22nd Apr 2003, 08:47

Would like to agree about ongoing needed repairs. Have had to replace the brakes twice - 1999 Astra - and was also told this is normal. Never had to do this with my previous cars. Also up for another $1000 plus at present with problems with starter motor and sensors in the electronic component. Not impressed, although still enjoy driving the car itself.

26th Mar 2004, 17:42

I am selling my Astra with regret. Problems. The headlights throw a wide angle of light high above the bonnet and this reflects off rain causing a distracting effect. I have never seen another beam like it. Simply bad design there. Under warranty the harmonic balancer came off and took out the radiator. Still under warranty the engine runs roughly. The fault is intermittent and despite 4 attempts impossible to fix. The brakes and calipers work well, but are soft and wear out after 40-50,000 km. Do not hang a bunch of keys off the ignition lock. This can damage the lock (expensive as we found out). The key transmitter failed (expensive). The alternator now has a noisy bearing ($500 we are told). The WORST feature is the computer control. Only GMH have access to this so there is no effective competition for service. We are told "the computer says XXX has failed" so we have to replace it. It seems as if all they can do is respond to a computer screen. Too bad if the computer can't spot the rough engine after 80,000 km of rough engine driving. The car has just cost about $2000 in the last couple of months despite careful service. At 90,000 km it is a liability. If quality components were used I would keep this car for ever as it is a dream to drive (but a nightmare to maintain).

19th Jan 2006, 21:16

Up until today I have been very pleased with my 2001 Holden Astra.

I bought the vehicle secondhand from a friend 12 months ago. It had only done 55,000kms.

I know my friend had problems with a burnt out starter motor six months before I bought the car, but had it and the ignition switch replaced.

Well guess what - 18 months later I too have a burnt out starter motor. There was absolutely no way of knowing there was a problem until I got out the car and smelt burning electrics. The next day the car could not be started.

An hour ago my car was towed away.

What I want to know is how am I going to avoid this happening again?

I have just returned from 2500 kms trip and was amazed at the consumption; I was getting 6 litres to the 100kms and I wasn't going slowly.

I had to have the rear brake replaced at 60,000 kms - that surprised me. The guy who fixed the car said it was normal with these cars manufactured in Belgium.

I am now asking myself, after seeing many negative blogs about the Astra - can I afford to keep it? And as a journalist can I keep my mouth shut about it - I don't think so.

1st Mar 2006, 18:35

I to bought a 2002 Astra CD sedan, after being a Toyota driver for 10 years. Am I disappointed, with the drive and road holding, no. With the reliability and cost to repair, yes. I've had rear brake calliper problems, rear electric window winder problems, a rattle in the dash that I can't trace, and other small, but niggly problems that just take the shine off an otherwise lovely car (Try smoke coming out the engine bay in heavy traffic because the oil filler cap came loose). To those that have rear brake problems, I offer this advice, don't use the dealer. Ask around your local brake calliper repair shops, I had both rear callipers serviced in a day at a fraction of the cost the dealer was going to charge. And the locals comments, "We do this all the time for the dealer down the road". So Holden do know about it, they are just not willing to fix the problem. I do all the serving myself as I refuse to pay the excessive service cost of the dealer for sub-standard workmanship. Will I keep this car? Probably not when the lease is up. What will I replace it with; I'll definitely be looking through at my previous car's dealer showroom. Enough said!

20th Mar 2006, 23:11

My 2000 Astra CD has approximately 70,000 kms on it and I am experiencing problems at the moment with the battery not holding the charge. I have to jump start it and sometimes after the jump it will continue fine for a week or 2 or sometimes only a couple of days, think it may be early signs that the alternator is on it's way. Apart from that she's a good reliable car... so far. I am a bit scared now after reading about the brake pads etc going at around 75,000kms - oh well, just another bump in the road!!

29th May 2006, 18:17

I have a 2000 Astra CD and recently have been experiencing a few problems. I bought the car last February with 62000kms and it had a new starter motor installed by the previous owner. It now has 74000kms. Last week I needed to replace my timing belt, tensioner kit, water pump and front brake pads all at a price of $1200. the battery now seems to be not working all the time and has VERY low charge when starting! this car is starting to cost me quite a bit of money, but the car itself, apart from an unidentifiable chime from holden, when going over over bumps runs really well. Shame about the ongoing problems after 70000kms.

1st Aug 2006, 06:08

I bought my Astra CD hatch (new) in 2001. It has been a very good car, however some of the problems affecting other owners have also affected me.

At 30,000km, the Holden service center advised me it would be a 'major' service. After they assessed the vehicle, they told me the total cost of the service was going to be approx $1300.00. They claimed the discs had worn out and the brake pads needed replacing ($600 discs, $350 pads, the rest was routine servicing) they also claimed this was due to my driving.

I explained I had owned previous vehicles (Japanese and Swedish) and none of these vehicles had encountered this problem. I refused to pay the costs and demanded to speak the General Manager of the dealership. In short they replaced the discs for free and I went to my (now) local mechanic who purchased and installed pads for $65.00!! He also advised me this would stop the brake dust (which it did).

The servicing at Holden is rubbish, since taking my car to my local mechanic it runs perfectly and costs far less to service - approx $200.00 each time. I am having a 90,000km service this Friday.

I recommend trying alternative servicing centers as Holden will replace parts which wear prematurely with the same quality of parts. This means you will have the same problem in the near future. Holden claim you should always use Holden parts, but why would you pay 3 times the price for a 'genuine' Holden part which wears out twice as fast!

I also have a window which rattles, caused when the windows were tinted by dealer at time of purchase. 2 dealers failed to fix the problem (in the early days) and I have given up on it. Otherwise I love this car, it rides and handles beautifully.