Last post on Oct 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM
You are in the GMC Safari & Chevy Astro
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GMC Safari, Chevrolet Astro, Van
Mar 01, 2008 (4:14 pm)
I have a 1998 GMC Safari that lost oil pressure on the burlington skyway bridge in ontario (probably the worst place in Ontario to break down!) I knew it was bad news, but getting rear ended is worse. I tried to make it to the top so I could coast down to safety, all the while watching the temperature gauge which stayed around 60C. Before I reached the peak I could hear the engine getting louder,and then there was a loud popping sound followed by a burning smell. I got towed home and filled the oil back up the next day. It started up but had a definate knocking/grinding type sound, but remained running. The oil spewed out all over the ground from the back part of the engine on the driver's side of course. The van's worth about $2000 but more to me as I've replaced a bunch of things over the years. Is this fixable? Did I blow a rod? Is it worth getting towed to a garage and spending a few hundred bucks to find out what's wrong? Or will they just tell me it's toast. It's still in pretty good shape overall. It sound expensive. Any advice would be appreciated.
#1715 of 1973 Re: Junk it or fix it [pistandbroke]
Jun 27, 2008 (3:16 pm)
It sounds like the motor is toast. The cost to have a shop put in a motor will probably equal what the van is worth. You may get lucky and only have a burnt valve and may only need top end replacement, but reason you lost oil pressure also needs to be adressed, so a new motor is probably the best and safest route.
How many miles are on the vehicle and what do you use it for? If you use it regularly and for it's intended purpose- hauling people around, for work as a contractor (is it a cargo van?), towing and such it would be best to fix it and keep it depending on the reliability of the rest of the vehicle's parts. The cost of fixing it may indeed be less than a different vehilce and provide many thousand more miles of service. But if it has so many miles that only rigorous maintenance is keeping it on the road and is now equaling a car payment a month, then you might be better replacing it with something more reliable. Don't just fix it a keep it for sentimtal reasons ("...I've replaced a bunch of things over the years...") The vehicle is not a sick child and not worth pouring more money into it if it would better spent elsewhere. When it all comes down to it, the vehicle is just an appliance and when it has lived it's useful life, junk it and get something else.
Mar 02, 2008 (9:02 pm)
Hi, I have a 1999 astro. The running lights and low beam headlights just stopped working suddenly. The high beam headlights work fine. This seemed to happen right after my wife had to call a wrecker for a jumpstart. There is no voltage going to the low beam headlights. I replaced the headlight switch with one from a junkyard. That didn't change anything. Any ideas? Thanks, MZ
#1717 of 1973 2000 AWD Astro Van.....Starting problem
Mar 03, 2008 (11:39 am)
First to "thebigirl" two years ago I had a choice to either put in a NEW or a Junkyard engine or scrap my van and buy a new one.....MOTOR died big time on me from a problem which many chevy owners faced with this years motor......since a good structurally, nice interiored van with NO working engine is basically worthless.....I bought a NEW Jasper Complete engine which came with a 3yr/75,000 mile warranty as opposed to a junkyard 30 day warranty. Now Jasper has 3yr/100,000 mile warranty. It cost me approx. $6k, a bit more since I had to fix a tranny problem while the engine was out. IT SURE BEATS MONTHLY PAYMENTS AND SALES AND EXCISE TAX FOR A NEW VEHICLE OR FOR THAT MATTER A DECENT USED VEHICLE. If you know your van, why not fix it.....?
NOW MY PROBLEM...........
My '95 was "Built Like a Rock", but my 2000 was built like a "Pebble".....! Biggest piece of CRAP I have ever owned is this 2000 Astro.....!
Heres my PROBLEM.......Intermittent starting problems, It is NOT the Cap or Wires or Rotor. Have NEW Alternator, NEW Battery, not the Key switch, all lights do what they are supposed to on Dash.
It is like the OLD FORDS, when the starter solenoid would start to go it would click, click, click, on those you could jump the solenoid. Volts/Amps ok with Battery, No offense to woman, but this thing in the past four weeks has only turned on and started when it wants too......!
I have checked all wires I can find in van for any shorts, checked positive wire from battery to starter solenoid, checked fuses, UNSURE how or if starter RELAY's can be checked....? I do have a mechanical background, the only thing is when I was employed as a mechanic it was the days I could sit in an old lady's 4dr chevy 327's engine compartment and take off intake, headers, heads etc......!
I have had it in to have the codes checked, a battery load test, as well as Alternator/Stator output, diodes etc, etc..
I had a conversation with mechanic that swapped engine couple years ago, he thought it sounded like slush got into starter during a wet, warm slushy day because my son takes it to school and the first time it occurred was a day like this, then it got REALLY COLD and when he got out of school it was well below freezing, he tried and tried, we ended up towing(with straps). It sat in my garage overnight and the next morning it started. It went almost two weeks, then it happened after speaking a mechanic friend who said to me try and recreate it, I had no idea how I did it but I did then could NOT find the reason as to why or how.
Checked the volts/amps in battery ok, chk'd volts from Positive of solenoid, OK, a bit of a draw when trying to start with the clik, clik, clik, do not believe the volts dropped below 9.6/9.8...? give or take. It sat for a bit, then couple hours later started right up.
Then began several days of this, it may start five times in a row, sit for awhile then not start for two days. Tried to several other tests, but unable.
Had apt. to get it on a lift to look at starter and put a load on it, however like going to the dentist, first time all ok, Next time last Friday set up another time for lift and it DIED. Saturday started ok several times, then Sunday Once and today Monday.....NOTHING but clik, clik, clik
ANYBODY HAVE ANY IDEAS........? JUNK STARTER, BAD SOLENOID, BAD RELAYS, LOOSE WIRES................????????
HELP IF ANY IS MUCH APPRECIATED........!
Mar 03, 2008 (11:47 am)
Just read about the light switch on the Astro..........Better to test things first prior to BUYING and spending time replacing items. Not meant to be sarcastic, just that you can test the switch or take it out and have local parts shop check it for you prior to buying an new or used one, takes alot of time and money to troubleshoot a problem this way. ESPECIALLY with these ASTRO VANS.........I'd take back my '95 with 135,000 miles on it in a heart beat over the LEMON ASTRO I now own......I new two weeks after buying this thing it was the biggest piece of **** I would ever own......!!
#1719 of 1973 Re: heater air flow problems [n5445]
Mar 04, 2008 (3:50 am)
Thanks everyone, It was the vacuum hose,all fixed working fine.
#1720 of 1973 Re: 2000 AWD Astro Van.....Starting problem [awdastrojunk]
Mar 04, 2008 (11:00 am)
So are you saying that when the can doesnt start, the engine wont turn over at all??
Just the click click click?
If so, assuming you've checked the wires for corrosion from batt to starter and checked ground wires also It would lead me to check water in the oil that is freezing up the engine.
My neighbors car had this type of problem and it was the battery cables that were corroded at the terminals. One time it would start and the next time it wouldnt.
I took a wire brush and cleaned the cable contacts and good to go.
My van would start intermittent, but Ive tracked that down to moisture in the ignition system. The van sits outside and at 167k miles the contacts arent what they used to be and allow moisture to get inside them.
The fact that the van would start if you left it in the garage leads me to think moisture problem.
When was the last oil change,coolant change??
If the engine turns over when trying to start, I would then look at water in the fuel line.
Overall, since it works and then doesnt work, I wouldnt go the route of replacing parts. Sounds like the parts are fine.
1. start by checking corrosion on the starting circuit wires,+ and -.
then check oil for moisture(sludge) then coolant(correct %),etc.
If the engine compartment looks very "wet"(moisture) use can of moisture remover and hit all of the connectors/contacts you can reach
This is the route I would take before spending money on parts that may not even need to be replaced.
Or just wait till warmer weather and fix it before next winter.
#1721 of 1973 Re: 2000 AWD Astro Van.....Starting problem [awdastrojunk]
Jun 27, 2008 (3:16 pm)
first let me clear up some confusion about my name... you stated "thebigirl" when it is really thebigal - meant to be read the-big-al
anyways, not sure if I can help on the starter issue and it's a bummer that you have such a lemoned vehicle... I just bought my Astro. It's the 4th vehicle with the 4.3 V6 drivetrain, 2nd Astro and all of them I have been very happy with.
A few years ago I had a '95 S-10 with the 4.3 that started exhibiting intermittent starting problems. It wouldn't click, but it would grind. It wasn't the starter hitting the flywheel grind it was inside the starter somehwere. It would do just what your van is doing. It would be fine for a few starts and then it would have issues for a bit and then it would be fine. I traced everything, checked all my wires, made sure all the corrosion was cleaned if I found any and replaced a couple of cables too I think just to make sure the corrosion hadn't gotten inside the cables.
Nothing helped and finally the starter just quit working. I had to push start the vehicle everytime I wanted to start it. I decided I best just replace the starter. After I did that I had no problems getting the vehicle started. After anylisis of the problem, I determined that there was a broken tooth or a worn gear inside the starter. When that particular tooth lined up properly, it wouldn't enage the rest of the starter and grind. Or so I determined. What might be happening to you is there might be a bad connection in the solenoid that sometimes works, then the connection is broken and then it won't work unitl the connection is made again. There could be enough of a connection that it will work, but the connection is so fragile that it doesn't take much to break, or make it. It could be inside the solenoid and be non-servicable. So if you have done everything except replace the starter - like making sure the cable are good, that there is no corrosion at the batter, the battery is indeed good, the connections at the starter are good and there is no corrosion there either, then the next step is to replace the starter.
Mar 05, 2008 (6:27 pm)
Sorry I thought it was a funny screen name to be advertising, but I just chocked it up to the NEW World Order.. Yes, I have been thru this thing with a fine tooth comb, I just went through the entire dash wiring tonight. I forgot how much I hate NEWER vehicles with all the plastic crap which covers the meat and potatoes of a vehicle. Even though I have had battery checked and rechecked with load tests, gonna get another try that first. I have done hours of research and on some, not all, but some Astro's if battery is off just a bit the computer and components tell the starter there is not enough juice when there is......computers! supposed to make our lives easier, but they make it worse as far as complexities go. Just another way for big corporations to sell products.
Thanks for the help. I appreciate the response, if this does not work I am going to pop in a new starter and see what happens. If it continues you may read about me in the paper......
#1723 of 1973 Starting Problems
Mar 06, 2008 (3:34 pm)
Check the main wiring bulkhead that plugs into the fire wall just behind the battery. This plugs directly into the back of the fuse box and I've seen it cause a lot of problems. The main ignition wire oin this pulls so much power it will melt around the plug and get a bad connection, I've seen this before on Astro's and several other kind of vehicles ,especially full power ones. The main ignition wire pulls so much power it should hve been hard wired but since these vehicles are built on an assembly line they just plug in piece by piece, easier and cheaper to build but a big problem when the plugs fails because it wasn't designed to pull that much power. DLM1954