6th May 2002, 20:25
I use to own a 98 GMC Safari also. Two weeks after I bought it, I was cut off and when I hit the brakes, the entire pedal snapped in half leaving me to run into the back end of a Blazer. On top of that, the airbags did not deploy.
During light snow, this van would slip and slide all over the place. It was virtually impossible to go over 35mph without losing fishtailing.
24th Sep 2002, 19:25
I own a 98 Safari AWD. It's the best van I've owned. It has great load capacity, and the motor has lots of power to spare. Although I had my share of brake problems, such as a warping driver's side rotor, which turned out to be a sticking brake caliper. A small price to pay for the exceptional traction in the winter, which I would say is better than a 4wd because of the traction control. If you were thinking of a 4wd pickup, but have a family, this van is the way to go!!!
8th Jul 2003, 13:39
We own a 1998 GMC Safari, AWD Van. We purchased it used in 2001 with 31,000 miles on it. Having owned two prior Chrysler Mini Vans, we needed a more substantial vehicle to occasionally tow our boat. Vans have been preferable for us over SUV type vehicles for their comfort, room and practicality. The Safari Van has been quite comfortable and relatively reliable. However, the front brake pads seem to wear out every 8k-10K miles. In 30K miles we've had several ABS issues. The ABS sensors on two occasions had to be replaced along with the ABS Booster. The vehicle design is great, the fuel economy is not. The towing ability is super and the All Wheel Drive System works exceptionally in the snow. However, between the several brake issues and other small items, i.e. replacing both power window motors, shocks and tires (3rd set) currently at 60,000. miles this vehicle is a bit pricey to operate. I guess as we learned with Chrysler, the design is good, but the quality greatly lacks...also, the dealers and GMC warranty is of little value.
20th Feb 2004, 05:35
We are at 78,500 on our 1998 Safari. I would not buy another. I admit we didn't research the van much prior to purchase, and most definitely agree with another poster that we should have purchased the extended warranty. We have had serious problems with the front end, needing an alignment about every 15k-20k miles because the shims drop out. I can always tell when it's about to happen by the clattering noise at the right side. The van doesn't feel stable (feels like it floats) running down the freeway - comment from the dealer was "they all do that". Needless to say, the dealer hasn't been any help at all with this issue. In addition, we've replaced the fuel pump (BIG ticket item), water pump and think we're probably going to need to replace the alternator due to difficulty starting and there's no charge indicated on the gauge. Whoever bought a Safari from the same batch that came off the line the day our's was manufactured must be having the same problems. I'm sorely disappointed with this GMC product. It's the worst vehicle I've ever owned.
3rd Jul 2004, 22:50
I have a 1998 Safari AWD SLX at around 81,000 miles.
Praises: This vehicle is well-matched for a large, active, and practical family. It is built on a truck chassis to handle your family, their stuff, and still tow the boat. The AWD and significant ground clearance places it more qualified to handle rough conditions than some SUV's and much better than other minivans. I should know since I live in the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia mountains. Every year I am amazed at the AWD's ability to handle snow/ice conditions on sharp mountain roads. Also been to the Rockies on AWD/4WD vehicle only roads. The reliability has been decent as well, with only one major problem.
Complaints: Bit of a gas hog (but it is a giant box). One major problem was having to replace idler arms once; apparently a common problem on these vehicles. Replace brake pads often, but the pads are covered by their manufacturer's warranty. Top-heavy and "boxy" vehicle that really sways around turns when loaded. Not-so-smooth work vehicle feeling. Seems a bit underpowered for such a large vehicle, but the engine still gets the job done. I'm tall and could use more leg room in the driver's seat.
30th Jul 2004, 21:55
I have a 1998 Safari, and it is by far the absolute worst vehicle I have ever owned in my life. I couldn't begin to list all the parts I have been through, many of them multiple times. Things you would never dream of going bad on a new vehicle (these problems started at about 12,000 miles).It has just been one thing after another. Even when some of them were covered by warranty, you still had the inconvenience of being without a vehicle while repairs were made, which usually took two trips to the dealer to convince them to fix it right. My biggest complaint is faulty wiring that has melted a.c. switches more than once in the dash and engine compartment. There are wires that get so hot you can't touch them with your hand. Window motors, catalytic converters, alternators, front end problems, a.c. switches and system problems, wiper motors, mirror switches (burned). GMC blew it on this vehicle.
12th Aug 2005, 06:11
I bought a used GMC 1998 AWD safari 2 yrs ago and use it for traveling. I've really enjoyed it and look forward to another road trip this fall in it. However I couldn't agree more with lot of theses comments on the problems with this van. Front end etc. I've had to have extensive front end work done. brakes/ front end parts had to be replaced and now I worried about the front alignment going out. If the front alignment goes out it will ware out the driver side front tire so fast it isn't funny.
9th Jul 2007, 18:00
If you wonder how I got to this page, let me tell you that in all my entire existence, I've never been so discourage, upset, disapointed, furious, angry, frustrated and mad of buying a GMC safari 1998, from day one it broke down, continuous problems with fuel injection, gas pump, no ignition on cold and every time I went to the car dealer, they try to charge me a ridiculous price on repairs, right at this very moment that piece of junk is seating in my driveway useless bad piece of junk.
I didn't want to buy Japanese, but I got no choice ASTA LA VISTA GMC.
Potential buyers good luck.
16th Feb 2008, 11:58
Pros - Vortec V6 runs forever!
Con's - Everything else sucks.
Under-dash wiring is bad.
Window motors have been replaced. Passenger side twice.
Window switches have a mind of there own. Windows roll down half way and stop. I have to shut the ignition off and turn it back on to get the switches to work again.
Exterior electric mirror switch is works sometimes.
Wiper switch has a mind of its own... sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. I try not to drive on days when I know it is going to rain.
Turn signals work sometimes.
AC blows only thru the defroster vent. Been fixed once under warranty and then started to blow through the defroster vent again after 6 mos.
Ignition switch is bad. Sometimes it starts and sometimes nothing.
Fuel pump just shut off one day while I was sitting at a stop light. Been replaced, but now makes a whining noise.
Windshield seal leaks on passenger side.
Rear door handle has been replaced twice.
Rear door locking mechanism failed. Could not open door.
Drivers door handle has been replaced.
Side sliding door interior panel came loose and was crushed when I tried to open the door. Now it just hangs there.
Sliding door weather stripping comes off sometimes when the door is opened.