Last post on Sep 19, 2013 at 3:05 AM
You are in the Chevy Express & GMC Savana
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Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Chevrolet Express Cargo, Chevrolet Sportvan, Chevrolet Chevy Van, Chevrolet Chevy Van Classic, Van
#40 of 655 My 1996 Chevy Van Sucks!
Feb 12, 2000 (12:20 am)
I too purchased a 1996 Chevrolet 1500 Express Full conversion conversion van in early 1997 and folks let me tell ya it SUCKS! I have had more problems with this vehicle than any I have owned in my whole lifetime and I am 40.
Electrical problems - battery cable, battery plus other problems.
Noisy fuel pump - Which Chevy won't replace
Fuel Injector problems
Rear passenger door hinge (recall)
Must change front brake pads every year
Leaks oil and something else.
Door panels coming alose
Rattles and sqeeks
My 35 gallon gas tank (sticker) only seems to hold 29 gallons (wonder were the other 7 gals are at?).
Starting to idle poorly now (here we go again)
Now this vehicle gets routine maintance and oil changes. Never has towed anything, has 66,000 miles and is used as a daily transporter of the family with a bi-annual trip to one coast or another. The Chevy dealer never seems to fix the problems correctly the first time so we must often return it several times to get the problems resolved. If it were not for the warranty and extended warranty I would have spent well over $5,000.00 in repair work. Even with the extended warranty I was often stuck with bills exceeding $500.00. The Chevy dealer will listen to your problems but getting them to properly fix them is another story.
This lifelong GM consumer is currently searching for a new van and trust me it won't be a GM product.
Feb 13, 2000 (8:19 am)
Gee, srehme and faninbigd, what can I say?
Not that this is any consolation, but '96 *is* the first model year of the van's new design, and GM is notorious for lots of bugs in their first-year models.
I also have long been concerned with the fact that many conversion companies use 1500 vans instead of 2500 or higher. The conversion stuff adds a lot of weight to the van, which has to take its toll somehow or other.
Our 31-gal tank also appears empty and will then take only about 24 gallons. That may be intentional on the part of the manufacturer to prevent running out of gas. Last summer, we were on a long cross-country trip, and stupidly left a town without refilling our tank. We found ourselves out in the middle of nowhere, with the needle on empty, praying that maybe the next tiny dot on the map would have a gas station, then the next one. We kept going like that for something like 40 miles, I think, until we were finally relieved to find a gas station. So I think there's plenty of reserve in the tank.
#42 of 655 Gas Tank Capacity
Feb 14, 2000 (6:26 pm)
I picked up a Savana 1500 SLE 2 weeks ago. Forgot
to bargain for a full gas of tank and had to fill
up right away. I ended up putting in 29 gallons
after the 15 mile trip home.
There was a coolant leak due to a hose not being tightened properly. When ABS kicks in, the steering wheel ( and van ) goes left.
The ride and noise level are very satisfactory. If
the mechanic can eventually repair the brakes , I'll be satisfied.
Could the person posting about the distance detector, please keep us up to date about his installation.
A nice security system is the GM VSS-150. It works
with original GM remote control.
#43 of 655 Distance Detector Update
Feb 15, 2000 (1:20 am)
The device I installed just over 10 days ago is a Poron. At the moment I believe the model is a Mini 3LV (ref. poronusa.com).
I was leery about buying sight unseen and fortunately work near their Gardena California office. The poron rep offered to visit me at my work and demonstrated the unit in his car.
I was impressed, temporarily installed it with masking tape, and then plunged in for the clean installation.
I have been actually ENJOYING backing up ever since.
Unlike the $700 BMW option, this unit actually displays the distance in feet and tenths of feet (metric if you flip the switch). Accuracy is excellent.
The installation was a fun project. Anyone who can install a fog lamp can do this.
Installation. 2 wires get spliced onto the wires going to the back up light. 1 power and 1 ground. I had previously located these wires behind the interior trim panel (which just pops off) at the back right corner of the van. I opted to solder splice the wires to avoid potential with the quick splice connectors that were supplied.
The control unit is about the size of a cigar. I used the supplied double stick tape and attached it onto the rear post (underneath the trim panel).
The three detectors mounted to supplied brackets and then under the bumper with supplied double stick tape. It seems possible that in this position, they may one day be knocked off by rocks. So next time I will use pieces of angle aluminum instead of the plastic brackets to give them greater protection.
I overachieved at routing the detector wires. Instead of routing them the easy way--up into the doorway and under the black trim along the back bottom of the van, I removed the drain plug from the back right post and installed a grommet. Through this entry I ran a coat hanger down and then taped the detector connectors (modular phone plugs) to the coat hanger. I pulled the wires up and connected them to the control unit.
One glitch was having to get an extension for the far left detector so it would reach the control unit. My van is w i d e.
I ran the cord for the display up the post. I used the supplied bracket to suspend the display from the headliner/back trim piece by just wedging into place. (The install manual shows the display under the rear view mirror but I prefer the mounting to be where I can see it when I am looking backwards)
All my friends think its great. They get out the tape measure, check the distance and are amazed.
Because of the additional secure feeling, I don't want a van/truck without one.
#44 of 655 Alignments paid under warranty
Feb 16, 2000 (9:55 pm)
GM will pay to align the vehicle if it shows signs of pulling within the 1st 6-8000 miles. Not sure of the exact amount.
The dealers want $180 to do the first alignment as they must pull and replace a ring. I've been told by the converter who mfg my van to have it done. Most alignment shops will only do a light duty alignment and will not pull the ring.
If you feel that your van is pulling and you are within the GM warranty coverage for alignments take it in and ask them to align it under warranty.
I was told by a tire dealer to do that but never did because I was not experiencing the problem. I now have a slight pull and must pay the big $$. Once the ring is replaced regular alignments are all that are needed.
#45 of 655 Re: Distance Detector
Feb 16, 2000 (11:11 pm)
Vandalybay1... for those of use who lack the "testicular fortitude" to install this thingy ourselves, what do you recommend? I'm afraid the dealer wouldn't do a decent job. Should I take it to an installer of car audio accessories? Or are the instructions clear enough that even a DIY neophyte can accomplish the installation?
Feb 18, 2000 (1:09 am)
Yes, that's the right kind of talent! An Auto Stereo Installer would have no problem installing the unit. All parts are there including connectors and double stick tape.
I agree and I would NOT take it to a dealer--this is out of their specialty.
KEY TO SUCCESS: find a person who can take their time (even a talented teen). If it takes as long as 2 hours, then the installer took lunch or was REALLY careful.
The job is really easy if you just run the sensor wires up into the door and under the "threshold" piece.
clean mounting surfaces with rubbing alcohol and let dry before using double stick tape.
order a sensor cable extension when you buy the kit.
PS: Anyone with power steering or brake fluid wetting the outside of the clear/beige colored reservoir?
Feb 28, 2000 (1:05 am)
The chevy express 1500 is rated to tow 6000 lbs,(12100 lb GCVW), don't believe it. The standard axle is a puny 8 3/4 inch ring gear model and will not hold up, I found out the hard way. While towing at 12000 lbs GCVW over Snoqualmie pass in Wa. the rear axle wore out (burned out)and had to be completely rebuilt in Spokane. The dealer was great but as I found out more about this problem I discovered that in the 1500 van and pickups there are 3 different rear axles that can be had in them, make sure you do not take the small one, it won't stand up to towing what chevy says it will tow.
#48 of 655 THESE THINGS SUCK
Mar 01, 2000 (12:02 am)
I AM A BUSINESS OWNER WITH 30 TRUCKS AND VANS IN MY FLEET (25VANS). ALL ARE GMC OR CHEVY. UNTIL THE NEW STYLE ARRIVED I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A "GM" MAN. WELL AFTER RUNNING 15 OF THE NEW VANS FOR THE LAST 4 YEARS I AM CHANGING.
I HAVE HAD COUNTLESS PROBLEMS AND I MAINTAIN THESE VEHICLES REGULARLY IN AN EFFORT TO AVOID THIS. THE FACTORY BRAKES HAVE BEEN GOING ON ME IN VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE VEHICLES AFTER ABOUT 30000 KM (20000 MILES). THE SIDE HINGES HAVE SIEZED ON 50% OF THE VANS AND GM IS SAYING USER FAULT. LAST WEEK I REPLACED A TRANSMISSION AND A SPEEDOMETER CLUSTER ON ONE VAN FOR $2900.00 CDN (62000MILES) AND TODAY ANOTHER VANS' TRANSMISSION WENT AFTER 40000 MILES.
IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD SEND A DETAILED LIST BUT IT IS A LONG ONE.
I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS AND WILL NOT BUY ANOTHER GM/CHEVY PRODUCT FOR A LONG TIME. MAYBE IT DOES HAVE A SMOOTH RIDE LIKE A CAR BUT I NEED A DURABLE WORK TRUCK AND NOT A CADILLAC.
Mar 02, 2000 (3:31 am)
I don't blame you for looking elsewhere after all of those problems. I hope your new choice works out as well as the old GM vans did.
Please let us know:
1) What model years gave you the most trouble?
2) What model number vans have given you the brake trouble (1500, 2500, or 3500)?
3) What model gave you the transmission trouble?
4) What hinges gave you trouble (front driver/passenger, side cargo, rear cargo?