1990 GMC Safari Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1990 GMC Safari as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The outside door handles are prone to breaking—all doors are affected by this condition.

The Anti-lock brake system (ABS) control unit may fail internally causing the ABS warning light to illuminate.

The distributor may develop internal faults. This can cause a rough running engine or stalling condition, the Check Engine Light may or may not illuminate. Our technicians tell us that the distributor should be overhauled or replaced to correct this concern.

The spark plug wire rubber boots may get soaked with oil, causing a misfire or rough idle.

On vans with rear AC, the AC may stop blowing cold air due to a damaged AC line near the back of the engine. It is common for these lines to rub on the engine block, causing a hole in the line and a refrigerant leak.

The power door locks may stop working in one or more doors due to a failed actuator. Replacement of the failed actuator should correct this concern.

A door window may move slowly or stop in mid travel due to a failing power window motor. The affected window may start working again after the motor cools off. Replacing the faulty window motor will commonly correct this concern.

The alternator may fail, causing a "no charge" condition. An internal bearing may also fail and cause an abnormal noise. If the vehicle is driven too long with a failed bearing, the alternator may stop turning, which can cause the serpentine belt to break or the engine to stall and not turn over.

The oxygen sensor can fail, causing Check Engine Light illumination and the engine to run rich (burn more fuel than normal).

Our technicians highly recommend that the transmission is serviced every 30,000 miles to avoid problems and maintain optimal operating order.

A coolant leak may develop from the water pump. This can result in an engine overheating condition. A leaking water pump will require replacement.

An oil leak may develop from the distributor o-ring seal requiring replacement of the seal.

The intake manifold gasket may develop and external engine oil or coolant leak. In some cases, an internal coolant leak may occur causing coolant to mix with the engine oil. Running the engine with a coolant/oil mix may result in engine damage. Replacing the intake manifold gasket should correct this issue.

This engine may leak oil from the valve cover gasket.

Brake fluid can become dirty and may cause problems in the brake system; it should be flushed every 60,000 miles.