Automatic transition

Our 2005 Astra 1.8 Auto has just become a near write-off. The auto gearchange stopped working and when we took it to two Vauxhall garages both said that fluid had leaked from the radiator into the gearbox and wrecked it. Replacing them will cost £4,000. This isn't much less than the value of the car, which has done 35000 miles. Vauxhall has offered to pay £1,500 towards the cost. It's out of warranty so they're not contractually obliged to pay anything. But is this a rare incident and do you think the offer is reasonable?

Asked on 13 February 2010 by T.F., via e-mail

Answered by Honest John
It's rare on Astras because there aren't all that many Astra autos. It was very common on Mercedes built 2000 - 2004. The heat exchanger for the autobox lives in the header tank of the radiator, so, if the joints fail, coolant gets into the autobox fluid. I think Vauxhall's offer is reasonably fair. I will include a warning in car-by-car breakdown at hjuk.
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