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Old 09-29-2022, 07:59 AM   #141
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Default Re: Astra 45k mile service - inexpensive & runs like new!

Oil and filter change (Quaker State Full Synthetic). This is not for mileage but because the oil degrades after 1-year.

Sealed front muffler seam with Walker Exhaust Putty. This is the long cylinder at the middle of the exhaust system. There was a small 2" leak on the long seam; we applied the putty the full length of the seam. The Walker instructions are not very helpful. We applied to a cold exhaust, let sit overnight, ran car on idle in the morning for 15 minutes to heat the seal. Some Amazon reviews stated the Putty needs heat to cure (and that cracks may need to be resealed after a few days). The muffler part is GM13244456 but no longer sold in North America AFAIK; I suppose there is some generic part that might fit fine.

Charging issues (battery not charging, very hot main cables at battery, low voltage measured between battery terminals and between chassis/battery + terminal, overnight parasitic draw. Caused by corroded main ground wire near starter terminal & CDC30 radio random parasitic drain

1. Added main ground wire from starter to battery.

- Autozone tested the battery and alternator as good.

- We ran alternator on analog scope looking for bad diodes; waveform looked fine

- Found green corrosion at main ground wire connected to starter. The corrosion was on the ring terminal and up the wire, into the insulation.

- Repair and recrimping would be difficult to reach, so just ran a parallel ground from starter to battery negative terminal (new copper 1AWG 5-foot cable and plastic corigated loom). Just zip tied next to main ground.

--> Added ground cable resolved hot + and - battery terminals. And boosted alternator charging from 68 to 81 amps (measured with amp clamp at alternator + wire). Plus boosted voltage from 13.0v to 13.8v (between battery + and -, and between battery - and chassis). All measured at idle with "all" accessories on.

- For clarity, before adding new ground wire, some voltages measured fine 13.8v (e.g. between battery + and engine block or alternator body). These measurements did not change with new ground wire.

2. Removed radio and screen fuses to kill parasitic draw
- Car battery draining to about 12.2v after 2 days unused. Battery is about 1 year old and tested good.

- We measured around 150mA draw from car about 30 seconds after turning off car and locking with remote. Removing the OnStar fuse dropped that draw close to 30mA. But battery kept draining after sitting 2 days.

- We didn't observe any spikes in 30mA draw over time. We only had so much patience to watch this. The multimeter will display max draw, but will auto-off in 15 minutes.

- Since we had parasitic draw problems with CDC30 radio in the past, we then tried removing radio fuse. That solved the parasitic draw, and battery fully charged after several days sitting.

- Measurement was done with DMM in series between battery - terminal and cable. We clamped the hood alarm sensor which is at the firewall.

-->Keeping both fuses out for now. Will have to devise some relay system so that radio & screen receive power only when key is in accessory or run mode.

More details of charging system work and scope readings

Last edited by AstraFasta; 09-29-2022 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 10-09-2022, 08:45 PM   #142
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Default Re: Astra 45k mile service - inexpensive & runs like new!

Repaired door loom, rear-driver's side
This window and speaker were not working. This weekend we removed the wiring loom, cut out damaged wire, and spliced in 11 longer wires. Everything works perfectly now.

After disassembling the loom, we saw that the power wire was completely severed and many of the other wires were damaged. The damaged wires were all about 1-2 inches from the plug at the door (e.g. hidden inside the flexy rubber boot between the door and the b-pillar).

GM and third-parties make replacement looms with terminal strips for quick installation. After this weekend, I think the kit would be the easiest and highest quality repair:

- Repair patching in longer wire with soldier & shrink wrap took more time than expected

- Stuffing all the resoldered / shrink-wrapped wire back into the narrow rubber boot is difficult and really doesn't fit.

-The hard soldier joints are inside the flexible rubber boot all next to each-other, which isn't ideal. One inch of the boot is no longer flexible.

- Cheap Opel insulation does not like heat of soldiering and melts near heat.

- The thick power & ground wires require a quality soldering iron; a hobby iron won't cut it, even with extra flux.

A few tips:

- disconnect the battery

- to remove the door harness, push the blue ring towards the door metal with some force. Then gently pull the plug out

- consider adding a few inches of wire length. It seems there is room in the floor channel for a lot of wire

- Before soldiering the second set of 11 joints, don't forget to add the rubber grommet at the b-pillar and the shrink tubing for each wire.

Below schematic was helpful (the plug pinout is mirrored, and pin 3 on our car was not Red).

Below thread and videos were helpful
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Old 10-29-2022, 07:00 PM   #143
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Default Re: Astra 45k mile service - inexpensive & runs like new!

Repaired wiring looms for both rear doors with the professional repair kits from ebay UK

We decided to redo the left door loom repair since the hard solder joint were inside the flexing rubber boot waiting to break again. Plus, a lot of people noted problems in both door looms so we needed to hit the passenger rear door also. Can NOT recommend soldier repair as it is time consuming and will fail; get the repair kit!

So, we purchased left & right door looms from ebay seller mowerman1973lee; he is in the UK but these arrived in about a week. Both looms were about $50 total including shipping. The kit appears to be well made with the OEM Delphi round connector and (very) long, quality wires. The terminal strips are fast and easy to use. After wiring, we sealed the strips in electric tape.

As noted above, the left rear door window did not work; most of the wires were broken or damaged in the flexible elbow. The right rear door had a crack in the red 12v power wire which was about 1mm in size; glad we got that sooner rather than later.

We did both doors in about 3 hours total.
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Old 11-11-2022, 07:23 PM   #144
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Default Re: Astra 45k mile service - inexpensive & runs like new!

Moved Radio & Screen from canbus to ignition switched to fix parasitic drain

We traced intermittent parasitic draws that were draining the battery in a few days to fuses 35 & 36. Those are for the radio & screen/onstar, respectively. Removing the fuses resolved the parasitic drain.

Older CD30 radios were recalled in Europe for parasitic drains. There are claims that newer CD30 radios also suffer parasitic drains but Opel did not recall them.

We will bypass the problematic Canbus switching and put both circuits on true ignition switched schemes to prevent parasitic draw.

Known downsides include: Time & date will reset every time engine is turned off. Radio only works with ignition in the "run" position. OnStar service will not work (although I think that was, or soon will be, sunset.) Burning the car down if you don't properly design and wire these schemes.

1. Changed Radio to ignition switched by adding a relay under the dash.
* Ground - Attached ring terminal to screw on the back of the radio chassis

* Switched power - from an unused harness that reportedly was used in prior models to illuminate the cigarette lighter. On our Astra that was a long rectangular plug with 3 wires (the black thin wire was 12V ignition switched. Maybe factory white masking tape attached it the cigarette lighter power wires. We removed the centre console to access said wire but that may not be required. Added a 5A fuse inline.

* 12V in - Red power wire on the radio harness (cut - power coming in from engine compartment)

* 12V out - Red power wire on the radio harness (cut - relayed power going out to radio)

2. Changed screen/onstar to ignition switched using Buss fuse taps from an unused switched fuse slot in the UEC. Added a 7.5A fuse between the taps. There are right and wrong sides to tap so be careful and measure twice!
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Old 11-16-2022, 12:37 AM   #145
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Default Re: Astra 45k mile service - inexpensive & runs like new!

Installed leather steering wheel cover.
Took about 3 hours to install. Overall, we would rate this a 9 of 10. Leather feels very good and looks nice. Leather is not too thick. We put a ton of double sided tape on and can't notice it. Steering wheel looks better in real life than the picture indicates; the red is more subtle too.

A few niggles. The back finger grips running 360* around the wheel are not perfectly fitted; maybe that will change with time. The leather transition between pieces is not perfectly smooth.

Similar cover to that used by @Mgg4591 from east side detailing. Ordered leather, perforated sides, red thread, deleted the 12 O'Clock Marker.

There are some instructions included and we watched a lot of videos; below was the most useful for us:

Apparently, the the Astra covers at 3 and 9 O'Clock are removable for most wheels.

EMG77 posted that the cover at 6 O'Clock is not removable for 5 door models (we can confirm that is true with XE plastic wheel and XR plastic wheel with controls). So that spoke looks a bit less professional.
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