: 54 Astra 1.7 cdti - no power, cutting out

26-09-2007, 08:22
I have a 54 plate astra cdti, (the old shape not the latest shape)
It struggles to start and then when it does start it runs like a pig, wont rev properly and then cuts out after a few minutes.
I have changed the Fuel pump and injectors to no success - Im ready to give up on it. Has anyone else seen this before? How do I check if it has a DPF? could this be the problem?


26-09-2007, 13:30
I doubt very much that the particle filter will be your problem, sounds more serious than that. these engines can be susceptable to swirl actuators acting up. Can anyone confirm if this is also the case with the 1.7??

26-09-2007, 14:33
the 1.7 at that age doesnt use a DPF if i was you id take it back to a dealers asap as i think the 1.7's are suseptable to injectors failing...

26-09-2007, 15:11
Have replaced the injectors - the originals were tested and were faulty the fault still exists - I have had the new injectors tested and thier isnt a problem with these. I have taken it to the main dealer who after 2 weeks could not find the problem and have suggested ECU - they want a 1000 for it but will not guaranty this will fix it. I have tried a 2nd hand ECU - (the car started supprisingly thought imobiliser would have been linked in) but the same fault exists?

26-09-2007, 15:18
i can only guess the engine has a MAF/MAP... checked those mate?

26-09-2007, 15:26
Changed all sensors that are on the engine - basically bought a complete engine from a running car and have swapped over sesnor by sensor to no success. Cheers for replies so far

250 nuts
28-09-2007, 21:56
Have you checked the glow plugs if these have burnt out or on there last legs then it might explain the hard to start and running issues when it’s cold?
Might be a stupid suggestion but they are normally the ones over looked.

250 nuts
01-10-2007, 11:22
Any updates??

11-10-2007, 07:35
yes the glow plugs were changed, dont think this is the problem area - because when it does start it runs lumpy. I think im going to sell if for spares

17-02-2008, 16:50
Main dealer had it for a month, replaced ECU and a few other parts but still same problem. They suggested a few other parts to change that have already been changed but they have basically given up too!

17-02-2008, 16:54
Set fire to it. :lol:

17-02-2008, 17:12
we had one in work with the same problem last year it has a new ecu,turbo ect and it was the ecu's at fault, the car was a z17dth (100hp) and the ecu had a error on it and made it think that the car was a dtl (80hp) despite the correct programing, so your car might have the same problems

18-02-2008, 20:28
Main dealer changed ECU - I assume they would have programmed it correctly, is there anyway to check the ECU to see what it thinks its connected too? Thanks for the reply

19-02-2008, 17:50
yes but you will need a tech 2, you can see if its been programmed for a dth or a dtl in the viariant settings and on the can bus lines (high,mid and low speed)

20-02-2008, 17:17
would this do it:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vauxhall-Opel-tech-2-OBD-Diagnostic-CAR-Code-Reader-PC_W0QQitemZ230223987843QQihZ013QQcategoryZ30921QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Only goes upto 2004 and the cdti, only came out at the end of 2004.

cheers for reply

20-02-2008, 18:28
no because it does not cover the model year or chassis year as your car will be a 5 chassis and the software on that thing you have found will be out of date and for cars up to a 4 chassis

11-11-2008, 14:45
I am in the same boat :-(

What started my tail of woe was when my 5-plate 1.7 CDTI wrecked itself. Totally freakish what happened.

Driving along in fifth at about fifty mph on a Sunday run in the country when one of the diesol injector forks broke. It did not leave it at that as the broken fork segment tore into the cam spacer which then allowed the spacer to disintegrate before I could turn off the ignition. The noise was horendouse so it did not take me long to realise this was a tow job. Wife and kids enjoyed the bus-ride home (not).

Got it back to my garage/workshop. Took off the cylinder head and everything is fine so the cam-lobes moved out of the way as they are meant to.

Went to my friendly breaker and thought that all my Christmasses had come at once - got a second hand cam assembly from a same year (same model) 1.7CDTI. Talk about luck :-)
Got everything back to my place and made sure the cams and pulley were identical. Checked that none of the lobes had shifted. Put it all back together. Turned over the engine by hand to make sure the valve timing was correct. Assembled the remainder to get it going. Turned her over with the starter.

Nothing :-(

Took all the injectors to my local Vauxhall dealer and he diagnosed that two of them were faulty. That hurt the wallet getting those replaced.

Turned her over. Nothing :-( Bloody hell!
The injectors - I think I have been had

Engine turns and everything seems fine but it only offers to kick over after 5 or so revolutions (like only one cylinder is making a half-hearted attempt to fire).

Got a friend of the family over. Being the foreman at a Vauxhall dealership he has access to the diagnostic computer. He hooked it up and everything said the car was fine and should be running. He was totally baffled. I am guessing by his demeener that he did not want to get involved any further - so that tells me he has maybe seen this before and does not want to get bogged down with it.

I did a bit more investigating after that.
I changed the Timing sensor (it gets its signal off the cam pulley). No difference.
I can get the engine to kick over more energetically if I remove the electric from injector #1.
I can get the engine to fire on all cylinders if I use a spray bottle to put a fifty fifty mist of diesel/petrol down the air intake.
So there is nothing wrong with the valve timing.

After getting to the point of feeling totally hopeless and at other times screaming abuse at Vauxhall I gave up. It is making me ill.
I have never, in all my thirty years of delving under bonnets, been stumped like this.

I cooled down a bit after a few days and decided to use a search engine to see what I can find on the web. That was an eye-opener.
The problem I have seems to be common with Vauxhall CDTI machines. From what I have learned from the posts and forums it would seem that after 2004 the CDTI engine types become prone to suddenly quiting. I think what really grips is the fact that sometimes, authorised Vauxhall dealers are clueless as to what is going on (just look at this thread as an example - there are plenty of other examples on the web).

Looking at the posts on other places on the web, the problem can be either one of these listed below (or a combination of) -

1) A little air getting into the fuel system - The diagnostic computer
said it was getting the correct 180psi pressure, but even air can be

2) Heater plugs - The forums would lead me to think that the
05 models are prone to these failing. Will check with a multimeter.

3) ECU - I recently recollected a story I heard - some manufacturers
have a shut-off in the ECU that kills the fuel when it detects
something is not right. But then why would the engine offer
to start if that was the case.

4) Injectors - I have had them checked - but why does the engine
offer to start when I unplug #1. I can compare them with
a multimeter

5) Injector timing - I had the battery off so is it possible that
the ECU has lost some of the information it needs to control
the injectors. Would help if I could visualy time the injectors
(like in the old days).

6) Injector gasket seals - if the engine does not get enough
compression then it will not ignite the diesol. I can check
that tonight with an oil can.

So I have enough info to start delving with a spanner and multi-meter again. I feel a bit happier. Hopefully I will be able to come back here with an answer. In saying that. If any of this is familiar to anyone. I would be most gratefull if they post an answer/suggestion.

11-11-2008, 16:30
if the injectors are electronic they will need to be coded inti the ecu and if you have replaced them this might be the case,
also do you know why the injector fork broken?
did the engine lock up by any means?

11-11-2008, 16:35
Was the high pressure fuel pump timed properly when you/whoever put the new timing belt on?

13-11-2008, 02:52
Thanks for the response guys.

Well tonight was a lot better. For a start, it was made easier by dad coming round to give me a hand (think he was taking pity on me :-)

I took off the cam cover and spent the next two hours letting him go through the same problem-checks and routines I had covered already, (needs to see it for himself).

Then we covered new ground. Checked all the heaters. They are all getting twelve volts for about 10 seconds. Next they were taken out and checked. They looked a bit coked but heated up fine.

Used an oil can to fill the voids above the injector o-ring with thin oil. Cranked the engine over by hand. No bubbles. Put the heaters back in and plugged everything back together.

Next, I connected a "blown" mini-blade fuse to the plug for #1 fuel injector and used my Multi-meter to verify there were pulses getting to the injectors.
Now that prooved interesting.
When I cranked the engine over I would get one or two pulses and then no more pulses. At the same time the engine would stutter as if it were trying to run. That only happened when we switched the ignition key completely off, then tried again to start the engine. This leads me to believe there is a problem with the engine control system(s). My friend's diagnostic computer said they were working fine. Something does not add up. I need positive proof.

Dad then mentioned it was a pity we could not spill-time the injectors like in the old days. That gave me an idea. I got one of the old injectors (the ones my local dealer told me were faulty). I disconnected the fuel line to #1 injector and with a bit of twisting and manipulation I connected the old injector to #1 fuel line so the nozzle was pointing upwards. To the old injector I also connected #1 return line and the #1 electric plug; cranked her over and after one revolution got a beautiful puff of diesol from the injector. At the same time the engine kicked over as if it was offering to fire, then as before nothing - just cranking over with not a hint of fuel getting in there. Tried this a few times and saw the same result - one or two puffs of diesol, a stutter then nothing more to indicate the pots were getting diesol.

I then had another idea regarding what was said about spill-timing. Went inside and got the Sony video camera (I like my toys). I painted a blob of tipex on the camshaft pulley's lobe. We did the kick over routine again with the camera to record the puff of diesel, the pulley lobe and the cams on #1. After a couple of times we stopped, transfered the video clips to the home computer, then played the clips back in slow motion. We could see the puff of diesol at the time both valves on #1 were shut and just a little bit after the lobe had passed the sensor. That checks out all the timings in one easy go.

Eureka. It is not timing and it is not the fuel. It has to be a faulty sensor giving wrong information to the ECU. I am guessing it is seeing something wrong and can not get enough information to fire the injectors, so it is shutting down the fuel to stop the engine.
Why am I so chuffed - cos the diagnostic computer said the engine's control system(s) were ok. My friend's computer got it wrong!

My Dad pulled out his mobile and had a word with the guy. The information we gave him got him really interested. The family friend wants me to tow the Astra out to his place for a thorough going over on the shop's main diagnostic computer. He now suspects that the big end sensor is faulty, but he is not sure. On the Astra (and most modern diesols), if certain sensors fail, the ECU will shut down the fuel system to avoid damage to the engine. Here is hoping that the big computer will be able to find it.
I realise that it will cost me to have the car fixed, but he says it will only be parts - no labour (or charges for the hook-up). Ok, if he gets it going without a big fuss then it will cost me a bottle of good whiskey. ;-)

Converted Chris - I will again mention to him that two of the injectors are new. He never said a thing about coding injectors - maybe he did that when he hooked up the small diagnostic machine and never mentioned it. Seventeen years with the same Vauxhall dealer - he should know his stuff (but he could have forgot).

ZS - The fuel system on the diesol Astra's use the "common rail" fuel system. The Pump maintains a constant pressure at the injectors (around 160psi). So If I understand that correctly, there is no need for pump timing. The timing is done electronically at the injectors themselves. However, when I put the timing belt back on I made sure all my tipex marks were back in their original places. A habit I have never got out of. I could have missed something so I will mention this and see what is said.

27-04-2009, 02:14
It was ages ago I butted into this thread looking for help regarding my Astra's engine. At that time, this was the only forum that offered the possibility of an answer. I did go on a bit, but I thought - the more info given, the more response I will get. That did not materialise but then, as it turns out, none of us could have fixed the problem I was having.

In my earlier postings I had hit the nail on the head - I had figured out the symptom but not the cause. It was the ECU, and it was shutting off the fuel cos it was not happy about something.

You will remember I mentioned that a friend of the family worked for a Vauxhall dealership and had been cajolled into finding the problem. Well he took the car off me and it lay in his garage for nearly a month. Loads of head scratching and swearing past in that time and in the end he gave up and we resorted to towing the car to his work so he could have a better look.

Later in the week he hooked it up to the full diagnostic package and spent a while looking for the problem. Still no joy. Fortunately for me he decided to take the crank sensor out of the block. According to the readings the thing was working fine but he had noticed that a couple of times he got an error report.

Taking the sensor out he found a gouge across the sensor's face. That was enough for him to tear off the sump and have a look inside at the crankshaft. What he told me he saw was totaly unique. In the sump pan were two tiny crumpled pieces of metal. On the crank shaft there is a thing that looks a bit like a sprocket off a bicycle. This is where the crank sensor gets its pulses for the ECU. Looking at the sprocket teeth he could see that one of them was missing.


Normally, if I were a regular customer, he would have swapped out the engine.
To explain - replacing the sprocket requires a new crankshaft. Too much cost, so it is simpler for a main dealer to change the whole engine.
However, as it was a 'homer', he decided on a cheat repair. We were lucky that a bit of brazing could put the broken piece back in place. Now that repair might last forever, on the other hand it might not last a week.

When everything was put together, he got the engine to start after a couple of cranks. Another check on the diagnostioc machine showed everything was working fine.

I ran the car for another two months and everything was fine. But I was never happy with the car. You know what I mean, once a car has put you through the ringer, you notice all it's other faults. Well that is how I felt and why it got sold to a a colleague at work for well under the going price. The guy knew about the troubles I had been through with the Astra. but he was in a bind - he needed a car while his was in the shop after a shunt, and I wanted to get this jinx out of my hair once and for all.

Selling the car to him cheap gave him a car he could live with until his was fixed and the price he bought it for garaunteed he could sell it afterwards. Not quite a win-win but as close as I was going to get.

Overall I recon this whole sad sorry escaped has cost me one-and-a-half grand (if I add in the loss I took when I sold it).

Would I buy another Astra like that one - of course. But I got a really good offer on a Tino that I would have been a mug to pass by.
So for Now I am a Nissan man.

Oh and some of you might be asking - there was two lumps of metal in the sump, one was the sprocket tooth, what was the other bit.

Would you believe a shattered piece of the injector fork. Right at the start, when the injector fork broke, that tiny shard of metal had got passed all the other parts of the crank, big ends and pistons and the likes and lodged itself between the sprocket and the crank sensor where it broke off the sprocket tooth before the engine died.
I was doomed to fail from the start.

Like I said - a jinx car.

27-04-2009, 08:32
haha thats actually rather amazing and very unlucky lol