deleted from the system unless it is determined it contains little/no value, i.e., off topic posts and/or spam. After 30 (or so) days of inactivity, the discussion is frozen and eventually archived.

    Whether the information/experiences posted here would be considered relevant to GM is another matter.

    Hope this answers your questions!

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  • Although my company, of which I order the vehicles, is switching to 3/4 ton extended cab 4wd pickups, we have a 97 Chevy Van for our land surveying division. To date at 96,000 miles with a 5.7 liter V-8, 3.73 locking axle, this van has mostly had just regular scheduled maintenance. Chevy build this van right. We highly recommend it and probably would stick with the vans if they had factory four wheel drive.
  • I am assuming this is an aftermarket four wheel drive conversion and not a luxury conversion with nice interior and exterior trim??? Saw a converted Ford E330 once but didn't see a name of the conversion on the van. I prefer factory four wheel drive due to being able to get parts and dealer service if needed after the warranty runs out. Would be interested in seeing Quigley's product if they have a webpage though.
  • I have ordered a Chevy Express 155"W.B., locking diff., 4:10 rear end, air, locks, pwr wind., pwr. locks., with the Vortec 8100 engine too. I have not had too much reply on this vehicle, likely, since its very new and no opportunity for trial yet. One thing though, I have heard that a bug deflector does cause excessive vibrations to the exterior side mirrors at higher speeds. Have you had any reply about your new 2001 3500 Express Cargo van? If so, I would be interested in hearing what you have been instructed. pls?
  • Quigley has been converting vans to 4X4 for over 25 years. They do work for government agencies like forest service, etc. I don't think you should worry about spare parts and service. Their web site is
  • We have a 2000 Chevrolet Express (purchased straight from the dealer's lot) now with 36k+ miles on it. We experienced some shuttering going down the interstate and my husband felt the brakes were sticking. Keep in mind, we have never had to have the brakes system serviced....the dealership didn't even believe us that the pads have not been changed out. So, we took it into the dealership to be checked out. We were told that oil had gotten into the brake system and basically has ruined the entire system and can not give me a probable explaination. $3,000 later we can have our van fixed. Has anyone experienced this?
  • i've just recently found edmunds on the net. i own a 96 savana 2500 with a 305, it's one of the first with a sliding side door and a canadian edition. i have had a number of problems during warranty and after. 1st problem: switch gear for heat and adjustments, i couldn't change from defrost to floor etc.(vacuum hose problem) 2nd problem: total computer failure, some type of moisture got into the computer and grew mould on the components, hence the van wouldn't start(called gm and had it towed to dealer, replacement of computer). 3rd problem: fuel pump quit(left me on a job site and had to call roadside assistants). all these problems were covered under warranty.

    4th problem: front passenger side brake stuck on while working in a remote area, i drove it 500yrds hoping it would release, it did, but then would jam on as soon as the brakes were applied, locking up the brake on the passenger side and jerking the van to the right(collapsing brake line and one set of burnt brake pads) 5th problem:sliding side door, it doesn't open from the inside, i've tried the child lock switch in both positions and it still won't open.

    i love the way the van drives, but the problems are getting expensive. i'm thinking of getting rid of the van, but i don't want another 2500 savana if its going to have as many problems. has anyone else had as many problems, or are my problems attributed to just the 96 model? your responses are welcome.
  • I just had my rotors replaced today at 20k miles.
    Of course the dealer says its my driving and I had
    to pay. No warranty. Vehicle is GMC Savana 1500 SLE.
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