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Old 04-23-2018, 09:05 AM   #1
williamgcastro
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Default Idle Droop

Hello everyone

I've been having a little issue with the idle on my car (automatic). As I come to a stop (say at a red light) the idle sometimes drops down to near 500 RPM before recovering to a more normal 750 rpm. Not every time but enough that I wonder what is going on.

Has anyone else had a similar issue? Thinking back I seem to recall this happening in the past just as my battery was about to die. Am I crazy to think that this could be a battery issue?

I guess I should go to autozone or similar and get the battery checked.

Thanks for any help

William

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Old 04-23-2018, 11:03 AM   #2
AstraFasta
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Default Re: Idle Droop

Not sure. Wonky idle has hit me a few times on my Astra automatic for different reasons. The key issues with the Astra are well documented here.

Is the check engine light on?

Any codes?

Check the battery if this was the cause for you before. Also make sure your battery connections and main ground connections to the chassis are not corroded and are well connected.

Some maintenance that improved idle for me (detailed instructions are posted on the board here and elsewhere):

- Listen to engine at idle with hood open. Do you hear any hissing sounds particulary from hoses. That would be a vaccum leak. Not such a popular Astra problem but you will see a few cases here.

- Cleaning the MAF and throttlebody help idle a lot. Only use MAF cleaner on the MAF. You can use throttlebody cleaner on the throttlebody (not choke cleaner). I would change the air filter at the same time if you haven't done that recently.

- Run a few tanks of ultra-premium fuel from one of the big gas companes (that has top-tier cleaning agents) which will help fuel injectors.

- Spark plugs on these needs to be changed every 30k miles or they kill the coil pack as the gap increases.

- There are orange/metal colored filters on the cam actuators (?) that can be removed. I recall that helped high RPM performance but can't remember lower RPM.

Also, as you have the Astra Automatic, check the color of the coolant in your coolant tank (don't open when hot!). Is the color a transparent orange? Good. If coolant is a chocolate milk like color that means your radiator failed and transmission oil has mixed with coolant. That will kill your transmission. You need to get a separate transmission cooler installed ASAP (cheap insurance against a very expensive fix). See posts here for more info.

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Old 04-23-2018, 11:23 AM   #3
williamgcastro
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Default Re: Idle Droop

Astrafasta

Thanks for the reply

No lights or codes.

Plugs aren't due for another 12000 km.

Just changed the coolant and my car is after the VIN break so has the improved cooler.

The cam phasor actuator filters were removed a long time ago when they acted up.

I almost always run top tier gas. Probably better than 95% of the time.

I'll get the battery tested and if good then I'll clean the throttle body. Then I'll start looking for vacuum leaks if the problem persists.

Thanks for the help.

William

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Old 04-23-2018, 12:43 PM   #4
AstraFasta
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Default Re: Idle Droop

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamgcastro View Post
Plugs aren't due for another 12000 km.
How old are your plugs? Not sure what the official interval is but you need to ignore that. If you read the forums, you will see that plugs don't last more than about 25k-30k miles, then the gap gets so big the coil pack starts to die. If you have high quality platnium replacement plugs and periodically review the gap, you might get a lot more miles out of those but not so sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by williamgcastro View Post
my car is after the VIN break so has the improved cooler
What is the VIN break? Was that a point where GM installed better quality radiators? Do they have a lower failure rate? Is there a service note? I would like to know if my radiator was before or after the VIN break (doesn't matter now as I already spent well over $2k to fix the damage).

Thanks

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Old 04-24-2018, 11:44 AM   #5
williamgcastro
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Default Re: Idle Droop

Astrafasta

I change the plugs every 40000 km or 25000 miles with the actual OE GM plug from the dealer. At $11 apiece I think it's cheap insurance for coil failure. Next time they come due I think I'll use NGKs.

For the VIN break, I used to have access to a website that contained the TSBs for the Astra. I can't remember what the break number was but I remember that my car was after the improved radiator was put into production.

I think I'll change my gas station though. The Shell I go to always seems to have problems with their pumps so maybe I should be a bit more careful.

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