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Chevy Vans: Problems & Solutions



  • weswingweswing Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply. I'll keep that in mind.
    It hasn't happened in 4 days.
    My mechanic said it could be the neutral safety switch.
    But diagnosis is hit or miss unless it altogether won't crank.
    I'm going a long trip soon.
    Hoping the Venture will get us there and back!
    Thanks again.
  • yep. i got sucked into one of these 3.4L v6 lemons too. now i'm trying to unload it. anyone tried "stop leak" or something similar as a temporary fix? just long enough to trade it back to a chevy dealer?
  • gopmommagopmomma Posts: 1
    I was told that the AC check valve is bad in my Astro. The AC works (blows out cold air) however it will only blow out on the windshield. If you turn the switch for floor or vents it still keeps coming out the windshield. I have a check valve here from the junkyard. Can someone tell me where to locate it in the van to be replaced?

  • Yesterday, my wife's 2000 Chevy Venture failed to start after trying to jump-start the vehicle. I started playing with the fuses and the bell chime for the keys in the ignition started up. What were your mechanic's findings on the second incident of your Venture not turning over?
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    FYI, Wrong solution for the problem. See posts under Chevy/GMC Astro Van about vacuum line. There is a small 1/8" dia black plastic line that runs from right behind the a/c evaporator on the passengers side to the drivers side of the intake manifold. The plastic line is routed along the intake by the upper radiator hose/thermostat and it melts from the heat. Part can be purchased from dealer for around $10 and when replacing it route it over the plastic air intake to keep it cooler. This should solve your problem which seems to be common on these vans, poor design.
  • kakojrkakojr Posts: 5
    when your van cools down, check the radiator fluid in the radiator, not the overflow. if its low, your losing fluid, could be slowly.. most likey, the water pump is starting to leak... venture vans are bad for water pumps.. they still work but slowly leak.. slow enough to not even notice till you start running hot then eventually over heat... that was my problem and that was the solution... hope it helps... oh yeah, if you find out that the problem is the water pump, that part cost less than 50 bucks so dont let anyone rip you off... you shouldn't have to pay more than 150 bucks for that fix...
  • kakojrkakojr Posts: 5
    the thermostat on a venture van 3.4 liter is pretty easy, it takes roughly an hour to 2 hours to fix... dont let the location scare you. you only have to take off the air cleaner assembly the bottom bolt is a little difficult to reach but possible with a 13mm ratchet wrench... then just twist the housing and pull it out. replace the thermostat then put it back together... use the dex cool antifreeze and fill it up.. problem solved... if you cant do it yourself, dont pay more than 150 dollars to fix it, or your gettin ripped off...
  • mike73mike73 Posts: 1
    93 Gmc Safari

    The part of the ac that is belt driven runs for about 7 seconds then shuts off i think its the compressor, and the metal cylinder that usually sweats condensation
    ( Condensor?) is hot to the touch any suggestions on what it might be would be greatly appreciated :sick:
  • rdichrisrdichris Posts: 6
    I had the same problem, 97 Astro

    Let me know if you get info and I will do the same

  • rdichrisrdichris Posts: 6
    Sounds like low on freon

  • losfreddylosfreddy Posts: 1
    On my 93, Chevorlete Astro, i came into some trouble with the radio. By accident, a knife got into the ciggarette lighter and blew out the internal lights, buttons on the dash and the radio. Sounds like it would be the fusses, but it wasnt. I changed the fusses so many times and it didnt work. So i went out and bought a new car radio and after installation it didnt work. I went to rub together the red and yellow wires,(which are the power wires). this was so if ther was a spark id know there was power and if there wasnt the problem was up the line. by connecting those wires it turned on my Radio, Internal lights, buttons on the dash, and cigarrete lighter outlet. But it only works if the key is turned and if i keep the red and yellow wire touching. Why is this? could this be causing more of my troubles with the fuel pump,,?,which is either broken or has no power going to it? can anyone explain this?
  • tina503tina503 Posts: 2
    My husband and I purchased a used 02 Venture $17K w/ 40,500 miles 11/04 for me. I was so excited to find an affordable used van with all the features I wanted (dual power sliding doors, leather interior, CD player w/ GREAT sounding stereo, captains chairs w/ cup holders, lots of storage bins, very roomy, 3rd row seat folds down flat). Things were going great until early 4/05 when the CD player stopped working - wouldn't pull in a CD. No one drives the van but me or is ever in the car (my kids are small) without me and I didn't break it! I've had other cars with CD players - I know how to work it!

    Took it to the closest dealership and they told me to replace the radio/cd player with a refurbished unit would be $550! I about choked. We decided to do it. Then mid-May I'm sitting at a stop light and the temp gauge is sitting all the way in the red hot - then check engine light goes on, then check oil light goes on. I about croaked! Take it to the dealer, they say not sure...maybe cylinder head warped because it kind-of over heated, but didn't really overheat so coolant didn't kick in to cool it..and possibly warped the cylinder head. (They never did come up with a theory on why it overheated!) Would cost $500 to tear the engine down and diagnose the problem - not to mention the cost to try and fix it! They then continued to hee and haw about what was wrong for 2 days, so we had it towed back to the dealership where we bought it...they discredited the warped head diagnosis and said it was probably the gaskets (but would never know because the 1st dealership threw them out while tearing the engine down.) :cry:

    After 2nd dealership replaces the gaskets, $1,000 later and 9 days later, I have my car back (this dealer picked up half the tab - this is where we bought it and they felt really bad about the problems). One week later the A/C stops working!! Then the next day the temperature gauge starts fluctuating all over the place (never all they way over to hot, mind you - so coolant probably not kicking in). It's now back at the dealership where we bought it - I'm still waiting to see what all is wrong this time. :lemon: We've already sunk $1,500 into this flippin' car since April. :mad:

    I'm looking an Odyssey tonight - I think we're going to lease a $29K car - trading this stupid thing in - and be done with it! I really did like the Venture when it was running, but I'm a Mom and I need a dependable car! One lesson for sure, don't buy a Used Venture without buying the extended warranty - dummy me! :(
  • dhehndhehn Posts: 3
    I, and many others, have the same problem. I have been using a stop leak product and it has dramatically slowed (if not stopped) the leak. Fortunately, my gasket is leaking to the outside and I haven't seen any coolant in my oil. Given this, I am going to see if I can go with the stop leak solution for a while. I know that I will need to flush the system periodically and replace the coolant with some more stop leak, but I am ok with that.
  • huskyhusky Posts: 1

    I just have a question. I am an Australian living in Kuwait. I have jst bought myself a Venture 2001 (used). The car was imported from Canada so it never ran in the hot climate of kuwait which reaches 50 degrees celcius.

    I have two questions if some can have the answer it would be great.
    1. The engine coolant temperature is usually about the half way mark on the indicator, b ut at very hot days it reaches the 2 third mark. Is this normal?

    2. The AC is excellent, but it seems that when the engine temperature goes up to the two thirds mark it shuts down the AC compressor, until th temperature gies down to about just over half way then the AC compressor starts again. Is this normal?
  • freddo634freddo634 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Venture the issue I have is we have a whine somewhere in the front end, it whines at highway speeds and does not do it all the time. It comes from somewhere in the front (engine,tranny ) not sure which. Anyone have any ideas ?
  • scottherescotthere Posts: 1
    I have a '93 Chevy Astro Van. Purchased it with 175,000 Miles 2 years ago. Now has 195,000 miles. Has been GREAT until recently.

    In the last couple of weeks it has stalled a couple times at stop lights. Has started right back up.

    But twice, after it was driven and sat for 1 to 2 hours, it would not start. Cranked over very fast, but didn't even hint of starting. Both times I sprayed some starter fluid into the air cleaner housing and it started, and stayed running.

    When it is running it doesn't get fuel starved when pulling hard up a hill, so I'm thinking it's not a fuel filter. And seems to me a fuel pump would either work or not- and not be prompted to work by starter fluid.

    Please offer any advice as to how to diagnose and/or fix.

  • whamiltonwhamilton Posts: 1
    I also have a 2000 venture van that dies without warning, and will crank but will not start. The fuel gauge goes wild and the pass key light comes on, we crank it and crank it but will not start had a friend come over and look at it today and the gauges starting working properly and then it started WE HAVE NO CLUE any help appreciated. scared to drive it afraid it will not start. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • pilgreenpilgreen Posts: 1
    I too have a Chevy Venture Van 2001. I am so disgusted. Last summer when we were leaving to come home from vacation my air condition stopped working. I took somewhere to get it fixed it cost almost $200. When it started getting warm again this year the air wouldn't work again. I paid another $150. It still didn't work. Now I'm being told the condenser is bad and it will cost between $500 and $600 to fix. On top of that we had a bad wheel bearing that cost $170 to fix. Now I'm told because my van is running hot like the problem you were experiencing I have a bad head gasket that will cost about $1000. My van only has 45,000 miles on it. Who would expect all these problems. I just had to break it to my 8 year old and 5 year old daughters that we won't be going on our planned vacation because we have to use our money to fix the van. They cried their eyes out. I am so disgusted I don't plan to ever buy another Chevrolet product.
  • bill3rdbill3rd Posts: 1
    I had very similar experience with my 2001 Chevy Astro, if I didn't have a concience I would have let it roll off a cliff! :sick:
    I changed , wires, distributor, rotar and up graded to bosh plugs, all from Auto Zone, to help the engine run smoother. It later got worse and didn't want to start when the temperature rose to 72 degrees.
    My hi-tech mechanic used his diagnostic computer but could only diagnose when speratic problem occured. He likes to find the problem before he starts changing parts (guessing). Eventually my 2001 astro would not start! and sounded as if it was cranking in the reverse direction. I even replace 2nd position plug wire (2nd time) from right front do to some possible carbon arching. :confuse:
    Ulimately he changed the Crank Case Sensor, and the Coil do to some discoloration on the unit. A week later I than experienced major mis-firing.
    Results/Analysis: He replaced the rotar and distributor with Delco Brand, and that seemed to fix my problem. I also found out it is the nature of my particular engine to run rough. :)
    He shared with me that some after-market items such as the rotar and distributor some times do not meet OEM specifications.
    Incadently: Auto Zone refused to refund my distributor and rotar do to it being after 90 days. :mad: But they did exchange my wires.
  • kennydkennyd Posts: 1
    similar problem here. head gasket blown at 67k and learning that others have similar problems. Has anyone made an progress with GM?
  • carameacaramea Posts: 1
    We bought our van 10/04. I was very excited to have a van with the DVD player and all the extra bells and whistles but everything that has gone wrong has been a fortune to fix. The first thing was the headsets for the DVD player, the dealership had to replace the DVD player because of a defective infrared signal, that was $1800 out of their pockets and not mine at least.
    Now the built in amplifier in the stereo is blown so no sound out of the speakers, but the kids can still watch movies or listen to the radio from their headphones. Nothing for the people up front though. Out of warranty now, the radio can be serviced for $600 or replaced for $1200.
    And last but not least, the fuel sensor is shot. It alternates between telling me the car is full and empty, along with the annoying low fuel jingle. A repair shop said about $400 for a new fuel sensor. Any suggestions? Cheaper alternatives? This van was not cheap and with the payments I can't afford these kinds of repairs! :cry:
    I guess though reading these posts I should be grateful that it is running at all!
  • rainsrains Posts: 1
    heres the problem! i have an 88 astro van v6.the van runs great in the morning and then in the afternoon it seems to starve for fuel.its not overheating but it seems to be vaporlocking on me.maybe not?but it does not die on me when it seems to be vapor locking on me. it seems to only run on the gas that the fuel pump is pumping in this only happens in the afternoon as the day gets hotter and i sit at a stop light or in it vapor locking on me or could the catalyc converter be going out.i did notice that my fuel lines are next to my manifold could this be the problem?help please!!!! thanks
  • pjw73nhpjw73nh Posts: 4
    I have 2000 Venture short wheelbase. 69K miles. Runs great. recently, the AC is acting up. The Venture has 5 dash vents. One on the left, one on the right, and a 3-gang in the middle.

    Here is the issue. The right (passenger) one, and the right-most one of the 3-gang in the middle, blow very cold.(normal cold). The left one, and the two left-most ones of the 3-gang, blow much warmer. What coul;d possibly cause this. I would've thought the vents were all connected together.

    Any help much appreceiated.


  • arthur8arthur8 Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 Astro that almost hums rather than buzzes, but just as loud. Sometimes when the wind is behind me it does not do that. A cross wind will make it give short bursts. All this at speeds around 60 - 70 MPH. I have heard it is the plastic grill in the front -- I am going to put some chicken wire in front for awhile and see if it will break up this harmonic.
  • arthur8arthur8 Posts: 5
    See email 178.
  • I have the exact same problem with my 98 Montana, the sister GM van of yours. When I find out more on this I will try to let you in on it. I have a gut feeling from looking around the web for symptoms and solutions, that the HVAC Module has a problem (see 00823d801be979.jsp)

    I did have the system recharged two weeks back after testing it for vacuum, and things were fine ... temporarily. I have theories but of course I would prefer the answer!!!

    I thought the exact thing as you that all the vents were connected together too.

  • pjw73nhpjw73nh Posts: 4

    Tnx for the reply. I am glad someone else has the problem (well, not really glad, but it's good to know that I am not the only one with it. It came on all of a sudden.

    When you had it recharged, you say it DID solve the problem, but only temporarily? I was suspecting a low refrigerant condition, but then why would some of the vents be cold, and others not.

    I couldn't get you link to work. it says page \can't be found. Do you have it saved anywhere that you could email me?

    If I find out anything I'll pass it along. We couldn't be the only two people with this issue. Could we?


    [email protected]
  • Hi Paul,

    The link should work if you copy the whole thing to the .jsp end and paste it into the browse address bar. The last diagram (#5) seems to be where the control is.

    Here it is again, for ease: 00823d801be979.jsp

    The diagram is under the heater core diagnostic: they won't give you an a/c diagnostic for fear of litigation ... danger and EPA regulations.

    They provide some general pointers on locating leaks here: 00823d801bdf96.jsp

    The recharge did work ... all vents.

    After studying diagram 5, it cannot be at the HVAC control module for our vans. There is only one vent outlet from the module for max a/c. Could be good news as the passenger side vent is still blowing cold air means the problem is closer the vent and may not be the a/c system itself. I did read something about a vent control coming loose but the problem we seem to have is that the control on the dash works ( the shut off for the vents themself).

    For the thread, I have a stock extended Montana version of the 1998 Transport. It does not have dual zone air controls. Just a rotating control on the vent that now brings hot air into the drivers side vents when engaged. I have the left and centre vents in the centre console blowing hot air along with the drivers side vent. My passenger vents, right one in centre console and passenger side vent are blowing cold air.

    Feeling em, baffled,

    Larry / ON
  • Took the Venture to a fluid change shop to have the tranie flushed this weekend. The manager refused to do it because the fluid is rather black and he doesn't want to risk the transmission failing after a fluid change. What!!!! :mad:

    I have never towed with the van and the original owner(s) lived and worked in San Fransisco driving the hills. I have never ever had a shifting problem or an overheating problem. So, why would there be such a risk to do a survice? :confuse:

    I now have it scheduled to go into a transmission shop for a full survice, just in case something does go wrong it's in a shop where it can be fixed.

    Anyone else have any service related problems with trainie flushes?
  • gretsch1gretsch1 Posts: 1
    No, it is not. I have the same van with the same problem. Just happened yesterday.
    Any solutions yet?
This discussion has been closed.