7th Oct 2002, 07:38

After several visit’s to the dealership to complain about the rear brake noise, I subsequently had a ‘damper pack’ fitted to the rear calipers. This consists of a large rubber mass being fixed to the brake caliper assembly. This apparently reduces resonant natural frequency of the caliper assembly so it cannot be heard by ear.

This worked much better, but it still resonated when driving in reverse and when starting off from a standstill and turning.

For a 3-month-old car with 2k miles on the clock this was unacceptable, so dealer was requested to completely change the calipers, disc's and pads.

The new calipers are from a different manufacturer and do not need the ‘damper kit’ so for now the car is as it should be. Excellent to drive at last.

9th Jan 2003, 10:47

I would like to make a comment as to the rear brake problems which one of the drivers was experiencing. I bought an SRI in September with 10,000 miles on the clock and also experienced the noise. I was advised after several visits to the dealer that some Astras were beinf recalled for similar problems. Finally, the rear brake dampers were replaced (under warranty) and the problem seems to have disappeared.

Apart from the problems I experienced with the dealer (Arnold Clark) I find the car a great runner, enjoyable to drive and I am happy so far. I used to have a Tigra and previously have had 2 Astras and I am overall happy with the Vauxhall models.

17th Jan 2003, 11:54

I purchased an Astra 1.8 16v elegance last month. Lovely car - black metallic, 4 CD changer, air con, c/c the works - and then those back brakes started. Got worse and worse - sounded like an organ starting up when reversing - people outside the car commented. Had damper pack fitted last week - noise started again. Going back to Frosts (awful service) next week and am going to request new pads/discs and calipers as this seems to be the only way. This is a known problem with these cars, but apart from that is a lovely car and yes, bit too easy to speed in! Before this we had a 1.4 merit which lasted well and we loved it. Once this brake thing gets fixed though will be OK and is a lovely car otherwise - quite nippy and pretty economical.But would never buy another through Frosts I have to say - customer service has left a bad taste all round

29th Jan 2003, 07:11

The Astra now has completed 4000 miles, (2000 with the Bosch caliper's. These are now well run-in and the brake noise is still there (only slightly). I returned to the parts department of my dealership and asked if there was a damper kit for this type of caliper. After several searches through documentation, a damper set was found and ordered (amazingly this damper set had never been ordered by this dealer before as the Bosch caliper's use a different kit to the Lucas ones). My car was then called in to have the new damper kit fitted.

After several days I returned to the dealer to ask them to remove this damper pack as the rear brakes were making much more noise than previously (no damper fitted).

The situation so far is that the car now makes a small noise when driving forward at very slow speeds less than approximately 10mph, and when reversing it sounds worse.

8th Feb 2003, 01:58

I purchased a Holden Astra CD (Holden is the Australian arm of GM) about 3 weeks ago. The CD model has the 1.8 motor and comes standard with such features as 15 x 6 inch alloy wheels, electric windows, electric mirrors, velour upholstery, rear headrests, etc. Mine has optional air conditioning, ABS and traction control. It also has a dealer fitted rear spoiler.

It has done just over 500 kilometers and the only fault so far is the rear brake noise as described so often by other contributors to this page. I must admit I was quite relieved to read about what seems to be a common problem. This being the case, the dealer should be able to rectify it, as he should be familiar with it. The car is due for its first service at 1500 km which is when I intend reporting the fault.

I will let you know of the outcome.

By the way, the Holden Astra is the second most popular car in its market sector here in Australia. Toyota Corolla being the most popular 'small car'. However, Holden is the sales leader overall. Its most popular model being the Holden Commodore which is also Australia's most popular car. The Commodore is a large car which comes with either a 3.8 litre V6 or a 5.7 V8.

3rd May 2003, 12:14

How old was your car?

My S plate 1.8CDX had this modiifcation done a few months back (out of warranty) and I had to pay for the labour element, but not the parts. I wonder if I have been ripped off?

9th May 2003, 05:30

Original Authors Notes:

To answer the earlier question - my car is a 2002 1.8 SXI, so it is still under warranty.

After approximately 1500 miles with the new disc's, caliper's, pads and handbrake cables, the noise has returned (although fairly quiet). There is no noise when reversing, but the noise appears intermittently when driving forward at very slow speeds (0 to 10 m.p.h.). I assume that the fix from Vauxhall cures this on some cars, but not on others. Unfortunately mine does not seem to be fixed. The noise is fairly quiet (most of the time) and as I stated earlier - intermittent, if you listen closely when you pull away from a standstill you will probably hear it.

If you accelerate fairly quickly the caliper passes through its resonant frequency very quickly so you don't hear it.

For the time being I think that I will have to live with this small problem, I do not think much else can be done!.

19th Aug 2003, 04:34

My 1999 Astra 1.8 Sport developed rear brake problems at 10K miles. The dealer replaced the whole rear brake assembly without charge (out of warranty by 1 month) and without complaint. As yet (nearly 3 yrs later) the noises haven't returned.

Having had the car from new I still get a buzz out of driving it nearly 4 years later. Unfortunately I get an intense feeling of dread whenever I have to take it into a dealership. Vauxhall really do need to sort out their dealers as, in general, they are AWFUL. And mine is only 2 miles from a Vauxhall factory.

Unless the dealerships improve, no matter how good the Vauxhall cars are, I'm buying Japanese next time.

21st May 2004, 10:18

Scrap that last message, the mod has now been in place for about 2 months and the squealing is now back, but worse than ever, on the original disks it only used to happen in reverse when I applied the brakes, noe it happens when I'm reversing and also when I apply the brakes, it's about time Vauxhall sorted this out and recalled all affected models.!!!

29th Sep 2004, 02:13

I have owned my Astra for 2-3 years now.

It is a 3 door hatchback with a 1.8 litre motor.

I feel that the engine performs quite reasonable, and the power comes quite good from 3rd gear above 3000 RPM onwards... the brakes were quite OK as well.

But since it had done 60000km, I had to change the brake discs and brake pads... I changed to a drilled hole, slotted brake disc rotor up front.. and now the car stops magnificently. I encourage all of you to get this brake rotor.. It is a DBA Gold. Check www.dba.com.au for more information.

15th Apr 2005, 09:39

Last month I picked up a one owner 22,000 mile Astra 1.6 SXi on an 02 plate for £4,500 from a local auction. The car came with full service history, warranted mileage and is immaculate apart from a small blemish about the size of a 2p on the rear bumper.

For that kind of cash, I don't think it's possible to buy a better, later, lower mileage car anywhere else on the market. For the money it looks alright, seems pretty well built and the performance is lively. I just wanted something cheap to do a lot of company miles in (35k pa), that was half reasonable to drive, and would earn a healthy profit off the car allowance after a year. This fitted the bill perfectly.

After a year, this car will owe me nothing, and after 2 it will have earned its purchase price back. If I can get 3 years out of it, I'm laughing.

So far so good. Utter reliability, £40 for a DIY service using genuine Vauxhall bits, and 36 mpg average. Not an earth shattering car, but competent, and much underrated.