Chevy Vans: Problems & Solutions



  • lct1lct1 Member Posts: 21
    Intake leaks and condenser cracks are common on the Venture and other GM vehicles. Check for TSB's and extended warrenty's. GM seems to pick and choose who gets help, you might get lucky.
  • dennis6dennis6 Member Posts: 6
    Have your alternator/regulator checked . . . it maybe putting out to much juice, overcharging your battery. Rebuilt alternator's are more likely to have this fault if not done properly.
  • deacondeacon Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 awd astro van doing the same thing yours does. Have you came up with a corrective action? I get to the point of just putting a piece of cardboard in the dash over the ugly yellow light.

  • bostonredsoxbostonredsox Member Posts: 1
    I drove over a piece of tire which caused our
    van to shut down. Under the van three wires where dis-connected. I plugged them in. The car started up. But I have three messages that wont go away. They are ...service engine soon, Trac system off,and abs off. Is there a way to re-set the system? I think that is what the problem is. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • bluenoserbluenoser Member Posts: 1
    I have had multiple problems with our van over the past few years, that have been mostly electrical in nature. I have attributed most to a water leak that I can't seem to track down. I do recall seeing water in the overhead map lights once after a hard rain. The floors and undercushion are generally soaked and thus wires are corroding. I am hoping that if I start with this console issue I may find the source. Are there any other potential water leaks near the front of the van. If I knew for sure it was the window I would have a autoglass specialist replace it. Thanks for the info.

  • annesannes Member Posts: 1
    Hi. I have a 2001 Chevy Venture and we had a problem with the intake manifold we brought it to the dealer and he fixed it for us. Also, I have my van in the shop right now my transmission went. I have 39,000 on a 3 year old van and the transmission went...i am not happy with this van at all.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    fortunately I got the ext warranty so it hasn't cost me anything except what I paid for the warranty , while the car has never left us stranded here's what we have had to fix since the B2B warranty ended.

    leaking manifold
    leaking master brake cylinder
    leaking brake line
    radio speakers
    fuel pump (thats 500 bucks or something for the part!)
    wiper motor
    HVAC controls (resistor or something gone)

    at least it hasn't been as bad as our 00 Windstar- new tranny (actually they tried to replace the tranny and found the new one didn't fit! then found they needed a new torque convertor too!)

    I am very grateful to GM for not having 8 seats in the Venture replacement, now I can get a Sieena or even the 05 Ody which will come with 8seats!
  • blink3blink3 Member Posts: 74
    What is it, and how do i fix it????
       Thank you sooooooooooo much!
  • btrflybtrfly Member Posts: 21
    We just bought this and I'm a bit concerned as when we go to pass someone, even at 70 miles an hour, it shifts very loudly. Is this "normal"?
  • lct1lct1 Member Posts: 21
    2002 Venture WB Van purchased 5-24-02 List of repairs since new.
    7,380 miles: Belt squeal, serpentine belt replaced.
    12,130 Miles: Pass. Rear door motor assembly replaced, door opens while driving (recall), Driver side rear door latch replaced, Serpentine belt and tensioner replaced (belt squeal), Rear brakes replaced, Rough idle, can’t duplicate. Front suspension bushing replaced(noise) alignment checked.
    14,473 miles, Serpentine belt replaced(squeal,chirping).
    14,990 miles, Water leaking at rear hatch, Rear intake leaking oil( oil pan bolts, oil filter, drain plug tightened) Questioned fix and was told that’s how they fix Honda’s., Front alignment( Paid by me)
    17,578 miles, Serpentine belt squealing and chirping( belt replaced) Water in LR taillight(replaced)
    19,696 miles, AC pressure valve blew out.(replaced) AC air is warm and spitting water out vents. This is Aug. 2003
    19,826 miles, Told AC is working Fine, use recirculate to cool Vehicle. Water coming out of vents normal. Was told no problem with serpentine belt, tensioners, pulleys etc. Belt squealing and chirping normal. Some belts do this(This is 4th belt since new) At this time I made the mistake to contact GM Customer Service, then the BBB. Both said they would help me neither did. All I have ever got is to be told to take it in for repairs. Dah! That’s what I have been doing.
    20,752 miles, AC recharged, Vents stopped spitting water, Air cool at times but not close to what it was, mostly warm and humid. Belt squeal was used on belt many times and did not fix. Belt noise to be fixed for last time Per area Service Manager. Dealer saturated the belt with belt lube, then told me they could not duplicate problem. Belt still squealing and chirping. E-brake not holding, brakes not stopping van. Rear brake parts fell apart.
    21,380 miles, Belt problem addressed again, pulleys not lined up properly, seems to fix. AC still not working right, told cannot fix unless hot outside. Begged them to fix so I could travel to Arizona and Florida, they refused. Pleaded with them to compare to other like vans( I did) they refused. 60 degrees outside, drive all day long will AC full blast and not be cold.
    Arbitration Hearing, IMPARTIAL Tech. Determines AC is working properly( 35 Degrees outside) Failed to mention noise in vent for which there is a TSB on. Offered extended warranty, Told GM I couldn’t get it fixed with the one I had.
    23,296 miles, Loss of power, bad gas mileage, Oil leak, anti-freeze in oil, rough Idle( intake gasket replaced) engine oil overfilled 3/4 Qt. AC checked(warm outside) No Problem found. Although dealer claims they did not work on AC, works a little better.
    24,000 miles to current 25,600 miles, Oil leak continues, Oil dripping from engine since May 2003. Engine stumbles or bucking while driving, Transmission slams into gear and slips. Driver window slow or almost stops midway. AC Blows warm humid air with moldy smell. Before AC was repaired you could have made ice-cream and van smelled new. I had to turn rear unit off cause kids were too cold. Dealers have never driven Van more than 2-3 miles. Vehicle never wrecked or abused and serviced above normal.
    25,848 miles, Engine problem caused by spark plug wires not attached properly when intake was done. Bracket not connected and wires shorted out on egr tube. Had AC checked by a private tech. To confirm AC was not working properly. Then had GM dealer check again. Both agreed it was not right and has low charge. After 3 last chance to repair and 5 attempts to get fixed in almost a year I had an attorney file for repurchase under lemon law. GM refused my claim on that primary concerns have been fixed and AC problem cannot be duplicated. GM has flat out refused to fix the AC and properly diagnose problem since Aug. 03. At times AC vents look like a steam iron and now Recirculate/outside air switch will not work. I have gone to different dealers. Yes this is a true story, I wish it wasn’t.
    29,000 miles After AC not right for over a year, 3 Last chance for repair notices, BBB hearing, and lemon law Attorney saying I had a weak case to do anything I put my tail between my legs and took Van in to be fixed again. The Van was there for 3 weeks. Driver window regulator replaced after a year of refusal. Oil leaking for over a year: Rear engine main oil seal replaced. Interior panel clips replaced. Since wires were replaced mpg on highway has dropped by 5 mpg, no problems found. Dealer claims AC had low charge and leak. Could not find leak and charged system and claims it is working fine. As soon as I got Van back I noticed AC is almost as bad as it was before just a little colder at times. I drove 30 miles from the dealer to my house with AC on full and was not cold. When I got home rear air was 75- 80 degrees, front was 50-55 degrees. Gm has spent more money on repair attempts and fighting to prove there is nothing wrong with AC than it would cost to replaced the whole system. It has not worked properly since Aug. 03. Last response from GM is there is no issue with AC problem. This is short version of my ownership of this Van.
  • jrpotts01jrpotts01 Member Posts: 2
    Sounds like the fuel pressure is bleeding off your supply line.
  • jrpotts01jrpotts01 Member Posts: 2
    essikr, sounds like a problem I had with my 98 chevy blazer. The dexcool (orange) coolant clooges the heater core some times. There are flushing procedures and a additive to keep the dexcool from gelling up. Chevy has a TSB on my vehicle and maybe on yours.
  • emorrowemorrow Member Posts: 1
    you can usually reset the service engine by disconnecting then reconnecting the negative side of the battery. You might try reading the engine codes first. Most auto part stores have a reader which they can read for free. I know Auto-Zone does here in Dallas.
  • rkdavisrkdavis Member Posts: 1
    We own a 2002 Venture. When we bought it, it seemed to be in ok condition. When we hit 69,000 the engine blew a rod. We've also had rear light electrical problems. We've not had problems you've had, but a friend of mine has a 2000 that has had the same problems as you, but recently had engine problems as well. Her's had engine problems at 70,000 miles as well. So if you're going to keep it, get rid of it before 60,000 miles. Good luck, we're hoping to get rid of ours soon.
  • chawbakerchawbaker Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2001 Venture. Our problem started at about 25,000 miles (about 3 months ago). When you turn the key to start the van it does nothing - no sounds of trying to start, etc. but all the lights, radio, etc. work. Sometimes jiggling the gear shift seems to help or the service center has banged on the steering column and it has started but sometimes it won't start for several days. Then it will work fine for a few weeks and then it leaves you stranded. It has been taken to 3 different dealerships, the ignition switch replaced twice as well as a computer sensor of some type. No codes show up when it decides not to start. We recently drove it from TX to MI. We had to take turns at rest stops, eating, etc. so someone was always in the van and it was running for fear we would be stranded in the middle of no-where. After getting to MI we turned it off, 30 minutes later it started. The next morning it took about 5 minutes to get it started, I moved it from one parking spot to another and then it didn't start for 2 days. It has been at the dealership for two weeks now. They replaced the ignition switch, thought it was fixed and today tried to get it started and had the same problem. It finally started but they can't figure out what the problem is. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, what did you do??
  • crackcheckercrackchecker Member Posts: 32
    <Sometimes jiggling the gear shift seems to help or the service center has banged on the steering column and it has started but sometimes it won't start for several days.>


    Sounds to me that the neutral safety switch on the gear shifter is bad. Had a ford truck that the only way I could start it was bang the steering column and shifter till I was able to get it replaced.
  • mpalbertmpalbert Member Posts: 2
    My 2001 Astro had a failed injector at 40K miles. The dealer explained that the emission system was manufactured to Federal EPA standards, but was now being operated in California (an ex-renatl most likely sold new outside California). He said that California fuel additives are damaging to Fed'l EPA vehicles. The replacement injector rack assembly would have cost me $750 had I not purchased the extended warranty plan. P.S. - I don't buy this answer.
  • 5thaveman5thaveman Member Posts: 10
  • 5thaveman5thaveman Member Posts: 10
  • 5thaveman5thaveman Member Posts: 10
  • jongrayjongray Member Posts: 1

    Used to have that problem a lot. In fact, I replaced three window motors because of it. When I mentioned it to a master mechanic whom lives across the street to me I found that the fix was really easy. The felt strips that the window runs up and down in needed lubrication. I bought a can of silicon lubricant, sprayed the groove between the strips, and the windows flew up and down. I have not had a problem since.
  • chiarimomchiarimom Member Posts: 1
    We also had a 2001 Venture -- our transmission went with under 12000 miles. IT took quite some time for the dealership to be able to reinact the problems with the trans so that GM would be willing to replace the entire trans.
  • khoward1khoward1 Member Posts: 1
    I also have a Chevy Venture Van 2000 model and we bought it new. We have had countless water leaks around the same area as you have, it has also leaked around the temp/compass, which is near the map lights. I have taken it to our local chevy dealer and each time they swear they have fixed it and they have not. We have also had to have at least 5 radios replaced, which we believe is an electrical problem as well. We have had the windshield replaced and didn't work.
  • jetfan313jetfan313 Member Posts: 1
    our 2003 venture did the same thjing on a road trip (abs light, traction control disable). turns out it was the wheel bearing assmebly. had to replace both sides. only 20000 on van.
  • deacondeacon Member Posts: 3
    mine dies this too. Did you find out what the problem was?
  • skdskd Member Posts: 3
    I have 1998 Astro Van with 80,000 miles on it. Within the last 12 months it has been at the dealer several times with the same problem. While driving the engine just shuts off or misses and dies. The dealer has put on the following: 2ea fuel pumps,1ea computer, 3ea Coil Packs, 2ea Crank Sensors, New Battery and three Coil Wires. After leaving the shop it runs fine for a few months and the problem starts all over. It looks like to me we are losing fire to the plugs. According to Car Facts the Van is not a Lemmon.

  • junkventurejunkventure Member Posts: 1
    I have a chev venture that I bought new. What a mistake. I read through this forum and we have all the same problems. My driver's side window failed. I spent 1500 dollars repairing the head gasket after the water pump failed. When the car was under warranty we had a complete electical system failure-- and had to replace the catalytic converter. Now, the transmission is failing and we need another new catalytic converter. I also had to replace leaking brake shoes. And we had a rear ball joint go bad.
    This car is a nightmare. If you have one-- trade it!! I am trading mine and will NEVER buy another GM car.
  • bbrigantebbrigante Member Posts: 1
    My abs light comes on in my chevy venture and then it disables the AWD does anyone know how to fix this!!! please let me know so I can fix it Thanx
  • mitzijmitzij Member Posts: 613
    You need to have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. You have a problem in the ABS system that the computer is picking up. It could be a lot of different things.
  • hottonhotton Member Posts: 1
    I own a chevy van G20 1989 with a problem[8D]
    When the motor is running and a turn on the lights or use the horn or use the back airco the engine stops running.
    The only thing i hear is a lot off noise from this thing(foto)
    Anyone knows what is is and what it does??
  • dmurraydmurray Member Posts: 1
    well i have a problem that i don't know what it is
    when i turn the wheel of my van i get this loud noise when i start my van and it my brakes i get a loud noise i just had the abs fixed on my van not to long ago
    thought it was power steering but that is not it
    it is a whin noise even when you are driving it down the road please help me to find out this problem it is whinning just like the power steering but power steering fluid is up to snuff
    so i don't know what it could be the belt is fine
  • darylesdaryles Member Posts: 2
    I had a similar problem with a 1979 Ford Pinto. Replaced plugs, wires and carb. Finally took it to the shop. Turned out it was the ignition module. They trouble shot it by using a heat lamp. When it got warmed up it cut out the engine.
  • darylesdaryles Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1994 Astro and have replaced numerous front tires for this same problem. Every time I have taken it in they checked the alignment and told me to rotate the tires. I finally bought a front end rebuild kit and rebuilt the front end myself. That fixed it. My brother works for GM and he says it is a common problem for that model. He has had 3 and apart from having to replace the front tires (or rebuild the front end) he likes them.
  • chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    Problems, have any of you had? Buzzing noise from plastic around windshield and wiper area. Almost sounds like someone is honking a horn. Rear head liner is coming down at hatch area.
    Cruise control will disengage on long hills.
    random stall of engine.
    How long has your shocks lasted? The rear is now taking two or three up down bounds to settle after a dip in the road.
    To bad GM vans are junk. We can haul eight people in the flex seating in this van.
  • slavoieslavoie Member Posts: 2
    i have a probleme whith pass.power window .when try to lift it s ok.but when down dont work .same situation wnen try this windows whit driver switch. what the probleme ?excuse my script !!
  • expioneerexpioneer Member Posts: 2
    Hi, this is my first time on this site having just joined, I hope this is the right place to post this kind of message, but I have a small problem obtaining parts for my 1991 G20 type II Ambulance in the UK. I was wondering if anyone could suggest some cheep sources for new/used parts in the US who would ship to the UK. i.e. rear door rubber seals and front door vent windows, as mine have been attacked by the dreaded tin and rubber worms! I would be most greatful for any contacts.
  • 731731 Member Posts: 1
    Any time the ABS code is lit, the awd is disabled, why I don't know, but having had all four hubs replaced on warranty at less than 30,000kms, I now find myself replacing them again at my own expense,$300 a pop not including labor, one last Thusday and another tommorrow, this time at 102,000kms on my '02 Venture LT. Oh yeah, also had center head gasket replaced, head gasket, wiper assembly etc, etc etc. What a classic piece of junk, can you say LEMON boys and girls? Now I know why they changed the name to Uplander, up yours GM. Hello Honda.
  • claugusjclaugusj Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 with about 89000 doing similiar stuff. It seems to be moisture related for mine. Have you found anything new since your post? I don't like to take to the shop without half an idea of what's wrong. Hubby stumped at this point.
  • skdskd Member Posts: 3
    I thought mine was moisture related but it would act up during hot summer weather. During the last trouble I check the connection on the Coil Pack and found one of the wires on the connector that goes to top of the Coil had an naked place on it. It was about 1 1/2 down from the plug. I cut the bad place out of the wire an installed a butt splice to replace the bad spot. It was very hard to find the naked spot on the wire and took me about 15 minuets to locate. At closer look I found over half of the wires were broken in the bad section that was removed. Also I changed the routing of the wires to the Coil pack a little bit because it had a very sharp angle at the plug and the wires were very close to the A/C Line. SO FAR SO GOOD!!!! I hope this helps.
  • arthur8arthur8 Member Posts: 5
    My new 2005 Astro Passenger RWD has a steering problem -- the turning diameter is wide, like 44 feet instead of 40.5 feet. The steering wheel only turns 1 and 1/4 turns from center. The front wheels do not go to the stops on the centering arms (they have almost an inch clearance hard over either direction). I have had it to 3 dealers 5 times, and they say either it is in specs or they have no specs or it goes to the stops or it is not supposed to go to the stops, etc. In other words "We wont fix it." My 2001 turned great, as did my Safari from 99.
    Does ANYONE ELSE have this problem?
  • dave38dave38 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Astro cargo van, at times the shift into 2nd gear is so hard that It could easily break at u-joint or rear end, this doesn't happen every time. Oddly it only happens in the summer months when I use the air conditioner, I let up on the gas at the shift to lesson the blow, also if I stop and turn the van off andrestart it the hard shift will stop for a while. The check engine light will come on for awhile then go off. I had the computer read all it said was slippage in the transmission. It drive good otherwise. Is this a common problem. It seems to be more electronic related than mechanical. No mechanic I have talked to has an answer, I know that if I take it to a transmission place their answer will cost me a new tranny. Any help on this will be appreciated.
  • chukchuk Member Posts: 10
    We have a 99 Venture with 73k miles on it. Every once in a while, it will shift very hard for one trip, every shift. Then, go in the store, or whatever, come out 15 min later, and all is well. Had this occasional problem now for 4 years. Looking for any ideas of what to fix. I have not had it to the dealer because it would never misbehave if I took it there. . .
  • arthur8arthur8 Member Posts: 5
    My 99 Safari would actually slip when trying to go from a stop, during the hottest days of summer. The problem was the transmission cooling. GM does not cool the transmission fluid properly. My 2001 Astro RWD also would sometimes shift bad to second, and this eventually destroyed the transmission. This was during the summer months, too. When the tranny went it went with two solid clangs which rocked the van, and this was when I was accelerating from a stop (shifting to second). After that it would still go but would not go into reverse. I had to get a new transmission. I had about 130K on it. You might consider a better radiator or cooling fan.
  • rajmanrajman Member Posts: 1
    I have 2001 venture and the passenger side window will not go up. It goes down but not
    up. I have tried both the driver and passenger controls and I ge the same behaviour.

    I went to the dealer and they said it may be the switch or the motor. The motor doesn't
    make sense as it goes down very well. It worked once and I was able to get it back up.

    Where is the switch located? Can I change the switch myself?

    Any help is highly appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • cody1pupcody1pup Member Posts: 1
    i've a 92 astro...206000 miles...handing it down to one of my kids.... looking for a "new" astro and sadly discovered that 2005 is their last year. reviews say it has a "truck-like" feel, my opinion is that it is excellent--- not posh, but has been very reliable. the only complaint i had was a constant noise coming from the passanger seat, turned out to be my wife.
  • jody3jody3 Member Posts: 2
    I've tried to remove the armrests on my front seats with no success... anyone know how this is done? I think the technique varies with different years of Astros.

  • gr8wizardgr8wizard Member Posts: 1
    I found the following on a different message board.
    It appears to address your issue.
    This is an informational post.

    I have a 2000 Astro van with 48800 miles on it. I would not have expected to have a transmission problem at this year and mileage.

    Last week I had a &#147;check engine light&#146; activate. The computer was scanned for codes and it showed P1870. This code indicates the transmission is slipping. After researching the code and problem I found that this is a common code for General Motors 4L60E transmissions. This transmission is used in most if not all Astros and Safari vans. It is also used in many of GMs pickup trucks. I found that most, if not all of the 4L60E transmissions have a problem with a spring-loaded valve located in the valve body, which is inside the transmission housing. This is most likely a defect in the transmission, but GM will not admit it because of an expensive recall that GM would have to pay for.

    The spring-loaded valve in the valve body wears in its round hole causing it to stick and causes the transmission to slip and the P1870 code to appear in a computer scan. The valve can be replaced by reaming out the hole and placing a superior after market valve and spring in the new hole. This generally corrects the problem. The cost for this valve replacement is about $400.00. If you take the vehicle to GM they will replace the entire valve body, which contains the same old valve and spring. The cost for this is about $800.00 and you can look forward to the P1870 code in the future.

    Well, my transmission was destroyed by this slippage. The transmission shop pulled the pan and the oil was like molasses. It needs a bunch more than a new valve. At this time my van is still in the shop. They will need to pull the entire transmission and rebuild, or possibly replace it. The cost for this can be about $2000.00. Fortunately I purchased an extended warrantee when I purchased the van. Hopefully, all I will need to pay is the $200.00 deductible.

    The spring-loaded valve only activates at speeds above 45-50 MPH. If you are climbing a hill above this speed and the valve fails to function, a check engine light is likely.

    I hope this will alert others to the problem.
  • lovinglifelovinglife Member Posts: 1
    My venture van is made in 2002. After adding the dex-cool one month, it is lower than the full level. I can not find the leak.
    The other thing is that the engine oil level light is on after I start the on. After 2 minutes, it is off. The low coolant light is not on.

    Who can tell me the problems.

    Thank you very much.
  • mrapvthomasmrapvthomas Member Posts: 2
    i have a just purchased 94 apv. for the first two months, 6 weeks have been spent in the shop. Initially I had a ac compressor replaced which really reduced engine harshness. Check engine light stayed on,it's been at the mechanics for a month. They don't even know the problem. It frequently shuts off every couple of days. That really scares me because I bought it to haul my kids around in on the weekend.The shop has rweplaced the camshaft sensor and egr valve. It's scary, they can't even pinpoint the problem. Any suggestions?Please reply. Thank You!
  • mrapvthomasmrapvthomas Member Posts: 2
    can anyone tell me the type of motor oil, trans oil and coolant that goes into this vehicle. I reaally do not want to have to spend 20 bucks on ebay for a used owner's manual. i will but i don't want to. thank you in advance for your responses.
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