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
#1799 of 1973 High then low idle, stalling, smelly catalytic converter, oil leakage
Aug 29, 2008 (3:50 pm)
hi, I have a 1995 GMC Safari, in the past, my service engine light has come on and the van would seem to miss (chug a bit) going down the road, it quit and the light went off for nearly 6 months, just about 2 weeks ago, the same thing.. Service Engine Soon light comes on occasionally and I could smell the catalytic converter, now it's idling crappy (idles high, nearly stalls, idles high, nearly stalls) and has been difficult to start at times, just today it began to completely stall when coming to a stop or turning at low speeds. I noticed oil dripping from the frame behind the front bumper, i'm not sure where that is coming from or if it has anything to do with the way it has been running but I know it was not leaking before.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
#1800 of 1973 Re: High then low idle, stalling, smelly catalytic converter, oil leakage [logomatrix]
Aug 30, 2008 (10:27 am)
I't's probally the EGR valve getting pieces of carbon in it.The carbon will break off inside the plenum and get stuck in the EGR valve causing the crappy idle and stalling.The fast cure is putting a screen gasket on the EGR valve but the injectors are probally leaking causing the excessive carbon.These engines run great but the design was flawed from the beginning,the EGR valve is put in a position for every piece of carbon that breaks loose falls in it. I love my ASTRO but hate the engine design and if you pull the plenum you'll find the EGR port almost completely stopped up with carbon. When it gets stuck you can take it on the highway and blow out the carbon that stuck most of the time but this doesn't work forever. You'll end up replacing the injectors and cleaning the plenum in the long run, which is expensive even if you do it your self. Having it done will set you back about 2500.00 to 3000.00 and doing it yourself will cost about 5 to 6 hundred and a few hours labor which I prefer since most garages are crooks and doing it your self you'll know it's all replaced and just not cleaned out to get them by their thirty day warranty. GOOD LUCK DLM1
#1801 of 1973 Re: GMC Safari/Astro p0300 missing at 55mph [dlm1954]
Aug 31, 2008 (5:37 am)
I found that these engine suffer from condensation in the Distributor Cap. This causes rust under the Rotor mount. The rust flakes off from beneath and magnetizes to the magnetic pick up in the bottom of the distributor causing the random miss fires. A blast of compressed air cleans it out. Treat the Rotor mount with anti rust agent and no more problems! Too simple I know!
Aug 31, 2008 (11:55 am)
Agree with above. Had similar problems on my 91. Light come on, engine gurgling, cat smell. Then go away, but come back. Lurching when cold. Get a new cap and rotor, and replace the two prong (I think) ignition module in there. On your way for under $75..Autozone has the parts. Had to pop the battery cable a few times for everything to reset itself.
#1803 of 1973 Re: [cbharobby]
Sep 01, 2008 (10:41 am)
I bought mine new and have never had that problem, but it doesn't surprise me these vans have a lot of little idioscencraties. So I guess this is just another one and one I only heard of for the first time and my van is a 95.I love these vans and wish they would have spent a little more time in the engineering because they run great and run forever with proper care and learning all the little idioscencraties so you can know how to deal with them as they come along.I recently had a problem with mine losing all ignition power which was the first and figured it was from the main bulkhead for the wiring that plugs in behind the battery,the main power lead was pulling so much power it was melting the plastic plug which I've seen on a lot of vehicles.I pulled it out cleaned it with contact clener and scraped it with a small knife and crimped the connector to fit tighter and it fixed the problem.The main problem I' ve seen on these vans with the vortec is the injectors going bad and causing carbon to build up in the plenum and then breaking off a tiny piece at a time and going straight in the EGR valve causing the loping and missing and usally a strong smell which is usally unbrnt fuel due to flooding. I hope he can fix it with a new rotor and distributor because that's the first thing I tried with mine but it just kept getting worst to the point it was undrivable.You're right usally a miss at idle and higher speeds are usally attributed to cap,rotor or wires and I hope this cures his problem but I think he said that was a 94 or 95 van and if the injectors aren't leaking it's a miracle for the astro miracle book,it would really surprise me. those injectors are connected with all cheap plastic lines with o-rings which is usally what leaks instead of the injectors themselves,but once you spend several hours taking one apart it's not worth the extra headache to just replace them and find out the injectors were shot to and have to redo it.
#1804 of 1973 how much tension should be on the drivebelt / 95 safari 6 cyl ?
Sep 01, 2008 (2:19 pm)
don't know wheather to back the tension off completely, or turn it down a bit, or set it full tension. The belt currently has 1/4 inch of slack, and I don't want to burn out the alternator bearing.
#1805 of 1973 1998 Chevy Astro Bogging / Stalling
Sep 04, 2008 (12:23 pm)
Hey guys.. going out of my mind with my wife's 1998 AWD Astro Van.
The fuel pump died at 120,000 miles had it replaced months ago and it ran fine
for a couple of months, then out of nowhere, the van would stall while idling in a parking lot, and have to sit for a while before it would restart. Most recently it would drive fine for 60-70 miles and then suddenly during a wide open pass the car would bog down and shake from loss of power until you let off the gas to at least half a pedal, as if it was out of gas, no popping, spitting just a loss of power. The car was tuned up air filter,cap, rotor,wires at 108,000 (before any problems happened) the fuel filter, fuel pump have both been replaced no engine codes come up on scan tool. Does not do this all the time, only intermittantly but when it does you get stuck were you are. Maybe a fuel regulator ???
Any body else run into this ???
#1806 of 1973 Re: 1998 Chevy Astro Bogging / Stalling [jferrantelli]
Sep 04, 2008 (1:35 pm)
Could be the regulator but it's attached to the main computer for the injectors under the plenum, if it' a vortec which it probally is. My nephew has a 97 or 98 and has to replace the fuel pump every six months or so.His vapor locks and quits running like that and he started running with the fuel cap loose.I think some of the later model Astros have an issue with the emission control system where a fuel vent valve doesn't operate properly and vapor locks them or frys the pumps. I also had a problem with mine where the main wiring bulkhead that plugs in behind the battery and goes through to the fuse block was melting the main ignition wire and loosing contact and it would not start until it cooled down.I unpluged it cleaned it with contact cleaner and a small knife and crimped the main hot wire contact to fit tighter and it cured it,mines a 95. If it's not shooting a code then it's probally not ignition problem,usally they'll shoot a code.
#1807 of 1973 Re: Ticking/Knocking noise [spike99]
Sep 09, 2008 (3:56 pm)
Well, I don't think it it piston slap as I know what that sounds like as I have a 2001 GMC pickup with it. On this van, it just started knocking and had never done it before. So know everytime I change the oil I have to substite 1 QT of oil for 1 QT of Marvel Mystery Oil. If I don't, the knocking noise gets louder. Just wondering what I can do to see what the problem is.
#1808 of 1973 Re: Ticking/Knocking noise [joelmich]
Sep 09, 2008 (5:51 pm)
Piston slap is when an undersized piston is installed. Over time or in cold weather, the piston vibrates up/down the cylinder walls. Thus, "slapping" sounds. Especially under "First Start" conditions (when little oil lubrication) or when under colder engine climate conditions.
Another form of ticking is stuck lifters, stuck valves and other stuck internal engine parts. Sometimes, Oil additives (like Mystery Oil) can loosen those parts. And over time, the stuck part Magically starts working properly again. For more details of MMO, surf entire post and bottom comments of: http://classiccars.about.com/b/2007/12/28/marvel-mystery-oil-for-your-classic-ca- - r.htm#gB3
As a suggestion, keep using MMO in your engine. If MMO makes the engine ticking sound go away, then it must be a good thing to use. Sounds like some small amounts of MMO can be used in the gas tank as well. As my doctor often says, "if it works - keeping doing it".
Hope this helps as well...