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GMC Safari/Chevy Astro



  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    Your service light can be "reset" by removing the negative battery cable for 5-10 minutes. If that doesn't work, take the van to your local Auto Zone and have them scan the OBD for the code and hopefully the solution.
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    I don't own a 4WD so am no expert. However, you may reset the codes and drive awhile to see if they return. If the trouble code returns then auto Zone may be a good first choice. But, go to Auto Zone with the code/codes intact. The dealer diagnosis is much more complete than AZ, but outrageously expensive. Sort of like a cat scan or magnetic resonance imaging.
  • some time ago I thought I read about the fuel pumps failing around 80-85K, and one person here who ran a fleet of Astros said he replaced them as a matter of preventative maintenance? This last summer, I was experiencing a hard start condition when the engine was cold, had the pressure tested, and all was OK, so they didn't replace the pump. I had the filter replaced, and since then, it's happened a couple of times, but if I turn on the key and wait 'til the pressure is up(the punp goes quiet), it starts fine.

    Should I replace this before I get stuck?
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    It is your call. I used to drive a 96 Safari AWD and while it went 180K+, it had 3 fuel pumps in that time.
  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    my light went on and it turned out to be a motor that controled the distribution of the front and rear wheels.
         I've been experiencing random stalling on my 2001 Astro. The mechanic can't think of what it might be. Anyone else have this problem?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,081
    Town Hall Members are invited by GM to a Live WebCast announcing the 2005 Buick Terraza and Saturn RELAY!
    Thursday, December 4th - The live webcast will be on from 12pm-1pm EST.

    GM Crossover Sport Vans (CSVs) Virtual Launch 2005 Buick Terraza and Saturn RELAY CSVs.

    Bob Lutz, vice chairman, Product Development and chairman GM North America
    Roger Adams, general manager, Buick
    Jill Lajdziak, vice president, Saturn Sales, Service and Marketing
    Tom Kowaleski, vice president, GM North America Communications

    Buick Terraza is the third entry into Buick’s truck portfolio. Terraza will complement Rendezvous and Rainier by delivering another premium, refined experience that blends the best qualities of Buick sedans with the utility that today’s marketplace demands. Terraza will compete at the upper end of the segment and continue the trend started with Rendezvous. Terraza was selected after consumers said the name has a luxurious, yet rugged image and conveyed a strong vehicle with comfort features.

    Saturn RELAY is a flexible people carrier with interior appointments reflecting the direction of future Saturn vehicles, which will help continue to grow the brand by attracting a new group of customers. It will also help Saturn meet the needs of existing Saturn owners with growing families and active lifestyles. The name ‘RELAY,’ associated with motion and movement, conveys the vehicle’s ability to connect people and their destinations.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I would like to trade my sonoma97 for a safari 04
    I have read on this site ,that the safari and astro are the lest appreciate in that category!
    what you thing about that?
    Is this a good truck?
  • I have a 1997 Safari and just replaced the fuel pump for the second time. I have averaged around 60,000 miles per pump. The problem begins with a howling sound in the gas tank that is relieved when I replace the fuel filter, which I have to do now every 3,000 miles. I replaced my transmission at 80,000 miles, and now at 120,000 it appears I need another! GMC refuses to accept these problems as defects. Has there been any changes in the new models?
  • I had a 2001 safari and had nothing but problems with it.I've owned several vehicles in the last 27 years and had few problems with the rotors warping...but they were all GM products,an 85 cutlass supreme and 82 grand prix.
    The safari had everything from the brakes,muffler baffles,catalytic converter,electric door lock failure,peeling paint on the bumpers excessive sidewall radial runout on the tires,unbalanced from the factory,water leaks around the door seals and a few more.Took it to NY State arbitration,GMC sent an attorney and a regional representative to contest the problems.It worked,the GMC mechanics were afraid to speak out and tell them what they previously told me at the dealership.
    Suffice to say I bought my first import in 27 years.A Nissan.Sorry Union brothers,I work hard for my money too and $15,000 trade allowance on a 2 year old 14,000 mile,$29,000+ (new) vehicle doesn't make sense to me.
  • Zippot,
    I bought a 2001 awd Safari cargo. I have had only minor problems. Paint chipping off grill put on a new one, had to replace mirror. It has 25000 miles. I bought it because I needed a cargo van. If I were buying a passenger van I would go with Honda Toyota or Nissan. The quality is just not good enough for the money in my opinion.

    Sammy Castagna
  • I have a 2000 safari van that I have had many many problems with it is unsafe to drive my wife and kids have been broke down on the freeway 3 times already I can't put their lives in jeopardy any more. Can someone suggest on how to pro sue the lemon law and what is the procedure in doing so.
  • Hi all -- I'm going to buy a '98 Astro AWD as a second vehicle (primarily for my wife). She likes the concept of it (big, brawny, etc) but she's a little nervous about driving it because it seems bigger than other minivans due to the square shape. My question: any women out there who drive this thing without hesitation? Thanks!

    [BTW: Not sure if I'm just cheap, but I don't know why someone would buy a NEW Astro/Safari -- in Canada the AWD new is $37,000. 1998's run about $10K or less on the used market]
  • Hi there,

    I have searched and found no postings re using an mp3 player / ipod in an astro. I have a 2001 with the factory installed radio / cd player. Ihave tried the fm transmtter route - no good here in New York. Have read about cables to cd changer - has a model GM 9-Aux which should work?????? Installation???
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You might try the CD Player and MP3 Upgrades discussion. Maybe another electronics site (like has a FAQ?

    Steve, Host
  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    My wife loves driving our 2001 awd
    astro. It's actually easier to drive because it's shorter up front. Backing up takes practice, she says you have to use the side mirrors. Nowhere near as hard to drive as she thought it would be.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    As far as I know, the lemon law here in Gerogia is three or more times for the same major (don't know what major equals) repair. Any time you take the vehicle in, make sure you have the service writer document on the ticket what was looked at and what was done. Then go see another mechanic for a second opinion. Safety stuff should be documented by a police report. Don't laugh, you say your van broke down on the highway, well, that's a traffice case. Police documentation in front of an arbitrator is HUGE ammo in a court case. Good luck.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    As far as my wife is concerned, she hates my van. She can't back it up (she can back a SUV with a trailer up, by the way) and driving on the interstate with wind will make her pull over to the median. It takes a some practice, but I wouldn't recommend Astro/GMC for general running around.
  • topseatopsea Posts: 47
    'Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. 3 AWD Astros and about 500,000 miles later, I can't find a better vehicle to do what I need it to do here in the NW. I grew up on a farm and I backed a 4 wheel wagon (more than I drove forward) in my early days feeding cattle.

    I just drove a new Yukon this week-end and it backs the same as the Astro. I haul a lot of strange stuff and I'm always backing, so for the Astro to perform differently it must have the rear axle off the frame. I back mostly with my side mirrors, as my Astro is usually loaded, so my vision is blocked out the rear view mirror.

    You have to have the "Astro from Hell". Good luck on getting it replaced because they are not all built like that.
  • jhey2jhey2 Posts: 1
    I have a '98 Astro AWD - of late, when I'm accelerating, or if I hit a bump, my interior lights will blink/flicker. I also hear a clicking sound coming under the dash on the driver side and can 'feel' the clicking sound on what a friend tells me is the computer interface for the vehicle. Has anyone else come across this? Is it a short somewhere?
  • I own a 1996 safari with all available options except towing pk.& AWD. I bought it DEC.1995.It has 150000 miles on it.The secret to the fuel pump is to keep the gas filter changed every 35,000 miles. I also change the transmission fluid yearly as well as the posi-traction fluid.I had the windshield wiper problem but it was fixed on a recall.Put plugs in it at 120000 miles other than that I change the oil & rotate the tires every 5000 miles.It always has seemed to run better when run hard.I would order a new one today if I could get a blue interior. Does anyone know if these vehicles are going to be discontinued?
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    Or lack of problems. Glad to see another satisfied owner. I was thinking this site was dead.

    I am surprised that GM is still building the Astro/Safari in 2004. I think a 2005 will be a maybe, depending on which side of the bed Bob wakes up on.

    I have a 97 Astro that I purchased in late 97 as a program unit with 26,000 miles. Only have 50,000 miles on it now.

    Fuel injector replaced under warranty.
    Serpentine belt replaced under warranty.
    Rear pinion seal replaced under warranty.
    Rear door opener broke and I repaired it at no cost. Dealer wanted $47.00 for the part.
    Replaced brake pads and shoes.
    Driver side power window acts up occasionally, indicating that I'll need the $75.00 circuit board soon.
    Throttle was sticking, cleaned the carbon from the butterfly with carburetor cleaner.
    Heard so much about the PCV valve and port plugging with carbon, checked this and it was clean.
    Replaced the spark plugs at 48,000 even though they were in good condition. But, one plug was different than the other 5 plugs.
    Replaced the Dex Cool with new Dexcool and replaced the thermostat.
    Changed fuel filter.

    Has a 3.73 differential.
    I run Mobil synthetic in the standard differential. Not limited slip.
    I use Mobil 1 5W/30 in the engine.
    I have changed the transmission fluid twice as I pull a 30' Award travel trailer. The last change I put in lubegard with Havolene Dexron III.
    Have a K&N air filter.

    We run about 21.5 mpg at 75 mph and summer fuel.

    Had a 94 company driver that I drove 80,000 miles and only replaced the plugs. It had 3.23 gears and would run 23 to 24 mpg. The gal that ordered that on must have been mad at me and ordered the 3.23 ratio instead of the standard 3.42 axle.

    The differential can be a weak spot as GM now uses a synthectic lubricant in the differential.

    In addition to changing the fuel filter regularly I don't run the fuel tank close to empty. The motors last longer if immersed in fuel for cooling, and has to work less to pick up fuel.
  • dadoftaydadoftay Posts: 136
    hey, made me think about my ride. My van has 120K and been reliable, save the ride problems, so I made a closer inspection on my last oil change at the dealer. Both front shocks had leaked until near empty and the right rear had busted the lower mounting point. Need to stay on my service man a little better!! It's quite impressive how new shocks that are all attached make the van handle better;) Sorry for the premature bad info jpc47 !!!!
  • the Service AWD light started coming on 3 months ago. At the time I filled the front transfer case with fluid (it was almost empty). The light went out but started coming on again intermittantly. I had both front axle seals replaced to stop leaks. Light continued coming on with increasing frequency until now. Now it is mostly on. Any ideas??? Service AWD light???

    jpc47 you mentioned that your light came on and it was a motor that controled the distribution of the front and rear wheels. How much was it to diagnose and get it fixed??

  • Yesterday in the ALL DATA system I read that most intermittant problems are the result of faulty connections. I climbed under my van and noticed that the connection to the 'motor that controls the distribution of the front and rear wheels' was a little loose. I opened and closed the connection a couple times and the 'service AWD' light has not been on since.

    I did this after calling the dealer and finding out there was a $135 diagnostic fee and a potential charge of $500+ to fix something.

  • jpc47jpc47 Posts: 62
    Just got your message I was out of town. They fixed it on warrenty, don't know how much it cost.
  • I can't say that I'm not happier having gotten rid of that overpriced underacheiving piece of junk,formerly known as a GMC Safari 2001.I took a beating,trading it in for half the price of the two year old LEMON it was but the lack of headaches of not having to drop it off at the dealership bi-weekly and finding a ride to work is almost worth the lesson I got on the General Mistake Carmaker.(GMC) Says it all for me.
  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    Sounds as though you got a Monday morning Safari.
    I feel as though the Astro/Safari are akin to Mom's apple pie and baseball. Many owners feel that the 4.3 engine is even better than the 3.8 used GM cars for several years. I drove a 94 2wd 88,000 miles without a single problem. My 97 2wd has had about 4 minor problems. I do wish it had rack and pinion steering instead of re circulating ball. But like a rock.
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 694
    I've got a '95 Safari AWD with a little over 100k, and it's been very reliable(bought the extended warranty, even...turned out to be a waste of money).
    Who'da thunk it?
  • Any oppinions or input would be much appreciated.

    My service AWD light is still on. It comes on almost every time the car is started know.

    I replaced the transfer case fluid with Auto trac 2 as suggested by the dealer.

    When driving on snow in my yard yesterday, only the back tires were spinning. Does this mean that the AWD is not working?? (The light was not on at the time.)

    Any ideas???
  • creidcreid Posts: 54
    Check the fuse under your hood labeled ATC this may be blown.
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