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Discussion Starter #1
Now that my missus is becoming a geriatric 43 year old she likes the idea of an automatic. I have no experience of the vx fwd versions, has any one got any experience of them.
I am looking at buying P or R reg astra estate and there does seem to be a lot of low mileage autos about.
 

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Geriatric petrol-head
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I've used Vauxhall autos for a long time, including fwd versions - Cavalier Mk3 and Astra Mk4.

The fwd autoboxes are built in Japan by Aisin-Warner and are used by GM worldwide, not just Vauxhall. They're very reliable and long-lived as long as they're looked after.

The electronic controls give several different modes (may depend on year) Economy is the default, Sport changes at higher revs and excludes the overdrive top gear, Winter excludes 1st and 2nd to reduce wheelspin in wet, snowy or icy conditions. The gearbox can also be operated manually but they're not like the modern Tiptronics.

Torque converter lock-up is used at cruising speed to reduce the fuel consumption penalty of a conventional auto.

Vauxhall generally state that no oil change is necessary, ever, unless the vehicle is used in extreme conditions when a 40,000 mile change is recommended. I change the fluid on mine every 20,000 miles as I tow a caravan (one of the "extreme" conditions).

Note that some Vauxhall autoboxes CAN'T have the fluid drained and refilled normally so make sure any selected model has two dipsticks, one for engine oil and one for gearbox oil.

If the electronics detect any fault, the gearbox is put in limp mode (3/4 auto or 1-4 manual) and a light on the dash flashes. DON'T buy a used car in this condition and get the fault codes read PDQ if this happens once you own the car.
 

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I've got a P reg Astra3 1.6 auto, bought 8 months back with 88,000 on the clock. No probs to date apart from a rattly exhaust.

I'm not really put off by mileage..my old Renault 11 had 300,000 miles on and was still going strong.

Pull the transmission dipstick and look at the fluid colour...red/ish is good, yellow needs changing ASAP, black is walk away IMO. Also, sniff it...burning smells are not good.

I paid..what now? About £16-1700 for mine..immaculate ex motability car. Negotiated a cambelt change/service/autobox fluid change and new MOT in that price too..:)

I'll change my gearbox oil every 18 months to 2 years depending on how I feel. It never gets thrashed, but it can't hurt..:) As has been said, a flashing "S" on the dash is a bad thing. Make sure all gearchanges are smooth and quiet.

About all I want to change on mine is the selector lamps to blue, and since my "S" button has worn the "S" away, I want to re-decal it as an "Oh Sh*t" button.:Cool2:
 

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if you find an auto with a flashing "s" on dash it could be something as simple as the fuse is blown, so don't dismiss the car altogether. bought my astra with 41000 on the clock for next to nothing, came home pulled fuse out and replaced with new one and 22000 miles later car is still going great.:Cool2:
 

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or the selector switch, which can apparently be stripped and regreased instead of replaced at a huge cost..I must try this on a spare when I find one..
 
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