I thought I would update my earlier comments. Speaking to others that have bought the Astra, this is a common problem. However the vehicle has recently been face lifted and this problem should have been solved. My car has started to make this noise again. It is due for its service so the issue will be raised again. While I do enjoy the car, there seems to be numerous rattles starting to appear. I am of the opinion that they are not quite in the same build class of the Japanese cars, which is a pity.
As I said previously an excellent car otherwise, but for the nagging little faults which cause great frustration. Considering it's nearly at the end of its model cycle (came to Australia in 1998) these problems should have been fixed.
I would like to hear from others if they have had similar or other problems.
Back from first service. Had the various rattles fixed. The hatch has been adjusted to stop it from creaking, but is difficult to close!
Of interest is that there appears to be a fix for the rear brake problem. I wasn't told what it is actually, but parts are on order, I suspect it has to do with the hand brake mechanism on the rear brakes. The fix has come from Opel.
More updates when the parts arrive in two to three weeks.
Looks like the problem of the rear brake noise has been rectified, I have only had a quick drive and at low speed there seems to be no squealing. The fix is to replace the linkage between the handbrake cable and the rear brake calipers. Apparently this allows more movement in this joint.
It worth is noting that Holden will only make this change if you complain about your brake noise, otherwise they will not apply the fix.
I concur with Darren it's a great car at a good price, drive one against the newer Japanese models and you will be impressed.
In response to your brake problem, I can report that the fix does seem to have done the job. I haven't heard any rear brake squeals etc. I asked the mechanic and the reason given was that Opel who manufactures the Astra changed brake caliper suppliers to Lucus, who in his opinion did not think they were better than the previous supplier. Keep at Holden for fix, the "not applying the brakes hard enough" must be a standard dealer response, and in my opinion is insulting. I said all along that the calipers were not releasing correctly when the hand brake was disengaged. If you still get no joy from Holden NZ post your email address here and I find out exactly what they replace.
As for the rear doors haven't had that problem, instead I have a creaky hatch, only on one side. The dealer adjusted the hatch to stop the noise, but meant I had to slam it to close it.
One thing I would like to ask other contributors, is that I have recently discovered while giving the car a good polish, on the right rear wheel arch, evidence of a repair to possible panel damage - uneven paint finish, tape marks from painting. As I owned it from new and have not damaged the car, was Holden obliged to inform me that some damage to the car occured even though it was fixed? Now I am wondering if the damage was sufficient to through the hatch alignment out?
I own a 2001 TS Astra and have had no brake problems whatsoever.
The rear hatch creaks from the small switch that operates the hatch light. No amount of hatch alignment etc will stop the switch creaking.
The switch creaks as the plunger moves in and out of the barrel, and is amplified by the plastic it sits on.
I tried adhesive felt under the contact spot, many other things to. The only real fix has been powdered graphite dusted in to the switch, totally silent now.
My father has an astra, 12 months older than mine. At 18000kms his rear L caliper seized and shredded the inside pad. Holden replaced under warranty the pads on both sides and the disc L+R.
The pads are a semi metallic compound, they will rust onto the disc if the car is left sitting also.
The power steering pump in my car is noisy, a squirting fluid type sound in the dead ahead position.
Other than a weird throttle feel at times, and one hard to start at hot episiode, fixed with an ECM reprogram the car is great.
I believe that the brake problem I suffered and others that have recently been reported are on the 2002 Model. As I mentioned something to do with the change to Lucus calipers. The dealer told me that they have had to order many more of these fix kits.
Thanks for the advice about the switch, I look at mine though I still think the hatch is not adjusted right. The left side does not have any movement, whereas the right side does. Just plain weird.
I still rate it as a good car, but I am disappointed with these niggly problems that should be ironed out by now.
Re hatch noise, are you referring to the highstop brake light? These do rattle, someone posted how to fix it in one of the Astra reviews. I use Mobil 8000 ie 98RON. I haven't done any tests yet for fuel economy, but will post here with the results in the next few weeks.
Found this comment site while looking for pricing for a dual exhaust for my 2002 Astra SRi. I have only 3500knm on the car at this point and in the last 2 months have had the moaning sound when I break while reversing. I though that this was just the car settling in. Reading the bulletins I now know what the problem is. I will have to address at the next service. I have found the car to be pretty good, very responsive and I really like the 2.2 engine. My only problems are the doors - very big and not easy to open as the handles are near the front of the door. The doors obviously need to be bigger to accommodate the rear access, but I have not experienced this type of problem in other 2 doors. I would recommend the Sri for anyone looking for a comfortable, sporty hatch with some grunt.
I have a TS Astra that developed the obviously not uncommon rear brake problems however I had 50K+ k's on the odometer and not the 400-500 that others have reported.
Dealer ordered parts and fixed it without a quibble, under warranty. Other than this little niggle its been a great car. This page was a very useful resource to find out about the problem.
I bought a 2002 Astra, manufactured April 2002. I can't remember exactly, but it could have been in the first week that loud brake moaning occurred. It thought it was just because the brakes were Brand New. I let it go for a week or two, before I contacted service at the Holden Dealer. It only happens on reverse, and only after driving the car. If the car has been sitting in place for a while (few hours or overnight) it won't make the noise on the first reverse.
Anyway dealer told me they have to fit 'dampers' or 'dampeners', I couldn't get the word right, to the rear brakes. This is supposedly to fix it. I will be booking in soon for this, and will let you know how it goes.
Anyone heard of these before? (dampeners for brakes)