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Old 09-07-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 905

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Astra buying advice wanted

I have just under 69,000 miles on my Astra, and it's been trouble free, other than a radio volume knob that didn't work linearly sometimes, so they replaced the radio under warranty.

I changed my rear brake pads, but realized once I saw the pads, that I probably could have waited quite a while still. I probably had 40% of the pad left. The fronts seem to still have about 50% of the pad. I did the rear brakes myself and didn't replace the rotors, but pads ran me about $30, and I spent another $25 at Harbor Freight for a nice caliper wind back tool set (the 6-sided dice windback tool doesn't fit our brakes). So about $55 and 2 hours of my time was all that my brakes cost me. I've found that the Astra is pretty easy to work on. Oil changes are easy, as are sparkplug replacements. The cabin air filter is a bit tough, but doable. Parts are available, though sometimes they are cheaper from Europe.

One word of advise is that you'll need to budget some money for a timing belt replacement, as that will be due at 75,000 miles. Other than that, the only major maintenance that should have been done up to now is changing the sparkplugs at 25,000 mile intervals, and changing the brake fluid, oil changes, and air and cabin air filters.

According to, the Astra is more reliable than the average compact cars that year. I participate at this site and others at the forum do as well.

I don't have any experience with the automatic, but the manual transmission has been solid, and I haven't heard of anyone having to replace the clutch yet from normal wear and tear.

I still enjoy the car. This has been the longest that I've ever kept a car, and it still drives great, and I still enjoy driving it.

People's biggest complaints seem to be the lack of an aux input for the stereo, and the lack of cupholders. There are solutions for the aux input that cost under $100 if you are somewhat handy. I've written up guides on a few of them.

I'd say go for it if you like the car. It's pretty safe with 6 airbags, stability control, traction control, active head restraints, seat belt pretensioners, and abs. That's more than most 2008 cars had.

I've gotten an overall average of 29.3 mpg with mine so far. MPG does drop off fast when you go above 70 mph (it needs a taller top gear in my opinion), but it does pretty well around town.

Drives: 2014 Volt, 2017 Acadia
Past Cars: 08 Astra, 15 Acadia, 12 Enclave, 09 Traverse, 05 Vue, 04 Grand Prix, 00 Alero, 97 LeSabre, 72 Cutlass S

Last edited by emg77; 09-07-2013 at 09:25 PM..


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