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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro Transmission Problem



  • aes870aes870 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Astro Cargo Van, V6 2wd. Recently Purchased. When going between 40-50mph and I depress the gas pedal fully, such as trying to merge or pass, the engine revs, but there is no shift in the tranny. This only happens at the noted speed range. The tranny seems to work fine in all other ranges. Had a local mechanic drive it and he felt it may be a solenoid, but nothing major. Took it to the Chevrolet Dealer purchased from. They checked it out, said nothing wrong with tranny, solenoids checked OK and problem was a clogged fuel filter (?) Changed the filter, charged me $170 for diagnostics and filter and said problem fixed. Picked it up and no change in problem. By the way, I still have 3 weeks left on a 90 day powertrain warranty. I can't imagine a fuel filter would cause this so I have lost faith in the dealer, but am taking back one more time next week. They wanted to clean my injectors for $150, but I don't think this will fix the problem. So is my dealer a crook and trying to get me out of warranty, or something simple here that they didn't diagnose. Any input before I go back is appreciated.
  • topseatopsea Posts: 47
    I put 275,000 miles on a 95 Astro then bought my current one in 2001. This "01" currently has 222,000 with no problems with transmission or engine so far. Long ago I established my own lubrication rules for what I drive. I change engine oil every 5,000 miles and all other fluids, except radiator, every 25,000 miles and that includes filters. I just have not had many problems in the last few years. I owe it to maintenance.
  • Hello I was reading your post and it sounds alot like the problem iam having now.
    Well I was on my way back from a long fishing day I was pulling my boat when i came up a hill inotice that the check engine light came on its nothe first time it dose this so I know it not the weight of the boat. Well the ? I have for you is when you were driving your van tith the light on did the 1st to 2nd gear jumped or shift kinda of hard? I was on my way to the repair shop but i decided to do some reseach first. Do you think that this is my problem I have a 2000 gmc safari thanks agian for the help. :)
  • I havea 93 astro with 226,000 on it. Just recently it wont shift to third gear. Engine runs fine but when accelerating it only revs high when trying to go into third gear. Could this be a sensor or is it a more ominous problem like tranny gone bad. Haven't been to repair shop yet. Was hoping just a sensor I could replace myself. Anyone had this problem, I havent had any problems with this tranny since I bought it in 95.
  • w5hanw5han Posts: 2
    My Astro has 165,000 and auto trans, 2 years ago I noticed that when I drive on interstate at highway speed 65mph for about 25 miles or more only, when I take the exit ramp off the interstate and stop completely then merge onto public street the shift from 1 to 2 is hard and loud.

    The problem does not exist when driving on city streets at posted speeds from 25-50 mph.

    I took it to local chevrolet dealer he said "check engine light is caused by death code for transmission & said I need new trans $3500-$4400.

    I then took it to transmission place AAMCO they could find no problem ?

    Today it still does it and I have learned to live with it.

    My trusted mechanic/friend from childhood said do not change trans fluid because it may not pull off rack when finished I have no idea if fluid has ever been changed.

    I figured drive until transmission fails and then deal with problem any ideas ??

    Thanks for your time reading & any replies.
  • In 03 I bought a 97 safari with touring and towing package. It looked new with 75k miles. After driving for 15k-20k miles I noticed the fluid was turning and smelling, so I had the fluid/filter changed. After another 15k miles same thing. The only problem was slow to shift back to overdrive on highway. Thought a rebuild was coming. Talked to a local autoparts guy and he suggested to try Seafoam trans additive before next change. Never heard of it before. Tried it one time and trans works normal for last 100k. Now have 213k on van runs good but only 16mpg. If I could only fix that with a can. I love the van. Hope this helps.
  • guest5guest5 Posts: 1
    Same problem on my 1998 GMC Safari in 2003. Engine 1870 code. I had the valve body in the transmission updated at a transmission shop. $368.88 and the problem has been fixed for the last 4 years.
  • hey when i drive my van after about half hour and its all wamed up it starts to thumb hard it feels like its in the rear it thumps from first thru second then it goe's away in third gear it only does it when the van is hot runs great when cold i had the van check out by a tranmission guy and he said the drive train is perfect anybody have an idea of what it could be
  • ok i have been getting code 1870. i had the filter changed in the transmission.and fluid. the next day came back on. i see someone had something done and worked for them. i cant get the light to stay off. i dont notice any change in shifting. drives great if you ask me. code p1870 still pos up
  • klebbklebb Posts: 1
    I have a 93 astro van EXT

    Just recently i am unable to go into reverse or neutral. The van will still drive and i can shift in all of the gears. When i do shift into reverse and neutral the car does nothing it just sits there and i am unable to move the van (push it). When i turn the van off i can shift into reverse and push the van. Sometimes when i have the van running and i depress the brake i hear a clicking in the steering column. Also i see no fluid leaking around the tranny, however it was about two quarts low. As of now i am thinking that i should do a filter and fluid change, but was looking for some opinions.
  • szczesnyszczesny Posts: 1
    So what did this end up being ????? I have same problem on 94 astro van....
  • Ditto. I have a 99 Safari AWD with 113,000 miles. I bought it with 49,000 miles on it used. After reading all the people in this forum who have had the trans start with this 1st to 2nd gear thunk right at the 48,000 mile mark..well it sure makes a lot of sense that the previous owner sold the van when he was told it would need a new transmission.

    I first noticed the 1st to 2nd thunk during a hot spell in August about a year after I bought it. The engine light came on after two of three thunks and this only happened after 45 min to 1 hour of driving. But I'm like you...I never fix something till it breaks especially when it's going to be the same labor job of pulling out the old trannie and rebuilding.

    I just want to mention that the despite dire warnings about how the trans is "on it's way out" when I brought it a(t about 80,000 miles) to a shop in in 2005 , it is now 2008 and 33,000 miles later and I still have the same transmission.
  • The van accelerates from a stop in first gear fine but it stays in first and revs at about 25 to 30mph until you let off the gas just right then will finally up shift to 2nd then will go through 3rd and 4th ok
    It also sometimes clunks when put into reverse and you feel a bit of chugging backing up. Once on the freeway at 60mph the van runs fine and has power in passing gear fine as normal. Fluid looks ok but I know needs a change and filter
    Has any one had this problem or have any ideas

  • chinnesechinnese Posts: 3
    when i come to a stop once a while form high speed the transmision gets stuck in another gear i have to go to neutral to get it to slow down.
    1998 safari 120000 miles on it.
  • maztromaztro Posts: 1
    Last Thursday I put my 2001 Chevy Astro Van (All Wheel Drive) in Reverse, but instead of going in Reverse, it wouldn't move, the engine just revs, it does make a slight whiny noise, but it just wont go in Reverse. All the other gears seem to work, but it does seem to drive a little slower in Drive. Checked transmission fluid hot, needed about 1/2 pint, still no reverse. Any suggestions my friends? Thanks!
  • nwraaanwraaa Posts: 170
    My Chevy van is performing like your ASTRO. What was corrected on your van to fix the problem?
  • w5hanw5han Posts: 2
    Hello! I have done nothing to it I still drive it everyday, it still has the same problem when and if it puts me down I will deal with it. Good luck with yours!
  • pjmkfpjmkf Posts: 2
    Hey, the same exact thing is happening to my 2003 Astro. What did you end up doing to resolve this? I would sure appreciate hearing what you did. Thank you!
  • astro95astro95 Posts: 1
    Did you ever find a solution to this problem? If so, was it something other than getting a trans overhaul?

    Thanks for any help with this.
  • So i have the exact same problem. i just got this van. its very depressing.
    did you fix your problem?
    can you please please help me?

    astro 2000 jerks from 1st to second
  • I spoke to a transmission shop and he told me that this is a very common problem with these Chevy transmissions when they reach about 110,000 miles. He told me he keeps about 10 of them in stock all the time, he knew exactly what I was talking about (losing 2nd, reverse and overdrive). I can't remember exactly what he said it was that happened but something broke and if it's a clean break it is about $850-$900 to fix. I have been driving mine fine while saving the money to fix. People get a little irritated if they are behind me because of the slow start, but oh well, I can still get around!
  • i have a 95 Safari it runs good for about 10 mins then i lose power to the motor sounds like crap after i park it for a hour then i can drive it agen for nother 10 mins then the same what should i do
  • I purchased my second GMC Safari Van, July of 2004. At the time, it only had 54,000 miles on it. A few weeks after I began driving it, I could not get it to shift into "park". I was told the bolts on the transmission were loose, and had it fixed.
    At 97,000 miles, I made a 1000 mile trip, to check on my 91 yr. old Mother who was not doing well, in a Nursing home. When I returned, I noticed that I had a whirring noise in the rear of the van. When I took it to the dealer (I always have the dealer do everything to it, and had an extended warranty, as well, which expired) 3 of their mechanics drove it, I went along and was told there was nothing wrong, by 2 of them, The 3rd, who is a transmission specialist, thought he should open the transmission and check it. When he did, he said the transmission fluid was "foaming"?? I have never heard that term before. We agreed to have him replace filters and seals and a "tailhanger" bracket, and $409.00 later, I drove it out of the dealership, and it seemed more "quiet" than it was originally. 2 weeks later, I hear the same noise, and even though I can't really tell if it is shifting any differently, the noise is annoying, and I'm debating whether I should bring it back and have them check anything else on it? Thank you for whatever advise you can provide me. I am a senior citizen, and don't know that much about vehicles, nor can I afford much in repairs, on a fixed income. Could they have missed the actual problem? I'm wondering if new tires could solve the noise problem, since mine are 3 yrs. old and getting low on tread...Michelins. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. :D
  • Hello Vernon...I had a 1995 Safari, the EGR Valve and the Radiator gave me
    problems. I had the radiator repaired, but couldn't afford the EGR valve, so I was told to have the engine cleaned, which I did. After that, it began to blow white smoke, but a friend at work, who also owned a 1995, told me to invest in a tank of High Test gas, to clean the engine of residue from the cleaner that was used. Once I burned a tank of the highest grade fuel, the white smoke disappeard and it ran like a champ! Perhaps your van is only asking for a Steak, instead of the hot dogs we normally put in there, in the form of cheap gas, which doesn't burn the deposits off the plugs and fouls the engines faster. I know, "gas is gas" but a good mechanic told me once, to use 2/1 ration....two tanks of regular to one tank of High grade, if I want it to keep running better. Good luck, I hope that helps.
  • ddyessddyess Posts: 1
    My 2005 Astro shifts ok but when you go down the hwy it acts like it slips out of gear. The motor will rev but the transmission is not pulling.
  • pcvanpcvan Posts: 2
    Strange problem developed yesterday. 97 Safari was running great. Never slips or anything like that. Drove to church in the morning and it wouldn't reverse. I put it back in drive and drove to the other side of the lot where I could get out. After church I checked the fluid level - fine - put it in reverse - no problem - back to drive - ok. Drove out of the lot and 1/4 mile down the road it wouldn't go. Shut it off, started it back up and it went into gear. Drove it over to my parents' on the next street, but it won't shift out of first. It also won't shift into reverse until you turn the van off and restart it. It doesn't over rev when your driving it just stops. This one has me lost! Any ideas?
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    Same "previous" situation with my 2001 AWD Safari van's transmission. re: Lost "R" gear, lost a few forward gears as well. End in the end, my van's transmission needed a rebuild kit. Kit and labor install was $1,100 - before taxes. Since tranny build (2.5 years ago), my van's shifting is much smoother, its "R" gear feels much better and overall, I'm very pleased with its fix. Yes. Expensive fix but in the end, this fix worked great.

    Note: Do call around because shop quotes do varry. I got some back yard mechanic to upgrade my van's transmission. For me, he did a great jog - at $300 less expensive then formal shop estimates.

  • dak04dak04 Posts: 1
    I just picked up a 1998 safari without awd.
    The tranny is acting up shifting into 2nd gear.
    I was wondering if anyone could tell me what tranny it has it, model number or something?
    Also if there is any manuals or books out there for this specific transmission?
    Thanks for all the help
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