2003 chev astro cargo/ 4.3 vortex

Hi there, I'm a life long Chevy lover and somewhat new to this NG. My nightmare started last year this month. My previous vehicle was a 1992 astro cargo van. It is still running 380,000 km @ 775 km per tank. I have recently
purchased a new 2003 Astro Cargo Van. I'm presently having a dispute with GM regarding the gas mileage of the new van. Both fuel tanks are the same 102 litre's. There have been other issue's with this truck and I'm happy to say they have resolved most of them.
When it was new and I complained about the poor mileage ( 500 km per tank). They told me not to worry, my mileage would improve after the motor went through its initial break in period of 10,000 km. I do not carry more than 100 pounds of cargo nor do I tow a trailer regularly, twice a year just to drop the boat in and out of the water. 70% of my driving is highway. After 38,000 km the mileage has improved but only by 30-40 km per tank. I have a friend who has the same van carries similar light loads and is getting 750km plus per tank. His driving habits seem similar to mine so I think its a fair comparison.
The 1-800 customer service rep. has been nice to talk too but carries no clout. My dealer's line is "there is nothing we can do". If it all seems fine on the computer scan then that's it. The GM customer service rep has told me to take it back to the dealer where it was suppose to go through a fuel consumption test. The day I brought it in to the dealer they told me "well actually there is no test" all we can do is check it on the computer bla bla bla. The mileage I'm getting is way below spec's. Please!!! if any one can offer any advise as to what I might do next be it mechanical or seeking legal advice I would be most grateful as my 60,000 km warranty is coming up fast and I'm afraid I've been stuck with a lemon. Heartbeat of America is turning into a Heartbreak for me and all my Ford buddies JUST LAUGH. Thanks very much for any help.
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Hello Lance, We have a fleet of 30 Astro/Safari vans model year 2000 to 2003. So far the 2003 models seem a little harder on fuel, not sure why as the only difference I note is the 16 inch wheels. We checked a 2002 model on Monday and found we could achieve about 750 kms on highway cruise at 120 km/hr. This particular vehicle was pretty well loaded with freight and tools and such. The unit in question has a 3.42:1 Locking Differential.
My personal unit is a passenger model 2001, and can easily get 650 kms before the low fuel light... Check your differential, maybe you have the low gear model...Look in side your glove box on the sticker: Locking Differential look for code G80 3.42:1 Gear ratio look for code GU6 3.73:1 Gear ratio look for code FT4
It sounds to me like you are stuck in tow mode, or the overdrive doesn't seem right. In any event is sounds like you are getting about 14 MPG (Canada) which doesn't seem right... Get the dealer to put it on the portable scope, run it up to highway speed and record the Engine RPM. Let me know and I will do the same with 3 or 4 from our fleet and send you the results for comparison if you like... Good luck, Steve
Duke: 21 mpg 775 km

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Thanks Don, this is the kind of info I was looking for. I will let you know how I made out. Regards

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Hello Lanze,
I did a little survey of some of our service vans today regarding your fuel consumption. None of our service technicians reported the Astro/Safari as having good gas mileage, and most suggested they are terrible. Ours are loaded fairly heavy, probably 700 lbs.
Interestingly enough I reported your findings of about 500 kms per tank and most nodded their head in agreement that they have a similar situation, maybe 550 kms per tank. This is the time that the Low Fuel light comes on...However...
I pulled records of fuel purchases from a few of the drivers reporting 500 to 550 kms and found that yes indeed, they were fuelling every 500 to 550 kms, however the fuel being put in the tank was usually around 70 to 75 litres, which leaves about 25 litres in the tank when the light comes on...
I calculated the fuel consumption using this method and can report much better mileage, 22 MPG (Canadian) on the highway, and 18 MPG in the city fairly loaded...
I hope that you are making the same assumption by basing your complaint on the fuel light. Why not try the more accurate method of determining consumption by recording the fuel used between fills and calculating litres per kilometre...I hope you will be pleasantly suprised as I was...
Steve

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Interesting having 25 litres left. Your right about the low fuel level light coming on early. I usually pump 79 -83 litres of fuel into the tank having it run until its almost below E. That's how I got 17 mpg average. Canada fuel consumption guide says the vehicle should get 18 city and 28 hwy. Its still falls a little short of the mark even if these test are based on no load and no wind factor ( Ideal Conditions). So the short of it is I'm not far off from what you guys are getting. Add aggressive driving habits, prolonged idling and I'm sure that drops the mileage down. Perhaps my injectors are clogged and that could make up the difference from what your trucks are averaging. The reason for the fuel gage offset, so I was told is to keep the fuel pump cool by keeping it submerged in the fuel. Also if you run out of gas you risk damaging the pump itself. If you add the extra 17 litres of unused fuel to the equation, it adds an extra 150 km bringing the total mileage I'm getting to 650 700. Hmmmm.............................I think this is what GM will argue.

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Hello Lanze, Sounds like were in the ball park, 22 MPG highway, 18 city...not exactly what they advertise, but I went toe to toe with GM on this issue with my Impala which is supposed to be 39 Highway...Their advertised mileage tests are done in a test bay with the vehicle placed on rollers, certainly different than what we do in real life... Nonetheless with the Astros and Safaris we realize we use a little more fuel than would a Dodge Caravan or Ford Windstar minivan, but they would never take the torture we dish out to the GM's... Good Luck

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fuel
Aren't the Astros' and Safaris' RWD and full size vans too though ?
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Yes, both of them are rear wheel drive.

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