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Thread: Hello to everyone and a couple of q's: Mk4 Convertible

  
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    Kristoff's Avatar
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    Hello to everyone and a couple of q's: Mk4 Convertible + PHOTO!

    Hello everyone!

    I recently became the proud owner of a beautiful, black 2004 Mk4 Convertible (2.2 non-turbo) with red leather interior and have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. Unfortunately, I live in Melbourne, Australia and winter has just hit us - not the most opportune time to buy a convertible, but to cut a long story short, I needed a car and I stand by my decision so far!!

    Quickly, a bit of background about myself: My current profession is as a musician (performance and education) and I'm also in my final year of a Juris Doctor Masters of Law (at RMIT, for those of you in the know). My law studies keep me damn busy, so that's all I have time for these days (except that i'm currently on holidays so I have time to join this group)! My previous car was a 2000 Toyota Camry, and i absolutely loved it. I added some aesthetic changes including suspension, wheels and sound-system (being an audiophile) and i hope to one day provide the same treatment to my current car when the funds allow me!

    Firstly, it's great to find a community such as this and I've already found some great advice that I've read from other people's postings on this forum. However, I have a couple of very basic questions about the car that I'm sure a few of the more experienced Mk4 convertible owners will be able to help me out with.

    1. Basic roof operation queries
    After undertaking some basic tests and reading the user manual, i have a couple of questions: Firstly, i have successfully figured out how to operate the roof using the remote, however, i notice it has a noticebly shorter range than when using the remote to simply lock/unlock the car. I don't mind, since the ability to operate the roof remotely is simply an added bonus and a convenient luxury, but should i be able to operate the roof from a further distance? I currently have to be literally standing right next to it. It's likely to need a battery replace.

    Also, sometimes, when opening the roof using the remote, or by the inside switch when only the battery is on, the roof will not open fully. It will only open up a fraction and stop. I am able to close the roof using the same methods, or i can fully open the roof if i turn the engine on. Is this normal behavior? I wasn't too fussed since it did operate correctly with the switch (and since then, most of the time operates correctly using the remote or with the switch with just the battery on).

    I have also just noticed that one of the pieces of string (or elastic) that keeps the inside layer of the roof lining attached to the roof to hide some of the ugly roof struts on the rear left side (drivers side) has come loose and that particular part hangs a little bit loose. It doesn't seem to affect the roof operation in any way, and it seems like a simple fix - a matter of replacing a small hoop and tying the thing back in place, or something similar. Am i correct in thinking this?

    2. cloth roof and leather care
    What products do you use, and what measures do you recommend that I take to take the best care of the cloth roof and the leather interior? I absolutely love it and the last thing i would want is for any of it to looks anywhere near being forlorn!

    3. Automatic drop to neutral in auto
    Is this annoying to anyone? Funnily enough, my previous driving habits included me dropping my car into neutral at the red lights anyway, so i don't mind it... it's just annoying sometimes when i'm stopping and starting and it sometimes puts it in neutral causing a slightly jerky takeoff when i want to move!



    Sorry about about any stupid questions or anything that has been previously answered elsewhere on this forum.

    Also, as a new convertible owner, is there any general advice that anyone thinks is appropriate to offer? I'm a complete newbie at this thing and i love it - although it was a little less fun today as i was driving through dark and rainy clouds, but i'm just waiting for summer (although the weather's only going to be getting worse from now on)!

    The car is a short (but valuable) 3-month warranty from the dealer, so if there's anythign in particular i should be looking out for, please let me know! I'll will be getting Holden or the RACV to do a thorough check in the next month or so anyway.

    Thanks for all your help and guidance and I look forward to chatting with many of you!

    Kristoff.

    And just to draw everyone in, here's a photo of me being a ******:



    Sorry... i'm actually a normal and nice guy. But i do enjoy a nice car!

  2. #2
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    Kristoff's Avatar
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    Sorry, the bleeped out word was a substitute for "egotistical person who thinks highly of themselves and enjoys alerting other people around them of that opinion regardless of what other people think".

    It started with a 'w' and ended with a 'anker'.

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    iain863's Avatar
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    Hello there. Welcome to the club
    Nice looking car, like the red and black option.... as for the nutter on the car
    Loads of people can help you here. We dont have many automatics on here. but lots people will help

    Welcom to AOC
    Disclaimer - some of the above text may actually be sarcasm (believe it or not!)

    Astra 02, SRi 1.8i - Irmscher'd up (a bit) with Zebra front bumper


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    I have also just noticed that one of the pieces of string (or elastic) that keeps the inside layer of the roof lining attached to the roof to hide some of the ugly roof struts on the rear left side (drivers side) has come loose and that particular part hangs a little bit loose. It doesn't seem to affect the roof operation in any way, and it seems like a simple fix - a matter of replacing a small hoop and tying the thing back in place, or something similar. Am i correct in thinking this?

    mine also has done this near drivers side back window so like you thought it would be easy to fix .....
    but no i have been told the only way to fix it is to buy a new liner
    at silly £££££'s plus labour

    so i have put up with it now for about 9 months

  5. #5
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    welcome to the club.nice lloking motor. shame about the nutter sat on it.
    GTC SRI 2.0 CDTI

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    the only common fault ive being told of when i brought my cabby as the wiper motor .
    havent heard of any others so far!

    as fro using the remote to open the roof, mine to has a much shorted range to drop the roof against general unlocking,, so cant really say much on that either.

    as for car care, i use auto gym products generally for the roof leather etc.
    works for me
    1.8 excluciv convertible '06 (silver lightninig)

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    Congrats and welcome to the joy of convertible ownership . . . I'm sure you will love it (and at times be frustrated with it!)

    Keep in mind that from the tops of the doors down it's just an Astra, really no different from any others out there. The ability to go "topless" is what makes it so special. So, any problems that "normal" people have with their "normal" Astras is all you have to really worry about there.
    Cleaning: A friend of mine is a motor trimmer by trade (coach builder actually, which is a dying art these days) specialising in restoration projects for the retired gentry of this fine land, and he highly recommends the following:
    Leather upholstery: Use leather cleaners and restorers sparingly because they tend to clog up the natural pores in the leather and this can lead to drying and cracking of the leather prematurely. Simply wipe the leather down with a damp (not wet) cloth and let the leather fade and age gracefully. Keep in mind that much of the leather will be exposed to the elements more-so than a "normal" car, which will add to its degradation, but that can't really be helped. Some of these leather treatments might make the leather look nice, but for how long? Guess it depends on how long you wish to keep your pride and joy.
    Cloth roof: Again, there are a heap of convertible roof cleaners and treatments out there . . . avoid them! More advice from my mate: Clean the roof as often as it needs, with plenty of water and a soft brush only. Detergents and other cleaners/treatments again can clog the pores of the material and degrade it's waterproof qualities. The Astra roof is of a very high quality, matching the best convertibles that Europe has produced. The material will fade over time . . . let it go, as it's normal. Where I live I find that the roof tends to attract a lot of dust and this is easily fixed with a light vacuum every now and then prior to a washing the car. (Don't know what the neighbors must be thinking when they see me out the front vacuuming the roof! Don't really care!)
    Roof seals: Once a week wipe the rubber seals with a damp cloth and treat them with a normal commercial rubber seal treatment. Use this as a regular opportunity to inspect them for any damage and repair as you go. I say repair because I'm sure a replacement would be financially painful.
    Remote operation: Forget it! It's just a pose and you will soon tire of it. I always have the motor running and operate the roof from the interior button. Saves the battery and stops the "what a knob" stares. I also have someone else (wife) operate the roof every now and then and walk around checking the operation. I have also found that the rubber O-ring on each of the header rail locks need replacing on a regular basis. Buy half a dozen and keep 'em in the car somewhere safe. Regularly check for hydraulic oil leaks and repair immediately, as this oil must be made from virgin's nectar the price they (Holden/Vaux/Opel) charge.

    Auto to neutral: Live with it. All the Astra (all Opel?) autos do it. Supposedly a fuel saving feature while stopped at traffic lights. Don't forget an Astra convertible is a "touring" car not a "sports" car.

    Enjoy and feel free to ask as many "dumb" questions as you like. We have all asked them at some time!
    Old enough to know better . . . Too old to care!

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    vcz's Avatar
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    not a fan of the "hood" ornament they dont go well on astra's

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    Thanks to everyone for all the replies and assistance, it's been very helpful!

    I am very surprised at the loose string meaning that the entire lining has to be replaced?? It seems very strange considering that after a thorough inspection it really only appears to be a loose string. My secondary concern on this matter (despite it being aesthetically questionable having that thing flapping about there), is that it's probably not covered by the dealer's warranty as it's not an essential functioning feature of the car, nor is it required to be fixed in order for the car to be roadworthy.

    Maybe i'll just deal with it. I'll ask a mechanic to check it out at the next opportunity i have.

    Also, i've read about the O-rings a few times on this forum and the need to regular replace them. Are the "header rail locks" referred to on the roof contraption, or are they afixed at the top of the windscreen? I'll be sure to pick up a few in the next few days.

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