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Old 06-09-2014, 11:06 PM   #1
supyo
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Default So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I've had my 08 for just over a year. 32,000KM - no issues whatsoever. Are there any original owner out there who have kept their Astra?

I wonder how reliable they are now that they are 6 years old.

I think 6 years gives a good indication on how reliable a car will be.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:21 AM   #2
vasy
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supyo View Post
I've had my 08 for just over a year. 32,000KM - no issues whatsoever. Are there any original owner out there who have kept their Astra?

I wonder how reliable they are now that they are 6 years old.

I think 6 years gives a good indication on how reliable a car will be.
considering how quiet this forum is, fairly reliable outside a common issue with the coil, which you should have a spare and perhaps a few minor things here and there as you can see whats trending on the top on the page.
we have about 140k, some guy here has over 230k.
All I had to replace is the normal coil/plugs and fuel vapor actuator.
Car seems to eat two rear sets of pads for one front, strange and my neighbor noticed the same.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:21 AM   #3
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2009 Astra XR
2008 Astra XE
Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I've had mine since new in NOV 09: Major things have been the intake solenoid which jammed opened, the transmission was fixed after my linkage cable snapped and sandwiched 2nd and 3rd gear together. Other then those two things I haven't had any major work done to the car. Just routine maintenance and oil changes. Just passed 129,000 KM this week
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Original owner here, 2009 astra with 100kkm (62k miles), my issues with the car:
- alternator pulley (replaced under warranty)
- squeaky wheel bearing (replaced under warranty)
- window motor (replaced under extended warranty)

Other issue that's not fixed is a bad coolant level sensor that fires a warning for no reason. I'm replacing the (original) brakes all around in the next couple of weeks, mine wore out pretty evenly (back vs front).
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09 Astra XR (manual, 3-door)
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:23 PM   #5
ProstheticHead
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I bought mine new in 09. So far I've had to replace the flexpipe and rear pads plus regular maintenance. 140000kms of hard driving. I'm quite happy with it. But there's always lemons out there.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:16 PM   #6
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Bought 2008 new in Mar 09. No repairs since new, except for a broken windshield (not the car's fault) and the roof rails which were shedding their clearcoat. That said, I only have 47k on it. Oops-I did have a fuel filler neck replaced when it was only a week old. Forgot about that.

I do the basic maintenance (oil changes, plugs, etc) myself and it's easy to do. I think it's about time for a coolant flush and a new set of plugs. Last service report showed that my rear brake linings are also wearing faster than the fronts. Weird.

It's been a great car, no complaints here!
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

44,000 miles...bought new in Nov '09. So far, I have had the following done:

- A/C hose
- Horn issue (common - there's an extended warranty)
- Steering wheel controls (I think related to the horn issue?)
- Roof rails
- Alternator pulley (they replaced the serpentine belt twice before figuring it out!).
- Rubber gasket on passenger side (runs length of both doors)
- Driver's door panel (was separating from base)
- Radio (lights burned out...3 radios later and still not fixed!)

Seems like a lot but the Astra is a beacon of reliability compared to the two cars I had before it: Saab 9-5 and Cadillac Catera (other GM orphans!)

Jeff
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:27 AM   #8
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I'm an original owner (almost 6 years and 80,000 miles).

My only problems have been:
Slightly sticky volume knob on the radio (replaced radio under warranty - have since replaced with an aftermarket Eonon unit)
MAF sensor (might have just needed a better cleaning, but replaced with a sensor from a junked car at about 75,000 miles).
Blower Motor (worked, but clicked on low speeds - replaced with a blower from a junked car at about 75,000 miles).
Lose of paint from roof rails (replaced under warranty, but the paint is gone again).
Horn stopped working (fixed under warranty- known issue)

No problem with the coil, but I replaced it at 75,000 miles.
Still on original front brakes, and rotors all around. I replaced the rear pads, but they didn't need it.

Other than that, it's just been maintenance (timing belt, spark plugs, oil changes, filters, tires, brake fluid replacement, new battery last winter, and radiator flush/fill).

Most reliable car I've ever owned, and the longest I've ever kept a car. I'm hoping to still be driving it in 4 years to pass to my son when he starts driving (though it means he'll be learning on a manual transmission).
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Original owner of a 2008 here. I suspect I'm at or near the top of miles, I've got 245,000km on it as of a couple of days ago

Generally speaking I'm pretty impressed with no signficant problems to speak of. I've had:

wiring harness issues to two doors (not an overly cheap problem to address).
A front wheel bearing the went way early on (under warranty)
A couple of electrical gremlins that have never really been too bad, and never fixed.
A speed sensor 1.5 times (replaced once under warranty, had issues again this winter, just ignored it and it went away after about 5k worth of driving)

It just keeps ticking along getting admirable mileage (around 7.1l/100km over the life of the car). I still find it a fun car to drive, still very tight and handles quite well compared to any other econobox I get in regardless of their relative newness.

At this point, the car doesn't really owe me anything, and every season I keep getting out of it, I consider gravy.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:26 PM   #10
PanVet
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2008 Astra XE
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Bought mine new in 08 still running strong XE 5 speed 78000 miles. Only issue was the locking mechanism for the fuel door stopped working, with it locked of course. I just pulled the cable out so it does not lock. And of course the horn issue.
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Old 06-13-2014, 09:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I have a 2009 bought in Oct 09. Now I only have 48000kms on the odo, but here are the problems I've had so far:

Around 20k that Can shaft actuator sensor went (the one that trips the CEL and causes power loss, seems a common problem). Replaced under warranty.

Both lower door gaskets (XR3) have wrinkled. Never got it fixed and remains that way.)

Coolant level low...not sure if it was a problem with sensor, or it was actually low...added a few mls of coolant and it never came back.

Other than that it runs great. Need to change the plugs very soon, but been pretty reliable so far, knock on wood.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

original owner, 56000km. under warranty, gm has replaced the flex pipe & roof trim. however, the front sway bar bushings are shot.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72gssaturn View Post
original owner, 56000km. under warranty, gm has replaced the flex pipe & roof trim. however, the front sway bar bushings are shot.
Forgot that one, I also had the flexpipe done, a local muffler place did it for not too much money (don't remember how much exactly, but I recall it being substantially less than the dealership.)
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

2008- 44,000 miles.

2 sensors so far.

Took off roof rails and sprayed them with black Plastidip.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I'm an original owner w/ 39k.
  • Finish on roof rails is gone. Not a big deal.
  • Flex pipe.
  • Brakes all around. My fronts were gone @ 35k.
  • I did sprark plugs and cabin filter myself.

I think that's it. Going to need tires before next winter. Looking at Conti's.

Paul
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

traded in my astra with 129000km.

In the two years and 100000 km I put on it i had replaced:

-Clutch (original was faulty)
-Main seal (3 times)
-All Brake parts
-Evap system
-Flex Pipe
- Coolant Temperature Sensor
- Throttle body
- Sparkplug
- Cv Boot (twice)
-Maf sensor twice (ended up trading in with a broken one lol)
- radiator
- hatch shocks
- intake box
- overhead light unit
I'm probaly forgetting a few things

oh and by the way that all happened after my warranty expired lol.

I will never buy gm again
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #17
Aprime
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2009 Astra XR
Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasy View Post
considering how quiet this forum is, fairly reliable outside a common issue with the coil, which you should have a spare and perhaps a few minor things here and there as you can see whats trending on the top on the page.
we have about 140k, some guy here has over 230k.
All I had to replace is the normal coil/plugs and fuel vapor actuator.
Car seems to eat two rear sets of pads for one front, strange and my neighbor noticed the same.
Oil consumption in my case, dealers experimenting on our vehicles resulting in mixed results for what should be minor tweaks and ****. OEM battery dying after 3 years. Parts availability. It's a fine car otherwise. Nowhere near as prone to rust as some of the local GM products, too

Generally impressed with how its held up since it was made in 08 but we've just traded it in for a '14 Civic. We had an RV to get rid of and we figured we might as well combine the two and get a new car given we have no idea what the future might hold for the Astra.

I think I would've kept it had I known that we were going to get rid of the RV this month. The car I put some love into this April wasn't anywhere near as worth it but eh.

Oh, I had the solenoid issue too. Fixed under warranty.

Water may leak in from the rear window during a pressure wash.

(looks like I have more to say than I could think of earlier):

All my issues have been in *my* first year with it. Been fine otherwise.

**stock spark plugs are copper units, which is a trend breaker. Advise replacement to a better material but not by a retarded mechanic (happened to me, he regapped [pregapped] platinum plugs to copper standards and broke a couple in the process).

I mentioned they were pregapped.

***When you replace the brakes, avoid the typical ACDelco replacement pads and possibly rotors too. The pads wear out overly quickly.

****Rear wiper retainer clip is made out of a cheap plastic. May result in it breaking when comes tipe to replace the blade assembly. Happened to me, the replacement arm is ****ing overpriced, so I glued it, lol.

Last edited by Aprime; 06-22-2014 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:01 PM   #18
Action Jackson
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprime View Post

**stock spark plugs are copper units, which is a trend breaker. Advise replacement to a better material but not by a retarded mechanic (happened to me, he regapped [pregapped] platinum plugs to copper standards and broke a couple in the process).

I mentioned they were pregapped.
I would actually check the gap of all my spark plugs regardless, just in case to be on the safe side, b/c you really don't want to go through the effort of taking them out again.

It is possible to also gap spark plugs that are not supposed to be gapped. i.e. for my denso iridiums, I would use a disc to carefully check, and adjust by gently tapping with the disc, or buy using pliers to open the gap.

If everyone massed produced was perfect, we wouldn't have recalls would we?
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Old 06-26-2014, 02:22 PM   #19
SteveWoz
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

I am the original owner, bought new in Feb. '09, now with 76,000 miles. Wow, reading the posts, I have had next to nothing go wrong - and it still drives like a gem right out of the showroom. The only single thing that has malfunctioned is the rear driver's side window. Fixed once after warranty, then two years later it stopped again. I can live with that. (Oh, and the silly glovebox which wouldn't stay up. Warrantied that one.) I've replaced the battery, sparks, done all my own maintenance. Astras are such a pleasure to drive, are comfy, Euro-tight, amazing for the price. My tires are still decent. Brakes are great. Am I dreaming? I like everything about this car - it doesn't look dated, the interior is unique. The fact that you don't see many and that I'm driving something different is very cool, too.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:35 PM   #20
supyo
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Default Re: So.. how reliable is the 2008/09 Saturn Astra?

Passenger side window regulator crapped out today. Had to get a repair shop to tape up the window until they can order a new one.

The previous owner had to replace the exact same thing and gave me a receipt for it before I bought the car a year ago.

What is up with the window regulator in this car? Is it made out of tin foil or something?
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