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1999 Astro LS
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51 Posts
Maryland.
Did you ask the 'inspector' to show you the reason(s) he faulted the vehicle? Politely asking him to show you things like where the exhaust was leaking (other than through that big ole at the end or the tail pipe), what he actually found at the steering box that caused him to fail the vehicle?

As to the value, watch www.govdeals.com for Astros and Safari's I've tracked and saved the details on lots of 2000's since 9/2020 Style/Type Auction Close Date, State, Cash Price, Miles
Font Number Document Parallel Pattern

Hope this makes you feel better - most those ones under 2K were not running/had to be towed.

I have these stat s or every year from 86- 2005- If anyone is interested in the pdf's (vin nos, small images, etc. ) to build a database . . . let me know. BTW I paid $6,000 for a 1999 February 2022 so, it's my turn to cry.
Font Number Document Parallel Pattern
 

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1999 AWD Safari, 1995 Astro 5-speed
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750 Posts
I would replace the idler arms, muffler, and trans mount, all easy driveway jobs.

I too am surprised you were failed for the power steering, and a demand you replace both the pump and the gearbox is very strange. I would get a second opinion on that.

First might be do the easy stuff and take it to be inspected somewhere else. Ive done that a few times. Amazing what some inspectors freak out about and what others don't even mention, when theoretically they are all adhering to the same standards.
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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1,332 Posts
I recently bought a 2000 Astro (201k miles for $1.5k) that has failed its state inspection. They gave me a list of things to fix (new power steering pump, steering box, both idler arms, new muffler, and the trans engine mount) and an estimate for $2k for parts and labor. I'm beginning to wonder if it is financially worth it to try and continue a build out? It drives well give or take a few issues (sliding door has a trick to opening and it vibrates at 60+ mph), but whats the point of having a car that you can't afford to register. I've found a mechanic willing to do the repairs for way cheaper than the original location quoted me, I just need to locate the parts and don't know where to begin. This is my first car and everytime I look out my window I get simultaneously excited (shes my dream car) and demotivated (I don't have $2k right now) at what its going to take to get this thing on the road.

Any suggestions, tips, or link would be helpful. I've been racking my brain for the last 2 weeks as to what to do.
For what you paid, and particularly if it has little to no rust, it is definitely worth fixing.
You can do most of it yourself, with some patience and a few new tools. Use Youtube! Watch several videos on the same basic subject . Some gloss over details and others have poor video skills and bad audio. Some of it may be a steep learning curve, but for the difference in the cost of labor for most things, you can by most tools and borrow others from the LAPS.
The experience gained will give you confidence to work on other things, for the rest of your life.
Rod J
 

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1999 Astro LS
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51 Posts
They gave me a list of things to fix
In the states I've lived in, State Inspections are conducted by private entities. Inspectors usually have a series of parameters they are to check and should list the specific parameters that they found abnormal. Thus they are definitely conflicted when it comes to failing a vehicle as the likelihood that they may have an interested in doing the work. If the inspectors provided you with a written repair estimate - hang on to it*.

In Some states now, the inspection station can electronically transmit the inspection results to the state - saving you a stamp, but usually charging five buck or two to transmit it. If you did NOT have it transmitted, it does not exist (as far as the state is concerned) so try another Inspection Station.

Unless there is something unusual about your vehicle, replacing that steering box is really a strange and unusual result of a state inspection. Get a second opinion.
 

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295 Posts
Thankfully we don't have government mandated vehicle inspections in KY. But my brother drives for Lyft and they require safety inspections. Places were giving him a long list of tings needed (thousands of dollars) to pass when actually the car was fine (except for 1 idler arm which I did for him). Definitely the old conflict of interest at repair shops. Found where he could get it inspected via phone - get an appointment, point the camera at what they want to see, and done! Results acceptable to Lyft. Unlikely one could do similar for state inspections, but it does pay to bypass people who have an interest in you failing.
 

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21 Posts
I live on a hill and my garage is too small to jack a full sized van up inside of, so some of us are reliant on mechanics for our own safety unless you have a friend who will loan you a garage temporarily. I personally don't think 650.00 is out of line for a van you paid 1500.00 for if the engine and transmission are ok.
This won't be a yearly or regular expense. Those repairs should last at least another 8- 10 years. You don't have a car payment since you own her, so I guess it's just how you choose to look at it. Not long ago my fuel pump gauge went out and I contemplated taking the time to cut a hole in my floor to replace it. I went with a Delco pump and had a guy put it in for me with a lift. For between 300-400 dollars I had the job done. To me it was worth it. If you have a level lift area and can get the van off the ground ok maybe that's an option. The older I get the less that appeals to me. If I had the lift no question I would have done it, but we don't all have lifts and good work surfaces. That's why we have mechanics.
Finding a good shop is key. Tip- Never the Chevy dealer.
 
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