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Old 08-15-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of North of Toronto, Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,651

1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Problem areas to look for when buying an Astra

I respect your opinion but you have to consider the whole picture before you deem this a bad decision for anyone and all. I agree, you're absolutely right that this would not be a car for everyone.

That's about $1800 USD and keep in mind the US is a different market than Canada. Everything seems cheaper and more readily available there. The market price for a 2009 XR MT is typically in the $3.5-4.5K range with dealer asking prices in and around the $5.5K price point. The 2009 Mazda3's, Corolla's and Civics command a higher price.

The rust appears to be only surface rust and that's easy enough to look after. Probably caused by someone not taking care of small blemishes at the time they happen and building from there. It's limited to the bottom of the passenger door from what I can see in photos. I padded the number as I haven't seen it in person. I will be looking at the undercarriage condition for sure.

I'm pretty verse on DIY work and sourcing out parts in the most economical fashion similar to what you say. After-all I do own an S Series. I do have a trusted and fair mechanic when I get lazy or I'm in a time crunch. This would be a 3rd vehicle for me and temporarily going down to 2 if needed would only inconvenience my teenage drivers.

The checklist I'm looking for focuses on identifying the areas of concern and validating they've been looked after or not. My decision point is after considering the findings.

So is there anything else to add to the list?
  • Clutch wear
  • Timing belt
  • Rear brakes
  • Cam wear (dieseling at startup)
  • Struts
  • Drop links
  • Water leaks (B pillar, roof antenna)
  • Exhaust flex pipe
  • Spark plug history (replace every 25K or coil pack fails)
  • Horn CIM
  • Airbag recall
  • Sluggish engine due to poor maintenance (plugs, air filter, MAF, TB)
  • Coil pack (see spark plug above)
  • Fluids condition

1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)


Last edited by trottida; 08-15-2019 at 03:39 PM..


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