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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Real World MPG



  • oh jeez! not that! how awful!
    I hope you get that van fixed soon! I've given up hope on my astro and will be trying to sell it soon....I loved that van, it was SO much roomier than your standard minivan and it hauled alot of things, but I've lost the battle with gas prices and can't take it anymore, I'm sad to admit, I'll be looking for a small sedan soon.....curses! :cry:
  • joulsjouls Posts: 8
    How much you think will cost to rebuilt the transmission?

    Is it worthed?

    Thanks for your reply.

  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239
    A few years back, I got the transmisison rebuilt in my 2001 AWD Safari van. Before taxes, it cost $1,200 - canadian dollars. Not too sure how much they charge in your specific region. Might be worth calling a few tranny shops in your area. If wondering, my van lost 2nd and "R" gears. It only has 1st and 3rd. Thus, completed removal and rebuild - with a special kit. Your Astro/Safari van may need the same kit.

    If my GMC Safari van "blew up" tomorrow, I'd probably get a 2007 "demo" Uplander Van. This year has the bigger front brakes, larger size engine and a few other design improvements the other previous GM van models don't have. Demo is around $18K - compared to the $30K of a 2008 models. If I neeed to haul stuff, I'd connect my larger size engine "smaller" mini-van to my 6x10 or 4x6 utility trailer. And when not needed, I'd simply back the trailer into the bush and pull its pin (sort of speaking). Thus, no need for a larger size mini-van (that's a pig on gas).

    Hope this helps - some how.

  • joulsjouls Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info Spike99, I'll try to do everything on my side.

    and will see if I decide to sell or fix this vehicle.

    Have a nice day.
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    I had my 97 AWD trans rebuilt in 2005 for just over $2000 and that was 50,000 miles ago. I have since sold it with the camper we towed behind it and the new owner is still driving it with over 130,000 miles on it. After the rebuild it shifted smooth into each gear and never missed a beat. Make sure you use a reputable repair shop and don't get a remanufactured GM unit make sure they rebuild yours with the upgraded aftermarket parts. The GM reman will be no better than the original trans that failed.
  • joulsjouls Posts: 8
    COB...I just decided to put the vehicle for sale.

    I do not trust in any repair shop near by plus I velieve is not worth for me to spend as you said $2000 usd.

    I'll rather get some money and use it to get a newer car.

  • hi
    Just wondering if you knew about flushing the transfer case? My 99 Safari was hard shifting after a 2 hr highway drive, and we got the transfer case flushed and it fixed it. There is some known issue with it that came out in a GMC bulletin. Most people assume it's the transmission, but it's not.
  • Just got this '97 Astro, 2 WD. Finished a 400 mile trip with about 600 lbs of cargo in the back. 25.3 MPG @ 60-70 MPH!!! Wow!
  • joulsjouls Posts: 8
    Hi GreenSafari,

    Where is the transfer case located? is that the rear axle thing?

    before I made that trip, I took the van to get the seals and bearings replaced on the rear axle, they actually remove and replace the oil.

  • I'd like to know what method you used to calculate this mileage, since it is about 30% too high. I've owned 3 of these vans and never got close to that.
  • What are you burning? E-85? If so, that mileage is probably correct. Otherwise, do you have alot of weight in this thing?
  • Where did you get a 5 speed automatic? They only have 4 speeds. (4L60E)
  • There are two knock sensors usually, one at the rear of the right head, one at the side of the left head, round objects about 2" in diameter that screw in. It is possible your distributor gear is worn out, throwing your timing off. The glowing exhaust IS NOT NORMAL. You need to find out if this is a result of timing problems or if your converter is plugged. If it is, replace it ASAP. If you don't, you will melt out the core, plug your exhaust, and risk burning exhaust valves out, which will be very expensive.
  • 1870 codes are often caused by faulty valve bodies and can be fixed fairly easily. Of course most shops will say you need a rebuild, that is how they make their money. The 4L60E transmission used in these vans is very tough and rated for much more power than they have. With maintainance, They should easily last 250K or more.
  • tstormtstorm Posts: 10
    I averaged 15.9 mpg with my last tank, using the air just about the whole time and driving 90% in the city. I've gotten around 20 mpg on the hwy on trips but I drive 75 mph and I know slowing down to 65 would save some gas and get me closer to 23 mpg... the window sticker claimed the van gets 16/23 which is pretty close if you don't drive too fast.
  • joulsjouls Posts: 8
    So do you really recoment that I get the Transmission down and clean the valve body?

    I actually found on you tube a very nice videos on how to give maintenance to that Transmission.

    I'm really going to do it.

  • I filled the tank and set the trip odometer to zero. I made my trip, several hundred miles, then filled the tank again. Both times I filled the tank, I did not attempt to fill beyond the first auto-shuttoff of the pump.
    I divided the number of gallons put in into the number of miles I travelled. I triple-checked my math. I didn't believe it either, but there it was. I was hauling, maybe 800 pounds in the back.
  • 68ramair68ramair Posts: 3
    I have had 3 astro/safari vans for about 10 years. Driven highway behind trucks to reduce wind at 45, 50, 60, 70, and many other speeds for many miles and many years. I have never reached better than 20 mpg.
  • partydpartyd Posts: 2
    My brother rebuild the tranny and install parts from a different gm vehicle this was 4 years ago i don't remember the details but it work , it is the same electronic tranny
    my rps are very low on the freeway , i also have new oxygen sensor and the van :shades: is been lower 1 inch
This discussion has been closed.