Making the most of your Vauxhall Astra
A cult following has grown up for the Vauxhall Astra car - which started off as an innocent enough family hatch back, has become one of the most sorted, tweaked, tuned and enjoyed of the modern breed of vehicles. Both the petrol and diesel derivatives have their followers, with typical sports improvements including tuning systems, special cams, bodywork, spoilers, wheels, tyres, breaks - in fact all the usual sports improvements you would expect to make to a car.
But what of the car itself, and how does it cope with the extra tuning that its owners like to throw at it. In this article well take a brief look at some of the most common problems with the car (not that it is unreliable at all as a rule), and give you a chance to pick them up before you actually experience problems with your Vauxhall Astra.
So typical problems flagged up by owners include:
Rear suspension springs tend to break. Well the solution here is to either fit after market shocks - much better road holding anyway. If you have lowered your Astra then you will have done this anyway, but it wont happen until you have some significant mileage on the car. Further to the suspension issues, one owner mentions that if you start hearing creaks from the suspension it means that the bushes are drying out, and could be replaced or re-greased as required to get everthing flowing smoothly again.
Rear disc brakes on Astra Sri models have been known to seize up - for brakes with Bosch callipers. The solution here is pretty simple, either keep your brakes well maintained, or replace them with Lucas calipers. This problem can also occur on some of the 1.8 and 2.0 Astra TDis - you have been warned.
Engines with a cam-belt should have the water pump replaced at the same service intervals as the cam belt.
The Astra 1.7 DTi has been known to have issues with the turbo and also the head gasket at around 80,000 - 100,000 miles. There are also occasional problems with the ECU burning out on this model, and glow plugs can fail leading to inevitable starting problems. This is easy enough to replace of course. Occasional problems with the alternator and the oil cooler have been experienced - but of course these can be experienced with any car.
On the 2.0 Dti Astra models, the turbos have also been known to cause problems at over 80,000 miles. Fuel injection pumps can also fail at a similar mileage particularly if poorer quality diesel has been used in the engine. Some Vauxhall Astra owners point to supermarket diesel being the main culprit here.
Problems will eventually be experienced with fuel injector seals and spill pipes, which will both lead to starting problems until rectified, also there can be EGR problems caused by clogging with soot.
However owners should not be put off by this page - it has to be said that overall the Vauxhall build quality is very good, and reliability from the astra models is fantastic. Systems for Vauxhall Diesel Tuning are readily available making it really easy to get the best out of the car.
There is an enthusiastic network of owners ready and willing to offer help and advice, plus Vauxhall enthusiasts such as ourselves like nothing more that to take half an hour off to discuss our Astras.
So enjoy your Vauxhall Astra car, be it petrol or diesel, and well see you on the track!