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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • Aren't these vans great? My '91 has 180000 miles and has hauled everything from motorcycles to 1500 lbs. of granite, with only the usual wear and tear- tires, brakes, exhaust, etc. The drivetrains are rock solid, but the little things will torture you. I've had my share of problems with door hardware, and right now my front passenger door won't unlock with the power lock switch. I can live with this for now, but I'm guessing the problem is with the lock switch, which was the cause of door lock problems on 2 other chevy cars I had, or it could be the solonoid that is actuated when the switch is made. Good luck
  • bigjrmbigjrm Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. I traced mine to the electronic controller in the armrest under the buttons. I haven't found a good solution yet, if you can't wait, get a dealer replacement.
  • smcdona2smcdona2 Posts: 1
    Hi All.... need some help.... For work I drive a 2000 Chevy Astro. Over the last few years the truck has had more then a few issues with the accelerator sticking. I have had the truck in for service and they said it was fixed everytime. Well I was recently in an accident in this very vehicle. The damn accelerator stuck again and this time I wasnt so lucky. I am going to court because the officer wrote me a ticket for failure to yield right of way. He said by writing the ticket like this is reduces the negligence on my companys part for the truck. How I am getting stuck with a ticket showing negligence on my part. THIS ISNT MY FAULT!!!! Long story short, Aug 3 I have a court date and my company will not supply me with the service info on the truck nor a letter stating that the throttle/accelerator have been serviced multiple times in the past. Now I am facing court and a ticket for an issue that wasnt my fault. I need some data from people with like vehicles or who have seen or experienced issues with the sticky accelerator on a year 2000 Chevy Astro. any and all information is welcome. I am making my case here. Thanks, and I look forward to your responses. :confuse:
  • jml6658jml6658 Posts: 2
    Maybe you can have the records supeanod. Good luck
  • dlm1954dlm1954 Posts: 57
    I am getting ready to remove the plenum on my astro and was wandering how much troble I am getting into, so if anybody has done this which if you own a astro you probally have give me a little advice on what I'm getting into to.
  • jethro95jethro95 Posts: 2
    I have a 90 Safari, which I bought used from a small used car lot nearby. It has had window/lock probs twice. Both times it was the wiring breakage coming from the door leading into the kick panel. I could tell the wires had been soldered before. The second time I put in an extra length of wire, hoping it would not happen again. I had asked several people about this problem, and, of course got sev. dif answers. It sounds like a bad connection in the wiring, but I am by no means a mechanic.
  • The easiest way that I can suggest is to remove the door panel and use a 12v test light and check to see if there is power going to the lock solenoid.
  • I live here in Alaska and i am a single guy with a mini-van I am looking to beef up the suspension and tires on my Safari to handle some the back roads with out bottoming out nothing to extreme but enough to bring the jungle out of my safari.
  • tkrocktatkrockta Posts: 4
    Mine sticks form idle when I press the accelerator pedal. In other words you have to push it hard then it releases, and lurches forward some. I read in one of these forums that it is in the throttle body. I've read that others have this problem. You may have to get a lawyer to get your records.
  • bobble60bobble60 Posts: 5
    Hi. Did you also replace the solenoid on top of the starter? If yes, then maybe you have a tooth or three missing on the ring gear (flywheel) and the starter can't catch at that point. A little vibration brings the engine around enough to catch a good tooth.

    I am having the starter replaced this week because of an electrical dead spot, and the service manager mentioned inspecting the ring gear while it's visible.

  • tkrocktatkrockta Posts: 4
    I have the door locks problem. Driver door switch would not lock any doors, including the drivers door. THe passenger door switch locks/unlocks all but the driver and passenger doors. They click and move slightly but not fully. I checked the door to body wires and sure enough the driver door had one wire that came apart, and two getting bare. I re-attached these wires and now the driver door switch locks all but the driver and passenger doors (just like passenger door) problem fixed. Then I checked the fuse or module in the fuse panel (labelled "accessory" according to another forum, and it has continuity. Then I tested the wires going to the actuator/solenoid, 12 volts when the switch is turned on. OK, maybe not enough power, so I tried hot-wiring it to the wires going to the solenoid. Wires got hot right away and the actuator/solenoid did not move. I didn't damage anything with this test, it does the same things a as before. I'm down to replacing the actuator/solenoid but it looks riveted to teh door. Can it be easily replaced? Where are instructions?
  • johnaecjohnaec Posts: 11
    >> Can it be easily replaced? Where are instructions?

    The actuators are pretty easy to replace. I've seen them on eBay for under $15, but being a Sunday when I did mine, and in a hurry, I picked one up from NAPA for about $40.

    First, you have to remove the inside door panel. It should pull straight out at each pin location, if I remember correctly. And there's no need to remove the speaker covers from the panel for any reason, though you do need to pop the little covers on the armrest to remove some screws underneath.

    And you are correct - you have to drill out the mounting rivets for the actuator. 'Not a big deal, and they can be replaced with small nuts and bolts.

    The part goes in easily, but look to see how the connecting rod is connected before you take it out.

    The whole job, (less the trip to the hardware store for nuts and bolts), took less than a half hour, and brought my system back to full functionality.

    John - '99 Astro
  • tkrocktatkrockta Posts: 4
    Thanks John. I had the small and large panels off, they were easy. Good advice on the flange. I'll post my results when I'm done.
  • fyfferfyffer Posts: 1
    I would appreciate any help re. driveline vibrations. I have done a complete engine tune plus tire balance and check, new
    universal joint. The vibration starts at 40 mph (slight)and comeson strong at around 55 mph. The entire vehicle shakes similar to the pulse one gets if you press on the brakes with warped rotors. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • recncru1recncru1 Posts: 2
    Well first of all it is likely that it is just valve seals.Any shade tree mechanic can fix it.If not it could be exess fuel left in the intake from injectors.Is it a voretec?With the throttle body or the vortec intake?The vortec intake kind have a spider type injector system inside the intake .they have seals in all six ports that tend to cause problems when they reach high milage.sometimes replacing these solves the problem.One way to tell if it is the valve seals is smoke color and removing the upper portion of vortec intake.Obvious oil leakage into the intake usally points to vave seal leakage.Good luck and more info might be helpfull in diagnosing the problem.
  • recncru1recncru1 Posts: 2
    Yeah try having your front end checked.sounds likeyou have some worn fronend parts.Very dangerous so get it checked by someone who does alignments,struts,shocks,etc.good luck and let us know what happens.
  • bsabbsab Posts: 1
    I'm dealing with somewhat of same issue - looking to beef up suspension to haul boat/trailer for 2000 astro van 2wd. I spoke to Goodyear mechanic today who recommends adding leaf spring kit to raise suspension. He quoted price aroung $275. He recommended this rather than adding monroe load leveler shocks (said they wear out).
  • I have had a couple of Safari's previously. This is the first time changing the alt in the 97.

    Where are all the bolts? There are two in front and the one in back on the top appears not have been installed as I can feel the screw hole.

    It is still in there tight. What am I missing. I have a guide for a 96 and it talks about an alternator bracket. Is this what I am missing?
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    I believe you are correct there are only 3 bolts. Make sure to disconnect both wire harnesses. The alternator fits really tight in the cradle/brace where the long bolt goes through. You may have to use a crow bar to get it loose.
  • wyatt18wyatt18 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem as Julian with my 92' Safari XT v6 4.3 engine. Smoke shoots out of exhaust at startup, oil pressure gauge red lines but seems to drive fine engine temp stays in the midrange. Please help me before I go waste money to see what the problem is. Thanks
  • My 98 astro just developed a new problem with the door locks. they just all started locking while I'm driving or even with the key out not touching anything. It is pretty bad, I can't even unlock the doors with the key because it locks it back up before I can get the door open. then all of a sudden they will just quit and start working properly. any suggestions?
  • biffoonbiffoon Posts: 8
    I am sadened by my actions a mire 5 days, 3 hours and give or take a minute or two. My trusted steed (Burt, short for burgandy) of 10 years and give or take a month or two with 333,270 miles and the begining of vitale organs shuting down, I taded. Yes my people; I traded Burt in. The dealer gave me $1500 for him, was I taken, ?. I begged the spirit of Burt to transfer himself to the newest member of our family, 2004 Astro. I haven't seen any little trates of Burts yet but I feel I will. Gods speed Burt.
  • kentlkentl Posts: 1
    Hoping for some advice here... My 91 Astro cargo van is dead, and I really want to replace it. Found an affordable passenger version in good shape (95 AWD, 167K), and I really prefer the full-window version to the panel version anyway. I'm thinking of removing the seats, rear interior panels, carpet, and rear AC vents for cargo use. Am I going to run into problems I haven't considered in going this route?
  • I no reason why you couldn't use a passanger van for cargo. My 91 Astro has hauled all kinds of stuff, sometimes overloaded. I think they are rated for a 1/2 ton, but seven or eight adult passengers can weigh more than that. I'm not sure where the rear a/c vents are located, but if they're not in the way, why remove them. Also, why remove the interior panels and carpet? I usually remove the seats, and cover the carpet with heavy cardboard when hauling anything, but you could cut plywood to fit over the carpet, too. If you want to keep what's in the back out of site you can spray the inside of the rear and side windows with black paint. These vans aren't perfect, but they do run a long time, and will haul almost anything.
  • read your owners manuels. some cars have break in periods and if you dont want your brand new car in the shop just after you get it read the manuel
  • most astro have a single leaf spring in the rear and coil springs in the front. if you want too gain a few inches you can "block" the rear spings and flip over your front springs but if you just want too put bigger tires under fenders you have plenty of room. i have 15 x 10.5 inch 5 spoke rear rims with 31 inch tires and 15 x 7 inch w 29 inch tire on the front of my '88 astro
  • I had the same problem last week, and while looking for a solution came upon your posted question. Well I just finished fixing mine so here goes...

    Mine started right after a thunderstorm while I was on a handyman job. I always keep my van unlocked on calls and my keys in the cup holders so they don't stab me in the "you know whats" when I crouch down. Well when I went to load up the tools the van was all locked up! :mad: I thought I locked it up by accident. After my wife brought me the spare key and on my way home my locks were freaking out the whole way, :confuse: I decided that it was a lightning strike on the golf course near my van that had fried the door lock relay - I was wrong, but here is how I figured it out and fixed it.

    The first thing I did was to isolate the problem was to disconnect each door lock button one at a time until the random lockings stopped - mine turned out to be the rear hatch switch. I used a multi meter to determine that power was indeed getting to the switch but not through it. I am glad it wasn't the actuator. I took the switch out (the whole keyhole push button assembly) - took it apart and noticed all the contacts inside were corroded. I used some 220 sand paper and cleaned off the contacts and put the switch back together and tested it before installing it back in the hatch and it worked better than ever. Then I put the whole shebang back together and now no freaky ghost locking and unlocking. :shades:

    As a side note I should have known it was this switch because previous to being locked out, it would sometimes take me 3 or 4 pushes on that button to get the back hatch to open.

    Fix it before you get locked out and your significant other has to come save your butt! And makes you pay for dinner.

    Sorry my post is so long - but I lack the ability to be brief...
  • haulenhaulen Posts: 2
    My 94 Astro does the same thing and it is due to the rotars.
    Just had tires put on the front and they didn't tork the lugnuts right and it warped the rotars. But my brake pedal doesn't vibrate.
  • jessep3jessep3 Posts: 1
    My 1998 Astro AWD has a vibration that seems to be in the brakes however I replaced the pads, rotors, and calipers.
    It only has the vibration after repeated braking. It seems like something is heating up and causing this. If there is any one that knows about this please help. This is the wife's van and I need to keep her happy. Thank you
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