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Chevy Express/GMC Savana

mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
I own a '99 Chevy Express and am interested in
finding out what repairs to expect at it gets
older. I'm very interested in hearing from anyone
with a '96 or newer full size GM van.

I recently replaced a bad alternator (5.7L engine)
under warranty at 16,500 miles- my only non
maintenance repair to date.


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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    We have a '99 GMC Savana with about 13,700 miles on it - so far no major problems - the van runs and handles great! We took it for a 7500-mile trip over the summer and it was a pleasure in all sorts of weather, and on all kinds of roads.

    The only defects so far have been: a blown cigarette-lighter fuse (apparently caused by a defective 12V coffeemaker), a sticky power window switch, and poor workmanship with all the velcro tabs for both the shoulder belts and the carpet flaps covering where the removable bench seats lock/unlock to the floor.

    Sorry to hear about your alternator - we have the same engine, so I hope we don't have the same problem - at least not after our warranty runs out! We did purchase an extended warranty, which was really out-of-character for us (we're generally not fans of extended warranties, and we didn't get one for our Subaru), but we had no idea how reliable the van was going to be, and decided that an extended warranty gave us a bit more piece of mind.
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    quarterdunnquarterdunn Member Posts: 4
    Midas Gold,

    I noticed your post that you are a relatively new owner of a 12-passenger Savana. Are
    the benches removable, and if so how? Do they pop with the push of a lever (like most
    minivans) or do you have to undo those allen-wrench-looking bolts?? A friend with a
    Ford Club Wagon says his just pop out. But I like the Savana better, but the ability to
    quickly create more space with 6 kids will affect my purchasing decision.
    Thanks if you have a chance to respond.
    Donn Ghaile
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Yes, the benches are removable. The carpeting has little flaps (with some really *useless* velcro tabs - see my comment under "Full Size Vans"). Lift the flap, and there's a gap in the padding at that location. There are strong metal L-shaped locking pins with rubberized grips. We just sort of wiggle the locking pin while pulling it out and it (usually) comes right out. Then comes the fun part - getting the benches out of the van - my husband can do it in just a couple of minutes. They make a nice sitting area in our garage - add a coffee table and we'd be all set! ;-)

    Why they don't apply all the marvels of miraculous seat-folding from minivan-land to these full-sized vans is beyond me!

    We have 6 kids, too! :-)

    BTW, just curious - why do you like the Savana over the Ford?
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    quarterdunnquarterdunn Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. The answer to the Ford v. GM? Purely looks. My better half thinks -- and I can't disagree -- that the Ford, despite the windows on the sides, still looks like work van no matter what. We like the spiffy look of the GM.
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Yeah, I agree about the looks. Speaking of windows, the GM's look like one continuous expanse of glass (even though it isn't from the inside), while the Ford's are divided into segments on both the inside *and* the outside - the GM looks neater. Another reason we went with GM over Ford is that our mechanic *hates* Fords (though he admits they're good for his business)... hope no Ford people are reading this. ;-)
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    av8drav8dr Member Posts: 2
    I have a 99 Express. Does anyone know how to turn off the daytime running lights? Thanks.
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    guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    Av8dr, what does the owner's manual say?

    Community Leader/Vans Conference
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    hardestyhardesty Member Posts: 166
    By federal law, the manufacturer can not provide an off switch for DRLs. If you have automatic headlights, pulling the DRL fuse will probably disable those too. There is a way to make the DRL module think that the headlights are on, but it requires some re-wiring. It is legal for you to disable the DRLs, but not for someone to do it for you (dealer or mechanic).
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    wvineyardwvineyard Member Posts: 1
    I appreciate the postings here on the GM Savana reliability. My wife and I are looking at new vans now and she really likes the look of the Savana.
    We have had both a Ford Aerostar and Econoline 250 and I will not buy another Ford due to the terrible reliability of both.

    By the way, we also have 6 kids... must be in the water...
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Glad to be of service. If you'd like to read more of what I've written about our Savana, look under the topics "Full Sized Vans" (#18) and "Minivan vs. Suburban" (#858).

    Yup, six kids... and with a 12-seater, nobody has to sit next to anyone else. ;-)
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    roadrangerroadranger Member Posts: 9
    The daytime running lights turn off when the parking brake is pressed (even 1 notch) Therefore you can drive with the park brake set 1 notch (this is fine for short distances) or for a permanant "off", just bypass the switch at the park brake.
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    joker1joker1 Member Posts: 3
    We have 37,000 on our 1997 Savanna SLE. We are very dissatisfied with the brakes. Just replaced the front pads for the third time along with the rotors. Rear brakes also replaced. Seems the front pads need replacing every 12,000 miles. GMC failed to stand behind their product when at, 20,000 miles the right front brake pad wore down due to a sticky caliper. The dealer wanted to charge me $40 just to inspect the caliper which was under warranty. I went to a private shop and don't intend to go back to the dealer again. The interior is cheap and as it gets older tends to squeek and rattle alot. The van looks great and is roomy and easy to drive however, the bad experience with the dealer over such a minor problem has caused us to look at Fords before another problem appears. As a note, we tried several GMC & Chevy dealers regarding the caliper problem and all wanted to charge to inspect it. When will GM learn that customer satisfaction should be their first concern. I wish Honda made a large enough vehicle to pull a trailor because I would buy it immediately. For those of you looking...beware!!
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    im4cpo1im4cpo1 Member Posts: 1
    We have just purchased a 99 express conversion, and it has this automatic battery disconnect after 40 seconds, to prevent the battery from running down. it is only supposed to engage when something is left on ( I believe). however, intermittently the remote entry will not work after you have left and lock the van, then come back and everything is dead... you have to unlock by key, and then even the power door locks are inop? you have to turn the key on and off to reset everything, the radio loses the time etc... something is wrong and this power interlock is completely disconnecting the vans electrical.. any related problems out there
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    mrd1mrd1 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 96 conversion and have had similar problems. I have 46,000 and have had front and rear brakes done plus I think I will have to do the fronts again soon. I thought it was just because I pull a trailer with it. I have also had the alternator replaced. I also had a complete rebuild of my rear end but it was very early and probably a factory defect even though I had seals redone since. I do like the ride and with the conversion the interior is very comfortable. I do worry about keeping the van after the warranty is done.
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    joker1joker1 Member Posts: 3
    I also had the rear seals replaced due to a leak. Fortunately the seals were under warranty. We drove a Ford conversion and found it less roomy and my wife couldn't reach the gas pedals!! We are going to try another Ford converter.
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Sorry to hear about the problems you've been having with your Savana - I would also be very upset if that happened with our van. Our Savana 2500 SLE just hit the 15,000 mile mark, and your post made me so paranoid that, today, when I took it to the dealer to have the front wheel bearings re-packed (as per the owner's manual), I asked them have a look at the brakes (I also had them look at the rear brakes because the parking brake pedal seemed to be traveling too close to the floor - see discussion in "Full Sized Vans" topic #18).

    To my relief, our Savana still has 60% on both the fronts and the rears, and the dealer assured me that its brakes are wearing at a normal rate. The parking brake cable was a adjusted, and all is well.

    I sure hope yours is an isolated problem... but I'm sure it doesn't feel that way when you're the one having the problem.
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    paujpowpaujpow Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 Savana conversion van. It has 25,000 miles on it and I didn't have a problem until a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly there was oil leaks on the driveway. There was a transmission leak, rear main bearing seal leak, oil pan gasket leak and an engine coolant leak!! While they were repairing these leaks, they also replaced the power steering pump. I don't know why they did that. They COULD NOT tell me why these leaks all came at the same time.
    It seems that all vehicles have their share of major problems. The makers will not make them better as long as we cosntantly pay big bucks for them and accept the inferior workmanship.
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    clown99clown99 Member Posts: 1
    I`ve read all the things about chev/gmc vans at this site and I wanted to leave a comment. I have a 1990 Beauville with 240,000 miles. The only thing I replaced is the trans... The engine (350) has the same power it had when it was new, lots. I`m thinking about a new one but the only reason is because of old door hardware (handles, electric windows....) and a little rust. I`ve got more than my moneys worth.....
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    spartan6spartan6 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Express eclipse conversion. Have'nt had any brake trouble. Troublesome Driver power window. Sqeeky Drive belt when wet. Fuel gauge repaired under warranty. Velour interior does'nt wear well. "dents" easy. Nice to drive, have 35000 miles with no trouble w/engine. Tow a 6500lb trailer, no sweat. get 17-18mpg on the highway, 12-13 in the city. Great road feel and handling. Nice on a long trip. Would buy another. Much better than Ford. Question? e-mail me at DMeersdom@aol.com
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    av8drav8dr Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know how to turn off the the annoying buzzer when the driver door is open? I have a 99 Express.

    Thanks, RoadRanger for the info on DRL.
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    paujpowpaujpow Member Posts: 2
    I'll help as much as I can with the info about the oil leaks.
    The van is an Imperial Conversion mid level value.
    It has a Vortec 5000 engine.
    I do not tow anything and I live out in the country SW of Chicago, Ill.
    I use 10W30 oil and it is serviced by a GM dealer every 3,000 to 3,500 miles.
    The van is used for normal every day driving and we take 3 or 4 2,000 miles trips every year.
    The thing that really puzzles me is that all of the leaks started at the same time. Bummer!!
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    solarisolari Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 GMC Savanna and at 19,000 miles I started to have a shimmy in the steering wheel when braking. The dealership turned the rotors.
    My questions are:
    1. Is replacement o fmy brake far
    2. Is this going to happen
    every 19,000
    3. Any GM recalls?
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    roadrangerroadranger Member Posts: 9
    There is no way for me (or anyone else) to determine EXACTLY what caused your rotor problems. The bottom line is, your rotors were warped. Warpage is caused from 2 things...

    1. overheating (i.e. riding brakes, not downshifting on long steep downhill grades, towing with inadequate trailer brakes, frequent hard stops, especially with heavy loads, etc.)

    2. Rapid cooling of hot rotors. This is caused when hot rotors (not necessarily overheated) are splashed or submerged in water puddles.

    Of course there is also the possability that the rotors were defective in some way.

    The only thing that would cause your brake pads to wear would be the scenerios described in #1. If you typically brake "normally", brake pads should last between 20K-40K miles, depending on driving environment (city vs. hwy. mountains vs plains, etc.)
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    I just picked up my van from the dealer last week. It was one of those affairs where nothing seemed to go well.

    I was having some warranty issues looked at. I carefully checking off the box to have it LUBED. I didn't check off the other boxes for "oil change", "filter", etc. I called to see if the warranty work was done. The service writer proudly said, "No but we've changed the oil!".

    When I picked up the van, I checked the dipstick. (a previous experience at a Honda dealer had trained me to check to see if they put any oil in). This time the dipstick showed they had overfilled it with too much oil. After idling for a few minutes. It still had too much oil. I drained 2 quarts out before I got the oil level into the acceptable range on the stick.

    If I were to have driven enough with too much oil, I might have ended up with your situation. Others can fill in the technical explanation. For now my basic description is that with too much oil, the oil gets whipped up into a foam. That foam takes up more volume than can be contained. The result is you end up with oil leaking from all sorts of places.

    Just one of the possibilities for you to consider.

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    frogger5frogger5 Member Posts: 1
    I just found this WONDERFUL forum! We are in the process of choosing between the Express or the Savana. I have just about made my self crazy researching these two vans over the last two weeks.We are a growing family that enjoys traveling. I'm not a big one for "fluff", rather must have durability. In the TX heat, I was wondering how the A/C's hold out while the vans are parked & running? I have also looked for used in both . . . basically unheard of (could be frustrating if I can't get a good deal on a "new"). We would appreciate some words of wisdom ASAP. Thank you
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    roadrangerroadranger Member Posts: 9
    I can promise you there is NO mechanical difference between chevy & GMC. You can literally take any part from one line & install it on the other. The only difference between comperable GMC & Chevy, is the trim packages. You will notice things like grill, door panels, upholstery, etc. Yes there are a couple exceptions like the yukon denal, but when you consider the details, fenders are just really big trim pieces.
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    The Express and Savana are equivalent as mentioned by Roadranger.

    As for fluff, neither has fluff. Both are fairly plain even at the upper trim group level.

    For durability, I suggest you investigate the power and drive train combinations. The 1/2 ton or 1500 series has a softer ride but has lighter weight features. Consider the 3/4 ton or 2500 series you may find that you get larger brakes, larger transmission, and larger differential.

    So far, after 6 months, I am enjoying mine. I hope you find a van that works well for you.
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Regarding the TX heat, last August we drove our '99 GMC Savana 2500 SLE 12-passenger - loaded with 8 people and *way* too much luggage - 'cross country for 7500 miles, including through much of the Great State of Tejas. The front'n'rear A/C kept us all cool as cucumbers... :-)

    PS - Our van is a beeyootiful shade of plumber's white (well, GM calls it "Summit White"). ;-)
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    sixisenoughsixisenough Member Posts: 1
    Any comments from folks on the difference in ride between a Savana 1500 and a 2500? We need the seating for 12 the 2500 provides (6 kids), but I am anxious about having too bumpy a ride when we don't have a lot in the van ...
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    We have a 2500 12-seater. I think the ride is very nice up front, however it definitely feels more bouncy to the rearmost passengers (I guess because it has old-fashioned leaf springs in the rear) - but they're usually kids so they can take it right? ;-)

    Theoretically, the more heavily-loaded the vehicle, the better the ride. (I've been keeping a couple of cases of bottled water in the cargo area for added weight over the drive wheels for winter driving.)

    I've never driven or ridden in a 1500, but last summer we did meet some fellow "Edmunds" Savana owners (Hi, Ariel, if you're reading this!) on our cross-country trip. Theirs was a 1500 8-seater with 60/40 swing-out side doors; our 2500 has a sliding side door. The first thing we noticed when we parked our vans side-by-side was how much taller our 2500 is - that's because of the heavier-duty suspension and larger wheels.

    Another point that may interest you was that the step-in height in our van was further increased by having the sliding door: the inside tread is raised because the sliding-door track goes below it. So if you want a 2500 but wish to minimize the climbing-in height for the kiddies, you might prefer to get 60/40 doors (we preferred the slider because there are no visible hinges and we wanted easy enter/exit when parked close to other vehicles). Alternatively, you might consider adding a running board.

    Anyway, I'm very pleased with the ride in our 2500, at least up front! :-)
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    I concur with Midasgold that the ride up front is rather pleasant for these vans. I have the longer wheelbase and that seems to help smooth out the ride.

    The ride/handling out back is different from the front. I know you aren't shopping for the 3500 but to give you a reference point: The rear of my beast doesn't seem to budge when I step my 180 lbs onto it.

    When I carry 12 people, the ride/handling is super and I have better confidence in the drive trains of the 2500 and 3500's.

    I suppose it all comes down to how you plan to use the van and your priorities. You will need to weigh the priorities of a softer ride against the versatility of the 2500.

    PS. I was amused by Midasgold's post about the water--because I too carry a case of bottled water in the back! When I don't tow or haul a load and to get a better car "feel", I believe I really need about 800lbs of water!
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    A 3500 Extend-O, huh? Wish I could see the smirk on your face when you pull up to a traffic light next to a Ford Excur$ion....
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    You have good intuition. Try as we might not to, when we pull up alongside a 'burb or an Excursion the kids, wife, and I do get a bit smug! After all we could have bought another new car with the money we saved and we are still noticeably BIGGER.

    I believe I found the greatest accessory for these vans. I am in the midst of installing this incredibly simple ultrasonic distance detector (Poron). After I saw it demonstrated, I thought this beats those unsightly frensel lenses. Now when backing up, I can tell within 1" how far away the wall is behind me! The device has passed the masking tape temporary install test so I'll spend a bit more time routing the wires this weekend. I'll be able to give a better opinion after I have more than 1 afternoon trying it.

    P.S. I prefer your spelling of Excur$ion.
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    bob328bob328 Member Posts: 1
    Having trouble finding any comparative data about reliabilty of Ford 250HD versus the Chevy Express 2500 ( with the 8600 lb gross vehicle weight) and the Comparative Dodge van, I guess the Do9dge Ram 250 Heavy Duty? I need a payload over 3000pounds. I just totaled a 97 Ford Econoline 250 Heavy Duty van which had spent about close to 10 days back at the dealers for repairs in its first 2 years so I would like to know if Chevy or Dodge makes a more relible van.
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    I dunno, Bob - all I know is our independent mechanic practically *begged* us not to get a Ford (can't imagine why - he could've made lots of money fixing it after the warranty expired), and loves to ooh and aah over our GM van whenever I drive it onto his lot to check on work he's doing on our old car. The Dodge is a much older design than either GM's or Ford's - but may be tried and true. If your Ford van was troublesome it would make sense to try something else this time around.
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    mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
    The master cylinder on my 99 Express started leaking and was replaced under warranty at 22K. So far I've had two warranty repairs, the alternator at around 17K and the master cylinder.

    My brakes were checked at 24K and appear to be wearing fine, with plenty of pad left.
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    srehmesrehme Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1996 Chevy 1500 Express Full Conversion Van. I purchased this new in April 1997 and have had many problems with it, including electrical (which the Chevrolet Dealer never fixed), loss of engine power, side doors not shutting tight and rattling, sensors, brakes, rear air conditioning, window frames cracking, and just before Christmas had to replace the transmission, all not covered under warranty due to the mileage. I have less than 65,000 miles on this Van, have never towed anything with this Van. I have never had to replace a transmission, especially with less than 65,000 miles!
    I am very disgusted with the poor quality of my Van, the unreliability of it, the poor Chevrolet Dealership Service provided to me, and the poor Chevrolet Customer Service Complaint System. They will be happy to take your complaint, but will they stand behind their product? I would never recommend anyone to purchase a similar Van, much less a Chevrolet.
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    Sorry about your troubles. Makes me want to go out and get an extended warranty right away.

    I am curious about some of the details of your problems. In particular:
    Electrical: what is wrong?
    Loss of power was temporary or chronic?
    Sensors: which ones went bad?
    Rear air conditioning: What went wrong?
    Brakes: What kind of problem?

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    faninbigdfaninbigd Member Posts: 2
    I too purchased a 1996 Chevrolet 1500 Express Full conversion conversion van in early 1997 and folks let me tell ya it SUCKS! I have had more problems with this vehicle than any I have owned in my whole lifetime and I am 40.

    Electrical problems - battery cable, battery plus other problems.
    Noisy fuel pump - Which Chevy won't replace
    Fuel Injector problems
    Dead cylinder
    Rear passenger door hinge (recall)
    Must change front brake pads every year
    Leaks oil and something else.
    Door panels coming alose
    Rattles and sqeeks
    My 35 gallon gas tank (sticker) only seems to hold 29 gallons (wonder were the other 7 gals are at?).
    Starting to idle poorly now (here we go again)

    Now this vehicle gets routine maintance and oil changes. Never has towed anything, has 66,000 miles and is used as a daily transporter of the family with a bi-annual trip to one coast or another. The Chevy dealer never seems to fix the problems correctly the first time so we must often return it several times to get the problems resolved. If it were not for the warranty and extended warranty I would have spent well over $5,000.00 in repair work. Even with the extended warranty I was often stuck with bills exceeding $500.00. The Chevy dealer will listen to your problems but getting them to properly fix them is another story.

    This lifelong GM consumer is currently searching for a new van and trust me it won't be a GM product.
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Gee, srehme and faninbigd, what can I say?

    Not that this is any consolation, but '96 *is* the first model year of the van's new design, and GM is notorious for lots of bugs in their first-year models.

    I also have long been concerned with the fact that many conversion companies use 1500 vans instead of 2500 or higher. The conversion stuff adds a lot of weight to the van, which has to take its toll somehow or other.

    Our 31-gal tank also appears empty and will then take only about 24 gallons. That may be intentional on the part of the manufacturer to prevent running out of gas. Last summer, we were on a long cross-country trip, and stupidly left a town without refilling our tank. We found ourselves out in the middle of nowhere, with the needle on empty, praying that maybe the next tiny dot on the map would have a gas station, then the next one. We kept going like that for something like 40 miles, I think, until we were finally relieved to find a gas station. So I think there's plenty of reserve in the tank.
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    crymommycrymommy Member Posts: 6
    I picked up a Savana 1500 SLE 2 weeks ago. Forgot
    to bargain for a full gas of tank and had to fill
    up right away. I ended up putting in 29 gallons
    after the 15 mile trip home.
    There was a coolant leak due to a hose not being tightened properly. When ABS kicks in, the steering wheel ( and van ) goes left.
    The ride and noise level are very satisfactory. If
    the mechanic can eventually repair the brakes , I'll be satisfied.
    Could the person posting about the distance detector, please keep us up to date about his installation.
    A nice security system is the GM VSS-150. It works
    with original GM remote control.
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    The device I installed just over 10 days ago is a Poron. At the moment I believe the model is a Mini 3LV (ref. poronusa.com).

    I was leery about buying sight unseen and fortunately work near their Gardena California office. The poron rep offered to visit me at my work and demonstrated the unit in his car.

    I was impressed, temporarily installed it with masking tape, and then plunged in for the clean installation.

    I have been actually ENJOYING backing up ever since.

    Unlike the $700 BMW option, this unit actually displays the distance in feet and tenths of feet (metric if you flip the switch). Accuracy is excellent.

    The installation was a fun project. Anyone who can install a fog lamp can do this.

    Installation. 2 wires get spliced onto the wires going to the back up light. 1 power and 1 ground. I had previously located these wires behind the interior trim panel (which just pops off) at the back right corner of the van. I opted to solder splice the wires to avoid potential with the quick splice connectors that were supplied.

    The control unit is about the size of a cigar. I used the supplied double stick tape and attached it onto the rear post (underneath the trim panel).

    The three detectors mounted to supplied brackets and then under the bumper with supplied double stick tape. It seems possible that in this position, they may one day be knocked off by rocks. So next time I will use pieces of angle aluminum instead of the plastic brackets to give them greater protection.

    I overachieved at routing the detector wires. Instead of routing them the easy way--up into the doorway and under the black trim along the back bottom of the van, I removed the drain plug from the back right post and installed a grommet. Through this entry I ran a coat hanger down and then taped the detector connectors (modular phone plugs) to the coat hanger. I pulled the wires up and connected them to the control unit.

    One glitch was having to get an extension for the far left detector so it would reach the control unit. My van is w i d e.

    I ran the cord for the display up the post. I used the supplied bracket to suspend the display from the headliner/back trim piece by just wedging into place. (The install manual shows the display under the rear view mirror but I prefer the mounting to be where I can see it when I am looking backwards)

    All my friends think its great. They get out the tape measure, check the distance and are amazed.

    Because of the additional secure feeling, I don't want a van/truck without one.
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    mrh3108mrh3108 Member Posts: 41
    GM will pay to align the vehicle if it shows signs of pulling within the 1st 6-8000 miles. Not sure of the exact amount.

    The dealers want $180 to do the first alignment as they must pull and replace a ring. I've been told by the converter who mfg my van to have it done. Most alignment shops will only do a light duty alignment and will not pull the ring.

    If you feel that your van is pulling and you are within the GM warranty coverage for alignments take it in and ask them to align it under warranty.

    I was told by a tire dealer to do that but never did because I was not experiencing the problem. I now have a slight pull and must pay the big $$. Once the ring is replaced regular alignments are all that are needed.
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    midasgoldmidasgold Member Posts: 65
    Vandalybay1... for those of use who lack the "testicular fortitude" to install this thingy ourselves, what do you recommend? I'm afraid the dealer wouldn't do a decent job. Should I take it to an installer of car audio accessories? Or are the instructions clear enough that even a DIY neophyte can accomplish the installation?
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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    Yes, that's the right kind of talent! An Auto Stereo Installer would have no problem installing the unit. All parts are there including connectors and double stick tape.

    I agree and I would NOT take it to a dealer--this is out of their specialty.

    KEY TO SUCCESS: find a person who can take their time (even a talented teen). If it takes as long as 2 hours, then the installer took lunch or was REALLY careful.

    The job is really easy if you just run the sensor wires up into the door and under the "threshold" piece.

    clean mounting surfaces with rubbing alcohol and let dry before using double stick tape.

    order a sensor cable extension when you buy the kit.

    PS: Anyone with power steering or brake fluid wetting the outside of the clear/beige colored reservoir?
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    gunsnroses1gunsnroses1 Member Posts: 1
    The chevy express 1500 is rated to tow 6000 lbs,(12100 lb GCVW), don't believe it. The standard axle is a puny 8 3/4 inch ring gear model and will not hold up, I found out the hard way. While towing at 12000 lbs GCVW over Snoqualmie pass in Wa. the rear axle wore out (burned out)and had to be completely rebuilt in Spokane. The dealer was great but as I found out more about this problem I discovered that in the 1500 van and pickups there are 3 different rear axles that can be had in them, make sure you do not take the small one, it won't stand up to towing what chevy says it will tow.
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    jackm40jackm40 Member Posts: 1



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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    I don't blame you for looking elsewhere after all of those problems. I hope your new choice works out as well as the old GM vans did.

    Please let us know:
    1) What model years gave you the most trouble?

    2) What model number vans have given you the brake trouble (1500, 2500, or 3500)?

    3) What model gave you the transmission trouble?

    4) What hinges gave you trouble (front driver/passenger, side cargo, rear cargo?

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    vandalybay1vandalybay1 Member Posts: 43
    I'll strongly agree ANY vehicle SHOULD be able to tow up to its rating without mechanical problems. Gunsnroses1 problems as described just aren't right. I have had problems with other vehicles being damaged by towing.

    We all know that towing takes a toll on the drivetrain components. For what it is worth and to minimize towing related damage, I use the following formula to determine my "no worries" tow capacity:

    Manufacturer's rated capability divided by 2.

    Under no circumstances would I suggest anyone exceed 80% of the listed capacity.

    If you plan to tow, I recommended we carefully seek out the 3/4 ton or greater vans. In those vans, the brakes and drivetrains are larger than with the 1/2 ton models.

    How we drive also significantly impacts the towing load upon the drivetrain. For what it is worth, I believe you cannot accelerate at too slow a rate when towing.

    I'll be careful to heed gunsnroses1's good tip to check out what axle is supplied.
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    rcapistranorcapistrano Member Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me what the EPA is on the 2500
    3/4th ton passenger express van, 135 inch wheel
    base with the Vortec 5.7 V8, automatic, using the
    3.73 axle as opposed to the 3.42?
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