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Blake Noble

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... For that white Honda Accord.

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The Astra has started randomly quitting on me. I have absolutely no clue as to why, nor do I know what spurred it on.

It first happened four nights ago as I was rounding a turn at 20 mph. I actually didn't even realize the car had quit at first; I was hitting the throttle and realized the engine wasn't responding and the rev counter was at zero. I pulled off to the side of the road and it restarted as if nothing happened.

It did pretty much the exact same thing heading home tonight. No warning, nothing.

On another note, the gas guage and fuel range read outs no longer sync up. Again, no idea why.

Considering there's so few of these things in the States and dealers have to source parts from Opel, I don't expect fixing this to be cheap.

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Sounds a lot like it a crankshaft or camshaft position sensor. Those a very similar symptoms to what one of those sensors failing would be.

  • Upvote 2

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Ditto the sensors. It could be a couple hundred to fix but then selling, (and buying) a vehicle while going to school will be a major pain in the ass.

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I intended to have the OBD II codes read today, but I didn't get around to it. So far, it hasn't quit again but I've been noticing random periods of light sputtering as well as some hesistation under acceleration.

Ditto the sensors. It could be a couple hundred to fix but then selling, (and buying) a vehicle while going to school will be a major pain in the ass.

I also have to go to work four days out of the week, too.

But if it comes down to me having to get rid of the car for whatever reason, I'll just have to figure out a way to manage. I'm not going to let it stress me out.

Edited by black-knight

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I intended to have the OBD II codes read today, but I didn't get around to it. So far, it hasn't quit again but I've been noticing random periods of light sputtering as well as some hesistation under acceleration.

You got a Check Engine light? If you didn't get the light, there may be no pending codes.

I agree with DF, sounds like the crank or cam sensor... but you may not get a code until it fails completely. Most of these sensors can be replaced fairly quickly... but you have to do your research ahead of time, to figure out exactly WHAT needs to be moved out of the way.

Since even brand new cars fail, the only suggestion I have to always having a running car is to have n+1. (n being the number of drivers you are responsible for). I recently fell back to n, and spent a day without a car for the first time in over a decade. I'm working hard to get back to n+1, as I REALLY didn't like that.

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You got a Check Engine light? If you didn't get the light, there may be no pending codes.

When the engine quit, yes. When it restarted, no. It's my understanding that even if the CEL didn't come back on after restarting the engine, the OBD II system still could have stored something related to as to why the engine quit, if it was a cam or crankshaft sensor or whatever.

I agree with DF, sounds like the crank or cam sensor... but you may not get a code until it fails completely. Most of these sensors can be replaced fairly quickly... but you have to do your research ahead of time, to figure out exactly WHAT needs to be moved out of the way.

Since even brand new cars fail, the only suggestion I have to always having a running car is to have n+1. (n being the number of drivers you are responsible for). I recently fell back to n, and spent a day without a car for the first time in over a decade. I'm working hard to get back to n+1, as I REALLY didn't like that.

Owning more than one vehicle is in the cards, but it probably won't happen until I'm out of college.

Edited by black-knight

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Owning more than one vehicle is always handy, it means if I need to do work on one I can take my time on it because I have the other as backup.

Hopefully you're able to find and fix the problem.

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You got a Check Engine light? If you didn't get the light, there may be no pending codes.

When the engine quit, yes. When it restarted, no. It's my understanding that even if the CEL didn't come back on after restarting the engine, the OBD II system still could have stored something related to as to why the engine quit, if it was a cam or crankshaft sensor or whatever.

Well, you might have a stored code. When the engine stops spinning, but the key is still on run, you have a CEL condition in that it is not able to see the crank spinning... but since this also happens when you put the ignition on 'Run' without starting the car, it is not stored. Other crank codes might have been stored when it stalled, but I would think you would have gotten a CEL when you felt the engine stumble a number of times.

Checking for the code needs to be done, but be prepared to not get anything... that would still be in the realm of the expected. Hopefully, you have a code, or even a pending code, as it obviously makes diagnosis that much easier.

Owning more than one vehicle is in the cards, but it probably won't happen until I'm out of college.

This is where the ol' grandma-fresh $500 beater comes in. ;-)

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No codes were stored. Now I'm not too sure what I should do. I would hate to wait for it to happen again and the car not restart and I can't exactly afford to start eliminating all of the possible causes. While it may be easy to do simple basic maintenance on this car yourself (spark plug and oil changes), it isn't as easy to do more complex work.

EDIT: I guess if it came down to it, I could sell my Gibson SG and my extension cabinet to buy that cheap-o beater and drive it until I manage to repair or unload the Astra. I just don't know what I hate the thought of more; getting rid of my only guitar or having the Astra shit the bed on me on the way to class or work. I would have enough money to buy something like this with the cash I get out of the Gibby ...

Edited by black-knight

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Fuel pump going? might explain why the fuel gauge is reading improper.

Reading the google, it looks like the EGR valve can also be a culprit of this behavior.

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EGR valves will usually throw one or more codes. Fuel pump is possible, but considering how expensive it is + labor, and considering it doesn't have any codes (camshaft sensors in my experience will throw codes while crankshaft sensors don't always), I would replace the crankshaft sensor and see what happens.

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Again, I agree with DF, replace the crank sensor. While a lot of sensors look difficult to get to, its because you are looking at the problem wrong. Many times, I can get to them more easily from underneath or from the sides, once you remove a tire and some of the plastic water shields. If I can contort my giant arms and ham hocks into position, you can.

I would also locate the Schrader valve on the fuel system and test the fuel pressure. I couldn't locate a spec on Google, but I would imagine you want to see at least 50~55 psi.

Finally, you have got to stop the mentality of wanting to dump the car as soon as something acts up... otherwise, just start burning all your money now.

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I do believe white Accords have crank sensors.

  • Upvote 2

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And now we begin the slow unloading process ...

Winter's coming and a cash fire could serve to keep me warm during the cold.

Etc., etc., etc.

Honestly, after these hiccups occurred, I really started to question if I'm honestly happy with the car. Y'know, I don't think I really am. I don't know if I trust the car; I don't know if it's worth investing in fixing a problem that the car may not have to begin with; and I don't know if I still feel the same way about the car now like I did when I first bought it. I'd rather be in something from ChryCo. (mainly a Jeep or an LX car) or maybe a truck. And I still miss the Challenger.

I also think it's completely unreasonable and inexcusable that a car only five years old car and with just 40,000 miles is experiencing reliability issues. That's another reason why I'm not sure if I want to invest in this car.

Or maybe I should just say f@#k it and start riding a Vespa around and grow some dreadlocks.

You live and learn, I guess. What can I say? The first chance I get to trade the car in or sell it and at least break even, it's going. It may not be tomorrow, next week, or even a few months from now, but it isn't a permanent fixture in my driveway. I just hope it holds up until then.

I'm currently looking at $500 beaters ... what little is out there, anyway. I almost snagged a running Cherokee with 150,000 miles for $500 the other day, but the guy hauled it off for scrap just before I could get to it. I thought too long about it.

Edited by black-knight

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Sounds a lot like it a crankshaft or camshaft position sensor. Those a very similar symptoms to what one of those sensors failing would be.

Yes...when those sensors failed on my GC, those were the symptoms...esp. scary when going 70 on the freeway in traffic and it happened. It didn't trip the check engine light either. I had mixed results after it shut off---sometimes it would start immediately, other times it wouldn't start. Had to have it towed 25 miles twice before the shop fixed it correctly. (after it was fixed, I thought the name was 'crankcase position sensor' until the C&G experts corrected me).

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Worst time for me was when it stalled while going on an on ramp a 5 pane highway and i had to pull into the grass. That was the last time it happened before I replaced the crankshaft sensor, and it never happened again.

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It may not be tomorrow, next week, or even a few months from now, but it isn't a permanent fixture in my driveway. I just hope it holds up until then.

You're jeopardizing your safety and those of other motorists by continuing to drive it, though. At the least, you could potentially end up missing an exam on your way to school if a problem occurs.

I think the best option is to change the sensors, as it appears that's the consensus. Do it before school gets even heavier, or you won't have the time to in a couple weeks.

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Spend the 500 on the car you have. You can fix a lot for that price with the right guy. Look for dealer mechanics that do work " on the side"

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Spend the 500 on the car you have. You can fix a lot for that price with the right guy. Look for dealer mechanics that do work " on the side"

This.

You've already gone the beater route before, and none of them ended too well for you. Plus, you'll probably lose more than $500 if you decide to sell the Astra. It's an Ecotec, so it's going to take a heck of a lot of abuse to kill it. Change the sensors, or have them changed.

Another piece of advice, get the codes scanned anyway. The PCM will hold on to them sometimes even though the light isn't currently on. On the better scanners you'll be able to get a trouble code history. Go to your nearest AutoZone, Advance, etc and borrow their scanner. It'll take all of ten seconds in the parking lot to get a code readout. Write down any codes that it finds, and when you get home use the google to help you find what they mean in plain English.

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No codes were stored. Now I'm not too sure what I should do. I would hate to wait for it to happen again and the car not restart and I can't exactly afford to start eliminating all of the possible causes. While it may be easy to do simple basic maintenance on this car yourself (spark plug and oil changes), it isn't as easy to do more complex work.

EDIT: I guess if it came down to it, I could sell my Gibson SG and my extension cabinet to buy that cheap-o beater and drive it until I manage to repair or unload the Astra. I just don't know what I hate the thought of more; getting rid of my only guitar or having the Astra $h! the bed on me on the way to class or work. I would have enough money to buy something like this with the cash I get out of the Gibby ...

While I can understand not wanting to get rid of a cherished item like your guitar, Keep in mind, Your investing in your Future. Going without the Guitar while you educate yourself, fix your ride so it is dependable, will allow you to get even more or better guitars down the road.

Sacrifice now for a better future. Instant gratification does not secure a job, retirement or your future.

  • Upvote 3

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IGNITION COILS, Yup Bing it or Google it, but I have found on nurmerous forums that people with Astra's having the same issues and everyone says to scan for codes as some do show up and there have been times nothing showed up. But always good troubleshooting to do. Then test the Ignition coils as multiple people have stated they failed or were flaky and once replaced the auto ran better than new. Seems to be an issue with the 2007-2008 astras.

I agree with others, much cheaper to repair this car and drive it than to dump it, take a loss and look for a beater that will have multiple hidden issues.

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I'm not worried about taking a loss on the car if I get rid of it. In fact, I know its worth a little bit more than what I paid for it, private party especially.

As for the ignition coil, well ... that I could possibly replace myself, but it'll cost me $600 big ones to buy a new one. However, labor costs to replace the coil pack seem to be about as much as the part itself. If it turns out its not the ignition coil and I have to replace the crankshaft senor and two camshaft sensors, then I've spent almost $2,000 dollars if I decide to try and replace the coil myself. While I may have enough money for a $500 beater, I don't have enough money to pay for a $2,000 dollar worst case sceneario, nor do I have any way possible to raise that much money. It's simply not going to happen and, knowing my luck, that could very well be the situation I wind up in.

Don't think I'm not considering fixing it, but I tend to think about the worst case scenearios first.

Edited by black-knight

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I'm not worried about taking a loss on the car if I get rid of it. In fact, I know its worth a little bit more than what I paid for it, private party especially.

As for the ignition coil, well ... that I could possibly replace myself, but it'll cost me $600 big ones to buy a new one. However, labor costs to replace the coil pack seem to be about as much as the part itself. If it turns out its not the ignition coil and I have to replace the crankshaft senor and two camshaft sensors, then I've spent almost $2,000 dollars if I decide to try and replace the coil myself. While I may have enough money for a $500 beater, I don't have enough money to pay for a $2,000 dollar worst case sceneario, nor do I have any way possible to raise that much money. It's simply not going to happen and, knowing my luck, that could very well be the situation I wind up in.

Don't think I'm not considering fixing it, but I tend to think about the worst case scenearios first.

Just keep in mind, if you buy a $500 beater and it ends up needing 2000 of repairs to be a safe dependable car, you will wish you got the astra fixed.

In thinking about this, I would honestly take it to the dealer and ask them to do an assessment of the repair. At least the chevy dealers here have a $100 diagnostic service and then you know just what is wrong and what the cost will be. Now at least here in seattle, any gm dealership does a repair and it is repaired for life currently.

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Edited by black-knight

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