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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • chrisj6chrisj6 Posts: 1
    I own a 98' Astro LS with 63K and have had nothing but problems with it. I traded in my 89' Astro with 120K for the 98'. I bought it from a Chevy dealership were I was fooled by the 100+ point inspection on every certified used car. At 28K I noticed a damp spot on the carpet near the back dutch doors. I lifted the carpet up from the molding piece and felt the underside, the padding was soaked and covered in mildew! I took it to the dealership were they took all the carpet out and ran it through their car wash 8 times, but found no leak. They replaced the carpeting (under warranty) but the problem happend again with no solution. If you own a Astro with back Dutch Doors, check the underside of the carpeting. I garentee it will be wet. Then the passenger window jamed itself in the door. The accelerator sticks, and when the transmision shifts it will give you wiplash! I've had the tans. serviced and perform all maintnence regularly. Plus the van rattles and squeeks like a 20 year old car! I baby my cars so they'll last me a long time. But this van is the most problem ridden vehicle I've ever owned! And it will be the last GM vehicle I buy.
  • Has anyone had any luck pursuing GM with front suspension failure, upper ball joint snapped at 100K miles, always had regular lubing, etc. Any ideas where to look?
  • I have a 93 Astro T. The passenger side power window quit working, then 5 months later the drivers side window quit working along with the power mirrors. The fuses are OK. Any suggestions on what to look for next? Thanks!
  • mdunne1mdunne1 Posts: 1
    Yup.. Got everything on it - leather - the works...
    Bought in Bellevue Washington. Had one problem so far - the front winshield leaked - took back to dealer - they imploded window and put new one in. Got all of 1100 miles - no squeaks - no rattles... Going to pull the tent trailer this summer - hope I dont have the same misfortune some of the poor Safari folks have had (reading from this bulletin board). Hey - if your looking to put down $2000 extra bucks on an Astro van - call up the GM card folks - take out a huge line of credit (I did for $18,000) and then get their 2 5% rebate checks - write the checks - deposit them into your bank account and pay them back 2 days before you write the checks... wham you've up to $2000 to pay for the tax/extra goodies on your new 2001 Astro Van (total cost to mawa - $50.00 interest charges).
    Looking forward to heading to Disney land this year.. lots of room for the kids!!! Got AWD - yea!!
    Will report my misfortunes if I have them - GM car buyer Mike
  • Take this for whatever it is worth to you. I owned a 95 for 5 years/60k miles and never had any great problems with it. In the end, it tended to heat up a bit but turned out to be a weak hose.

    I also owned a shuttle service putting 10-15k/month on these types of vehicles. We had Win stars, Chryslers, Astros and the usual compliment of 15 passenger vans.

    Folks, don't be stupid. What the Astro lacks in appeal, handling, and wiper motor failures (common on both, it WILL happen) it more than makes up for in pure cargo/passenger handling. We used to get 19-20mpg on the road, personal or fleet. The Win star ran second, but the Chryslers are an abysmal failure. Wives buy the Chryslers because they "look nice". They are by far the worst for reliability on AC, Brakes, Transmissions and Electrical.

    The Astro actually has served well in fleet operations. They are roomy and deliver excellent power/fuel economy.

    Down sides? Wiper motors fail, rear ends only fail when abused (you DO have to change those fluids too! Try every 15k if you tow alot). Ugly? So what, actually the newer ones "pass the vanity test".

    No other minivan comes close in cubic feet. Try logging 700 miles in one day with wife, 4 kids and stuff through hilly terrain of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, running the TV/VCR, Air on and cruising at 70-75. Does it with ease.

    Price? 21-22k for an LS with front/rear air. pay more and you are a fool. Work the rebates at the end of the year (August) and get one for 20,450.

    Good luck
  • Does anyone know how to add in pricing for a conversion package when figuring out the price on your conversion van?????

    Kelley Blue Book doesn't seem to have an option for this.

    I have a 1995 GMC Safari Autoform conversion from Glaval Corporation (No extended roof).

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Bill Rains
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Digital instrumentation was the irritation with our 91 Astro CL. Would get 23 to 24 mpg on 1400 mile round trip to Disneyland. Wiper motor went out at 61,000 miles and 8 years of age a few weeks before we traded it on a new 99 GC SE that has had zero problems in 2 years 24,600 miles. GC SE on same 1400 mile trip to Disneyland with 4 adults and 2 grandchildren gets 27 MPG.
    We got our Astro and GC NEW as first owners and just had regular recommended maintenance for normal driving conditions as I do not feel the oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months whichever comes sooner. We do not drive primarily in stop and go traffic at over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Each minivan has advantages: I prefer the panel doors of Astro, the 4.3L V6, the 27 gal fuel tank, the same space in a vehicle about 30 inches less length. On the other hand the GC has Dual Zone Temp, better heating/air conditioning, Trip Computer. Would buy another Astro if GM would lengthen the front to provide adequate access for maintenance and provide better leg room for front passenger.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Valuing conversion vans is tough, apparently. You may get some help here:

    Pricing (costing) conversion vans

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • obus99obus99 Posts: 2

    Mike, I just bought a left over new 2000 AWD Safari. I pick it up in 2 days. Please email me at how I can take advantage of the $2000 GMC rebate card you posted above.

  • bougardbougard Posts: 1
    I have a 97 GMC safari van that leaks terribly from the rear doors to the extent that the carpet will seep water all the way to the front of the vehicle. there is no noticable water to be seen when the leaking occurs until you lift a floor mat and detect the water under them. Has anyone else had this problem and has GMC responded to your satisfaction. Have contacted GMC customer service on the matter and they are willing to split the cost but if it leaks again and ruins the carpet again, they are not responsible for the carpet damage? It seems that this is a major problem and that there is not a solution to prevent it from leaking again.
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    I see by reading the above post you have what seems extensive knowledge on the Astro/Safari vehicles. I just purchased a 2001 Safari AWD. I had a 99 that had extensive problems with the redesigned awd system and then it got ugly when I had to depart with it. My wife really like this design vehicle so I purchased another one. The question I have is this vehicle has a limited slip rearend (which I have no idea why they would install this on an awd vehicle) and it 3.73 rear end gears. I don't do any towing but maybe a litte camping. How bad with the gear ratio kill me with gas mileage or will I even see a difference at all? Is there any advantage to a limited slip with the awd system already installed? Puzzles me. Thanks for you time.
  • swemswem Posts: 1
    i just got my van and i love it but i'm looking for the rear window curtain kits and can't find them please help if you know where i could find these.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Nothing weird about a limited slip on a 4wd or Awd application. Subaru is not offering some arrangement like this on some of their cars. Hardcore offroaders generally install true lockers (or airlockers) on their trucks, sometimes both front and rear.

    IMHO, limited slip diff's like the kind offered by GM and other manufacturers as "locking differentials" aren't of much value. Here's a link that explains this stuff Although it's geared to the serious offroad set, the same applies to those of us who just don't want to be stuck in the snow. Note that most of the serious lockers wouldn't be appropriate for highway use.

  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    Thanks for the informative information on LSD. After reading the article I really won't notice any difference just a waste of money from GM. I have no need for a locker just didn't really understand the LSD effect with the AWD feature. Do you know how much 3.73 versus 3.42 ratio will effect gas mileage the vehicle came with this setup & I may regret it on a long trip w/o towing.
  • cormiercormier Posts: 8
    We've had rear door leaks on a few of our Astros. If they were under warranty, we returned them to the dealer for resolution. I really never asked what they did.

    I believe that we put new rubber seals on the 1 or 2 rear door leaks that we resolved ourselves.

    Two other ideas come to mind. Perhaps check to see if there is an adjustment for the door latch. Can it be set to close the door a little more tightly? (Sorry. I'm too lazy to go outside and look for you. Especially since I don't think this is the answer.)

    The other idea is the possibility of a slightly "sprung" door. When the rear doors are closed, do they appear to match each other exactly for the full length of that center line? If not, one may be slightly twisted.

    But back to the new door seals. That's the probable solution. You can examine the seals for indications of poor contact, or signs that the seal has compressed or otherwise deteriorated. But I was convinced that the seal was good on the one I examined, but my mechanic changed it anyway. I lost that bet (and most of our other bets, too).

    Last idea. Try speaking with the body shop instead of the service manager. That's where this problem belongs. My guess is that they will have your answer in a heart beat. "Fit and finish" is where they live.
  • cormiercormier Posts: 8
    Great link, mrnimmo! I always got the LSD on our vehicles, but never really understood what it was. I figured the "voodoo" value was sufficient to justify the extra $20 or so. Now I understand what I'm buying. Thanks!

    As for the difference in mileage between the 3.73 and the 3.42 rear ends: I don't think you'll find it to be any problem at all. I had the 3.73 in a '93, and really liked it. That was back before the extra HP from the "Vortec" and the better fuel injection. Back then, the extra pop I got from the 3.73 made it feel more lively in town, and avoided kicking out of overdrive on hills. The only (very minor) drawback was the additional engine sound at 70 mph or so.

    3.73 minus 3.42 = .31
    .31 divided by 3.42 = .09
    So, the same engine "rpm" will drive the vehicle 9% less distance with the 3.73. But that won't translate into 9% less mileage. Torque yields, horsepower curves, and all the other things auto engineers know about will come into play. My guess is that mileage will be about the same "in-town," and 1 to 2 mpg less for strictly high speed driving.
  • flynnskiflynnski Posts: 1
    We live in Minnesota at the bottom of a valley. Bought a 2000 AWD last fall and could not believe the great traction thru a long, snowy winter.
    I want to buy an extended warranty. Can anybody tell me what to buy - Should I buy only from a dealer or try one advertised on the internet. (is there any differance?) I's a little nervous about holes that can appear in a warranty.
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    I would like to know the same. We just bought a 2001 Safari AWD & the finance guy wanted some absurd amount for a 6yr 60K warranty $1400, I declined. What kind of gas mileage do you get with your Van? Have you seen some increase with break in period or does it stay about the same.
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    I was lying under our new Safari & noticed that the 4.3L doesn't have a oil pan any longer. It seems it has a aluminum piece that seems attached to the motor. Has anyone seen this? Also what would the implications be if you had to service something internal in the engine like oil pump or even crack the bottom?
    I found this out due to a friend bought a 98 Blazer it was the same design & he immediately purchased a extended warranty to keep from something dire happening. Any insight on this new design would be appreciated.
  • I need an objective answer for the following question: Why should I buy an Astro/Safari instead of a Suburban/Yukon XL?
  • tombayertombayer Posts: 23
    Astro's are much cheaper, at least 10-15k dollars worth. Astro's have just as much if not more usable interior space. Astro's get better fuel mileage. Astro's don't fit into the "designer SUV" category that every soccer mom loves to drive (forgive me ladies, just trying to make a point). One last note, my Astro has the two rear bench seats and dutch doors. It is very easy to haul 4x8 building materials by just folding the seat backs flat and have about 2 inches of the 4x8 sticking out the back, then I tie the lift gate shut with a short piece of rope. I could probably shut the lift gate if I moved the front seats all the way forward, but that would be too cramped for me to drive. The bench seats are removable, but I've only had to do that once or twice, usually just folding the seatbacks down gives plenty of room.
  • gtrag1gtrag1 Posts: 4
    Need some Help
    I have always heard good things about the astro van. Two years ago I purchase a 95 two wheel drive for pulling my small tent trailer. This van has been nothing but trouble. The wiper motor starts and stops when ever it wants,and now The main fuel inject or needs to be replaced for the third time.I only have 65000 miles on the van.I was looking to replace this van with another astro, but after reading the messages on this board I ask my self why. I love the space of the astro van, but am having second thoughts.
    are things better in the 2001 vans?

    Can anyone help me find a good report to compare a few vans.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Hi gtrag1

    Here's another message board you may want to peruse:

    Full Sized Vans.

    I don't know of any reviews for the Astro or it's full size competition off-hand. If you go to New Cars from the main page and select the Chevy and then the Astro, there is a comparison tab, and a link to order brochures. Anyone got any reviews?

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • dpayne1dpayne1 Posts: 8
    I am considering the purchase of a 2000 MC Safari WAD, but I do drive on a limited use seasonal highway most weekends to get to camp.
    This road is .3 miles long, and mostly rutted dirt.
    We also have a mostly dirt (with some gravel) hill to go down, and then back up leading to the cabin. Has anybody done any off-road driving with this WAD Van?? I now use a 1987 Suburban 4X4 with no problems, but the Suburban is getting a little old, and the wife likes the new van idea over the new Extended Cab pickup. I like the price of the Safari, but don't want to cause damage by driving off-road.
    Thanks in advance for your comments
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    The wiper motor starts and stops when ever it wants... Common problem in the GM is cracks in the solder joint of the circuit board connector where the wiring harness plugs in. I have fixed quite a few of these. Remove the circuit board and re-solder the joints to the connector.

    ...main fuel injector needs to be replaced for the third time. Another common problem. Can be caused by high additive concentrations in blended fuels. In Texas this is a problem when using premium fuels. I had four injectors go out in a '94 Safari, and one in a '95 Safari before finding out about this. Since going with regular grade only I have put 55K miles on the van with no further injector problems.
  • by rddrummer1

    I just bought a 2001 Chevy Astro AWD cargo van. The problem is the fuel mileage, with the first two tanks of gas I'm getting about 9 mpg, any suggestions?
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    RE: rddrummer1
    That is terrible gas mileage. I also bought a 2001 awd but Passenger & my gas mileage first tank was 13 & the second is 13.8, I to hope that the gas mileage will get better but 9 is absolutely terrible. Mine has all been city driving with no excessive acceleration.
  • gtrag1gtrag1 Posts: 4
    Thank you for the great input.
    I will try re soldering the joints on the wiper motor.
    As for the injectors I am burning regular gas from superamerica in minnesota.Is there a better type of fuel that I should be using?

    Thank you for all of your help
  • My '97 Astro is almost off lease. I've not had any problems that are significant, but the carpet is soaked to the driver's seats. I've heard its the rear seals but no one has suggested a solution. We had the dealer adjust the "Dutch" doors twice. Has anyone had any success with a dealer or with M on this problem? Its always noted on the work order "unable to duplicate" when I go to the dealership. If so where does the water come from?
  • isis805isis805 Posts: 1
    I have repaired many Astro rear door water leaks, the problem is water can creep under the rear carpet retainer at the rear doors. The retainer is held down with screws and some 2-sided tape. I have been removing the carpet retainer, applying a bead of caulking between the pinch weld flanges at each side under the carpet retainer. Let the caulking set to firm up a bit and install the carpet retainer. Also replace the 2-sided tape on the retainer. This forms a dam under the retainer and blocks the water that seeps past the door seals. Also the upper seal at the roof may require a bead of caulking where it meets the roof. Hope this helps.
    Dave (G. M. Technician)
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