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Old 07-27-2013, 04:59 PM   #1
karl_wXR
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Happy My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Hello All,

I'm New to the forums as of today and I hope that this isn't in the wrong spot and that I can get a plentiful amount of info and advice from Astra owners and or ex-owners.

Here's My Astra- It's a 2008 5-door XR Model that my mother bought me as a Christmas gift and as my first car for use in college! we got it used at 38,000 miles. Since then I've noticed what great handling characteristics it has, the unique Euro-interior it has(which I added a Stone White REMIN dash kit to) and the cloth seats are supportive and comfortable.

The "Bad"- I'm at around 40,700 miles now and a few things have happened within those 2,700 miles.

1. I had to get the belt suspender and lever replaced last month due to a "squeaking sound" heard during slow and low acceleration(1000-2000ish rpm?)

2. The most notorious problem has been an annoying and troublesome sound that occurs when accelerating through 1st and 2nd and it's been happeneing since at least March. its like a clanking, skidding across the ground like sound that happens only when I start the car, put it in drive and drive off. If I were to put it in park and then back into drive it wouldn't happen again. Has anyone else had this problem or know how to fix it? I'm worried that consistent driving may cause permanent damage or something that I cannot afford. Apparently the dealership we took it to was incapable of doing so.

3. Just a small problem for me, As a teenager, I prefer to listen to my own music and didn't know that the Astra didn't have an Aux port before I actually went out and did so(I didn't really have a say in what car I wanted haha!). Is there any way to connect an iPod/iPhone to the car without wires all over the place?

Thank You to anyone that can help me solve this problem and I hope and can learn something here on this forum!

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Old 07-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Hey karl, welcome!

For number 1 did they replace the pulley on the alternator? If they just replaced the belt tensioner that squeak may come back especially when the AC is on. They make a replacement pulley for the alternators that is called a one way clutch pulley that eliminates any squeaking or chirping of the belt.

For number 2 that sounds like your ABS pump cycling. On a new start up the first time your hit about 14 mph the pump checks itself and cycles for a few seconds. The pump is right in front of the driver in the engine compartment. If it is really loud one of the mounts may be broken or missing causing a clanging. Your could try pulling the fuse for the ABS and see if the sound goes away.

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Old 07-27-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Also have your changed your spark plugs yet? Spend some money now before you burn out the coil pack a much more expensive part.

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Old 07-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

I ended up using an FM transmitter hooked to my iPhone. It isn't ideal because the quality is nothing like if it was directly hooked up, but it was the only cheap and easy solution I came up with.

That was actually one of the things that sold me on my Regal, not only can I leave my iPod plugged in inside my center console, I can skip songs via my steering wheel controls.

And I agree about the spark plugs. They are so easy to do (and such a cheap repair) that you might as well do it if you have any doubt they haven't already been done at around 24/25K.

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Old 07-28-2013, 03:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Karl what do you have your music on now? Something with bluetooth?

A blootooth FM transmitter seems like a pretty good option these days with so many devises having bluethtooth.

Here is one that mounts to cig lighter as I have seen many of them like that.
GOgroove Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Wonder if there are any you could wire up and mount in the glove compartment or something. Have to do some investigating.

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Yup they have one you can hard wire. No phone functions however.

isimple TransIt Blu

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Old 07-28-2013, 05:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Another Member on the board already installed one of the iSimple Bluetooth items:

Bluetooth Audio In discussion

Also has links to the Antenna Adapters that are needed for our cars. Looks like all availible through Amazon at a good price.

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Quote:
Originally Posted by smwalker View Post
Hey karl, welcome!

For number 1 did they replace the pulley on the alternator? If they just replaced the belt tensioner that squeak may come back especially when the AC is on. They make a replacement pulley for the alternators that is called a one way clutch pulley that eliminates any squeaking or chirping of the belt.

For number 2 that sounds like your ABS pump cycling. On a new start up the first time your hit about 14 mph the pump checks itself and cycles for a few seconds. The pump is right in front of the driver in the engine compartment. If it is really loud one of the mounts may be broken or missing causing a clanging. Your could try pulling the fuse for the ABS and see if the sound goes away.
As for #1, yes they did replace the pulley on the alternator along with the belt tensioner. Sorry for not adding that.

#2 That's definitely a new idea to me, I originally assumed it had something to do with the transmission(unless the ABS pump is part of the tranny?) I'm not sure I could pull the fuse myself though but I think a servicing area or dealership could do that right? Unless that's a simple fix for a 17 year old?

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Old 07-28-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

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Karl what do you have your music on now? Something with bluetooth?

A blootooth FM transmitter seems like a pretty good option these days with so many devises having bluethtooth.

Here is one that mounts to cig lighter as I have seen many of them like that.
Wonder if there are any you could wire up and mount in the glove compartment or something. Have to do some investigating.
For music I simply put my phone on it's highest volume and switch to different tunes when necessary

I've heard of FM modulators and satellite systems that allow you to play music through an empty radio station from your phone but it sounds complicated. Would it be easier to just replace the entire radio console/unit and put in a modern model instead? Also I'm planning on replacing my current Android phone to either an iPhone 5 or 5s(when it comes out) if that helps.

Also on a side note, I believe that the previous owner had replaced to sparkplugs prior to me receiving the vehicle.

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

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#2 That's definitely a new idea to me, I originally assumed it had something to do with the transmission(unless the ABS pump is part of the tranny?) I'm not sure I could pull the fuse myself though but I think a servicing area or dealership could do that right? Unless that's a simple fix for a 17 year old?
ABS is Anti-lock Braking System so more to do with braking than trans. Do you have an owners manual for your car? On page 9-35 it shows the engine compartment fuse box. Fuses 1 and 2 are for the ABS valves and pump. What your would do is pull both of those. Start up your car (you will have and ABS warning light on your dash lit up, just ignore) and drive around the block trying to get over 14 mph (or where ever your usually hear that sound). If the sound does not come up your will know that was the source of the sound. Thing is though there is nothing to fix really, we all hear that sound mine is pretty faint. If I have the radio on at all I will not hear it. yours sounds like it is a bit more than usual. Your could complain to the dealer that it is to loud and maybe get a new pump but that would not be covered under the powertrain warranty. And ABS pumps are big money!

If your pull the fuses and your still hear the sound then my theory is all wet and it maybe the trans. But at least you will know.

And your are 17 come on man your gotta start getting your hands dirty! Chicks are going to exepect you to know this stuff! LoL!

Thought of another thing your could do that would be a bit easier. Put your car in first gear with the gear selector and get up to about 20 mph if it is the trans making the noise on the shift from 1st to 2nd your should not hear it at all since there will not be a shift. If your do hear it, not the trans.

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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I've heard of FM modulators and satellite systems that allow you to play music through an empty radio station from your phone but it sounds complicated. Would it be easier to just replace the entire radio console/unit and put in a modern model instead?
Sure that would be an option but here are the drawbacks

Standard replacement aftermarket radio (am/fm/cd 3.5 mm input on face)
Cost 150
Loose steering wheel controls and onstar compatibility and some on board computer functions.

Aftermarket radio built specifically for our vehicles (lots of threads here about this unit)
cost 250
Keep steering wheel controls and onstar and all board computer functions

Adding a bluetooth fm modulator
Cost 75
Keep steering wheel controls and onstar and all board computer functions

Adding a 3.5mm input plug via fm modulation
Cheaper than the bluetooth option just not as cool!

Hooking up the bluetooth fm modulator is pretty easy really just 2 wires to connect and 2 to plug in. hardest part is getting to the back of the radio.

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Old 07-30-2013, 08:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

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ABS is Anti-lock Braking System so more to do with braking than trans. Do you have an owners manual for your car? On page 9-35 it shows the engine compartment fuse box. Fuses 1 and 2 are for the ABS valves and pump. What your would do is pull both of those. Start up your car (you will have and ABS warning light on your dash lit up, just ignore) and drive around the block trying to get over 14 mph (or where ever your usually hear that sound). If the sound does not come up your will know that was the source of the sound. Thing is though there is nothing to fix really, we all hear that sound mine is pretty faint. If I have the radio on at all I will not hear it. yours sounds like it is a bit more than usual. Your could complain to the dealer that it is to loud and maybe get a new pump but that would not be covered under the powertrain warranty. And ABS pumps are big money!

If your pull the fuses and your still hear the sound then my theory is all wet and it maybe the trans. But at least you will know.

And your are 17 come on man your gotta start getting your hands dirty! Chicks are going to exepect you to know this stuff! LoL!

Thought of another thing your could do that would be a bit easier. Put your car in first gear with the gear selector and get up to about 20 mph if it is the trans making the noise on the shift from 1st to 2nd your should not hear it at all since there will not be a shift. If your do hear it, not the trans.
I tested your theory today after work and I think you may be right about the ABS pump. I brought her up to 15 mph on my street and felt the pump cycling( I felt a little "click" in the pedal when I got to that speed) so that may be it. I'll try pulling the fuse whenever I get the chance. I could put a video up of my test if it helps any.

About the music situation, If I were to get the specially designed radio It'd probably be a Christmas gift. Between the 3.5 audio jack and the bluetooth FM modulator, which would be the best in terms of audio quality and longevity? I'm guessing the Modulator.

Also on another side note, I just noticed that on the left side of the vehicle, the black/grey lining that's located on the top of the car is prying off in the front for some reason. Is that a simple super/gorilla glue fix or should I take to a body shop or a place like that?

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Old 07-31-2013, 12:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
I tested your theory today after work and I think you may be right about the ABS pump. I brought her up to 15 mph on my street and felt the pump cycling( I felt a little "click" in the pedal when I got to that speed) so that may be it. I'll try pulling the fuse whenever I get the chance. I could put a video up of my test if it helps any.
Did you hear your "clanking, skidding across the ground " sound at the same time as well? Like I said if t is anything like you describe it is not supposed to emit that much sound. You could try and feel around if anything seems loose. Our ABS pumps are located under our coolant reservoir tank so they are not easy to see. Here is a pic of some other car where you can clearly see the ABS pump. it is the thing with the 4 lines coming off of it to the right of the Brake reservoir.



Ours is in a similar position just the coolant tank is covering most of it.


Quote:
About the music situation, If I were to get the specially designed radio It'd probably be a Christmas gift. Between the 3.5 audio jack and the bluetooth FM modulator, which would be the best in terms of audio quality and longevity? I'm guessing the Modulator.
Adding on a 3.5mm aux in jack module or a Bluetooth module would both be accomplished by taping into the antenna lead. That has traditionally not been the best in term of sound quality. That being said some reviews have said the Bluetooth is better if not just for the fact that sometimes with a cord as it moves around in the car it could produce static. But some reviews have also said they have had the Bluetooth cut out on them sometimes. So really no perfect solution in this realm. If you are confident in Santa waiting for the Vehicle specific head unit upgrade may be your best bet.

Search the forum for "Eonon" for specific discussion. there have been some rumblings about poor quality of the product in some cases. But here is the model that works with our Astras: Eonon D5122

Quote:
Also on another side note, I just noticed that on the left side of the vehicle, the black/grey lining that's located on the top of the car is prying off in the front for some reason. Is that a simple super/gorilla glue fix or should I take to a body shop or a place like that?
Are you speaking of the roof rail molding? Those have snaps underneath that hold them on. Try giving it a press down to reengage them. The rail and the snaps are metal so they do not usually break. However you are in MI corrosion may be an issue.

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Old 07-31-2013, 12:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

My goodness that head unit looks gorgeous! I can see it now in my Astra
I'll look more into the head unit tomorrow when I get the chance but after previous research in looking into removing the current one it seems to be an easy upgrade.

As for the sound I did here it again as always and I'll give pulling the fuse a try to see what happens! The thing is, i know I didn't notice the sound before we got our Astra, and when I drove it for the first couple months there was no sound. Is it possible driving characteristics may have had a hand in the pumps sound? I do like to make tight turns in my Astra ( who doesn't?) And maybe that could have aggravated the pumps cycling in some way...

I'll also try putting the black part back in place tomorrow too. We've had quite the bipolar weather situation here and unfortunately I don't have the privilege of putting my car in a garage(but we're gonna start clearing it up so I can work on my Astra in an enclosed, element-free environment)

Also out a curiosity, from looking around a lot, I've noticed that I seem to be in the minority with XR5 owners compared to XR3s. The 3 door is a looker no doubt, but there's no room in the back and barely any visibility in the rear view so I've been wondering which model does everyone think is the most ideal or efficient if you will. And any advice where I can go to learn more about cars and their operations? So I don't feel left out when someone mentions an ABS pump

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
As for the sound I did here it again as always and I'll give pulling the fuse a try to see what happens!
Found a nice video detailing it, on a Volvo however, but similar to the Astra:
Disable ABS System

Quote:
Is it possible driving characteristics may have had a hand in the pumps sound? I do like to make tight turns in my Astra ( who doesn't?) And maybe that could have aggravated the pumps cycling in some way...
generally no your driving will not effect it. The thing with the ABS pump is it is rarely used. It is only used in emergency braking situations or in slippery conditions. So since you drive on ice/snow a lot yours would get used more than mine in CA. If none of the mounts for the pump are broken then if it is making a lot of noise it could be a sign of failure to come. Noisy ABS pumps tend to indicate that they are on their way out. Our cars call for a bleeding of brake fluid every 2 years. Chances are since this is not a common maintenance item here in the states it is rarely done on vehicles. So if you had a buildup of water in your brake fluid it could have lead to corrosion that would be hard on your pump.


Quote:
Also out a curiosity, from looking around a lot, I've noticed that I seem to be in the minority with XR5 owners compared to XR3s. The 3 door is a looker no doubt, but there's no room in the back and barely any visibility in the rear view so I've been wondering which model does everyone think is the most ideal or efficient if you will.
That's just personal preference. Each have their own advantages.

Quote:
And any advice where I can go to learn more about cars and their operations? So I don't feel left out when someone mentions an ABS pump
Well just be like me Google and you tube anything you do not know. Plenty of good videos and tutorials out there. That video I linked to the ABS is a good example, just let them play that guy covers some good topics.

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Old 07-31-2013, 12:16 PM   #16
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Well I tried forcing the molding back in place but it won't seem to stay there. I can actually see underneath it where there appears to be a hinge that's suppose to keep it in place and it's seems like it needs to be pushed down and moved inward towards the sunroof. I just can't get it to budge, any ideas? Perhaps a wedge or screwdriver? I'm just worried that I might somehow break the molding or somehow make it worse than it is. I think I might just get some kind of strong adhesive(hopefully non-corrosive) and kinda stick it back in place. Has anybody ever had this problem before??

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Old 08-01-2013, 01:38 AM   #17
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Karl you need you post a picture of what you are talking about. Now I think you might be talking about one of the roof rack mounting tabs? Those have hinges on them. If you have a lot if dirt or muck under that molding it maybe preventing the tabs from seating flush on the molding. Is that what we are talking about? Like a rectangulat door on the molding?

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Old 08-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #18
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Karl you need you post a picture of what you are talking about. Now I think you might be talking about one of the roof rack mounting tabs? Those have hinges on them. If you have a lot if dirt or muck under that molding it maybe preventing the tabs from seating flush on the molding. Is that what we are talking about? Like a rectangulat door on the molding?


I'm so sorry. You're right, I was talking about the roof rack tabs. the picture is the front of the rack where it's noticeably higher and out of position. I can't seem to get it back in place. I'm actually about to pull the fuse and see what happens. Out of curiosity, what would happen if I put the fuse back in after pulling it? I guess nothing right?

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Old 08-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: My Astra- The Good, The Bad

Greetings karl_wXR and welcome to the forums

I'm a relatively new Astra owner myself too (joined the forum on day 1 of Astra ownership in June of last year) and the community here is awesome! My Astra was purchased with about the same milage on it as yours. Thankfully I haven't had too many issues with it and it's been a great car.
As for the stereo, I've had 3 different solutions in the Astra at different points in the past year. I originally purchased an Eonon D5107 which is the pre-cursor to the D5122 that has been suggested here. It was a great unit and the only issue I had with it was some of the steering wheel controls wouldn't work. I then moved to the D5122 which all of the controls did work but the Bluetooth audio quality was not to my liking. Finally, just a few weeks ago, I installed a Parrot MKi9000 with a UNIKA and it has been flawless. It is the first system that has me completely impressed. It keeps the factory radio and installs entirely behind the dashboard. Thanks to the UNIKA, all of the steering wheel controls are intact on the Astra as well. Quality is great and I was able to get the whole system for under $200 on eBay. If you were looking for a stock look and a cool little hidden system, this is a great option.
Again, welcome!

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Old 08-01-2013, 01:26 PM   #20
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Interesting. how simple was the install process? And it's longevity and audio quality? Will it work with an iPhone 4s or 5?

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