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Gary, Australia Car Mechanic
Category: Australia Car
Satisfied Customers: 1052
Experience:  Senior Technician
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I've an 02 Astra. Z18XE that sometimes won't start. Could be

Customer Question

hi, I've an 02 Astra. Z18XE that sometimes won't start. Could be first thing in the morning, last thing at night, doing 100 on the freeway and the engine shuts down or the traffic lights go green and the engine stops.
JA: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?
Customer: sorry, I hit enter too early, when it won't start the evap purge valve makes a constant clicking noise for 5 to 10 minutes. When that stops the car starts fine and away we go
JA: What is the make/model of your car?
Customer: 02 astra 1.8
JA: Are you fixing your Astra yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: well it's something to do with the evap purge valve so I'm wondering what sensors it's connected to
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no that should be enough to get an idea. Thanks
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Australia Car
Expert:  Gary replied 9 months ago.

Hello there,

Sounds like the typical faulty ECM syndrome of TS Astra.

I have replaced many in my time with Holden.

Can we get some TECH2 diagnosis done of the car, or Supercheap can do a scan on the engine for you for $14?


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi. I went to Supercheap and the result is:
163 coolant temperature sensor - no signal
164 Coolant temperature sensor - signal improbable
17 Engine speed signal - error not present
U2105 Engine control unit, CAN data bus - no communication
U2103 CAN bus - Off
So which of these makes the engine shut down?
Expert:  Gary replied 9 months ago.

Hi there,

They are all important to look at.

The engine speed signal error will cause instant cutout.

The coolant temp will also give low power, hard starting etc.

TS has wiring harness issues, so some thorough diagnosis is required.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I ordered new coolant temp and engine speed sensors from them. Gotta come from over east of course so I'll fit them next week sometime.
Would the engine speed sensor cause the cutout and the purge valve to switch on and off for 10 minutes?
Expert:  Gary replied 9 months ago.

Some purge valves become a bit louder than normal.

Just be wary that your codes here could be wiring faults, not necessarily component faults.

TECH2 for diagnosis helps here.

Example, coolant temp should read same as air temp when engine cold, sensor disconnected should read -40c, then shorted should read 130c.

A harness with a short in it will already read incorrect in data. Disconnecting the sensor, the data will still read the same and not -40c.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, when the problem happens the purge valve sits constantly switching on and off. click click click etc about twice a second. While this is happening the car will turn over but won't start. After 5 of 10 minutes the valve stops clicking and the car will start and run as normal
Expert:  Gary replied 9 months ago.

I think you will find the U codes, plus the usual ECM failure like I have mentioned will be the cause.

The U codes of no communication are just as important.

Do you have 2 yellow lights or only one when the no start occurs?


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sooooo, what do I do?
Expert:  Gary replied 9 months ago.

My recommendation to you is let a GOOD EXPERIENCED Holden Tech diagnose your car.

Most of the time, it is not worth mucking around with cheap shops.


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