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Vauxhall Astra K common problems (2016-2021)

Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the most enduring names in the automotive world, having been around in various forms since 1980. Things have long since moved on from that original car, which looked like it had been designed by someone who’d had everything except a ruler nicked from his pencil case.

The Vauxhall Astra Mk7, also known as the Astra K, is big, comfortable, swoopy, aerodynamic, and a world away from the spartan original (which is nevertheless still cool). However, as much as engineering has moved on, there are still a number of common problems noted by owners of the Astra K.

The good news is that none of these problems is insurmountable, and in fact most of them are [pretty easy to sort out, especially if you have the Haynes Astra Autofix to hand. One purchase fee and we’ll be right by your side on your mobile phone or tablet to help you see the job through to the end.

Vauxhall Astra

What recalls has the Vauxhall Astra been subject to?

Vauxhall has truly got the hang of this ‘building cars’ thing, because the Astra Mk7 has been recalled only five times in its life, which is a lot less than some rivals.

A small number of early cars were recalled because the front seat side airbag might not go off in the way intended during a crash, which is not the time you want to find out it’s faulty.

Then 1745 cars were recalled because the front passenger airbag could also fail to go off properly.

After that, 37,167 cars were recalled because owners reported a reduction in braking power if the brake pedal was applied slowly. Many brake components needed to be replaced.

Front brake hoses that were installed the wrong way round at the factory were responsible for 713 cars being recalled, and then in 2019, 1688 cars were recalled to have the front seat back lower cross member checked. If found to be faulty, the seat was replaced.

Incorrectly tightened rear-wheel hub bolts meant a small number of cars were recalled in 2020.

Vauxhall Astra Mk7

What common problems does the Vauxhall Astra have?

One common problem reported by owners of the Vauxhall Astra K is a creak from the front suspension, which is most noticeable when driving over speed bumps.

It is also not an uncommon thing for the Vauxhall Astra K to suddenly lose power, and for the engine to emit a metallic noise. This can happen on the 1.0-litre petrol models and the 1.6-litre diesel, and there are different causes for each.

Driving along in your Vauxhall Astra K, only to see a headlight warning appear in the instrument cluster, is also something that can afflict the Astra K.

Another creak afflicts the Astra K, this time from the clutch system. And finally, the car also suffers an issue in which the smell of exhaust fumes can permeate the cabin.

Vauxhall Astra K

Does the Vauxhall Astra Mk7 suspension creak?

Quite a number of owners say that it does. The noise is especially noticeable when crossing larger bumps at low speeds, such as you would do when going over speed bumps.

The problem is a faulty lower suspension arm bush, so you’ll need to remove and replace the arm (part numbers: 39011472 [left] or 39021473 [right]).

And if you follow the technical drawings contained within your Haynes Astra Autofix product, you’ll see exactly how to take everything apart and put it back together again, complete with the torque settings for when you’re tightening everything up.

Vauxhall Astra K
Vauxhall Astra Mk7

Why is your Vauxhall Astra Mk7 losing power?

One problem that keeps cropping up is one in which the engine suddenly starts to lose power for no apparent reason, before recovering to full health once more. In addition, the engine can start to make a worrying metallic noise. Metallic noises from under the bonnet are rarely a good thing, so it’s best to sort the issue once and for all as quickly as possible.

However, the good news is that it’s actually a pretty easy fix, requiring simply an engine oil and oil filter change.

This task is covered in full in your Haynes Astra Autofix, so simply raise the car safely and jet it on axle stands, then follow the step-by-step guide to changing your oil and filter.

However, if your Astra has the 1.6-litre diesel engine fitted and is experiencing this same issue, then there’s a good chance that the oil pressure sensor is faulty.

First things first, plug in a fault-code reader. If this displays the codes P0521 or P06DD, then there’s a good chance the oil pressure sensor is at fault.

The thing to do is warm up the engine, then switch it off and let the oil settle for 10 minutes, before checking the oil level. If this is fine, then the sensor needs to be changed.

After that, expensive-sounding noises should be a thing of the past.

Vauxhall Astra

Are the headlights playing up in your Vauxhall Astra K?

So there you are, driving along in your Astra, only for a headlight warning message to appear in the instrument cluster. That is undoubtedly one of those: “Really? Now?” moments. Even more so if it’s getting dark.

This only happens in Astras fitted with LED headlights, and if you plug in a fault-code reader and the codes B3866 or B2580 appear, then you’ll know that the issue is a faulty headlight unit. Unfortunately, the only solution is to replace the unit.

So, invest in a new unit, then simply follow the instructions in the Haynes Astra Autofix. Headlight issues will soon be in the past, which will undoubtedly brighten your day. Or night.

Vauxhall Astra K

Is the clutch in your Vauxhall Astra K creaking?

Being stuck in traffic in a car with a manual gearbox is always a pain. Usually in the left leg. However, one thing that makes it even more of a strain is when the clutch system emits a loud creak every time you depress and release the pedal. Turn up the radio – now.

The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is the worst afflicted by this problem. The issue is that the clutch slave cylinder pipe is vibrating, and the noise is especially noticeable at 3200rpm.

So, the solution is to replace the slave cylinder pipe (part number: 8484088) with a new one and fit it with a protective rubber sleeve (part number: 13499865).

Your Haynes Astra Autofix will list any special tools required and will also be able to show you how to bleed the clutch system afterwards.

Vauxhall Astra K

Why is there an exhaust smell in your Vauxhall Astra Mk7?

Several owners of the Vauxhall Astra Mk7 have mentioned an issue that causes a noticeable smell of exhaust fumes in the cabin. As well as being unpleasant, this is potentially unhealthy, so you’d be very wise to roll down the windows and then sort the problem as soon as you can.

The root cause of the smell is that the clamp fixing the diesel particulate filter to the turbocharger is incorrectly fitted. The solution involves removing the exhaust manifold heat shield, then repositioning the clamp and, if necessary, the DPF itself slightly. Then it’s just a case of tightening everything up, and hopefully the smell will be forgotten.

Vauxhall Astra Mk7