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12-03-2009, 09:49   #1
Sniipe
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Opel Astra won't start now

I have a car that won't start. Its a 02 Opel Astra. We thought the fuel pump was the problem as there was nothing being pumped thru it. Anyway, we got another fuel pump from Traynors. It worked for a bit, as in it was pumping fuel, but it stopped soon after (the duration it took me to go and get jump leads)

I'm just wondering if there could be something else wrong? The battery is fine and the engine turns over.

Up till now we used to be able to start the car 95% of the time. Then if we rattled the fuel pump (under the back seat) it would work...

Any ideas?
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12-03-2009, 10:38   #2
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I've seen it before OP on this make & model where the cat is just off the exhaust manifold and what can happen is the working material inside it can collapse and stop the engine breathing normally. I've seen it once or twice where this stops the engine from starting or it will stop immediately after starting and when you this problem, it actually looks like an engine fuel starvation problem.

I'd suggest first checking if the cat in your car is the vertical type that sits between the radiator and the engine block. If it is, the lambda sensor is in the exhaust manifold just above the cat. Take out the lambda sensor and if the cat is blocked and is causing your problem here, the engine will start as it will be able to let the exhaust gases out through the hole for the lambda sensor. At least if the engine runs, you'll know what your problem is.
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12-03-2009, 10:55   #3
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Cheers Darragh29, I'll have a look at that this evening, and I'll report back and let you know if that was the case. Thanks.
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12-03-2009, 10:59   #4
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Sorry to hijack the thread but I'm having a problem with my '99 Opel Astra Estate this morning.It seems that I've lost the power steering and the red battery light is on.I've checked under the bonnet and the fan belt seems to be working fine.After say 30mins of driving the battery light goes out and the power steering comes back briefly then goes again.The 2 seem to be linked.Any ideas?
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12-03-2009, 11:14   #5
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Sorry to hijack the thread but I'm having a problem with my '99 Opel Astra Estate this morning.It seems that I've lost the power steering and the red battery light is on.I've checked under the bonnet and the fan belt seems to be working fine.After say 30mins of driving the battery light goes out and the power steering comes back briefly then goes again.The 2 seem to be linked.Any ideas?
Sound like the drive belt is slipping. Not tight enough? Oil from the PS pump shaft seal getting on the belt?
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12-03-2009, 11:53   #6
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Cheers Darragh29, I'll have a look at that this evening, and I'll report back and let you know if that was the case. Thanks.
I think OP just revisit also the fuel pump. You mentioned that if you rattled it, it would kick in for a bit. I think there are tiny little rubber O rings on each pipe that connects into the fuel pump. If any of these are damaged or missing, you'll have air being drawn into the fuel line. I'd take these pipes out and check that they are properly seating into the pump connections and just check that all is in order here. Also check the electrical connector block to the fuel pump, check each pin and make sure the connections are healthy there...

I do remember though when I had the issue I described above with the blocked cat, that myself and also another lad were convinced we were dealing with a fuel supply problem. There is a little valve (the same type as a tyre valve), in the fuel line up at the engine bay (I think it is not too far away from the coil pack), if you press this valve needle in, you can tell whether you have fuel pressure after turning the ignition key to "assessories" position. Just be warned that fuel will spray out to take the usual fire & safety precautions, no ignition, no smokers and no hot engines around!
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12-03-2009, 19:04   #7
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Sound like the drive belt is slipping. Not tight enough? Oil from the PS pump shaft seal getting on the belt?
hmmm thanks Art! It seems like the belt was a wee bit loose alright.Seems to be fine now after tightning.Thanks for the tip!
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12-03-2009, 22:16   #8
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Just to add to this as it doesnt sound like a blocked cat, have very rarely seen this on astras.

First can I ask what led you to believe it was the fuel pump? Were you not getting fuel pressure? If so, I would doubt it is the pump as I have never changed one on an astra. One thing to check is are you getting power at your fuel pump. You can check this under your back seat at the tank. You should be getting 12 volts on the blue/red wire. Your problem sounds a bit like something I have seen before a few times. If you are losing the 12 volts when the car will not start, It sounds like an ecu problem. Not sure if you understand the workings of a car much, but basicly, the fuel pump is controlled by a relay, and the relay is controlled by the ecu. The ecu turns the relay on by providing it with an earth. On the X14XE and Z14XE engines the ECU's develop a fault which causes the fuel pump relay to lose its earth and turn the fuel pump off. Its not a very common problem but it is one of the few causes I have seen for losing fuel pressure on an astra g 1.4. See this thread for more information and how to check if this is your problem.

If this doesnt seem like your problem, post back and I will try solve it for you.


As for the other posters problem, it is not oil getting on the belt from the power steering pump as that model has electro-hydraulic power steering, meaning that it is hydraulic power steering, but instead of a belt driven pump, it is run by an electric motor, which is built into the power steering bottle mounted on the steering rack at the back right of the engine.

It sounds like you have an alternator problem, as if you loose power steering it is due to an electrical problem rather than a belt issue. It is possible that the belt is slipping but only it is very badly worn, they usually dont suffer from this as they have an automatic tensioner which should keep the belt tight. I would suspect the alternator is on its way out. Is it a 1.7 diesel by any chance? I have replace quite a few alternators on these models as they seem to give a small bit of trouble. If it is not a 1.7, I have also replaced the alternators on a few petrols but not near as many.

Hope this helps one/both of you! Let me know how you get on and I will try help more if necessary.
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12-03-2009, 23:16   #9
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Just to add to this as it doesnt sound like a blocked cat, have very rarely seen this on astras.
I'm not saying that this is the OP's problem for sure, but I did get this tip from Opel who advised me that it is one of their first checks for Astra's with serious running problems and apparently in the Astra's with the vertically aligned cat just after the exhaust manifold it is a common enough issue, especially on the older Astra's. You can kind of see how this could become a problem when the cat is orientated vertically with an inlet port at the top and an outlet port at the bottom, and any of the active charcoal material that becomes dislodged within the cat matrix will obviously fall down into the outlet port for the cat.

If you have concerns about the pump OP, take it out and connect it electrically and cycle the pump by turning the ignition to "assessories" and see if the pump is consistently working. You can check the fuel pressure up at the valve I was telling you about earlier, don't forget the precautions I mentioned...

EDIT: Also OP, have you checked the coil pack for a spark at each cylinder??? This is the most routine problem with your car...
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13-03-2009, 00:20   #10
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Carbsy replace your alternator. I know it doesn't make sense but I've been there.
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13-03-2009, 00:23   #11
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Sniipe check your pump. Its posible to get a faulty one. Also check electrical connections.
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13-03-2009, 00:41   #12
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Carbsy replace your alternator. I know it doesn't make sense but I've been there.
Go back to bed...
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13-03-2009, 00:42   #13
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Sniipe check your pump. Its posible to get a faulty one. Also check electrical connections.
Ditto
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13-03-2009, 01:21   #14
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Sorry to hijack the thread but I'm having a problem with my '99 Opel Astra Estate this morning.It seems that I've lost the power steering and the red battery light is on.I've checked under the bonnet and the fan belt seems to be working fine.After say 30mins of driving the battery light goes out and the power steering comes back briefly then goes again.The 2 seem to be linked.Any ideas?
exact same happened my gfs last astra a 00 one. it was the alternator, got it reconditioned though rather than replaced.

the battery light flashed on hers, and the power steering went also
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13-03-2009, 01:22   #15
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Go back to bed...
hes right re carbsys problem
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