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Most Common Astra Faults & Problems (MCAFP)

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Cold Start Problems

In time the coolant temperature sensor corrodes inside the cylinder head. This will interfere with the resistance and signal which will make the ECU think the water temperature is higher than it actually is. As such no enrichment of the mixture takes place.

Solution

Fitting a new temperature sender should rectify this fault.

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Symptoms of a Camshaft Sensor

The Top Dead Centre (TDC) sensor tells the Engine Control Unit (ECU) where top dead centre is on the engine.

Symptoms

1) Engine cranks but won’t start

2) Engine starts and begins to idle roughly with the EML illuminated

3) Engine won't kick over when it is cranked

4) Engine fails to start after a hot run, i.e. won’t start until cooler

Solution

The sensor is located under the spark plug cover on the 16v engines and it is secured via a 10mm bolt situated between the two pullys, so removeal oif the cambelt cover is needed.

Remove sensor and wipe it with some contact cleaner to see if this rectifies the fault. If not a replacement is required.

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Low Idle Speed, High Idle Speed or Stalling at Junctions

The culprit will probably be the Idle Control Valve (ICV) which is located on the top of the inlet manifold. The ICV acts as a gate allowing varying amounts of air into the engine. However they are known to stick. Then they either let too much air into the engine, possibly causing high revs, or not enough starving it of air and causing the engine to almost or actually cut out.

Solution

Remove the wiring connector and three bolts that hold the ICV in place. Liberally spray it with carb cleaner using a small brush to remove any deposits. A new O-ring will be required for reinstallation.

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Misfires & Hesitation

It is probable that the coil pack has started to fail.

Solution

Unfortunately the only certain way to rectify this is to purchase a new coil pack, but check the condition of your plug first.

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Engine Revs Not Exceeding 4000rpm

The Air Flow Meter (AFM) measure the amount of air passing into the engine from which the computer can work out how much fuel to add to get the perfect mixture for that specific throttle opening, the computer does this by referring to a map in its memory.

Solution

Try cleaning the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. This is located within the air ducting just after the air filter. Undo the electrical connector and withdraw the MAF sensor. Clean with carb cleaner then brush softly. It is important to check all vacuum pipes for signs of splitting or perishing.

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Intermittent, Delayed Starting or Clicking Sound

These symptoms will be caused by faulty or badly corroded terminals on the starter motor or solenoid. In a worst case scenario the motor itself may have failed.

Solution

Remove the electrical connectors and clean them with a brass wire brush removing any corrosion present. Apply something like Vaseline and refit. If this fails, remove starter motor and replace.

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Air Bag and EML Illuminated

Solution

Under each of the front seats in the area of the seatbelt pretensioners there will be a block connector. With the ignition turned off remove both and refit them firmly as they have a tendency to come loose more so on a 3 door. If the light is still on, remove again and spray with contact cleaner. Finally tape the conectors together to hold the two halves in place.

Make sure the ignition has been switch off for at least 10 minutes before you attempts the procedure, to be extra safe the SRS fuse can be removed if you wish.

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The above solutions are not guaranteed to work 100% but are based on information that has been correlated over a number of years. If you do not find that a solution works, you are advised to consult a good independent garage.

Disclaimer: Mk3OC will not take any responsiablity or blame with regards to damage or loss caused should you try any of the above it is ment as a information thread only.

The above text belongs to the author of this thread and MK3OC you are not authorised to copy and paste this information without prior approval.
 
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My astra Si is nearly 18 years and the only thing that has gone on it was the altanater earth wire..nothing ever, as we are the second owners..and their is now no arches left on both sides:( good information
 
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Good info J, sticky not needed which is the idea of this part of the forum as it only has useful info threads in. Rather than general question threads
 
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Symptoms of a Crankshaft Sensor

The Top Dead Centre (TDC) sensor tells the Engine Control Unit (ECU) where top dead centre is on the engine.

Symptoms

1) Engine cranks but won’t start

2) Engine starts and begins to idle roughly with the EML illuminated

3) Engine won't kick over when it is cranked

4) Engine fails to start after a hot run, i.e. won’t start until cooler

Solution

The sensor is located under the spark plug cover on the 16v engines and it is secured via a 10mm bolt situated between the two pullys, so removeal oif the cambelt cover is needed.
Erm Any crankshaft/camshaft sensor confusion? Claire noticed this ;)
 
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hi, i'm new to vauxhalls, i'm about to buy my 1st! It's funny but before I had a 1997 ford escort and they had almost exactly the same list of common faults, (i.e. the ICV, AFM etc) just thought it was weird how two engines built and designed completely differently by rival companies can have such similar common faults with the engines
 

P228XCK

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hi, i'm new to vauxhalls, i'm about to buy my 1st! It's funny but before I had a 1997 ford escort and they had almost exactly the same list of common faults, (i.e. the ICV, AFM etc) just thought it was weird how two engines built and designed completely differently by rival companies can have such similar common faults with the engines
the 20xe was developed by cosworth hence the similarities ;) :D
 
S

Simberu

Guest
common fault,

symptons
eml light stays on and is bright, smoking in cabin from engine bay, strong smell of electrical burning, possibly fire visible from underneath the car, other dash lights flicker. ignition comes on (or stays on with no key in ignition), engine continues to run after key has been removed.

cause
alarm wires corroded resulting in a short circuit causing burning/fire and ignition problems

solution
remove drivers wing, find the wires running to alarm box replace them or remove them (if system is no longer required i.e. have aftermarket alarm) replace panel
job done
 
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1

16VSport

Guest
hi, i'm new to vauxhalls, i'm about to buy my 1st! It's funny but before I had a 1997 ford escort and they had almost exactly the same list of common faults, (i.e. the ICV, AFM etc) just thought it was weird how two engines built and designed completely differently by rival companies can have such similar common faults with the engines
Main difference though is that you wont find your fuse box catching fire in an Astra!
 
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you boys mite be able to help me out.. every time i start my astra the revs go straight up 2 3000 then drop bk dwn to normal idle . but then the engine management lite comes on and stays on . could this be the idel control valve or something else.... its a c14se engine with multi point injection ...
 
U

urban_fox

Guest
I have an Astra Mk3 1.4 LS and lately when the engine is idling at the traffic lights and the rev counter shows 900 - 1000 revs, the engine management light comes on and soon after the revs go below 900 the EML will go out. I have changed the idle valve sensor with not much joy. Can anyone tell me how to remedy the fault or even how to keep a steady revs around 600 at idling?
 
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