In response to my review...
I have now clocked 4 thousand kms of my own on this vehicle, making the total 134,000km.
The vehicle is still as perfect as when I bought it.
Nothing has needed repair, and nothing is broken. Everything works in typical European silky smooth excellence.
The car flew through its warranty yesterday, and I booked it in for its yearly service at Holden for Wednesday the 5th of Jan 2011 at 1pm.
I struggle to find fault with this vehicle, I really do. Yeah, sure some odd parts are terribly expensive, but there's always the wrecker market or just swallow the cost. If I have to shell out a few dollars to drive something as nice as this car, then I will.
I had a genuine Holden Astra spoiler added to the vehicle a few months after I bought the car. It really looks very sporty with it, and was worth the money.
In response to the comment, my 2002 Astra City was manufactured by GM Opel in Germany in Jan 2002 and that's a fact. Later Astra models were built in Germany, Poland and Belgium.
Holden don't import the Astra anymore, because they have moved their interest to importing vehicles from GMDAT, which is part owned by GM Holden and part by GM themselves. Holden has an interest in Daewoo, so why not import their cars too? Cruze will be Australian built from 2011.
Will update my ownership experience in the coming months.
I hope fellow Astra drivers are having as much fun as I am. My friend has an 02 SRI, which I have rode in many times. I thought my car was excellent. I was very wrong in comparison to the SRI! Everything Opel learnt from the normal Astra, they made better in the SRI.
Car was serviced as I said in the above comment in early Jan.
The dealer used only genuine parts and couldn't note one issue with the vehicle.
Total cost at Holden amounted to NZD$155.00 plus the Castrol 15w-40, which I provided at a cost to me of NZD$19.50. A total of NZD$174.50 is not bad for a Holden dealer service in my book.
Will definitely be returning to the dealer for next Jan.
Will post more updates as my ownership continues.
I've nearly completed 5 thousand kms since buying the car 7 months ago.
Another update on my original review.
I have now passed 137,000km and am still enjoying the Astra very much.
I've taken it on a few intercity trips; otherwise it's my commuter car.
It's using a bit of coolant, but it's not leaking.
I have had the air conditioning repaired at great expense! It cost me $991.30, the compressor was shagged, and so completely rebuilt, and a new dryer cartridge was also installed, as well as the gas. Runs beautifully and like new.
I purchased a set of new genuine Holden Astra floor mats last month for NZD$158 from Blackwells Holden and I purchased a new number plate light cover for NZD$25 from Nelson Bays Holden. So just cosmetic expenses there.
Camblet, tensioners, idlers and waterpump are due for replacement later this year followed by the annual service in Jan. (I don't want to do all that with the service, as it will be too expensive)
Hi all, original poster here for another update.
It's been a year since I bought my Astra and disaster struck me!
I ended up having to replace my radiator as it began to spring a pool wherever I parked my Astra! Brand new genuine GM part cost me NZD$516, and my dad, who is a qualified mechanic of more than 20 years, fitted it with little bother. He said it's not uncommon for the modern style radiators that Astras use to fail in 10 years of use.
I had my cambelt, tensioner bolt, two idlers and aux belt replaced by Holden on July 01. They didn't change my water pump or tensioner as they said there was nothing wrong with them. Going against Holden NZ's own recommendations to replace the tensioner every 4 years/60,000km. Mmm, very strange.
It developed a horrible whirr noise straight from the moment I drove off the dealership. So I returned. They diagnosed the noise as being my aux tensioner bearing, which comes as an entire unit, so cost my dealer, not me, NZD$108. This didn't fix the problem, which they now blame on my alternator bearings, which I must replace at my own cost. However it's not critical, and my dad will do this for next to nothing.
I was overcharged by my Holden dealer by more than NZD$74, which I pointed out to them on my quote and job sheet on my return visit. This was refunded, and with that money I ordered a genuine new Holden Astra bootlip protector.
My next service is due in Jan, and at 139,300kms it still drives great, and passed its WOF in June without a problem.
So you think Corolla's are better. Not in my case. I had a Corolla and Astra at the same time. Still have the Astra after 11 years. The Corolla is long gone. The Astra is a lot better built and more economical on fuel, and it's safer to be in.
Original poster here. Two weeks ago, I was invited back to the Holden dealer to have my tensioner and water pump replaced because the whirr noise has still not gone away. This was apparently an oversight by the dealership, and that the parts were meant to have been changed! Scary, cost me NZD $300.
The whirr has still not been fixed, and now I suspect the cambelt is over tensioned. I will be taking it to be checked independently this week for their opinion.
Holden's dealer service is appalling on every level. They LIE, they OVERCHARGE and they OMIT.
I will continue to keep you updated. Car has now travelled 140,000km, so done about 11,000km since I bought it in June, 2010. Maintenance costs are around NZD $2,000 for the year. I have to note though, for 7 months out of 12 it has been excellent. It spends around two weeks off the road periodically throughout the year in pieces.
I can see the joys of ownership of a European car are kicking in. Wait until you have the Astra for at least a year; you could have brought 2. All I can say is good luck with the future of owning your re-badged European vehicle, and you may be a bit more careful in the near future when purchasing your next vehicle.
You had to replace a radiator already? Did the service centre replace the coolant when they should have? I have feeling they may not have.
My Dad's Civic dual core radiator only needed a top tank replaced after 13 years when it cracked; the main radiator core was still fine and was reused. My Corolla still has its original radiator after 14 years with no repairs.
Hi there, I am the original poster.
I have had the car for almost a year and 6 months, and am reporting I have had to replace the thermostat, which as a genuine part includes, the housing, gasket, sender and thermostat itself. This costs NZD $259 with staff parts discount! This was a result of the housing leaking fluid, and also the sender giving false reading, and the thermostat jamming half open. A marvel of engineering, I know! Let's hope this genuine part made in Czech Republic will be better!
I also replaced the ORIGINAL OPEL battery 2 weeks ago, which was made in December 01, and installed in my Astra in Jan 02. After 143,000km, I think it's done extremely well, and is a credit to the vehicle.
I love this vehicle a lot, it's great to drive, and yes it does have a few things needing replacement or repair every now and again, but I'm very happy with it overall. My next service will be early January, so will keep you updated.
In response to the above message, radiator replacement on TS Astra is not unusual.
The original radiators leaked from the many small o-rings down the side of the radiators. This proved to be a weak spot in the design.
GM designed a revised version, which eliminated the issue and became available to customers on a need to have, customer pays basis. This is the part I have purchased, and it's of excellent quality. It's a one part fits all for manuals and autos, as a quick one part solution.