Astra Electrical Fault Indicator

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by ramsden, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. ramsden

    ramsden New Member

    My N reg Astra has caused me some grief in recent years. The latest being the illumination of the 'Electrical Fault Indicator' - the orange one with the lightening bolt that is. I am told by my dad that this will eventually result in the failure of the electrics as my Dads Astra had this problem as did my sisters. It seems to be a common problem in Astras. Does anyone know anything about why this happens and whats the best/cheapest way to get it fixed? It's a strange problem, because everything seems to work fine, but I know there's a high chance of the car failing because of it.

    As a sideline question, I'm interested in buying a new car within the next 12 months. All I want is THE most reliable car on the road!! Any recommendations from personal experience or general knowledge? I'll take models or just brand advice if you have it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. lucozade

    lucozade New Member

    What year is the astra and what is the engine size.
     
  3. he's already said it's N reg, old chap
     
  4. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

    Hi,the light you are referring to is the engine management light.It is not classed as a warning light but as a information light hence the colour being orange and not red as a warning light would normally be.The light could have come on for something as simple as a poor/loose connection on an engine sensor to a fault being detected on the air flow meter.It does not always result in a failure of the electrics and some cars will run for years without any problems with the light on.If you want to get it looked at,take it into your garage where they will plug a diagnostic machine into the dianogstic plug on your car which will come back with a fault code relating to what at caused the light to come on in the first place.They may even just clear the fault from the 'memory' and send you on your way without even replacing anything.You could try disconnecting the battery on your car for one minute (making a note of the radio code first)as this can sometimes reset the system without the need to take the car to your garage and extinguish the light.As for you buying a new car,it depends on the size of car you need,your budget,etc.,but you can't go wrong with anything Japenese for reliability.Hope this helps.
     
  5. ramsden

    ramsden New Member

    Lucozade - my astra is N reg, I think that's about '95. It's got over 110k on the clock and is a 1.4 hatchback.

    Beetle - Cheers for your input on that mate, I really appreciate your time on that.

    I've heard people praise japanese reliability before. I know the honda civic/accord is supposed to be fairly reliable. I'm after a small/mid sized car. I'd like something with a little more punch in it as my 1.4 astra makes hard work of overtaking these days!! I'd like to spend no more than 6 or 7k really. And it must be reliable and comfortable. Mod cons would be an added bonus but not essential.
     
  6. lucozade

    lucozade New Member

    T482,ramsden only said his car is a n reg astra which could have been a 1995 or 1996 and there is difference between these 2 models.
    Beetle said the light you are referring to is the engine management light.It is not classed as a warning light but as a information light hence the colour being orange and not red as a warning light would normally be.The light could have come on for something as simple as a poor/loose connection on an engine sensor to a fault being detected on the air flow meter.It does not always result in a failure of the electrics and some cars will run for years without any problems with the light on.
    I don't want to scare you but but it could be a loose/poor connection as beetle said but when i had a 1995 astra 1.6 16v it was full of sensor and my light kept flashing on and off now and again, so someone told me something like beetle said but they was wrong as my timing belt snapped so it's best to get it checked out if you think it's worth keeping the car or i would just run the car into the ground.
    If your car is the -1995 and not the 1995- model you can test the fault code yourself as you can bridge the data link connector to show you what fault codes you got stored.
     
  7. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

    Lucozade,the fact that your timing belt snapped had nothing to do with the engine management light flashing, as the timing belt (being rubber/kevlar)has no sensor to warn you it may snap.The fact it snapped was down to the fact it was not changed at the correct milage/interval as recommended by the manufacturer.As i said it could be a poor connection or something more serious that could cause the car to cut out or more than likely go into 'limp home' mode but it wouldn't damage the engine.Sure you could read the codes yourself but you need to be quick with the eye,know how to read the management light that flashes the code and know what the fault codes are.
     
  8. lucozade

    lucozade New Member

    If the timing belt had nothing to do with the engine management light flashing how come when i had a timing belt fitted by a local garage they fitted it one tooth out and it caused the engine management light come on so when i took it back they put the timing belt on tidy this time and the light went out. The fact it snapped was not down to the fact it was not changed at the correct milage/interval as recommended as it had only just done under 30,000 miles before it snapped and vauxhall recommend 40,000 miles or 4 years. If he still needs help to read the flashes then i can send him info on how to do it ans also the fault codes.
     
  9. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

    Lucozade,the reason the light came on is BECAUSE the belt was fitted incorrectly.This affects the cam timing, the camshaft has a sensor on it,which would detect a fault thus causing the light to come on.As many Vauxhall and Ford owners know,you might get the belts changed at the correct intervals but the belts still snap in between these intervals,hence the reason i did not mention these manufacturers when recommending a reliable car.
     

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