Chevy Vans: Problems & Solutions



  • asvaasva Member Posts: 1
    I have 97 chevy Venture Long body(LS). I noticed following problem over time:
    1: Door switches of both sides(Driver,s and Passenger side) for windows and door locks quits frequently. I paid heavy cost of $350 to replace them.
    2. Now A/C quits on me suddenly. It was working alright and stopped working suddenly. I showed to mechanic who is asking for More than $1000 for replacement of compressor, filter/dryer and charging the system.
    3. I have noticed some Oil deposits in Antifreeze overflow bottle. Also antifreeze need refilling frequently as I see dripping of some kind of liquid from engine to floor under the engine. I checked with Couple of Mechanics who advised me to report to GM or one of their dealers for fixing up of this manufacturing defect free of charge. Is it correct view of mechanics.

    I need to know the procedure for replacement of Compressor and dryer as per workshop service manual.

    I will appreciate for the help.

    Thanks and best regards

    Ahmad Awan
  • garryshafgarryshaf Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Chevy Astro. My wife was in a rain storm last week and the wipers stopped while the switch was on. This has been happening more often over the last few months. I have the van in for repair. They want $400+ to replace the wiper motor unit. Before I let them proceed, does anyone have any experience or advice regarding the malfunction? Is there a smaller component that should be looked at?Is it easy enough to replace by oneself? Garry
  • nomaddienomaddie Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Chevy Astro Van... and I hear a humming in the rear end.. I think it might be the differential... Can anyone tell me about that, or what it would cost to get it fixed? Thanks
  • jw75jw75 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 chevy astro van , and my head lights along with the tail lights stay on unless I over ride them with the switch but then I have no day time running lights , could it be the sensor on top of the dash? :)
  • green4orestgreen4orest Member Posts: 1
    my 91 Chev. Van heater fan quit working on settings 1-2-3 but 4 worked fine. Until this summer when i needed the AC 4 quit working. i tried to find the fan so i could remove the module, but i cant find the fan. got any diagrams. or suggestions?
  • cbonsellcbonsell Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem. There was a recall on the circuit board that the wires for the wiper attach to. I took it to the dealer when I got the recall notice. It was a quick replacement. I heard it was bad solder joints on the circuit board. I would question the dealer about the recall. I know the recall was also on the Chevy trucks. Hope this helps.
  • hategmhategm Member Posts: 8
    Problem is wiring in door hinge area. Wires get old an brake. Suggest running new wires thur that area.
  • hategmhategm Member Posts: 8
    GM recalled 1.5 million trucks from 95-98 with faulting wiper motor. GM recall covered cost of replacement. Unfortually I had all ready replaced it myself to 67.00. GM did reimbust me for the cost not my labor.
  • hategmhategm Member Posts: 8
    GM Astro' s GMC are common. Heavy truck with all weight forward. Everyone know's they eat tires. I replace 2 tires every 18 months. I've replaced 6 tires on my 2000. GM weight problem ( design) can be reamdied by replace front end componets with Moog parts. You will pay more for them, but its worth it.
    Idler arms run $40.00 for Mug. You will need 2. Those factory ones are junk. I can say after problems with my 97 and 2000 GM's They will be the last ones I'll ever purchase.
  • eenaefeenaef Member Posts: 3
    Found the problem. Problem started to get a lot worse, stalling while driving even. I was looking at what it would take to replace fuel pump because several people (including Mr. Good (Bad) Wrench) telling me I had a bad pump ($289.00). Directly behind driver seat there is a connector that connects wiring harness from inside van to outside. This feeds several things including fuel pump. I unplugged connector (from under van) and got a face full of water. After looking for a while found the connector inside floor board sits in a little depression so any water/drinks the rug rats spill behind driver seat collects here and eventually gets into connector. (had to take side panel and driver seat out to pull carpet up) I blame the kids but it most likely is the loose rivets that the connector is attached to the floor with allows water to splash up from front tire and seep in around the inadequate gasket. When I found it I had about a 1/4" of water sitting on top of connector. I drilled out rivets cleaned connector w/ contact cleaner and dried everything with hair dryer. Disposed of flattened out foam gasket and reassembled w/ electrical grade silicone sealant. No water can get to connector now from above or below. After letting cure over night it started w/ no problem at all and has run perfectly. That was 10 days ago and problem is gone, in fact the van feels like it has a little more power too. It would have been interesting to see fuel pressure before and after this fix but I could not locate ports to hook gauge too.

    Another interesting thing, in this web site there are a lot of complaints about driver's window not working, mine also had not been working right (some times not going down some times not going up). GM here too said bad switch $79.00. Well I have not had any more problems with that either since this fix to fuel pump connector...related??? I think so because I didn't do anything to window switch, even though this circuit shouldn't have anything to do w/ windows it seems to have fixed it as well. So total cost of repair 3.99 tube of silicone and 2 rivets... sure beats the $289 + $79 I was getting ready to shell out for nothing. Best luck to all, van is running great again no more complaints. :):):):)
  • tonyodetonyode Member Posts: 1
    Recently, my blower fan will not work when it is put on setting 1 or 2. But it will work on 3,4 and 5. On 1 or 2, nothing is blowing out of the vent, although my AC light stays lit. Anyone have this problem, and if so.....any idea's on how to fix it or what to look for? I have checked fuses and all look ok. Any help would be great.
    Also, my ABS light comes on periodically? How do you fix this?
    I have also, very slowly over time, been losing coolant. I have had it checked, and there is no coolant in the oil, as the intake gasket is a common problem with these engines as I have read. I noticed some coolant recently around the thermostate housing. Possibly a leak there?
    Other then these issue's, with 60K miles, I have not had to put a dime into this vehicle and have been very pleased......knock on wood!
    Thanks for any info.
  • hategmhategm Member Posts: 8
    Would really like to thank the guy who mentioned the 1/8 tube. Spend 3 hrs in 90°F heat looking for problem. Came on the site and said, Hey it now makes sense. $3.88 tube and was back in business. Damn dog house takes to forever to remove and replace. No more vans after this one.
  • jbugjbug Member Posts: 1
    I love my 2000 Venture but my mechanic must think I'm nuts. There is this "hum" coming from somewhere near the dash area but it is intermittent. It can do it at a cold start or a warm start. If it is doing it, you can hear it stopped at a stop sign or doing 65mph. It sounds like a small fan running but it is not the ac fan, or the engine cooling fan. The rest of the family hears it too. Sometimes it's louder than others. But it never seems to do it for my mechanic. ANY IDEAS??? :confuse: ">
  • metwometwo Member Posts: 1
    once about every 1000 miles
    the entire cluster will fall off then bounse back up
    --speedometer ==all gauges drop but no power loss on van--
    this is only a year old van with 14000 miles
    --dealership says they cant find problem--
    says gm doesnt know what to do
    has anyone ever heard of this--
    need help with this one
  • cheeze74cheeze74 Member Posts: 30
    Your problem with your blower is more than likely the control board for the blower. I have a 98 venture with the same problem and replaced the board which is mounted on the passenger side way up toward the floorboard. The original board had small "resistors" mounted on it that burned up. The replacement board was made much heavier. I expect that this common failure caused G.M. to make a better board to do the job. I paid roughly $30.00 for the board at the dealer.
    As far as the coolant problem. I too had experienced the coolant level dropping slightly over a month or so. I re-filled it several times only to find it dropping again. After pressure testing the system I found a slow leak at the base of the intake manifold on the passenger side of the engine. I replaced the gasket myself, which was not a fun job but a learning experience. I feel that the leak was mainly from the ATV sealant at the base of the manifold and that the gaskets themselves were okay. I spent about $100.00 for the parts to do the job which I also decided to replace the spark plugs and o-ring on the distributor cap while in there doing the job.
  • cheeze74cheeze74 Member Posts: 30
    your speed control board which is mounted inside the blower compartment on the passenger side, is more than likely the problem. It is way up under the passenger side and fun to get to. It cost about $30.00 for a new board from the dealer.
  • kzevenakzevena Member Posts: 1
    Does this module also control the rear blower settings? I am having the same problem but the problem is with both the front and rear fan control...
  • rvalliervallie Member Posts: 1
    I have a 03 Chevy Venture LS and the A/C is leaking on the inside on the drivers side floor only. I have had the van on a rack and the water is draining out of the firewall but it appears that an elbow is missing from the drain line. Checked with a mechanic who said some vehicles have an elbow fitting at the firewall to direct the water downward. He stated that while driving, the water is blown back inside the firewall instead of dripping out because no elbow. My question is, if an elbow is needed, where do i purchase one? Also, does this make any sense?

  • noprshur2noprshur2 Member Posts: 1
    I've got a 95' Chevy Astro 4.3 liter, V-6. I have no exterior or interior lights. I also have no horn and no dash lights. Each time I take the key out of the ignition, the clock will reset to 12 o'clock. The hazard lights, turn signals, and dash gauges all work. I had the battery tested, and the test indicated that the battery was good.

    What started it all was; I got into my van at night time, started the van and turned on my headlights, well when I turned on the head lights the engine acted like it wanted to cut off by bogging down, but it did not cut off, it just hesitated and continued to idle like normal. I then turned off the engine, and tried to restart the van, but the engine just turned over and over and never cranked back up. Does anyone have a clue to what the problem might be? Thanks in advance for your replies.

  • suthngalsuthngal Member Posts: 1
    Our 2000 astro van had same symptoms. Problem was a blocked vacuum hose. Had vacuum hose replaced--problem solved.
  • poopscooperpoopscooper Member Posts: 4
    If fixed my previous probems thanks to you folks, appreciate it!

    Next problem...My 96 astro van will overheat when I turn on the AC. It takes around 30 minutes with the AC on then overheates. What would cause this???

    Thank you for all your help.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    1) Plugged radiator
    2) Broken Thermostat
    3) Bad fan clutch.

    The key to unlocking this riddle is; does it overheat more idling in traffic, or at highway speeds?

    If the first, fan clutch or thermostat should be looked at first.
    If the second, it's the radiator.
  • poopscooperpoopscooper Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply.

    Would this hold true if it does not overheat with AC off but only with AC on?

    I would think if it is the radiator, it would overheat regardless of AC on or off.

    I had the radiator pressure tested and mechanic said it was fine, no leaks. They replaced the thermo. but still overheats with AC on only. It is fine when the AC is off. Drives me crazy..."> o_O
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    No, the A/C will aggravate the condition by 5 times, actually, as it raises the temperature of the air in front of the radiator by at least 50 degrees.

    You didn't answer me on the highway or idling question - but if you replaced the thermostat already, have the radiator rodded out. It's not expensive to do, especially if you take it out yourself. You will not overheat anymore for a long time.
  • poopscooperpoopscooper Member Posts: 4
    On the highway it dosent seem to overheat as fast, sometimes not at all. On idle it will overheat with AC on. It only does this when the AC is on.

    Robbed out? Sorry, I don't know what that means...flushed?

    Thanks for your help nvbanker.
  • kbyrdkbyrd Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 astro van. The stop lights on each side do not work when the brake
    is pressed. The stop light over the doors works when the brake is pressed . The lights on the sides are dual light that are also the turn signal. The turn signal
    part of the light works fine. Why does the one light work and the others don't.
  • maddog3360maddog3360 Member Posts: 1
  • mquinonezmquinonez Member Posts: 3
    I have a 96 astro van that starts when it wants to.It goes like it,park it,try to start it and nothing..all gauges,lights,chimes it all comes on but starter does not turn.Getting juice to starter and battery and fuses are good.Let it sit anywhere from a couple of hours to a whole night and then it fires right up.I was thinking that when a fuse gets hot it seperates then when it cools down it makes contact again then starts.It's like when your car alarm goes off then u try to start the car and nothing happens.Please i'll take any info before my wife calls a taxi and leaves :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    Rodded, not Robbed. Any radiator shop will know what I'm talking about. However, if your problem is more low speed than high - I'm changing my diagnosis to a faulty fan clutch. Have that checked, I'll bet that's your problem.
  • coreonocoreono Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 chevy venture and it start to get a problem with
    the cooling fan.The fan don`t work properly because when
    they start to run to keep cool the engine they don`t,come to start
    when the temperature is over the half way and between the H way.
    I change the coolan & fan switch sensor, but that do not resolve
    the problem.I need to know what can I do for fix it,because it is
    not normal.I appreciate someone who help me.
  • evilplayevilplay Member Posts: 3
    Now a new problem today,the battery post on the negative side completely melted off,any ideas.
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210

    I had that problem with my 97. Turn the key sometimes and nothing happens not even a click. Wait a minute and try again and it would start. Turns out the starter was going bad so I had it replaced last year and no problems since. I also ended up replacing the battery and alternator around the same time. The only other thing you could check is the ground wire and the wire that goes to the starter from the battery. Sometimes that wire can rub on another part and wear the coating off. Good luck, the reman starters are $200 plus.
  • evilplayevilplay Member Posts: 3
    Thanks,thats what it was,a new starter did the trick.I was wondering if u have any of these things going on with your 97,both windows won't roll down inside dome light comes on when i'm driving and i hit a bump or go around a corner.It makes a funny clicking noise from the under the dash right by the doghouse the dome light comes on.Thanks for the info Mike
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    I have never had window problems (knock on wood) in the 2.5 years I have owned the van. I do have a strange knocking sound coming from under the front seats. It happens twice as the van is warming up from a could start then it never happens again until the next day on a cold start. It happens while driving down the road. I don't know what it is but nothing has happen yet from it. I rode in a 99 and it made the same noise. The problems I have had are 1-2 hard shift which required a complete trans rebuild(don't buy the gm replacement it will have the same defective parts in it as the original). I had coolent leaking out of the lower intake manifold gaskets so I replaced them. The last problem was the a/c not coming out of the vents which turned out to be a bad vacuum line under the hood. I still can't get cold air to blow out the rear a/c which is an aftermarket unit(van is a conversion). At 96,000 it is still running good even while pulling a 4000# camper at 80 mph. Just got back from a 5200 mile vacation and averaged 18-19 mpg driving 80 without the camper.
  • stonebusistonebusi Member Posts: 5
    I recently bought a 96 Astro AWD. I got a sweet deal on it because I knew it needed extensive work in the front end. I have since been told by multiple people (tech's and non-tech's) that this is a common problem in these vans. I like the van a lot. I have found that the problem begins in the idler arms, and if not corrected, extends to other steering and suspension parts. I am trying to find out if there is an upgraded idler arm (or whatever someone else has found to correct) to prevent this in the future. The only other thing I don't like about this van is that the "cupholders" in the console don't hold. When you accelerate or turn any drink you have will fall out of the console. Any suggestions?
  • jdubb1jdubb1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1990 astro, the alternator charges however sometimes it charges like it should other times the charge guage drops down closer to the bottom than in the middle. This is a new alternator I replaced the old one under warranty. When I rev the van up it will drop the charge guage. Any suggestions?
  • stonebusistonebusi Member Posts: 5
    I have a 96 AWD with 212000 miles and I love my truck, yes I said truck. I haul my kids, and all kinds of other stuff in it. I love the AWD in the winter, I can go anyhwere in the snow. We did have to put some money into the front end and intake manafold. I would love to trade it in one day for a new one, sad to hear that 2005 is the last year.
  • nvbankernvbanker Member Posts: 7,239
    a 20 year run is pretty phenomenal - I'm not sad to see it die as a passenger van. As a cargo van, which is what it was originally designed for, it is tough as nails. But when converted to a passenger fan, it is the worst of all designs. If GM had ever put out any other vans that were good, up to date, or not so wierd, only the adventuresome buyers would try one, this van would have been relegated to cargo uses 15 years ago.
  • thibl46thibl46 Member Posts: 1

  • wncjzpawncjzpa Member Posts: 2
    OK ,I have found the 1/8 tube that is cracked in half. How do I go about replacing the tube. I found both halfs of the tube but can not seem to find what the half coming from the drivers side hooks into. could someone please give me a breif walk through of how to replace this. What is the "doghouse"? thanks.
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    You are replying to a venture post. If you have a Venture than there is no dog house the engine is entirely accessible from under the hood(if you are a contortionist). The Astro has the dog house which is the center of the dash where the glovebox is located. It is 2 pieces, the outside is what you see while driving and is where the c/d player, and cup holders etc. It is removed with 2 screws at the top on on each side of the dash. The other two screws are at the bottom one on each side. When you remove the outer piece you will find another plastic piece that isn't decorative but, it has insulation under it to keep the engine heat out of the van. You have to remove the heater duct that is under the outer cover and then there are 2 bolts that screw into the firewall. Use a real long flat blade screw driver to remove. This process to remove and put back into the van when you are doen takes an hour. The vacuum line that needs replacing on the Astro can be done under the hood(no dog house removal). The line runs from behind the evaporator canister on the passengers side of the van and connects to the engine on the drivers side. There is a fitting that is attached to the intake manifold. It is an easy fix and the replacement tube is about $5.00 from GM. When you put the new one in run it over the plastic air intake assembly where it will not melt. If you have a Venture than I am not sure what the fix is for that A/C.
  • wncjzpawncjzpa Member Posts: 2
    Thanks. I fixed the problem on the Astro. All vents now work.
    Can anyone tell me where the low pressure service port is on the AC system of the 99 Chevy Astro???????????????
  • alastairhalastairh Member Posts: 1
    Hello there,
    I have a deteriorating problem on my van. When I bought it used, the blower/fan only worked on 4 and not on 1/2/3. Not a big deal.
    Recently however, it has - intermittently - stopped working on 4 as well. There is no rhyme or reason as to when it works or can have 3 or 4 days of it working without any problems on 4 and then a week of nothing.
    A month or so however, things continued to go downhill. It suddenly decided to blow onto the windshield only, and not on the face or floor vents. I rigged something up to redirect the a/c from the windshield via a pvc pipe onto my face to try and keep cool in the humidity. Unfortunately, this isn't very practical and not making me look a cool dude to friends and family!
    I purchased a new contoller unit (about 8" long with the three knobs for the blower, heat/ac control and the locator button (floor, wwindshield/face). I was dismayed to find that this didn't solve the problem at all - everything remained as it was before and I therefore returned the new part.
    I'm hoping therefore that someone can shed some light on what the problem may be. I'm being a cheapskate by not going to Chevy as the van has done 200,000 miles and i don't want to throw a ton of money into something that may well be on its's last legs anyway. I'm hoping that one inexpensive fix will sort out both issues.
    Any comments or suggestions whatsoever would be HUGELY appreciated.
    thanks alastair
  • stonebusistonebusi Member Posts: 5
    The "buck and misfire" symptom sounds more like fuel injectors to me. I'm not a mechanic, but have had 4 vehicles that all did that and all 4 were fuel injectors. I would recommend checking them and/or cleaning them. Also, check all the other firing compontents...plugs, wires, etc.
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    Refer to the lst few lines of post 246 on how to fix the problem on the a/c not blowing out the vents. Very simple fix involving an 1/8" dia plastic vacuum line. I am not sure on fixing the blower motor switch problem, it has not happen yet to my van. I would have probably done the same and purchased a new control unit. If it is an intermittant problem that it usually is caused by a loose wire or connection.
  • stonebusistonebusi Member Posts: 5
    The low pressure port is the only one the guage that you get when you buy the service kit will fit. I have a 96 and it's in the passenger side engine compartment next to the exhaust manifold. The end of the guage that hooks to this port should only fit one fitting. That's the low side port.
  • bassykingbassyking Member Posts: 3
    I have 1998 Venture LS and I be driving along on a hot day with the air conditioner on and then for no reason the electrical system inside the cabin shuts down. The system shuts down the A/C system, blower fans, radio, door locks and power windows. Everything is quiet. What stays on is the interior lights, signal lights and head lights??? Has anyone ever had this happen to them? If so did you find the cause and what was the fix? This is driving me nuts???
  • wildone3wildone3 Member Posts: 1
    Blower motor in '99 chevy astro van making lots of noise.
    Sounds like a bushing is without grease. Do these motors have bearings or bushings? Sounds like a leaf is caught inside housing but has been making noise on & off for 4 weeks now. Van has 199k miles.
    Also drivers power window only goes up 2" at a time. Needs to rest for 10 minutes before it goes up another 2". Similar problem going down.
    latest problem is that ac compressor clutch sticks and doesn't engage. Makes a
    rattle/ buzzing noise for 5 seconds then engages.
    Thanks Sam
  • 9astro99astro9 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem on my 99 - the dash vents won't work. I found the info from post #246 an found a small (maybe 1/8") outside diameter black vacuum hose behind the evap canister and I can follow back but cannot find where it attaches to the intake manifold on the right side of the engine. Does anyone have a more detailed description, pictures or a schematic of where it connects?

    Thank you!
  • cobcob Member Posts: 210
    You should find the other end of that 1/8 inch dia line attached to the intake manifold on the drivers side of the engine. There are a couple of lines that attach to a fitting that is screwed into the manifold about half way back on the motor. The a/c compressor hides it from view when you look from under the hood.
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