10th Mar 2003, 14:39
I have a 1995 Astro and have had a pretty good experience. Had windshield wiper motor issue which was resolved quite easily with a replacement circuit card that fit right into the wiper motor (pretty easy and cheap repair). Also have experienced rough idle/check engine light associated with EGR. Haven't seen a formal recall, but I have been removing the EGR unit (fairly tight area to work on) and removing the carbon buildup. Appears as if carbon buildup hampers the spring inside it and causes the rough idling. I clean this out about once a year now. Have also had to replace the idler arms, but this was around 100K miles so that didn't seem to be a big deal to me. Other than that I have been pretty happy with the van.
13th Mar 2003, 22:41
The EGR circuit on the 4.3 engines is a weak area. To do it right have the intake removed and bead blasted to clean it out, this will take care of the problem for quite a while. I was told to do this and its been OK for over 2 years.
As for the rough idle that is a inherant problem on the pre 96 engines (in 96 they put in a balance shaft and they run very smooth)
19th Apr 2003, 21:53
In response to the the comment on EGR valves and no recalls. I did get a letter from GMC back in Aug. 2001 that basically gave me special warranty coverage on the EGR valve up to 7 yrs or 75,000 miles. Luckily I had to change mine at 73,000 miles so it was covered. UN-fortunately, now at 110,000 miles it is acting up again. I am looking for information to resolve this and that's how I found this site.
14th Apr 2004, 10:20
About problem with wiper motor circuit card. Received a recall notice for free replacement. After reading this thread, I will now try and locate the notice, as we have had no problems with the wipers. Maybe it was replaced before our purchase.
Three weeks after our purchase found out about the EGR rough idle problem. As it already had 150K miles, had to shell out $100 plus for a new valve.
During the summer of 03, had to replace the "spider", (fuel injection) and surprised to no one else mentioned about this shortcoming of these 4.3 motors.
All in all, this vehicle is serving us well, (now at 185+K miles) and plan on the purchase of another one, (this time with dual air).
7th Sep 2004, 18:23
I just bought an Astro van from my parents, I love it and put a sound system in it and a set of wide rims the rims made it handle better butt... the ones in the back are to wide, they hit the sliding door when it opens, if you know of a door conversion or way to fix this problem, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19th Dec 2005, 16:30
My 1995 Astro van has had a lot of the same problems noted. The engine was replaced under warranty due to an internal knock (pin rap?). I've had at least 4 alternators, the wiper motor replaced (due the board recall), the fan motor for the blower, the switch for the fan, 2 power window operators, the windshield washer pump, a leaky dutch door (gull wing section), the EGR valve, the coolant thermostat, and lots of front tires due to excessive wear (not alignment). I thought buying a mature vehicle in terms of design would prevent a lot of problems related to reliability, but I was wrong.
21st Oct 2008, 22:35
Oct 21 2008.
Bought a 1988 Astro van new, no problems, drove it till 2005, when I bought a lease one 2002, all wheel drive, which runs smooth and has no problems. Wish they still made them.
17th Nov 2008, 18:31
I am on my third Astro van and do love that vehicle. The first two I put over 150.000 miles on with an alternator in one and regular brake maintenance in the other.
This last one, an '04 AWD has cost the most with the replacement of the EBCM at 1300+ from the dealer. with only 70,000 miles. I wish Chevy still made this van. It's great for hauling anything you could put into a full sized pickup truck. And great on trips, two to Maine from Ohio, and then two more trips with four adults and luggage to Fla.
18th Jan 2009, 17:10
I just sold my GMC Safari. I would have purchased a 2008 Safari if it would have been available.
My van had 205,000 miles on it and the only problems I had other than replacing brake pads, rotors, and tires, was the intake gasket started leaking externally. This cost me 600.00. I found out the hard way that you should only use GM wires, plugs and cap and rotor. I replaced originals at 118,000 only because I thought it was time. I had nothing but problems for the next 10,000 miles with misfires and poor fuel mileage. Wires were life time warrented.
After 2 sets and a new distributor (mechanic told me that was probably the problem) I replaced with GM wires, rotor and cap and never had another problem.
Pulled a 3500 pound camper for 2 summers and installed a new front wheel bearing at 185,000. This van never let me down and the AWD was awesome. Now I'm stuck with a small SUV that has AWD but not really happy with the way it engages. Sure, I get a few miles per gallon better, but I sure miss being able to haul my camper, and people.
A Very Satisfied Customer.
9th Mar 2010, 17:19
I just bought my fourth Astro, and it's old, it's a 1995 and it just started with the rough idle. But it's a great van. I put 96 Impala SS wheels on it and am willing to fix it all up. Too bad GM decided to stop making them, because the Astro/Safari is and will always be the most powerful 4.3 and roomiest of all the minivans.
I also have an 03 Escalade, and had to buy the Astro because with the third row in the Escalade there is no room. The Astro is always going to be the king of the minivans. Maybe GM will decide to bring the Astro back, even if it comes back as a Hybrid.
20th May 2010, 10:02
After having my 94 Astro for 11 years with minimal problems, I bought a 1995 with 130k Km. It had a complete tuneup and the no load idle is rough. Turn on A/C and the idle is perfect. Mechanic has worked for 5 days to clean up the no-load idle and has replaced just about everything (new updated CPI and pressure reg, O2, A/C cap (twice), plugs (twice) wires, computer and chip, distributor, coil) and tested all the wiring mostly at his expense trying to get it perfect. The scanner shows all parameters are good (except for a high O2 cross count in the 100s) and fuel pressure is rock steady at 60psi. No vacuum leaks or manifold leaks (using gas test). Compression is 175psi on all 6 cyls.
I suggested to just change the IAC and MAP, but he says they test out good. He is going to just swap the IAC and see what happens today. Fuel mileage is ~400 miles/tank.
I am just want to get my van back so I can drive it again. I miss it already. Apparently "some" 95s had an idle issue that was corrected on the 96 with a balancer shaft (?). He also found a TSB which says the alternator can cause drivability issues (?).
21st May 2010, 07:21
I found out that a lot of 4.3s have intake leak issues, caused by warping manifolds or failing gaskets due to not enough bolts in the manifold (design flaw). If you have a rich rough (stumbling) idle problem when everything else checks good, you may have this issue. It seems to be a "lot" more common (every 100K miles) than I realized at first after spending a lot of bucks on all the other components first. I still need to spend another $500 to fix the real issue. There is a better after market gasket that you can replace with. I would recommend that if you change the CPI or MPFI, that an intake gasket replacement would be well worth the cost down the road.
10th Feb 2003, 16:37
Guess I'm not the only one with a lemon 1995 Astrovan. Ruff Idle from the day I drove off the lot new... Dealer replaced entire throttle body/fuel inj system--no difference... was told it's a "known" engine design flaw... Gaskets on Dutch door have always leaked--soaking rear carpet... Also had to replaced both idler Arms... Rear brakes constantly need TLC between shoe changes--or else they'll make noise... Also have windshield wiper board problem---seems to be where the elec connector plugs onto the board, tying the connector back toward firewall helps prevent the wipers from stopping unexpectedly... Then there's the EGR valve recall issue... was told by my dealer that it didn't apply to my vehicle, but the ruff idle continues to this day. Sorry I bought this Brand of Minivan (MiniHeadache).