Last post on Oct 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM
You are in the GMC Safari & Chevy Astro
What is this discussion about?
GMC Safari, Chevrolet Astro, Van
#235 of 1973 Mileage and longevity 219
Dec 23, 2001 (2:00 pm)
RE: Message from coonhound!! 219
Could you or some one else elaborate on the preventative measures? I have a 2001 Astro van and just hit 3000 miles. Will bring it in for first "checkup" (do I have to go to Chevy? I wouldn't but post re. brakes and other hidden maintenance problems worry me).
Should I have Chevy change all fluids to synthetic???
Happy with vehicle. Only problem so far was rear door misalignemnt which was corrected by dealer.
Hope to keep this vehicle a long time.
#236 of 1973 Maintenance and the AWD Astro
Dec 23, 2001 (2:46 pm)
Since 1996 I have logged a little over 300,000 miles on 3 AWD Astros. My current a 2001 LT just clicked over 22,000 miles since I bought it new in June. The 1998 AWD is sitting in the driveway with 95,000 and has not had a serious problem in it's life. My most serious maintenance problem was with the '96, and a transmission that went out. Yes, I've have water pumps and alternators and brakes, of course, go out but that's about it. I'm religious about changing oil every 5,000 miles and all the other fluids except radiator every 20,000. I've learned that the dealer knows the most about my vehicle and that's where it goes for the 20,000 mile check. I just don't have many problems with these vehicles. I owe it the the maintenance. Oh, and I rotate tires at every 5,000 too.
#237 of 1973 Maintenance and lubrication
Dec 23, 2001 (8:56 pm)
No, I would not change the fluids to synthetic until after the original factory warranty period. And I doubt that the dealer would add any lubricants except Delco by GM.
The GM specification is to change the differential lube at 15000 miles if used for towing. Transmission at 30,000 when used for towing. And there are other severe duty conditions where these intervals apply.
Good luck, you should not have any serious problems. It is one tough truck, yes---like a rock.
My 97 Astro was a program vehicle that I purchased with 26,500 miles in early 1998.
Under warranty I had a Serpentine belt replaced, one fuel injector just after I bought it. The sliding door adjusted, and some ignition wiring routing recall. I just received the second notice about the seat belt buzzer recall. I guess I'll meet the government specification.
I also pulled the DRL fuse to shut off the daytime running lamps. The 97 does not have auto on. I hate those lights being on all the time.
The brakes are not a problem area with these vans. I drove the 94 company driver 85,000 and the only repair item was spark plugs and serpentine belt. The brake caliper slides on a small bushing that slides in rubber inserts, probably O-rings, and this is on of the areas that needs the silicone lubricant at each tire rotation, so I hear. They were binding when I removed them.
I like the synthetic oil, Mobil 1 especially due the the higher withstand temperature before degradation starts.
It's a good idea to go to the dealer for the first couple of oil changes at least. As long as you keep maintenance records there should not be a problem with warranty.
#238 of 1973 power window motor
Dec 24, 2001 (11:56 am)
I need to replace the drivers side power window motor on my 97 Astro. I have a shop manual and it does not look too hard, anybody have any insight or things too look out for on this job?
#239 of 1973 Maintenance and lubrication
Dec 24, 2001 (12:35 pm)
Thank you all. Could not get to dealer for 3000 mi oil change. Had jiffy lube put in synthetic. Hope that's OK
#240 of 1973 Maintenance and lubrication
Dec 24, 2001 (1:18 pm)
You done good. There is a site on Edmunds where a lubrication Engineer says that not all synthetics ar really synthetics. He is connected with some synthetic lubricant supplier or marketer that I've never heard of, but he reported that Mobil 1 is a Synthetic. He posted a lot of good information, but at the moment I don't remember how I got to that information. An I even use some Castrol, but he said that it is not a synthetic. I don't know! It is worth your time to go find the info. as it is rather in depth and informing.
Dec 24, 2001 (3:53 pm)
I think you are referring to "bobistheoilguy". I've seen his posts in Engine Sludge?.
There are several other discussions about engine oil, synthetics, and oil analyzing over in the Maintenance and Repair Board.
SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
#242 of 1973 Our 1991 Astro CL 2 WD was mechanically perfect until....
Dec 24, 2001 (5:22 pm)
it developed a coolant leak at 59,725 miles when it was over 7 years old. The problem was a leaky manifold gasket that cost $335 labor to replaced a $15.54 part. While driving it in to get that item repaired, the windshield wiper motor quit. I feel $306.60 for a small, cheap motor made in Mexico is exorbitant and so was the $67 labor to replace the wiper motor. When those 2 things happed at the same time, we got scared and traded it on a 1999 GC SE. GM paint is greatly superior to the paint of DaimlerChrysler. Our Astro never got any rust spots with NO waxing...just washing. Meanwhile, after 1 and 1/2 winters, our 99 GC SE has little rust spots all over each side that can be taken off/covered up with Turtle Wax and MUCH labor.
We had the rotten, doofluss GM digital dash that had defective coolant temp and oil pressure that started working intermittently after a couple of years. However, both always worked when we took it in for service until about 7 years old when neither worked any more. Due to exorbitant cost of a new instrument module and labor, we did not get it replaced. Meanwhile, our daughter got a well used 91 Astro RS EXTD and the digital dash in it with 188,000 miles on odometer still works perfectly.
My good friend drove Astro vans for a airport shuttle service and one had gone 700,000 miles and the other one 650,000 miles with original engine in both. He says the 4.3 L Vortec
engines will last forever.
Would I buy another Astro? YES. If GM would take the advice of Avro1 and extend the front to provide decent leg and foot room for driver and front passenger.
Our 91 Astro got 23 to 24 MPG on trips and overall average for 61,600 miles was 20.7 MPG. I loved the great gas mileage with the large 27 gal fuel tank, the great visibility, and overall excellence of the Astro.
Dec 29, 2001 (4:04 pm)
I have a 1999 Safari SLE. When it rains, I can hear water sloshing around. I find a lot of water in the cavity of the sliding door area at the bottom of the body. There is a small area under the step when the door is open. If you open the sliding door after it rains, water will come gushing out. I checked the sliding door seal and it looks okay. Any other suggestions on how to remedy this problem?
#244 of 1973 water in footwell
Dec 30, 2001 (6:48 am)
I have same '99 model Safari. Never had leaking problem as you describe. I noticed that in our '93 model Astro that when washing footwell area with a hose that water would drain from hole placed in front of cavity - '99 has no such drain and water needs to be sponged out.
Can't imagine where your water comes from, please let me know when you cipher this.