4th Apr 2005, 21:57
As the owner of a used car yard with a bread and butter line made up of VT-VX Commodores of various trim levels, I have experienced a number of these faults over a couple of hundred of cars. However, I have not had them all at once like you seem to have.
It is my belief that the VT-VX Commodore is the best value, best driving car on australian roads (i am not holden biased) Overall they are exceptionally cheap to run (900kms/tank on a country run), are generally reliable and trouble free and their parts don't cost the earth.
For around $35000 new, what car can you buy with all of these features that will actually have a realistic lifespan of 500,000kms if treated with respect? Ford included!!!
I believe that you have a dud. These cars are usually a lot better than yours!!!
6th May 2005, 01:24
I have a 1998 VT Berlina with 3.8/auto - 130 000km on the odo, I am the second owner and have put 40k of that on myself.
I have had similar problems to the above:
- Power steering rack leak
- Power window/cruise control fuse blew repeatedly (but has been OK for 1 month now although I didn't find any problem)
- Front LH exterior door handle broke - $45 for new one plus $60 to get it painted, I fitted it myself to keep the cost under $200!
- Rear floor gets damp in a decent rainfall
- Various bits of internal trim have broken (mainly on and around front seats)
- Front swaybar tierods are chewing up bushes - even a nolathane bush was crushed and dropped out. The tierods are both bent and I've been told it's just a matter of time till they snap.
- Bootlight got loose in mount and shorted out all interior lights
- Parts of interior trim and door internals tend to rattle on anything less than freeway surfaces
- Trip computer cannot be reset (although I can scroll between functions)
Apart from these problems, it also has the bootlid-drips-water-on-luggage problem, and a general 'dead' feel from the steering (my parent's 1996 EL Fairmont Ghia's steering feels like a go-kart in comparison to the VT).
It's already killed a set of rear tyres due to the rear suspension camber (they wear really quickly on the inside edges) - I'd buy the kit to reset the rear end, but I plan to sell the car shortly so I'm just rotating the tyres. The front seats aren't particularly comfortable, especially the passenger front which has less adjustability than the driver seat. Rear seat is quite luxurious.
I've owned 5 other Holdens and two Fords. The only other car to display similar issues was a 1985 ZL Fairlane with similar mileage - I rate the VT build quality as about the same as the ZL. I think the EL Ghia is a far better car all-round.
All this aside, the VT Berlina does make a good interstate touring car - it cruises very well on fast roads, but can be a bit of a handful on mountain roads. The boot is not very deep and the loading lip is a bit narrow between the rear lamps.
Not a bad car overall - reasonably well designed, perhaps quality control problems are to blame for the issues mine has had?
10th Jul 2006, 05:32
I own a Holden VT ser2 5.7- I love the car and would not settle for anything else, but it does have the water GUSH into the boot after a rain, regrettable am inclined to agree that this is very poor design. My steering is leaking fluid and have a few oil leaks which prevents me parking in driveways when visiting - would have expected better quality from Holden. Overall it's a great car with huge boot space, rides great and has huge power with relatively high quality of safety features.
17th Jul 2006, 06:16
I have a VT Commodore Berlina. I have had similar problems to the previous people:
1. Fuel pump stuffed
2. Power steering system failed (leaking)
3. Alternator replaced (seized)
4. Gas struts (bonnet) u/s after 7 years.
27th Jul 2006, 08:58
I own a '98 VT Commodore with around 165k on the clock when I got it, have gone about 25k, and it has exhibited the following problems:
1. Boot lid leaks all over luggage. Most annoying if you have business related stuff in there. Really floods out of the boot, have to hold it a while to let it drain. Kind of sad.
2. Bad leak into passenger side floor, requires a decent shower of rainfall to do, still unsure where it is making it's way in, leads to windows fogging up, a potentially dangerous situation. It's a real shame the car has these leaks, and it should have been picked up by the designers and quality control. Bad Holden... Bad... I hope they've learnt.
3. Diff whine. Probably due to previous owner abuse.
4. Small leak from power steering. Some steering shudder, but probably just needs a wheel balance.
5. Hard ride, shocks might need replacing. Do feel the road nicely though. Auto shifts are quite positive. I drive it only in "Power" mode, the car is just too heavy and sluggish to drive around in "Economy" otherwise, particularly if on LPG.
6. Power steering or water pump whine. Understandable for car of this age. Needs replacing.
7. Juddery when under semi-braking at very low speeds, eg. at lights. Might be diff, might be automatic.
8. Otherwise, things are very good on the car, it doesn't have power windows which is a bit of a bummer. Power mirror switch is in impossibly stupid position and obviously added as an afterthought, but thankfully don't have to adjust it often.
For the money I paid for it, it was hard to go wrong. I run it on dual-fuel/LPG, and it's really worthwhile. I run a 3.8L V6 for around the price of a 2.0L and have all the extra space and comfort at cruising speed.
A manual would have been nice though from a fuel economy perspective and less stuff to break down, but automatic has its advantages too.
22nd Jun 2007, 03:50
Hey I have a VT 98 SS the most common prob with mine was the the rear camber and toe set up. The inside of the tyre wore real bad. Now how did I fix this, I went to holden and asked for a camber kit you need only one it will set you back no more than $170.00 just for the kit, all it is is replacing the old bushes with the new ones, then you camber set up. I recommend a mechanic to fit unless you have the tools you can d.i.y. have fun.
23rd May 2008, 23:33
I also own a 98 VT, which I have had a fair few problems with.
Both outer door handles have broken..
Starter motor just dies!
And my fuel gauge is up the $#it.
17th Jun 2008, 11:41
I have owned my 98 VT Commodore since September 07, and have had really nothing but trouble since then.
It's still a comfortable car to drive, and nothing major has gone wrong yet, but there are just little annoying problems...
It has done 250thousdand/k and: the diff whines... power steering fluid leaks... small oil leak... chews petrol like it's air...
When I open the boot after it's been raining, water leaks into the boot sometimes onto my sub and amp...
Bonnet struts are gone and digital fuel alert goes nuts and tells me I have only a few km left before I run out, but can keep driving for at least another 50-60km...
My air con vents only work for the heater and dis mister, but stops working if I want cool air...
I'm just waiting for the motor to blow up; it's had its fair amount of km...