26th Dec 2011, 01:36

My girlfriend has just bought a 2001 Astra TS CD. It drives well and is quite a nice car.

The only problem, the emissions light along with the traction control light, are both staying on and the car is throttled back, idle is lower than normal, and basically she's lost the balls behind the little 1.8, which now runs like crap. It seems to happen to a lot of people, but I never see an answer to this constantly asked question. Why is the computer throttling back the engine, and how do I fix it? I am handy with cars, but this is a joke.

10th Jan 2012, 20:33

I have just bought a lemon, and have a long story!

My Astra 2003 City TS drove perfectly when I bought it. 2 days later, the engine light came on and it went downhill from there!

It became rough to drive, surging at times and sluggish. When I started the car in the mornings, it idled rough (stuttered), but was OK once the engine warmed up, and fine to start during the day. Took it to my mechanic, and the codes said it was an O2 sensor. Replaced it, and it ran fine for the day until the engine light came up again!

Took it back and started at the cheaper options; changed spark plugs, cleaned air filter and tried injector cleaner. Surging seemed to be worse, and now when I start it, especially in the morning when it's really cold, it doesn't even idle! It shuts down about 3 or 4 times before it idles rough, then normal again once the engine is warm, but once again is OK to start later in the day. Also found out that these cars should only run on premium fuel, which has made a difference in performance.

So.. got the injectors cleaned, which apparently were filthy, and cleaned the auto choke and replaced the other O2 sensor. There is some improvement overall, but still surges a bit and still won't start properly. I'm thinking the throttle body needs a clean, and maybe even replace the computer.. If anyone has any ideas, that would be great! I've only had the car for a month, and wanted one for so long, but it seems like they have problems when not looked after like this car... Please help! Thanks in advance.

16th Feb 2012, 16:34


I have a 2001 Astra, which has been nothing but trouble since the day I got it. It's done about 150K, so I would expect a few issues. I'm not real good with cars, but I understand the basics, and this all seems a bit beyond a joke.

Chews tyres like there's no tomorrow.

Replaced the brake pads last year, and now have to replace them again, as well as the rotors.

Both rear window motors are shot - about $600 a pop.

Cracked radiator.

Sticky ignition barrel - replaced at Holden, but still does exactly the same thing. Pretty sure they didn't even replace it.

Had to replace the thermostat, but of course you can't just replace a $12 thermostat - you've got to change out the whole thermostat housing - bye bye $150.

Wheel bearing - about $600.

Latest issue is it's just not holding revs and stalls. Was only happening when the car was at a complete stop. I started putting it in neutral when stopped out the lights, which seemed to be working until yesterday when it conked out on me whilst driving, and then wouldn't restart. Got a jump start and managed to make it home, but not without the good old Astra sputtering the whole way home. On inspection, it seems as though that little butterfly thingy (told you I'm not real good with cars) inside the throttle body is not opening on acceleration. I'm going to try replacing the fuel filter and give it a good service first, but if anyone has any other suggestions, that would be awesome :)

All in all, would definitely not go for another Astra again!!

3rd Apr 2012, 08:25

Hi all.

Astra's are a great little car, as long as you keep its service schedule up.

A lot of things listed can be repaired without too much mechanical know how, if you're willing to have a go yourself, and before paying a good mechanic to do it.

If you're going through tyres, have the wheel alignment checked.

Original GM rotors and brake shoes are designed to stop the car on European freeways at speed, and have short lifespans. Use non original discs and pads if you want to lengthen their lifespan.

The rear electric motors may have not died, but the wire mechanism connector used to drop and lift up the window may have broken. Instead of a complete motor & frame, check the net for the frame, as they go for $60 odd dollars, or even the wire "connector" replacement kit, which sell for $15-$25. It's just the "plastic" connection that links the two wire ends together into a loop, which tends to break at the most inappropriate times.

Easy to replace, remove the door card, drill thru the rivets holding the frame to the door, replace the new frame after putting the motor on, and then rivet (or screw if you want to) back on the frame. No need to pay $600 for this job!

A new radiator is easy to fit, and you can source them on the net for less than $200 delivered.

A huge problem solver for people with cars that stall or sputter and lose some power when driving, is the throttle body. They get all gunked up, and the little butterfly inside sticks. So petrol struggles to get thru in the proper amounts.

Get some throttle body/carby cleaner, remove the black air piping running from the air box over the throttle body, and give it a good clean. This alone will help many people.

Please check some of the wonderful Astra forums for "How to's" on many of these issues. Search Opelaus; Astra Owners Network; and Astra Sport and Astra Owners Club for further reference, or purchase the Haynes manual for this car.

I hope this helps some you, and gives you some ideas to talk to your mechanics with as well. It is a great car, and doesn't deserve the lemon reputation being bandied about. All cars have issues from time to time, even Corolla's and Camry's, and if they are not serviced regularly, it shortens their useful lives. Cheers.

23rd May 2012, 21:30

I really wish I could help as my wife's car has exactly the same problem. My mechanic 'guessed' it was an issue with the petrol, but that's been eliminated, coil pack replaced, and he's now run out of ideas.

29th May 2012, 04:28

As mentioned above, Corollas and Camrys certainly do give their troubles. Take a Camry GL at less than 20,000km and marvel at the symphony of rattles. Not to mention occasional stalling, very high idle, boring driving experience, and extremely expensive new parts prices that replicate European models.

The 2012 Corolla is a joke. Parcel trays collapse when new (check out the rentals and fleet vehicles).

Interior plastics scratch easily, and go from silver finish to black scratches.

Ugly stereo head unit that doesn't fit with the design of anything.

Annoying electric bar fuel gauge.

Faulty ticking, squeaks and issues with many electric items. Modern Toyota models are very very dodgy. They used to be excellent, but umm something has happened?

Whenever I go to Toyota, they are always very busy. All new models, all warranty work.