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MK3 Astra - Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Phil W, 9 May 2006.

  1. Phil W

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,946

    Location: Jupiter

    Hi all,

    Going to view an Astra 1.4L (Mk3 1993) tonight. Its tax'd and tested and looks to be in good condition from the numerous pictures.

    What should i be looking out for on these ? Rust spots or mechanical?

    I know the rear arch's are prone to rust but anything else apart from that?

    Cheers all,

    Phil
     
  2. Confused

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,016

    One of my friends seems to be obsessed with the Mk3 Astra for some reason.

    He keeps going on about the Mk3 Owners Club, suppose it'd be some use to you :)
     
  3. Oracle

    Banned

    Joined: 17 Jan 2006

    Posts: 1,971

    Location: Haskins

    They love rust on the rear arches.
     
  4. Saytan

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,572

    the c14 series engines (early 1.4's) tend to leak oil from the distributor area, and from the cam cover. check the exhaust very carefully too.
     
  5. thedazman67

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Apr 2004

    Posts: 2,038

    Location: Warrington, UK

    Taken from Honest John

    What to Watch Out For
    Sagging rear suspension on hard-used ex-fleet estates. Kerbing damage to front suspension (look for uneven tyre wear). Worn front suspension bushes and steering joints. Damaged suspension arms from jacking by them. Unpleasant clutch action (might be cured cheaply with a new cable). Electric front windows can stick. Valve gear gets noisy with mileage and ambitious 9,000-10,000 mile oil changes. Valves of 16vs may stick if run on cheap detergent-free petrol. Unfortunately Vauxhall's cure for this seems to have been to ream out the valve guides a bit too much with the result that many 16v 1.6s have become oil burners. Petrol engine cambelts need changing every 35,000-40,000 miles. Floor around handbrake mounting and driver's seat mounting can crack (symptom: having to pull handbrake right up). This could be the reason why more than a few Telegraph readers complain of being unable to release the handbrake of Astras with drum rear brakes. Ex-Vauxhall Masterhire cars on full service contracts come with very comprehensive computerised service histories, itemised down to light bulb replacements. Watch out for dodgy histories in kerbside or auction sale cars. More likely than most to be clocked.

    thedazman
     
  6. tickle me elmo

    Gangster

    Joined: 11 Nov 2005

    Posts: 362

    if its single point injection, DONT BUY IT! single point = 60bhp, multipoint = 80bhp. look for 4 injectors if you dont know the difference.

    rear arches rust like crazy.
    check it doesnt smoke and do all the usual checks when looking at a new car.
     
  7. Saytan

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,572

    easiest way to tell an MPI from an SPI is that SPI's have an orange distributor cap, while MPI is black
     
  8. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 158,103

    Look for a badge on the back saying 'Astra'.

    If its there, walk away unless its under 300 quid.
     
  9. Scottland

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 15,459

    Location: North Wales

    Housemate of mine last year had one, awful car (if its the 60nhp one).

    Really slow, not sure how much it weighs but it felt like it weighed 5 tonnes :p

    My neighbour but 1 has a thing for Rovers, and the Astra must have caught something cos the HG went twice (actually thinking about it, so did mine...), and it spat oil everywhere too. Oh, the electrics had started to go, EW and ESR stopped working and rust had also started on the rear arches.
     
  10. Phil W

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,946

    Location: Jupiter

    Well, bought it in the end.

    Bodywork is solid, theres not one spot of rust in sight, and it just needs a good polish to bring the red back to its "former glory".

    It's only a spi but to be honest, im only using it to get to work and back (18 miles there and back) so speed is not of the essence.

    Now i can get paying for my holidays, and save up for a proper car :)

    Insurance has gone down by £400 aswell so thats another massive saving made :)

    It might only be a 5 tonne barge, but i got it for £260 in the end, so a bargain all round :)

    Pics later !
     
  11. Demon

    Soldato

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,239

    Location: Near Cheltenham

    LOL... And you wonder why people keep picking on you.. :rolleyes:

    OT - I'd double check the front suspension, Honest John mentions it above, and I know a couple of people with MKIII's that have had premature wear of the suspension joints..
     
  12. Lopéz

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,242

    Location: LE9/OTK

    Why? He's basically right. The Mk3 Astra wasn't particularly good in it's day, and certainly isn't good now. Unless it's something special like a GSi there isn't a lot of point spending out anything over banger money on one. Same goes for lots of cars these days (Mk1 Mondeo, Cavalier, early Vectra, Mk5 Escort etc)
     
  13. Demon

    Soldato

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,239

    Location: Near Cheltenham

    LOL... :D cringeworthy sucking up!!

    I think anyone with the slightest hint of common sense would have realised that this guy was just buying an old cheap 'run around', and as you point out, all the main stream cheap cars of that era are all crap relative to newer cars, but then newer cars cost more.. It's not the 'badge' on the back that is important, it's the condition it's in that is far more important.. Fox was just trolling as usual..
     
  14. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 158,103

    Oh do get a grip, you know exactly what I meant - I was pointing out that its a bad buy UNLESS its simply a cheap banger.

    And it turns out it was only 260 quid so its all good. The whole badge thing was simply a more interesting way of saying 'Astras are poor unless ultra cheap'.

    Haha, whereas you of course were not?

    And as for thinking Lopez was sucking up, let me know when you can think of a reason why one of the most respected posters on this forum would want/need to 'suck up' to an opinionated oik like myself, thanks.
     
  15. D4VE

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 23 Oct 2003

    Posts: 8,899

    Location: Hampshire, UK

    Arches and sills will rust nicely, so need checking. Its inside out rust as water gets inside and there isnt much rust proofing to stop it rusting through.

    Suspension arm bushes dont last long.

    At that age though I think you'll get a lot of niggling problems.
     
  16. Demon

    Soldato

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,239

    Location: Near Cheltenham

    Well, that would be correct, but if he'd have said "I'm thinking of buying a MK1 Mondeo...... " you certainly would not have posted "If it says ford/mondeo on the back, walk away" would you!! no, you would just assume that anyone looking at a MK1 Mondeo is looking in 'banger' territory..

    Well, there's a surprise.. he's looking at MKIII astra's for MKIII astra money.. and [SARCASM] of course the Astra is a really awful car, it was dwarfed by such legendary greats as the Escort and MK1 Mondeo[/SARCASM]



    No, I posted something OT, and happened to point out your post was more then borderline troll.

    I think it's clear from your Toy throwing antics, that you need to be dealt with kid gloves at times and Lopez seemed to be doing just that, I mean, to take a comment like "Look for a badge on the back saying 'Astra'.If its there walk away, unless it's under £300" as anything other then antagonistic trolling is being very kind towards you..

    when it comes down to this sort of money, as I stated previously, the car's condition needs to be assessed on an individual basis.

    Even upto £500 a 'good' MK3 Astra is a sound buy, and you get plenty for your money..

    A couple of guys in here run 1.7TD MK3 Astra's, they generally run bangers, and both comment on what an excellent buy the MK3 astra is for the money. Since they've owned a fair few 'bangers' they seem to know what 'cheap' cars are 'decent' and which aren't..
     
  17. Lopéz

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,242

    Location: LE9/OTK

    Give it a rest, why would I be "sucking up" to Fox :confused: He's quite capable of posting whatever he wants without support from me.
     
  18. Lopéz

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,242

    Location: LE9/OTK

    Escort I'll give you, Mondeo? No way - it boots a Mk3 Astra into touch pretty soundly.
     
  19. JRS

    Capodecina

    Joined: 6 Jun 2004

    Posts: 17,912

    Location: Burton-on-Trent

    I can think of better ways of spending £500 for a car of that vintage, and all of them avoid the pain of owning a car that's a) soul-destroyingly dull and b) not having a hugely good reputation on the reliability front. I've seen more broken Mk3 Astras than I care to remember. And that's coming from a Fiat driver....

    "Decent" compared with what, exactly? Cars of that same vintage, or cars of that same price bracket? If they rate the Astra as an excellent buy it makes me wonder what rubbish they've been buying in the past....

    At any rate, none of that matters - for £260 it's a decent buy. I just wouldn't want to be paying any more than that.
     
  20. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 158,103

    I have in the past said similar things about mk1 Mondeos - not the badge comment (why must you latch on to one throwaway comment?), but I have certainly advised people do not bother with, foe example, 800 quud plus mk1's.

    There are still people out there buying and selling mk3 Astras for 4 figure sums so simply assuming any mk3 Astra is for sale at banger money if foolish - making my opinion that they are worth buying only banger prices relevant, or at least more relevant to this thread than your opinion of me.




    Can I respectfully request you find out what a troll is? I'll help - it dates from Usenet days and was a term given to people who would post a deliberately controversial thread - for example 'god does not exist' and crosspost it between relevant groups purely to start a huge row - the troll would then sit back, watch the group fight amongst themselves and never post in the thread again.

    Not *quite* the same as advising someone walks away from mk3 Astras costing more than 300 quid.

    Or its not taking words on a forum quite so literally as yourself - I have already explained the choice of words.

    I 100% agree - hence me advising he only considered it at 'this sort of money'.

    So why not question my opinion point this out, so the thread would have descended into a discussion/debate on the merits and disadvantages of cheap Astras?

    I am only too happy for people ti challenge my views - its what forums are for.

    Would have been far more useful than this petty argument about whether I am a moron/troll or not, don't you agree?