Last post on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM
You are in the GMC Safari & Chevy Astro
What is this discussion about?
GMC Safari, Chevrolet Astro, GMC Safari Cargo, Van
#128 of 170 2000 GMC Safari Passenger Van
Nov 17, 2008 (9:51 am)
I purchased my second GMC Safari Van, July of 2004. At the time, it only had 54,000 miles on it. A few weeks after I began driving it, I could not get it to shift into "park". I was told the bolts on the transmission were loose, and had it fixed.
At 97,000 miles, I made a 1000 mile trip, to check on my 91 yr. old Mother who was not doing well, in a Nursing home. When I returned, I noticed that I had a whirring noise in the rear of the van. When I took it to the dealer (I always have the dealer do everything to it, and had an extended warranty, as well, which expired) 3 of their mechanics drove it, I went along and was told there was nothing wrong, by 2 of them, The 3rd, who is a transmission specialist, thought he should open the transmission and check it. When he did, he said the transmission fluid was "foaming"?? I have never heard that term before. We agreed to have him replace filters and seals and a "tailhanger" bracket, and $409.00 later, I drove it out of the dealership, and it seemed more "quiet" than it was originally. 2 weeks later, I hear the same noise, and even though I can't really tell if it is shifting any differently, the noise is annoying, and I'm debating whether I should bring it back and have them check anything else on it? Thank you for whatever advise you can provide me. I am a senior citizen, and don't know that much about vehicles, nor can I afford much in repairs, on a fixed income. Could they have missed the actual problem? I'm wondering if new tires could solve the noise problem, since mine are 3 yrs. old and getting low on tread...Michelins. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
#129 of 170 Re: 1995 GMC Safari RWD [vernon1978]
Nov 17, 2008 (9:59 am)
Hello Vernon...I had a 1995 Safari, the EGR Valve and the Radiator gave me
problems. I had the radiator repaired, but couldn't afford the EGR valve, so I was told to have the engine cleaned, which I did. After that, it began to blow white smoke, but a friend at work, who also owned a 1995, told me to invest in a tank of High Test gas, to clean the engine of residue from the cleaner that was used. Once I burned a tank of the highest grade fuel, the white smoke disappeard and it ran like a champ! Perhaps your van is only asking for a Steak, instead of the hot dogs we normally put in there, in the form of cheap gas, which doesn't burn the deposits off the plugs and fouls the engines faster. I know, "gas is gas" but a good mechanic told me once, to use 2/1 ration....two tanks of regular to one tank of High grade, if I want it to keep running better. Good luck, I hope that helps.
#130 of 170 Slipping Trans
Jan 11, 2009 (2:57 pm)
My 2005 Astro shifts ok but when you go down the hwy it acts like it slips out of gear. The motor will rev but the transmission is not pulling.
#131 of 170 weird trans problem
Jan 12, 2009 (8:30 am)
Strange problem developed yesterday. 97 Safari was running great. Never slips or anything like that. Drove to church in the morning and it wouldn't reverse. I put it back in drive and drove to the other side of the lot where I could get out. After church I checked the fluid level - fine - put it in reverse - no problem - back to drive - ok. Drove out of the lot and 1/4 mile down the road it wouldn't go. Shut it off, started it back up and it went into gear. Drove it over to my parents' on the next street, but it won't shift out of first. It also won't shift into reverse until you turn the van off and restart it. It doesn't over rev when your driving it just stops. This one has me lost! Any ideas?
#132 of 170 Re: weird trans problem [pcvan]
Mar 07, 2009 (8:00 am)
Same "previous" situation with my 2001 AWD Safari van's transmission. re: Lost "R" gear, lost a few forward gears as well. End in the end, my van's transmission needed a rebuild kit. Kit and labor install was $1,100 - before taxes. Since tranny build (2.5 years ago), my van's shifting is much smoother, its "R" gear feels much better and overall, I'm very pleased with its fix. Yes. Expensive fix but in the end, this fix worked great.
Note: Do call around because shop quotes do varry. I got some back yard mechanic to upgrade my van's transmission. For me, he did a great jog - at $300 less expensive then formal shop estimates.
#133 of 170 Tranny issues
Apr 06, 2009 (7:34 pm)
I just picked up a 1998 safari without awd.
The tranny is acting up shifting into 2nd gear.
I was wondering if anyone could tell me what tranny it has it, model number or something?
Also if there is any manuals or books out there for this specific transmission?
Thanks for all the help
#134 of 170 Problems with my 99' Chevy Astro
Jun 03, 2009 (5:59 am)
I have a 99' Chevy Astro automatic van. It has been great for me for 10 years now. It has 109,000 miles on it now and is starting to give me a problem. When I start to get on the road, sometimes it seems like it will not catch in gear or something. I can press the gas pedal as hard as I want and it will rev but will not catch into gear for up to 1/8 of a mile. It will run fine after it catches, but it is a little scary if I was to pull out in front of someone on a highway. This does not happen every time I go somewhere, very random. I think it might be the start of tranny trouble. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Steve
#135 of 170 Re: Problems with my 99' Chevy Astro [bigsteve7]
Jun 03, 2009 (6:40 pm)
The "factory" transmisisons in the Astro/Safaris vans are known to blow and need a rebuild. If wondering, the tranny in my previous 2003 AWD Safari with only 74,000 miles blow. Blew while driving normally and pulling away from a stop light. It needed a complete rebuild (using factory torque convertor). After rebuild, my van's tranny was better then factory. It shifted properly, it felt firm shifting across its different grears and it never slipped again. And, it handled the colder weather much better as well. As a suggestion, do "shop around" for tranny rebuild prices in your region. If you do higher then normal use, you may want to install a transmisison HD shift kit instead. And/or a better then factory torque convertor. For my needs, factory torque convertor with normal rebuild was needed. In the end, I'm glad I got my van's tranny rebuilt. Didn't like its $1,000 cost but afterwards, my van's tranny was great.
If wondering, my tranny specialist told me to install a HD transmission cooler in my van as well. A cooler that is rated to pull a 5,000 lbs trailer. Even if only used for "soccer mom" driving conditions (which was 98% of my family's driving conditions), the factory tranny's do NOT like heat. re: Hot day, stuck in stop / slow traffic while also driving up a hill is very bad combination. A tranny Aux Cooler keeps its tranny ATF oil cooler and thus, its transmission lasts much longer. As a suggestion, do install http://www.makcotransmissionparts.com/OC-1678.html (or simular company with 5,000 lbs rating) Aux Transmission Cooler as well. This upgrade is "well worth it" - even for normal "soccer mom" driving conditions.
Hope this helps....
#136 of 170 Re: Problems with my 99' Chevy Astro [bigsteve7]
Jun 03, 2009 (9:11 pm)
For more details on 4L60E transmission Rebuild kit (assuming 4L60E was installed in your van's factory build) surf:
Note: Labor to drop the transmission, install the kit, re-install the transmission and add new fluids is the costly part. The Rebuild kit (without Torque Convertor upgrade) parts isn't every expensive.
Hope this helps as well.
#137 of 170 Would You buy this Safari? (is tranny whine normal?)
Jun 20, 2009 (11:15 am)
I'm looking at buying a 2001 state owned Safari Cargo today. It's in great shape with 150k. The engine and tranny look real clean, so I think they have been replaced. The car is in amazing condition. (looks like 25-50k max, no abuse)
problem: tranny is whining, ( sound (pitch) goes up and down with gear shift) the whine seems a bit louder in lower gears (1,2), but never goes away. (maybe in 4th not sure)
The sound is not too loud, almost "acceptable range". In other words, If a little whine with this tranny is o.k. then this one is probably within range. If ANY whine at all is sign of trouble, than trouble is here, cause it's audible, but not overwhelming at all.
The van is 2WD, no tow hitch, trans. fluid is clean,fresh. Van shifts fine, revs SLIGHTLY going into 2nd or 3rd, but doesnt feel like slip.
I really can't afford down time and repairs at this time. Otherwise, even with a replacement this van would be an o.k. buy.