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03 plate astra, stalling when slowing down, hesitation, cutting out

Discussion in 'Astra, Corsa, Zafira, Meriva, Adam, Cascada, Agila, Viva, Tigra & Nova [Includes AstraVan & Combo Van] owners forum' started by mv6_3.2-nicecar, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. mv6_3.2-nicecar

    mv6_3.2-nicecar New Member

    Likes Received:
    hudds uk
    hi folks,
    just thought i'd write another thread for this popular topic.....

    have had a neighbours 03 plate astra 1.6 16v club this week.....
    she had all the usual ball ache of it cutting out when slowing down, reaching junctions, stalling at the lights, not starting afterwards for a bit, etc etc etc......

    now i know at this point people are gonna be screaming EGR valve.....
    but hang on, this car has only done 30,000 miles.....
    it was the first thing i looked at... it seals properly, and is free moving, and no build up on the valve what so ever....

    so onto plan b, coil pack already replaced, and tested, and works.
    ignition module... thats fine too.....
    so then we code read again, and still find nothing is flagged.. car still cocking about, no managment light, and no one seems to know why.

    well thats the first bit out of the way.... we know we have a good spark, and the dreaded egr valve works fine....
    idle is slightly rocky, only by about 50rpm on the rev counter in car...
    so u'd start saying idle speed control, or stepper motor (as this is fly by wire)..... and you'd be wrong again.
    the sticky valve issue was also addressed by a good cpl tank fulls with forte added, no difference.

    so where now.... some say clean every thing etc etc.... well this engine is like brand fine new inside and out... nothing to clean really.

    some would say change crank shaft and cam shaft sensor, etc etc.....
    but if these were really bad, they would have flagged up the engine managment light on dash...

    so this tells us its a mechanical issue... gasp shock horror.......
    yes something the computer wont tell us about.........

    time for spanners!........ and lets get mucky!

    what did i check.. well made sure everything was tight that should be, and that there were no air leaks anywhere, and that all vaccums were in good condition.... usual stuff really.....

    then it was onto using the head.... sounds like its running out of fuel when it cuts out... well.... that'd point to the fuel pump and/or relay.... erm... nope. good flow, all working well, filter not blocking....

    so still no parts replaced, hasnt cost a bean so far.... time to keep going....

    well as we are all aware... the engine has a cam shaft and a crank shaft sensor... so its measureing top and bottom end of engine when its turning...
    so off with the cam covers... sensors all in place.. still no engine managment light, so gotta be mechanical, pointless messing about with the sensors.
    now with the cam belt cover removed, i noticed the cam belt tensioner....
    the indicator arm, was WELL past the used belt mark.
    so replaced fan belt, and engine mount, n fired the beasty up.
    give it a few blips on the throttle, and sure as anything the belt was flapping about all over place.

    tensioners all fine, idler wheels all good too... belt looked ok too.
    when i turned engine by hand, one way i would get the camshafts about 1/4-1/2 tooth out in relation to bottom pully, then when reversed, i could nearly get a whole tooth out of position.
    no wonder the engine cant time itself properly, n keep the fuel flowing etc if it can detect where it is properly.
    the sensors are obviously reading within spec in the ecu, or the light would have come on. so off comes the cam belt....
    brand new SKF cam belt kit, including all new tensioners and new water pump ready to fit....
    checked the old cam belt against new one, and when measured was around 1/4 inch longer than the new belt.
    i know it was coming upto the 6 year change interval, but really, that is a fair bit of stretch.
    new belt fitted, al back together.... running like a dream now, no idle fluttering, no pinking, no cutting out, or lumpy running.....

    lets see how it goes over the next week or so......
    i think it will do well....
  2. erroneusbogz

    erroneusbogz Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    v6 cdx vectra b vectra c 3.2 elite
    did you also check the crank pully?,they are built around a rubber insert and fall apart at stupidly low milage,this then lets the belt slip,you can replace them with one from regal its solid alloy so wont sausage up like a standard one will
  3. mv6_3.2-nicecar

    mv6_3.2-nicecar New Member

    Likes Received:
    hudds uk
    all is well! now that the engine is timed up properly, the minor pinking, the hesitation, the stalling has all gone. well not happened this week anyhow, and car has covered over 500 miles since i last saw it.
    i am wondering why garages cant diagnose a mechanical problem... why oh why do they soley rely on plugging things in, especially if there is no light on???
    one garage it was taken to was a local vauxhall dealer too!
  4. Keving66

    Keving66 New Member

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    Hi thanks for posting this information I've just bought my astra and have already spent £370 trying to get this fixed, now that I know I was wondering if you could tell me roughly how much this would cost to get done.
  5. Fred Bassett

    Fred Bassett Super Moderator Staff / Moderator VxON Club Member VxON Approved Trader

    Likes Received:
    2008 astra estate 1.7 cdti life
    Good rational thinking . Too many people are stumped when no codes show . Never ignore the cam belt they can move just as you've proved . Seen a Vectra some time ago with engine light on . Car had covered 126.000 miles . Owner had been to another garage who scared him silly with what it could be . My mechanic took cam belt cover off and didn't know how engine had been running . Belt was original one fitted on production line ! One service and new cam belt later , light went out and car ran superb again .

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