2003 Holden Combo Van from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

27th Sep 2006, 01:50

I recently bought a '02 Holden Combo thinking it would be a valuable resource to work out of in the soft landscaping industry. I find that I have to really push the accelerator to the metal to get the car up hills, for reasonable speed. The pedal is really heavy to drive, feels like I'm driving a small truck! Can anyone confirm with me if this is normal for these vehicles, or do I have a dud? It has 103000k's, serviced every 10k k's. What else do I need to know?

9th Jan 2008, 05:34

Hi. I'm the one who gave the original review. Since then (it's now Jan '08) the handbrake cable has broken. Holden don't supply them - more 1st class Holden customer support - so I had to have one made up from the ends of the broken original. The blinkers don't self cancel so I have to keep checking them. They don't make a noise any more either so it's easy to leave them on. I had the timing belt changed at the right mileage, the battery had to be disconnected to do this. Fair enough. But since then the radio doesn't work any more and, of course, there's a CD in it which I can't eject. The driver's window doesn't go down any more. The SECOND steering column moves in & out about 3 cm. Very reassuring. I now refer to the vehicle as the USB Combo : Utter Sh*t Box. If anyone from Holden reads this and would like to contact me, let me know via this page. I don't hold out much hope of that, though.

30th Aug 2008, 04:45

My partner and I owned two 1999 Holden Combos, and to my dismay they seem to rust pretty quickly (hmmm maybe cause it was built overseas for overseas conditions and not Australian conditions).

Anyway, I again stupidly decided to trade in the 1999 for a 2005 (second hand). I have had troubles galore, and to add salt to the injury, I think my greatest heartache was not the car but the Holden dealers, they don't care and seem to think that the car drivers are there to make their lives a misery. A word to Holden dealers; listen to your customers, they are driving the cars you want to sell, so wouldn't you think that keeping the customer happy is the best line of attack?

Anyway my 2005 has had problems with the idling very shaky and finally they decided to fix it, but first off blamed the driver for putting in the wrong fuel (I don't think so) and next was the steering. Well after numerous visits they have finally got off their bums and TRIED to fix the problems. I only dread what is in store for further down the track when I have driven this car further.

2nd Aug 2009, 21:12

I needed a light van to convey my goods about the city. The Holden Combo with its easy rear doors and side sliding was designed brilliantly.

I found a '02 van with about 92k and in good order, and bought it at a reasonable price. Since then I have had the right window lock motor fixed - the left has gone bang now.

It has an intermittent dash fault where there are poor contacts, so it won't start - hitting the dash hard helps, it gobbles oil but doesn't smoke or leak - can I buy 50-100 oil?

I had this serviced at a ridiculous price by a local dealer - who won't see me again.

**** It's now August 2010 and I got on top of the dash fault myself - the 12 or 14 pin block behind the speedo wasn't making good contact hence the intermittent stopping... scratching each pin and a bit of contact cleaner did the trick and it hasn't stopped since. I'm a bit of a handyman and pleased that I could do this otherwise I would have been done like a dinner. The door lock I also fixed myself with a bit of Kiwi ingenuity. Cleaned the motor out with oil additive at each change (about 1500kms apart) drained and used new filters. Oil cleaner now and not used in such quantity. I was bit harsh earlier and I love the overall design - skinny tyres don't help but I drive to limitations. Perfect for what I want but fingers crossed on the mechanicals. I've still been able to avoid the dealer!!!

25th Aug 2009, 16:54

I agree with all the negative emails, I got a 96 combo 3 months ago for $3100; it stopped yesterday and I haven't got a clue. I should have searched for an old Ford Escort van or something that I can have a chance at fixing. The manual is useless for Combo owners, the parts are way over the top. Mechanics just keep replacing parts and it might just be a fuse. I am a pensioner and cannot afford to repair it, so it just sits there; isn't there some sort of morals when it comes to spare part pricing. They are just a bunch of thieves, I'm devastated.

Macca.

5th Sep 2009, 21:45

I bought a 2004 Holden Combo last year. It had about 65000 kms and ran great until a couple of months ago, when it would begin shuddering a little as it was running. Within a couple of days it would stall out completely. Eventually the service centre figured out that it was the computer. Of course Holden has a monopoly on the manufacture of these. I spent over AUD$2000 to fix. The computer itself cost over $1000. I almost should have just bought a new van.

The most annoying thing is, it has started happening again...

Apparently when the engine gets hot, it affects the running of the computer, which is mounted to the side of the engine. I'm not much of a car person - is it smart to mount the computer on the engine?

If anyone has had a similar problem please post, I would like to hear about it.

23rd Oct 2009, 14:55

I agree these Holden Combos seen to have their fair share of problems. I brought a 2002 Combo Van nearly 12 months ago. Started having problems a few months ago. The engine management light came on, and after it got hot, it would be hard to start.

Got a local garage to look at it, and after they had the van for over five or six attempts at trying to fix it, and trying to charge me $850.00 and changing parts that were not broken, I took the van to a Holden dealer. Well they said the part the garage replaced, there was nothing wrong with it, so I took the part back, and after a bit of a challenge, I got them to take the part off the bill.

Then Holden changed a part they thought was faulty with no success. Then they said the problem was in the computer, which would cost $1400 to replace plus labour. However they could not guarantee that this would fix it.

Now the starter motor has stuffed up. If these computers are meant to help the van run better and easier to service, how come no one knows what they are doing?

Give me the older type cars. If you had petrol and a spare, they would run. Might get a horse.