1997 GMC Safari 4.3 vortec from North America
It is a shame they stopped making these
Power Steering/Brake Pump - One unit ($250) controls both, as in most vans. This was apparently the 2nd replacement since new - not too bad.
Transmission - It had a recent rebuild ($1500) when I bought it - it lasted 75,000 miles. Then I put a Jasper re-manufactured in it ($2800).
Alternator - This was the 2nd alternator since new ($200). There was a short in some A/C wiring that had something to do with this.
Cooling fan thermostat - Apparently these only last 3-4 summers with heavy use ($45).
Brakes - Anti-lock does not work. Brakes have pulled to the right when slightly worn through 3 services in 2 years by 2 different repairmen. Thus includes replacing a caliper and rotor once, and just a caliper once. Previous owner had same problem. Latest theory is that the brake lines from the anti-lock control unit to the front left are pinched just enough to confuse speed sensor.
A/C - This vehicle has front and rear a/c - I recently replaced the dashboard control unit ($113), the rear fan switch ($35), and the front blower motor ($75). Although the system is properly charged and in excellent condition, it will not keep the vehicle cool when sitting still, even when out of gear.
I use this vehicle for a delivery business, as did the previous owner. The original owner used it as a personal family vehicle, and sold it to the previous owner with 65,000 miles in 2001. The ergonomics of the front driver/passenger area are the worst I have ever encountered. It would seem the interior and exterior of this vehicle were designed for two different vehicles from two different car companies. The engine is original and runs very strong. I get 21 mpg at 70 mph on the highway (no a/c on), 17 or so around town (w/ a/c on). From a practicality point of view (cargo capacity, mpg) it is a better delivery vehicle than the Dodge Dakotas I used before, but sitting in this thing for long periods of time actually hurts.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 22nd April, 2006