2003 Astro Poor Gas Mileage

10

Asked by Dec 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM about the 2003 Chevrolet Astro 2WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I recently purchased a 2003 Astro 2WD with 65,000 miles. This is my 5th Astro; all with 3.42 rear non-posi-traction differentials. Each of my previous Astros have averaged 18-19.5 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in town for me during actual driving. I am meticulous at keeping records and know what my fuel economy is for each fill up. The 2003 Astro has been averaging 13 mpg on the highway and 11-12 mpg locally.  It has a 3.73 posi-traction differential.  As a footnote, I recently traded off a 4x4 Tahoe with the 5.3 V8 and 3.73 rear end gearing which consistently gave 17-18 mpg on the highway and 14 in town.  The EPA mileage I have seen for the 2003 Astro is 17/22 mpg (probably for the standard 3.42 rear end ratio). Has anyone experienced what I am regarding really bad mpg on their late model Astro/Safari?  Were you able to fix the problem?  If so, what was the solution (besides selling/trading off the vehicle)? Or perhaps you can explain to me why what I am seeing is to be expected. The local GM dealerships implied to me they have seen the "problem" before and don't want to deal with it.

3 Answers

55

I have a 1997 Astro with the same poor fuel economy.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

My previous Astros were of that vintage. They all gave me decent mpg (15/18) given the type of vehicle. Is your Astro an AWD unit? What is your differential gear ratio, i.e., 3.42 or 3.73? If you don't know, your local GM dealer parts dept can tell you based on your VIN number. To me this sounds like a problem with your vehicle and not a design issue which gives me hope to find a solution.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
30

I think this will help shed some light on gas mileage for the Astro vans.I Bought my 2002 Astro van in 2007 with 45000 miles and great shape. The van now has 248,000 miles and the fuel mileage has fallen off in the past year. 12-14 on the highway and about 10 MPG in the city. I drive A LOT of highway miles towing a small 5 X 8 trailer. Towing i am getting about 9-10 mpg.My gas mileage was 17-19 on the highway, 12- 14 in the city. I have replaced the tires 3times - the original tires were P215/75R15. I replaced the tires 2 time with P225/70R15 for a better ride and appearance. my gas mileage stayed 17-19 and 12-14 hwy/city. The 3 rd time i replaced the tires I bought tires on sale for a great deal. they were 235/75R15 all terrain tires. My gas mileage dropped to 11 on the highway and 8 when i was towing a trailer. additionally the transmission shifted back and forth from OD to 3rd and i notice the engine labored a lot more due the additional size of the tires. Thankfully the tire shop allowed my to exchange the tires for a different tire. the replacement tires are P225/78R15. I think this explains why my gas mileage has dropped to what it is now. My next tires will be P225/70R15 and hopefully the gas mileage will go back to normal.Sorry this is so lengthy but i wanted to explain my point and what I have experienced.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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