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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Either van you're looking at will be fine. If you don't mind me asking why you want AWD. These systems are not the great advancements that are out there today. You basically get a reworked version of the old S-Blazer 4WD. If you can steer clear, go the 2WD route. Just my 2 cents but could you spend a little more and get a '03 model- getting you disc brakes all around, better power and emissions from the motor, and tie rod end links a little stronger (a common weak link).

    As far as problems with the years you're looking at, as long as there are some service records, you should be safe. The are the few common threads with power window motors, tie rods, but those are not too expensive even at the dealer.

    With your repair books, I always used Chiltons. They are also the group that writes the repair and time logs for mechanics. Unfortunately, being the SafAstros are not overly popular, ther are not too many references to use. Good luck
  • frmn8575frmn8575 Posts: 2
    Hi, you were almost on the problem. When you have slow battery drains and periodic non starts, it is a typically corrosion build up, majority of the time it is a "green" color. The wire that typically gets bad is the one ON the starter itself, the main battery wire. You should take it off, take a wire brush to the connector and the stud and this should fix the problem.

    Friend of mine had the SAME exact issue, even down to an argument at Wal-Mart cause he swore the battery was bad...We looked at the starter connection as I stated and whala, problem solved.
  • frmn8575frmn8575 Posts: 2
    Go with airbags, Firestone and AirLift both make 1000# bags for the Astro/Safari. You can run them at a minimum of 10lbs, giving the exact stock ride or up to about 100 lbs for maximum capacity!!

    Little spendy, $200-$300 depending on brand/features you get, but much better than leaf type helpers.
  • stan7stan7 Posts: 7
    2000 Chevy Astro Van. Driver side door handle just broke at the top hinge. Easy to replace myself? Will removing door panel give easy access for replacement? I know if I go thru dealer, they'll charge me plenty, although the window motor needs replacing too.
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    Piece of cake. But instead of the panel holders popping out, the door panel lifts upward off the mounting clips. However it is a good idea to purchase some new plastic mounting plugs, clips, or whatever you call em. They are not very expensive. The window motor is a Bosch available at Auto Zone. Now let me back up a little. I really don't know how the door handle hinge is mounted, but probably with rivets the same as the window motor. But screws and nuts are used for replacement of the window motor. And possibly for the door handle.

    My rear door handle broke and the dealer wanted $45.00 or so for a new one. I rebuilt the broken one for about a dollar and made it so that it wouldn't break again like the original piece of junk. GM makes that junk out of pot metal so as to help with the dealer and GM income.
  • stan7stan7 Posts: 7
    I had to have it done within one day (business trip). Found a guy who replaced the door handle for $100 installed. Would've done it myself but ran outta time. Thanks.
  • connell2connell2 Posts: 3
    I also have a 93 astro van. Left window in up position Right window in the down position. Switch on both sides do not work l Took apart switch from left door . With key on , no power at that switch . Window breaker is good in fuse box. Are there relays for the windows ? If so, where ? Left window switch is new.
  • connell2connell2 Posts: 3
    Windows not working . No power to switch at left door. Breaker in fuse box is good. Do the windows have a relay somewhere ? left switch is new.
  • connell2connell2 Posts: 3
    I checked right door switch, there is power to switch, only got it to move slightly in down position then stopped working again. Still no power to left door switch tried with jumper lead from fuse box to power post on switch, motor for window still wont run . Ground problem ? Or bad motors.?
  • carl4carl4 Posts: 1
    I have been the owner of a 1992 Astro for about 10 years. I just upgraded to a 2002 and, to my surprize, it seems to get worse milage. The old van had a 3.42 rear end while the newer one has a 3.73 ratio, which apparently yeilds a higher towing capacity. Would this make a big difference in milage??? I havn't yet actually calculated the milage but it seems like the fuel gauge moves toward 'Empty' a lot quicker. Does anyone know what would be involved in changing out the rear end to the 3.42 to get better milage? Thanks.
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    That is the price we pay for horsepower. The 1992 Astro was 165 Hp with throttle body injection. The 2002 is 195 HP with sequential port injection. Get's about 3 mpg less mileage. With reasonable or careful driving habits the mileage should be 17 in town and 21 on the open road at 70 to 75 mph.

    The 3.73 will get better mileage in stop and go driving but probably about 1 mpg less on the highway. But remember you get 500 lbs. increased towing capacity with the 3.73 gears. 5400 vs 4900.

    Buy a boat or RV and enjoy the increased grunt.
  • jody3jody3 Posts: 2
    Anyone know how to remove the armrests of the front seats of a '96? I think the technique varies from year to year.

  • iwhiteyiwhitey Posts: 3
    Hi all,
    I just purchased a used 1999 AWD Astro LS with 57,000 miles on it from a dealer in PA. It was originally used by a water authority somewhere around there and it even came with the functioning yellow bubble light on top (my kids HATE it). I got them to install a class 3 hitch and a flat 4 wiring harness and paid $6350 for everything. I have never owned an Astro before and this forum has been very helpful, but I have a few questions for those of you with more experience with these.

    1 - How do I tell what differential I have?
    2 - Is the AWD full time or part time?
    3 - I have a whining sound that seems to be coming from the power steering unit. It's pretty much constant and gets worse when I turn the wheels. The dealer said that almost every Astro he gets has this noise. I also asked a friend of mine whose owned two Astro's about this and he said both of his were noisy as well. Has anyone else had this happen?
    4 - I can hear a squeaking noise when I'm driving. It's not loud but I can still hear it. I'm thinking it's either the front brake(s) or a belt. Has there been caliper and/or serpentine belt problems with these?
    5 - The front brakes squeal a bit when I stop. I think I read somewhere that the Astro's tended to do that due to brake dust. Any opinions?
    6 - Speaking of brakes, are the front rotors on these the kind that include the hub assembly? How difficult are they to replace?
    7 - Probably due to it's past use, the drivers door seems to have "dropped" and must be slammed to close it. I noticed that the latch mechanism on the door is pretty torn up. How difficult is it to replace the mechanism and realign the door?

    Sorry about all the questions, but I haven't found a better place to ask.

    I've only had the van for 5 days, but I really like it already. Besides, for $6350, how could I go wrong?
  • skipper4skipper4 Posts: 6
    I have a 1996 Astro AWD with 150,000 miles when I go around corners the inside wheel all of a sudden skips/slips to try and keep up with the outside wheel. What is the most likely explanation? I have a well-equipped garage; I do most of my own work i.e. rear wheel bearings, water pump, alternator and such. What parts would I need to repair this problem? Are there any special specs like clearances?
  • skipper4skipper4 Posts: 6
    Mine Astro window problem was caused by a broken blue wire inside of the black wire covering/rubber at the door hinging area.
  • monagomonago Posts: 1
    i just had to replace my o2 sensor bank one and i am hoping that i should pass inspction , my question is how long do they last i have a 1997 astro van LT editon bought it off a priviate owner has 132,000 miles on it thanx :)
  • motoleonmotoleon Posts: 1
    Own a 1997 Gmc Safari. The fuel pump has always been a bit noisy but it seems to be getting worse (buzzing/humming sound). Is this a sign of the end or is it considered "normal" for this model?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • The fuel pump on our 1996 Astro sounded normal before it died, so I don't know if you should be worried.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    It's just that electric pump being mounted so close under the floor. Everytime I go in for an oil change (there's usually a new 17-19 year old) the "your pump sounds like it's going out" followed by the service writer telling me not to worry, they all do that.

    Monago, your O2 sensor is subject to stop and go traffic vs. open highway driving. Mine never sits at idle for longer than 2 minutes so it stays pretty clean. Mileage won't tell you as I have 160K on mine.
  • I have a 1991 astro that had the same problem, ended up being the drivers doors lock switch was sticking. i noticed the relays clicking one day when i hit a bump. pulled the switches never went dead again. then replaced
  • Guys, I'm hopeing you can help me out. My mom has a 2000 Astro AWD and the starter died yesterday so we tow it out to my place and R&R it and now it rolls over fine but no fire? Now the tow vehicle was a stick-shift and at times the ride got pretty jerky and i'm wondering if anyone knows if these have a fuel cut-off switch? Thanks
  • danapdanap Posts: 1
    Hi Phil:

    I have good success using the heavy duty rotors from CarQuest on my 2000 Astro.
    This is after 2 previous sets of rotors. The stock ones are just too thin.
    Thanks!, Good Luck
  • dkelly23dkelly23 Posts: 4
    Does anyone know where I can download a schematic for my 02 Safari at?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Please do not post in ALL CAPS. It is difficult to read and people think you are are yelling at them.
  • roadieroadie Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 safari that needs a new ignition coil. How does this thing come out ? Any help would be greatly apppreciated.
    Thanx :confuse:
  • I had a similar problem. Passenger door locks, windows, mirror all went. The passenger door will not work at all if the wiring within the door boot is broken even if the wire in the boot on the passenger side isn't broken the master switch is in the drivers door any wire broken in that boot will disrupt everything else. Open your doors look where the hinges are you should see a rubber type boot. You will need to cut this to see inside just slice it enough to open it to work you want to be able to tape it back together recommend wide electrical tape it may look a little tacky when your done but not to bad. hopefully the wire will be enough to grab. I took wire cut into about 3" long trimmed to ends and re wired it to give it some length to open without coming apart i then twisted them and tape them together if your good at it or have down time i suggest using solder or something like that don't use those colored wire connectors if you end up re connecting the wires those connectors will tape up space in the boot and might make it a problem to close the door. Hope this helps. You should check both doors but start with the one that has the problem then test to see if it is fixed if not check the other one
  • dcswartzdcswartz Posts: 1
    I am not familiar with your engine, but other engines have had bad ignition capacitors that can cause your kind of symptoms.
  • dkelly23dkelly23 Posts: 4
    If it is an 03, shouldn't it be covered under warranty? Have GM fix it.
  • I have electricity problem in my safari (1993) :cry:
    I know that the problem is from my broken electric door, anyone knows if there is a fuse for the electric door and where can i fined it..???

    tnx for all helpers :blush:
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