Chevy Express Experience?

I have been eyeing a 2013 Chevrolet Express 1500 4WD with 230,000 miles on it. Anyone have any experience with these vehicles? Should I jump on it? I plan on putting a raised top on it, a full build inside, and maybe a lift for getting out into the woods/mountains.

While the van seems to be well maintained, in great shape, and close to what I am looking for, 230,000 is a lot of miles on any vehicle. I would hate to get into a build and have a ticking time bomb on my hands, or be getting a vehicle that is overly expensive to repair, or with parts that are hard to find, etc. These are common fleet vehicles (minus the 4WD) so I can’t imagine parts will be hard to find, but I am having trouble finding any hard info on maintenance/repairs. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

My van is a 2009 Express 2wd (sadness) 2500 with the 6 liter engine.

You will have no problem finding OEM parts as you are correct that there are zillions of these vans around. I periodically see them for sale around me with 200k+ miles so they are still on the road at that range.

The Vortec motors are pretty stout. My friend has the same motor in his truck and he is at 275k. All he has had to do is the usual (radiator, alternator, water pump, ball joints, etc.). Never had the valve covers off :slight_smile:

What are your plans for the van? Mine is just for camping trips hither and thither so I’m not overly concerned if I break down. If I were planning to live in it full-time and drive a lot I would be cautious of that many miles, but that’s just me. If you are living in it and it needs any time-heavy repairs you need to have a backup plan of where you will stay while it’s in the shop.

If you can, take it to a reputable mechanic and have them go over it before you purchase.

I personally would never buy any vehicle with over 100k miles on it, but that is just the way I was brought up. A lot of it also depends on those miles, were they highway miles or in driving around town a lot? There is a big difference. Idling is hard on an engine and idling for 1 minute is equivalent to ~2 miles of driving on the road. It’s one factor where new cars are actually better off. You are no longer changing your oil at 3000 miles, which is a dumbed down number at best as it is actually 300k revolutions and there are many for factors that are lumped in with that such as starting in cold temperatures.

You will likely want to do all the repairs that @Ren noted and possibly more, timing chain? transmission flush, new plugs and wires. All of that could likely be done under $1000 if you are mechanically inclined, if not consider the hourly rate it’s going to cost to do it all.

Does the vehicle have a solid history on the repairs and upkeep?

I also am a bit on the fence on fleet vehicles and I do not understand why people think they are ok or better off? Is it just the price point? The person driving it likely didn’t give two shakes of a rats a$$ about the vehicle and in my opinion was probably not easy on it. I for sure wouldn’t be as I would just want to get to where I was going and get my day done,