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This is the Australian model (Holden). Automatic transmission.

About a month ago I was driving normally and the service light and traction control light came on at the same time. Performance didn't seem to have been affected. Turned the engine off then on, traction control light stayed but the service light went off. I scanned for codes when I got home with an OBD 2 reader, and nothing was stored/pending.

Next day it was driving fine and neither light was on.

Today the same thing happened, except after the two lights came on, it seemed like the traction control had actually turned off, because on inclines and on my slightly uphill gravel driveway, the car would rev but almost no power went to the front wheels. It seemed OK on flat roads, and I'm not sure it went into limp mode, at least not immediately. Again, no codes have been stored. Haven't tried driving it again yet.

What could be causing this issue? Also, aren't all cars meant to store codes when lights come on? I'm using an OBD 2 scanner from a local store that cost about $100. It's a dedicated device, not one of those ones that sends data to a phone.

I did some research on this, and apparently a misfire can cause this sort of issue because the car will go into limp mode and turn off traction control. There is a definite lag when you floor the car followed by an eventual jolt forward when it's working "normally". However, I don't think it's misfiring - the idle sounds fine, and it definitely didn't go into limp mode the first time the light came on.

  • Not all obd scanners are created equal, try a garage one... – Solar Mike Aug 25 at 8:43
  • @SolarMike how do I know what scanners will work with my car? Just for future reference. I wanted to have my own because the garage has previously scanned this car when the service light came on (but not any other lights - happened after the alternator was replaced) and said that there were no stored codes. And they charge $80 for the service. – user16421 Aug 25 at 8:51
  • Well, I had to research which ones would work with my car (a Jaguar) as they are very particular... I paid over 100 bucks for mine but made sure that others who had bought the same model said it worked... And, sure enough, it does. – Solar Mike Aug 25 at 8:54
  • @SolarMike sure - that's the case with most of those sorts of brands. But this is just an Opel. All the sources I found before buying suggested that nearly any generic OBD-2 scanner will work with these sorts of cars post the year 2000. Nothing on the Astra forums suggested that a certain type of device was necessary. – user16421 Aug 25 at 9:02
  • I went for one by iCarsoft... check out www.icarsoft.com – Solar Mike Aug 25 at 9:04
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There are many separate error code systems within a car. The traction control error code system is separate from the engine OBD 2 error code system. The OBD 2 error codes are just for the engine.

There is most likely a code stored in your car. However, you need a traction control code reader working for Holden/Opel.

Such a reader might be expensive to buy, so I would just go to a dealership and pay for their (most likely very expensively priced) code reading service.

  • Thanks - that makes sense, I'll take it in tomorrow. Does the lack of engine-related codes potentially rule out a misfire, or do I need to get it scanned properly to know for sure? – user16421 Aug 25 at 12:22
  • Well, if there's no engine-related code, I would assume there's no misfire. However, I'm not 100% certain if a '04 car can detect misfire. New cars can certainly do that, and turn off injection to the offending cylinder automatically in order to protect the cat. – juhist Aug 25 at 12:32

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