I am looking at buying a 2001/Y Astra 1.7DTi. I have read many many articles on the good things and the things that go wrong and I really am in 2 minds. I am looking at this particular model because of the low running costs related to fuel/insurance. For many years now I've been doing my own mechanics (around 16yrs) right down to stripping and re-building from Piston Rings so I do not shy away from DIY repairs but this has always been on Petrols and mostly Vauxhalls going back to the Astra MK2.
Many articles I read say stay away from these as they are nothing but headache but then I read other articles on how owners have been pleased with the reliability and performance. In my experience a car is only as good as how it has been maintained and I am meticulous with my maintenance. I do not believe even Vauxhall themselves pay too much attention to their quality of maintenance from what I've seen and I strongly object to these new 'extended service intervals' these days of 20k before an oil change!
Anyway the issues I know of with these engines are:
1. Oil in the coolant caused by either the oil cooler or cylinder head water/oil seals
2. Oil pump pulley coming loose due to it's retaining nut causing low oil pressure and damage to engine
I understand issue can be checked and resolved by thread locking the nut and torqueing to a new setting.
Issue 1 can be expensive if it's the seals in the head. So are these good engines or bad? I'd like to hear from owners on this forum of their experiences and if they would advise to stay away. Every car has its problems but are the ones related to this engine more than it's worth?