Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

Print this page Notes: The 2003 Chevy Astro Van has a solid reputation with very low complaint rates. The only problem now is finding one with low miles.

Not only is the 2003 Astro Van reliable, but since they were built on a truck powertrain, they can tow 5,500/5,000 lbs (RWD/AWD) -- almost double what other minivans can.

The Chevy Astro is mechanically identical to the GMC Safari.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,724 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Chevrolet Astro Van brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Astro Van Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 062009

Astro Van

  • 173,000 miles


I was driving approximately 30 miles per hour along slightly snow-covered road towards stopped traffic at red light on a slight downgrade. I stepped on the brakes gentle, as required by the conditions, but the ABS system started to shudder and the vehicle did not brake at all. I hit a stopped vehicle at the intersection and even with a relatively slow speed impact, our vehicle was written off and the other was towed away because it could not be driven. Our van was drivable, but just barely, and was subsequently written off by the insurance company. I was charged with careless driving which was absolutely not the case. We have another vehicle of the same year and similar model and it does the same thing occasionally but so far this has not resulted in any further collisions. We have owned Astro vans since they were first marketed in 1985 and this is the first one to act like this. We purchased 1985, 1992, 1998, and 2003 models (2). I am asking my wife, rose, who is also the registered owner of the vehicle to submit this report on my behalf. Please respond to her with any resolutions. We purchased the salvage from the insurance company so it is still in our possession although not on the road.

- Mount Albert, 00, USA

problem #5

May 202009

Astro Van

  • 31,346 miles
Vehicle: 2003 Chevy Astro van defect summary: Factory design directs leaked battery acid to drip down on a steel brake line. Details: The (+) battery terminal spontaneously broke off this vehicle's oem delco battery. The breakage was due to either: 1) cable connector being over-torqued at the GM factory, or 2) an integral fault within the battery. The design of this year-model of Astro is such that the natural path for acid drip-page is on to a steel brake line located below, and in front, of the battery. I am going to have the brake line replaced by a local certified mechanic because the line is severely corroded due to the acid exposure. Because of the inaccessibility of the brake line and its connections, the repair cost will not be cheap. Please note that the battery and cable have not been exposed to any post-manufacture misuse or disturbance. The problem is solely due to poor placement of the hydraulic line, coupled with the factory induced battery breakage. I have digital photographs for your inspection of the broken battery terminal, the geometry of the battery compartment, the (brake) hydraulic line, and the resulting corrosion.

- Painted Post, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 012009

Astro Van

  • 145,000 miles
The brake line rubbed up against the power steering pump, eventually rubbing through. I lost braking power and nearly caused an accident. Within minutes, I went from having brakes to having to push the brake peddle to the floor to stop. I had a local mechanic fix the problem at a substantial cost.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #3

May 012008

Astro Van

  • 95,000 miles


On several occasions over the past few months, the ABS light on my van has been coming on and when I apply the brakes, the van jerks around on the road and pulls to the left. I have almost hit other cars on many of these occasions. I had my mechanic look at it recently and he said he checked out the braking system and can see no visible reason for this happening.

- Stanley, NC, USA

problem #2

Jun 052005

Astro Van 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
My wife and I were driving along when the brake system went completely out. We had just purchased the van about 4-5 months before it happened. I had the van looked at by james martin Chevrolet in detroit Michigan. The repairs came up to $1400. The van only had about 40,000 miles on it.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 292005

Astro Van 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After ball joint recall, I have had nothing but problems with steering, braking and suspension. Front left side continually pops and grinds, shock boot was replaced twice, the shocks have been replaced 3 times. The third time may have fixed it, just got the van back today. Brakes are intermittent. Heard loud bang from rear end, dealership tightened backing plate. Transmission slips, shudder is felt from rear end at 30+ mph. Dealership put balances on torque converter and the drive shaft, had to cut the rear springs to do this. Service manager stated the problem was not gone, but livable. Vehicle runs rough at idle, almost stalling, service manager experienced the problem as well. Said fuel injector port was fill with carbon, but cleaning it did not fix the problem. Check engine light came on during a trip, stayed on for the 6 hour drive home, there was no heat at all, service manager said he could not get the computer to reproduce the code, but replaced the thermostat, water pump and two clamps.

- Bridgewater, ME, USA

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