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Chevy Express/GMC Savana



  • Hi, all!


    Could you please answer the following questions, as I can't find the answers anywhere:


    1. Express vans with AWD: is it a full-time AWD? If yes, is the torque split 50/50 between front and rear or at what percentage? If AWD is not full-time, how does it work?


    2. Is the locking differential activated manually by a button on the dash, or does it engage automatically? If automatically, in what conditions? Is it located on the front axle, rear axle, or in the middle?


    Thank you!
  • Per, in an AWD Express, the power is split 35/65 front/rear, and more power could go to the front wheels, if they are slipping. But does anyone know the max power which can go to the front wheels? Is 65% the most the rear wheels can get?


    And I still found no info on the locking differential.


    It looks like Chevy made a top secret out of this!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The 4WD & AWD systems explained discussion may offer some more clues, but you're doing pretty good digging on your own!


    Steve, Host
  • I don't know why GM makes such a big secret out of it, but there isn't much explanation of AWD and Locking Diff on GM's Express website
  • jcpjcp Posts: 2
    Need some help! Van will not start, if I spray some starting fluid (know this is bad) in the air cleaner assembly it will run until it burns it off. Fuel pump, filters and relay is in working condition. Could it be the MAF sensor? Where do I attach a scanner to this vehicle at?
  • jcpjcp Posts: 2
    cannot even get a scanner to read! Scanner works but when I plug into the diagnostic port I get nothing, no power to the scanner!! What gives?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Try the Got a Quick, Technical Question? discussion too. Hopefully a regular is hanging out in there.


    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "GMC's Savana full-size, rear- or four-wheel-drive van is the subject of two recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced. The GMC van and its Chevy Express counterpart are being recalled first for a problem with a hydraulic fluid pump under the hood. If it fails and the hood is open, fragments could hurt people standing nearby; when driving, it could affect power braking and steering. Some 155,000 vehicles, including 2004-2005 Savanas and Expresses, are included in that recall. In the second action, the Savana from the 2000 model year also suffers a faulty hydraulic pump that could reduce steering and braking effectiveness. About 98,000 vehicles including those vans are being recalled to replace the pump."

    (Edmunds Vans Newsletter)

    Steve, Host
  • bodhidogbodhidog Posts: 1
    I am considering buying AWD van and would like to actually talk to someone who owns one and drives it in snow and ice????
  • I just had the fuel pump replaced on my chevy express 1500 v6 4.3L. Ive been using this mechanic for over 8 years and always found him to be fair and honest but im concerned about being charged almost $700 to replace the fuel pump and filter. He quoted the price of the part as $461 fuel filter $25 and computer check reset for $32 plus labor of $130. I found the pump online at several sites for maximum $274. I would like to know if I was overcharged.
  • obornyoborny Posts: 1
    I just purchased an '04 2500 Express with 21K miles. The auto transmission makes a loud humming noise when it is in first gear and when in reverse. The noise goes away when the van shifts into second. The noise does not bother me but drives the wife crazy. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how many miles do you have? What's been your transmission reliability? Was anything done to alleviate the noise?
  • dallen17dallen17 Posts: 1
    does the noise stop after the van is at normal operating temp?
  • dkeeldkeel Posts: 2
    From Anchorage Alaska;
    I have the full time AWD 2003 Chevy Express. It is great in the snow. I have some good snow tires and can drive circles around anything else on the road.

    235/75-16 is the perfect size snow tire for the weight of this vehicle. Go any wider and run the risk of floating over the snow.
  • dkeeldkeel Posts: 2
    I purchased a 2003 1500 series 8 passenger Express.

    Due to law suits in this country, many Conversion Van companies told me no to your question. The problem is the weight. Adding another rear bench would provide 12 passengers seating for a eight passenger van. Hauling 12 people could easy exceed the weight rating for 1500 series van. Add a couple of suit case or tongue weight for a trailer and your definitely over the weight rating.

    If your van is 2500 series, then call a van conversion company.
  • mantangomantango Posts: 2
    sorry about your situation but i need some help with a weight towing discrepency with a 1997 conversion low top w/ a 5.7l vortec and auto tranny mine has 3:42 rear gears and my book says only can tow 5400#s but a 2005 model with same gears and a 5.3liter vortec can tow 6300#s can some one please advise
  • Were there any any helpful replys to your intermittent start problem. I don't need

    a rain storm to duplicate your problem. replace new battery, have had dearler

    diagnostics run with no help. My wallet is getting thinner and patience about

    to brake the bank. Please help!

    A Ripplewood
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    You might also want to check with some of our members who have technical expertise in our "No Start" Problems discussion. They might have some ideas that haven't been explored by your dealer yet.

    Roving Host
    Host, Future Vehicles & Smart Shopper discussions


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  • Enjoy the forum. Good comments. I have a 2001 Savana 5.7L 3.73 axle ratio and we are looking at buying a trailer (30' GVWR 7500lbs). Previous owner of trailer pulled it with "a 3/4 ton Dodge no problem". Don't have a trailer package yet. Is the trailer too big? :confuse:
  • I have a 99 1ton express. When the accelerator is fully depressed the trans shifts down and the rpms come up but no accelortaion. When you let up the pedal to about 1/3 down the trans shifts up and being to accelerate. It seems there are alot of smart people in here. Any help would be appreciated.
  • fordfan4fordfan4 Posts: 2
    i rather ford by far GM sucks to much touble with their junk i cant stand them anymore i know to many people who have them and hate them also
  • I'm very interested in the same thing-----I want to hook up my XM!
    Did you get an answer yet?
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Fordfan4, this is the Chevy Express/GMC Savana discussion. You'll probably have better luck finding people who want to discuss "GM vs Ford" in the News & Views forum.


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  • liverpoolliverpool Posts: 1
    my 2001 savana 3500 after it has been run for a while and gets hot when i switch it off it will not start up afain till i have left it sitting for about 15 to 20 minutes. i took it to a dealership who fixed it for about 1000 dollars however i still have the same problem. i cannot believe that mine is the only van with this problem and i really do not want to pay out another chunk of money so these people can "diagnose" my problem please help
  • jrtozerjrtozer Posts: 1
    Anyone have experience with the Express or Savana AWD offroad? I'm interested in how it performs on rougher dirt roads and sandy washes. Is it as capable as a stock full-size SUV for this sort of thing? Would bigger tires and/or a short lift help?

  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    liverpool, you might also want to post your question in the Maintenance & Repair Forum



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  • red64red64 Posts: 1
    I own a 2003 Chevy Express / 3500 / Cargo Van. I use it primarily for hauling work related equipment. I would like to have the ability to occasionally, leagaly, install one rear bench seat and seat belts for hauling kids and family. Has anyone out there heard of such a kit that can be installed so that a passenger bench seat can be installed or removed in the Chevy Express Cargo Vans?
  • savannamansavannaman Posts: 1
    Hmm I have a 97 5.7 vortec that screams...don't know what yours problem is and it also has 223,000 miles on it
  • Hi, I have a new motor for my 99 express 3500 5.7L and I was wondering if anyone out there has ever replaced the motor themselves. I have alot of experience fixing cars but never replaced motor. I figure its gonna be a [non-permissible content removed] but would really like to do it myself for experience. Any help would be appreciated thanks
  • stackstack Posts: 3
    My 2003 Express A/C blows warm air when parked and idling or stopped in traffic and the outside temp is above 90 or so. Gets cold again once vehicle is moving. Any other owners have the same issue? It has done it since I bought it new. I know there is a TSB on this subject for the GM pickups with the same 6.0L engine, but I see nothing about the Express or Savana. TSB calls for installing an auxiliary electric fan on the condenser.
  • flybabyflybaby Posts: 4
    hi there, I am new to this site, i have a 97 savana van that also just stops without any warning !!! sometimes i can be doing 10mph sometimes 50mph !!! can anyone please help as i am going crazy trying to sort out this problem
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