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[Astra Mk4/G] [98-04] Astra Overheating/Scam Please Help Me!!

Discussion in 'Astra, Corsa, Zafira, Meriva, Adam, Agila, Tigra & Nova [Includes AstraVan & ComboVan] owners forum' started by Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal

    Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal New Member

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    Hi, I'm a 22 year old Student from Bradford. In August my BMW which was a a N Reg got written off I saved over £900 by September and eventually saw a advert on pistonheads.com for a £700 2000 Reg Astra 1.6 with 90k mileage plus m.o.t and tax with 'no problems'. I jumped at the car thinking it was a bargain. When I viewed the car it had a few dints in it so I offered him £650 and bought the car. Prior to this the central locking wasn't working, I asked him why and he originally told me it was due to a battery error. When I took it to the shop they said it was a mechanical error. Eventually after trailing through the internet I discovered it was a key fault, I spent £150 and had this made. I then asked him where the astra manual was for the car and he told me he would get me one, after explaining to him he had lied and a car advertised as 'no problems' he refused to refund me any money for the key and stated he had got he car in a part exchange and didn't know. Having already paid for the car I felt stuck with it.
    My mum told me, to live over it so I did. About 2 weeks ago the car engine started overheating, I noticed the temperate was hitting the 3/4 hot mark and consulted my friend Steve who is an electrican and has better knowledge than me. He put water in the car and some engine oil and told me he belived the head gasket maybe going. Howevre after putting the water in the car was fine.
    Since the car slided in the snow- it bent the wheels on the front side.
    I took this to a longtime father's friend as I have little money as a student and rely on my car to be reliable. Using money I saved for Christmas I dug into savings and ended up paying £110 to repair this. The garage mechican told me that the car had a new wishbone, tracker and tracking done- totally £110. Was this expensive and a scam or fair??
    Anyway..paid the £110 today and drove the car home..to once again see it's overheating now. This time alot worse than last time. It's now going all the way to fully overheating and even came up with a red kettle sign. Scared for the danger of over road users and myself as a young driver I have kept the car parked in a back street away from other cars and other users. I opened the engine, there was no water in it. I did what my friend did before and put water into it, the car began gargling it in spitting it out. I called my friend and he told me this was normal, to start the engine and let the water gargle till it kept needed filling as this was the car getting the water into the pipes etc, and he told me that for it to be empty on water after this long it would definetly be a gasket fault and to get rid of it ASAP was his advice. Since putting the water in the engine problem seems to have stopped although I haven't checked the water level and am going to in the morning as it was dark tonight..however I just got the log book through for the car and surprise surprise it's a Category C Damage car which the owner forgot to tell me about..legally where do I stand? Am I well and truly scammed? Also..how much will the gasket cost me to fix? I've read they cost £1000? Is that true? Please help a student in need and young driver !!! PLEASE..And if anyone is from west yorkshire or owns a garage/works in one from the area any good deals or fair prices to fix would be dearly appreciated!!!

    Thanks
  2. Fire26662

    Fire26662 There can be only one.

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    Water loss is not the only symptom of a head gasket, it could be a water leak, usual culprits are the radiator, the heater matrix or the water pump. I hope you didnt use plain water to top the engine up? The below freezing temps will freeze your engine solid and could totally bugger the engine.
  3. paul.spencer

    paul.spencer Well-Known Member

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    Oh you poor fella. Does sound like you've been had.

    Anyway, I was thinking that it might not as bad as you think in that you didn't mention any other head gasket failure symptoms like emulsions - coolant turned to milkshake or water in the oil - rough running and blowing out clouds of white exhaust. I had sudden catasrophic HGF on an Astra years ago and there was no mistaking that. Could barely run the thing and it needed immediate head gasket replacement.

    You mentioned that it started "gargling and spitting it out" - have you taken a good look around the engine to try to see where the coolant is leaking? Was that while the engine was running? I wonder whether the coolant is pi**ing out from the water pump leak hole. Had that happen before, but that was on an engine where you could see the water pump and dried coolant from the weep hole. I think yours is a cambelt-driven water pump hiding behind cambelt cover and if it needed replacement then it would probably be best to do the comlete cambelt job. Might be overdue for that anyway.

    But maybe its leaking out from somewhere else. Park somewhere, fill with coolant, run it and take a good look for signs of leakage, drips from somewhere, see if you can find the source. I wonder if it could be something simple, split or leaky rad hose or connection, thermostat seal or something.

    If it looks like either water pump or HGF I reckon it would probably be worth calling a few places for quotes for both head gasket and cambelt/water pump jobs. Doesn't hurt to ask. Somebody else might be able to suggest decent west yorkshire garages.

    Good luck with it. Lousy time of year for you to have to muck around with it.
    Cheers, Paul
    -----

    OK fire2662 you beat me to it...
  4. Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal

    Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal New Member

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    Hi,

    a little bit of smoke comes out of the engine when it's running or turned off (engine normally still warm) and it gurgles either way. However after I left the engine for a while then went bakc and put water in I put some in and no gurgling happened- maybebecause the engine was cold. I'm going to check for a leak today guys. But no in my eyes ive not seen any other symptons except this constant overheating problem. And yes I did use plain water but it was slightly warm..thats what i got told to use? why what should you?
  5. Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal

    Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal New Member

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    The garage mechican told me that the car had a new wishbone, tracker and tracking done- totally £110. Was this expensive and a scam or fair??
  6. Fire26662

    Fire26662 There can be only one.

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    Depends on what they charge for labour but 110 doesnt sound too bad inc parts and VAT
  7. fronteratech

    fronteratech VXON Resident 4x4 and diesel specialist

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    Location:
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    new wishbone and tracking plus fitting reasonable price 1.5 hours fo wishbone plus 0.6 hours plus £30 tracking

    you got good deal
  8. Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal

    Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal New Member

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    Hi yes it was £110 for everything including VAT parts the full lot. Originally when I left it with him he said it would be £80 for everything but then he called me and said he's really sorry but it needs a new tracker which would be a further £30. He also told me he's using all brand new parts not second hart like alot of garages. but glad to hear that was a good deal as ive been using him a while and spent 1000s with him so I don't expect him to be ripping me off.
    I'm debating weather to take the car to him and see what it costs for him to fix the engine overheat or sell it and get rid like my friend said asap.
    The problem is :shake am too nice to sell the car on to someone else and i know i got scammed but i cudnt do it to someone else because i'd feel guilty nowing a day or week down the line they'd be stuck with a car overheating ( but on essence ive spent nearly 400 pound on the 650 pound car in less than 2 months of having it :(
  9. drdre20013

    drdre20013 Member

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    dont use plain water whether warm or not, best off using a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water, i would suspect with the mileage on the car its the water pump on its way out,

    Rob
  10. Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal

    Rahul Rapper Sabbarwal New Member

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    Oh right. God I didn't know that! Sorry Rob. I bet you must think I'm a right idiot. Sorry I didn't know that,. I just took the advise of my m8 who's 40 he told me you always put warm water in but not too hot just little warm. I think it is the radiator or something to do with the water definetely as within 10-15 mins of driving the car overheats. Ive checked for leaks can't see any however when on a 10 min drive and car was completely out of water but before it had been full! And my air conditioning isn't coming warm either..don't know if thats linked or what. How much is it to fix the water tank/radiator if it is that? Just I'm debating wether to just sell it or ebay it or what..what would you guys do in my position considering all uve read above??

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