Do you know your car's MoT and mileage history? Our user profiles will show you for FREE | No thanks
2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling - Nicks50
Astra G 2002 1.6 8v Petrol Club Estate 19,000 miles
No fault lights on dashboard

Can someone HELP please this exceptionally frustrated driver!

After about a year of buying the car we noticed a slight surging or fluttering after about 30 mins driving. It now does it at anytime. It also stalls when coming to junctions and roundabouts. So have to rev hard and use the handbrake to keep the revs up!
My regular mechanic has replaced the crank shaft sensor and cleaned out the throttle assembly but now seems to be completely stumped.

He recommended I take it to the local Vauxhall dealer and get them to hook it up to their testing equip. Did this and it found no faults codes.

Have read here that other Astra owners have had problems with the EGR valve but was told by Vauxhall and my mechanic that the fault light would show on the dash.

Also read here that there has been a ECU update from v5 to v6 which in affect shuts off the EGR valve. Also that blanking off the EGR valve could be an option.

The car starts perfectly and idles well (except when stalling, as above).

Would appreciate any help as my wife (who's main driver) is giving me considerable grief!

PS - Summer holidays coming up and need a reliable car!!!

Edited by Webmaster on 24/07/2008 at 23:08

2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling - medion
Go to your garage and ask them to either or even better replace the tickover idle vavle.They regularly clog up and the breather pipes too.I cant be 100% positive about this but judging by your questions and problem id say thats the culprit.
2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling - Number_Cruncher
>>replace the tickover idle vavle

There isn't one, on this engine, the idle speed is controlled via the ECU and electric throttle plate motor.

As a diagnostic step, I would temporarily block the EGR. During our EGR trouble, the engine management light didn't come on.

Alternatively, take it to a dealer, who can check the EGR valve position, and, if it is fully closed, update the ECU software which will disable it thereafter.

2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling - topbloke
agree with NC i will almost garantee that is a egr fault, surprised that the dealer did not know/advise that it was likely to be this, post up the engine code and i will see if i can find the field remedy
2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling EGR problems - debwilson
Hi, I have had the same problem with the Astra stalling at roundabouts and jumping around like a kangaroo. When this first happened, a year ago almost to the day, I paid hundreds of pounds to have it looked at, things changed and renewed - eventually gave up when I was told by Vauxhalls that it was the camber in the road! Quick Exit from auxhalls after paying for their poor advice and an upgrade of the ECU (which I also had to pay for and then find that they upgraged my automatic with the software for a manual) - was told that this software had 'over-ridden' the EGR valve and should cure it. - wrong. I paid for a new egr valve and fitting the day before taking to get the software upgraded but still it played up for a while. It went on so long and with so many arguments with Vauxhall Head Office who would not entertain me because in their eyes I had taken it to micky mouse and they would not take responsibilty for someone elses errors (even though they had caused one themselves!) I found a mechanics website that claimed there was a bulletin on the engine number one before mine in which all the engines had to have the EGR valves removed and replaced. Vauxhall denied this even though I found the report on line! How can Vauxhalls 'over-ride' a component and then say it was not a fault just an upgrade to improve the performance - you don't just eliminate the need for something unless there is a problem with it or it has to be improved to find a way round it - I have spoken to several other astra owners who have the same problems and most have had the EGR valve blanked off. Strangly my car does not run with the egr as it has been 'over-ridden' on the software, but it is still there and I have not replaced it with the blanking plate. Question - if the ECU is running without the egr valve then why has my car for the past three days been doing the same old Kangarooing, cutting out and losing power... can anyone help me as the garage is now saying that the problem is not coming up on the diagnostics and no engine management light comes on.... at a loss of what to do and so are the garage. No point in taking it back to Vauxhalls as they had no idea what was wrong???? help please. Debby (administrator not a mechanic)
2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling EGR problems - hippychick
I had the same problems and as i said in my thread, double check that vauxhall have disconnected the egr valve as they stated. I went to one v/hall dealer and was told that the egr valve could not be disconnected or blanked off cause I had a 16valve engine and it can only be done on an 8valve engine?? . I then went to another v/hall dealer and was told yes that I can blank off egr valve and disconnect from ecu no bother, so I booked car in and got the work done. I still felt that the car could have performed better but it was running. then it started to kangaroo bop and stall. until it finally cut out. The car started no bother but couldnt keep idle and would just die. finally had a good look under bonnet, because their was a strange noise coming everytime the car cut out like electrics or something. Thats when i discovered that even though v/hall had blanked it off, it was still connected and trying to work. I didnt have anything show up on the diagnostics either. I reckon that you should try some independent mechanic rather than v/hall.
2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling EGR problems - Number_Cruncher
First point - please write in paragraphs - reading large blocks of text is difficult.

Before applying the software upgrade that disables the EGR, the mechanic should check that the valve is fully closed - this can be done by reading the valve's feedback value using Tech 2. If the valve is not fully closed, it should be replaced.

Once the valve has been checked, and the software upgraded, the EGR should no longer be ebing commanded by the ECU. Normally, if the EGR were disconnected, the engine management light should be lit, but, once upgraded, this too has been diabled, meaning that it is OK to diconnect the valve.

If the check to ensure the valve is closed is properly varried out, and the software updated, and the EGR disabled, then there is no need for a blanking plate. In our car, we had this trouble before Vauxhall updated the software, so, I was forced to use a blanking plate.

>>I reckon that you should try some independent mechanic rather than v/hall.

Normally, I would agree, but, in this case more specific engine knowledge is needed than is generally available in the independant sector.

Typically in a Vauxhall garage there will be 1 or 2 mechanics who really know what they are doing with respect to fault diagnosis - you need to make sure your car is being looked at by one of these, and not by the mechanics who are only good for servicing & brake work. You'll have to think of your own strategies to get round the "All of our technicians are Vauxhall factory trained" line!

Last point - of course, it's possible that the fault with your car is elsewhere.

2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling / ECU update - Nicks50
Astra G 2002 1.6 8v Petrol Club Estate 19,000 miles (now 22,000)
No fault lights on dashboard.

It's been 4 months since I started this message and I've been driving without any problems for the last 3 1/2 months !

Thanks to 'Number_Cruncher' I've probably saved myself 100s of pounds! (Spoke to 1 lady with same model, year, problems who had spent £600 sorting it out!)

YOUR FIRST PORT OF CALL (with same problems) should be to have the ECU update done on your car. It's one of the cheapest options and (from my experience) the most likely to rectify the problem of intermittent surging and stalling.

Get the Vauxhall dealer to check the EGR valve is working properly... then get them to update the ECU. Bingo!

Highly recommend trying this ECU update before trying anything else. It's probably the cheapest option and the most likely to sort you out. Total cost for me (2008): £48 inc VAT.

(Complete history: 1/ Intermittent surging at any speed and in any gear. 2/Intermittent stalling at junctions and roundabouts. 3/Replaced the crank shaft sensor - no change. 4/ Had the throttle assembly cleaned out - no change. 5/ EGR valve checked working correctly and ECU update carried out - problem solved, nows works perfectly.)

Thanks again to all replies and in particular to 'Number_Cruncher'.

Happy driving.

2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling / ECU update - Number_Cruncher
Thanks Nick, and thanks for posting the feedback that you've fixed your problem.

2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling / ECU update - Nicks50
It's now Nov. 2010 and 2 years since I started this message about surging and stalling 'G' version Astras. Just to let you know, I'm still driving my trusted 2002 Astra and since the ECU/EGR valve solution, it's been good as gold!
2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling / ECU update - Nicks50

Another update - It's now 2013 and we have done 51,000 miles in our trusty Astra. Still working well (no surging). Cam belt/water pump kit done at 49,000 miles.

2002 1.6 8v Surging and stalling / ECU update - Anant

Dear Nick,

This is the only thread on the internet with a sensible question - i have mentioned my problem as below

Dear All,

Question from a frustrating and soon to be father (thats why need a running car) - driver.

Everything seems to be working fine with my Vauxhall astra 1.6 club (2004) but suddenly sometimes when i approach junctions the engine starts cutting out and speed meter needle goes crazy, also the abs amber light is on all the time.

I took it to a local garage and was informed (no error was reported though) that I need to get the wheel bearing changed and will cost me 160 GBP. Then i started doing some google search and it appears that this problem may be related to something know as ECU software update.

I am very very confused and any help will be greatly appreciated.




Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £9,304.93

Total cost of credit £1,804.93


60 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

The Representative APR is 13.2% (fixed) so if you borrow £7,500 over 4 years at a rate of 13.2% p.a (fixed) you will repay £199.21 per month and repay £9562.20 in total.