2016 Astra K SRI Sports Tourer: preservation of ECU life

When I picked up my new Mazda, some years ago, I was told that to start the car you should first turn on the ignition to its second position. Then you should wait until all the vehicle ECU checks were done and all the warning lights extinguished. Finally, you should turn the key to the third position to engage the starter and, hey presto, the car is running with no strain on the ECU. The car was faultlessly reliable when I followed this advice, which seemed reasonable. Why tell me unless there was something in it?

Coming new to the Astra K, I tried to follow the same advice. But - when to depress the clutch and when to finally engage the starter.

I actually achieved it once. A full sweep of the instruments followed by fuel gauge rising to its displayed level - then a turn of the key and engine start up without more sweeps. What I did - the exact sequence - I don't know. Every other time after that I have had the first sweep - followed by a second sweep after the engine is running. My Mazda car never re-entered ECU checks after I had started following the recommended procedure. Why does it on the Astra K?

How do you let the electronics settle down before you start your 2016 Astra K so you don't get "two swings" on start up? Or does it not matter?

Asked on 18 November 2016 by Finston Pickle

Answered by Honest John
Don't know. The latest generation of cars are beset with weird electronic processes. Obviously depress the clutch before you turn the key at all. Then, if it's a diesel, it pauses for about 5 seconds before it starts. If it's a petrol and the low pressure tank sender pump has primed the high pressure pump it should start instantly. A quirk of Astras a few generations ago was that they located the ECU inside the left hand front mudguard which was a fairly hostile place for it to be.
Tags: ecu
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