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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a 2015 Vauxhall Astra, and am a car maintenance novice - though trying to learn to do by myself what I can. The car has suddenly stopped working entirely, but only sometimes. I'm looking for help diagnosing the problem.

My wife went to start the car a few mornings ago. The remote locking wasn't working, so she unlocked manually. When she got in the car, nothing on the dash came on, no lights came on - it was completely dead. I assumed a battery issue - though I put a brand new battery in a few months ago. When I went to have a look a few hours later, the remote locking worked again, everything turned on fine, I could start the car fine - though the clock etc. had all reset. There was one error message telling me to wind down the driver window and then wind it back up again. I did that and the message disappeared. Whilst I was winding the windows the lights flickered a little - but that stopped when I wound the passenger window down and up again. I turned the car off and left it overnight.

In the morning I tested it a couple of times an everything was working.

Later in the evening I used the car again, I drove 6 miles and there were no problems with the feel or sound of the driving, no warning lights, no problems. The lights may have flickered slightly at low speeds, but I could have been imagining it.

I got out of the car, did my stuff, came back about an hour and a half later. Tried to get it started, it struggled. Tried again and it worked fine. Drove home with no problems. During that journey the immobiliser light came up on the dash - solidly, not flashing.

When I got home, I turned the car off and got out. The remote locking had stopped working again. I went back to the car to lock manually, and everything had died again.

In the morning I tried again, started fine once. Then stopped again. Getting error messages about both power windows (but just telling me to wind down and up again), the immobiliser light hasn't come back on. At one point I was sat in the car with the ignition on looking at the manual and it suddenly all switched on, then after a couple of seconds switched off again.

I've checked the battery, there's no corrosion, the connections are all fine. Pretty sure it isn't a battery issue.

Occasionally in the past the windows have wound themselves down when the car is off. And the central locking seems to be a bit dodgy on the passenger side. The remote locking has also been a bit unreliable for a few weeks.

Any help would be massively appreciated - I'd rather go to the garage with a firm idea of what's wrong - or fix it myself if there's an easy fix!

D
 

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It's as if the battery is being disconnected then reconnected so you have a bad connection somewhere. What about the big earth wire from the engine to the body?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your help! I'm sorry to be revealing my ignorance here, but which one is that? and how would I go about checking it?

D
 

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There will be a heavy cable somewhere between the engine and the body to provide a return path to the battery. On mine it is connected to one of the mounting bolts on the starter motor.
Those connections need to be both clean and tight, otherwise you will get issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Car Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive fuel system Automotive design


Thanks, I'm keen to learn what I'm looking for but still struggling to know which wire it is. That's a picture of the engine bay, where abouts should I be looking for it?

Even if I do just take it to the garage I'd like to have learnt something!

Thanks for your help!
 

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In addition to the above, you say you've replaced the battery, are the connections tight?
 

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Think your starter motor is down the back of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all your help. Can't seem to see any obvious issues there.

Is it possible that water getting into the doors and messing with the power windows could be causing it? The times that the car has started seems to have been when it's been dry, and the times when nothing has turned on is when it has been raining. Add to that the fact that the only error codes I'm getting consistently are to do with the power windows.

Last night I went and removed/unclogged the little drain-holes at the bottom of the doors, and some water came out - they seemed pretty blocked. When I did that on the passenger door side the water seemed to be coming out of the membrane/seal thing towards the inside of the door rather than through the valve on the outer part. I tried to start the car this morning and it started alright four or five times in a row.

If it's dry this evening I was planning on trying to get inside the door panel, check that things are clean and dry and see if I need to reseal something.

Could this be causing the problems? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

thanks,
D
 

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I think you may be on the right track with suspected water ingress but not in doors
(although this is common on the J)
rather water getting in the body control module

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's very helpful Valer, thanks. If it is water ingress to the BCM will I need to replace the BCM? Or will it be a case of sorting whatever leak (the AC drain?) is causing the problems, then letting the BCM dry properly?

D
 

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Check the bcm and make sure the drain hose is ok,if it has water ingress you could try drying it out,
here's a pic of a Zafira C bcm with the same problem

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Checked the BCM, it's all dry and clean in there. Tool it out and had a look at the inside and it looks ok to me:
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tried driving the car a bit this morning, no longer getting the power window warnings and everything seems to be working as it should (except for the remote locking on the keys and a blown bulb - but that's an easy fix!). Any chance just unplugging the BCM and then plugging it back in again might have fixed things?

D
 

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Tried driving the car a bit this morning, no longer getting the power window warnings and everything seems to be working as it should (except for the remote locking on the keys and a blown bulb - but that's an easy fix!). Any chance just unplugging the BCM and then plugging it back in again might have fixed things?

D
Stranger things have happened lol
it may have been the battery disconnect-reconnect sorted it,sometimes modules get "confused" and that's all it needs
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In addition to the above, you say you've replaced the battery, are the connections tight?
After a brief trip to the garage and consequently a slice of humble pie for me to eat, it turns out this was the problem all along! I hadn't checked them all thoroughly enough it seems - thankfully our mechanic only charged us very minimally for finding that out.

Thanks for all of your help everyone - I've learnt a fair amount, not least to check all the connections properly!

D
 

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After a brief trip to the garage and consequently a slice of humble pie for me to eat, it turns out this was the problem all along! I hadn't checked them all thoroughly enough it seems - thankfully our mechanic only charged us very minimally for finding that out.

Thanks for all of your help everyone - I've learnt a fair amount, not least to check all the connections properly!

D
Glad you got it sorted mate.
 
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