Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse

I have two parts to my question, 1) legal 2) technical car question

we bought a Left hand Vauxhall Astra via a dealership Nov 23rd, 2016. For the last say 2 months it goes really slow when you accelerate at certain times (no defined pattern) but often at say a roundabout when pulling away or when switching lanes on motorway, it lasts about 45 seconds on a roundabout but on straight driving about 3 seconds so it will mantain speed at say 60 miles an hour but wont go any faster than that, then it speeds up suddenely.

Then last night the gears kept sticking and wouldnt be moved, we had to keep driving as there was no hard shoulder and no where safe to stop. We made it to a carpark where it died and had to be towed.

Any ideas what this could be and what are our chances of the dealership backing down when I threaten small court action against them AND finance company as the onus is on them to prove the fault did not exist previously right? The salesman told me "you are out of warranty when I called today and to foget it" but I am relying on consumer legislation the goods not being fit for purpose etc.

Be good to have sme theories on what the issues could be in case they try to hoodwink me etc

Thanks all in advance

PS the finance lady said her 12 year old Jag did this and it was a 5 min job of reconnecting a cable underneath that fixed it?

Edited by Jerrymouse on 04/04/2017 at 18:04

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Terry W

I know this will sound somewhat harsh but:

- the car is 13 years old

- you have owned it for 4 or 5 months

- LHD has little value in UK

- it will almost cost more to open the bonnet than the car is worth

Unless the dealer has all the attributes of a gentleman, and no financial nous, I would not hold out much hope.

The lack of acceleration may be a simple cable problem which may/may not be easily traced. However unless the car has a complex auto box the gear problem is likely to be a new cable/adjustment (cheapish) or clutch (more than the car is worth).

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse

Yes I appreciate this but I paid or have to pay for the next 2 years a loan of £4000, my husband doesnt work, only me so this isnt something we can just take on the chin, its a diesel so hoped that even with high mileage it has some life in it yet, certainly didnt plan for it to only last us 4 months when it cost £4K

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - RobJP

I cannot imagine that any person in their right mind would have bought a 13 year old Astra diesel for £4000. It's worth more like £1k, and that's being generous, on a good day, and sold to someone with a white stick.

If it's a manual, then quite possibly a clutch problem. In which case the CRA, whilst it technically still applies, doesn't really - someone could quite easily wreck a clutch in a matter of minutes if they were really trying, and quite feasibly destroy a good clutch through 'normal' driving if riding the clutch a bit in a few months. You'd have to show that the fault was 'present or developing' at the time of purchase.

If it's an auto, then yes, CRA should apply. But you still come down to what is 'reasonable expectations' for a 13 year old car, which is approaching the end o it's normal life.

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse

Thanks for taking the time to respond

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - SLO76
£4,000 for a thirteen year old left hand drive Astra!!!! That's insane on a car worth £1,500 tops.

Any warranty you got on such an old car will be next to worthless too with 'normal wear and tear' likely to be an easy get out for the firm at this age.

The last thing you should've bought on limited budget is a complex turbo diesel especially one with an autobox. On a tight budget you need to keep things as simple as possible.

As for likely faults. I'm assuming the engine is revving cleanly and this is a gearbox problem. Torque converter failure is quite common on Astra autos especially the diesels but I'll hazard a bet that the gearbox has never had an oil change. Vauxhall themselves describe it as sealed for life but this is nonsense as all oils degrade over time and at 13yrs old it'll be like treacle. First step is checking if there are any fault codes stored and if not then get the gearbox oil changed.

If it's power loss from the engine itself then it could be any number of things. Is it an Astra H 1.9 diesel or the older Astra G 2.0?

As for getting the dealer to fix a 13yr old car 6mths after taking delivery your chances are slim to none.

I really feel for you here, it sounds like you've really been ripped off. The dealer won't have paid more than £700-£800 for this through the ring and you should have saught help when looking for a cheap car. Had you bought it for what it was worth then it would be a lesson learned but £4K is a painful one.
Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse

Thanks for taking the time to reply and help

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse

so it turned out to be a faulty erg valve which garage sorted for £400 and all is okay now

My husand says yes car more than usual cost as it has a sunroof which he wanted

posted the fault in case anyone else googling this problem

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Andrew-T

I'm assuming that having bought a LHD car, you aren't in the UK, but having mentioned the sum of £4K it seems you may be. If you are in the UK, there seems no point in buying such a car, as driving one is that much harder, as UK visitors to the continent will know. But there is certainly no point in paying that much for it, unless that loan includes something else?

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - SLO76
There are a couple of dealers in the U.K. which specialise in left hand drive cars, at hugely inflated prices. I assume largely aimed at people with holiday homes or other reason to visit the continent regularly as lhd is a huge inconvenience and safety issue in Britain and insurers charge accordingly.
Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse
There are a couple of dealers in the U.K. which specialise in left hand drive cars, at hugely inflated prices. I assume largely aimed at people with holiday homes or other reason to visit the continent regularly as lhd is a huge inconvenience and safety issue in Britain and insurers charge accordingly.

got inusrance for £1500 which whilst extortionate didnt seem unreasonable given in the eyes of the UK my husand is a newly qualified driver (although drove in the US for 28 years)

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Jerrymouse
There are a couple of dealers in the U.K. which specialise in left hand drive cars, at hugely inflated prices. I assume largely aimed at people with holiday homes or other reason to visit the continent regularly as lhd is a huge inconvenience and safety issue in Britain and insurers charge accordingly.

Husband is American so wanted what he ised to driving

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - SLO76
"Husband is American so wanted what he ised to driving"

While I understand this, driving on the left hand side of the car seriously limits visibility when overtaking slow moving vehicles and is a risk which should only be entertained short term for example when on holiday for a couple of weeks. I personally find it very easy to switch between driving on the right and left, it only takes a few miles to acclimatise and vastly reduces the risk on the road both to himself, his passengers and to others.

Plus as we've seen here it hugely limits your ability to find a good used car. £1,500 for insurance is less than I expected but is around six times what I'm paying on £25,000 worth of SUV. Still not enough when considering how much more of a risk you are on our roads driving on the left. I'd introduce a tax of £1,000 a year to deter people from driving lhd cars here longterm. Sorry if I sound harsh but I knew a family who were wiped out by a driver who was using a similar vehicle here for the same reasons. He was French, a teacher at a local school and he killed a family of 3 when he pulled out into their path at speed and himself too.

It's time to get with the locals and drive on the other side of the car. Get rid of the complex diesel auto, it will be a never ending moneypit and find a simple petrol model for less money, preferebly something Japanese. But get it to a local garage first to see if it can be rectified cheaply in order to sell it. Remember it isn't worth more than about £800 if running ok and has at least 6mths Mot so if it's going to cost more than a few hundred quid to fix then bin it.

If there's an expensive car finance product outstanding then take out a much cheaper bank loan and pay it off. You should do this even if you keep the car because I'll bet the loan rate is also sky high.

Edited by SLO76 on 04/04/2017 at 20:36

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - skidpan

so it turned out to be a faulty erg valve which garage sorted for £400 and all is okay now

My husand says yes car more than usual cost as it has a sunroof which he wanted

posted the fault in case anyone else googling this problem

You have ended up paying £4400 for a virtually worthless car just because your husband wanted a sunroof. Looking on Autotrader you can get a 2004 Astra diesel for less than £1500, most are less than £1000. You have paid £3400 for a sunroof and LHD (which no one else wants.

Bargain.

Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - SLO76
"You have ended up paying £4400 for a virtually worthless car just because your husband wanted a sunroof. Looking on Autotrader you can get a 2004 Astra diesel for less than £1500, most are less than £1000. You have paid £3400 for a sunroof and LHD (which no one else wants."

I was offered a 2004 Astra H 1.8 auto recently with 66,000 miles and a nearly complete history but short Mot for £500 a few weeks back. I bid him £400 which was angrily refused. Best I'd get back for it would be £1k with a years ticket (older autos are a hard sell) so it wasn't worth more to me.

The older gent in question was outraged by my offer so I politely wished him well and walked away. After nearly a month of trying to flog it for £500 his son gave up (after not a single inquiry) and text me last night to accept my initial £400 offer but with now no Mot and the anger in his fathers eyes when I origionally bid him I decided to leave it be.

This is the true value of a 13yr old Astra auto I'm afraid, and this one had a sunroof too.
Vauxhall Astra left hand drive 2004 - Vauhall Astra wont accelerate and then gears stuck - Avant

Jerrymouse, I'm sorry that you didn't get more sympathy on here, but glad that the repair wasn't too catastrophically expensive.

I know I'd be in the same boat as you if I were buying something where I'd no experience; unfortunately the 'right price' for a dealer is what someone else will pay, and in this case they seriously overcharged you.

Next time you buy a used car, you may like to look at 'cars for sale' on this site, and you'll be able to see what a typical price would be for the car you have in mind, or alternatively see what you can get for the amount you want to spend. Generally only go for a diesel if you do a very high annual mileage. Older diesels can be very expensive when they go wrong, cancelling out any fuel saving (and the newer the petrol engine, the less the gap in consumption between petrol and diesel).

 

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