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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro

rkpattrkpatt Posts: 23
Does anyone know of any near future (when ?)
production changes for the Astro / Safari. Someone
(hearsay) told me that they are near the end. Where
can I find any reliable information on this.

Thanks- A potential Astro /Safari owner


  • Late last or early this year POPULAR SCIENCE magazine ran a 5 year automotive preview. It indicated that a redesign for the Astro / Safari is due for the 2002 or 2003 model year. Since the vans are based largely on the mechanicals of the Chevy S-10 pickup, it seems likely that you'll see a new S-10 before a new Astro / Safari.
  • I have a '97 GMC Safari van that has had the
    windshield wipers quit randomly. I also know of
    several people that have had the same problem on
    other model Chevy/GMC trucks, vans, and cars. The
    cause of the problem is apparently a defective
    circuit board in the wiper motor itself. Of
    GM wants to charge for this repair even though
    they have recalled other vehicles for this exact
    I am trying to get everyone that has had this
    problem to file a report with the NHTSA so the
    will look into this safety problem which GM knows
    about but will not take responsibility for.
    If you have had this problem or have had it fixed,
    please go to and fill out a report.
    Hopefully, we can get GM to pay for these fixes.
    If you have questions, e-mail me at
    [email protected]
  • the dealer told me sarfari dunnno abt astro is ending either 1999 or 2000 I think gmc is trying to go upscale maybe teh full size van will be gone too soon
  • Your dealer not very informed to say safari/ astro end 1999 or 2000. GM make lots of money on these vans with no competition. Keep making as long as sales remain high. Some friend not like FWD vans and need rear wheel drive to tow with powerful engine of safari/astro. Less HP than Ody but much more torque on regular unleaded.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Greetings from Texas.

    If you are having problems with the wipers starting and stopping, find someone with a soldering iron and have them re-solder the connections between the power connector and the circuit board. This should fix the problem. The ones I have seen had stress on the solder joints from the wiring harness and this will eventually crack the joint, causing the notorious "intermittent" problem. If this fixes your problem, no charge. If it doesn't, well, you get what you pay for. ;-)

  • Thinking about buying a 2000 chev. astro van and wondering if there's anything we should be aware of? We want a vehicle that will tow a tent trailer. Also how is it driving around town?
  • looramlooram Posts: 17
    I bought a 1997 GMC Safari new in Dec 1996. It was in the shop 42 times in the first 11 mouths I had it. I got so fed up, I was going to start Lemon Law proceedings (in Califrnia). Then GM gave me a free 100,000 mile extended bumper to bumper warranty. Alot of the problems had to do with the fuel injectors(they were replaced four times!). I have not had any problems since the extended warrenty kicked in! (of course) I now live in Nebraska and am thinking of trading my van in for a 2000 AWD model. Any advice I would give is get the rear air conditioning and an extended warranty!
  • I have an 86 Astro with 175000 mi. on it with half of that towing a 25ft HiLo travel trailer,mostly out west over the Rockies. Milage solo is 19 mpg avg. and towing is 13mpg.avg.. Has better climbing ability than most bigger rigs. Towing package a must; with approp. rear end gear and locking differential. You should also manually shift rather than let the trans do it. And you can tow quite well in overdrive. Do all maint. when called for and change oil and filter every 3000 miles. I'am getting ready to buy a new one. My current engine and trans. has never been touched internally. Good luck.
  • I'm the owner of a 98 Astro Van which I will be turning back in to the manufacture. I just won an
    arbritration hearing with the BBB due to repeated fuel injection problems. Chevy put out a letter confirming a problem in California with the poppet valves sticking due to a fuel additive that California fuel makers use. So now we're looking for another vehicle. We test drove an Ford Expedition this weekend but we really like the space that the Astro Van provides. Even with the rear seat, there was room in the back for an ice chest and other stuff. But in the Expedition, I had to remove the rear seat, just to fit a regular size ice chest. The Expedition sucked gas like crazy also.
    The Astro van pulled our tent trailer pretty good and other than for the fuel injector problems (and the front leg room, like everyone says) the Astro Van fit our functional needs. And, after driving the Expedition (not as much room, $10,000 more,) I may look closer at the GMC Safari. I'm nervous about buying another Astro, with the fuel problems they have documented, but also know that the Safari's may be subject to the same problems. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about a fix for the 2000 Safari's? please let me know.
    For the size, price and towing, it's kind of hard to beat the Astro/Safari. I'll need to make a decision soon. I'd appreciate any feedback.
  • I had a 95' Chevrolet Astro CL and it was one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. When I traded it in for a 00' Oldsmobile Bravada it had 68,000 mi. on it and I have had no trouble what so ever with this van. The only thing that was replaced on it was an alternator that went out at about 34,000 mi. That was under warranty. Except for that there were no problems. I was very pleased by the way it drove and especially how much power it had. It has a lot of passing power and torgue. It gets moderate gas milage. It is a great value especially for a family of 5 or more or if you are going to go on vacation. That is what I am going to miss most about my Astro Van. I needed 4 wheel drive and I have one less person in the family now so I don't need a van anymore. My Astro came with cruise,tilt,power everything,cassette,rear air and dutch doors all for under $23,000 dollars. That is an exceptional value for me. I would strongly reccomend the Astro to anyone who has a family or needs to haul or tow things. Just ask yourself,"Do I really want one of those underpowered front drive minivans?" I also like that you can get the Astro LT (Luxury Touring)AWD and get AWD,Leather,Buckets,CD,Tape,Electronic Compass,Dutch doors,Rear Heat and Air and alot more for around $30,000!
  • I have a 96 GMC Safari, that's been nothing but TROUBLE! I had a new engine put in December 98. GM decided to cover most of it since the dealer had done all the maintenance on the car. I've spent about $5,000 in the last year to continue the repairs---new axle, new idler arms, front differential, new wiper motor and lock mechanism for drivers side. I would NEVER own another safari!!!!
  • I have a 1991 Safari with 207500+ miles racked up on it.Service other than the normal includes four o2 sensors,water pump, alt., t.p.s,and worst of all (!) 2 heater fan switches, the most annoying of any problems but not a real serious one. We love the room and seating for 8. As others have noted the 4.3 coupled to the rear drive has provided everything I could ask for even in 15" of snow and the great blizzard of '96. If and when this one gives up on life I look forward to the next one w/dutch doors and not having the rear view blocked with the center door posts. Rear ac is definitely a big plus. This is definitely the best vehicle I've invested in. Every manufacturer is subject to a bad unit so I can't use that as a reason not to buy again. I,m obviously sold on the Safari
  • Have had same problem as t2muchjam with injectors in California. Am concerned about declining resale value due to known problem. I also have stalling problems when restarting within 5-10 minutes of turning engine off. Am happy with the features of the van, but very concerned about the reliability. Have been in 4 times in under 20,000 miles for the injectors only. Would be curious to know how t2muchjam got to the arbitration point. I wrote a complaint letter to GM last fall and received a form letter extending the warranty on the injectors only to 100,000 miles. Haven't followed up again, and now this past Thursday, it happened again. Would appreciate a reply from t2muchjam (or anyone with similar experience).
  • I purchased a new 99 astro in May of 99 from my
    local chevy dealer. It was the worst purchase that I have ever made. The rear axle made a clunking noise from the first day that I had it. After only 750 miles, it was in the shop with a leaky windshield and a water leak on the drivers door. Before the odometer could reach 2000 miles, the rear cargo doors and the rear 1/4 glasses began to leak. After several repair attempts at the selling dealer, I had enough. The van was more in the shop than on the road. After a few feuds with the selling dealer, chevrolet agreed to buy the van back in November for the purchase price. I am now driving a 2000 Toyota Sienna, what a difference. It may be smaller, but the quality is by far, greater.
    Good-bye to the American Built vehicles.
  • billgeebillgee Posts: 1
    I'm about to purchase a 2000 Chevy Astro. Does anyone know if you get any kind of suspenion upgrade when you opt for the trailer tow package? The Astro brochure states:
    Trailering special equipment, heavy-duty: includes weight-distributing hitch platform and 8-lead wiring harness. The $318 price for this option dosen't seem worth it if it's only the hitch since the wiring is already there, tucked in under the jack, without the connector.
    Plans are for the SL Pkg, Rear Air, 7 seating, power driver & pass seat, Alum wheels, and Dutch Doors (maybe).
    Any other info or suggestions would be appreciated.
  • palisadepalisade Posts: 1
    I don't know the answer to your question but it's interesting that you ask cause I ran into a guy yesterday that said he had put an extra leef spring in his 1996 Safari. I had just bought a used 1997 Safari 5 minuites before from a dealer
    for 18,900 with 20,000 miles on it and they gave it to me on empty so I stopped for gas and here was this guy with a 2000 Safari he had purchaced
    2 weeks prior. I asked if he liked his van and thats when he told me about the `96. He did not have any problems with it and traded it in after 85,000 miles. I don't believe he had done the leef spring to the new van
    but did'nt say anything about an upgrade.
    I've had my `97 for 1 day now and love it. I got a
    5 year 100,000 mile warrenty with the unit cause I
    read some of these things here on Town Hall and got nervous but I believe you should get an extended warrenty on an new vehicle now days if you should plan on keeping it for any time.
    I'll up date on my `97 in a few weeks.
  • my 2000 astro has 500 mi on it. The front end shimmies as did the front end on two other new ones on the lot. 3 tries & GM can't fix it.I left it at the dealers for 10 days so the zone manager could check it. He never showed up.Dealer offered a trade on all wheel drive model. I read at this site that that model had big problems in 1999. I called GM 4 times and asked the dealer if the problems had been fixed in the 2000 model.NOBODY KNOWS!!My van also used a pint of oil in 400mi. Will run,not walk, to my nearest Japanese van dealer.My 30 years of GM trucks is history.Good luck.
  • I ordered a trailer package on my 2ooo Astro(see above message) as well as 3.23 rearend.I got neither. You can get an aftermarket package cheaper anyway. 3 of my last 4 Chev trucks did NOT arrive as I had ordered them.Those same 3 had Uniroyal tires , which also caused problems. Good luck,you'll need it.
  • oh yeah. I was traveling at night and pushed the 'dome override' button & the headlights went out.So much for GM's needlessly cumbersome full time headlight system. You void the warranty if you shut off the daylight headlights, or so GM told me AFTER i bought the thing(2000 astro).
  • cliff210cliff210 Posts: 1
    Naively, I bought my brand new 93 Astro in May 93, preferring to listen to Astro owners who told me they never had problems and ignoring the sea of solid black circles listed for the van in "Consumer Reports". My van represents a number of trademark GM qualities: Poor engineering, slipshod design, inferior quality components, and poor assembly quality. After only 58,000 ultra pampered, garage kept, highway- only miles, there isn't one major system that hasn't given me trouble. The only reason I'm hanging on to this dog is it's only worth about 9 grand tops and I can't afford a new vehicle right now. My Astro van ownership experience concludes my relationship with General Motors.
  • ashewittashewitt Posts: 28
    I have a 95 astro with the dutch doors and it has started to accumulate water in the bottom section of the hatch. It accumulates in the bottom and when you open the hatch up the water runs out from the corners. There doesn't appear to be any leaks on the inside and no water runs down the inside of the glass. The seals appear to be good and there are no rusted areas to indicate leakage. Any ideas???
  • gillwagillwa Posts: 1
    I bought my first AWD Astro in 94 and kept it 3.5 years. During that time the only problem I had was a worn tie rod end that came from me not greasing it regularly. I traded it in on a 97 when it had 50k miles on it and now have 48 on the 97. The only problem we have had with the 97 was a broken heater control knob it just developed a small, and I emphasize small, leak at the front right axle seal. This was replaced for $130.00. Thats the only repair bill I've paid since '94. I have paid for services but this is the only repair. In my opinion, the Astro has been a great van and I just came from the dealer lining up my 3rd.
  • looramlooram Posts: 17
    Hey! Chevy should read your owners manual. The auto headlights are supposed to go out when you hit the dome override button five times.........or maybe its just that you cant read. Get a clue and stop wasting computer memory space.
  • kderrick1kderrick1 Posts: 1
    I am currently looking at a 1987 Astro with 124k miles on it. Original owner is selling for $5500/obo. Oil and filter changed every 3000 miles and has papers to prove. Had transmission checked every 5000 miles. Test drove and it drove great. He has put new brakes, cat. converter, starter, water pump, alt., belts, wheels (17" Konig), tires, shocks, flowmaster dual exhaust system, carpet, headliner, and paint. I think it's a steal, considering new paint, wheels, and parts are worth about $4000... blue book value is $4000 as well. Looks good, but want to know what fellow owners think of these vans. I drove Astro's for a couple years in 1994-95 for my work, and thought they were fairly reliable good trucks... but not too knowledgable about '87 model.
  • I have owned this gashog for a year, mostly intown driving. Bought in Concord, NH where the dealership has always been polite, willing to work to correct problems-transmission,brakes-Butthe Chevy dealership in Nashua,NH wanted to charge us for all the work we had done on warranty at the place where we bought it. This is inconsistent with what the info in the warranty book states about "any gm dealer" will fix warranty problems. I'm returning to Dodge manual shift 4WD PU Quad. Been there-good truck.
  • kmixkmix Posts: 1
    I am currently in the market for a minivan. Found
    an Astro at a local dealer.This van is a 2000 and
    despite the fact that it is in the used dept i suspect that it had not been titled(searched by carfax).my question is gm is giving a rebate on astros and i would like to know if the rebate would apply to this van. Any ideas any one????
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This sounds like a good question for Car_Man, host of Smart Shopper. Check over there to see if there are any current topics that might fit your question.

    Good luck!

    Vans host

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • ivanwareivanware Posts: 1
    I bought this in March of 1999 for $1200. It is a 92 and at the time had 264,000 miles on the original engine. The van had been used as a flower delivery truck. The only engine problem I have encountered is that it does need a ring job because it does smoke. My mechanic recommended 20w50 weight oil and "no smoke" as a much cheaper remedy which has worked great. I have had the same problem with the door handles but these are cheap to fix(less than $40). I have been very pleased with its performance. It now has 290,500 miles and is running great I highly recommend this van.
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    I have a 1999 with 33K miles on it. I get about 20 MPG in warm weather. I get 15-16 in cold weather. I use a block h eater and i also use synthetic 15-50W motor oil. I have very happy with the van. It has a good comfort level for me and my kids when they ride with me. I ordered this van with the positraction rear axle which is only about $ 300 vs $ 795 for AWD. Also this rides better and it pulls very well and gets better MPG than AWD.

    I have had the van for some time now. LAst winter i found the stock "tiger paw " tires to be useless on a mild ice coating so i replaced with four cooper snow tires . Fabulous improvement. I left them on until last week.

    With snow tires, my sample cases in the back and the positraction , plus the great ground clearance the vans has been great in all types of driving. Also you get a good view of the road in the bad weather and you are a little bit higher than some of the road spray. The wind does not seem to bother it very much either. I think I had more wind effect from my Chevy Caprice than the van!

    Highly reccomend this van to anyone needed a good all around unit that can carry people , "Stuff" ( like a Sear Lawn Tractor maybe?) and be economical to drive and SAFE in bad weather. Anti Skid brakes well nice too!

    One note: You will sit higher in this van than most pickups and all other " mini-vans" on the road. Do not get too snobby. OK? We Safari people don't want to get a reputation. Can we help it if others have bought the wrong vehicle ?
  • chris173chris173 Posts: 1
    we love our 95 LT 2wd it does all well but snow,we can tow up to 5000 lbs with it. Ours has the limited slip rear also (more useful for mud and towing then snow). All our friends try to tow with minivans without tow packages and worry that they will make it up hills whale we just turn of the overdrive and fly up hills with 3000lbs in tow. this van is great we would recomended it to any one.
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