Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see May lease deals!

GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Starting/Stalling/Idling Problems



  • Options
    alberta4alberta4 Member Posts: 4
    My mechanic sucked. It was the spark plug wires. once they were changed no problem. A good test to see if this is the problem is to take the van to a car wash and spray the wires. If this makes the problem worse, you know you need new wires.
  • Options
    bwgmcvanbwgmcvan Member Posts: 10
    Same here,
    It was the wires & distributor - ran great after that although I sold the van 1-1/2 years ago but she served me well...

  • Options
    lmmaralmmara Member Posts: 6
  • Options
    lmmaralmmara Member Posts: 6
    Our 2000 GMC Safari SLE misfires off idle when the engine is cold and has just been started. It starts fine and idles with no skip as long as the throttle pedal isn't pressed. The skipping continues until the van is completely warmed up. It then runs absolutely fine, for the rest of the day, as long as the engine is not allowed to cool off thoroughly.
  • Options
    vprovostvprovost Member Posts: 1
    I have 230,000 miles on him . He's been a great van for the ten years I've had him . Two weeks

    ago I went to get gas and he wouldn't start . A friend helped us get him home . We changed the

    pick-up coil and the ignition coil , because there was no spark . We now have spark but he will

    only start with starter fluid . When he is running ,runs great . Please help this is our only

    transportation .
  • Options
    lmmaralmmara Member Posts: 6
    edited October 2013
    I don't have a good explanation for why these steps worked but they did. I replaced the distributor cap and rotor. I put a bottle of fuel injector cleaner in the tank. Walla our van runs well. I'm not sure how it will do in the long run but for now the problems we had are gone.

    Thank you to all here for your suggestions.
  • Options
    astrohand96astrohand96 Member Posts: 1
    04 Safari, runs when cool, once the temp goes above about 83 during the day and in traffic - it starts to sputter and then slowly quits, - turn key off, wait about 20 to 30 seconds - turn on and wait to hear pump come on, engine starts and runs about 30 seconds and same thing again, repeat start up in traffic , it will do this about 4 to 5 times then goes back to running.

    only happens in traffic and middle of day, at might it can be 85 and runs with no problem. have plenty of gas, new fuel filter and nothing on the dash - no codes. ?

  • Options
    timmahhtimmahh Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2013
    and starts and runs fine when its over 45.

    Picked up this van earlier this year from people I knew. no major issues and was ran last winter by previous owner. approx 185K on her. Is a Debut Conversion Van, Door tag says Built in '99. May be a 98.
    I picked up a coolant temp sensor to change out for it (no pigtail version) and i noticed mine is a bit different as it only has one wire and lead on it with a single wire, and the one I got to replace it has the same connector shape but has 2 pins on it... So that will be taken back and replaced with the correct unit.

    Issue started to occur a few months back on the first of a few cold days here in the Mitten State. Would not start in am, then started early pm no issues. seemingly ok afterwards. Then a month later it happened again. same deal, except it started an just shortly afterwards, hr or 2 max, then seemingly ok. the next week, it did it again, and that is when I noted the Below 45ish*F pattern emerging.

    So long as it was warm outside, basically at least say 45*F outside, it starts and runs just fine with zero notable quirks or issues. but once it was about 40* and Lower outside, then it would do its thing. Once or Twice, I do seem to recall an ever so slight hesitation/miss in the course of normal driving. But it was so minor, I doubt most people would have noted it.

    Starts up great. Runs about 2 to 3 seconds, then shuts down as if you turned the ignition off. Ether sprayed through the intake will keep it running when this issue is happening. had it running a Minute or so today on spraying ether, hoping to create enough heat to warm it up and get it running so I can drive it over to the Mechanics place, so he can freeze his [non-permissible content removed] and beat up his hands, while I freeze my [non-permissible content removed] and go to work outside and make some money to pay him. lol

    Overall though, it is the same issue until it gets over that low 40ish hump. When it's warm outside, it starts and runs just fine.

    Check Engine Light has came on and went off, but I haven't a code reader, nor have I taken it by to have it looked at, now its below 40* all the time, and I would like to get this resolved.

    I have replaced:
    Cap,Rotor,Coil,Wires, and picked up new plugs, but have not replaced them yet, as it seems an unlikely culprit.
    Considering multiple plugs would have to fail simultaneously to happen, and all because of the colder outside temps, which just seems to be a very low probability. It has been a few years since the previous owner did a Tune Up as he can Recall, (maybe 4 or 5), SO these things were replaced just out of good maintenance principles.

    So, got plugs, just have not changed them out yet. Also swapped out the Intake Air Temp Sensor that just slips into the air intake duct between the air cleaner and the intake to no avail.

    Fuel pump gives me just a smige over 60lbs of pressure when its turned on, and runs steady at 56 to 58lbs when it starts and runs in the warmer temps. Fuel pump seems to be ok.

    Dist Shaft is Solid, zero Play laterally, and no play in rotation.

    Warming the Coolant Temp Sensor and Distributor with hair dryer did not "FOOL" the sensors into starting and Running.

    When it starts then stalls and starts and runs, the only other difference I can note besides the below 45*F Temps, is that it stalls, and refused to run. It is almost as if it is being purposely shut down by a sensor. Had one guy who is a mechanic to get the Coolant Sensor and replace it, as it is probably reading its too cold outside to run and the computer is then shutting the motor down, making the decision the engine block may be frozen solid as its faulting out reading its 40 below outside, along that nature.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • Options
    imightbehereimightbehere Member Posts: 1

    Ok, Ive read a few and scanned a few, most of you seem to have over 200k miles, think about this, as the "poppets" age they develop a type of resin inside the tubes and the actual poppet valve that hardens the plastic parts, requiring greater effort by the fuel pump causing premature failure of pumps, one after another with a "fresh" pump fixing the problem for a few days/weeks. ignition parts are usually pretty solid unless installed improperly (against metal of any type for the wires) fuel delivery is buried and hard to get to, most people dont use fuel injector cleaner every 20k adding to the problem. If all ignition checks good, It's like;y the spider injector assembly inside the intake at fault, while cleaners do clean metal injectors well in most cases, most have a hard time softening 200k mile fuel lined brittle plastic. New spider has fixed many of these problems all but one time I have replaced one. 9 replaced, one wasn't the spider, I was young and didn't care and I don't know what wound up fixing that one.

  • Options
    roadpounderroadpounder Member Posts: 1
    Ok I don't know if this will help anyone but it seems the same as many of the posts. I have a 1997 Astro that started to be a bad at starting in the morning or cutting out on starting. Coil was changed but no result. Had the battery checked and was not 100% so changed it. the fault still remained. Then on advise of a friend I put a voltage meter across the battery and cranked the engine. To my surprise the voltage dropped from 12 volts to between 9.6 and 10.2 volts. It turned out that the starter was drawing too much load due to tight bearings. On changing the starter all the faults went and the van runs fine. My friend told me that the starter can seem to be ok and spin normally but it draws a high load that starves other things of voltage, EG coil, fuel pump, ecu ect. So if you have this sort of issue check the voltage drop when cranking the engine.The voltage should not drop by any more than 0.5 to 1 volt
  • Options
    lulualulua Member Posts: 1
    Here is the answer to most of these starting / fuel problems here: It's a bad Spider injector. I had all the not starting issues...not when wet, not when humid...any old reason. Tried everything except replacing the Spider injector. A buddy asked if I knew about it being a problem. I said, nope. Replaced it and instantly no more problems !!!
Sign In or Register to comment.