OR again with an update:
At 40k miles now. Over the cold spell the car has developed a slight thirst for coolant, about 400ml in approx. 500 miles now.
The Vauxhall dealer we took it to didn't have any useful suggestions, so we'll wait and see, perhaps take it somewhere else for a look.
The only other problem is that the dash (around the computer display) is rattling a little. Just an annoyance really.
The rust mentioned before has been corrected, although you can see where if you look closely. No signs of it returning yet, but it's still early days.
The engine noise seems a little louder than when we first noticed it, but nothing appears actually wrong with it yet.
Not sure if we'd buy another Zafira now. The 2.2 auto was the only engine and gearbox combination we liked and trusted, however I have the niggling feeling it's not going to be as reliable as I hoped. This coolant loss and the string of fuel pump and regulator failures on 2.2 directs is a concern, as is the increasing noise from the timing chain area. With only a couple of months warranty left, the temptation is to get rid soon. But what to replace it with?
Right, we're at 54,000 miles now. Nothing new to report, it's still chugging along OK, the noisy engine remains and has added a slight rattle to the previous sounds.
Still no idea what the cause is, I suspect when I do find out, it will turn out to be expensive!
The front brake discs and pads have been replaced after the started making a grinding noise when hot. They've been fine since then.
The back brakes produce some kind of burning smell sometimes, but no fault can be found and they're still wearing normally.
So far, so good I suppose. It's not letting us down yet...
Me again. Another update at 57,000 miles. For the MOT we also had to change the rear shocks, but otherwise it was fine.
However, the car is showing symptoms suggestive of autobox problems. Sometimes it will not engage drive in D or R, or there is a delay in doing so. It also stalls when coming to a stop, although rarely.
Incidentally, the car has been back to Vauxhall for recall work on the fuel pressure regulator.
Autobox was sorted was a litre of extra ATF and has been fine since.
Our only issue now is rust! There is huge spots breaking out just below the back doors, near the wheel arches. Plus, there are several spots on the bodywork appearing.
Pretty poor for a 4.5 year old car that has been regularly hand cleaned and waxed, and lives nowhere near the sea...
Car reached about 62k miles before developing a severe mis-firing problem, which got progressively worse. At first you could re-start and it would be fine, then, after a while, that didn't help.
A new set of spark plugs and a coil pack module fixed the problem... for a while. At 66k miles the problem has returned. We are now wondering whether the problem is in fact related to the car suffering "shocks", e.g. lowered too quickly on a workshop ramp, hitting a speed bump too fast, etc. As that always seems to be a common factor with the problem occurring.
So, I took the ignition system apart, checked the wires and all seemed OK and put it back together. We've carried on with it, and so far in 500 miles it's working OK, for now...
We'd like to replace it with a newer model, but you just can't get the 2.2 auto in nearly new Zafira's (last ones seem to have been sold around 2007), and the diesel autos are silly prices, plus the 1.9 diesel has a very poor reputation.
Not sure what to do now, we did try a manual Zafira but didn't like the clutch at all. None of the other MPVs float our boat, so somehow, we have to keep this car going...
Now at 70k miles and misfire hasn't re-appeared in that time. I'm guessing it must have been a loose connection somewhere that has fixed itself - for now. The car keeps plodding on and is running well enough. It could do with a bit of TLC to sort out some scratches and the brakes are feeling a bit soft, but providing the misfire doesn't become an issue, it seems like it could keep going for years to come.
Spoke too soon! On the very next day after I posted that last comment, the misfire re-appeared again, then disappeared on the re-start. Checked the codes and it's coming back with a misfire on cylinder 1 (same as on last coil pack!) and a code on the ignition key/barrel.
I'm wondering if the two could somehow be connected? I'm trying to rule out a faulty key by using the spare for a while, and see if it happens again...
OK, a few more months (and now up to 76k miles) have gone by. Gone back to the original key as the fault didn't re-occur. Fault still not happening again. No idea what is causing it!
Other than that, steering seems a bit floaty and vague. I'm wondering if the steering rack is on its way out? Tie rods and bushes look OK at first sight.
The car has been sold on now. Sold it at 78k, with no further problems, but it needed new tyres, and the steering rack was getting noticeably worse by the day, so after 4.5 years, it was time to move on.
Towards the end we blew 3 bulbs, 1 headlight (twice, in a week), followed by a tail lamp the next week. Co-incidence or the start of electrical problems? Hmmmm, I'll probably never know!
All the same, when checked with a diagnostic device, there were a number of separate errors relating to CANBUS communication that re-appeared very quickly once cleared. They hadn't been there before. Hence the decision to move on!