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Questions and Answers

Chevy Astro Running Rough

Q. Hello Vincent, I am at wits end! My 1988 Chevy Astro van: 4.3 litre, fuel injected, with air conditioning, automatic transmission, 137,000 miles. Problem: Occasionally when coasting slowly and stopping (i.e. when looking for parking spot), engine would begin to idle rough and stall. Upon immediately turning key, motor would fire up right away.

Chevy Astro Running Rough

After a few days, started happening more frequently. I replaced plugs (gapped to 0.035" I believe) and wires. Distributor cap was only 10 months old and looked okay. I replaced fuel filter, which I could barely blow through. Better acceleration but now ran rougher and stalled more often. Engine codes from check engine light indicated oxygen sensor.

I replaced. No better. Now engine idling erratic and stalling often. I replaced the MAP sensor, indicated by cars codes/check engine light. SAME PROBLEM! I took it out and put back old one. No difference. I just replaced the EGR and guess what. It is really rough and sometimes stalls.

Do I spend another $50.00 to replace the TPS? Could it be: Fuel pump (ran low on gas twice in a row, died a couple times each. Just previous to problems.) Cracked head gasket? doesn't seem to be using much coolant, and coolant in reservoir doesn't seem oily.

Timing? I haven't checked timing since I have had it. Bought with 78,000 miles. Was ATT leased vehicle. Timing Chain? I am really broke as my business has collapsed, and don't want to spend un-needed cash. You said you had an Astro in one of you answers, I pray you can help.


A. Sounds like you may have a vacuum leak somewhere. Try listening to the engine with the cover off for a hissing noise. If the fuel pump is original you are on borrowed time!! You may need to watch the fuel pressure with a gauge to see what it's doing. Also the coil could be suspect here. How's the rotor? Watch the injector spray to see if it tapers off before it stalls. Good luck!

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