Holden Astra Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Holden Astra reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

The car alarm system in my 1998 Holden Astra hatch activates for no reason, what could be the problem?

Answered by CarsGuide 12 Nov 2021

Holden Astras of this vintage have been known to suffer false alarms from the security system, and it seems as though a re-flash or replacement of the ECU (on-board computer) is the ultimate fix. In many other cases, false alarms are the result of faulty switches and sensors, but the Astra’s track record suggests the computer will be the culprit. At which point you have a decision to make which may involve disabling the alarm system altogether (make sure you advise your insurance company if you go down this road).

This model Astra was also infamous for a radio that could turn itself on (independent of the ignition system) and flatten the battery.

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How do I get a key programmed to my 2006 Holden Astra?

Answered by CarsGuide 22 Oct 2021

There are two possibilities here and it will all depend on whether your car is a 2005 model (that was first sold in 2006) or a post-facelift model and also whether it’s a TS Astra or an AH model Astra. If it’s the earlier car, then you might be in luck. The process involves taking the new key, placing it in the ignition and turning the ignition on (without starting the engine). Then, when all the dashboard lights are lit up, you press one of the remote buttons on the key. And that’s about it. You should hear the car lock and then unlock itself to let you know the process is complete and you’re good to go.

For post-2005 models, however, things are not so simple. In this case, you need to either visit a locksmith or a workshop that has the Holden diagnostic gear, as the new key needs to be coded to the car via the diagnostic port. That said, I’d give the first method a try before spending money at a workshop. Who knows, you might just get lucky.

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Why is there a knocking noise under the bonnet before starting the engine of my 2005 Holden Astra?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Sep 2021

You’d expect any noise from under a car’s bonnet to be caused by the engine, but if this noise occurs before you’ve started the engine, you’re on to a real mystery. Perhaps the noise can be heard as you crank the engine but before it actually fires? If that’s the case, the clunk or knock could be coming from the starter motor. Or perhaps the action of the starter motor is causing the engine to rock back and forth on worn engine mounts and allowing the engine to hit on the cross-member or some other component under the bonnet. Perhaps it’s a loose exhaust system that’s banging on something as you crank the engine. Once the engine fires and is running, the frequency of its vibrations changes and the clunk goes away.

But I’m afraid that without more information, this one remains a mystery to us.

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Why doesn't the auto gear lever in my 2009 Holden Astra engage securely?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Jul 2021

The good news is that this probably isn’t an actual gearbox problem, but rather one with the mechanical linkages that select each gear or perhaps even the gear selector itself. If you can remove the centre console, you might be able to locate the offending (loose) fastener that is allowing the gear lever to flop about and not find its proper place.

If, however, you mean that the vehicle doesn’t want to select Drive properly first thing in the morning and either won’t move or moves very slowly when you accelerate, then you could well be looking at a worn transmission. That said, the same problem can be caused by a transmission that is simply low on fluid, and a top up will put things right. So that’s the first step: Check the owner’s manual for the correct fluid-checking process and try that. If a top-up doesn’t fix it, it’s off to a mechanic. But beware – driving the car in that state could be doing extra damage to the transmission.

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Why is the coolant in my 2007 Holden Astra a milky colour?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Feb 2021

The first response of most mechanics on this would be that you have a head gasket leak in the engine. Coolant in the oil and/or oil in the coolant are classic symptoms of this. It happens because the faulty head gasket allows the two fluids to mix but, depending on exactly where the gasket fails, you don’t necessary get both symptoms. A workshop can pressure test the engine’s cooling system and perform what’s called a TK test to show up any contaminants in the coolant that have found their way there via a blown head gasket.

But before you go tearing into the engine, check the service records to find out how old the coolant is. Coolant will discolour over time and kilometres and what you’re seeing as a `milky colour’ might simply be old coolant that has gone cloudy and needs changing.

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Why does my 2017 Holden Astra jerk when I put it in reverse?

Answered by CarsGuide 4 Nov 2020

The jerk when you select reverse sometimes is definitely worth having diagnosed properly as it shouldn’t be that way. Scanning the car (which I’ll presume the dealership did to arrive at its answer) doesn’t always show up all faults, so just because the computer says there’s nothing wrong, doesn’t mean there isn’t. There are plenty of reasons for a car to jerk into a particular gear, but the good news is that the Astra uses a conventional, torque-converter automatic, not one of the vastly more troublesome double-clutch units.

Your second problem, however, may not be a problem at all. In fact, the gearbox in the Astra is smart enough to know that you’re coasting down a hill and will actually shift down a gear or two to take the strain off the brakes while still maintaining your speed. As it shifts down gears, the engine revs will rise; that’s absolutely normal and part of the way the car is designed to operate.

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Why does the clock in my 2004 Holden Astra CD keep resetting?

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Oct 2020

My first thought is that your car’s battery is on the way out. Are there any other symptoms of this (slow cranking etc)? Essentially, a battery that isn’t fully charged or is a bit wonky can start to shed its responsibilities one by one as it wears out. In this case, you might find that maintaining the clock’s memory/time isn’t programmed into the car as a major priority, so it switches that circuit off as a means of saving every available volt and ampere for actually starting the car (which is the point at which the maximum strain is placed on a battery).

Beyond that, you could have a dodgy ignition barrel that isn’t making all the necessary contacts when you insert and turn the key each time. I’ve heard of applying a liberal coating of acetone (or a solvent such as carby cleaner or WD40 should also work) and inserting the key a few times in succession. This is sometimes enough to clean the contacts and restore full functionality.

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Why does my 2009 Holden Astra have trouble starting after sitting overnight?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Sep 2020

These cars used a fairly simply check-valve on the fuel pump to prevent fuel draining back into the tank when the car was parked. As the car ages, this valve wears to the point where it won’t maintain fuel in the lines going to the engine. If that happens, it will take some time and cranking to get fuel from the tank to the engine. This is the delay you’re experiencing.

The worn valve is only allowing a small amount of fuel to drain back which is why you need to wait six hours or so for the problem to show up. A new fuel pump will fix it.

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What oil should I use in my 2004 Honda Astra?

Answered by CarsGuide 2 Sep 2020

When talking about engine oil (as opposed to transmission, brake, power steering, differential, radiator or other types of oils found in cars) for your Holden TS Astra, a 10W-40 rating is best, though 15W-40 is good and 20W-40 is also OK. Make sure to go with a trusted brand.

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Why does my 2020 Holden Astra have an oil leak in the transmission?

Answered by CarsGuide 20 Jun 2020

You could argue the semantics of what is and isn’t a major failure till the cows come home and still not get any joy. But while I’d still be talking to the dealership, I’d also contact Holden’s Customer Service department and explain the situation to see if it will overrule the dealership’s call on this. The number to call is 1800 46 465 336.

Meantime, if the car is fixed and working properly, what’s the problem? You could get a brand-new car and have exactly the same thing happen, so where do you draw the line on what’s acceptable and what’s not? Had Holden refused to fix the car or done a botched job that still left the car with problems, it would be a different story, but if the car is back to brand-new, I would consider the problem to be solved. I’m tipping head office will see it the same way.

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