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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
400 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Chevrolet Astro Van Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 012005

Astro Van 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


The following problem existed while the vehicle was under warranty and still exists. This is the 3rd time that it has been to the dealer for the same problem. In the beginning, it felt like my vehicle was shifting too soon and then would shift immediately afterwards. When I slow down or stop in traffic on an incline, the problem is really pronounced. When traffic begins to move slowly after being stopped at or on an incline and I accelerate as traffic begins to move, it will jerk, then shift, jerk, then shift etc., until I reach a speed of approximately 40 mph. Once I am above that speed is reached, I have no problem. If I fall below that speed and accelerate, the problem occurs again. It has steadily gotten worse and the dealer was unable to duplicate the problem the first two times that I had in for service. The checked the transmission and said it was fine. This time I requested that the service man ride with me and I was able to duplicate the problem. He suggested that it was a "miss" in the engine, but it only happens as I said above. We don't feel it in the engine. We feel it in the wheels and underneath van all the way to the back. It is almost like the truck is unable to pull its own weight that it's trying so hard when I accelerate and then jerks and immediately shifts. On flat surfaces with stop and go traffic, I experience this problem sometimes, but not as much and not as pronounced. We suggested that they check the transmission again and the power train, but we aren't technicians and were told that the service man feels it is "missing." We're just the owners that drive and have come to know its quirks that shouldn't exists. The range of motion when turning around or making a turn has decreased. I often have to back up then go forward to complete a turn. This was real easy to pick up because we traded in our 1998 Astro for a 2003 Astro. I definitely do not liked the quality, changes, and problems that we have had with this van.

- Hampstead, MD, USA

problem #1

Jan 022003

Astro Van 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 800 miles
When brakes are applied and vehicle body shifts back to rest a second bump can be felt underneath the vehicle like something is loose or the transmission shifts down late -or- when the transmission has shifted down from 3rd gear, like from 45 mph or so to 0 mph, and stopped for more than say 5 seconds, when the brake pedel is released a bump can be felt like the transmission is shifting into 1st very late. It feels like a vehicle tapped you from behind.

- Santee, CA, USA

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