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Thread: Holden Astra - engine problems starting to appear

  1. #1
    Clowns taste funny Dazz's Avatar
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    Holden Astra - engine problems starting to appear

    Could this be the end of the Astra?

    Recalls

    Safety warning: Holden Astra, Vectra and Barina
    21-Feb-2003

    Product
    Camshaft drive belt (cam belt) and cam belt drive sprocket fitted to Holden Astra, Vectra, or Barina cars.

    The problem
    The cam belt on many Holden Astra, Vectra and Barina cars is liable to fail much earlier than expected. This is often due to a fault with the crankshaft sprocket. If the car's cam belt fails, the engine will suffer very severe damage.

    Details
    Holden Astra, Vectra or Barina cars which are more than four years old or have travelled more than 60,000km, should have the camshaft drive belt (cam belt) replaced immediately. The cam belt drive sprocket on the end of the crankshaft must be checked, and if faulty replaced (unless this has already been done).

    All associated pulleys and the water pump must be checked and replaced if there is any doubt about their condition.

    Models most at risk

    Holden Barina 1.6 litre engines, from 1994.
    Holden Astra 1.6 and 1.8 litre engines, from 1995.
    Holden Vectra 2.0 and 2.2 litre engines, from 1994.

    What to do
    Contact your nearest Holden dealer (see "car dealers" in the yellow pages) for advice if you think your Astra, Vectra or Barina has not had its cam belt changed. Don't drive the car until you are sure it is safe to do so.
    Ego - is not a dirty word!

  2. #2
    WOOOOT!!!!!! DrNick's Avatar
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    Damn!

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  3. #3
    Clowns taste funny Dazz's Avatar
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    And we were led to believe only Rotaries were unreliable?
    Ego - is not a dirty word!

  4. #4
    is delicious
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    The service book does say to change the belts every 60k... so I don't know why that is any "news" unless it were to break before the 60k mark.

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    A-ripi-too-too Nucci's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm someone here is fishing for a flatheadus rj-astras
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    HTML is not allowed. EDXR6's Avatar
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    Just the facts aren't they, Dazz?
    It's puts the lotion on the skin and places the lotion in the basket.

  7. #7
    Opens Forg's Avatar
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    *giggles loudly at Key-up*

    Let's not mention ECU issues while we're at it ...
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    Registered User SCH's Avatar
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    the fishing seems to be a bit on the quiet side in this estuary.... no bites yet, only a nibble

    lol Dazz
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  9. #9
    Clowns taste funny Dazz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EDXR6
    Just the facts aren't they, Dazz?
    Of course, as if anyone here would try to twist something into something bigger than it was?
    Ego - is not a dirty word!

  10. #10
    is delicious
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    Forg, and the rear brake dampers, installing A/T ECU programs on M/T cars, ECU not being updated properly and affecting the immobiliser, antenna not being plugged in properly, headlights leaking water, foglights fogging up, brake pad material problems, crank angle sensor playing up... want more?

  11. #11
    macquered's Avatar
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    I saw an Astra with a wheel-cover missing the other day.

    Final nail in the coffin I reckon.



    Sorry Rich.....I had to =)

  12. #12
    Battery Powered MickyD's Avatar
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    I actually had the problem mentioned above with mine at the start of the year. I took it in for a service, and mentioned a funny clicking noise from the engine, that I though was probably just a piece of trim or something rattling round. Turns out it was something to do with the cam belt tensioners. I had been going to drive to sydney the day after the service, but they basically said that it could fail catastrophically at any time, so I had to take it back a few days later....
    Maybe the problem with my car prompted the recall :-)
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  13. #13
    Little engine that could. itsnotagsr's Avatar
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    Cant wait for RJ-Astras reply - this should be good
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

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    "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
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  14. #14
    ...I'm the dictator jampac's Avatar
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    My old man brought an astra a few weeks ago. Had a small oil leak out of the automatic transmission due to a faulty seal. Olden "fixed" it, and the next day the entire contents of the transmission was on the garage floor.
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  15. #15
    Opens rj-astra's Avatar
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    Dazz. I never said the Astra was perfect.. far from it. I know about it's problems and by the sound of the TSBs etc so do Holden/Opel (mind you, Peugeot have the same cambelt issue)

    All i did was raise an issue(s) posed by owners who subscribe to the RX8 Forum.

    Latest RX8 Rumour

    Rumour has it that Mazda is claiming faulty oil injectors for the RX8
    engines blowing up
    Well, that's what I was "told"
    Last edited by rj-astra; 20-11-03 at 09:55 AM.

  16. #16
    Ņɟʇʍ fdrx7's Avatar
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    I think we should lay off the poor guy. I know I'm sick to death of blowing coolant seals on the OUTSIDE of my motors, his advice has really helped me.

    Bloody unreliable Astra's looks like they suffer from crankwalk:
    http://www.national-auto.co.uk/clutch/tn51.htm

    They've had a few engine failures in BTCC too. Could this be the end?

    -pete

  17. #17
    Battery Powered MickyD's Avatar
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    Oh, and 2nd gear failed on my car 3 weeks before the warranty ran out.

    don't get me wrong, I love the car (for what it is...), but I've had a few little issues with it.

    The current problem seems to be either the idle control valve or the throttle body, it's very jerky getting on and off the throttle in traffic, and if you, say, floor it in 2nd or 3rd at about 1700 rpm, it has a big hiccup as it goes through 1800-1850 rpm, then is fine. I'm even wondering if it's something to do with the variable length intake runners.
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  18. #18
    Registered User storms_of_fate's Avatar
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    Don't think the MK3 Astras were that reliable anyway. The build quality wasn't that good either. But I thought the MK4, or TS seriers were quiet good. Had one.
    I drove 60000Ks in mine, but only in 2 ahnd half years. NO major problems with it. But the 60 service is a BIG one for teh TS astra, not sure about the others, that's why I sold it. Breaks and Discs + tyres has to be changed as well.
    karl
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  19. #19
    Registered User storms_of_fate's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MickyD
    Oh, and 2nd gear failed on my car 3 weeks before the warranty ran out.

    don't get me wrong, I love the car (for what it is...), but I've had a few little issues with it.

    The current problem seems to be either the idle control valve or the throttle body, it's very jerky getting on and off the throttle in traffic, and if you, say, floor it in 2nd or 3rd at about 1700 rpm, it has a big hiccup as it goes through 1800-1850 rpm, then is fine. I'm even wondering if it's something to do with the variable length intake runners.
    I think the crappy throttle response is because of the Electronic throttle...TS Astras didn't have the traditional wire, problem is Opel can't make it properly, so your input to the throttle isn't measured properly if you try to have a redlight grandprix or something. I hope the MK V Astra don't have the electronic garbage. I loved the car too btw, plenty of low down tourque, fantastic handling.
    karl
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  20. #20
    Ņɟʇʍ fdrx7's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rj-astra

    Latest RX8 Rumour
    There's only one guy who ever reported an engine failure being due to 'oil injection failure', and he's been developing a fuel interceptor on the side. Here's a few select quotes from the guy posted shortly before his engine let go:

    I have heard pinging on an RX-8 ( don't ask, OK?)....BTW, to make it "ping" on 91 octane you have to....
    and his hi-tech tuning methods:
    .....Then we dialed up to lean until we got a ping under load, and right after we did the ECU got a signal from teh knock sensor. We did this on the 5 main fuel/intake configurations that occur at the various rpm points.
    That's a shitload of serious knocking even at 500rpm maps points. (18rpm points x 5 load points = 90 seperate occasions)

    Oh but his engine let go from 'oil injection failure'. Did I mention my old series 6 went for two years with no oil injection whatsoever?

    -pete

  21. #21
    Battery Powered MickyD's Avatar
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    My astra is a 2000 model, it still has the x18xe1 which isn't drive by wire, it still has a throttle cable.
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  22. #22
    Registered User storms_of_fate's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MickyD
    My astra is a 2000 model, it still has the x18xe1 which isn't drive by wire, it still has a throttle cable.
    Oh, then I'm not too sure, I had the 2001 model which had drive by wire, u sure?? Hmmm don't know but I doubt it's a fault witht eh car it's more deisgn of the thing. Then maybe my throttle problem isn't teh drive by wire after all, meh. Just gotta be careful i guess.
    karl
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  23. #23
    Battery Powered MickyD's Avatar
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    it's definitely a problem, it hasn't always done it. there's a TID about cleaning out the idle control valve, which seems to fix it, when combined with an ECU reset, but it comes back after about 30 minutes of driving.
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  24. #24
    Bog i Hrvati Ustasa's Avatar
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    We had a SRi Turbo on the dyno last week. Even the slightest whiff of over boost and it was curtains for power delivery. We installed a bleed valve just to see what it would do and as soon as boost crept to 2psi over standard the engine check light came on. The next run saw power plummet from the original 95kw at the wheels to 75kw. Even the first 95kw run was abysmal in light of the claimed 147kw from the factory. However at 10:1 a/f ratio there was very little sign of black smoke indicating the engine burns very cleanly even with rich mixtures.

    This is the way of the future and the only way around these new forms of performance enhancing counter measures is to either go full stand alone or fool the ecu inputs from the afm & map sensors.

  25. #25
    Battery Powered MickyD's Avatar
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    I would have though 95kw ATW would be about right for 147kw ATFW? What some figures from other cars with similar power and 2wd?
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  26. #26
    ...I'm the dictator jampac's Avatar
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    MickyD, 200sx with supposive 147kw, gets around 104-110rwkw on the same dyno. I think from memory the previous model type r teg is around the 105 mark, but ustasa should have some concrete values for these cars.

    Hey V, well a tsi run on the astra turbo?
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  27. #27
    Little engine that could. itsnotagsr's Avatar
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    So winding up the boost was effectively a waste of time?
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donahue Penske Porsche 917

    "In Japan we no give fark for Subaru" - Trust Japan Technical Director
    (TM - AVENGE)

    "You can never have enough power. I remember when we had Group B cars... THEN we had enough power!"
    Juha Kankkunen - Rally of Argentina '02

  28. #28
    macquered's Avatar
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    Val,

    I'd really like a squizz at those graphs if you've got them handy.

    I drove one on the weekend and thought it had an ....err.....interesting spread of torque.

  29. #29
    WAT sejanus's Avatar
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    love your work dazz

  30. #30
    Bog i Hrvati Ustasa's Avatar
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    147kw at the engine usually equates to 125kw at the wheels in a fwd car. So the car was definitely down on power. This tees up with the owner noticing power varying markedly on some days. With some research I found that Bosch ECUís have adaptive timing and boost control. This helps preserve the engine and turbo by reducing timing to stave off knock and then dropping off boost if the ignition begins to retard to far ie. turbine over temp due to excessive retard. Itís a top system and Iím sure the Astra has it. If it werenít for systems like this being in place a lot more engines would be lost due to owner ignorance/stupidity. The amount of cars that come in pinging their heads off is unbelievable and many engines are still lost even with the factory building in protective systems.

    A TSI would work on the Astra after the outputs from the sensors are scoped out. The manufacturers figured out the XR6 turbo in a short space of time and I dare say the Astra would have similar types of counter measures in place.

    Winding up the boost is more then a waste of time. The end result is a nasty engine service light coming on which requires a reset from a dealer. Give it 2-3 years and this will be the norm for all production performance vehicles. The good old days of slapping an exhaust and bleed valve on a 200sx are just about over

    Iíll dig out the graphs from the dyno tonight. Send me your email by pm and you should have em by tomorrow morning

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