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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Starting/Stalling/Idling Problems



  • lawaia11lawaia11 Posts: 1
    Im having trouble removing fuel lines for GMC Safari pass. Van Yr.2000 do i need a certin tool or equipment.
  • ddreierddreier Posts: 4
    Here is my story.
    About 2 years ago my 2000 Safari started having all the problems described in the previous post here. Error code p300 random misfires.
    Engine would act up when it was wet out rain and snow.
    After a complete tuneup wires,cap,rotor,sparks fuel filter and a complete check of the fuel system and injectors it left my mechanic scratching his head.
    Now for the clincher at the same time the engine problems started my turn signal switch started to act flakey the left momentary turn signal stopped working and when it was wet and cold the turn signal would work on and off depending on the weather conditions.
    In my mind it was time to trade my van in and be done with it.
    But I love this van and did not want to part with it.
    So I started thinking could it be the turn signal switch causing a short to cars circuitry when it is wet out causing the misfires.
    Would my mechanic think I was a total moron if I told him my theory.
    Well I bought a new switch assembly cheap and had my mechanic put it in not telling him about my theory or telling him I was still having engine misfire problems.
    Well it has been a year now without any engine problems in any kind of weather.
    Runs like a champ.

    Who would of thought!
  • My 1993 GMC Safari has been sitting in the driveway unused for about a week. Before this it ran just fine. When I tried to start it the alarm went off and the engine wouldn't start. The batteries for the remote door lock switch had run out, so I replaced them thinking I could disarm the alarm. No such luck. Tried to start it again, alarm went off. Now nothing works - no lights, power door switches won't work, the alarm light has gone off, etc. Thought it might be the battery (which is new, by the way.) Tried to jump it to no avail. Is it possible that the security system somehow disabled something preventing the engine from starting? If so, what do I do to bypass it? I bought this vehicle used about a month ago, so there's no user's manual. I love my truck (van) and want to drive it. Can anyone help?
  • keicokeico Posts: 4
    Ok here we go again

    9 months after I rebuild the fuel pump, it just died.

    Was parked in front of real estate office paying rent, and that was all she wrote.

    She cut off and I knew it was the fuel pump

    Had it towed to the house. Could not here the pump when you turn key on.

    I verified the pump was getting voltage.

    Why oh why so many problems I hear about these van with bad fuel pumps

    Well anyway ordered the entire assembly. later will order another one for backup.

    Lets see what happens
  • Hello all. I hope someone will benefit from my misfortunes with my 1999 Astro. I think they call them Astro's because you have to work your Astro off to keep them running. Anyway, I've read quite a few posts regarding no start issues and the two problems that I encountered were low fuel pressure on start and a wire bundle getting wet behind the battery. If you have one of these vans and when ever it rains it refuses to start, go and get your trusty leaf blower. Start from the relay box wire bundle above the battery and blow air into the covering around all the wires. Work your way down making sure you get a good blast of air in and around all the bundles. Try starting. Obviously if the van cranks up you're going to have to better seal this area for rain intrusion.

    Regarding fuel pressure I did have another no start issue when it got cold. I live in Florida and when it gets below 60 we consider it somewhat nippy. And so did the van. It would crank and crank just like my previous rain problem but it turned out the fuel pressure dropped to 45 and it just wasn't enough for it to start. Replaced the fuel pump and I was back in business. By the way I decided to cut a hole in the floor using a drill and tin snips so if I ever have to replace another pump it'll be a snap. I did read somewhere that fuel pressure has everything to do with these vans and I believe it. What was interesting was that when I initially tested the fuel pressure the manual says it should go between 55 and 61 psi. It did that at first, but dropped when I started cranking. Basically I was getting intermittant starts by cranking (less than 5 sec), coming off the starter for a split second and then cranking again. By the way, if your van doesn't start all the time due to fuel pressure I'd recommend starting with the fuel filter. After you change it see if you can blow air through it. That will tell you for sure if it was restricting your flow.

    So you're all aware I did approach both no starts as an ignition problem. I did all the basics. Cap, roter, wires, plugs, coil and I ohmed out everything I could get a spec and my meter on. Of course I never got any codes to help me out. By the way I did replace the crank angle sensor also. I don't think now that it was necessary but I couldn't get any ohms and on the new one it read 4 so I thought it was bad. $65 down the toilet.

    Lastly, on these vans if anyone encounters a weird pulsing electical problem where the battery light comes on intermittantly, change your alternator. After 1996 they upgraded the circuitry and after I changed mine that problem went bye bye.

    Currently I'm at 270,000 miles and I'd like to see if I can get it over at least a 1/2 million.
  • So as it turns out, one of the six injectors that I replaced was defective. This obviously caused the engine to continue to run crappy. I had to take it to the dealer to diagnose the problem. The mechanic told me that according to his tests, the #1 cylinder injector was not not operating properly. The fuel pressure drop when the injector was activated was much less compared to the other injectors. He also noticed that the #1 cylinder compression test intermittently showed a low reading. Probably a stickey valve. Anyway, I finally got around to replacing the #1 injector (for the second time) and sure enough the engine runs great. The check engine light turned off on its own after a few days of driving. The van sat for a week or two while I was in the process of ordering and replacing two idler arms and a lower ball joint. Haven't been feeling real motivated to work on the beast. So I finally finish the front end work and I fire up the van for a test drive. The check engine light comes on a few minutes into the ride. Checked out the code and it looks like its the #1 cylinder again. Not going to worry about it as long as the engine is running good. My guess is that the sticky valve is causing a misfire that the computer can detect but that is not noticable at all to me. The front end is much better but still not completely right so for now I'll just live with the check engine light staying on. I'll probably take it in to have the front end looked at. At this point I can't afford a new (used) vehicle and this one is paid for, so I guess its still cheaper to fix than it would be to trade-in.
  • wrong thread post # 156- not 158
  • have you checked the wires/cap/plugs - I had to replace mine and that fixed that problem
  • 1996 Safari van ,OK- Sounds exactly like my problem- van started to sputter and misfire 1 month ago - it was a heavy slushy snow day- started acting up as I said and died - luckily it was 50' from my mechanics place- what luck -thank god it happened there, anyways - my wheel well on the drivers side was missing the center plastic guard and was slightly bent back on the front piece- well I fixed the wheel well problem and everything was fine- even during snow- well- it isn't fine , started the same thing today on the way home from my GF's house (parked outside) and it was snowing all night. Got in the van got about 4 miles from my house started with the sputtering and misfiring and then died, so I opened the hood and saw that there was water around the computer module (not sure thats what it is) so I waited about 10 Minuit's- tried to start it - no go, opened the hood again banged the comp module , got in the van and it started write up- started to drive home - started again about a mile away(still snowing) pulled in a parking lot- waited 5 Minuit's and continued on my way and I was able to get home and did not sputter at all from the the parking lot to my house- sounds exactly like the problem you had- what can I do to correct this- it's making me a nervous wreck every time it starts to snow , I need my van for my business (work)- I know there is a seal that goes around the rear of the hood- since it is 14 yrs old - could this be dry out with no elasticity that is causing this to happen- what did you do to correct this problem- could really use some sound advise. :sick:
    thank you so much
  • Reply for the 1996 Safari with the spuuter and misfire. When I was originally troublshooting my no start problem I suspected the engine control computer... I think it's call the ECM on the wire diagram. Anyway I was referred to an experienced mechanic that did exactly what you did. (We're talking about the module below the brake master cylinder with 4 cannon plugs coming off towards the front of the vehicle...just making sure) The mechanic took a ball peen hammer and hit the ECM while I had the van running. Since the van didn't skip a beat we ruled out the ECM as my problem. He did however tell me that this was a problem for vehicles with your year model and what you did was the test for that defect. I guess what happens is that a crack develops in the circuit board inside the unit and then when it gets hot/cold, hot/cold etc etc it starts to cause issues like what you describe. You should be able to pick up an unprogrammed ECM at your local parts place. You'll have to take the little panel off the side of your old ECM so you can retrieve the knock sensor for your new computer. Of course you'll have to have the new one programmed which should cost around $80. Unless you know someone personally at the dealership to help you I wouldn't even go near there with this problem. Good luck. By the way, I'm told the van won't run without it being programmed.
  • started again today- this only is happening when it snows outside and the the streets become slushy - never when it rains and never when it's just cold outside- without snow--- this is driving me insane, I drove over to my GF's last night and started misfiring again , then I backed it into her driveway and it really got worse and then died- I was able to restart it after it died, let it run for a few minuits and then when I steped on the gas pedal it went to full throttle , but before this I would give it gas and start to misfire and buck off and on- I really need some help on this one - do any of you have or had the same problem- writing while i am trying to start the van,,,I stuch a hair dryer in the cavity near the coil--? guess what it started,could the moisture in the air from wet heavy snow be causing problems with the coil????need some help
    thank you
  • pinky6pinky6 Posts: 3
    We have a 1999 Astro Van and it stalls out/then won't start in wet weather. The distributor cap coilwire plug wires fuel pump and relay have all been replaced still stalling out, any ideas?
  • Hello, my 94 astro will just shut off as im driving or even stopped at a light. I replaced the ignition mod,coil,cap,rotor, plugs and wires but its still stalling. any help with this issue would help me greatly. thank you :sick:
  • Steve_01Steve_01 Posts: 42
    Any codes? OEM or aftermarket cap and wires? This engine uses a very high voltage coil/spark/ignition. Low quality ignition components will allow the spark to 'leak' or short out easily.

    You might also want to check the fuel pressure. Don't know about the 94, but on my 97 the fuel connector is just left of the distributor cap. Look up the spec's for 94. 97 fuel pressure is around 58-63 psi. You can probably rent a pressure gauge for little to no cost.

    I've seen posts in this forum indicating that the bulkhead connector (behind the battery) has 'melted' and/or folks have found corroded connections causing the symptom you described.
  • No codes, Im not sure about the cap and wires I've had the van for a month now. it will start right up aprox 2 min after stalling . Im thinking of replaceing the fuel pump assembly as my next step but I will check the fuel pressure before I dive in. thanx
  • alberta4alberta4 Posts: 4
    I have a 97 Safari RWD with 200K kilometers on it. I am having real problems with hesitation. It has been going on for about 3 years. At first it only happened in the spring but it has been getting consistently worse. The hesitation happens when I step on the accelerator the van seems to die and then lurch forward in a stuttering kind of jerky way. Once I get to higher speeds it is ok. If I do not drive the van for a few days it gets worse. After I drive around for 20 minutes or more the problem seems to resolve itself. If I drive everyday, it is not as bad. It is the at its worst in the spring (I do not have a heated garage and it gets really cold in Edmonton). It is not throwing any codes and I have brought the car in a number of times and my mechanic can't find anything wrong. I specifically asked him to check the distributor, coil and spark plug wires (because moisture seems to make it act up). I am starting to have doubts about my mechanic. I am thinking it may be a dirty throttle body or a bad TPS. I have doubts about an O2 sensor causing this type of problem with no codes (but I am not a mechanic). I would really appreciate any advice that anyone might have regarding this problem.
  • bwgmcvanbwgmcvan Posts: 10
    bulk head connector,, that sounds like that could be the problem- 2 months ago it was snowing out, slushy,, started sputtering and jerking then died- I pulled over , banged that area and it started up, also when I was driving home it started again, pulled over, sat for 5 minutes , pulled off and started on my way home- I had to pull off the road 5 times until it ironed itself out and ran smooth. This only happens when it's snowing?? any thoughts- also my service engine light goes on for a few days then shuts off- constantly- any thoughts
  • Steve_01Steve_01 Posts: 42
    edited March 2010
    Don't forget about the fuel filter, could be clogged.
    In case you don't have a repair manual here's some quick specs for you. According to my manual, the CMFI (Central Multiport Fuel Injection) system is used on all 4.3L V6 VIN W engines manufactured from 92 to 95. In 96 they switched over to the CSFI system. The CMFI system uses a single central fuel injector which feeds each cylinder through six separate tubes and poppit nozzles. The fuel pressure regulator is mounted directly on the fuel injection unit.

    Fuel pressure:
    Key ON, engine OFF - 58-64 psi
    Engine running at idle - Pressure should DECREASE by 3 to 10 psi

    Remember that low fuel pressure, does not necessarily indicate a bad fuel pump. It could indicate a bad fuel pressure regulator. In the 96 and up (CSFI) systems, it's not uncommon for the regulator to leak inside the intake manifold. A leaky regulator could lower your fuel pressure and make the engine run crappy, not to mention fuel could leak down the inside of the engine into the oil pan. Not good.
  • Steve_01Steve_01 Posts: 42
    The only way to know for sure is to pull the battery out and disassemble the bulkhead connector. I haven't had to do that on mine but I did pop the cover off while I was replacing a dead battery a few months ago. It looks like there's a bolt (maybe 10mm?) in the middle of the connector holding it tightly in place. It's worth a look.

    If you go to your local large chain auto parts store, they will usually check the codes for you for no charge. The check engine light doesn't necessarily have to be on. The computer will store the code(s) for a while but it would probably be better to have it checked while the light is on just in case.

    My Astro has had the light come on once or twice and go away on its own. I know for a fact that it has intermittently low compression in cylinder #1. Probably a sticky valve. The only time the light has come on is when it's sat for a week or so without driving.

    If you have a P0300 code, that's a random misfire. P0301 = cylinder 1 misfire, P0302 = cylinder 2 misfire. And so on, you get the idea.

    Hope that helps.
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