5th Jun 2011, 23:37

Hi all.

I bought my 2001 Astra CD sedan in October last year. I have had countless issues with it in that time.

Supposedly it had only had two previous owners, including the girl I bought it from, and had reasonable low mileage at 87,000km!

Of course it drove like a dream when we test drove it. But two days later all of my problems started.

1. It got reversed into in a car park, and the sill has unprepared damage as I cannot afford to fix it. It has been quoted at 1300 dollars. The whole front bumper needs to be replaced, and it needs a new tow clip..

2. Two weeks later I notice a small leak and take it in for a service.. They tell me that the water pump has gone and I need it fixed as soon as possible, because it will damage the timing belt.. They wanted to charge me 800 for this. I did some ringing around, and got my dad's mechanic to fix it; he quoted it at 500 for me! But then there was an engine mount that needed replacing, so it ended up at 750 dollars. He also fixed up the timing belt, as it was slipping because of the water/coolant leak, and replaced a few seals for me. Probably got a pretty good deal there.

3. Took it in for a regular service at my local mechanic, as it was leaking some oil and missing/running rough. Got absolutely ripped off, and the mechanic replaced the coil pack in the car without contacting me first, which is illegal. So we told him to put the old part back in and we would take our business elsewhere. To top it all off, the service hadn't even been done, and he was going to charge me $400 for work I hadn't authorized. We ended up being charged $100 labour.. Disgusting.

4. Got onto my auto electrician friend, who put us onto his mechanic. Major oil leak due to the previous service. Whoever had done it had tightened a few bolts too far. Brake lights, reverse lights had to be replaced, oil leak was fixed, transmission oil had to be changed because it was going black (apparently it is suppose to be for life??). This was done by an outstanding mechanic that my auto electrician friend knows/works closely with, and only cost me 390 for a full service, oil leak fixed, transmission oil replaced, brake lights, reverse lights and full on road test. Very happy with the job, and I have been told what to prepare for, for the next service! Will need rear brakes done next service.

5. The coil pack ended up needing to be replaced, and I needed a new alternator - both auto electrician jobs, so got my friend to do them, which only cost me 350 :).. Bonus.

6. Now the car is running much smoother.. But is revving itself while idling at the lights very regularly, automatic windows only work on front the passenger window, but power windows are working.. Touch wood.

So I have no idea what the revving itself could be.. And reading the forums, it seems others are just as stumped.. I'm tipping an ECU just to add to my list.. If anyone could help me out, it would be much appreciated!!

6th Jun 2011, 23:15

It's hardly the cars fault that you got backed into, so that's no problem with the car.

As for that tow hook cover thing on the front bumper, I replaced mine last year. Brand new part at Holden cost me $59 including GST! And then I had to get it painted! It's totally worth it though; without it looks horrible.

The most common cause for Astras to run rough etc is the throttle body becomes clogged. It simply needs cleaning and off you go. That revving at the lights should be fixed by cleaning that throttle body.


The above link has how to clean it yourself, this is very cheap to do either by a mechanic or yourself. You can blame the mechanic if he stuffs it up.

Holden and other mechanics try to replace all these random parts at your great expense to fix a simple problem. I highly recommend you try out getting the throttle body cleaned.

I know what it's like to have some not so "Astratastic" times with Astras. Mine is a 2002. I love it to bits. It doesn't have electric windows, which I have discovered is a blessing by reading around.

I had to get my aircon reconditioned at a cost of nearly 1k. Again, totally worth it. I figured, I love my Astra and had the money saved and going nowhere, so why not have everything working.

I currently have a leak from the radiator, so I'm getting a vibe that my wallet may also be leaking by the week's end.

7th Jun 2011, 19:19

And I was right. My wallet is more than leaking out, it's gushing. NZD$607 for a new radiator! Thanks Holden. Hope this one is going to last.

23rd Jun 2011, 23:02

Same thing is happening to my 2001 City Astra right now. I've just been told I have to have the CPU replaced $1500 - not happy Jan!!!

2nd Jul 2011, 06:46

Before you do anything else, clean out your throttle body. I cannot stress this more. This will cure 85% of Astra stalling and rough idle problems.

11th Jul 2011, 03:46

I've had my 2001 Holden Astra TS CD for 4 and a half years now. Had absolutely no problems with it ever, except for the rear electric windows failing, but that's to be expected. One was actually broken when I bought it; now it's fixed and I refuse to use it. The other is wedged up with a piece of wood, till I can be bothered taking the door off and hooking up the new mechanical part I bought from Super Cheap Auto.

So my story begins with when the check engine light came on one day in February. Had it at the mechanic the next day, no codes came up, so I said while it's there, do a full service timing belt and all that. Since then the engine light came up once every couple weeks for about 5 months, but the car ran fine, no physical signs of anything wrong. After a few months, it suddenly came up every day for 5 days, so my mechanic tried to read the code, but his computer wasn't good enough.

He rang a Holden dealership he used to work at, called in a favor, and I had my car taken in straight away, cleaned out the air throttle body, and off I went, all for free. 2 weeks later, the engine light comes on again, but this time the car wouldn't take off properly; it was like some superhuman man was holding the car back, so I turned it off and back on, and it ran fine for the rest of the day. The next day I drive 45 minutes to work; 2 minutes away from work and the car just stalls, every warning light pops up, and the car was still on, but the engine cut out. So I turned it off and restarted it, managed to get it to the next set of lights, only for the same thing to happen. Turned into work and called a tow truck, and got it towed to Holden around the corner.

They said it was the throttle body, so they cleaned it + they installed an upgrade of software to the car's computer. which was only at a charge of a couple hundred. 1 hour later they rang me, saying they drove it out of the dealer and the car stalled again. A new code came up, saying it was the ECM. They had to replace the whole unit. I haggled the price down from $800 to $615.

I also asked them to replace the engine mount, because my mechanic at last service said there was a tear in it. Mechanic quoted $235 for that. Holden said there was wear in it, but it could last till the next service, but I figured I'd just get it done, so they quoted $457. I haggled again down to $306.

All up it cost me $1564.40, and $558 of that being labour, $866.91 parts and $142 tax. I asked how much labour was an hour, and she said it was $120, which is a bit friggin rich. My mechanic charged $90 an hour, but then again, that's Holden for ya. It's the labour costs that really hurt your pocket, not the cost of the genuine parts.

All in all, I hope it doesn't screw up again. If it does, I'm taking it to Ultra Tune and not Holden. Although I will ring Holden first, as it does say at the bottom of the invoice that all genuine parts used are covered by a 2 year/50,000km parts warranty.

Considering I had my car taken in unexpectedly with no appointment, and they did the work for me straight away, I was sort of pleased with the fact that they pretty much rang me at 8am to say they'd looked at it already. I had actually booked the car in on the Friday when the car had first trouble, for a Wednesday service, because that's the earliest another Holden dealer could fit me in, but the car didn't last that long, so it got taken to closet Holden dealer, which was around the corner from where car broke down, and right near my work.