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Disastra Estate in a state... - Bye Bye

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Now on a proper computer, time for wright up. 

So yes, I ended up with this from a good family friend, who i'll refer to as M. At my brothers wedding back at June M told me that since he was retiring this year to go travel Europe in his camper again but for a extended period, he'd have no need for his car and offered it to me for a price I could't refuse. I forgot about this partly, because much drink was consumed that night. The other month M asked my dad if I was still interested in said car, and said it'd be September it'd be ready, and he was't sure if to bother putting it threw an MOT or not. He then went and put it thew a test, which it failed, nothing major, then let me know. I decided to go ahead with it.  I should add that id never seen the car. All i knew was what it was and what engine it had...

As I stated, in the News24, i got a message this morning (2am or so) from M, with intentionally bad photo of a close up of the rear of the car with a very basic message. He'd been away down south for the last week and was coming back north. So i expected to go to Aberdeen and collect the car. 

Little did I know that he'd plonked it at mine in the morning (sometime after 5am I guess,  as I went to bed then) and put the keys threw the letterbox, then he got a lift from my dad to Aberdeen. 

So the first I saw of it was when Id opened the door to Supernaut looking confused as to why i'd called him for a lift to collect a car that was in my driveway. 


What can i say? Its Grim to look at, but rather nice. most of the panels have been painted badly at some point, rust marks over most of it and generally needs a good clean and touch up. The interior is well worn and again needed a good clean, the drivers seat needs replaced though as its badly worn. You can see where it'd been used as a 'business car' in the past due to markings from stickers on the rear. Also of note is the roof rack and tow bar, with a with marker board left for me too although ive removed the roof rack now! On top of that ive also got a 'netting' device that you install behind the front seats into mounting points and is meant to stop things going into the front...proper luggage loader. 

So its the 1.7 diesel, manual and has just crossed over 196,000 miles as of me driving it today. Handles and purrs like a dream. 




I decided to give it a run to the local Halfrauds in Aberdeen for wiper blades and some scenic views...


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One is a rusty heap of crap that should be in the sea, the other is a boat.




It's alright actually. The interior reacted well to a going over with some dashboard wipes, then we spent the afternoon cruising around in it listening to some hardcore dance compilation CDs. The front driver's side speaker doesn't work though. Sad times. I particularly like the squirty cream lid as a tow ball cover:



It has evidently had some expert* bodywork repairs in the past, too:


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Welcome to the boringly reliable club, 

Joe who owned mine before had it running 50/50 veg and it didn't seem to bother it. 

With the external corrosion present it would be worth having a look at the subframe. If the undertray is fitted remove it and look. Mine had rotted through on the wishbone mounts. 


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So as I said in News24 I had it in over the pit at work on Monday night...


Had a good poke about under it and it’s surprisingly clean underneath!



Only thing that jumped out at me was  the backbox had a few small holes in it. All good. 

Last night I wanted to see how bad the arches were, so during my brake I quickly took a grinder to the OSR. Thankfully all surface rust, so quickly slapped some paint on to cover.


Looks 10 times better! Just don’t look at it up close. Don’t worry, I’ll be buffing it all down again in the weekend to apply aqua-steel, then do a proper job of painting it.


Lovely little thing it is! :)


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I hate diesels and I HATE manual cars, but... I borrowed an absolutely hanging Astra diesel estate from an (ex) friend for a week or two last year. It had done galactic mileage with sweet f.a. servicing, never been cleaned inside or out and didn't have a straight panel on it. Poor old thing. However, apart from sounding a tad 'agricultural' it drove really well, which rather surprised me! If it had been an auto I would have considered rescuing it from Colin (the wanker) as it deserved better.

I reckon based on my 'extensive' knowledge of Astra diesel estates (just the one) you will be onto a winner with that :) 

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I'm not usually a fan of Vauxhalls either, but the interior of this feels a lot less cringe-inducing than the Omega I had back in 2016. Perhaps because this isn't trying too hard, it's just a utilitarian car.
I was going to say...when the car is basic a cheap interior fits in. It's when that basic cheap interior is used in the larger premium cars that it becomes an issue.

I've never seen such a step back in interior quality and ergonomics as there is with the pre and post-facelift Omegas.

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, twosmoke300 said:

Couldn’t cope with the semi liquid grease it was asked to pump around it guessing ?

No. I think the consistency was more like bitumen adhesive. That’s how they roll. Every year I’ll get a phone call... ‘Cars smoking and it feels really slow’. I’ve taken to giving a phone based diagnosis now. 

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1 hour ago, Andyrew said:

Could the mk4 astra be the next autoshite craze?



With regards to how well they engines are, one work mate had one as his first car. Was 2 teeth out on the timing and still worked fine. Another had the same engine in a van and reckons it had a HGF for about a year and all he did was keep topping up the water.  

I’ll be giving it a service tomorrow hopefully. As well as oil and fuel filters, as well as oil, I’ve been recommended to throw in some injector cleaner too. Normally wouldn’t bother but seeing how well it worked with the 316 and the guys who used to have said made a difference, so worth a punt. 

I gave it a wash today, although wouldn’t know! The paintwork is that fucked! Wash, clean and ‘quick detail spry’ all did nothin. But least I’ve gotten a lot of the greenery off. 

Never bothered with a photo, as it literally looks the same but with more shiny glass...


So random photo of the window sticker I move from car to car!

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Taking the parents to the Tank museum for Tiger day. So Aberdeen to Somerset and this is the first stop of the night..

The EML light kicked in again! Just down the road from the services(M74) right as the hills started. Nice lack of power when needed...


So a rest stop should cure it as it has in the past. Failing that it’s a ‘master reset’. My dad will take the wheel next too, his first proper go with the car! 

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My mother in law had one of these on a 53 plate but it was the 2.0dti version. That went very well until the fuel pump started acting up.

She ended up scrapping it due to this as the failing pump often made it impossible to start and she was often left stranded and all it would do is turn over and over and over.

Shame really as it was very clean and drove so well when it worked.

Cheers Ben 

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Fantastic motors these, that the Isuzu lump in that? They are capable of huge loads, huge mileages and great MPGs., plus they withstand masses of abuse. Those that say Vauxhall stopped making decent cars with Mk3 Cavaliers and Mk2 Astras etc are talking bollocks.

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So done a little experiment to find out what sets the EML off and we have came to the conclusion it’s speed related...

Only comes on once you’ve been doing over a set speed for over 10 minutes. The lack of boost that seems to happen once the EML comes on then isn’t really an issue due to the fact your going fast already. So a pull off into a services, engine off then wait 5 mins minimum and then it’s fine. Will really need to throw a code reader on to see what it says. 

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