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
Feb 06, 2003 (10:22 am)
I bought a new Astro in 1995. I was so pleased over the years that I bought another one 2 weeks ago.
Chevy redesigned the sliding door lock on the 2003 Astro vans. IT FEELS LIKE IT LOCKS IN THE OPEN POSITION, BUT IT WILL CLOSE WITH ONLY FINGER PUSHING PRESSURE APPLIED AT THE REAR OF THE DOOR. WHOEVER OWNS ONE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! HAVE SOMEONE HOLD THE DOOR OPEN WHILE ENTERING OR EXITING. IF ON A HILL THE DOOR WILL SLAM FAST AND HARD SHUT.
PLEAE BE CAREFUL.
I contacted NHSA and filed a complaint with GM. The complaint number is #1-697668689. The dealer admitted that the new design sucks , but he cannot adjust or tweak it beyond the established GM Manual requirements. i understand his position.
Please be careful out there.
#519 of 1973 Answers to a couple of recent questions on this site (and some comments)
Feb 06, 2003 (6:33 pm)
I had a 2000 AWD Safari and just traded it in on an order out Red/Tan 2003 AWD Astro. The 2003 Chev Astros and GMC Safaris are Clones: same price, same features, same colors. Best buy is who has the best price.
They are made on the same Baltimore assembly line, just depends on what day it is. Differences are grille trim and some labels/badges.
They are going to make them at least through 2005.
They took out the second seat fore-aft adjustment so it is now impossible to get into the 3rd seat. I am having the dealer find me a previous year adjusting mechanism.
You cannot sit upright in an Astro/Safari in a wheel chair and there is no legal way to secure it on a factory model. Removing the two seats is a two person job. Do it alone and you will scratch up the trim and the vehicle. They are REALLY clumsy. I added rubber strips to the rear sill so it doesn't get all scratched up.
The high pitch whistle is likely the alternator bearing. They have a new alternator from 2003 onward (previous years DO NOT FIT) and the bearing on mine made a high pitch faint squeal/whistle that came and went until the dealer finally pinned it down.
They also don't supply the under passenger seat storage box any more on LS even though the factory specs call out that item as included.
I have installed aftermarket wheel wheel chrome, front and rear spoilers, mud flaps in rear, (vehicle has factory running boards so you cannot put mud flaps in front), moved the front seats back 2" for more leg room, put in a center console for arm support (factory arm rests are junk).
#520 of 1973 General
Feb 07, 2003 (10:54 am)
If the factory spec shows the under the seat storage box, how can I get the dealer to install it.
Is there a document or something I can reference?
The middle seat lack of adjustment was a shock to us as well. Would the mechanism retrofitable to the current seat?
How does your sliding door OPEN lock work?
Thanks for the info.
e-mail address is:
Feb 07, 2003 (5:37 pm)
How did you move the front seats back?
#522 of 1973 Obus 100 questions/answers
Feb 08, 2003 (9:19 am)
When I ordered out mine, the GM specs on the website showed it. I don't know if it does any more. I figure GM saved about $1 on the storage box. I got one from a bone yard for a couple bucks and installed it myself. Interestingly, the carpet is still slit under the passenger seat and the wiring loom is there for connecting to a passenger 6 way power seat that has not been available since 1999. The sliding side door just barely stays there. I suspect they did it for liability reasons (people driving down the road with the door open).
I am looking for a bone yard for the second seat adjuster. same adjuster used since 1996 2nd and 3rd seat. Dealer is saying factory problem and factory is saying they have a right to change the specs. Obviously focus groups are not listened to at GM. Or the designer never tried to use his own vehicle.
Take out the seat with frame intact (4 nuts on the floor studs 15mm I think and measure carefully 2" back from current hole locations and drill two new holes and use 5/16" grade 8 bolts. This is for passenger side and NON electric driver side.
I had to install 3/8" thick x 2" wide x 24" long straps on top of 6 way power seat frame on driver side and reposition the seat 2" back on the new subframe. I also put the power seat controls on the left hand side of the seat frame where GM should have put them in the first place. Just swap the trim from side to side.
I am 6'6" and now lots of leg room both sides, and Wife can put left foot somewhere now that she has more leg room on her side.
Still have a rumble when accellerating at 60-65 and I think it is the rear pumpkin. Watching this and will let dealer know when it is constant.
Drove 8 hours in blizzard the other night, interstate had 4-6 inches of snow. VERY glad I have AWD and limited slip. Jeep Cherokees and Ford Explorers all were putting along at 35 mph and we were sure footed at 50-55 mph. It did not drift nor slip at all.
Dont like the Bridgestone Tires however, just because of the reputation of Firestone.
#523 of 1973 Obus 100 questions/answers
Feb 08, 2003 (7:29 pm)
I am going to check that out about the seat.
Have a 2001 awd with limited slip cargo. You are correct snow is no problem. I had a bronco and the Safari is a lot better in snow.
#524 of 1973 93 Astro Problems!!!!!
Feb 09, 2003 (5:20 pm)
I am ready to drive this piece of junk into the river! I am not sure where to start, but most of our major problems started about a year ago when the engine head gasket and valve seals were replaced. Soon after, I had EGR problems, in fact so many, the dealership gave up and we didn't want to spend more money to "shotgun" this problem. For some reason there is a continuous build up of carbon deposits that was clogging the EGR Valve. The dealership decided to unplug the electrical connection to the EGR valve and run the van with the engine light on continuously. It ran a little rough, but we were OK with this as long as the van didn't stall on us. Gradually over time, the van ran rougher and there were no signs of blue or black smoke coming from the exhaust. The van would also start hard, where we learned to turn the ignition key "on" and "off" a few times before the engine would turn over. Trying to start the engine and hold it in the "start" mode did not work. It was almost like the engine was "choking" for a lack of a better word. Recently we started to smell a "burning" order from the van when the van ran for a while, but I am not sure what is causing this. We are trading this van in three months, but I don't think its going to last by then. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Feb 09, 2003 (9:03 pm)
There's a little bit of info on google about the EGR problems. The first hit suggests replacing the O2 sensor as well as the valve.
There also appear to be three EGR related TSBs that your dealer may not know about.
Feb 10, 2003 (8:26 am)
My 91 Astro was running very rough and stalling about a year and a half ago. It did not pass emissions and needed an o2 sensor. Still never passed emissions, but since then it has run very well. It is starting to run a little rough again. I have also heard that if the Catalitic (sp?) converter is in need of replacemnt it will give off the bad smell, and cause the o2 sensor to wear out quickly.
Feb 12, 2003 (5:47 am)
>>I have also heard that if the Catalitic (sp?) converter is in need of replacemnt it will give off the bad smell, and cause the o2 sensor to wear out quickly.
A bad cat will smell like rotten eggs. A bad cat will also fry your 02 sensor or sensors in short order, particularly a "downstream" 02 sensor like many cars have today. They should have checked your cat when they changed your 02 sensor or sensors.
I don't, however, believe that the cat is likely to cause your emissions failure. The pollutants removed by the cat process aren't typically measured at emissions time.