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Vauxhall Astra Mk6 common problems (2009-2016)

Vauxhall Astra

As the cost of motoring reaches the level at which you may need to consider selling some less-vital organs to fill your Vauxhall Astra’s tank, Haynes can help. No we can’t offer surgery services, but we can show you how to diagnose any imminent problems with your Vauxhall Astra Mk6 (also known as the Astra J), and we can help you to sort out any glitches with the minimum of expense.

After all, avoiding the pain of garage labour rates has to be a good thing, on top of which you also get to bask in the glow of satisfaction that follows a job well done.

Vauxhall Astra

What recalls has the Vauxhall Astra been subject to?

Numerous examples of the Astra Mk6 have been recalled because of a problem with the radiator cooling fan. If the fan were to become obstructed, the wiring module could become overheated, potentially leading to a fire.

Then 1291 cars were recalled because the anti-pinch function of the electric window regulators did not comply with the regulations.

A further 1436 cars were recalled because the seat-mounting bolts were faulty, potentially allowing the seat to become loose and therefore impairing the effectiveness of the seatbelt and airbag in a crash.

Faulty side airbags caused another trip back to dealers.

What common problems does the Vauxhall Astra Mk6 have?

The Vauxhall Astra is known to have faulty seat heaters in the driver’s seat. Also, the Astra also occasionally suffers an issue that causes it to fail to start and for the wipers and central locking to malfunction.

The gearshift cables have also been known to allow in water, and then to seize up.

Some owners have reported hearing a rattle from the rear of the vehicle, while some petrol-engined examples have been known to suffer a knocking noise from the engine.

The rear brakes have also caused an issue on some examples, because they can develop corrosion between the pads and the caliper.

Vauxhall Astra

Does the Vauxhall Astra J have heated-seat problems?

Unfortunately, the heated driver’s seat in the Vauxhall Astra Mk6 is known to fail, and you can be sure that the first time you notice will be just after you’ve got into the car after scraping the windscreen. Not ideal.

The problem lies with a faulty wiring loom in the seat itself, and the repair involves removing the driver’s seat altogether and renewing the connectors.

Indeed, Vauxhall has developed a repair kit precisely for this repair (part no: 134 427 03).

Removing the seat is a task that’s easily accomplished simply by following the step-by-step guide contained in the relevant chapter of your Haynes Astra manual and Autofix.

Vauxhall Astra

Does the Vauxhall Astra have electrical problems?

The Vauxhall Astra can suffer an issue that has multiple symptoms. These include a failure to start, the central locking going on the blink, the horn not working, and the wipers failing. Sometimes all at once.

The issue is that water can get into the body control unit, due to draining of condensation from the air-conditioning system.

So, the way to fix it is to check the body control unit, and if it has water in it, replace the unit. Also, you need to check the routing of various hoses and pipes to ensure that the problem is not repeated.

The good news is that we’ve already done the hard work, so can show you how to access and replace the body control unit, then explain which hose is which as you investigate the route of the problem. Just follow your Haynes Astra manual.

Vauxhall Astra

Does the Vauxhall Astra have gearshift problems?

When the ambient temperature drops in late autumn and winter, the Vauxhall Astra J is known to suffer a problem with its gearshift, which can become inoperative.

This is because some gearshift cables have been poorly sealed, so can let in water, which then corrodes the cables, causing them to seize up.

The only way to fix the problem is to replace the faulty gearshift cable, which is a task we’ve covered in depth in the Haynes Astra manual. Simply follow the step-by-step guide and the job will be easy enough.

Vauxhall Astra

Does the Vauxhall Astra have rattling problems?

A rattle at the rear of the Vauxhall Astra is most commonly traced to a faulty wheelarch liner.

Over time, the liner can become loose and start to vibrate, which causes the annoying noise.

It’s easy to fix though: just take off the relevant wheel, remove the wheelarch liner, and fit some foam padding (part number 13462220). After that, it’s just a case of replacing the wheelarch liner and putting the wheel back on.

It’s all simple enough to do if you follow each stage as it appears in your Haynes Astra Manual.


Vauxhall Astra
Vauxhall Astra

Does the Vauxhall Astra Mk6 have engine-noise problems?

Vauxhall Astra J models fitted with the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine have been reported as having a knocking or rattling noise from the engine at idle.

If you plug in a fault-code reader, a possible code is P0325, which signifies a problem with the knock sensor.

However, the main cause is usually loose timing chain upper guiderail bolts. The fix involves removing the valve cover and checking the bolts. If they’re loose, then remove them, clean them and refit them to the correct torque setting, adding thread-lock in the process.

This may sound daunting, but it really isn’t, and with your Haynes Astra manual to hand we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Does the Vauxhall Astra have rear-brake problems?

The rear brakes on the Vauxhall Astra are known to fall victim to corrosion, and can then seize.

The corrosion happens on the caliper guides, so you’ll need to unbolt the calipers, remove the guide plates, then clean and lubricate the guide pins. Once you’ve done this, it makes sense to stick a new set of brake pads in there.

The good news is that removing the caliper, cleaning up the guide pins and fitting a new set of brake pads is all covered in your Haynes Astra manual and Autofix. Just follow the procedures we’ve laid out and all will be fine.


Vauxhall Astra