pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
190,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
1997 GMC Safari steering problems

steering problem

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1997 GMC Safari Owner Comments

problem #1

Oct 062012

Safari XT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 190,000 miles


I will be listing this same complaint under Brakes as it as a multi-part issue. This only occurs in cold weather and only when the vehicle has been sitting for several hours. When the engine is first started on a cold morning or after sitting in my work parking lot all day, the power steering is non-functional along with the power brakes. The engine must be reved briefly then both the brakes and steering function normally. There will be a slight noise (kind of a buzz) as the two controls are simultaneously free'd up.

The pain in the ass part is when (especially like this weekend on the first cold morning since Spring) I jump in, start the motor and put it into Drive. The van begins to roll forward as I realize that I cannot steer away from the telephone pole in front of my house and nearly snap the brake pedal off trying to stop before the collision. Other scenarios are preparing to back out of a parking space after work. Foot on the brake put it in reverse and begin rolling across the aisle towards the vehicle unfortunate enough to have parked across from me. Thus far I haven't actually hit anything. It's an inconvenience for me as I will know to snap the accelerator a couple of times and test the brake pedal and steering before engaging the transmission.

The only answer I have gotten from the mechanics I've talked to is that the power brakes are hydraulically assisted in via the power steering pump. This has got to be one of the stupidest concepts ever contrived in an effort to save a few bucks. I am thinking that my issue may be resolved by flushing the fluid completely as there may be moisture that freezes in the lines causing a temporary blockage. But really? with this concept, a broken belt, PS hose or failure of the pump will simultaneously take out two major vehicle controls. Just seems frivolously dangerous. At least with the vacuum booster assisted power brakes you can still steer or use the brakes if the steering encounters a malfunction. And if the engine stalls causing both components to fail...at least the vehicle will begin to decelerate on it's own.

Anyone else encounter this issue?

- Doug B., Jackson, MI, US

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