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Old 9th May 2013, 19:12   #1
Orion21
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Vauxhall Astra 1.6 2005 reg engine problems

Hello,

I was wondering if some knowledgeable motors people had any idea what the problem is likely to be with my Vauxhall Astra 1.6 2005 reg. I am not mechanically minded but I'll give all the background information as I know it.

This morning the engine warning light came on just after setting out to work, so I pulled over and restarted the engine and it disappeared but the car appeared to lack power and felt slower.

Then when I left work it still felt the same i.e. lack of power and the engine warning light appeared when I got to about 30 mph or so and flickered on and off constantly (no idea what that means), it stopped flickering when there was no acceleration and continued when there was. I stopped on the way home to get petrol as it was low and was wondering if this could be the problem (hopeful I know :P).

From the petrol station the engine warning light was on constantly between 0-30mph ish and flickered when above that / accelerating.

Does anyone have any idea of the likely problem and more scarily what I need to do to fix it and the cost?

Sort of hoping it sorts itself out over night and 'magically' works tomorrow, planning to check the oil level tomorrow.
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Old 9th May 2013, 19:18   #2
Phil W
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Need to find out if there are any fault codes... Google paperclip test.

When were spark plugs last changed?

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Old 9th May 2013, 19:27   #3
ins0mn1ac
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The engine warning light triggers limp home mode that's why it's acting sluggish/won't rev high and beware driving it in this state drinks fuel! don't attribute this behavior to the actual fault it might not be related. You need to get the code read, once that light triggers the ecu will store an error code of it's cause.
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Old 9th May 2013, 19:45   #4
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OP where are you based? I've got an opcom I can plug in to view any codes if you're nearby.

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Old 9th May 2013, 19:48   #5
Orion21
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Northern Ireland, going to go try and figure out this test stuff and report back :P.

Is it likely to be an issue that could cause more damage if I drove the car tomorrow to work if the warning lights persist? I can then get it looked at somewhere on Saturday if need be, wish I knew a decent independent garage.
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Old 9th May 2013, 19:51   #6
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Could be something as simple as the crankshaft sensor, which won't really cause you problems to use the car but it will get worse and if it were that it'll eventually not even start. Also as I said limphome mode from that error light runs a richer fuel mixture!
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Old 9th May 2013, 20:25   #7
Orion21
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Right that took a while, I did some pedal test thing (rather avoid the paperclip thing if I can help it, I'm that bad at this sort of stuff :P).

Got 2 codes if I understand it correctly ECN 130000 and 030300.

Do these mean anything? And what can I do to get them sorted?
Last edited by Orion21; 9th May 2013 at 21:09.
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Old 9th May 2013, 20:57   #8
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130000 seems the be a fuel level warning/fuel sensor.
030300 suggests misfire cylinder 3.

Would check your plugs, maybe swap them and see if it comes up with the code for the other cylinder, then change the plug. Next step probably a new coil pack.

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Old 9th May 2013, 21:09   #9
Orion21
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From googling how to change spark plugs, it looks more complicated than I'd like to get involved with, as I wouldn't know what I'm doing and might mess something else up.

Was looking at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kIIdF3aSUM as a guide.
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Old 9th May 2013, 22:02   #10
Phil W
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Is it a 16v or 8v engine? They are very simple to change, get a spark plug wrench and you'll be away!

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Old 9th May 2013, 22:06   #11
Stuff
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Strange, I've also had this on my Astra SXI 1.6 2007 recently! I have the engine light permanently on at the moment, and I've lost power as you describe twice in the past few weeks, but simply pulling over, turning the engine off and leaving it for two minutes before restarting it fixed the problem on both occasions... Nothing has happened since, and I'm not sure what to do now either!
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Old 9th May 2013, 22:07   #12
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If it is a misfire then coilpacks are very common on these.


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Old 10th May 2013, 08:16   #13
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Had a similar fault on my Astra G last year (1.6 16v twinport Z16XEP engine). Did the pedal test to find a misfire in cylinder 3. Changed the plugs as they needed doing anyway but still had the fault. Turned out to be the coilpack. Local garage (indy) wanted 168 just for the coil pack. Went on ebay got a OEM (Delphi) one for 67 delivered. It took 5 minutes to fit it and it's been fine ever since.

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Old 10th May 2013, 12:18   #14
Orion21
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Got to work but lights still on like they were last night, kept speed low to avoid flickering of light (though this seemed to stop even with more speed halfway through my journey and the light just stayed on permanently).

Either tonight or tomorrow (to let car cool :P), I am going to give it a go and see how far I get with swapping the 2 middle spark plugs (1 of them has to be number 3 right? :P).

Depending on the spark plug swapping if the coilpack is likely to be the issue I might even give that a go as it seems to be part of something I will have to take off to get at spark plugs (probably easier to change than the spark plugs from the videos I looked at).

Does this look like the right stuff for my car: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VAUXHALL-A...-/230950817851 ? Even includes the spark plugs and looks like a seller that has sold a fair bit.

What kind of tools do I actually need, baring in mind I'm not a DIY person? I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of tools in the garage, and from videos it looks like some kind of spanner to get bolts off on what I think is the coil pack, yank that off (maybe unplug it at side too), then some sort of socket + wrench that I attach to the spark plugs and unscrew? Hope that's all there is to it :P

As it is an old car not worth major repair bills may just change car if it isn't likely to be a cheap fix, but unfortunately this will probably bugger the trade-in or webuyanycar valuation.

Thanks for the help and advice so far guys .
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Old 10th May 2013, 15:53   #15
Dogbreath
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Those are the correct parts if you have the 16V engine in your car. Seems remarkably cheap as well.
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Old 10th May 2013, 18:27   #16
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I would get a OEM (Delphi) one unless you want to replace it again soon. There are loads of problems with non-originals reported over on the astra owners club forum .

Plugs should be twin electrode for the twinport engine although i have now put Bosche super fours in mine.

All you need to change them is a spanner or socket to undo the two bolts holding the coilpack down and a spark plug spanner or socket for the plugs. I would disconnect the wiring connector from the coilpack before removal.

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Old 11th May 2013, 09:40   #17
Orion21
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Can't even get the cover off so far lol.

What is the ] shaped thing on the passenger side of the engine in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fev7zF4S9Q0 ?

How do I remove it or work around it? Wasn't expecting to see that there from the other clip I looked at and it's getting in the way, was expecting just a plug thing (which seems to be in the middle and under the ] shaped thing).

Don't want to disconnect anything I can't easily put back together.

Thanks for any help guys .
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Old 11th May 2013, 10:47   #18
Dogbreath
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Have a look at this coilpack replacement video
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Old 11th May 2013, 11:31   #19
Orion21
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Anyway to further update I went to 2 garages to try and get quotes, vauxhall and an independent garage I haven't used before.

They both want to do diagnostics first (I did tell them the codes I got from the pedal test), can their diagnostics tell them a lot more detail than the pedal test I did or are they just trying to get 30-60 for a 2 minute hookup?

Vauxhall are quotting about 400 in all including major service, coil pack and diagnostic (I get a 20% discount from a Vauxhall card which I've already taken off the price to get 400).

The independent estimated about 4 quid a spark plug and 60 for coil pack (not clear if this includes labour etc, probably not) but want to do the diagnosis before committing. But they did say that from what I said engine is probably fine (not old enough apparently) and that I shouldn't drive on it as the cat converter could get damaged due to fuel ruining an O2 sensor or something. It would probably be about 200 - 250 including service and diagnosis as well.

Given that the car is probably worth 2000 at best in reasonable condition and less as it is. Do you guys think it is worth paying for the repairs at one of these places? How much is it's condition likely to affect trade in value if I changed car?

I will look at that video and give replacing another try once car cools down again so tonight some time.
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Old 11th May 2013, 11:47   #20
ins0mn1ac
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Join Astra forums, watch as many Youtube videos of it being done (or buy a Haynes manual). Do it yourself! you'll save a whack of monies and feel better for it
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Old 11th May 2013, 13:12   #21
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Mine did this and the cat had imploded
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Old 11th May 2013, 13:44   #22
pastymuncher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion21 View Post
Can't even get the cover off so far lol.

What is the ] shaped thing on the passenger side of the engine in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fev7zF4S9Q0 ?

How do I remove it or work around it? Wasn't expecting to see that there from the other clip I looked at and it's getting in the way, was expecting just a plug thing (which seems to be in the middle and under the ] shaped thing).

Don't want to disconnect anything I can't easily put back together.

Thanks for any help guys .
That's exactly the same engine (Z16XEP) as mine. That is a conduit and has cables running through it. You don't need to remove it. Just unclip the harness from the coilpack. You don't need to remove anything else. The cover should come off easily enough. I started at the right hand side on mine and it came off easily. The video that Dogbreath posted is one to watch if in doubt.

The garage is having a laugh. You can get a genuine Delphi coilpack and a set of plugs for less than 100 and should'nt take more than 30mins to fit yourself. They are correct about not driving it though.

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Old 11th May 2013, 15:29   #23
Orion21
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Quote:
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Mine did this and the cat had imploded
Great hope I haven't lost the cat too, anyway for me to know if it's likely done damage there?

Video helps, and going to give it another go at swapping spark plugs to test that tonight once the engine has cooled (since I don't know what I can and can't touch without burning myself :P, so playing it safe).

If I manage that I'll then see about buying a delphi coilpack + spark plug pack and replacing them myself if I can find them at a decent price. Otherwise I'm going to have to with with a garage, probably the independent but I don't know which parts they would use.

Not going to be driving it, already got myself a weekly bus pass :P.
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Old 11th May 2013, 15:44   #24
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Where abouts are you? If you're not too far from me I'd happily give you a hand. If you take it to a garage they'll charge you the sun and moon to read the same codes you already have. However those codes are generally used as one piece of the puzzle and a starting point to properly diagnose the problem. Garages will generally use oem parts or aftermarket oem quality parts. Of course if you take it to vauxhall they'll use original parts and give you the mortgage application form to go with it.

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Old 12th May 2013, 14:20   #25
Orion21
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Well had another go, but couldn't get the cable / wiring attachment off the coil pack.

To top it off I've noticed another issue, drivers door hinge is rusting and sort of jerking a bit.

The car also has a jammed boot and rear washers not working (been like that for a while). As it goes on due to age and low value of car it probably isn't worth paying for repairs when there may be other issues.

Since it is also due a service and this may flag up more issues, I think I'm likely just to start looking for a new car, so there may be a spec me a car thread soon :P.

But thanks for the help you guys have given to me .
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Old 12th May 2013, 18:19   #26
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If you hear the water pump when you use the rear screen wash it's a easy fix. Mine does it all the time if i don't use the rear wash. It's just clogged up. You need a needle or pin and stick it in the hole and wriggle it around while someone is pushing the rear wash stalk. It will be some gunk in there.

The loom on the coilpack is held on by a little clip that you just need to push in and then you can pull it off.

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Old 14th May 2013, 01:38   #27
Orion21
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So guys, I got a couple of quotes today for a part exchange (1600) and from webuyanycar (1350).

Do these seem like a decent amount for my 2005 1.6 Astra Club?

Issues with the car include engine management light, jammed boot (new lock I'm guessing), rear washer doesn't work, due a service, MOT coming up and whatever else gets flagged up at a service / MOT that I don't know about so other wear and tear I guess that has occurred in the almost 2 years since the last service.

I'm tempted to go with one of the above quotes and not have the hassle / uncertainty of the repairs and the cost of it, but wanted to check to see if they seem decent offers worth seriously considering.
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Old 14th May 2013, 07:46   #28
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The part-ex doesn't sound too terrible, but of course you only get that if you buy a (probably overpriced) car from the dealer.

The list of faults seems pretty trivial, why not get a quote to fix the issues from an independent garage before potentially spending a lot of extra money?

WBAC only give you an initial quote which can be reduced when the car gets inspected.
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Old 14th May 2013, 08:14   #29
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Well had another go, but couldn't get the cable / wiring attachment off the coil pack.

To top it off I've noticed another issue, drivers door hinge is rusting and sort of jerking a bit.

The car also has a jammed boot and rear washers not working (been like that for a while). As it goes on due to age and low value of car it probably isn't worth paying for repairs when there may be other issues.

Since it is also due a service and this may flag up more issues, I think I'm likely just to start looking for a new car, so there may be a spec me a car thread soon :P.

But thanks for the help you guys have given to me .
VX plug connectors always seem to be stupidly tight. You need to push it in to the socket, then push the little tab in, then hook a small screwdriver under the other end of the tab and lift it over the retaining lug. It's taken you longer to read this than it will to do the job. Once the misfire goes, so will the EML.

Door hinge? Oil the hinges, spray some grease on the retaining strap.

Rear washer? As explained above, stick a pin in it.

Jammed rear hatch? Drop the back seats, take the plastic cover of the hatch and trip the lock with a screwdriver. Does anything move with the central locking? Does anything move when you try and operate the opening button? Most locks can be fixed with oil and movement, once it's moving, keep spraying it, keep opening and closing the lock (not the whole hatch, just the lock)

Throwing a car away for pennies when the problem list can be fixed in under two hours could earn you a chinese burn.

Where are you based?

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Old 14th May 2013, 09:02   #30
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^ This

Providing it is actually the coilpack/spark plug, it's easy to fix.

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