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Old 04-15-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
scottay89
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Dizzy To buy or not to buy?

Hello,

Brand new to this forum and I am seeking some assistance!

I am on the market for a vehicle and have found a 2008 Saturn Astra XR. It has 51000kms 3 months of bumper-to-bumper left and 2 years of power-train as well. I love the car, its a shame that these were only available for the two years.

Anyways, I'm sure you all get this a lot but im concerned about buying it because i have heard parts are difficult to find and expensive. I've heard horror stories of owners cars being stuck on the lot for several weeks waiting for parts. Is this the case is it really that bad or are GM dealerships doing a decent job keeping these parts available?

Any info is greatly appreciated!

BTW I live in Winnipeg Canada, and there are 4 GM Saturn Service centers available within the city.

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Old 04-15-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
onefunkar
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2008 Outlook XR
2007 AURA XR
Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

just my opinion but i think it would be hard for me to buy a car from not only a company thats gone but a 1 year car (2 yrs in canada)...so few were sold so finding someone that knows how to work on them can be hard and you know they wont stock alot of parts. gm having a hard enought time with parts for there regular cars. i know someone whose engine went out on a gmc v8. it under 5/100k and been waiting for parts for three weeks so far.

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Old 04-15-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
coulombemr
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

I love my Astra, and will keep it until the warranty is up, because if something goes wrong during then, if it has to stay at a dealership, they will be giving me a loaner car.

But had I of known Saturn would be gone the next day, leaving this car a 2yr North American only car, I probably would not have bought it.

So far in my experience, to find OEM replacement steel wheels, they were around $150 each. I found some used private sale, non oem for $30 each, but the hub caps do not fit them....

I have also had to replace a tail light because someone broke one of mine one night...To purchase 1 tail light assembly new through a dealership was $350 a year ago, if they could find one... Recently I was able to find some Astras in a scrap yard in Quebec, and got a tail light for $100

Sooo yes, you will likely have a very hard time finding parts if ever needed, and fully qualified mechanics to work on the car..But if the price is really good, it still may be worth it

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Old 04-15-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
FooBag
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

I'm with the other guys on this that had I researched things a bit further from the start, I probably would not have bought the Astra. I like the vehicle a lot, but it has its issues. The sway bar end links are PLASTIC, and I've already had to have them replaced at 15K miles. I'm also dreading the $1200+ timing belt replacement that is required at around 75K miles. Lastly, I am the type that loves to modify my engine, and there is basically nothing available in that regard for the Astra.

On the plus side, the Cruze has the same engine, so parts availability should start to get better, at least in regards to the powertrain.

...
2008 Astra XR3
2012 Silverado Crew Cab

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Old 04-16-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
tallNewfie
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

I haven't had any issues with my car yet, so I can't comment on wait time, however, I think the times have been mixed by people on the forum. Some people have a LONG wait, while others have no wait at all. I personally love my Astra, however the last time I renewed my insurance I made sure I had rental vehicle coverage on there in case something happens. Oh, and I bought mine as they were selling them all off and closing down and I haven't regretted my decision.

As for onefunkar, I mean no offense by this, but perhaps you should leave comments to posts like this to people who own astras. I think this person was looking for personal experience on the issue rather than derogatory speculation. And please don't misunderstand me, I believe that these forums are one big Saturn family and that we need to help each other whenever we can no matter what car we have, but the comment just rubbed me the wrong way since you were speculating and may misinform the inquirer.
Please come back and participate again though as we welcome all constructive input in this forum! (I can't speak for everyone, but that's my opinion)

...
~~Bryan~~

2009 Astra XE - manual, wired FM mod
2001 SC2 - manual, sunroof (retired)

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Old 04-16-2011, 09:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

Do you know where you will get your car serviced? Warranty repairs and things like that are supposed to be done at an Authorized Saturn Dealer, which is usually a Chevrolet dealer.

I would check to make sure you have a supporting dealer somewhere nearby and if you do have experience with them, hopefully they are a good dealership to use.

I don't think the car is bad at all, I love mine. I can definately see how costs could increase as the car gets older, especially compared to my '02/'05 Grand Prix that I owned.

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Old 04-17-2011, 09:55 AM   #7
Tom S2
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

A tail light for an astra is $350. OK, how much is one for a ford focus or a rabbit? My guess is around $350 new and $100 from a junk yard. So what is the point?

My car has 14 months left on the factory bumper to bumper and I guess 38 months on the powertrain. Fortunately, knock on wood, in 14k miles no problems. At 75k it will need a timing belt. Every 30K my 944 needed a $30 timing belt that required about $700 labor to install. How is the Astra any different than any other car? A timing belt is quieter than a timing chain.

I bet if the car had a timing chain half the people would not have bought it because the motor was too noisy.

OH NOEZ, I cant get a dealer to service my car. So what? I have not used a dealer for service for most of my cars. That's why independant shops exist. But the motor is different I know. No different than the motor in the Cruze. The principals of the Astra motor are the same as every other car. It wont take a rocket scientist to maintain it.

If the price of the Astra you are looking at is the same as the price for a used rabbit or other comparable car that cost about $20k when new dont buy it because it is an orphan and you may wait for some parts. If you are getting it for less, well that's the way the market works.

...
Astra XR-3-5 HP - Hamster Powered!
Dealer added options, & Infinity speakers.

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Old 04-17-2011, 11:02 AM   #8
scottay89
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

Thanks guys for the feedback!

Seems like some mixed opinions but sounds like everyone really enjoys the car and the only negative thing I can see about it is the potential wait times for repairs.

As for cost, its listed right round $10K, other cars I'm comparing it to are 08 Kia Rio5's or Nissan Versa's. The interior quality of the astra blows these others away along with overall appearance.

I'm not in a position to do repairs myself. But there is an authorized chevy saturn service centre less than 10 minutes away from me. Plus a good friend who's apprenticing at a small shop nearby.

It is interesting to hear that the Cruze is using the same engine, this seems like a plus.

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Old 04-17-2011, 03:41 PM   #9
NJastra
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottay89 View Post
Thanks guys for the feedback!

Seems like some mixed opinions but sounds like everyone really enjoys the car and the only negative thing I can see about it is the potential wait times for repairs.

As for cost, its listed right round $10K, other cars I'm comparing it to are 08 Kia Rio5's or Nissan Versa's. The interior quality of the astra blows these others away along with overall appearance.

I'm not in a position to do repairs myself. But there is an authorized chevy saturn service centre less than 10 minutes away from me. Plus a good friend who's apprenticing at a small shop nearby.

It is interesting to hear that the Cruze is using the same engine, this seems like a plus.
If the Rio and Versa are your other choices.....then I'd say the choice is pretty easy, Astra all the way!

...
-Jon-

3 dr XR, Twilight Blue, 5 speed manual, 18" 5-star rims, Leather trim package, Heated seats, VXMMI (Advanced Audio)

1987 Z28 - modded

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Old 04-17-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
Articwhite2008
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

Servicing an astra is easy.. This car seems like it was build for convenience to maintain... took me like 10 minutes to replace the sparkplugs. Timing belt seems simple to replace yourself if your worried about the high price of labor. Theres even videos on youtube how to replace it on the astra. The only thing i that bugs me is the cam shaft sensors getting clogged and needed replacement or cleaning twice already and i have 60k miles on my car.

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Old 04-17-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
tallNewfie
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Articwhite2008 View Post
Servicing an astra is easy.. This car seems like it was build for convenience to maintain... took me like 10 minutes to replace the sparkplugs. Timing belt seems simple to replace yourself if your worried about the high price of labor. Theres even videos on youtube how to replace it on the astra. The only thing i that bugs me is the cam shaft sensors getting clogged and needed replacement or cleaning twice already and i have 60k miles on my car.
And once you have all the proper gear (right size torx bit and proper size socket) changing the oil is also a snap!

...
~~Bryan~~

2009 Astra XE - manual, wired FM mod
2001 SC2 - manual, sunroof (retired)

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Old 04-18-2011, 07:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

i have an '08 astra xr 5 spd.
in the past 2 months, i have had the manifold exhaust pipe (manifold to cat) replaced, left front strut replaced (bushing hammering), hood lace (hood lip weatherstripping - kept falling off) replaced, plastic cover at the top front of the headliner (kept opening) replaced. this was all warranty work.
my saturn dealership was also owned by the chevy-buick owner, so no problem with repairs.
my biggest complaint is that the driver's set is very uncomfortable. i folded up a beach towel and placed it on the seat bottom.
i will keep the car until the powertrain warranty expires then buy another new vehicle.
was i concerned about reapirs when saturn was deep sixed? no, i was not.

...
Gerry
72 Buick GS red
2008 Astra XR black 3dr
99 SL1

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Old 04-18-2011, 12:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

I bought a 2000 Saturn LS1 from mechanic, it belonged to his father's dealership. They took a engine with 44000 put it in 138000 Saturn. I joined the Saturn owners website(just like GM owners) got immediate support by them calling me telling me of the recalls on it, offered to set up service at GM dealership to remedy this. I took it to Vandergriff Chevrolet they took care of recalls no questions asked, took me home, picked me up when ready even stopped by my bank for me so I could use Atm(unrelated diagnosis I requested). The support is there and your treatment is as though you owned a new chevrolet, no matter how many other owners between you and the original. This 2000 Saturn I love equally as the 2002 Malibu it replaced equal mileage.( Saturn $2300, Malibu $4500, almost same car) Actually the Malibu had after market part replacement not being compatible on many levels that the Saturn does not have.

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Old 04-19-2011, 07:44 AM   #14
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by njastra View Post
if the rio and versa are your other choices.....then i'd say the choice is pretty easy, astra all the way!
agreed!

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Old 04-19-2011, 11:45 AM   #15
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

KMY1312 what web site are you on for your Saturn recalls?

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: To buy or not to buy?

kmy 1312, Found web site I think.

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