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Old 01-28-2021, 04:07 PM   #241
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Sweet ride...enjoy!
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:20 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maschinenbauer View Post
Well, I'm out of the running for "last Saturn Astra owner" after trading in for this Fiat 124 Spider! Best of luck to all of you. My Astra was a great little car and treated me well for 11 solid years. Ciao!

Nice upgrade, that's for sure!
...
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Old 02-01-2021, 10:24 AM   #243
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Thanks! I've always wanted to experience a Miata, so I've been test driving the ND (4th generation) Miatas for the past few weeks. I was set on an ND2 (2019+) which has about 30hp more than the first ND1's (2016-2018). But I couldn't get past the styling and lack of good color options. Plus the ND2's are still pretty expensive since they are so new. I always knew about the Fiata, with the turbo 1.4L, but didn't consider one until I saw it in person - I was smitten. All the handling and driving sensation of a Miata, and build quality of a Japanese car, combined with Italian sports car styling and turbocharged low-end torque. And that Italian used car depreciation

Of course it's only 75% Miata, so Miata diehard fans are quick to criticize the nonlinear power curve of the Fiat and the extra 100 lbs over the front end due to the Italian engine's iron block. The Fiat engine certainly does have turbo lag, but it's more consistent and predictable than you might think, and that wall of torque that hits you is well worth the wait! And the sounds...if you've ever heard a Fiat 500 Abarth exhaust, this is the same engine. Not so ricey, but more throaty with a hint of turbo whistle. Another difference is the ND Miata uses the best-shifting transmission I've ever experienced, though it is having reliability some issues for track racers. The Fiat, on the other hand, uses the old NC (3rd-gen) Miata trans, which is probably the 2nd best transmission I've ever experienced, and is much stronger to handle the fat bottom-end torque of the Fiat engine. And of course there is risk owning an Italian turbocharged engine, though this one seems to be the most reliable one they've ever made (low bar I know). Mine is also tuned and has a full cat-back exhaust, which combined are supposed to give it more power than the ND2 (160hp stock up to 180+ with mods).

I just wanted to experience a truly special driver's car sometime in my life, and so far the "Fiata" is scratching that itch perfectly. After a week of daily driving through crappy weather and a couple sunny top-down days, I couldn't be more sure that this was the right decision. Even at 6'0", I fit great in the seats with headroom to spare. Certainly "cozy" but not cramped. The seats just hug me perfectly. The trunk is juuuuust big enough for my large cooler and a normal grocery trip. I'm averaging 31 MPG on my commute, though it takes premium. I don't have the automotive journalist vocabulary to describe the handling, but man, it is GOOD! Stock suspension is softer and more compliant on the highway than my lowered Astra with the Bilstein's (which were pretty harsh IMO), but the Fiat is also way more stable and precise through corners. I noticed a lot of bump steer with the Astra during a hard corner. As the body rolled, or if you hit a bump in the road while cornering, that feedback would disrupt the steering. Not so with the Miata chassis, it just swallows the bumps and encourages you to go faster through that curve next time. The limit on every road is just simply higher, and the confidence the chassis inspires is so rewarding when you exercise it. And obviously with 450 fewer pounds and 50 more HP it hauls ass! But my favorite part is one-handedly throwing the top down.

I simply traded in the Saturn to the dealer. I probably could have gotten a better deal waiting on a private buyer, but with the rarity of our Astra model, I knew that could be a risk. Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous saying goodbye to the Saturn, a car I've owned 11 years and put 115,000 miles on. It's been through every major milestone in my life to date, and always been a constant, reliable rock I could count on while working on all my crazy custom project cars. Even despite the engine codes last year, I fully expected the Saturn to take me to 200,000 miles no problem. I salute the rest of the Astra owners here. It's a good car that I'm very grateful to have owned.

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SOLD - '08 Astra XE 5-speed
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:19 PM   #244
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

You like the punishment of discontinued, Euro econo-boxes! At least the Miyata parts will always be easy to find. And getting parts from Europe is not too hard these days.

That Fiat engine platform has been around forever. My friends had Fiats over the years with that engine; it was fun, popular, reliable and economical, so the core design is good and has been refined over the decades. It still is sold in the US today (Jeep Renegade, etc.) so that will facilitate parts and repairs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fully_...botised_Engine

In Europe, my friends say Fiat has a pretty good reputation for quality. Some older cars had electric gremlins and cheap sheet metal prone to rust; people still remember those problems lol.

Overall the Fiat Spider is a cool car. I have driven the older Miyatas; I thought the handling was excellent and the cars were a lot of fun. You also have the Japanese quality. Looks great too.
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Old 02-01-2021, 01:42 PM   #245
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

I like an oddball Just look at my project cars in signature. Life is too short to play with boring cars
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:44 PM   #246
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That's a really pretty car. I love the long hood.
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Old 02-02-2021, 04:49 PM   #247
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Oh no! you'll have nightmares for selling the Astra!

I like those cabriolets, they are better looking in my opinion than the Miatas. And they are as rare as our Astras too, whereas you can find a Miata at the butcher's shop!

Congrats on the purchase!
...
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:27 AM   #248
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Hi everyone,

Today I say goodbye to my '08 5DR XE. Gave me 13 years and 247K km of solid service. Never let me down. Eventually gave it to my daughter, taught her how to drive manual. Unfortunately, an oil consumption issue pushed it to beyond economical repair status. Will be donating it to Kars4Kids. Now I'm down to the two 3DR XRs.
...
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2009 Astra 3dr XR (Vauxhall)
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:12 PM   #249
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C152 View Post
Hi everyone,

Today I say goodbye to my '08 5DR XE. Gave me 13 years and 247K km of solid service. Never let me down. Eventually gave it to my daughter, taught her how to drive manual. Unfortunately, an oil consumption issue pushed it to beyond economical repair status. Will be donating it to Kars4Kids. Now I'm down to the two 3DR XRs.
Well you still have 2 left! Nice!
...
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Old 06-03-2021, 06:56 PM   #250
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Hello there,
I'm also the proud owner of a very well maintained dark blue 2009 Saturn Astra XR 3 door, manual with 310 000 km on the odometer and I wanna keep it until it can't be maintained anymore as well.
I got it from a very good friend that bought it new and meticulously maintained it, I've known the car for 10 years now and I just took ownership of it recently. As I said earlier, I wanna keep for as long as it's feasible, ultimately, I would love to add another 300 000 on the odometer while keeping it as in mint of a condition as possible.
The cooling system has never been her strong suit, I would like to gift her with a highly performing cooling system to help make it possible, I'm very interested in this one: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-CSUM3803
Do any of you know if it could fit?
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:20 PM   #251
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Hmmm..don't know, how do the measurements on their site match up to the stock radiator?

One thing about Summit, their return policy has never been an issue for me.
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:18 PM   #252
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

The Astra radiator for the Auto transmission cars is a disaster. It tends to blend transmission oil and coolant.

I don't recall seeing cooling issues with the manual transmission Astra. At that mileage, I would certainly look at flushing the coolant system, replacing the water pump, replacing the thermostat, replacing the accessory belt. All very easy to do.
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:48 AM   #253
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Hello old friends,
The Fiat 124 ownership experience has been a bit less than satisfactory! Twice in 2 months it has sprung a leak and dumped it's coolant on the interstate, leaving me stranded waiting on a tow truck. Something my Astra never did over my 100k+ miles of ownership. Fiat's poor reputation is still valid and earned. My Astra is the only car I've ever regretted selling, and I've owned 10 cars in 15 years of driving.





Luckily, I found a cheap beater SC2 (car #11) to get me through while the dealership pulls the thumb out their **** and attempts to fix it again, after which I'll be promptly selling it and looking for a better car.

So I'm back in the Saturn family for now, but I'll be hanging out a few doors down from the forum section. 2.5 doors to be exact

...
SOLD - '08 Astra XE 5-speed
'02 Saturn SC2 DOHC 5-speed
'72 Chevrolet El Camino
'31 Ford Model A pickup
'69 Lotus Europa
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:16 AM   #254
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Sorry to hear that...hope the dealer takes care of the problem. With the car market what it is right now, probably won't be a better time to move on from it, so at least there's a silver lining.

Always good to have a beater laying around, if you have room for it - might want to hold onto it until the market corrects and demand for cars starts to return to normal. As beaters go, this one looks pretty decent! They certainly were fun to drive (but not very refined)...
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:25 AM   #255
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

They only need to take care of the problem long enough for Cahvanuh to come pick it up Luckily it's still under warranty.

I agree about the crazy car market right now. I will drive this Saturn as long as necessary for me to soul-search again about what I want to drive, and to wait on the market to normalize a bit.
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'02 Saturn SC2 DOHC 5-speed
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Old 06-15-2021, 01:41 PM   #256
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Maybe original owner dumped the Fiat for the same problems. Regardless, losing the coolant like that can't be great for the engine.

Why not keep the SL2 until you find another Astra!
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Old 07-14-2021, 01:41 PM   #257
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Default Last Man Club, or The last Saturn Astra owner.

I'm curious if we should make this a semi-official "Last Man's Club" (ladies included, you know what I mean) area of the Astra Forum by purchasing a bottle and have somebody hang onto it. If others agree, I'll pop for some Charles Shaw organic cabernet sauvignon......nothing but the best for our crew. Alas, that would be a sad day. Our cars are pretty much worth the price of a wheel package upgrade on the cheapest German cars, so on paper, they are not worth fixing.

I don't mind going the Euro route getting parts, but I think I've finally found a level of discomfort enough that it is getting to be a bother. I realize if I stick to my guns and drive her another 4-5 years, I may have to really up my parts stash. Yes, I have one. It occupies a little over one cubic foot and because everything weighs less than 10-12 pounds, I keep it all in one place in the car.

What's In Your Stash?

Maybe I'll add some picture links. Below is what I have on hand. Any suggestions for additions welcome. If I cannot get a part in North America (NA), at least it would be nice if somewhere GM would provide blow-up diagrams of what is in the car and what the part numbers where, even if no longer available. All of the parts centers online no longer offer a view of what the part numbers where here in NA. As the supplies disappear, those parts are no longer displayed.

My List:

1.) Camshaft position sensor 25192205
2.) Crankshaft position sensor 55555806
3.) VVT Solenoid housing screws (X4, they snap easily...number unknown)
4.) Coil pack (with specialty removal tools)
5.) Door wing mirror/tweeter cover trim clips (X15, they break every time removed)
6.) Door panel clips (X20, more breaky breaky)
7.) 10-12 Assorted small pieces I'm afraid to throw away

It's been five years since I had both of the mirrors fail within about two months. That's about enough thermal cycling to warrant another round of double-failure. I do really like the OEM parts, so that will be my next stash purchase.


Do your worst, tell us whatcha got.


https://www.shaworganicwine.com/
...
Yes, 138 horsepower, but you'd swear it had 140!
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Old 07-14-2021, 09:08 PM   #258
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

Stash (first two are in car for emergency)

- Used but decent Delco coil pack
- Used accessory belt
- Used accessory tensioner
- Semi-broken side mirror
- Misc windshield wiper stuff
- New rear Bilstein B3 springs waiting to be installed

At this point all the weak points have been addressed and most of wear items have been replaced, so Astra finally is very reliable (pending flexpipe lol).
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:14 AM   #259
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Well, now you have me worried Ė I have no plans to move on from the car for years to come, but I also have virtually no safety stock. I might have a couple oil filters, but thatís it. Itís probably pretty smart to start scrounging for the common failure parts. I guess I also have a front brake set (pads & rotors) because I didnít bother to replace them prior to inspection and it still passed; I only replaced the rears. Iíll toss in the fronts before inspection next year.

Flex pipes are dime-a-dozen and not unique to the car, so Iím not worried about that. Iíve never had the door cards off so I havenít thought about the panel hardware, but thatís a good idea. Also, Iím hoping engine components are harmonized with those in the common-as-mud 1st gen Cruze and Sonic.

My two biggest areas of concern are the windshield and the pano sunroof. My windshield is cracked (againÖ) but it seems to keep passing inspection. Iím not asking questions. But if it does need to be replaced, I can assure you that knockoff windshields do not play nice with the rain-sensing wipers; only the GM part comes with the mount preinstalled.

I use the pano roof a lot; I love the airflow it creates and driving with the AC on (which amazingly, still works perfectly) makes the car feel like itís towing a bus. Iíve never touched it Ė no lube, no drain tube blowouts, no tracking cleaning - nothing. I canít imagine that going on forever and parts are probably unobtainium. Hereís hoping that parts kit does not consist of a tube of silicon caulk.

The allure of fine organic two-buck chuck (or whatever inflation has done to it recently) is icing on the cake. Letís make it happen.
...
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:31 PM   #260
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Default Re: The last Saturn Astra owner.

I'm not too worried about getting parts to be frank. Might take a few extra days so keep that in mind.

- Dealers and rockauto have a lot of parts easily ordered.

- car-part.com shows a bunch of US Astras in junkyards for parts. Junkyards are easy to visit and good at shipping.

- The Astra H was huge in Europe so virtually everything is there. And it is easy to order from overseas these days.

I travel with a spare coil pack and accessory belt. But frankly don't recall anyone getting stranded for these items. So maybe will remove them from the trunk.

The heater matrix hoses were NLA for a few years but are now available. Performance shocks and struts will need to be imported (but I think the XE springs and struts are still available in the US).

Maybe you can get your windshield repaired?
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