1988 Chevrolet Astro Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1988 Chevrolet Astro 4.3 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.3 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired146000 miles
Most recent distance186000 miles
Previous carNissan 2 X 4 Truck

Summary:

Super dependable, very practical vehicle for a family man or a contractor

Faults:

The A/C compressor was replaced.

Power steering pressure line broke from metal fatigue.

Metal line assy. that goes to heater core rusted out and started leaking antifreeze.

Bracket on back of power steering pump has broken twice. I decided to leave it alone, it hasn't caused any trouble.

Replaced starter.

General Comments:

This has been a great van. My father bought it new in 88. I got it at 146,000 miles.

It was well maintained from day one, that is a major factor for it being so dependable for me at its current high mileage.

Plenty of power, room for the kids, and all my junk I seem to always have to take with me everywhere I go. Tools etc...

The entire drivetrain is original and has never had any (or needed any) work done to it with the exception of rear axle seals being replaced several years ago.

If you have an Astrovan and intend to keep it ya might as well go ahead and start buying door handles now! I'm not complaining though, the originals lasted for many years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2003

1988 Chevrolet Astro CS 4.3L from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.3L Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired172000 miles
Most recent distance176000 miles

Summary:

The power van

Faults:

Seat bolt in driver's seat broke - fixed for free under recall. This could have been a serious issue if the vehicle had been moving, hence the recall.

Bad wear in both front seats - not a big issue except cosmetically. Benches in excellent condition.

Starter is going out, and sometimes fails to engage the engine in cold weather.

Performs poorly in low-fuel situations (below 1/4 tank). Bucks and loses power. Adding fuel fixes that.

General Comments:

This has been a great first car for me. As can be expected with a high-mileage vehicle, the front seats were worn and there's some parts going out, most notably the starter. What's not expected for a car this old is a working A/C and, until recently, the factory stereo which worked, sometimes.

This thing has tons of power and excellent traction. The brakes, while occasionally noisy, are excellent and can bring the van to a stop very quickly if needed. The 4.3L V6 can get it moving again just as fast.

This car was previously owned by someone who took very good care of it. I'm surprised he let it go for $600, it's worth at least $1000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2003

1988 Chevrolet Astro 4.3 Vortec (second engine) from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 4.3 Vortec (second engine) Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired290000 kilometres
Most recent distance320000 kilometres
Previous carChevrolet Sprint

Summary:

Reliable

Faults:

The rear passenger shocks were shot at 315,000 km.

A couple holes in the seats.

The first engine (2.8L) was burned out, because the previous owners ran it dry, without oil.

Got a new front grille.

The rear brakes were done a couple of months ago.

General Comments:

The mini van has performed well, for our needs. The second engine is stronger, and more powerful than the 2.8L, but the cost of gas has gone up.

There is lots of room for 7 people. Good sound from the stock speakers.

I would buy another Chevy car, or truck. You can really depend on Chevy. So far it has no rust, and the body has 320,000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2002

1988 Chevrolet Astro CL 4.,3 fuel injected from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 4.,3 fuel injected Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance270000 miles
Previous carHonda Prelude

Summary:

Tough little gutsy van

Faults:

I bought the van very cheap, with a bad transmission. A new transmission was $650, and $289 for the shop to install it, and have not had any more transmission problems (the first failure was perhaps due to abuse)

Other than that, a few parts that always fail in high-mileage vehicle like starter, alternator, water pump, etc.

Freon leaked out of Air conditioner, and needed repairing.

Interior is starting to look rough, and some of the hardware is breaking.

The paint is a little dull, but no rust though.

General Comments:

One gutsy little van! The 4.3 has lots of power for hauling big loads.

Although it rides rough, it handles good with loads.

It goes anywhere, and does anything.

Including the purchase price of $3000, it has not broken the $10,000 mark in maintaince and repairs... not bad for getting close to 170,000 good miles out of a vehicle, and more to come!!!

Repair parts for this van are very inexpensive, and high-performance goodies are also readily avaliable, along with all sorts of other neat customizing stuff.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2002

1988 Chevrolet Astro CL 4.3 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 4.3 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance226000 miles

Summary:

Good transportation

Faults:

The original automatic transmission was a lemon. I had to have it rebuilt at 70k miles. It went out again about 14 months later. Both time reverse quit working. The engine crank shaft came apart at 85k miles. I replaced the original transmission with one from a 93 Chevy car, and I replaced the engine with a 4.3 from a 92 Chevy S10 truck. Both have performed flawlessly for over 100k miles. Can't keep the Air Conditioner going - eats compressors regularly.

General Comments:

Lots of power - good springs and shocks - toes and pulls heavy loads easily. The van gets reasonably good gas mileage, 20 to 24 depending on how it's driven. Since replacing the original engine and transmission, it has been a very dependable vehicle. It's very roomy. I can remove the two back bench seats and haul 4 x 8 sheets of plywood easily. I'll probably keep this vehicle indefinitely.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2002

5th Jul 2003, 18:43

Change your orifice tube and a/c driver.

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 8 reviews