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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Warning Lights

creidcreid Member Posts: 54
I know this is a silly answer but the first thing I would check is the gas cap. The vehicle has a sensor for pressure & will give a check engine light if not tight or leaking. Just my 2 cents.


  • coonhoundcoonhound Member Posts: 174
    If the light does not go off on it's own then you need to lift a battery cable for about 10 minutes to reset the computer. Be careful and don't short + to ground with the wrench as you remove and install a cable. Better to lift negative, but a little more difficult to get to.

    My 97 sits a lot and sometimes runs rough on startup giving the check engine light. I reset it and everything is OK.

    If it continues to come on you are probably going to the dealer to have them run the code scanner. And hope that someone has not been running premium fuel and the injector pressure regulator is out. The list price of the injector unit is $470.00. The thing is only sold as a unit. My 97 was replaced at 27,000 miles under warranty.

    If it is an O2 sensor, and there are three of them at about $70.00 ea. even at auto Zone.

    Those are the unpleasant thoughts that I have on the subject.
  • wjhumphriewjhumphrie Member Posts: 2
    Had similar problems, 1993 Safari XLT with 120k had stalling, low power, "Check Engine" light, etc. Had valve seals replaced twice due to smoking at start-up, and EGR continually clogged. Local mechanic, who works on several Safari/Astros did the following:
    - replaced catalytic, it was bad
    - replaced O2 sensors, which had been repeatedly nuked due to clogged injectors/EGR valve
    - did an intake flush, I think it was BTG-system?
    - removed EGR and ran the van on the road (with the EGR still removed) to blow out residual carbon in the intake manifold
    - replaced EGR with a new unit.

    Since then, I use a bottle of Techron fuel cleaner each month and switched to regular 87 octane. Last 20k miles have been the best running ever for the van! I was ready to heave the beast prior to this last ditch fix, but the improvements are dramatic. Also saw a site on the Van forum for a firm that makes an EGR screen to catch the carbon particles before they enter the EGR assembly, mounts on the base between the intake and EGR itself. There's also a PROM update that the dealer has that cycles the EGR open at cruise, probably to allow carbon to blow out? Good luck!
  • creidcreid Member Posts: 54
    I asked earlier to AWD owners of their gas mileage compared to mine. Well I took my van to the dealer yesterday due to an intermittent check engine light that illuminated when holding the coast in w/ cruise control set. The code was about the right and left banks running rich. The dealer replaced the MAP sensor due to the original was shorted (according to tech writing on service report). My question does a map sensor make that much of a difference with regards to gas mileage?
  • mrnimmomrnimmo Member Posts: 271
    could certainly make it run rich enough to give you that horrible gas mileage. Time will tell, right?
  • braedhead79braedhead79 Member Posts: 2
    Ok so I bought this 1994 Safari from my aunt it drove fine for a couple of weeks then I filled it up drove it about 60 miles and when I got of of the interstate it was running like Either the head gasket was blown or it had water in the gas (it even deiseled When I turned it off) so I went to a gas station bought some gas treatment and the problem went away almost instantly. so I thought the problem was solved then I drove it home then to and from work for 2 weeks no problem then I had a 3 hour drive to make so I stopped at a different gas station filled up and about 20 minutes down the road it did it again( both time the Service light came on) so I stopped got gas treatment and problem gone Thought it was odd that 2 different gas stations had water in thier gas but with gas prices the way they are its possible but then on the way back from my 3 hour drive it did it again this time without filling up but I let it sit before working on it and the service light is off and its running great so I don't even know where to start because everything is working now
    Any Ideas would be greatly appreciated
  • stonebusistonebusi Member Posts: 5
    This problem sounds a lot like dirty, clogged or malfunctioning fuel injectors. The reason the fuel additive works for a while (if I'm right) is because it temporarily cleans the injectors. I've never had this problem with my Astro, but have experienced it multiple times in other vehicles. The "Service Engine" light would come on because you're giving the computer a misfire fault. I don't know how big a deal it is to remove the injectors, but if it's tough you might first check plugs and wires.
  • gmloyalgmloyal Member Posts: 1
    Long story short... 67k miles, Engine light came on, mechanic diagnosis Catalytic Convertor failing. (No smell or other symptoms...) He suggested misfire would contribute to CC failure, & a tune-up might help. This mechanic also opined that the Vortec engine was all-around buggy & a pain in the nect. I decided to ponder the CC problem & wait; tune-up done by different mechanic. (location convenience, not mechanic choice) 2nd mechanic claimed that "false readings" are common among the computers for this model, and suggested driving a while, then checking again. Engine light came on 2 wks later, but code was for 2 injectors failing. Same mechanic said that this model has a plastic (!?) housing or sleeve that fails (obviously, if it's true...!), and that it's causing the misfire which might in fact contribute to gradual CC failure. :confuse: QUESTIONS: (1) Any chance the computer board is faulty, failing, and/or are they known to be unreliable in this model? (2) Is the fuel injector "plastic" thing true, and is there a better fix, i.e., different type of injectors or preventative measures to keep them from failing again? (3) In the "old days" we'd smell the CC failure and the vehicle would run like crap - if it's failing, why are there no other symptoms? HELP!!!!!!!!! Thanks!
  • disastrodisastro Member Posts: 2
    I see that it was august when u had this problem did u get it fixed. because i have a 96 chevy astro i have replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter and it still won't run any suggestions would be appriciated. thanks
  • billb4billb4 Member Posts: 3
    Spray starting fluid into intake hose behind the air cleaner in front of the engine. Now if you get no attempt at starting like it wont try to fire then you have no spark or ignition. Now it could be the module that controls the ignition and this will take out the ignition coil both could be hosed. My 99 Safari is in the dealers shop as we speak and this is what they told me, all for only $450.00.I'm lucky I can afford it, but I hate to pay someone when I can fix it myself, but I couldn't. So maybe this will help you or someone else.
    Good Luck
  • dave8697dave8697 Member Posts: 1,498
    You can get the code read free at autozone or advance auto parts stores. I have 2 astros. 87 and 98. My 87 (175,000 mi)died a minute after starting it last december. The check engine light came on and the code read lean or rich mixture. The coolant temp sensor was bad. It had previously failed at 48,000 miles in 1991. It is hard to get to with rear a/c lines in the way, but the $7 part screws into intake manifold into the coolant passage. Van started right up and the 3 mpg mileage increase from then on suprised me. I could hear my fuel pump prime and I had spark.
  • smokeybarnablesmokeybarnable Member Posts: 5
    My 99 astro van won’t start after sitting a few days. It happened about a month ago too. Both times I didn't have very much gas in the tank and the weather was around freezing and raining. Last month I eventually got it started by jumping and cranking if for about three hours. It smelled flooded.
    It's a 4.3L fuel injection engine. This time after trying to jump it, it just won't start..kinda feels like it wants too. It diesels a little after each attempt.

    When the key is in the on position the service engine soon light is on and the check gauges light is on. I did a scan (with my battery almost dead) and it said the scan was successful but no trouble code found and said the MIL indicator was off?

    Could it be my battery just needs to be charged or replaced?
    Why is the check engine light on but no error code when scanned?
    Should I try a scan with a fully charged battery?

    Thanks for any help.

  • md333md333 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Astro and have had similar problems with the engine not starting when it is cold and damp. I believe the problem is the ignition coil. I replaced one last year and one cold damp day it again failed to start. Point a hairdrier in the area of the coil(behind the alternator) to dry it out or spray wd40 on the wire connections leading to the coil. The moisture drains the voltage and doesnt allow enough spark to start.
  • qlocoqloco Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Chevy Astro with 120,235 miles. My service engine soon light is on. Funny thing is it comes on and off. I took it to Autozone and they tell me its code P0117 = Engine Coolant Sensor Voltage Too Low. I've changed the coolant sensor by the ERG valve and the temperature sensor by the manifold. I was told it could be a grounding problem. But I have no idea on how to check that. I have no idea now on what to do next to correct this problem.

    Thank Qloco.
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    On my 1997 the check engine and check gages light stay on if the key is in the on position and the engine is not running. They are just resetting themselves for when the van is started. If the lights don't come on before starting than it signals there is a problem with the systems. I believe the ignition coil may be your problem. I would also check the distributor cap for cracks. I have read other posts where people had damp weather starting problems caused by mosture in the distributor.
  • smokeybarnablesmokeybarnable Member Posts: 5
    Thanks cob and md333! I will try that today. Is there any test I can do with a volt meter that would tell me if the ignition coil is too damp?
  • smokeybarnablesmokeybarnable Member Posts: 5
    bought a new battery...used hairdryer on ignition coil,sprayed ether in air intake and only makes a loud popping sound...taking a beer break.
  • smokeybarnablesmokeybarnable Member Posts: 5
    put more gas in and replaced fuel filter...still doesn't start.
  • smokeybarnablesmokeybarnable Member Posts: 5
    i took the ignition coil out and did the ohm checks listed in repair manual. The coil passed all tests. So I hooked it back up and took one of my front wheels off to access the spark plugs. I took out one plug and hooked it back up to the wire and then cranked the engine....the spark plug didn't spark! I double checked that the wire from the coil to the distributor is sparking...it is.
    Thats where im at now. Haven't checked fuel pressure yet
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    If you are getting spark from coil to distibutor but not to plugs, The suspect would be the cap and rotor or the plug wires. But, since there is no firing going on the wires are probably fine its got to be under the distibutor cap.
  • tinam3tinam3 Member Posts: 1
    I recently had several instances where the check engine light came on and went off. when investigating it was a misfire on #5 caused by wear on my plugs and wires. I have it fixed but am now wondering what else might need attention in the future. It only has 50K miles on it and I have kept up on the maintenance.
  • deweymandeweyman Member Posts: 1
    hi, i need help. I have a 1997 chev astro. 4.3eng.
    i had a check engine light on for awhile with a code
    po301- no.1 cyl misfire. i'v replaced and tuned up everything and the problem is still there.it runs rough with no power and sucks gas bad.now the engine light flashes all the time and no one can tell me what the flashing stands for.the flashing tells me what?i've checked the books and they don't address
    the light flashing compared to just being on.
    any help is appreciated.
  • kirby75kirby75 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 93 astrovan 4.3. the abs light and the service engine soon light go on and off intermittently. i have the code reader and it tells me that the ecm code is

    "#43 electronic spark timing (EST) circuit - low voltage detected / electronic spark control (ESC)- circuit problems".

    and the abs fault is
    "#8 shorted dump valve circuit or faulty ecu".

    both these lights started coming on within a day of each other...i kinda sounds like maybe something is not putting out enough voltage or something.
    any ideas what it could be??...
  • bsmoodhabsmoodha Member Posts: 17
    I have a 1141 code which relates to the fuel cannister evap. system on my 98 2WD van. I have replace the gas tank cap with a new one from the dealer. I have replace the purge solenoid on the intake manifold also. I still have the fault. Has anyone had this same fault and if so what was the fix.

    P.S. I am fairly unhappy with all the little problems this vans has thrown at me for the last 8 years. The latest big one was the now infamous coolant leak from the poorly designed intake manifold gasket.
  • jethro95jethro95 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 90 Safari. I recently replaced both rear brake cylinders & shoes. And after bleeding the brakes, the dasboard brake light went out, as expected. Just a day later, the brake line itself started leaking, both ABS & Brake dash lights came on. After replacing brake line & hose to rear axle, bleeding brakes again (even bled front brakes), The ABS & Brake light still stay on. I have a good pedal,& brakes seem to working fine. I have even disconnected battery cable overnight.
    I have asked a few people, even a mechanic freind. The usual answer, "GMs do that a lot, I wouldn't worry about it".
    I would like to sell it, but I don't think this will look good. Any ideas or suggestions? :confuse:
  • jasonbrojasonbro Member Posts: 1
    I bought a used 1997 GMS Safari and there are some small issues I would like to get fixed. The price was too much to resist.

    The check engine light stays on. I am new to this and I can use some help. The van drives fine, starts good and the motor sounds really good.

    I understand that there are code readers out there that can reset the computer; is this correct? What type of reader works the best?

    I also noticed that the airbag light stays on, can anyone tell me what to look for?

    Finally the horn doesn't work.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
  • smo1smo1 Member Posts: 6
    I have a problem with my Check Engine light NOT going on. At start up it does not go on. I need to correct so I can pass my state's vehichle inspection. COuld it be a fuse?
  • old_car_nutold_car_nut Member Posts: 2
    Hello out there...

    My ABS light and the red brake lights came on the other day at the very end of a long stop on a slippery road. The brake pedal went just about all the way down during this sequence but nothing seemed to be wrong. Just as the car stopped, the lights came on.

    I think it is a nuisance light since the brakes, front and rear, work just fine. My question is... How do I reset the ABS module to see if there really is something wrong?

    Any help is appreciated.
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    Reset the ABS light by removing the neg battery cable for 5 minutes to reset the codes. I would also check you brake fli=uid level in the resevoir to make sure that is not the source of the red brake light coming on.
  • old_car_nutold_car_nut Member Posts: 2
    I put a jumper on the communications link to get the ABS light to flash a code. I got a 63. Does anyone know what that means???

  • just_luckyjust_lucky Member Posts: 2
    i gotta agree with cob. i very recently had hard starting and rough running til i went in the distributor cap and bent all the tips in to be closer to the rotor as it passed (you'd be amazed at the gap inside the cap from the tips of the cap to the rotor tip)and sure nuf it starts like the vehicle was just rolled off the producion line ... i carefully measured the safe amount to bend inwarded with no touching between rotor and dist.cap and i suspect i may have changed the timing a very little bit due to the spark being able to jump a slight bit sooner but if the vehicle senses stuff like that , well i guess it might compensate( if it has the ability) for the timing advance if any :)
  • just_luckyjust_lucky Member Posts: 2
    i gotta agree with cob. i very recently had hard starting and rough running til i went in the distributor cap and bent all the tips in to be closer to the rotor as it passed (you'd be amazed at the gap inside the cap from the tips of the cap to the rotor tip)and sure nuf it starts like the vehicle was just rolled off the producion line ... i carefully measured the safe amount to bend inwarded with no touching between rotor and dist.cap and i suspect i may have changed the timing a very little bit due to the spark being able to jump a slight bit sooner but if the vehicle senses stuff like that , well i guess it might compensate( if it has the ability) for the timing advance if any :)
  • chinnesechinnese Member Posts: 3
    Run fine 1998 115 k only problems runs great when warm a bit rough when cold and when turn on ac on it once and a while get a check engine light turns . Check engine code get o2 sensor replaced 3 of them any other ideas. :):)
  • trevor14trevor14 Member Posts: 2
    Having problems with a cylinder loading up with fuel and fouling a plug. Did a full tune up, ran a fuel injector cleaner, scaned the motor, did a fuel preasure test, no codes but a flashing engine light( meaning a missfire and your converter is loading with fuel), replaced the fuel injector system in the intake, checked for leaks in the intake and lines, and still no differance in proformance. I then decided to check the wiring from the fuel wiring harness (top of the intake) to the computer harness and low and behold the wires from the comp side had been laying on the van body under the battery and had wore through causing the one fuel injector to stay open.
  • trevor14trevor14 Member Posts: 2
    check the wires from your computer by the battery so they are not touching the van body
  • dep1006dep1006 Member Posts: 1
    i need help with a service engine light the code shows small vacume leak or loose gas cap i just had a vacume leak fixed at the dealer 3 weeks ago. the light came on for the first time 2 days ago does anyone know if there us a way to reset the code light without a code reader, auto zone won't do it for me. i mam due for an inspection and it won't pass with the light on any help is appreciated thanx
  • danr4danr4 Member Posts: 1
    I have an unusual problem that is intermittent - the Brake and ABS dash indicators lamps come on. They also go away, usually after I park and turn off the Safari for a short while. The reservoir is full, the brakes were all replaced recently. The first time it happened, I took it in for repair and the mechanic filled the reservoir (it was low) and a couple of days later it came back on. I returned and agreed to replace the brakes - it has 85000 miles and they have never been replaced. It stops fine, but the dash indicators keep coming on - any ideas from fellow Safari owners as to where I can begin looking for the problem?
  • steveb17steveb17 Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2010
    Refer to question/answer #2 of 39: This member is correct (Again: as odd as it may sound). I've had two different vehicles that both gave me the check engine light and it turned out to be the gas caps were not venting correctly and caused a vacuum problem within the system. I replaced the gas caps and everything was fine from that point on. this may not be your problem exactly; But, it may be worth your time and money to check into this possibility.
  • glenggleng Member Posts: 1
    o2 sensor no activity detected .Bank #1 Sensor #3.
    Does anyone know if this is a upstream or downstream sensor.Thanks
  • bsibajabsibaja Member Posts: 4
    Its very likely that your ABS Module needs to be refurbished. Mine was doing exactly the same. Vibrations seemed to set it off and both BRAKE/ABS lights would come on until I turned the car off. It is a popular problem with the modules.

    The fix was less than $100 dollar and it was very easy.

    There are two companies that do this and give you a warranty for their work:
    ASI (Automotive Scientific Inc) www.AUTOECU.com (HINT: their Ebay listings are way cheaper! http://myworld.ebay.com/ate1234)

    And the other company is Module Master: http://www.modulemaster.com/en/index.php

    You can ship it to them and still drive your vehicle. Your brakes will work just fine, but the ABS feature won't until you replace the controller. Just make sure you cover the other half of the ABS unit on your car. You'll want to protect it from debris and water.

    Best of luck.
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