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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Electrical Problems



  • The problem is most likely the fusible link connector which attaches to the terminal on the firewall behind the battery. The plastic housing around 2 of 4 contacts in the connector melt.

    In addition to the lights, horn and fuel pump, this will also cause the high fan position to not work properly

    Mine (1995 Astro) died on the road, so I cut the two wires for the links and temporarily wired them directly to the (insulated) stud which holds the mating connector to the firewall.

    I expect this is a dealer part, but it won't be the labor...
  • I'm having the same problem with my 2000 Astro. It's been doing it for maybe two years and hasn't affected driving performance. However, now the security light is staying on and I'm worried about problems with inspections. Please share your thoughts! Tim
  • i need to run a wire from the battery through the firewall on my 91 safari and i dont know where to do it, i was told that there are cables and wires already running through the firewall into the inside cabin but i dont know where
  • i am having a similar problem with my 1994 astro van. i went outside to start it and noticed the interior lights did not come on, the instrument panel was dark, and the headlights (along with the warning buzzer) were not functioning. the starter still turned the engine over, but the van would not start. what fuse or series of fuses could cause this? or is it even a fuse issue. the strange thing is that i drove it to a friends house and was only there for about an hour, no problems getting there, everything was fine, but when i tried to leave, nothing. what could have happened while it was sitting there?
  • afoyafoy Posts: 1
    My 2000 GMC Safari will crank but not start. I Get a po753 (shift solenoid)code.
    Whats the problem?
  • I had the same problem in my 2000 chevy astro. Drove around for a year in high temps before I got it fixed. Meineke fixed it. It was a vacuum leak and cost about $72 to fix. I was expecting a lot more.
  • dlm1954dlm1954 Posts: 57
    Mine was the main wiring bulkhead behind the battery where it plugs into the fuse box, it pulls so much power on that main ignition wire it melts it inside the bulkhead and you have to take it out and clean it and bend it so it fits back tight like it originally did and I've had to do this several times especially in the summer when your using the air because it pulls so much power on that wire; That should have been hardwired at least for the ignition wires, but about every vehicle is made the same.
  • bilparsbilpars Posts: 1
    I was wondering if anybody could help me with my 98 chev astro van. I go out in the morning start it up run it for five minutes then turn it off, go back an hour or two later and the battery is completely dead. i had it to the shop they at the shop and they told me the battery and alternater are fine--they should be they are brand new. Anyways two days of driving then the engine light will come on and its a gaurantee that the truck will be dead the next morning and will need a boost. So i took it back to the garage to check the electrical and the said my stereo was pulling 50 amps when the truck is off, so i removed the stereo and the fuse. needless to say the past two days i've gone to check if it will start in the morning and it does so i run it for five minutes turn it off and a couple of hours later its dead, any advice or help will be greatly appreciated. thank you
  • udiwinudiwin Posts: 1
    I was wondering if anyone can help me withthis question. i'm looking for a small van for my business.I am interested in the Chevy Astro in particular. I found one that unfortunatley has 190,000 miles. I would be purchasing from a private original owner who used this to deliver light medical supplies for his busniess. He replaced the engine last year. The car cosmetically looks great,both inside and out.The car was taken to a Chevy dealer to be checked out. I was told that the van was in great shape and that there was nothing wrong mechanicaly. Does anyone know if I will encounter many problems down the road buying this van with so many miles. Oh by the way, the owner is asking $3000 bucks. Is this a good deal?? Please help.Thanks.
  • Dear Sir, 5/9/09
    I have the same problem it seems. No lights,no fuel pump noise, no horn, no dash lights. It will turn over fine but does not start. Now no patience. Help please, I'm getting nowhere fast with this Chilton manuel.
  • Dear gr8dv8er, 5/9/09
    Your answer to the one gentleman's van was worth checking on mine but my fusable links behind the battery seem strong and in good shape.
    This is my whole story, maybe you or someone else has another idea. I was driving the van early one morning and it just died; no lights, no motor, no fuel pump, no horn. I stopped, waited 10 seconds, then the lights returned by themselves and I had everything working again so I started it up and went on my way. The next day same thing happened. Third day same thing happened only I was 70 miles into a trip. Fourth day it never came back to life. It is a 94 Astro with 130k on it and looks like it could go to 200k fairly easily.
    Is there a relay or circuit breaker that may be faulty and if so where?
    The thing I,m most confused about is it came back 3 times so I don't think fuse, I can turn it over fine so I don't think battery, so it must be something that controls lights and fuel pump electricity. Help! Anyone!
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    For "good" selling price comparison for your specific area, do shop around. Try your other local auto dealers and if needed, try online sites (like auto trader sites) and do lots of web searches. Unfortunately, each specific region has their own selling range.

    190,000 miles sounds like lots of miles on a van. Especially a previous business van - that might have been driven hard - to meet business "within same day" deadlines. Hopefully, it's mostly hiway miles.

    For Astro / Safari van weak spots, do focus on:
    - Transmissions sometimes blow and need a rebuilt. My previous van needed tranny rebuild at 75,000 miles - which cost $1,000. After the tranny was rebuilt, it ran better then factory.
    - Even if you do NOT tow trailers, do install a transmission oil cooler in the Astro/Safari van. For example: Many tranny specialists say that keeping its transmission oil "cooler" helps. Especially on those hot summer days and van is loaded with onboard cargo.
    - Fuel pumps sometimes blow and need to be replaced. My buddy's Astro fuel pump blew and needed $1K to fix - including a tow to the local auto shop. I hear GM Delco fuel pumps can be bought on ebay - if you like to keep one on the shelf (sort of speaking).
    - Rear axles (especially default factory 342 gearing) sometimes blow. If you can, get a RWD (2 WD) van with 373 or if towing or heavy cargo, go with 411 gearing instead. The default 342 gearing in passenger van isn't designed for lots of passenger body weight, trailer towing or lots of onboard cargo - that many business vehicles need. Next time around, I'd get an Astro/Safari with 373 gearing instead. And go with 411 gearing for hilly region.
    - Vaccum rubber line (that operates cabin heater controls) often melts. $20 or so to fix it.
    - Alternator (being so hot under the hood) often blows. Under $300 to replace.
    - Engine oil "cooler lines" often leak and need to be replaced. GM charges way "too much" for these replacement parts. If you can, replace with 3rd pary piping. Many pipe bending shops will create better replacement piping for 1/3 the cost that GM charges.
    - Front steering idler arms need to be replaced often as well. If needing to be replaced (to tighten up steering controls), go with MOOG brand idler arms and grease them during every engine oil change. Many say this MOOG brand is the best - for idler arm replacements.
    - For onboard cargo, I'd buy / install Timbrens SES units. They eliminate "factory mush" up/down rear suspension and more importantly, eliminate mass rear sag. To me, the Astro/Safari design should have been built with 4 leaf springs instead of factory 3 leaf springs. Install Timbren SES units and rear suspension sag is eliminate. Especially if loaded down for business cargo. For more details, surf:

    If the used van in question looks great, has been inspected by reliable mechanics and "feels right" to you (and is a good selling price), then its probably worth buying. Especially if its design fits your business hauling needs. After buying it, I'd install a tranny cooler for up to 5,000 lbs trailers (to make its tranny last longer), install Timbrens (to eliminate rear sag) and start using it. And, replace the other "design weak spots" IF they happen to you.

    Hope this helps...

  • My Van Runs great, then the engine will stop, like I turned off the ignition switch. sometimes it will restart and run fine, other times it needs to sit for 15 to 30 minutes, then runs like nothing happened?
    I have taken it to three different repair shops, the first one replaced the coil and ignition module, the next two replaced the ignition module. This has happened in the last year and 2000 miles. Any ideas?? thxs
  • i have a 1994 chevy astro van when i run the ac it get really hot there was a leak in water pump it was replaced doesnt run hot when in idle what can be the problem could ac be low or what can i check to see the problem
  • Dear Frosty,
    I also have a '94 Astro but have not experienced your particular problem but I did have to replace my water pump and elected to get rid of my air conditioner for a "dummy" pulley.
    Could your problem possibly be, 1)- a bearing going bad on the AC? (mine was getting hot because the AC would not let the fan belt turn the fan fast enough). Or 2)- Could the thermostat be not opening fully and needs replaced? Check by dropping it in pan of boiling water. Or 3)- Could it have another leak somewhere and be low on antifreeze? Just some thoughts.
  • Helpmetoday,
    Are you experiencing any other losses other than engine quitting?
    Here's my story for you to consider. My 94 Astro would die all of a sudden with loss of horn and lights as well. After a few moments the power returned and I was able to restart and be on my way. The 4rth time it did this it was for good. I realized also my fuel pump start up noise was missing. Checked wiring, fuses, fusable links, and relays but they were all good. It turns out the problem was the firewall plug itself behind the battery with the four wires. The plug was only feeding 3 wires. The other wire was dead and was the one that fed the lights, fuel pump, and horn. I wired it up direct and it is working. Check to make sure all four lines have power. Hope this helps.
  • My van is acting as if there is no battery,
    I stick the key in the ignition and it freely rotates from ACC all the way to start, but there is no reaction from the van--no dome lights, no dash lights, no starter...NOTHING.
    The battery reads a littel over 18 volts.
    I put the voltmeter down at the solenoid, and it is good.
    The connections at the battery are good.
    The terminals are clean.
    I tried to jump the van using my Jeep, but the van just acts as if there is no battery. I even went so far as to disconnect the battery, and hook the jumper cables to the battery cables, but nothing.

    The only thing I can think of is the cylinder where the key goes in.

    Any ideas/opinions?
  • I'm just a fellow Astro owner as well and have a suggestion. Check to see if you have headlights. If not, follow the positive wire that runs from the positive terminal back to the firewall; remove plastic cap and check for power. If ok continue past the in-line fusable links and check for power. If ok, check for power at the fuse panel (each column). Maybe something will show up that will help.
  • rpeprpep Posts: 4
    The battery on my 2003 Safari would not turn the van over. Because it is the original battery, I replaced it with a new one. It starts fine now but, when I turn the ignition key I hear a clicking noise before starting it. It clicks about 6 times and then stops. I heard this clicking with the old battery and thought it was because the battery was low or dead. Anyone have any idea what this may be?
  • My 2 cents: 1) A possible bad ground. Check the connection of your cable coming from the battery to the frame or wherever it connects to the vehicle. It's worth loosening and re-tightening the ground connection at the frame just to make sure. Maybe even spray a little WD40 at the contact point before tightening the bolt. 2) Maybe your old battery damaged the starter solenoid? Where is the sound coming from? Under the van? If you think it might be the solenoid, disconnect the solenoid wire at the solenoid and connect an analog volt meter. Have someone turn the key while you watch the needle. If the needle stays steady, it's probably the solenoid. If it fluctuates, then the problem is somewhere else.
    Note: Just because your getting 12-14 volts at the starter doesn't necessarily mean that you have a good ground. A week ground will prevent adequate amperage from reaching the starter (not the solenoid).
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