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Old 07-30-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
Asinity
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2008 Astra XE
Default Looking to buy an Astra

Hey everyone, been a long time since I've been on here.

My previous car died and wasn't worth fixing so I'm shopping around and found an Astra that I am quite impressed with. Its a 2008 XE, 5 door automatic with 130000km. I've driven the car and really enjoy it quite a bit and am almost sold on it. When inspecting the car though I did notice the transmission fluid is a brownish colour - my understanding is auto fluid is supposed to be red, but I can't help but wonder if its actually supposed to be this colour? There isn't a burnt smell or anything to it and it shifts fairly smooth.

Also is there anything else I should look at/take into consideration while I'm looking at the car?

Thanks for any input!

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Old 07-31-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Looking to buy an Astra

Surprised nobody had anything to say.

I've had a frustrating week of shopping and have narrowed it down between the Astra and a Malibu on a lot down the street. Fully understanding these are two different classes of car, my wife loves the Astra and after reading up some more on it I have come to understand some of the concerns I had, for example I had no idea the transmission goes into neutral while stopped, and I thought there was something screwy as far as the acceleration lag when starting from a full stop.

I also looked into the fluid a little bit and apparently the Type I-V fluid commonly turns brown within a short period of a change; black fluid is the concern. Read this online, and my transmission mechanic confirmed.

All that said, we all love the panoramic roof, it's got enough space for my daughter in the back, and while the lack of armrests/cupholders up front is mildly irritating, it's not a deal breaker. The car is fun to throw around corners and is a great city car, yet very comfortable on the highway as well where most of my driving is done.

On the flip-side, I really like the Malibu that's priced very close to the Astra. It's also a 2008, 2.4L loaded with every toy, and has 105000km on it. It would make a great highway cruiser.

The Astra has been well maintained (I assume I'll be needing to do the timing belt service as the car was sold pretty much right when it was due for it) and the underside was undercoated; not a spot of rust anywhere on the car. The Malibu also seems to have been taken care of mechanically, however rust is starting to form in various spots.

I am completely torn at this point what direction I really want, I think I'd be happy with either car for a number of years, but the only thing holding me back on the Astra is hearing rumblings online of coolant leaks into the transmissions, coilpacks and knowing that i should probably have the belt changed which will add $1000 to the car.

Is it really that common for these cars to have their transmissions fail? Some sites really spread the fear.

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Old 07-31-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Looking to buy an Astra

Quote:
but the only thing holding me back on the Astra is hearing rumblings online of coolant leaks into the transmissions,...Is it really that common for these cars to have their transmissions fail? Some sites really spread the fear.
Remember we only got it for 2 years and the problem with the trans was discovered part way through the production run of the first year. Most have already been repaired by now I would guess. The UK guys got many more years with the problem before it was discovered so they are rightly pissed that their trans were failing big time.

So if the one you buy falls into the VIN cutoffs for the radiator problem definitely have it checked out to make sure it got the updated radiator (should show on the dealers records as a recall fix). If it does not fall into those VIN cutoffs then it got the good radiator and your trans should be safe from that problem. It is however subject to many other things that can kill off an automatic transmission, but we all take that risk.

And tell the seller you have to do the Timing belt soon so take 1k off the price, make it a negotiation point. Add up all the other maintenance that is due as well that they cannot prove was done and get it for a good deal!

Either car sounds like it will be a good fit though.

Good Luck!

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Old 07-31-2013, 11:35 PM   #4
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Looking to buy an Astra

Thanks. I assume local GM dealers would be able to tell me if this Astra has had the work done? Was that the only real concern for these transmissions other than the usual wear and tear issues?

They say they are a no haggle dealer so they won't budge on the price, however they do have a service dept so I'm likely going to ask if they could do it for me, or even go splits on the cost. Outside that it really is a solid little car.

Any other things to watch for with these cars?

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:09 AM   #5
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Looking to buy an Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asinity View Post
Thanks. I assume local GM dealers would be able to tell me if this Astra has had the work done?
Yes they can. or email the VIN number to this guy and he can send you a GMVIS report: gmpp@fichtnerchevrolet.com

Quote:
Was that the only real concern for these transmissions other than the usual wear and tear issues?
For the Autos yes. Try to get them to change the fluid for you as well.

Quote:
Any other things to watch for with these cars?
Spark Plugs are not 100K mile interval like other GM products. every 30K. Have them put in a fresh batch for you. That is what will save your coil from burning out.

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Old 08-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
Asinity
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Looking to buy an Astra

The following is the only posts on the GMVIS;

Looks like it was built later in the MY2008, so I might be in the clear for the radiator issue? I asked my local dealership and they really had no info or couldn't give me an answer about it so I'm at a loss at this point.

Thanks for the help smwalker.



Transaction History
View Details

Job Card Date
Job Card Number
Transaction Type
Transaction Adjustment
Labour Operation
Odometer Reading

01/23/2012
371321
ZSCT----Service Contracts
E0722 - Tire Pressure Indicator Sensor Replacement
92,839 KM

01/22/2012
CS2007770
ZREG----Regular Vehicle Transaction
Z8028 - Roadside Service (Light Service) - Canada
92,000 KM

12/17/2011
368930
ZSCT----Service Contracts
J6372 - Heated Oxygen Sensor Replacement - Sensor 1
90,104 KM

09/13/2010
330001
ZREG----Regular Vehicle Transaction
J6354 - Powertrain Control Module Engine Reprogramming with SPS
53,712 KM

09/13/2010
330001
ZREG----Regular Vehicle Transaction
L1020 - Fuel Tank Filler Cap Replacement
53,712 KM

05/05/2010
317642
ZREG----Regular Vehicle Transaction
N6607 - Cooling System Wiring and/or Connector Repair or Replacement
44,445 KM

03/02/2010
311557
ZREG----Regular Vehicle Transaction
J6368 - Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacement
39,537 KM

02/26/2010
311204
ZREG----Regular Vehicle Transaction
E2321 - Bearing And Hub Assembly, Front Wheel - Left - Replace
39,157 KM

02/14/2009
152605
ZFAT----Field Action Recall
V2029 - 08335 Reprogram ECM and TCM and Replace TCM if Required
11,069 KM

06/09/2008
A19036
ZPDI----Pre-Delivery Inspection
Z7000 - Pre-Delivery Inspection - Base Time
0 KM







Vehicle Information

VIN: W08AR671785119036
Model: ZAR48-2008 ASTRA XE

Service Contract: Yes
Branded Title: No
Warranty Block: No
PDI Status: No

Order Type: 70 - RETAIL - STOCK

Field Actions: 0 Open



Vehicle Build

Model: ZAR48-2008 ASTRA XE
Order Number: K21582

Gross Vehicle Weight: 0
Build Date: 06/09/2008

Build Plant: 5

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