1989 Holden Commodore VN 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Sometimes I scare myself with how much power it has


Transmission and power steering pump leak.

Faulty ignition coils.

General Comments:

It's a top car, it'll beat any newer V6 Commodore that came out, because it is so torque responsive.

The seats are a bit wobbly, but who cares on a $5000 car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2001

1989 Holden Commodore Executive 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


A fun car if you dare push it!!!


The water temperature gauge only works when it feels like it. When it does work, the check engine light illuminates. When I check the fault codes, only number 12 comes up - which is normal operation. There is no apparent fault with the engine when this happens.

Engine has oil leaks from the rocker covers, and somewhere down the back of the engine. But it is a high mileage engine, so these are to be expected from now on.

Windscreen wiper fell off - only required the nut to be done up again.

Water is somehow getting into the boot and soaking the carpet every time it rains.

Headlights didn't work on low beam. But cleaning the connectors with sand paper fixed this.

The back seat has a spring sticking up under the fabric.

Door locks are stiff to operate.

General Comments:

Despite all the niggly bits, I love the car. It can really hammer along if you feed it. The VN only weighs 1335kg, so the modest 125kw powerplant is really responsive.

It takes a bit to get used to the handling (mine has FE2 suspension and I think the springs have been cut as well). It hangs on really well, but when it goes, you've pushed it too far and the back just goes where it wants. Most times this results in mounting a kerb. Doesn't matter which one, they're all good!!

Has better fuel economy than my friend's 1994 3.0 V6 Magna (10 L/100km for the Commodore - 13 l/100km Magna).

Trying to change the standard radio to a brand new CD head unit was a major drama - i.e. actually managing to pull the standard one out. Ended up having to break the lugs and a pop rivet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2001

29th Mar 2003, 06:53

I had troublesome water leakage into my boot too. Took it to two Holden dealerships before it was cured. The second dealership discovered both rear light clusters had holes/gaps inside them. They sealed them up with silicon sealant and the water leakage went away.

7th Jun 2004, 20:30

I have a 1980 5L VC Commodore and I found that the leaky boot was caused by extensive rust under the rubber seals around the lip of the boot. It was cheap to fix, but did involve grinding and welding so if you are looking for a quick fix just silicone it or something.

25th Dec 2004, 16:36

I also have a leaking boot lid on my 2002 Commodore Executive as does my son in his, it's obviously a Commodore thing.

I cannot see it being the rubber as mine looks perfect and the water is actually coming from inside the lid itself, this leads me to think it must be from the spoiler fixing holes although I have removed one side and all seems as it should, I did find a square hole behind the number plate and was elated thinking I had found the culprit, but alas no such luck, it still comes in by the bucket full and ruins all my power tools...Help.

9th Aug 2005, 06:09

I have a 1996 Commodore VS series II sedan. Looks like the same song and dance again. I've been searching everywhere for my boot leak which is on the drivers side. I've checked the tailight, the window rubber seals, and the fuel cap whilst running a hose over the sus area... my last brain tinkering thought is that it could be getting in from the under carriage somewhere flickering water up while driving in the rain... the search is on..

31st Aug 2007, 00:59

Silicone actually causes more rust in the long term. Use SicaFlex instead.