How Long Does A GMC Savana Last?

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The GMC Savana is the equivalent of the Chevrolet Express from its parent company, General Motors. It has been around since 1996, and it offers a lot of power and excellent safety features. However, consumers are curious how long does a GMC Savana last? We researched this, so you know what to expect!

The average American driver can expect the GMC Savana to last between 17 and 20 years. This number is based on drivers logging 15,000 miles per yearsomething that most people do not come close to doing. With an average of 15,000 miles driven per year, you can expect the ending mileage between 250,000 to 300,000.

Although the mileage varies from person to person, some factors can decrease or increase its duration. Read on as we discuss these factors and how to improve the lifespan of your GMC Savana.

A motor car GMC Savana in the city street, How Long Does A GMC Savana Last?

How Long Does A GMC Savana Last?

The first factor in the GMC Savana lifespan is whether you are regularly driving or not. Those who drive regularly will see their Savana last longer because it has less time to be affected by rust and other types of wear and tear.

Another big factor is regular maintenance. Making sure that you do regular oil and oil filter changes based on the dealer’s requirements. For example, a Savana 2500 and 3500 oil change interval is generally every 5,000 miles.

However, changes in outside temperature and frequency of trips can increase or decrease this interval for your specific vehicle, as well as what type of oil to use.

Also, it is always good to make sure the battery is putting out the correct voltage. The ideal way to keep your GMC Savana battery running smoothly is by replacing it every three to five years.

However, if you tend not to drive that much or live in a particularly hot/cold climate, then this might be too long of an interval for you. Furthermore, because batteries generally start dying after 5-7 years regardless, there’s no harm in getting one as soon as the click happens!

If you want to see your GMC Savana 1500, 2500, or even the 3500 last over 200,000 miles, then taking care of it is critical. Hard stop and goes and driving on rough roads can damage the van. Then you will find yourself in a mechanic shop a lot more frequently.

Is mileage more important than age?

Some say that age is just a number, but does that also go for cargo vans? Newer cars are more likely to have a major problem every 18 months, while older ones can face an issue almost every year.

However, the key difference is that modern vehicles tend to be much more reliable even when mileage is low than their predecessors from 10 years ago.

Over the years, the body of the vehicle will start to deteriorate. This is due to changes in climate temperatures. The engine may still have low miles, but other things inside the vehicle could begin to break due to the age of the technology.

How reliable is the GMC Savana?

The GMC Savana is a decent and slightly above the average van. However, it can be regarded as not the most reliable vehicle in its class; at least, this is what RepairPal’s three out of five reliability rating suggests.

For example, The 2500 and 3500 variants rank 11th and 16th respectively on ReparPal’s list of top 21 commercial vans, while Owners have reported 525 problems for all model years since 1996 through carproblemzoo.

However, ReparPal does say that most of the issues are minor annoyances or just warranty work. Things like wiper fluid spraying into the interior, brake squeal, and slow headlights are just a few minor issues they have reported.

What can you expect to pay for repairs on an older Savana?

This is where it gets interesting because older GMC Savana models cost more to repair than newer ones. The good news is that most of the repairs are easy enough for any mechanic to handle.

In addition, keeping regular maintenance on your GMC Savana can reduce how often you find yourself at a repair shop.

The most common repair on older cargo vans and passenger vans is replacing the secondary air injection pump and idle control valve, which cost about $200 and $400.

GMC Savana owners say they have to replace the drive belt about every 40,000 miles on average, while others claim it’s closer to 60,000.

The timing belt replacement costs between $500 and $800, depending on the mechanic you choose. The front struts have an average lifespan of 80,000 miles.

Not all of these repairs will happen to GMC Savana owners. Additionally, some cargo vans will have more issues than others. Nonetheless, the better you are at taking care of your van, the less likely you will have frequent repairs.

Shocked female customer looking at garage bill

What is considered high mileage on a van?

Today’s modern vans are made to last—and 100,000 miles showing on the clock is not unheard of. There have even been stories of many reaching 200,000 or more miles before being retired from service.

If you look at an older van with over 100,000 miles, definitely check a CarFax report before deciding. A CarFax will help you know if the vehicle has been in accidents, how many owners, and regular maintenance has been done.

Another good option is taking the van to a trustworthy mechanic. They will be able to do a full inspection of the vehicle. The inspection will include checking for any mechanical issues and any possible future issues.

A speedometer with 100,000 miles on it

Where is the GMC Savana made?

The 2021 GMC Savana is a new vehicle created by collaborating with General Motors and Navistar. The Savanna Cutaway is also another type of this car produced at its plant in Springfield, Ohio.

The GMC Savana is a range of full-size vans from General Motors. The successor of the Chevy Express, it has been sold for twenty years now with minor updates along the way.

It’s available in three main types: passenger van, cargo van, and chassis cab, all designed to be built on by other companies as commercial vehicles like ambulances or buses, etc. This model line primarily sells North America but competes globally with Ford Transit, among other cargo vans.

Since its debut in 1996, the Savana has been popular for having a durable engine with superb towing capabilities. Its main purpose has been for commercial uses. However, it also makes great for a camper van conversion!

The Most Reliable and Least Reliable Years of the GMC Savana

While GM has produced 20 models of the Savana, ranging from excellent to disappointing, some have certainly stood out more than others. Let’s take a look at the best and worst years of the GMC Savana.

According to Carproblemzoo, the 2019 Savana has the fewest number of problems reported in its first year with just one. The 2013 model is next, with two reports of issues within the same time frame.

The 2000 GMC Savana also had 14 complaints for its very first models sold while all other years have no more than seven recorded problems during their initial launch into market availability—some might say that this could be attributed to recency bias, but it’s still worth noting!

Despite having the most problems, 2000 GMC Savana has only been recalled twice so far. In addition, the 2013 model seems to be holding up well despite being just over five years old and is still not under any recalls.

If you are looking for a van that will give you the least amount of problems after purchasing, then look at the newer year models. Any of the 2019 GMC Savana to present-day cargo vans are going to be the most reliable models. In addition, the newer technology and better engineering will ensure a longer lifespan compared to older years.

Is The GMC Savana Expensive To Maintain?

Compared to other vans, owning a Savana can be expensive. For example, RepairPal estimates an average annual maintenance cost of $1,114 for the GMC Savana. That is considerably higher than the average of $963 for other commercial vans and $652 for all vehicles.

To keep your GMC Savana running smoothly, follow these tips:

  • First, have a maintenance plan for your van. Regularly service the vehicle and stick to it, so you aren’t caught off guard by any potential mechanical issues down the line.
  • Rustproofing is important because rust can be difficult or even impossible to remove if left unchecked; this will save time in later steps since we won’t need as much bodywork done after an accident (if at all). 
  • Take your vehicle to a mechanic if you hear any unexpected noises.

Final Thoughts

Overall, when taken care of, the GMC Savana is a great work van. It has a variety of purposes and can serve you well. That’s if it is maintained properly and not driven hard throughout its life. For a regular maintenance schedule on your GMC Savana van, contact your local GMC Dealer.

If you enjoyed this article on the GMC Savana, you should also read:

How To Open A GMC Savan’s Hood

How To Program A GMC Savana Key

Are Chevy Express Van 4WD?

How many miles are on your GMC Savana? Leave us a comment below!

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