18th Sep 2010, 00:24

I have a Holden Astra City 1999, and it won't start. It goes on for about two seconds, then the engine management light comes on and straight away that's it. It turns off. I hate this car; I would never get another Astra. It has also had HEAPS of problems with the handbrake. Almost caused a fatal accident.

26th Oct 2010, 06:04

I own a 2000 CD Astra. Great car. I bought it used in January 2008 with 201000 on it. Since then I've taken it up to 239000.

Whilst I was away, my older sister was driving and the back electric window failed, as seems to be the case with most Astras. I've now hit 60k since my last timing belt service, so it's due now. Mechanic quoted 650 for new timing belt, spark and fuel filters. So hopefully I'll find somewhere to do it for less. It's been serviced every 5000 kms since I've bought it, because I also got a used car warranty from the dealer, which did cover the cost of the back window.

But overall, I love the thing. I'm young, so I give it a bit of a thrash now and then, but I've never noticed a mechanical problem or anything similar. Just look after a bit and she'll go forever..

1st Nov 2010, 00:56

My Holden Astra has finally met its death at 150,000kms!

The pulley failed and everything has literally blown into bits! The car has been serviced per the book, including the regular 60K km timing belt changes etc.

Anyway cut a long story short, it's all over!

1st Nov 2010, 03:47

I have a 2000 TS Astra sedan. I love the car, have had it since brand new. It now has 173k on the clock.

I have had 2 problems so far only: broken fan belt 3 years ago and today a faulty fuel pump.

She purrs like a pussy cat. Got to be happy with that.

9th Dec 2010, 03:54

I have just taken ownership of my Mother's ex 2002 model TS Astra CD automatic sedan, as she preferred to give it to me, rather than accept $4k as a trade in.

My Mum bought it brand new, and it is now at 81500kms.

She has had most of the problems already listed with the car, and just bought a new Hyundai Getz SX 1.6 5 door to replace it.

The thing with these Opel based cars, is that they are very technically complex, and you need to understand them and have a good mechanical and excellent electrical / electronic ability to do the work yourself, and avoid being ripped off.

I would say many at Holden, especially the apprentices working on the cars, have little understanding of them, unless you find the right mechanic at the right dealer.

I replaced the right hand rear electric window regulator on my Mum's car a few months back, and the aftermarket regulator was less than $100.

The car had all the usual problems: ignition barrel has been replaced, ignition coil pack has died once.

There is also a misfire problem that people mis diagnose, and replace ignition coil packs when not necessary. The fuel injector connectors do not clip in like in other cars, and can vibrate off, causing poor and intermittent connections and a misfire... This fault does come up when a diagnosis is done.

For any home mechanic who works on these cars, buy yourself an OP COM diagnosis tool and you can view, diagnose and reset the computer yourself.

When the car misfires for whatever reason, a whole multitude of extra fault codes are recorded on the computer, and this usually leads people on a wild goose chase for a simple fault.

My Mum was quoted $4k to replace a gearbox and computer on this car, when all that was wrong was the fuel injector connectors were not on properly, causing a misfire, then engine light comes on and traction control light, and a whole array of fault codes follow, including the transmission.

The only problem this car currently has is the air con compressor clutch, so this is on my to do list ASAP.

Anyway, to all Astra owners out there, you need to learn about them or you will get screwed over.

I say this will be the way with all modern cars in the future; the technical complexity will cost owners dearly as they get older if they don't know them intimately.

26th Dec 2010, 19:14

I have a TS Astra 2000. So far we have not had too many of the problems others have mentioned. Ours has a tendency to surge and lose power if too much water has gotten up into the engine bay (ie going through a car wash that sprays water up, or driving through flood water a station wagon could handle).

Our only major problem occurred when the power steering pump failed. They are electric, not belt driven. No one in Australia rebuilds them at the moment, but we found a business called BBR-Reman in the UK who does. Holden will charge nearly $2000 for a brand new one, we paid less than $800 for a reconditioned one. Check which one you have, apparently they are not interchangeable.

7th Jan 2011, 04:28

I agree with the (probably guy) who commented on the 9th December.

The Astra's are reasonable good cars, but you have to take the time to learn a bit about it. If you don't, you are going to get screwed over. That is what this whole industry is about.

The cars are complex. Get the TIS program, get the Haynes repair manual, get the cable. Diagnose yourself. Buy the parts online. Go for the good aftermarket brands, but buy them yourself and trust your judgment (eBay UK is good for this car, as there are many more of them there, and the UK government subsidises export postage so it can really work out well). Join a forum about your car, not because you actually care that much about your means of transport, but because some people have wasted good quantities of their lives obsessing about exactly the same vehicle you are driving. So you don't have to. They can tell you everything. And when you flatter their res-en-det, they'll spoon feed you.

My car is due for a timing belt change, I know this because I have researched the issues with this model of car. I know when it was last done, and that it should be preemptively done to prevent serious costs if it breaks. Parts quoted from retail outlets in Australia approx. 400 to 500. Same brand from the UK, $220 AUD with postage. Full timing belt kit, and water pump. Do them together, then the water pump can't break and #$%$ your brand new timing belt and subsequently your engine. Researched that too.

Take an active role in your car maintenance, and you stand to save a lot of money.

People are great at whinging. So many of the problems, they proactively took no time in whinging about, are preventable.

Change the oil every 5,000 km. Doesn't have to be the best oil, but do it regularly, stops hydro-chloric acid build up in the engine, which is the primary cause of early engine death in small cars.

Find a good mechanic. Ask you friends. Word of mouth mechanics are always best. It's who you know. Holden isn't the best, it's just Holden. When your warranty has expired, why go to Holden? Neither are their parts necessarily the best. Holden doesn't make it's parts, other brands do it for them. Find the other brand and use it. It will be cheaper.

Your car was created using the minimum specifications in every area required for it to function and get its approvals etc. Things will fail. That's not an if, that's a when. But Holden will charge a vital organ for repairs regardless. They are a company that wants to make money.

You own your car, you have the final say.

I bought a TS Astra 2000 city model. The mistake I made, was buying the City model - expandability options are nil. Buy the CD. It can be optioned.

These cars are full of sensors, quite often system registering with the ECU as 'failed' or 'critical' is simply a sensor. A coolant temperature sensor costs much less than a cooling system.

Known issues with the TS Astra:

Throttle body can become clogged. Cleaning is simple (for rough idling, stalling etc.).

Timing belts need changing every 50,000 to 60,000 km. Do it regardless. And when you do it, buy the whole timing belt kit and do the water pump. This way, none of those can contribute to costly failure.

Thermostat can be patchy. (Thankfully, the car's ECU is very adept at adjusting to temperatures, so you may not even know there is a problem because it is compensating).

They're European cars, so parts cost more. They just do.

This comment was written with the intention to help people out. But it is scathing of stupidity.