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Old 11-16-2020, 04:22 PM   #1
Mgg4591
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Default I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

So Iím seriously contemplating picking up this Astra about 4 hours away in Massachusetts. The ďdealerĒ has it listed for just under 4 grand but after speaking through facebook he agreed on the low end of kbb, 3600.00. I told him if I made the hike up there and went through the trouble of renting a trailer, Iíll most likely being buying it. It reportedly had 57k on it, but heís been using it and said it now has about 61k. I questioned this for a while as the steering wheel and driver seat have a serious amount of wear for 60k. Also after looking at the dealers instagram, it appears they obtained the car back in August. Anyway to my surprise they gave me the vin when I asked and decided to run a carfax. It seems clean but there is a questionable mileage gap between the first and 2nd owner, most of which was not reported.

Theres also an open recall, and last reported was a loan/lien, which Iím unsure of as the car is over 11 years old.. Does any of this seem weird to you guys or am I just overreacting from being screwed by dealers in the past. Also the 3600.00 price is cash out the door. They also sent me a few videos I requested of the car running and it sounds ok, but the paint seems a bit faded and thereís a minor ding on the body line of the hatch.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...1133922088099/
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Also I forgot to add, it has an aftermarket sunroof which has me a little worried. However the install looks pretty clean.
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Not much of that seems odd. The open recall is most likely for the steering wheel airbag, which a local Chevy dealer handled on mine without an issue two years ago. The lien information is often murky on reports and the dealer will doubtless have a clear title. I would have thought it strange if they hadn't provided the VIN, and the negotiated price seems fair enough. If you're happy at that price, it's a low mileage find and so if you'd like an Astra it's worth the trip. Due diligence inspection before buying but if everything checks out physically then don't overthink it.

Side note: I never trust aftermarket sunroofs either. Lol
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

That car has some cool Opel emblems on the hatch and grille. The XR model is fun, handles well, and has good storage. It is a 4 cylinder so fast enough but not a rocket. New this was probably around $20k. It aimed to compete with the VW Golf in the day. Can't comment on the sunroof.

From pictures nobody can make much of an analysis but I will make a few guesses. Note this is a 12 year old car selling at $3,600 so just won't be perfect.

I think the car looks clean and the price seems attractive. It has been on the market for some time but you can imagine there is not so much demand for the Astra.

I don't see the ding but at $3,600... The Astra paint is soft and not fantastic quality. We had good luck with some polishing compound and wax during a full day home washing. Looks pretty good now.

Our Astra has 80k miles and steering wheel is in similar condition. That is probably from the sun and time; hand sanitizer might accelerate the issue. So the steering wheel wear tells you nothing about mileage IMHO and I would not worry about it (buy a cover or leather strap to sew on if it bothers you).

The wheels, body and under hood look clean, especially for northeast car. The aluminum heatshield over the exhaust manifold typically is heavily pitted; I suppose it could have been detailed but is another clue on mileage.

I suppose the seat and clutch pedal look a bit beat up for this mileage but that is not much evidence tbh. The seat bolster fabric is "weak" and in a position that one could wear it quickly. You can buy a replacement seat at a junk yard.

Also, the Astra uses some European diagnosis systems. So I think rolling back the mileage in the US would take a lot of effort. Especially for a $3,600 car.

These are good little cars if you can do some DIY work at home. At this price and age, you might have some easy deferred maintenance (e.g. oil, oil filter, coolant change, air filter, cabin air filter, spark plugs, brake fluid change); those are all easy and cheap. Some clutches go around 100-120k miles. You can get virtually all the parts easily in the US. Springs and shocks are on eBay you can import and we have threads identifying what works.

We have a contemporary Honda Fit. Japanese quality and the engine and handling are a blast. But it is noisier, less comfortable, smaller, and more expensive on the used market. The Astra feels more refined, heavier, more comfortable but requires more maintenance (no worse than a VW Golf lol).
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Ok thanks, I’m feeling better about this. Only mechanical issue seems to be the tpms light, but thats an easy fix. The dent in the rear is minor, and aside from the headlights the paint doesnt seem too bad, just hazy. A little time with a buffer and it should shine. Might be taking a trip up there Saturday.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Some more pics
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Those headlights decent so a polish will help. We polish ours from time to time as the factory coatings were not optimal. If you want to clean the inside of the headlight lenses, there are techniques on youtube.

IIRC, the Astra TPMS is rather primitive so doesn't require a shop to pair the sensors. The batteries last a long time on these. Regardless, before doing anything this might actually be low air; fill tires per sticker on door jam then drive a few miles; TPMS sensor might turn off.

I see the dent now.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

If I were in your shoes, I'd buy it.

I agree regarding the remarks on the front seat, being able to get one much better used online. You're in a heavily populated part of the country and could have one within a couple hours drive. https://www.car-part.com/

Mine just turned 100K and has needed all you'd associate with a car having that mileage and years. Most recent was timing belt (associated water pump, idler, tensioner, etc.) and oil cooler gaskets. I'd rather not have to do any of it, but the car is fun handling, mechanically pretty simple by today's standards, and I prefer to invest what I might normally pay as car payments. Wife thinks I'm nuts to drive something so aged, but it looks 4-5 years old and nobody knows the difference because they've almost never seen one.

So don't take any ***** for your purchase. After all, it is the good-looking car responsible for making Jeremy Clarkson eat his hair in an omelet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSIi13ntL6w

I have a spare leather steering wheel in much better shape than yours and I can offer it to you for a very fair price if interested.

Have fun.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Let us know how you get on mgg.

JFS - if mgg does not want the leather wheel, feel free to ping me - thx.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
If I were in your shoes, I'd buy it.

I agree regarding the remarks on the front seat, being able to get one much better used online. You're in a heavily populated part of the country and could have one within a couple hours drive. https://www.car-part.com/

Mine just turned 100K and has needed all you'd associate with a car having that mileage and years. Most recent was timing belt (associated water pump, idler, tensioner, etc.) and oil cooler gaskets. I'd rather not have to do any of it, but the car is fun handling, mechanically pretty simple by today's standards, and I prefer to invest what I might normally pay as car payments. Wife thinks I'm nuts to drive something so aged, but it looks 4-5 years old and nobody knows the difference because they've almost never seen one.

So don't take any ***** for your purchase. After all, it is the good-looking car responsible for making Jeremy Clarkson eat his hair in an omelet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSIi13ntL6w

I have a spare leather steering wheel in much better shape than yours and I can offer it to you for a very fair price if interested.

Have fun.
Thanks for the offer on the wheel. I have a trailer scheduled for thursday-saturday for a track rental I’m attending with my Camaro. Being I’ll already have the trailer it seems like it should work out well. As long as nothing comes up I’m planning on heading down there Saturday morning.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

I agree - I see no significant red flags here. Carfax history often shows very little and is highly dependent on the facilities that worked on the car. I'm sure mine shows almost nothing since it's needed really nothing other than routine maintenance, which I do myself, and it spent most of its life in a state that doesn't require inspection. Other times, Carfax reports can be fun...when I dug into the one attached to the used truck I bought, I found that it spent almost 7 years of its life on an Indian reservation in Montana.

The sunroof appears to be a Webasto unit, and I've seen that done on a 2-door before. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Seat/steering wheel wear is entirely driver body type dependent. It does look rough for the number of miles, but a larger driver is going to put more wear on a seat than a smaller person. The only thing this may indicate is a predominance of shorter trips rather than longer ones.

Overall the body looks good; even the headlights aren't too bad. I would imagine this was at least partially garage-kept. My headlights look considerably worse, and just over the last couple weeks I've noticed that my entire rear bumper cover is showing fade and clearcoat bubbling. The rest of the car, paint-wise, shows almost no age effects and there is zero rust, and the interior is shows virtually no wear at all.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFS View Post
I have a spare leather steering wheel in much better shape than yours and I can offer it to you for a very fair price if interested.
Have fun.
Can you post a pic of the wheel? I hate to get ahead of myself but I know thats going to be the first thing I want to fix
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

12 yrs in the US northeast - I'd say don't buy it until you see it up on a lift and do a good corrosion survey.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

As we inch closer to Saturday I just got this message. Nice that it was fixed, I just hope theres not a lot of rust under there!
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Quote:
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As we inch closer to Saturday I just got this message. Nice that it was fixed, I just hope theres not a lot of rust under there!
Don't worry too much about the flex pipe repair. To date, this is the ONLY repair I've had to do on my car (other than the PS stop-leak, which really isn't a repair) in nearly 12 years of ownership. It's an extremely common weak spot on the car. Fortunately it's easy and cheap to address.

Mine spent plenty of time in a salty midwest environment and the underside is clean, but my flex pipe went south when the car was probably 5 years old. There are several of us on here that have been through more than one.
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Looks like a decent buy to me. I would own my Astra all over again for that price.
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:40 AM   #17
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

The flex pipe is a popular fail item. Fortunately you don't have to worry about that for a while. Brake rotors get beat up by salt but that is the case for all cars in the salty areas.

A few guys had their strut mounts rust and fail; one had a strut damage the hood. Somehow water seems to pool in the top of the strut mount; if you remove the plastic covers under the hood, the mounts may be somewhat rotted. My buddy and I had our struts/mounts/coils replaced recently. The strut mounts were rusty but didn't show signs of failure. In an attempt to avert this, I put an o-ring on the plastic covers (and sprayed the metal bits inside).

I rarely read about other rust issues.

I saw a little bit of rust and bubbling under the passenger door. This summer, I ground down the rust and frankly there was very little and it was easy to get to bare metal. Sprayed with rust-preventer. I think that took just over an hour with prep. In hindsight, if I had known how little rust there was I would have left it as is.

A few guys had front coil springs break. I can't say if that is rust related.
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Thanks for the rust info. I have the trailer and I'm headin up tomorrow morning!
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:19 PM   #19
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Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: I need a 2nd opinion on this Astra

Well Iím coming home with an Astra. Iíll upload photos later, for some reason the file size is too big. Its a 4 hour drive home from here!
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