Vauxhall Astra Mk5 (2008) violent shaking and raw fuel smell


I’ve got a Vauxhall Astra Mk5 (H) 2008
Breeze edition, 5dr, 1.4l, Petrol, Manual

The car seems ok for the first 5-10 mins of the drive, but then:

The car shakes quite violently, inc. steering wheel, doors, gearstick, and with the bonnet up the engine is shaking.
The car feels like it wants to stall when:

  • In 1st gear at any point, especially when bringing it up to the bite
  • In 2nd gear when travelling at 20mph+, 3rd gear when travelling 30mph+ etc.

I can’t really get above 1-2 mph in 1st gear, and the car throws itself back and forward as if it’s going to stall even when I’ve got my foot on the accelerator.
If I start the car within 5 mins of turning it off, the issues are instantly present, it’s almost as if they occur once it’s ‘warmed up’.

I’ve had it in the mechanic, and he’s replaced the temperature sensor and a leaking oil filter.

He couldn’t figure out why it was doing it either.

I’ve also tightened the jubilee clips on the air intake pipe as they were very loose, but the issues still seem present.

The engine management light sometimes comes on but it only reports P0170, hence why I checked the air intake pipe.

Any help would be appreciated!


P0170 can be a caused by a long list of problems. Mass airflow sensor, vacuum leaks, wiring issues ect. I’d suggest your mechanic is not very good. Maybe find a better one.

What you are experiencing can be caused by air getting in around the mass airflow sensor. That leaves a lot of space between the MAF and the engine for cracks and tears to allow leaks. You can find this with a propane torch - un-lit of course - to find the leak. The engine idle will change if you let propane fuel leak into the engine instead of air. A smoke test from a mechanics shop will help find it as well.

1 Like