2nd Sep 2013, 01:58

I had a 2004 Combo, which I purchased from my son. Unfortunately he didn't treat the car very well and I spent a bomb on maintenance. I used the car for a while with my business, and found the design and space was just perfect for what I wanted, having downsized from a Econovan (Yes these need maintenance too!).

I ended up finding more issues with the car than I wanted to spend money on, all due to my son's heavy foot, lack of timely maintenance and the repairer I was using not doing their job properly, not because of poor build quality.

I finally decided to trade the Combo in, I looked around at the VW Caddy and the Fiats, and found their prices to be outrageous. For a while I even considered going with a Hyundai hatch back, however they didn't have the space I wanted, and since I personally really liked the Combo so much, I traded the 2004 Combo it in on a 2012 model!

I've read the posts and I've got to say, generally vehicles behave how they are treated; over loading any vehicle will cause issues, and over revving because of a lack of power will cause issues.

While I'm not saying this was the reason for the faults people have posted, it needs to be placed into perspective.

People who used the Combo because it was their work car and have posted here, would not treat a work car the same way they would drive the own car, guaranteed!

While Combo's are not perfect, they are an ideal size for what they are meant to do. In response to the engine mount post, you can buy all three engine mounts on eBay for $260 or Autopro for $360. The cost of parts is dependent on where you look and if you go genuine or not.

As to power, these are NOT 270 kilowatt V8s, they are 66 kilowatt 4 cylinders, which is fine for puttering around town on the smell of an oily rag! Very cheap to run.

I believe the expectations written here are bit extreme, given how many Combos are running around without problems. So these while valid complaints could be the exception, they not the rule. This post is from someone that actually likes the Combo!

28th Nov 2013, 17:50

You can buy new one on eBay with a steel rod, for replacement of the gear linkage.

19th Jan 2014, 05:24

I have a fleet of Combos. Those driven by my older employees are running fine, and have normal issues due for the km they have done. Meanwhile the other ones, driven by racing car drivers, have had more issues like overheating, broken cam belt etc.

I also have Mercedes Sprinter vans; well I can tell you now they are worse again, and use special tools to fix and are so expensive on parts. There are cheaper eBay service parts for Mercedes, but they are inferior and you'll have to do the job again. I find all modern cars are rubbish these days; too many electrical faults.

P.s. Those that break gearbox linkages are heavy fisted; buy a Mack truck. Combo vans are fine for what they are built for. Maintenance, small couriers, flowers!

29th Mar 2014, 23:55

That is so true. Exactly the same issues with a Holden Combo 2003 here!

5th Apr 2014, 22:00

I've got a 2003 Combo made in Spain and tried to look after it, regular service and such. It does not carry heavy loads, but ever since I've got it it has been nothing but trouble. Gear linkage, gear pulley, the stuck thermostat and consequently the expensive repair because it's stuck behind the water pump. This was replaced and the timing belt had to be replaced again after only 1 year because of the darn thermostat. The radiator was replaced, the muffler mended, the wheel bearings buggered and replaced, the cam shaft; every year I've spent 2000+ on the darn thing.

After the last repair (thermostat) it went for 1/2 day and crumpled in a heap and sounded like stuff was rolling around on the inside. It's at the workshop now and will be traded as soon as I get it back. Good riddance if I can find someone to buy it.

1st Aug 2014, 12:11

I bought a Combo a few weeks ago and have had nothing but bother with it. It's been to 3 exhaust places and 2 mechanics, and the issue still isn't solved! I really want to set the thing on fire and cut my losses, but I've spent 1700 on it now!

After about 30 minutes of driving, the van starts stammering and the cat starts glowing orange. The exhaust place is saying it's a fuel issue, and the mechanic is saying it's an exhaust issue. I've replaced the cat twice because the overheating forced the insides loose :(

I'm suspecting a sensor, but without the engine light coming on, it's impossible to tell!

Anyone had the same issue?

31st Oct 2014, 21:12

Your review was extremely helpful. Thank you so much.

15th Dec 2014, 04:07

Hi, I've got a 98 Combo. The car is very hard to start first thing in a morning. When it starts and takes off, it seems like it's starving for fuel. I've replace the fuel pump, fuel regulator, fuel filter, map sensor, spark plugs, and had the injectors done. Can anybody help?

Thanks, Rick.

8th Jan 2015, 06:02

Any mechanic that says "I'm not touching that" simply doesn't know how to repair it, or what's wrong with it... it's those types of mechanics that give the industry a bad name.

14th Jan 2015, 03:03

I have a 2004 Holden Combo XC and I think the thermostat is stuffed. Where the hell is it located though? I've looked everywhere and can't find it. Even the Gregory's Barina/Combo book doesn't show where it is. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


17th May 2015, 06:47

I have a 94 Combo, and when I try to start it in reverse, it doesn't start - just a click after pulling up the lever. Is there anything I need to check?

15th Jan 2016, 02:51

I'm a qualified auto electrician with 16 years experience.


29th Jan 2016, 23:30

I would love to know what you are paying for this as I have one that I would like to sell. 2003 Combo, 62,000 on the clock. Use it for a shopping trolley as I am retired since 2008.


26th May 2016, 09:25

I totally agree. I've had an 07 for 3 years now. 35000-98000 and hasn't missed a beat once. Of course I've changed brakes pads and tyres, but that's fine. I'm an electrician, I carry a fair wack of weight, and yes it's not the quickest bit; what are people expecting from a 1.4l NA. I camp in it every second month on road trips. Fits easy in any garage and under car parks.

29th May 2016, 01:13

Hey boss, I am the same, but it's not the ECU's fault.

They actually burn out exhaust valves real easy; this fouls the plugs and tells the ECU there is a fault in that cylinder and shuts it down. Then throws a no injector pulse fault to that engine, causing us auto electricians to go chasing crimped wires and ECU faults...

Good luck.

30th May 2016, 20:44

Hi... I've just read your comment on the block behind the speedo. I posted a comment on Fixya a few years ago which looks very much like yours. If you read mine and followed my fix, then I'm hugely pleased... that's a great plus to using the internet for problems. I hope others who have the same issues discover this.

7th Jun 2016, 00:01

I have to agree, I haven't had any problems with my 2008 Combo. It's a great reliable work car and I also converted the back into a camper.

11th Jun 2016, 07:23

I have Combo Van 1.4 2007 from new. Regularly serviced and never a problem; lacks some guts but only to be expected, the van is nippy and carries all I need. Also thinking of a small conversion into an overnight camper; would love some tips on conversion ideas.

17th Jun 2016, 03:55

2003 XC 1.6L Combo here, new oxygen sensors, new cam angle sensor, 2 x new ECUs, rear wheel bearings went (and I carry bugger all weight in it), gear linkage woes too.

Today the radiator decided to crack at one of the absurdly long mounting brackets on the radiator. If you own one and have never had a problem, well you are lucky, as EVERY other Combo owner I have spoken to has had similar problems, and even the local Holden dealer admits they are CRAP!!!

If you are considering one of these money pits, do yourself a favour and don't buy one, either new or 2nd hand.