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Old 01-25-2021, 11:03 PM   #1
JFS
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2008 Astra XR
Default ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

In all honesty I really should have been able to find a thread that deals with my problem, but when searching the forum for terms I believe apply to what I'm seeing, the symptoms Isee described in other threads are piecemeal by comparison to my problem.

I see the ABS and traction control lights flashing. The radio cutting out. Engine fault light strobing with the others. Intermittent power with the engine losing revs/power.....Seems associated with turning the wheel, while also loosing power steering. I seem to have all of these at once. I was hoping it was a speed sensor/wheel hub problem, because I would feel comfortable with replacing them. But just coming off having seen the "Astra From Hell" videos, I have MMFF, Multiple Module Failure Fear. This has happened twice in the last three weeks, almost immediately upon starting. It is starting to lightly rain here, but I have not had the car out until the roads were already dry. It has come close to stalling out, but getting on the gas seems to help. Oh yeah, could our fly-by-wire potentiometer of a gas pedal also be involved? I've never replaced mine.

OK, I'm trying to make light of this, but it's got me wondering. I have no idiot light staying on and find no codes retained with my OBD2 device and Torque app. While I can still drive it, I'm tempted to take it to my regular garage to see if they can find a stored code still in the car's system. I did not clear anything. They work on a lot of VW, Audi, and BMW products, so I'm hoping on some cross-over benefit in their Eurocentric diagnosing tools. If they cannot develop a plan, the place next door (three garages share the same building & each have 3-4 lifts) specializes in tracking down electrical gremlins in Volvos, Saabs, BMW, and Lotuses (Loti?). There are always a pair of just-out-of-warranty Jaguars out front.

I have a half-assed video of the problem occurring while I'm driving one handed and backing out. I'll try to edit and post it here later.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

You could have multiple issues, of course, which makes diagnosis difficult. That Pine Hollow video series is excellent and he had similar issues so that might be a good route to consider (they replaced too many parts so just figure out what worked).

It would be interesting to see if problems emerge in dry weather. Can you drive very slowly in a very safe area, like a nearby abandoned parking lot? If not, I would be nervous to drive.

Multiple failures could be low voltage from a battery, alternator, or wiring. The various computers will start to fail as voltage drops, and we don't know which ones tolerate very low voltages. Could also be a wonky ground.

So maybe check the battery voltage at the battery terminals with everything off (run the lights for a minute beforehand to remove the surface charge); this should be about 12.6v. Then check with engine idleing. Then with lots of accessories and the engine say at 2000 rpm; this should be around 14v but will vary by many factors. You could also get battery and alternator tested at a local shop or some retailers.

I found cleaning the main electrical terminals for the battery, power, and ground made a big difference in voltage around the car. You can search my posts for ideas of some of the main areas to clean.

Also, the UEC seems to get wet easily. Check that the cover is on correctly. You can also inspect the terminals with these tips. Water here can cause issues with the accelerator pedal and other things. But frankly, I'm not convinced it would be related to some of your issues (particularly the radio).

https://www.vauxhallownersnetwork.co...fira-b.371985/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiXLYdlQb_Y
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:17 PM   #3
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

An update on what I'm encountering.

Just to be clear, I don't believe I have a water infiltration issue into the fuse box/blocks. I mentioned precipitation in the post above only to say that I have only had the car out in a couple light showers, a pair of misting's really, to rule that out. We're off to another drought year in CA. Anyway, after inspection, no intrusion into the block, no evidence of corrosion.

I took the car to a business described above. It is owned by a Belarusian and he has a pair of Russian guys working for him. They are all 30 somethings. When I got there, their eyes lit up. They had not seen an Astra in the US and had no idea Saturn/GM had imported them. Granted, even the owner has only been here six years, so they missed out on when more may have been on the streets. They said it was like seeing an old friend arrive.

For $50, this shop will evaluate from their devices any codes and give you a heads up on what they think is wrong. Their fee is $140/hr, pretty standard around here, and the $50 will go toward any further diagnosis or repair.

The Astra puts on quite a light show when I have this problem, but nothing stays lit up after it is gone. My cheap OBD2 reader and Torque did not find anything, but they came up with a C0800 code which they said was for "C0800 - System Voltage less than 9.2 or greater than 16." They indicated a control module is likely dying, but have no indication where. They say that it would be best to wait until I have total failure and more codes being thrown than to leave the car with them and doing an expensive hunt. This is not a good sign from guys who cut their teeth familiar with and fixing this series.

Hmphhh.

So I spent some time on the Brit Boards and found a couple recurring fixes that worked for others:

1.) Even though there is no indication of a problem or shortcoming with the ignition coil, replace it. This resolved this code.

2.) Replace the right wheel hub/bearing. There is a short/problem here that is resolved by the new speed sensor. Replace the intermediary cable as well. Start on the right side, also replace the left bearing if it is not fixed by replacing the right.

So I'm not real happy to find a few people having found success by throwing parts at the problem. I'm also not keen on letting the car die on me somewhere and then having it towed to said garage. FWIW, our friend Layoira had a similar issue seven years ago and sought out some help on the Brit boards as well: https://www.astraownersnetwork.co.uk...e-help.234290/

As things are now:

I am noticing that when this occurs, it is right after I have turned the steering wheel. When I start my car, I usually let it sit running for a minute while I check messages from work before setting off. I'm reacting to messages all day and this is a good productive behavior for me, as well as getting the car back up to operating temperature. So when turning the wheel when backing out or making the first turn in the parking lot, this is when the light show and cutting out of systems occurs.

A new symptom happened yesterday while refueling at Costco. As I turned the key, nothing. Nothing at all from the car or on the dash as I tried to start the car. I worked the key several times before I got a direct and strong start. Like nothing had happened.

The car is fairly standard, or at least with items customary to these cars. Just to throw it out there, let me list any changes I have made that are electrical in nature.

1.) I exchanged the gummi steering wheel with a leather one from a salvage car.

2.) Same for the CD-30 and CD-40 head unit system. The screen and head unit came from the same vehicle, no compatibility issues.

3.) I replaced the original shifter with a lighted one from a German supplier. The wiring on our cars was different, an always on configuration at the cigarette lighter/12v supply. I was not happy with the parasitic nature of the 24/7 illumination, so I cut that wire and carefully isolated the ends.

I'm not sure if I'm at the total failure point or not, going to give it another week. Fire away on your observations.
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

** Second guess: the wheel speed sensors or wiring are wonky so when you turn the wheel sharply, you have either a short to ground or disconnection.

- I think the ABS sensors are integrated with the hubs, and we don't see a lot of faults with those on the Astra.

- You can visually inspect the wires going from the wheel sensors to the UEC. These are not so difficult to break with road debris, vibrations, whilst working on the car, etc.

- Visually check all the connectors and make sure they are fully connected. You might disconnect each one, visually inspect and reconnect. It's not difficult to dislodge a connector with a change of suspension, brake job, removing the wheel, etc.

- With a basic multimeter, you can measure each wheel sensor at the sensor and at the UEC (the video below shows 0.4 ohms but in anycase the sensors shouldn't vary much).

- If someone spins the wheel you should see voltage rise a bit).

** I suppose it could be related to the steering system and sensors but I don't see so many issues around there.

Here are the diagnostic steps for the Astra J model, which might be similar to those of your Astra:

https://workshop-manuals.com/vauxhal...ion/dtc_c0800/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BVB5f98QC0
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

Another useful video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ig399csE-k
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:42 AM   #6
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

It appears my oversight of one of the most basic items was the cause of my problem.

I have been looking for my car to go to complete non-operating mode and then tow it for a significant and lengthy evaluation (see above).

Today I thought it went there. The dash lights flickered on for a half second when turning the key and then the car went dark. Not a bit of voltage in any system. I decided to make the car ready for a tow tomorrow and thought I'd take the battery out and charge it on the bench, so at least that was of no concern. It was then I found that the 10mm clamp tightening bolt on the negative clamp was loose. It had a normal appearance, but it was a full 3-4 turns loose. Damn. I'm a fool. The shop above did not notice it either, probably thought I at least had that squared away.

I clean the battery off every year and this year I used that violet protectant spray to keep the corrosion away. The battery is 30 months old and while I have not used that product in rears, thought I'd give it a go (won it at a drawing at NAPA). I had sprayed the clamping assemblies quite well to coat everything and I probably did not take into account the lubricant properties of this stuff when torqueing things down.....Given vibration and all.

After charging all day, I have a perfectly performing Astra again. I have tightened things up pretty tight and tightening this will be added to my monthly checklist.

Anyway, I had this as a suggestion above and had no inkling that this could have worked loose since November. Just glad it ended up being something simple.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: ABS, Traction Control, CIM, Radio Problem?

Awesome JFS.

I have some of that anti corrosion spray but am on the fence. It seems to reduce corrosion but might insulate electrical connections.

In theory the lubrication on the threads should increase clamping force.
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