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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro

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  • I am having trouble with my 98 astro keeping the battery charged. I have replaced the alternator twice and it has a new battery as well. weird thing about it is the battery will charge most of the time when its at idle, but voltage drops when there is a load on the motor. on the highway the drop is down to 10 to 12 volts and killing the motor. I was suspicious of the fuel pump. could a bad pump cause this type of problem? When I drive up a hill or at any speed you can hear the pump going up and down and if I am pulling a trailer it will start to sputter like it is out of gas. any suggestions?
  • donkeydonkey Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 astro with a starcraft conversion it has a red light on the dash to the left of the steering column with EXT on it . it comes on with the ignition lights and again after startup briefly before going out again. any ideas what it is for?
  • smo1smo1 Posts: 6
    I have had a a similar problem. One day the left signal started clicking faster then the right. It seemed the directional (rear) was burnt out. I replaced the bulb, but it still clicks much faster than normally it would. Both the inside directional and the external flashing are very quick. It does not even seem like I have my directional signal on it clicks so fast. Any ideas?
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    One question would be whether both left and right signals flash fast? If they do than the flasher unit which is located to the left of the fuse box by the driver's feet maybe bad. Otherwise the fuse in the box under the hood could be bad. GM cars are set up so that if one bulb is out, front or rear, the signal will not flash and if the other front or rear is out than it will flash fast.
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    Just a question to put out there, what are other owners getting for fuel economy? I have a 97 AWD with 103,000 miles and the 3.23 rear axle. Last summer I was getting 20 on the highway and 17 highway/city mixed. I changed the plugs and air filter at 100,000. Since then I have been getting 17 highway and 15 mixed. There have been no other modifications to the van and it is running smooth, there is no black smoke on acceleration so I know it is not running rich. Any ideas on making improvments or what maybe causing the loss of mileage. I have to baby it to get 17, that was running with the cruise at 70-75.
  • smo1smo1 Posts: 6
    No, just the left flashes fast.
    Excellent - thanks for your help. I am going to see if I can figure this out this weekend. I appreciate your advise!
  • shockingshocking Posts: 1
    I've got a 1990 Astro EXT with 316,000 miles - both the engine and automatic tranny were rebuilt at about 200,000 miles. I'm losing coolant real fast lately; however, there are no visible leaks. It seems to be burning up. Mechanics tried pressure testing, only to find the same as me, so they threw in a silver stop leak - still, no dice. I've used the 'pellet' stop leaks as well. As coolant disappears, and vehicle heats up, my exhaust gets 'bluer' - not good. Tranny is kinda sluggish, getting quite old for being rebuilt (116,000m), but not bad, really. No major oil leaks either. Thermostat is fine too. Where's it going??
  • cmaasscmaass Posts: 1
    I just bought a Used Astro AWD, I am in the middle of replacing the bearings in the rear Axle Pumpkin, Does anyone know the Torque Specs for the 2 Carrige Bolts so I can get this put all back together?? Any help would truly be appreciated.
    Chris
  • ronbo66ronbo66 Posts: 11
    Generally You will find either the bulb you just replaced has been installed incorrectly, is the wrong bulb or (defective bulb)or you need to replace the front bulb also. The system works on a specific load to regulate how fast it is flashed and it sounds like the circuit has a significant short or load to be acting this way. Hope this helps!
  • ronbo66ronbo66 Posts: 11
    Generally every 100,000 kn a GOOD set of wires should last, Dont forget to chack the cap and rotor! They are inexepensice and need to be changed at those intervals also!
  • ronbo66ronbo66 Posts: 11
    Well I can tell you that a idle that searches as you described on startup most ALWAYS points to a vaccum leak in one of the vacuum lines, I have found many such leaks on these engines more often in the PCV valve line, a small but barley detectable crack in the underside of the vacuum tube that goes to the PCV valve in the valve cover. Good Hunting! RON Y PS you can also check the large vacumm line that goes to the brake booster! you mentioned it stalls when you apply the brakes. :)
  • Well, I don't know what I did but the turn signals turn on now but.....they won't flash. They just turn on and stay on until I make a turn. My husband is scheduled to come home in June for R & R and he said he will fix it when he comes.
  • clewis1clewis1 Posts: 6
    Thanks a lot Ron. Would you happen to know if this would result in the engine running rich as well? I have had a whole new exhaust system put on [within four months] (including CAT converter), and the end of the exhaust pipe is already black and sooty. The exhaust is also white. :sick:
  • ronbo66ronbo66 Posts: 11
    Its funny you should mention running rich I have one in the shop right now that is doing that very thing, Except this one is soo bad now it will barley run at all! I have traced it to a leaking fuel rail line inside the large intake plenum, I have to remove the air plenum tomorrow to find out exactly what is causing it but I am exited to find out because this guys mothers safari does the same thing! I will end up doing it twice.. oh well what are friends for anyway?

    I chAnged the MAP sensor first because it normally shows similar symptoms but it did not solve it. I think you had similar experience. I will let you know tommorrow what i found and much it will be for you to fix it.

    ONe more little tip if the pcv was ever changed during the coarse of a tune up MAKE SURE it was AN OEM GM part! I pulled my hair out for two weeks on a astro with the air care failing until I changed it back to factory part magically it solved the problem!

    CHEERS! RON Y,
  • smo1smo1 Posts: 6
    I would like to know this as well - I have a very similar problem. The direction on the compass work at times and then stop working. Any ideas on how to fixo r reset? :confuse:
  • clewis1clewis1 Posts: 6
    Thanks again Ron. I had a leaking gas line above the tank about three months ago. The mechanic did not need to drop the tank to replace it as he had room to work. Also, I will look into the PCV valve. I know the last one to be changed was one from Canadian Tire as my husband did that. Please let me know how you make out. The old van, idles up and down when you first start it and stinks really rich. Once you put it in drive and go, it is fine and runs fine, aside from the exhaust stinking. GM has diagnosed it up the whazoo and they say there is nothing wrong with it, yet they can't tell me why it won't pass the idle test for emissions. Go figure. Anyway, thanks again, and I will be looking to see how you made out with the Safari. :sick:
  • ronbo66ronbo66 Posts: 11
    Well I was right! after a tedious two hour episode getting the top air plenum off I discovered that the high pressure fuel return line had developed a split where it joined the metal fitting that comes into the back of the manifold. the entire inside of the air box was filled with fuel puddles. no wonder it was so rich! well off to GM to buy the replacement parts. Take care ALL,"> talk to you soon. :lemon:
  • I am shopping for a Safari/astro AWD. My question is about the rear seats. The more loaded vans have a rear buckets which I would prefer. I was wondering if I found a van in good shape but has two rear benches is it possible to buy switch them out with buckets from a wreckers? I have only looked at a couple vans that had either the full benches or the bench with the bucket backs. The benches fit of course in the two floor mounts. Do the full captains chairs have extra floor mounts installed or do they all have them?

    thanks folks .. great forum. Looking forward to having all the problems that you owners have had :)

    pr
  • smo1smo1 Posts: 6
    I have a 2000 gmc safari. Every once in awhile, it goes crazy and the compass will show us going in "C". This does not change as we change our direction. Also, even when it is warm out, sometimes the temp shows as "ICE". It happens infrequently, but when it decides to act up, it is like that for a few days. Does anyone know what could be wrong? :confuse:
  • hey there guys you have been such a help when it comes to the problems i have been having with my 90 safari.

    i have a new problem...my rear doors...the one door opens but the other one appears to stay locked. i took my mother out shopping yesterday and the doors worked just fine. i put her walker in the back of the van and when it came time to take it out for her i had to play around and to get it out with only the right door opening. it was no treat i am telling you.

    could someone please tell me what to look for as i am planning to remove the door panel from the left and see if there is anything i can see stopping the door from opening. i need both back doors opening as i have a small child and i put her buggy in the back and on occasion i take my elderly parents out and need the back to open fully.

    any help would be appreciated. i hope this is an easy fix.
  • Just pull, out & up. There are lots of those plastic thing holding the door inner on, and some will break off. Can't be helped as far as I know.
  • You probably blew a head gasket. The coolant is going out the exhaust. New/Rebuilt engine time.
  • Hi, I have a 2000 ASTRO AWD. I can tell you with absolute confidence that these things are AMAZING in snow and ice conditions. I live in Southwestern Ontario CANADA(Great Lakes region, closest to HURON). I have had this van for almost 4 years and in the winter season I mount BRIDGSTONE BLIZZAK TIRES for some extra BITE. I have had this van crawl into my snow filled lane way like a mountain cat, sink right down to its belly and back out again with NO tire spinning. I live in a very rural area so I have the freedom to treat my local concession road like a test track sometimes. In the winter when the road has just had the drifts plowed off, leaving a good inch of compressed snow and ice on the asphalt(this is a normal thing here) I like to give the VAN and myself a little test. I will bring it to a complete stop on this wonderful surface. FLOOR it, experience NO spinning or FISH TAILING, reach 100kms/hr in about 6-8 seconds. Then slam on the BRAKES and come to a complete stop without any slipping (ABS kicks in)in about 7-10 ft. This might sound reckless but traffic is very minimal and I would never attempt such a thing if there was another vehicle anywhere in sight. We also experience fairly severe drops in TEMP here, -30'C with the windchill factor) and I have yet to have my van fail to start in the cold early mornings.
    NONE THE LESS, I assure you these things are very good in winter conditions.
    GOOD LUCK, Mike.
  • smo1smo1 Posts: 6
    turned out the bulb was completely clicked in - thanks for the advide. Being the silly woman that I am I may have spent $100 at a mechanic instead of the $4 for a new bul b!
  • hottmom3hottmom3 Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem with my 97 chevy astro van. I have the 50/50 split rear doors, my daughter kicked the back door shut and shattered the door handle. Now we cant get the door open.

    I found the part at PartsAmerica.com, a partner of Quixtar for $37.00, and was wondering how to replace it, or actually have my Husband replace it. It would seem like we would have to get the door open somehow, or do we??? Could you help me shed some light into this matter?? I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks to anyone who can help us fix the door.
  • I have an '87 Chevy Astro with 271K. The roof is rusting and I'm looking for a good solution to stop it. I was thinking about either an expensive rust stop sealer or just painting and adding a fiberglass bubble top.

    Any suggestions?

    Dave
  • Just wanted to write and let everyone know that we have owned 4 Astros and 2 safari vans. We have had very good luck with them, and curently own a 99 Astro LS with 109,000 miles on it. I just recently bought back a 95 GMC Safari All wheel drive Glaval conversion van. It was stolen from us in late January of 2004, but we recovered it the same day. Whoever stole it did so for the front end parts only. We gave the van to my brother-in-law, who put it back together. It now has 172,000 miles on it, and is still in good shape body wise! The years of vans we haved owned range from 1989-1999, including 2 92 models, Astro and Safari, and 2 95 models, Both all wheel drives. Thanks, Jim.
  • clewis1clewis1 Posts: 6
    Hey Ron... sorry to bother you again, the van is going in tomorrow to be looked at and I thought I would send one more question your way.

    I noticed today that when you start the van up, it sprays out wet black soot and leave a spray mark on the driveway. One other thing, I don't know if this is relevent, but, I also noticed the gas gage when driving will move up and down depending on whether I am excellerating for decellerating. Love my van, but it's giving me a real headache. :sick:
  • I was just wondering if anyone out there knew of where I could find the production numbers for the Astro and Safari vans? Is there a book or a web site that I can go to too find these numbers? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, Jim.
  • :blush: Does any1 know how to tell what they mean when the code says "bank 1/ sensor 2" is?

    Thanks, Star Lord :sick:
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