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Old 07-31-2018, 12:15 AM   #1
Starfire
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Default Considering an Astra for a commute car.

So I've been looking for a second car for commuting to work and have seen a few astras used and really like the look of the car, not to mention the MPG and space in the hatch.

I worry about finding parts though. I have no problem doing my own mechanic work but if you can't find the part that maybe hard. Are parts scarce and are the cars in general reliable. I've spent some time reading the forums and nothing stands out as a problem.

Thanks for the info

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Old 07-31-2018, 10:50 AM   #2
AstraFasta
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Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

Parts are getting scarce as Saturn does not exist. So GM dealers and parts shops are not stocking up on parts. I still find most stuff in stores or junkyards here.

You can pick up most anything from Europe, however. Some parts seem to be unobtainable anywhere. For example, I can not find the rubber gaskets at the top of the B pillar, which tend to fall apart. Or the specially terminated rubber hoses that go to and from the heater core (I have never read about a problem with those hoses).

Clutch jobs are rather difficult and expensive compared to the price of the car. Also the auto transmission cooling can suffer catastrophic failure if you don't install a separate cooler circuit in time.

You can read my posts for my experience; this car has required a lot of maintenance but my case may be the most extreme. That said, my car runs nearly like a new car.

70k miles and replaced: auto transmission, AC compressor, exhaust flex pipe and a lot of little parts. Repairing leaky door and firewall vent was a real pain. Engine codes come up rather frequently but a fix is posted here for most cases.

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Old 07-31-2018, 01:06 PM   #3
Starfire
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Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

One of the Astras I'm looking at had 150k miles seems fine though. Not really worried about body parts just mechanical and suspension. I looked at Rock Auto and seems most things are available.

I know I'd have to do a timing belt as it's never been changed and 150k is too long, but not an issue, I've done tons of engine work before. It's a 5 speed and dont know how the trans holds up in them. I'd be happy if I could get another 50k out of the car, I feel 2000 is a reasonable price for a 5 door xr

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Old 07-31-2018, 01:12 PM   #4
lmmoquin
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

I have had a slightly different experience with my Astra. The OEM parts that are available tend to be expensive (but OEM parts will always be more expensive than ebay parts). That being said, I haven't had any major mechanical issues with my car, aside from normal wear and tear, specifically shocks, brakes, other regular things. I am the second owner of my car. The original owner bought it new and used it to commute, so I got the car with 73k miles on it. The original owner also took very good care of the car. The Astra was a better quality car overall than the other General Motors offerings for compact cars at the time. That is not to say that they are free from trouble, as AstraFasta proved. My Astra is at 122k miles and still going without a problem.

...
2008 XR Coupe
Twilight Blue
Wonderful Daily Driver

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Old 07-31-2018, 01:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

A friend who owns a 1968 Opel GT told me before they had to wait months on parts ordered from Germany. We are not living in that age

Now, online business will make easy to find parts. Parts can be found at eBay, Amazon, etc. I got next day a Steering Wheel Stalk from the UK! Most of the time I will get in about two weeks. It is not too bad at all.

Doing your own mechanical work is a BIG plus! The Astra is a very reliable car if treated and maintained properly! I commute 80 miles round trip every day. OPEL IS FOREVER! I can NOT say is a lawn mower but is easy to fix.

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Old 08-01-2018, 03:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

What's the average clutch life on them? Seems that's by far the worst part to have to replace, cost and time wise.

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Old 08-01-2018, 06:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

Seem to be around 100-120k miles but that varies a lot obviously

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Old 08-01-2018, 09:04 PM   #8
08AstraOtt
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Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
What's the average clutch life on them? Seems that's by far the worst part to have to replace, cost and time wise.
My clutch lasted 113840km in the process or ordering parts and getting it replaced

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Old 08-01-2018, 09:50 PM   #9
FreedomSoftware
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfire View Post
What's the average clutch life on them? Seems that's by far the worst part to have to replace, cost and time wise.
I bought my car 2 years ago with 78k miles. It had a "worn" clutch then, but im at 118k now and its still grabbing just fine.

...
'08 Saturn Astra
-Debadge
-Vauxhall Grille
-Thule Roof Rack (and wind fairing)
-1.25" Lowered
-Windows Tint all around
-JVC Head unit
-Dual 12" Subs

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Old 08-02-2018, 08:00 AM   #10
maschinenbauer
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

I just hit 100,000 miles this weekend on the original clutch and it still feels fine to me. I use my Astra primarily for commuting and it has been great at that after 8 years and 85k miles of ownership (bought with 15k miles in 2010). Only major issue was A/C compressor replacement around 55k miles. Timing belt job wasn't bad either. I'm even on the original coilpack, but I stick to very strict and overly conservative spark plug and full synth oil change intervals, 25k miles and 5k miles respectively

...
'08 Astra XE 5-speed
'72 Chevrolet El Camino
'31 Ford Model A pickup

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Old 08-10-2018, 01:28 PM   #11
NJastra
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

I'm planning to sell mine in the next couple of months (one owner). It's 2008, blue, 2 door XR fully loaded trim with the 18-inch 5-star rims. It's also a manual 5-speed and leather heated seats. I have an aftermarket touch screen stereo as well that has navigation and bluetooth (along with the original in a box). At the time of typing this, it has 126k miles. I've done regular and routine maintenance including the major service item in the owners manual at 75k which includes the timing belt(s) and changed the water pump like most do at that time since it's all taken apart anyway (nothing was wrong with it but I still replaced it). New shocks and struts about 30k ago or so. Synthetic oil changes since 33k miles. All maintenance completed by the dealership (except for flex pipe) so everything is on file. I also have brand new AC Delco (not installed) ignition coil pack that will come with the car if ever needed some time down the road. No concerns at this time, I saw them for a good price and it was a no brainer considering what they typically go for.

It's well cared for and drives like it always has since the beginning. Really a great and under-appreciated car by the general public likely due to not knowing about one of GM's little (almost secret) gems. I've really enjoyed owning this car, very solid.

...
-Jon-

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

2017 Regal GS, 20", fully loaded

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Old 09-15-2018, 08:03 PM   #12
YULAstra
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2009 Astra XE
Default Re: Considering an Astra for a commute car.

I drive mine as a commuter daily about 30-40kms. Fuel mileage is good but not great to be honest our F30 BMW 320i is much better... But I enjoy driving a simple car with fun handling to work and back.

The clutch job is not hard I just suggest finding a shop that is competent. You DO NOT need to remove the subframe or exhaust. I posted how I changed mine in well under 4-5 hours. Then again I am a mechanic by trade and have a shop

Parts are iffy, You can find simple stuff but larger parts just get those from Europe. Micks autoparts is fast and you will have parts in a few days. Some parts are even hard to find in EU because GM sold Opel/Vauxhaul and the entire parts inventories. Don't bother with dealers in North America either.. If you do need parts you can cross reference with other models.

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