1st Jun 2003, 14:15
Don't write that van off yet. I have 3 97s with mileage all in the over 200k range, & they're all sturdy, reliable vehicles.
19th Jun 2003, 07:45
I have 97 Astro and I had the problem with the ac blowing just from the defrost vents. I figured it was a vacuum hose. I found broken vacuum line from the evap. core housing area to the intake manifold. It was hard to get to so I fixed it by sleeving it together with a 2 inch piece of larger vacuum hose. Has been working fine for about 2 months now. I lucked out on this one.
21st Jul 2003, 10:42
I also have a 1997 Chevy Astro Van, Although I am very happy with the power it has, I too have had the ac vacuum line crack which I fixed with a larger vacuum hose, My door handle for the driver's side is wobbling loose, The side door I have to manually unlock from the bottom to close it, And at this point I am having trouble with something in the rear end, What happens is I slow down and it sounds like the tires are making a lot of noise, I just had all my brakes done to see if this eliminated the problem, but it didn't. Now I am thinking its either the rear wheel bearings or the rear end. I'll let ya know. Also my Service engine light is always coming on.
4th Aug 2003, 20:09
I am the third owner of a 1992 chevy astro van. It still gets great mileage. When the previous owner, my friend (and still is) let another person drive the van. She tried to 'beat the light' and hit a truck, denting the bumper.
Since then we have had to fix the front end, and the van does not stay in park unless we 'jiggle' the gear stick. Then for safety purposes, we set the parking brake. But the van is still running OK. I happened to drive the van before the accident, and it was in great shape. I still love my van. It may cost a few bucks to fix the transmission, but it is worth it.
10th Aug 2003, 00:04
I recently bought a 1997 Safari. While I think it will be a good van, I have had some of the same problems that others have mentioned. For example, the sliding door rattles, the air conditioning only blows from the defrost and floor vents, the rear wheel bearings needed replacing and the shocks are shot. Lucky for me, I can do most of the work myself and bought the van for a great price. It has low kilometers so I hope it will last for a few miles.
16th Aug 2003, 13:33
I bought my '97 Chevy Astro LT used in 2000, and love it. Yes, it has had it's share of quirky problems, but all have been repaired relatively easily (most were painless - while under the extended warranty!). Things like a forward O2 sensor that blew when we were 1,500 miles from home, the local Chevy dealer went above and beyond the call of duty to get it fixed and get us on our way ASAP (love Louisiana hospitality!). Lower blower settings that wouldn't operate on any setting (heat, air, vent) was a burned out resistor. The fuel gauge stopped working and was replaced. I recently replaced the idler arms, shocks, and outer tie rods. Yes, it has a squeak in the passenger door, and the rear blower motor is getting a bit noisy. It has recently developed a problem with no high blower, and no air blowing from the vents (after reading the previous comments, I know where we'll start checking for *that* problem!). The biggest drawback to this van for repairs is the design of the engine compartment, fitting the engine and all necessary extras into such a small area and centering it over the wheels. Very hard on the front end. This van has over 74,000 very well-maintained miles on it, and I expect it to last a lot longer - we have a '95 Safari in the family that is closing in on 200,000 miles. Most of the problems appearing on both vans seem to be just normal wear & tear that you would expect from any vehicle, but good maintenance is a must! Would I get another Astro van? You bet!
15th Sep 2003, 09:22
I purchased my 1999 Chevy Astro at the end of year 2000. When I first got it I had problems with it starting. I took it to the dealer and they tested the electrical system, but could not find anything wrong. But since I am a mechanic I had my wife bring it home and I tested the alternator and it was bad. To make a long story short, I have had a multitude of troubles. With in the first year of having the van, the clutch fan, transmission, rear end, water pump went out on this van. This is my first American vehicle and it gave me a bad taste. I will never say I will not bad another American vehicle, but it sure won't be a Chevy. I have had more problems with this vehicle than all my vehicle put together.
14th Nov 2003, 17:01
I bought a used 1998 Astro cargo van with 130,000 in April, 2003. Its been a great truck so far, it now has 141,000 miles. I had a aftermarket transmission valve body put in because was banging into second gear. I also bought a new Ford E250 in 2002 and the transmission went at 26,000 miles so I don't think it matters what make domestic vehicle you buy... they don't compare to some of the imports.
3rd Dec 2003, 08:16
I own a 1997 AWD Safari. I purchased it for my wife and two daughters. I have been extremely happy with the major things like transmission, engine, rear end, transfer case, etc. Living in Michigan you never know how much snow mother nature will bring. I have driven down roads with 2+ feet of snow. The AWD is awesome! My complaints are- leaking engine oil cooler lines, on the 3rd pass. side rear door handle, 2 dr. side window motors, all temp control knobs have cracked, vacuum line for heater controls melted, typical mini van rattles, wind noise through drivers side door seals. Other than that I have been very happy with this van. 88K miles and going.
16th Apr 2004, 00:48
I purchased my 98' Astro Van in 2000, and have had problems with the wiper controller, rear door handle 3 times, fuel injector clogging - (MTBE caused) but repaired under warranty at 89,000 miles by the dealer, a noisy fuel pump - high pitch squeal, slight automatic transmission jitter - been there for a long time, and it is hard on front tires. Astro is not perfect... but I'm satisfied with the performance thus far. Good 4.3 engine, good gas mileage, no air conditioning or electrical problems at all. One more point...I've seen a lot of Astro cargo vans with 300,000 plus miles. Happy motoring!
24th Aug 2004, 19:22
I have a 1997 Astro Van with 140,000 km on the odometer. I bought the van new from the factory with the heavy duty suspension. The only parts of the front suspension that had to be replaced were the De Carbon gas shocks-one was leaking. I replaced both front De Carbons with Monroe Reflex truck shocks at 69,000 km and have had no more difficulty with the front end. The De Carbons are standard on Astros with the HD suspension. The van is still running (at 140, 000 km) with the rear De Carbons and they are fine. I have the chassis lubed every 5,000 kms (3000 miles) as per factory requirements. I have never had a front end alignment on the Astro.
As others have said follow the factory maintenance requirements.
AC blowing out defrost and bottom vents only:
This happened to me after 134,000 kms (7+ years) and a vacuum hose was the culprit. It had become brittle and developed a leak. I had it replaced for less than $ 100 canadian. In my estimation this was regular wear and tear (after 7 cold -down to 41 below-winters) and relatively cheaply repaired. The ac/air/heat blows out of all vents, now.
I think the key to durability is regular maintenance with top quality products.
There are thousands of old, commercial Astros out there, still completing their appointed rounds. Just look around any city in North America. They are reliable and durable, but like any mechanical device require regular maintenance.
I have checked into Toyota, Honda, Dodge and Ford. Research will tell you that all these vehicles have problem patterns.
No one vehicle is perfect, however some are more perfect than others. I believe the Astro falls into this category.