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Discussion Starter #1
Hey knowledgable folks!

Thought I'd ask on here in case anyone knew anything!

My Father in law's pitiful excuse of an Astra is being a pig of late. Particularly in the charging department. I've not looked at it properly, though I think I might over the weekend. So far he's changed the alternator, the aux belt a few times (!) and it's had a new battery. It is flattening batteries alarmingly, the charging light is going out though when its started?! It's been checked for drains of power when not running and its all OK. Its shredding aux belts though, getting through them like I do curries. Tensioner checked and replaced... I want him to scrap the piece of ****! Any ideas? It's also a pig to start and smokes quite a lot (190k on the clock) but I've put that down to him running it on "alternative fuel" (badly filtered chipfat, I've changed the fuel filter on it!) He's promised me he'll run it on proper derv in the future :rolleyes:

Astra G 'S' reg with the GM 1.7 low blow lump if that helps :)

Vauxhalls are pieces of crap, aren't they? Oh, hang on a sec...

Cheers. Bob :)
 

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Hi had a diesel Cavalier few years back with the same engine, least said the better! Only good thing was the mpg! Had a similar problem on my wife's passat, turned out it was a combination of bearing failure in the tensioner AND the alternator! When cold, the bearings seemed fine, but when running, were all over the shop resulting in snapped belts. I notice you have changed the alternator, was it new or a scrapper job? Could also be that the alternator is not the right (low) output for a diesel. Most diesels need a hefty battery for cold cranking and glow plugs, plus a hefty alternator for recharging!

Hope you get it sorted!
 

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yip make sure its the correct battery as dervs kill a under powerd battery also hase he had a look at the crank pully to make sure its not buckled as well as the alt pully? and is he getting the correct tention on the belt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Latest on this today is another belt! His mechanic is looking at it, he's not let me have a look, yet ;) Alternator is a scrapper job, its had two second hand batteries and is on a new one now, I am going assume its the correct type...

Having just spoke to him it's been running fine all day, no nasty squealing and belt destroying as it has been. Only difference is the new belt isn't a "cheapo" one, its a Goodyear one and this seems fine?! :confused: Oh well if its fixed then we'll all be happy (he keeps pinching my car when his is broke). If not then I'm going to have a butchers for definate!

Edit - just remembered he had the bottom pulley replaced yesterday, but it threw its belt off last night (which prompted me to start this thread)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its a V belt, I know cos I bought him the latest one!
 

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I've been through a similar scenario a couple of times with both the Vauxhall low-blow and the Isuzu 1.7td engines.

In the case of the Isuzu it was aftermarket belts that weren't wide enough to fit into the V in the pulleys,the difference was only 10.5mm versus 11mm but it made all the diference (the aftermarket belt being thinner and wearing the sides of it out).

In the case of the low-blow then it was a worn alternator pulley wearing the belts out prematurely.

Using second parts is always a gamble,the replacement alternator could be slightly different (although they look the same to the average person),even a slight offset difference in the mountings can throw the belt off.Different amp ratings on the units can cause problems too.

Maybe his mechanic is on to something with the crank pulley being worn,if it happens again I'd check the condition of the alternator pulley and also use a genuine belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cheers lag, cheers all for your input :)

I'll be having a look myself if it happens again, I usually do basic car stuff for him but I've not had the time since this all started happening.
 

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I must admit,I didn't know Vauxhall were still pedalling the low-blow in the Astra-G,the engine was years out of date in the Astra-F let alone the 'new,improved' Astra.

Mind you,they've caught up a bit now with the CDTi's,they are (on the whole) very good engines.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think because its a very early Astra G on the S plate I think is why it has the low blow junk in it. I'd have to check the log book for the capacity to be 100% sure though, buts its "pure" low blow just from the outer cylinder head design - 8 valver and looks just like the family II 8 valve petrols (like the Cav!) I know what the Isuzu's look like, deffo not one of them. Badged as a TD too most derv Astra Gs you see are the DTi and later CDTi as you say, lag :)
 

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Yep,the low-blow was a panic reaction from Vauxhall.They just bolted on a pump and screwed some injectors into the head of the old 8 valve petrol engine,bless 'em.:)

The Isuzu engine was OK but not the most refined.Very much a commercial vehicle engine put into a passenger car (reliable but rough).

As a works vehicle I have a Vauxhall Combo CDTi which is a 1.3 turbo diesel and it's bloody good.I believe it's in part a Fiat engine but it does go to show how far things have come in the last 10 years.I mean,did anyone really think back a few years ago that BMW owners would really have to think long and hard about a petrol or diesel engine for their new car?.

If they made diesel smell like petrol I might be interested.:d
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Modern diesels are fantastic, most of my friends have diesels now and I've never failed to impressed by the "shove" under acceleration - whatever the make. Theres no "soul" in the noise though, just clattery clattery clatter :rolleyes: Even the Cav when revved to 5.5 - 6k rpm sounds sweet, sure its no Alfa but its a petrol ;) The vans I used to drive were ace, especially my old Movano 2.5 DTi when empty it would shift!

Father in laws Astra low blow sounds quite deperate when revved, maybe due to the chipfat [email protected] he's been running it on of late. Can't do anything about making diesel smell like petrol, but if you like chips, well theres a possible solution! As for the 8 valves in general, well the petrol lumps were always tough and durable engines, pretty good in their day - my old Astra mk1 with the 1.6 8v and 90bhp was stupidly quick! The ecotecs that followed well... the less said eh?

I doubt I'll ever bother with diesel myself, 3k miles a year are not enough to warrant the higher inital cost, fuel cost then servicing - I'm lead to believe diesels are costlier to service but that probably a load of :bs: I dunno? No I'll fill my tank with "refined" fuel ta very much :)
 

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No real difference in servicing costs any more,just the fuel filter needs changing a little more often......especially if you go down the chip fat road.:d

I do feel that manufacturers have concentrated so much on diesel technology over the last few years that they've forgotten all about the humble petrol.It's only now that small petrol turbos have come into fashion,and the Alfa/Fiat multiair stuff has come out.Maybe we are having a petrol revival.......

I'm not religious but God bless petrol.:d
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ahmen brother :d

Something to put you off diesel forever (smell wise) Walk into a bus depot around 06:00 in the morning when 150 buses are being started up together. The smoke is bad enough but the smell - yuk!

Seriously impressed with the little 2 cylinder Fiat 500. A mate at work is considering replacing his Clio 1.5 DCi with one, I hope he does so I can blag a test drive, or at least a passenger ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ashtray update!

All is well regards the aux belt - new pulley and decent belt have done the trick. Also it is now being fueled by plain old fashioned diesel so it now actually runs properly too.

However the starter motor has now called it a day, apparently... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

He needs a different car asap!
 
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