I have a '95 Astro van that I bought in 1998 with 75,000 miles on it. For the most part, in ten yrs. of ownership, I can't complain about its dependability. It now has 181,000 miles on it and runs beautifully. I have had some probs but normal stuff one would expect as a vehicle ages. All these repairs were done by me at my home. The only major thing was when the fuel pump went south and left me stranded. I learned that 5-7 yrs is normal for that fuel pump. Even worse, it's submerged in the gas tank, which has to be removed to replace the pump. I also had probs with my fan switch and had to replace one of the connectors (behind the battery) that had partially melted. That fixed it. Also, my EGR valves don't last very long. Cleaning the valve of carbon build-up only buys about 6 months till it goes bad again. No AC probs, rear-end probs, tranny probs... just a leaking rear main seal.
PS. For those who may still have probs with their windshield wiper motor, there was a recall on those motors for certain years (don't have the list). I bought a new one, installed it, and got reimbursed by my local Chevy dealer. Hope this helps.
1997 Chev Astro - nothing but headaches. Bought this vehicle new and spent the first year in the dealership having repairs done to it constantly. Freind of mine bought the sister vehicle GMC Safari and had all of the same problems mine had within the same time periods. Proves that it is a common problem with these vehicles and that I didn't get a lemon. I am a mechanic and this is the worst vehicle I have ever purchased. (Window motors (both), wiper motor, crankshaft sensor, rear a/c, O2sensor, alternator, serpentine belt tenshioner pully, turn light lens fell out) "and this was the first year" and happened to both vehicles! If I was not a mechanic, when this vehicle went out of warranty I would be broke. Never buy another Chev product!
1995 Cherolet Astro Van, 4.3L V6, AWD, 280,000KM. Have had the vehicle 4 years. It typically goes through about $1000/year in repairs. I do like the vehicle.
Have changed idler arms (2x), front brakes (2x).
The fan would only blow on high so changed blower motor resistor - worked for a couple of months, then bad again.
Passenger power window stopped working last year.
Alternator seized (I changed that).
Windshield wiper module went (I changed that).
Serpentine belt went (I changed that too).
Windshield seals went and water got into car, so got that fixed.
Water pump went.
Right now has a rear seal leaking, but I'm leaving that for now.
I know it sounds bad, but strangely enough I still like the van. You can take out all the seats and put a lot of stuff in it. Plus, the driving position is good and the van doesn't get too hot in the summer and heats up nice in the winter.
Very little rust considering the van is going on fourteen years! I would buy another for parts!
I have and 89 Astro and a 96 AWD Astro. I rebuilt the engine in the 89 at 130k and replaced the tranny because I destroyed the pump (installing a torque-convertor), now has 188k,
Great work van, TONS of power, dependable. It needs another set of idler arms again and maybe some ball-joints, but who cares considering I expect the van to last another 100k and haul rocks, groceries, kids, tow trailers, and be the first vehicle for two teenage sons. Best $500 I ever spent (plus $1500 in parts).
The 96 has had most of the issues mentioned, sticking injectors now, whining differential for the last 50k. It has 135k now but it has lots of power, great traction, reliable. You just can't own an Astro without staying on-top of repairs, but being a real truck, it is more than worth repairing.
I am on my second Chevy Astro, 90/95. I put over 300k on the 90 and nearing 200k on the 95. I've owned several cars and a few SUV's, none of which compare to the reliability of the Astro's.
I do a fair bit of camping, and the Astro has served me very well with this. I have plenty of room to haul my equipment & firewood, plus the van still handles the weight well.
Grant it, there are particular issues that occur with Astros, as with all vehicles, but overall the issues have been minor. I also try to drive like I want it to last, for 200k or 300k more miles.
What works for me, is that because I've had the vehicle so long, I've come to know my way around it pretty well.
I hope to buy another Astro van someday.
I own a 1992 Astro Van. I bought it new and it is one awesome van. I have rented other vans for vacations etc and they don't compare.
I like the room it affords compared to all the other vans. I like that it is on a truck base. For camping it holds everything needed and fits a queen size air mattress with both bench seats removed.
I have had a few problems with it, mostly having to do with faulty wiring. Driver side power door locks had a short, causing it to have problems with locking, so it would continue to try even after the engine was off... causing my batteries to die again and again. Once that was figured out by chance, all my troubles were gone.
I am at about 160k miles and have spent very little on replacement parts. My DH would love for me to replace it with a new van, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
I agree the upholstery is amazing... being my van has been through lots of kids wear, camping wear, winter grime and the seats look like new. No rust, but the paint is having a hard time on the white center area (it is 2 tone teal/white)... needs a paint job only on the white area... like it didn't get a good base coat.
Other than that, I would buy another Astro in a minute... not sure the newer ones are as good as my '92 though. Sorry that they don't make them any more.
I've had 6 Astro vans in the last 12 years, most having over 100,000 when I bought them. They have terrific power and weight handling ability. I have a pellet stove and buy pellets a ton at a time. My Agway hardware owner was shocked when I put the whole ton on and the wheels didn't even touch the fenders when I went over the rail road tracks. I have towed other vehicles with my Astros; even my sister's new Explorer to the dealer 5 times. So the small problems are no problem to me. These are tough vehicles..
As far as the rough idling some people are having at about 100,000; the distributor goes bad, the bearing it rotates on wears oblong. Cost me 145.00 for a distributor and it purrs like a kitten again.
Thanks Mike. ps each van I had, had over 190,000 on when I sold them to get a newer one.