To keep your Chevy Astro van in good condition, you or a mechanic need to perform some basic maintenance on it regularly. There are certain parts of the vehicle you need to inspect and/or replace once the van reaches certain mileage points.
Check the engine oil, coolant, washer fluid, brake and clutch fluid and the tires once a week or every 250 miles. To check the oil, remove the dipstick, wipe away the oil with a rag, insert the dipstick and pull it back out; this should be done before driving or five minutes after for a correct reading. All other fluids should have markings on their reservoirs. Wait until the tires have not been driven on for three hours before checking them. A tread depth indicator will tell you if the treads are still in good condition. If the tires are more worn down along the sides, they are underinflated; if they are worn more along the middle, they are overinflated. The transmission and power steering fluid levels should be checked every 3,000 miles or three months; these fluids also use their own dipsticks for measurement. You should check the drive belts every 7,500 miles or once a year, checking them for wear or excessive cracking.
The oil must be changed at a minimum of 7,500 miles or a year; however, if you drive under frequent start/stop conditions, it needs to be changed every 3,000 miles. The oil filter needs to be changed with the oil. Drain the oil from the pan into a disposal pan by removing its plug, then remove the filter with a filter wrench, tighten the new filter in place with the wrench, plug the oil pan and add four quarts of new oil. the transmission fluid needs to be changed every 12,000 to 30,000 miles; you need to disconnect the transmission pan to drain the fluid and change the filter, then reconnect it and add fluid through the filler tube until it's above the dipstick's Add mark. Replace the spark plugs every 100,000 miles (30,000 if the van was made before 1996). Pull the spark plug and wire out with a ratchet and spark plug socket, then remove the plug from the wire by grabbing the wire boot. Once you place the new plug in the wire boot, thread the plug into its hole by hand and then tighten it with the ratchet. At this same mileage (100,000), you should also drain the cooling system (use the drain plugs at the radiator and engine block), flush out the radiator with a garden hose and then add new coolant; use a 50/50 mix of coolant/water.
- Chilton General Motors Astro/Safari Repair Manual; 2005
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