19th Aug 2003, 08:45
Since purchasing a 1994 Chevy AWD Astrovan I have spent $7400.00 in both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and the van only has 95,000 miles.
The scheduled and unscheduled maintenancerepairs to my 1986 Toyota Corolla with 249,000 miles was less than $3000.00.
Never again! Chevy Astrovans are poorly designed.
27th Aug 2003, 13:39
I have a 1984 Safari Van. It currently has 120.000 miles on it and has been an exceptional means of transportation with only one serious problem. Over the most recent period of about 40000 mile the van on occasion has decided to quit running, a dangerous thing at Highway Speeds. The first three times this happened I manuevered the van safely to the side of the road, turned the key off and restarted the engine. Good for another 10000 miles. The last time this happened after 8 hours of driving I could not restart the engine. I had it towed to a dealer 300 miles from home and guess what the next day. Yep Started right up and no fix. I am now afraid to leave town. Can anyone out there help??
20th Jun 2004, 14:33
I have an 89 Safari. Body is immaculate and I have never had any problem except for the expected like brakes etc. For a while it was even used as a courier van. I just bought a 93 Astro Cargo. It seems that maybe some of these vehicles are very good and others are very bad. I primarily bought it because of the engine, 4.3 I used to have a 91 Jimmy that was rear ended by a transport. A few weeks back a 91 Jimmy got rear ended by a small pickup and both vehicles burst into flames, luckily mine did not when we got hit.
22nd Jul 2006, 08:29
I don't agree with those poor negative comments. First, ask yourselves on how you handle the vehicle. I have one 1995 model here in Saudi Arabia, bought it a year ago and I haven't face any major problems up to now.
I think you have to treat the vehicle like how you treat your loved ones.
28th Sep 2010, 17:56
I bought a 1995 GMC Safari AWD SLE "newish" in early 1996. That is, it had sat on the lot for a year, but I am the 1st owner. It now has 176,000 miles on it and it has been a joy for most of the time.
First, about the complaints of lugging up hills and slow pickup, I agree that it is a little doggy when loaded down. But out on the highway, loaded or not, the secret is to run at the engine's "sweet spot", 70-75 MPH. You'll crawl up the hills if you stay at 60-65, but maintain the higher speed easily. I used to make an 800 mile trip every week through VA & TN (I-81 & I-40) hill country, so I have a little experience with this. Gas mileage doesn't suffer too much either.
The only problems I've experienced are a bad fuel pump (mercifully, close to home), a plugged catalyst (because I drove with a misfire caused by old plug wires), and my current problem, the ABS.
The ABS was kicking in at low speeds in non-slippery conditions. It's scary because you can push on the pedal all you want and it won't stop. I tried to disconnect the ABS, but nothing worked until I read the boards here about cleaning the sensors.
It's all back together now, but the brake and ABS lights are still on. I'm not sure if that has to do with my efforts to disable it or there's something else.
All in all, I'm very happy with the van. It's comfortable (with the captain's chairs), peppy, roomy and pretty good looking with black exterior and aluminum wheels. And it will go anywhere, sleet, snow or ice. Lousy cupholders, though.
Routine maintenance is very important as the plug wire/catalyst problem illustrates, and more so when you get over 100K miles.
One more thing that saved me a lot of headaches - I carry a full-size spare (eBay wheel), a floor jack and a T-bar lug wrench. You really don't want use that skinny spare when the van has any load in it. I turn a problem into a pit stop.