Problems with 2000 Chevy Astro

I made post earlier today about draining the fuel tank of my Chevy Astro. But I'm curious if anyone can diagnose what is wrong with it before I have it towed to a mechanic only to be told it's not worth
fixing.
I don't drive it very often. Maybe once or twice a month at the most. I mostly use it to haul stuff that won't fit in my car. Anyway about a month ago the van wouldn't start so I jumped started it. I drove it around but it wouldn't start up again after I shut it off so I replaced the battery. The van started up fine with the new battery but after driving it around for a few minutes I lose power and the engine shuts off. It starts right back up and doesn't shut off again so I didn't think anything of it. For the next few weeks I take the van out and it works fine. Occasionally I will have to turn the key and hold it for a second or two to get it to start but the engine stayed running once it starts.
On Saturday my wife takes it out to run some errands but when she gets in it to come home it won't start. She gets someone to jump start it but on her way home the engine cuts off while she's driving on a busy road and she can't get it started again. A nice guy towed it into a parking lot for her but she still couldn't get it started. So I come by and I turn the key and it starts up, but cuts off after a few minutes of idling. I tried restarting it but it won't start again for 10 minutes. It seems to be very random when it will start up and when it will cut off. It was raining that day and someone said that might have affected it but I don't really know.
Based on how the van is behaving I don't think the jump start my wife got was actually necessary. It probably would have started anyway. The dashboard shows the battery at 14 volts while the engine is running.
Anyone have any ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes... Corrosion or bad connections with the power cables would be the first line of investigation. Many GM products have multiple cables going into the positive battery terminal connector, and these are infamous for internal problems. Check this out really well, not only at the battery end but at the other ends of the cables.
If this is the problem, you can clean the internals of the cables, but they will usually corrode again in short order.
Good luck with it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:56:43 -0700 (PDT), Deuteros cast forth these pearls of wisdom...:

These vehicles have a very badly designed electrical connector on the driver's side, underneath - about mid-ship. This connector is for the power to the fuel pump and sender. Known to build up corrosion and act up very intermittently. Worth looking at.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@REMOVEwindstream.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Deuteros wrote:

My guesses: bad fuel pump clogged fuel filter bad ignition switch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My guess would be wiring connection corrosion. If you're not driving it very often, corrosion hits just about everything. Other than connections, you could have something as simple as fuel filter, as it sounds like fuel starvation from what you said. It also could be an alternator not putting out enough juice, but then you said the guage showed 14 volts. What about water in the gas tank? You leave it sitting a long time, then you fill it up. Gas floats on water, so driving around a curve could stall it. Pretty hard to judge not seeing it, especially from us armchair "mechanics". They're pretty good looking vans for that year. I bet yours is a rust bucket underneath, eh?
Deuteros wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here's a list of things on a GM website that are connected to the fuel system on your truck: Extension, Filler cap, Filler hose, Filler neck, Filler pipe, Filter, Fuel cap, Fuel pump, Fuel pump assy, Fuel tank, Fuel tank assy, Housing, Insulator, Level sensor, Lower shield, Pocket, Pressure sensor, Sending unit, Shield, Strainer, Strap, Tank strap, Vent hose
Deuteros wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.