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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Starting/Stalling/Idling Problems



  • i have a 1989 astro 4.3 which was starting great and running great but recently it has been hard to start it cranks great but will not start if i spray start fluid in air intake it starts great and will run great untill i have to switch off then next time i go to start it is the same any ideas?
    some one said it may be vapor locked? but did not know how to fix it.
    regards paul
  • Sorry we're still at a loss. Can't figure out anything with my 95. My problem wasnt starting it was with keeping it running as you accelerate. not sure what to tell you.

  • Long story short. Trouble started after a very slight roll over. Wouldn't run in the rain. Progressed to very hard to start. Ran fine if you could get it started. Now won't fire at all. Family's favorite vehicle. Owned since new. 2000 GMC Safari 133,000 miles. New coil, new distributor, new ground wire to coil. New wires and plugs. Fuel pressure 50 psi. Tapping the key when starting used to help start it. Fully charged battery (keeping a charger on it) or jumping seemed to help. New battery didn't make any difference. Any ides? Thanks
  • hi i traced the problem to the fuel pump relay where it is fitted it gets wet when it rains i fitted a new relay and now no problems also nice and cheep to fix $10 from western auto.

    regards paul
  • Thanks paul,
    I'll ask my mechanic to check that. Its been sitting for about 4 mos.
  • I know exactly what you mean. Needing a fuel pump for my 94 Astrovan I checked with the parts dept at a local Chevrolet dealership. They wanted almost $1000.00 for a new pump. I laughed, hung up and called Autozone, where I bought a new pump (including all necessary gaskets, etc.) for just over $80.00 including the sales tax. In short, if you call around and check the prices at Autozone, Checker Auto, Pep Boys, Napa, etc. you'll likely save some money.

  • Charlie, you stated... "called Autozone, where I bought a new pump (including all necessary gaskets, etc.) for just over $80.00 including the sales tax" Did you mean $280.00? I just checked AutoZone's website. They want just over $280.00 for a 97 Astro fuel pump assembly.

  • same problem i's the distributor cap under the bell housing...The slightest dampness will not start....take a hair dryer to will kick right over....the bummer is you got to take the bell housing off
  • yeahi have a 94 astro 4.3l i just went to autozone and picked up the pump with the gaskets for $54.00 and a new fuel pump strainer for $10.99 so i have no idea what your talking about steve.
  • Chevyman, I was just wondering if the guy made a typo is all. Thats great that you guys can buy a $280.00 fuel pump assembly for $54.00 or $80.00. Here's the link to the Autozone page,
    Must be that the 97 model year pump is just more expensive...
  • I've had the same prob w/ my Astro not starting. replaced the coil. took it to shop. Shop told me it was low pressure from fuel pump. They got it running but said it ran very rough. Was advised (strongly) not to use aftermarket pump. found Delphi (OEM) fuel pumps from 200 to 465 bucks. Long story short, I replaced fuel pump and and filter and it isn't the problem. Checked fuses and they're ok. Replaced plugs, wires, cap and rotor last spring. will turn over fine and after about 3-5 seconds it kind of hangs up (bogs, burps, but not cough).

    Any other ideas? thanks.
  • I poured a little gas down the throttle body (I'm no Norman Einstein) and it still didn't even try to start, even though when I opened the butterfly with the pedal I got a cool blueish orange flame. Obviously I have fire! I'm beginning to think it may be a cam or crank position sensor? If it jumped time or broke the timing belt, what would be the symptom? I really don't want to drag it back to the shop, but we need it back running asap.

    Any suggestions? :sick:
  • It's ALIVE!!!! Yes it's running. Even though I had replaced the distributor cap and rotor last spring, they had gone bad. Look for a green powder inside the cap. It's corrosion. Two of the cylinders were not getting fire at all, and instead the cap was "shorting out" sending a spark to 2 cylinders at the same time causing it to cough. Anyway, it's all fixed now AND I have a nice new fuel pump.
    Looks like my link on post #121 changed. Can't edit the link so here's the new one.
  • Shadetree, just curious if you used an OEM or aftermarket cap and rotor?
  • An aftermarket cap and rotor. A mechanic told me next time go ahead and spend the money on an OEM. They're more expensive but the first one lasted 120k. NAPA warrantied the one that went bad recently, which was great, but what a headache!
  • keicokeico Posts: 4
    Ok here is what I have.

    1999 Chevy Astro Van 4.3L

    When I purchased this vehicle 1 year ago it always started up on the first crank. Didn't make a difference whether it was cold or hot.

    I noticed that once this winter started (I live in Florida) and the weather was a little colder. It started to become just a little hard to start.

    It would take two cranks, then three, four.

    Finally i hit it with some car cleaner and it fired up.

    I have been doing this for quite some time. Hit it with some carb cleaner and it fires up.

    Note once it is started it runs great. No hesitation, vibration, nothing it runs great.

    Now I have read that you need at least 65 PSI fuel pressure for this van to start, and no I have not run a fuel pressure test yet. ( I will definitely do this weekend).

    I guess i should also mention that whether the engine is cold or hot i still have to hit it with some carb cleaner.

    I also read that it could be the ECT sensor (coolant temp sensor). It said that if this sensor does not tell the ECM the engine is cold it won't pulse the injectors to start.

    Now as of late I have had to give it more than normal squirt of carb cleaner to get it going.

    Now my question is what do you think it could be.

    Something inside me just can't believe it is the fuel pump. I say this because once it starts it runs great.

    Either way I am not sure what it is.

    Also I need some advice on changing the fuel filter.

    In anticipation of having to do some work I did purchase a fuel filter and a rebuild kit for the fuel pump. (Much cheaper than buying a new fuel pump from Advance auto or Autozone)

    While I started to change the fuel filter I noticed that the fuel lines were bolted into the fuel filter very tight.

    So tight it seems to me that I would break the fuel line before it gave.

    I was wondering if anyone has had this problem also. I really want to change this filter but don't want to damage the fuel line trying to get the old filter out.

    Anyway I hope someone can really help me.
  • My 2 cents...
    I have a 97 Astro. My fuel pressure was around 57 or so while the engine was running. It would drop off to zero immediately after turning off the key. According to the book, the fuel pressure should drop off slowly after turning off the ignition. I decided to replace the fuel pressure regulator. I guess I had a 50/50 shot. That seemed to take care of both the fuel pressure, now 63 PSI, and the pressure dropping off slowly when shutting off the ignition. The pressure dropping immediately doesn't create any issues as far as engine starting or performance. I think more than anything it's an indication that there's an issue with the fuel system. As far as replacing the fuel filter, are you using two wrenches to loosen the nut? You should have one wrench on the fuel filter nut, and one on the line nut. Hold the fuel filter nut in place while loosening the line nut. Make sure you relieve the fuel pressure before you do this or be ready for a bit of a high pressure blast of fuel when the nut cracks loose. One more thing, Autozone has a tool rental program that allows you to basically purchase the tool and return it for a full refund within 90 days. I'm "renting' a code reader at the moment. Even if you don't have any codes, if you rent one of the better code readers you will be able to see the results of the output of most of the engine sensors including the O2 sensors. It might be worth a shot. Steve
  • How many miles do you have on it? I'd be curious to know what the results after you check the fuel pressure. If it checks fine, I agree w/ Kieco as far as changing the regulator, much cheaper and it has to be easier.
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