Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Rob the Bus {P}
As regulars will know, I am using HF's Astra 1.7D to return to my native North-West roughly once a month. I put around 600 miles on it each trip. It is a 1991, non-turbo with 137,000 miles on the clock.

HF is worried that I am steering her car towards an early grave, but I believe that as long as the cam-belt is changed soon, and the oil and filter are changed every 3,000 miles then everything in the garden is rosy.

Your views would be appreciated (as always).

And, in case you're wondering why I don't use my own car, look at the "Horrible Cars" thread over in discussion, or click on my profile.


Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - neil
Best exercise in the world for a car - should take it in its stride with no problem whatsoever - although obviously if a CV joint or wheel bearing is starting to go, it'll hasten it - but otherwise far better than it sitting around feeling sorry for itself!
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Rob the Bus {P}

The car generally only pootles around town, doing much less than 100 miles per week so what you say makes perfect sense.

I have to say that it *does* behave impeccably - it feels like the journeys are no problem to it at all. There is some nasty vibration through the steering wheel between 70-75 so I guess a trip to Kwik Fit is in order to get the tracking done. Strong will, now Rob. The tyres/brakes/shocks are fine, the tyres/brakes/shocks are fine, the t.....
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - RichardW

Nasty vibration is likely to be wheel balance rather than tracking. Tracking tends to make the car pull to one side or wear out one side of the tyres. KF will be able to balance the wheels for you though.

As has been said the best thing you can do with cars is drive them! As long as you keep up the maintenance there will be no probs. 600 miles on the m-way is probably less stress than 100 miles round town. You do need to keep you eyes and ears peeled though - any new noises investigate them, anything looks odd investigate it. Often a cheap repair can be made before something falls off and costs you dear!

Only thing I would add is to get the coolant changed if it's not been done recently, and check the condition of all the hoses etc. A burst hose on the motorway will soon see off the engine....


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - NVH
i once fleet managed around 30+ high mileage astra vans of your vintage. the majority of the turbo versions were high-cost major maintenance: cambelts, engines. one or two non-turbos went on beyond 150k, but were only really any use as local runabouts. the best loved examples were scrap at 170k.
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Hugo {P}

Suggest you carry on driving it. Diesels go on for up to 250K without any probs. My Renault Trafic Van has done 185K without incident.

Leave HF the lovely Golf, she'll appreciate the Astra (and you possibly) when you bring it back :)

Or is that the real reason she's moaning at you!

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - HF

I don't moan, I 'make points' ;)

Anyway I am not convinced. NVH's comment has made me very, very worried!

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - frostbite
I should think all those cobbled streets will give the suspension & steering a good bashing.

'Ecky thump' and all that!
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Dynamic Dave
HF, the way I read & understood NVH's message was that he managed a fleet of Astras similar to yours. Now chances are these were driven in a similar way to how some people treat hire cars - that being people just get in them and drive them. Some get thrashed to within an inch of their lives, some are wheelspun everywhere, etc, etc. Abuse is the main car killer. If you don't own the car then there's less likelyhood you'll look after it. I'm sure Rob will treat it with the respect it deserves.
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - HF
Yikes I hadn't even thought of the cobblestones! Or indeed, until now, how lucky I am that it has thus far returned home with all four wheels intact, bearing in mind the area to which it travels ;)

But thanks, Dave, you are close to reassuring me again. I know it's good for a car to get the occasional bash on the motorway, but isn't adding 600+ miles to it every month going to prove detrimental pretty quickly? Rob does, though, treat it with all due respect, because he knows the price he would have to pay if anything went wrong :)

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - nick
All that poo from the racing pigeons is a pain too and I find whippets get stuck under the wheel arches. I also fit cloth cap deflectors to the leading edge of the bonnet otherwise they get stuck under the wiper blades.
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Dynamic Dave
Just a gentle reminder. This is Technical Matters, NOT the discussion forum.
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - neil
Just been talking to the manager of our fleet of almost a thousand vehicles... he fondly remembers the Astra diesel van (normally aspirated) as THE most reliable vehicle we've ever had on the fleet, and we ran quite a few.
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Hugo {P}
HF and Rob.

I think what you've got to take into account is that 137K is pretty respectable mileage for an Astra diesel.

The fact of the matter is that you could replace it with a lower mileage one for very little, when you need to, which from what other people are saying should not be for a while yet, even with Rob doing 600 mile round trips.

Make sure it's regularly serviced and don't skimp on things like cambelt changes etc, and it should last you for ages.

The things that differentiate this car from the fleet examples that have been listed are:

1) Rob's 600 mile trips are I assume mainly motorway driving at constant speeds, the fleet examples are short journeys, RBC types revving the guts out of them to overtake a snail etc.

2) This car is owned and driven by only the two of you, so you are well used to the car. Fleet vehicles are often driven my several different people in their life times. Thherefore your car does not have to provide a damaging learning curve.

3) You will find ways to run your car economically. Fleet managers tend to look at one single cost structure, ie main dealer servicing etc at anything upwards of £50 per hour. Changing light bulbs etc you can do yourself and I'm sure your clutch won't cost the earth when you need to do it. Suggest oop north may be cheaper though.

Hence it will be longer before the car is considered uneconomic to run.

Also, If you come to need things like a gearbox etc, there are plenty of good 2nd hand units out there with guarantee.

HF, if you're still not convinced get Rob to P ex his golf for another Astra Diesel!

Hope this puts minds at rest.

Will I break HF\'s beloved Astra? - DL
\"i once fleet managed around 30 high mileage astra vans of your vintage. the majority of the turbo versions were high-cost major maintenance\"

I\'ll second that! I\'ve had experience of a fleet of GM Low-Blow TD vans - awful to say the least! Turbos, engines, head gaskets, gearboxes - you name it we changed it.
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Altea Ego
"Will I break HF's beloved Astra?"

If you are very very lucky.............
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Hugo {P}
"Will I break HF's beloved Astra?"
If you are very very lucky.............

Rob I can assure you of two things if you do break it;

We'll all read all about it and...

It'll be all your fault!

Oh - and HF will be 'making points' about it for months to come I'm sure!

Have a great holiday when you go!

Will I break HF\'s beloved Astra? - Mark (RLBS)
Average mileage of a car is around 12,000 p.a. I believe.

That equates to 250 odd miles a week.

HF\'s 100 miles per week and Rob\'s 600 miles per month equate to 200 miles a week.

So, hardly high mileage and less damaging than just normal existance around town.

On the other hand, it is old, and it has done 137,000. It isn\'t going to improve from what it is now.

I would guess that HF & Rob\'s 1,000 miles per month is going to make it die quicker than just HF\'s 400 miles per month. But, in reality, probably not that much quicker. And the fact that Rob\'s mileage is motorway isn\'t going to particularly harm it as long as he isn\'t thrashing the wotsits off it.

If the car is good for say 170,000 then it will die in 4 years time rather than 8 years time - lets be honest, 4 years from now the engine probably won\'t be the problem - everything else will have broken !

Oh, and by the way, Dave or I will move this to Discussion later. Done. DD.

I thought you\'d prefer that to me cutting all the not technical stuff out of the thread !

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Amin_{p}
guys guys, dont scare her. HF this is what i do to my car

12 year old AX, 1.4 diesel, non-turbo, 142K, cambelt changed at 70K

1) ok, four evenings per week, I work as a take away delivery driver, and i use, no sorry abuse the car, as if it was one foot in the grave already. I sometimes feel sorry for the car, and give it a pat on the back - sorry boot- when I park it on the drive. I do 300 miles per week just on that. start and turn off the car 20 time on average per day and 5 out of 10 times, I am burning rubber as I pull from the lights, because the an average person will only call for a take away AFTER they get hungry, not BEFORE, to allow time for the food to get there. Which means getting there one minute earlier can make the difference between getting a tip and getting a phone call to the shop asking where the hell am I. Add to that driving about 80 miles in city and how many times you stop and start at light to cover that, you can imagine , what Rob will do to your Astra, is merely a stride in the park.

2) make a 500 mile round trip to London every two weeks. I don?t drop below 80mph and the car does not go more than 95 (maximum I ever did in it).

3) a few weeks ago, a friend of mine visited England and she was here for one week. In this one week, this is the route we went with the car MANCHESTER-LONDON-OXFORD-BIRMINGHAM-LANCASTER-STOKE-LAKE DISTRICT-GLASGO-EDINBURGH- LAKE DISTRICT-LONDON-MANCHESTER. I think it was a total round trip of about 2500 miles (with the distance we covered in each city). And the car was an angle, we just drove, filled with diesel and drove more.

You may think I am crazy, BUT, I do look after the car. Every noise, every glitch, every little squeak, every little tick, all are investigated, traced, corrected unless I am happy its not a problem which can worsen. I change oil and filter every 3000 miles, and every two weeks just do a general inspection, oil, cooling, fluids?. So doing what I do to it, does not come easily. If you take care of your car, it will pay rich dividend, otherwise, expect an early grave for it. It just its passed MOT without any problems, other than replacing a front wheel bearing, which after 140k is reasonable.

Hope this will give you some strength of heart!
Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - HF
Hi Amin, yes it does, and thanks for posting.

From what everybody has said, it seems I have no real reason for barring my car from those long journeys. I'll just have to make sure it gets plenty of TLC on its return.

Still find it hard to accept that this may halve the remainder of its life, and have tentatively suggested that Mr HF gets a similar car (his and hers Astras, how quaint).

In the meantime, I suppose I will have to continue putting up with the flippin' Golf.

Thanks Mark for moving the thread.

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Mark (RLBS)

I think you need to refer back to the thread entitled "Do we molly-coddle cars ?" for more comfort.

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - HF
Ok, ok, I see I am fighting a losing battle here since not one of you agrees with me!

The consensus on the mollycoddling thread seems to be just do oil changes, cambelt and nothing else, so, apart from the hoses suggested above I'll have to live with that.

Will I break HF's beloved Astra? - Rob the Bus {P}
Thanks, all, for your informative replies.

I guess that the Orpington branch of Kwik Fit will be doing a few oil changes on a certain Astra in the not too distant future.




Value my car