WRITTEN JAN 29, 2019
Introduction Rear Oil Leaks & Front Roof Locks
We had a phone call from a woman who owns an Holden Astra Convertible, she explained that her mechanic had told her to call us as we might be able to fix the hydraulic oil leak in the car and get the soft top roof operating again.
Also could we do anything about stopping the annoying beeping sounds.
I said to her, “let me guess, your oil leak is at the rear left-hand side of the vehicle” she said, “how did you know that !”
I explained that nearly 95% of the hydraulic hose failures are on hose supplying oil to the single-cylinder that lifts the rear metal hatch that covers and hides the folded roof.
Mobile Hose Fixers and Hydraulics Gold Coast have had many inquiries over the last few years about hydraulic oil leaks and repairs on the roof of 2003, 2004, 2005 and early 2006 Holden (Vauxhall) Astra Convertibles.
We have removed, remanufactured and installed many hoses, cleaned out pumps and tanks, have replaced roof control computers and even fixed and or remanufactured the mechanical Front Roof locks that hook the front of the roof to the top of the windscreen.
For More information or to contact us please see link below.
Updated Feb 2019.
Back in 2014 when we wrote this blog we struggled to find a way to even open the Holden Astra Convertible roof!
Internet searches back then were of little help or were out of date, phone calls however to a local Holden dealer although somewhat helpful supplied us details for the wrong model.
Eventually, we went back to the Astra owner’s manual which provides instructions on how to close the roof in the event of a malfunction but it mentions nothing about how to open it.
We thought we will just do the reverse of what the owners manual says and it should open and it did ….almost …. but with a little perseverance, we eventually got it open, identified the damaged hose, removed it from the vehicle’s roof cylinder and the pump manifold.
We manufactured a new hose, installed it back into the Astra, topped up the oil tank with “special oil ” and reset the hydraulic system.
Holden used to sell complete hydraulic systems for the Astra for several thousand dollars.
Now you can bring it to us for a fraction of the cost, we estimate that we would invoice around $300 in labour plus $150 to $200 for each new hose. The Good news is that now there are more $ savings to be made on repairs, please read on.
|Typical Astra Convertible Roof Hose, there are 10 hoses in each|
vehicle, hose Length varies between 1.8 and 3.6 m.
Never force or lever the roof of the windscreen, you will damage some or all of the locking mechanisms which is very expensive to repair and or replace. Contact us (details below) for advice on this issue.
The roof to windscreen locking latches are a combination of an electric motor, flexible drive shafts and an elaborate mechanical linkage system, See more pictures below.
In order to save time and reduce costs for vehicle owners who love this car, we experimented with a new “rough and quick” way to make repairs.
This involved some repairing of the old hose in the car rather than removing, manufacturing and installing a new hose.
The Good News
The good news for most Astra convertible owners is, that after repairing so many Astra convertibles we came to realise that 95 % of the time the failure was the same hose.
This hose is located at the rear left-hand side of the vehicle and it is connected to the bottom of the single hydraulic cylinder that lifts the metal lid (above the boot/trunk) space used to store and hide the folded roof.
We have developed a quick repair process that takes about 30 to 45 minutes to repair without having to completely remove the hose from the vehicle.
If your vehicle needs this repair current costs (as at Feb 2019) is around $165 plus 10% GST
This price includes labour, parts, and up to 200 ml of special oil.
The Secret to Buying an Astra on the Cheap
Another advantage/opportunity is that if you are looking for a cheap convertible look for an early model Astra Convertible that has a roof that does not work. Chances are pretty good that it is just this hose and the current owners have not found this blog yet.
Astra Convertible Roof Does Not Lock on to Windscreen Problems (update 01/Feb/2021)
As these cars get older and older more problems with the soft top roof are being encountered.
Recently we have noticed more issues with the roof locking mechanisms located at the front of the roof where it locks onto the top of the windscreen frame.
The roof Locking mechanism is located In front of the roof under a black hardcover. It is an impressive array of electro-mechanical bits and pieces which include, an electric motor, numerous and elaborate steel and plastic linkages, a gearbox, flexible drive shafts and a magnetic limit switch.
The most common problem we have encountered so far is caused by two cracked plastic blocks that actuate two levers on each side of the roof to open and close the two (Left and Right) “lock claws”.
In addition, there is an electric motor in the front of the roof that has an integral gearbox with plastic gears that have been known to crack or strip/break the gear teeth.
The gearbox rotates two long flexible drive shafts that can be damaged by overenthusiastic owners attempting to open or close the roof manually with the factory supplied or other “allen” key and rotating too many turns with too much force or in the wrong direction.
By the way, the number of turns of the “Allen” key from fully open roof locks to fully locked roof locks is approximately 58 to 60 revolutions (but you must rotate in the correct direction) Anticlockwise to Unlock the roof and lift off the windscreen, Clockwise to lock the roof onto the windscreen.
After lots of research and testing we have finally been able to source replacement parts for all the above issues.
There are rumours’ that some BMW soft-top convertible parts are interchangeable with the Astra soft-top Convertible, I can confirm that this rumour is True ! (well…. mostly true)
I was thinking of making a HOW-TO VIDEO on carefully opening the roof to investigate the cause of the roof locking problems, however, a fellow Aussie from YouTube channel “Killa Watt Garage” has created a very good and detailed 13 minute YouTube video on how to make some of these repairs and he has given me permission to share a link to his video on this blog. https://youtu.be/8liJZGKBg1s