Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

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Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby chevykoastro [OP] » March 12th 2009, 4:56pm

I have a 93 AWD EXT Astro with the transmission going out. Had a good experience with them, hauling and towing my little pop-up trailer and thinking of retiring it and getting another one. As per my subject states, the reason for the low price was the high mileage...291k. According to the dealer, it was a fleet van for transporting passengers. Body is good, inside wear looks obvious that it was a transport van looking at the seats but clean, and the engine starts good, runs and sounds good. Need everybody's opinion (good or bad) because I'm thinking of buying it and it's close to my price range. Should I just get the tranny fix on my 93 (engine still runs strong)? Appreciate all help I can get. :ty:
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Re: Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby Matrixx » March 12th 2009, 9:00pm

Hi chevykoastro

If it was a fleet van, then they should have maintenance records. Find out what has been done on it (repairs, recalls). If they can't supply the records, then I would just leave it personally. The price is a bit high for the mileage.

What trim package does it have? If it's basic (no power options), then no, don't buy it. Their are a lot of great deals to be had at this point and time if you look around.

The AWD drive will be harder on gas. Just my :2: :)
96-GMC Safari - Rwd - Original Transmission - Exhaust - Air Cared - 3.73 Limited Slip Rear End - Motor Replaced - 91 octane (Chevron) for the last 14 years - MFI Upgrade - 640,000 Kilometers.
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Re: Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby chevykoastro [OP] » March 12th 2009, 10:55pm

thanks for the reply...well, didn't get enough info from the dealer but they said the van came from a fleet company. I did not get the trim model but it has power options (side mirror, power windows and haul/tow button). I am going for an AWD again. Snow was really bad last winter here in Portland, Or and had a blast with my 92 astro. Should I pass it up and keep looking? I guess what I like about it is the rear a/c and being a newer model at that price.
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Re: Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby tnhillbilly » March 12th 2009, 11:37pm

Like matrixx said it should have some maintenance records with it. By it being at a dealer you may be able to get a better price. If you are buying straight out they will more than likely deal with you. Dealers are hurting right now like everyone else. If they can make a few bucks they may let it go. Tell them what you will give for it including everything and see what they say. Dealers love to tack on extra charges to make more money. That is why you make a offer including everything out the door. You can look on kbb.com and look up the trade in amount on it and that will probably be close to what they have in the van. Hope this helps. :D


Update- Well I guess the mileage don't hurt the trade in value as much as I thought it would. I checked at kbb and nada and they both list it at 2800 rough trade-in. Average was 3500 trade-in. If it looks and drives good and there are no leaks it may not be a bad deal. Some dealers may even give a 30 day warranty. If that is the price they gave you on it, they will more than likely take less. Just my :2:
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Re: Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby Spike99 » March 13th 2009, 4:30am

.

Besides current transmission repair on your '92/'93 AWD, do you trust the reliability and current mechanical condition of your existing van?

If you already put lots of new parts into your current van (like steering arms, fuel pump, etc. etc), then your current van is in the same "mechanical newness" condition as the newer 2005 AWD van. The AWD on your current '92/'93 van is mechanical based. The AWD on the 2005 has more electronics. And, are known for more problems. From a general statement, older mechanical AWD systems seem to be much more reliable. The older AWD vans get better MPGs as well. Especially when compared to newer year AWD vans. If wondering, my 2001 AWD Safari is a "pig" on gas. My previous 1995 RWD van was much better on gas. How's the current "rust" status on your current van? We had to trade our '95 van in because of "rust overload". If it wasn't that rusty, we would have kept it many more years.

What would it take up upgrade that 2005 AWD van into your current '92/'93 van's current "mechancial" condition? For example, do you need to add a Class III hitch, do you need to add air bags, do you need to add Timbrens, do you need to add better shocks, do you need to add plastic wind deflectors, do you need to install better steering parts in it, etc. etc. Sometimes, bringing a newer vehicle into the same "mechanical upgrade state" of your towing or snow drift running needs might cost more then van's initial cost. Thus, one's end "like for like" replacement is even more expensive (compared to its initial buy).

If it were me and I trusted the condition and reliablity of my '92/'93 AWD van, I'd probably fix its broken transmission and keep it. Especially since the older technology AWDs has more reliable and older vans have better MPGs. Money saved on long term "better" MPGs would "cost recover" repairs of van's current broken transmission. If rusted out, you lost mechanical faith in your current '92/'93 van or have a burning desire for "a change", then "do the replacement". Time to upgrade to newer year van (like the 2005 AWD you are looking at) and hopefully, you get a good one. My 2001 AWD Safari seems to be a lemon and knowing what I know today, I should have bought a different van instead. Like a GM 2500 van - with stronger steering, stronger brakes, stronger engine, stronger factory suspension and with higher reliability ratings - for my vechicle towing and many passenger hauling needs.

Hope this helps...

.
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Re: Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby tnhillbilly » March 13th 2009, 4:42am

That was a :goodpost: spike99. You brought out a lot of points I never thought about :whack: . That is why it is good to get a lot of input from members. I don't know much about the awd astros and I'm sure your input will be appreciated.
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Re: Need your opinion...saw a 2005 AWD Astro for $3k

Postby Spike99 » March 13th 2009, 6:38am

.

Also...

As a "check check" (sort of speaking) to better evaluate the possible upgrades and known weak design areas of Safar/Astro lines (especially AWD versions), surf my post within: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2087#p16267

Perhaps your '92/'93 already has many of these upgrades &/or repairs? Perhaps the 2005 AWD you have your buying sights on has these many upgrades &/or repairs as well? Good checklist - if these items apply to your van & towing/hauling needs as well..

Hope this selection criteria list helps as well...

.
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