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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction as my car appears to have lost it's mind overnight.

I drove it home with 0 issues last night but it fails to start today. Switching the ignition on produces a "Service Parking Assist" warning and a "Service Power Steering" warning. On some attempts the fuel gauge works, some it just shows empty. Once the messages are cleared the dash doesn't show any trip information or tyre pressures.

Attempting to start the car just switches the dash off completely and headlights if they're on.

I have hooked up the laptop but it can't communicate with the car to read codes - it normally works just fine so this is a new problem.

I've tried taking the battery negative off for a few minutes to reset everything but this didn't help. I've tried checking the engine management fuses but these are fine.

The car isn't showing any signs of a low battery such as dimming lights but then I've never had a battery fail on an Astra J so unsure if it would manifest in other ways before it's dead flat.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The battery is showing 12.04V, would you think that's low enough below the 12.6V+ optimum to be an issue?
 

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Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be the battery as I've charged it over night and it's holding a good 13+ volts and the car still shows the same problem.

Any possibility it could be the alternator? Otherwise I'm off on a fun search for shorts and earth faults!
 

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If it’s still doing it then the battery can still be at fault , it may show 13 volts but it could still have a collapsed cell within.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's a good point. Having tried that it shows 12.1 on the car, switching to ignition on (no attempt to start) it immediately drops to 11.5.

The battery was charged last night and used to turn the ignition maybe 20 times today (no starts because it won't) and it's just taken 5 hours to charge fully so something isn't quite right with it.

The battery isn't insanely expensive so I'll grab one and re-test.
 

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Check the CIM as faults your car throwing up were the same as my CIM when it failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I replaced the battery today and the car started and ran perfectly for 10 miles. Restarting after 10 miles and all the problems came back with intermittent loss of power steering, dash constantly on and off etc. Limped it somewhere safe and called the AA, when they arrived the battery had recovered and it started perfectly but the car went mad again after another 10 miles!

Despite apparent good charging the alternator looks like a possible culprit, there's a LOT of carbon on the end of the alternator and quite a strong electrical smell.

Thanks rick45, is there any way to check the CIM or is it a matter of swapping it out?
 

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Have you measured battery voltage with the engine running to see if the alternator is overcharging.? Don't drive too far should this be the case. Take into account smart charge alternators can deliver more than the normal 14.3v, sometimes just over 15v if the battery capacity is low - however any higher is a problem.

Astra-J's aren't fitted with CIM's so don't get confused there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Whilst running it's showing 14 - 14.3V at the battery. The alternator isn't in amazing shape after 88000 miles with some bearing noise so there isn't any great harm in swapping that out anyway.

Interesting on the CIM, another post had mentioned it was fitted and the Vauxhall tech documents appeared to indicate the J uses one, good to know the car doesn't actually have one.

Finally managed to get a decent code read while the car was briefly running normally and it's showing the following:
B3006 - Hood contact switch. Error Message : Malfunction. Short to B+.
B3101 - Communication with access system/immobilizer. Error Message : Malfunction. Malfunction.
U0073 - CAN data bus A. Error Message : CAN bus off. Malfunction.
U0100 - Communication with engine control unit. Error Message : No communication. Malfunction.
U0121 - Communication with ABS/ESP. Error Message : No communication.

B3006 is interesting so will double check to see if that's a false report or is a genuine short.

I really appreciate everyone's responses on this!
 

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"Red One.."
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Do you have access to a multimeter at all?
 

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"Red One.."
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As a base test, check resistance between pins 6&14 on the diagnostic plug itself with the ignition off. You've got CANbus errors on the high speed bus there, which terminate at those connectors. Should have circa 60 ohms.

90803
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've checked across the 2 pins and I'm getting 60.3 ohms.

After the failed test drive yesterday my brand new battery is now down to 12.3 volts and the car won't start again so despite the apparent good charging voltage something isn't right there.
 

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You can have a faulty alternator that appears to charge but can drain the voltage away rapidly once the engine is stopped. Try checking what the parasitic drain is (YouTube is your friend here).
 

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I've checked across the 2 pins and I'm getting 60.3 ohms.

After the failed test drive yesterday my brand new battery is now down to 12.3 volts and the car won't start again so despite the apparent good charging voltage something isn't right there.
Is this 12.3 volts before you operate the starter , if so the battery is in good shape.
Mine only shows 12 volts before i operate the starter & the engine thumps into life within half a crank.
Is the engine not even turning over again ?
It’s the no comms on the Can Bus that’s a concern , have you read for fault codes again ?
 

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"Red One.."
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The resistance check proves at least the base integrity of the high speed CAN network is good, no permanent shorts or open circuits. As per the other guys info, does the vehicle crank at all, or unresponsive totally? Does the code reader you're using at the minute give you any information as to which codes are 'current' and which might be 'history'.? Any two digit 'symptom bytes' alongside the codes? Any aftermarket equipment on the car?
 
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