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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • Have a rattle in the dash, sounds like a loose defroster/AC duct,or, body shop dropped a screwdriver etc in there.
    Puled cover/defroster grille - all tight there.
    Car was in minor accident, left fender replaced, so warranty work not an option.

    Any one have a manual/drawing on how dash is removed or how you get access to this area?
    Thanks, Roger e-mail: [email protected]
  • I have an '02 Astro AWD that jerks when turning. Feels like something is hanging up or getting in a bind. Feels to be coming from rear of vehicle. Does it turning left or right. The tighter the turn, the worse it is. Only does it in forward, not in reverse. Only does it after about 15 minutes of driving, not when cold. Rear end was completely rebuilt in August '05. Problem started December '05. Shop says there's nothing wrong, just drive it. They do recommend replacing shocks which are weak. Any help is appreciated.
  • Dannyg40,
    I am on my 4th Astro/Safari. Had a great time with three previous used vans. ('91 Safari, '94 Safari, '98 Astro AWD, and now an '02 Astro AWD) We have had the '02 since August and have replaced coil, distributor and rotor, had rearend rebuilt, and a new battery. Aside from the rearend, the others were probably overdue for replacement. Still having probs with drivetrain jerking. We purchased a warranty with this van, and I'm glad we did. If my wife hadn't wrecked the other three, I wouldn't be on my fourth one now. We love them, and I recommend them, but do your homework before you buy, and consider an extended warranty if possible. One major problem and it will pay for itself. See if the lot will let you have the van checked out by a mechanic you trust. Best Wishes.
  • i have a 2001 astro with 70,000 i would like to put a sway bar on it and a bigger exuast and cat is there any advice on this matter and what should i look for to start having to replace in the near futer thank you for any advice i get
  • I have a 2000 AWD Astro that was doing the same thing at about 80,000 miles. I thought it was the rear end locking up. It was a chattering feeling including tire chirping in sharp parking lot turns. Turns out that it was the fluid in the transfer case.

    Change the fluid in the transfer case.

    Use only the GM fluid. The dealer where I got mine called it "Smurf Juice", because it is blue. The change is easy to do. Pull the drain plug on the back of the transfer case at the bottom edge, drain fluid, put plug back in. Remove fill plug above the drain plug, (make sure the van is level), then fill the transfer case until the fluid drips out of the hole. Reinstall plug. No more chattering and it will cost less than $20.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Has any Astro or Safari owner had a door handle replaced lately?
    My daughter's 1991 Astro RS has a broken driver's door handle. I have heard it costs about $100 for the handle and labor to replace the handle at a dealership. The handle itself costs about $48. Is this correct?
    With 213,000 miles on the odometer, a person can expect a few minor repairs. The transmission performs flawlessly even with all these miles.
  • nashdnashd Posts: 5
    Dear hansienna- with current shop rates- that's really not that bad of a deal. The cheapest way is to get the part at a junk yard and install it yourself- I thinks its just 3 bolts on the side- is it broken or siezed? - Nashd
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    THANKS....The bottom part of the handle has cracked and the outer frame of the handle has a crack. It will still open and close but is getting more difficult.
    She loves the HUGE interior space of the Astro with the large 27 gallon fuel tank and decent gas mileage. The Astro is not as long as my 2002 T&C LX but has much greater interior space.
    I would have considered an Astro/Safari if GM had done something to modernize them after they were introduced as 1985 models in late 1984.
    Although the Explorer is an SUV, Ford has continually made improvements. The Explorer is a very nice, quiet, comfortable truck based vehicle. The Astro/Safari would still sell in large numbers had GM been as smart as Ford was with the Explorer.
  • antiloc,
    Thanks for your reply. Your symptoms of "chirp" and "chattering" sound familiar. Before I had the rear end rebuilt, I added fluid to the differential. GM told me to use Synthetic Axle Lubricant 75-W90. I did. Later when the rear end was rebuilt, if I remember correctly, the guy told me that any lubricant was sufficient, therefore leading me to believe that just "any" lubricant was used and that just "any" lubricant is NOT sufficient. I will investigate this issue. Thanks again for your help.
  • stan7stan7 Posts: 7
    Local dealer can't. Astro with 150K. Hard to start, cold, takes a couple of pedal pumps. While hot or cold, car stutters like it running outta gas for a couple of seconds. Then it's fine. Little later stutters again. Especially going up a grade. Ignition coil, d cap, rotor, and fuel filter have all been changed. Note - the fuel filter was 99.9% clogged! Computer doesn't know, Chevy mechanics don't know! I had a new fuel pump installed 40K ago. Dumped some f injection cleaner a tankful ago. Any ideas before they take me to the cleaners trying this and trying that?? New c converter? New spark plug wires? Hmmm....
  • This might or might not get to technical but here we go. All my info is out of the Service Manual. The fuel gage system works on the variable resistance principle. The VCM ie: computer sends out voltage to the variable resistor in the tank ie: sending unit, the voltage goes through the "float" then to ground. First disconnect the 6 or 8 pin connector that is just forward of the fuel tank. It is the one that also powers the pump. Go to radio Shack and buy 3 resistors, 1 a 40 ohms another 100 ohms and finally a 200 or 250 ohms. Then on the "chassis half" of the previously disconnected connector put the 40 Ohms resistor in series with pin "B", it should be the purple and white wire, then to a good chassis ground. Then turn the key to the on position. The 40 ohmn res. simulates "Empty" then sub. the 100 ohmn res. for the 40, the reading should go up to about 1/2 full indication. Then sub. in the 250 ohmn res. that one will simulate full. If you can't find the exact ohmn res. just figure that 40 will give you empty and 250 will giuve you full and interperate what reading you do get with what resistors you were able to find. They make a special box that you can dial in any resistance you want insteard of buying individual resistors...If the reading are all good using the resistors but when you reconnect the connector the gauge goes wacky it is the sending unit ie: float assy. in the tank..if not it could be the gauge or the bigger bummer it could be the circuitry in the VCM ie: computer, front left under the hood.....there is a way to chech out the VCM unit....
  • Hi guys, I been away for a while. I did buy the 1995 Astro I was looking at. I got it for $1800 and it is clean. I looked at a bunch of other ones that were in rough and abused shape, and they wanted like $3500 + for them. Im pretty happy with this one so far. I just been a little busy going through everything as I get time. I purchased new tires for $240, new front pads and I repacked the wheel bearings for $25, new left side Idler arm for $40, new stereo and speakers for $240, changed the oil and other minor things that have been neglected. The 1995 2 volume shop manuals I won on Ebay for $20 should be here by Friday to. Other than that she rides nice, looks good and Im pretty satisfied with it. My poor 2000 Ford Ranger been sitting in the garage getting lonely lately.........
  • After upgrading the shocks(front and rear) and lubricating the front end this 1995 Safari with 250K is displaying nonresponsive steering, i.e. not smooth , won't return to center without some active assist, Its turning but it is like the ratio is not 1:1. Fluid level in power steering resovoir is OK however I tried topping up and it improved for a while. Could be coincedental to the front end shocks and lube. I did notice that the grease I used was a different color than what was in the parts. Best way to describe this feeling is the steering wheel is "sticky" while turning. Any advice would be helpful. I've heard suggestions of Steering rack?
  • Hi all have 89 v6 astro 140000 mi was running great
    changed oil now white smoke pours out of the exhaust
    not sure what to check. any ideas Thanks
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    White smoke is usually water in the exhaust. Probably blown head gasket. Check compression on each cylinder and coolent level.
  • mbcabbie - I'm having the same problem with a 97 GMC Safari AWD - occasional headlights flickering, airbag light, and speedometer wavering. I haven't found the solution yet so I would appreciate any ideas too.

    I also have a remote start unit that recently started acting up. It starts and runs the vehicle fine, but occasionally it doesn't turn on the accessories (heat or a/c) and at the same time the airbag light is lit. Once I disable the remote start unit (hit the brake) the airbag light goes off. May or may not be related? Appreciate anyone's help!

    (van has 65K orig miles, on transmission #2, #1 went at 37K, on fuel pump #4)
  • baldwin4baldwin4 Posts: 3
    I have a 1997 Astro with the Gladiator conversion. The rear 3rd seat has electric to fold the backrest down into a bed. It quit working the other day. When I push the button to recline it, I get a clicking sound from a small electrical box/relay box. Can anyone help me on this or tell me where I can get parts to fix this?

  • yamyyamy Posts: 3
    I have a 97 Astro that the ignition coils only seem to be lasting about 2-3 months. It starts off with random misfires now and then and then random misfires all the time until I change the coil then it goes away for awhile. The scanner shows that # 3 cylinder usually has the most misfires but not all the time?
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    I just happen to have a similar conversion van 1997 by Glaval. My back seat did the same thing. If you go to this web site link title they have a parts catalog that will have the power couch controller you need to replace. It is inside the plastic black box on the back of the couch frame. It runs about $80 and takes 5 minutes to replace. Just a couple of wires and screws. In the meantime you can reverse the 2 plugs on that box and the button to raise the couch will now lower it. You then have to reverse the wires to raise the couch again. Unfortunately I bought the new controller 2 years ago and now it has gone out again losing the down function. It looks like there is something electrical in the van that is causing the circuit board to go out. As a side note, do you have the rear air/heater that is installed by the conversion company? If you do, does yours blow cold and hot air when the fan is on? Does your temperature control for the main dash air/heat control the rear temperature? Just wondering since mine has never seemed to work. It blows warm air all the time.
  • fixitrodfixitrod Posts: 67
    My 95 Safari(259K) started steering "funny" after replacing the shocks...this may be unrelated. PS fluid was not low but I topped anyway and it seemed to improve but was temporary. Steering seems to stick , won't return and van response is scary actually. Could this be anything other than a PS pump going bad. All suspension and steering are tight. One comment was about the rack and pinion??
  • I have a 96 safari van with 120 kms on it it has a misfire at hiway speeds comes up with a code 341 camshaft position sensor anyone with any suggestions or has had this prob can you email me [email protected] many thanks
  • It's past time to replace the plugs on my van. I remember the last time I did this. I just went in from he top. Lots of cuts on my hand, nasty position, etc.

    Any tips on a better way to change the plugs? I really don't want to go through what I did last time, and I don't feel like paying a mechanic to just change plugs.
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    On my 1997 I took off the front tires and removed the plastic mud flap from the inner wheel well. Be sure to get new xmas tree clips to replace the ones you cut off on the flaps. This allows you straight access to the plugs on the passenger side. On the drivers side the brake lines run along the frame rail so you have to work around them but it is alot easier than going in from the top. The back plug on the drivers side is the most difficult but, job only takes about an hour.
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    The red light on the PRNDL pattern only works in R,N,3,1 and flashes sometimes in D. Sometimes when I put it into D the red light shows up on the 3 then goes out after a minute. Has anyone else had this problem? If so what does it take to fix?
  • I have a 1996 gmc safari it has a misfire at hiway speed comes up with a code 341 camshaft position sensor anyone with ideas
  • iteachbditeachbd Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,
    I am at my wits end. Lately in the morning if I do not warm my 98 safari, it will not accelerate when i hit the gas. Naturally, I allow it to warm up. Today, driving long distance it happened several times almost causing me to get run off the road and rear ended. The car was not cold. When attempting to accelerate to enter the expressway it took an excruciating amount of time for the van to get to 60 causing a semi to run me onto the next entry ramp. It would also occasionally lose speed down to 60 and take about 30-60 sec to get back up to over 70 again. During this time the security light was on. I have NO IDEA what this light is for.

    Apart from this whole problem, my electric locks are going nuts and I had to take the fuse out to make them stop locking/unlocking constantly.


    The catalytic converter has already been replaced.

    thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    It sounds like the electrical problem you are having with the door locks may also be effecting the security system. The security light coming on usually means that the computer is not recognizing that the key you are using is the correct one for the vehicle. I believe that it causes the ignition system to shut down. In your case it appears to be intermittant so the van is running but, not correctly. You will probably need the help of the dealership for this problem.
  • themouasthemouas Posts: 1
    What you have is a timing component wear, from the timing chain to the camshaft gear and distributor gear. You will need a scanner to check for this condition, you need to check the camshaft position sensor data. I believe the sensor has an operating window of +18 degrees to -18 degrees, when the sensor is out of this range it will flash a code for the cam sensor. To correct this problem depends on the mileage of your vehicle, I do not know what the manufacturer recommends but I recommend removing the distributor and advance the distributor a notch and check the data on the scanner to see where the sensor data is. If it is not more than +18 degrees, I'd leave it there and clear the code and it should be OK, and if not I've cut notch on the distributor hold down on mine so I can rotate the distributor like you're adjusting the timing to bring the sensor to zero degrees, mine ran great after that. About the misfires, if you remember several years ago Chrysler built a car that had a bad rotor design in their four cylinders that caused a lot of head aches. This time I believe GM ate it, there is a vibration in the Chevy Astro Van distributor shaft that is enough to cause a wear between the rotor screw heads and rotor. Given it time, the rotor will wear and come lose and start to oscillate and cause a random misfire on all cylinders, but one or two cylinders will usually miss the most. Coil will sometimes go bad, I recommend tightening up the distributor rotor screws down a little bit tighter than normal to reduce this propensity.

    Hope this helps,

  • garyvolgaryvol Posts: 15
    I’ve got my 98 Safari almost electrically hooked up for towing my pop coleman camper. This camper has electric brakes so it has the 7 pin bumper round plug. I’ve towed this camper before with my 91 Safari, but had to replace it with the ’98. I never looked to see where the brake wire on the ’91 attached to. The camper place did it for me. I’ve got a new brake controller installed on the lower part of the dash, ran the power wires ready for hookup to the battery. Also ran a wire from the brake controller area to the back bumper 7 pin plug for the brakes to the camper.
    Now I’m searching for the brake lite switch on the brake peddle so that I can splice into the cold side of the switch for eventual connection to the brake controller.
    All I see is a multi color row of wires (about 6 of them). Any one know where the switch is located on the brake peddle.
  • gebby1gebby1 Posts: 1
    I have a 95 Astro with approximately 100,000 miles on it. The van runs great but recently after an oil change I began to hear what I believed to be lifter noise. I have been running Mobil 1 10w30 oil. It was recently changed with 5w30 instead when the noise began. I thought that it might be the oil so I changed the oil and out in Mobil 1 10w30 with Lucas oil treatment. It did not seem to solve the problem. The noise seemed to change about 4 days later and sounded worse. I pulled the valve covers and cannot find any loose rockers even while running. Also the motor carries great oil pressure and does not flucuate. The oil pressure seems to indicate that it is not a rod, or is it? It sounds like it is in the top of the motor but I have not yet found it. Anyone have any ideas?
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