1999 Chevy Astro Drivabiility Issues in St Thomas Virgin Is

Engine Performance problem
1999 Chevy Astro 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic

We have several Chevy Astro Minivans used in an A/C Service Company. They are V-6, Auto Trans W/ Overdrive, Rear Wheel Drive.
They average about 8-10 MPG and cannot carry much weight at all or they will not make it up the steep inclines. It is a mountainous region.
The top speed limit on the island is 35MPH.
We need to be able to carry more than just our tools in the vans and get more MPG also. As it is the vans stay in first or second gear going up hill. When coming down an incline even downshifting to 2nd gear doesn't provide the necessary slow down.
Our question is; to be able to carry a normal load and be able to climb and decelerate normally as well as improve fuel efficiency, should we use a higher gear ratio in the rear differentials, or replace the overdrive transmissions with a 3 spd unit, or both, or we're open to suggestions.
Thank you.
This is a serious question with far reaching implications to a real business. Serious answers with corroboration would be appreciated.
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 1:34 AM

1 Reply

I think you are getting a lot of water in the fuel that is available to you.

I've had 6 Astro's since 96 and they were all 96 or newer. I drive a 2003 now and I put 50,000 miles a year on each one for work. I did all the work myself and I know these things blindfolded.

I want you to change a fuel filter, but be careful to drain it into a clear glass jar. Fuel is crystal clear. If you see any milkyness in the jar, you have water. And the mesh inside a fuel filter is so small, it will not pass water, and water can cause an obstruction to the flow of fuel.

If you want to pull the inside cowling in the center, there is a fuel pressure port there for a fuel pressure gauge.

It should jump to 60 psi and stay there while revving.

Let's cross this in-expensive bridge first.

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Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 AT 8:07 PM

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