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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • kk2400kk2400 Posts: 1
    I have a 1991 Safari that we really enjoy, but now have an idle problem. The van runs fine until we came to a stop and it idles very rough or dies. Have had tune-up w/ new plug wires, new egr valve & new catylitic converter. Have also tried fuel injector cleaner and hi-test gas, but problem still exists. Anybody out there with an idea of what problem and solution might be.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Have you already replaced your O2 sensor? You don't mention miles, but if enough miles that your cat was bad, the sensor probably is also. These are cheap and easy to install.
  • billp10billp10 Posts: 2
    I have recently purchased a 1990 Safari and was hoping someone could tell me what the towing capacity of this vehicle is. I contacted gm's website and they say the towing capacity is only 2000 pounds, my compact car can tow that much for gosh sakes.

    thanks for your assistance
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    I'm driving a 1999 Astro LS EXT RWD with the 4.3V6 and it's a taxi. 84,000 miles on it, and the only complaint I have is the rattling and sqeaking of the plastics inside. I have tried to adjust every piece of plastic inside but the noise won't stop. Maybe it's something I'll have to live with! Drives nice, I like the transmission because I can hold 2nd gear from a dead stop by putting it in "2". Didn't know GM put out a transmission with that feature...I'm used to it in Fords and Hondas.
  • pvillapvilla Posts: 12
    Hello,I kind of need some help.My mother left me her 94 Astro for the week.Yesterday my
    2yr old son stuck pennies in the cigarrette lighter and for a brief few seconds I saw very small
    sparks, before I quickly took them out .Anyway, I thought nothing of it until the evening,when i realized my headlamps,dashlights,and horn didn't work.Everything else works , brakelights,gauges,signal lights,etc..I also checked all the fuses and there all o.k.,so i'm starting to fear the wires burned out, i'm really lost,i've never had this happen to any car i've had.
    Has anyone had this happen or is there any info you can help me with before I take it to the mechanic?? Please help,my mother gets back this Saturday and i want to try to fix it before she gets back,thanks........
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Look in the owners manual and it should give you a diagram of the fuse location as well as the location of the fuse box. Go buy a mixed combination of fuses from walmart or any auto store if you don't have them already. Use a set of pliars or even the special plastic fuse puller that they probably sell right beside the fuses to pull the old fuse. Don't pay anyone to do this. Find a friend who is even the slightest mechanical inclination if you cannot do it yourself.
  • countd4countd4 Posts: 3
    I have a 99 GMC Safari (4.3L 2wd) that has recently (last 2 months) developed a serious starting problem usually in the morning. On the first start, it seems as if most of the cylinders are not firing - severe shaking and runs very rough. I turn it off, restart. Maybe as bad, may be less shaking. After several of these restarts, it seems to now have one mis-fire - rough running, some shaking, loss of power. If I drive it for 5 minutes, the problem seems to go away and stay away as long as the engine is warm. And of course the service engine light comes on.

    Dealer replaced all 6 fuel injectors. It ran ok for 2 weeks, now thr problem is back as bad as ever. I have seen references to TSB 00-06-04-003 which mentions rough starts. Dealer seems willing to help, but can't figure this out.

  • countd4countd4 Posts: 3
    "clinthed" - If you read this board again, please let me know how things worked out ( I posted on this topic and I'm interested on what you know.

  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    this taxi I'm driving ('99 Astro LS EXT 2WD) has no owner's manual and I wanted to reset the computer in the overhead console to figure MY mileage, not the last fifty people who drove it. How do you do that?
  • countd4countd4 Posts: 3
    Select the milage display. The press and hold for a few seconds BOTH buttons. The display should clear and reset all the numbers.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    I appreciate it. Now I know what I'm getting as opposed to the last fifty drivers...

    The van started stalling a couple nights ago and it's fixed, must have been a dirty fuel tank, they changed the gas and air filters and it doesn't stall anymore. But I figure 86,000 miles of dusty Texas highway construction will clog a gas filter. Wonder if it had been changed at all before...???
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    I have to say, it's nice to see someone who actually takes the time to look around their car for the cause of a problem instead of giving the dealer $300-$500 to not fix it right.
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    by dusty conditions. Fuel system is sealed.
  • textruckrtextruckr Posts: 22
    How about when you remove the gas cap to fill up? It gets pretty windy here in Texas at times, and the dust blows a lot too.
    Or, maybe the dusty air is drawn into the underground gas station tanks as the gas vapors contract when it cools off here (usually in late December).
    Just throwing some ideas out - like Judy Tennuta sez, "it could happen".
    Texas Truck - r
  • howardh1howardh1 Posts: 1
    Recently purchased a 2001 Safari. We had been towing our 18 foot boat with a 79 MC Suburban. Now, with the Safari, we have noticed a swaying back and forth while towing. Have been told that my wheelbase is shorter and I need to get more weight on the tongue. I got a higher receiver, moved the boat forward on the trailer and changed the tires on my trailer. Any other ideas?

    Also, has anyone noticed unusual wear on their front tires? My front tires tend to follow the groves in the highway. I noticed that with only 4,000 miles my front tires are wearing out.
  • Looking to purchase a 2000 or 2001 Astro w/ AWD...Can anyone be so truthful/kind and tell me how it drives in the snow???? Also,how is the drivability while towing something like a 14' aluminum boat? Any comments would be appreciated...

  • mrnimmomrnimmo Posts: 271
    Cannot help much with the snow info. All the Astro's I've driven have been 2wd. But I've heard many good reports about the AWD's surefootedness. I'd be more concerned with reliability.

    There are issues with the fluid used in the transfer cases. See the board for this info. Apparently it is supposed to be changed immediately after you buy it. Dealer will do it.

    But overall the astro is solid and proven. Allbeit not the most modern vehicle.

    As for a 14' alum boat (jonboat?). You won't know this thing is behind an Astro. Towing will be no problem. Towing loads or stuffing the van full of kids and camping gear is one area where a midsize (Astro or Eurovan) or fullsize van really shines over one of those frontwheel drive momivans (that are little more than high roof station wagon versions of Camry, Taurus or Accord).
  • In your opinion,,,is the Astro a reliable vehicle???? The last thing that I need now is a money pit for a vehicle....My question about towing was to find out if anyone has had rear-end clunking while towing a 2000-4000 lb class trailer...I had owned a full size Blazer for a long time,,we had a canoe on the roof,my 14' v-hull,3 adults,@5 30 packs,food,luggage,etc..and let me tell you,,,it drove like it wasnt under any load...I also had the best mpg.during that trip,,,a WHOPPING 14 MPG...We have a Venture now...Great drivability on that thing....I would like to get another full-size P/U,,,but fuel efficiancy is an important factor here...Thanx for the reply,any other suggestions would be great..
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    The first and most common problem with a trailer swaying behind a tow vehicle is low pressure in the rear tires of the tow vehicle. Make sure you are at the max pressure as shown on the sidewall of the tire. Next, the tongue weight at the ball should be 10% of the trailer weight. So, if the boat is 3500lbs, you should have ~350lbs tongue weight. Typically, boats will be a little light on this due to that motor hanging off the back. If you still have excessive swaying, Reese and others make a sway control that mounts from the trailer tongue to the hitch. This is a really worst case solution for a boat, more typically seen on travel trailers. Good Luck,

  • topseatopsea Posts: 47
    I drive all over the Northwest putting on 30 to 40 thousand miles per year. I'm in a 2001 AWD with 15,000 on it now and if they are maintained, I don't think there is a better vehicle on the road, especially in the winter. I haul quite a bit in it(I'm in sales) and I never tow anything. This is my third AWD Astro. I still have the '98 but sold the '96 years ago. Snow and icy winter passes are just not a problem with the AWD Astro.
  • I just want to say thanks to JLFLEMMONS for his input on the wiper motor problems in Astro vans. I took your advice and checked the solder and sure enough it was cracked all the way around the pin from the wiring harness. I re-soldered that and adjusted the contact springs and it's working like new. You probably saved me $60-$80.

    I have one other pesky problem that maybe somebody can help me with. The ventilation will only come out through the defrost vents. The blower works through all of the speeds and the air conditioning and temperature control still work but all of the air is coming through the defroster vents on the dash. I suspect a vacuum problem but do not know where to start. Any suggestions?
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    On the ventilation problem; I bought my 2001 Safari around 3/01. It had the same problem you are speaking about & it seems the vaccuum hose that connects to the Vaccuum canister had come loose so maybe try there first. Mine would get ventilation when I was idling but anytime I accelerated it would shift the air to the floor & the vents. My vaccuum canister was under the hood.
  • Thanx for the info..My most important question was the winter handling,and like yourself,I have spoken to 2 other people that I have met during the course of the work day and they say the same...thanx again
  • The Dodge vans have the same problem as well..Especially during the colder/winter months..The floor heat does not seem to work when you need it most..
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Your welcome. With the cost of repairs these days, I do what I can to help

  • What can be done to resolve that ol saggy back end in the Astro's...Seems like if you put a bit of weight back there,,,it becomes saggy...I see it everywhere...Beef up the suspension???? Need some input here,,looking to purchase a newwer model..
  • ahelmahelm Posts: 14
    In earlier post, I recall someone installing an ACAR hitch receiver purchased from Sam's Club and being pleased with it. I just did the same, and found the installation wanting. The instructions for this universal hitch require re using the factory 10mm (approx 3/8") bumper bolts (other vehicles use 1/2" Grade 8 bolts) and drilling another hole through the frame to install one 1/2" Grade 8 bolt on each side. The instructions are impossible to follow as you cannot install these 1/2" bolts as instructed on the extended frame. Also the 2000 Astro frame still shows it was adapted from the pre-extended frame with an extension attached to the main frame with spot welds. The hardware is probably adequate for the tow rating, my concern is the forces being transferred through a few spot welds. Anyone have any issues with hitch receiver installation? I plan to tow near the max 5000 # rating for the AWD.

    Also I don't have a wiring diagram. Just wondering where to find the wiring for brake controller? the rear wiring harness is nicely done.

    In regard to DRUMCIRCLEs sagging problem. I'd install a set of the oversprung weight carrying rear shocks by Monroe or Gabriel.

  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    for the Astro/Safari that is a good fit. Are we talking Class III or IV? I have seen Astros with C IV hitches, but never crawled under to check.
  • ahelmahelm Posts: 14
    The hitch I now own and have installed is an ACAR Industries Class III Rated at 5000 WC/7500 WD. I plan to tow a fairly light (<2000) boat trailer mostly but occasionally a cargo trailer rated at 7000 but loaded at <5000 with a weight distributing hitch.

    Looking under the Astro, the anchor nuts intended for mounting the bumper on the non extended frame are present and appear much more secure. I'm considering tying it all together with a piece of angle iron. It's attaching everything to the spot welded extension that concerns me.
    Does the Valley Hitch pick up the other two bumper mounting captive nuts? If not I would still be concerned.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    Ironic. We traded in our 1991 Astro CL that had 61,600 miles on March 20, 1999 on a new GC SE. Our Astro digital instrumentation was defective and coolant temperature and oil pressure gages did not work. The digital instrumentation on theirs works flawlessly.
    Now our daughter and son-in law get a 1991 Astro, same color, both with 7 passenger seating. BUT, their Astro has 187,000 miles. It was purchased NEW by the selling owner. The seller got a NEW Yukon to replace the 91 Astro when they got a larger pop-up trailer.
    Our Astro had 1/3 the miles but was just a regular length CL whereas this one is EXTD RS with 4.3 HO engine, tow pkg, P245/R6015 tires while ours had P205/R7515 tires. My friend drove Astro's for an airport shuttle service and one had 700,000 miles on odometer and the other had 650,000 miles. Original engines on both. The Vortec 4.3 is a great engine for long life, reliable service. I was stupid to trade in the 91 Astro with only 61,600 miles since the only problems it had were the damnable defective digital instrumentation (would cost over $1000 to replace), a manifold gasket replacement in December 1998 and a windshield wiper motor replacement in January 1999.
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