1989 Holden Commodore VN 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Solid, cheap car


Welsh plugs changed at 45000k due to incorrect coolant by the dealer (fixed by them).

Harmonic balancer went (expected).

New ignition coil and leads every 30000k due to running LPG/dual fuel.

Alternator reconditioned twice.

Interior trim poor since first owned.

General Comments:

Great solid, car with easy running costs, comfortable ride and has taken me through every state in Australia easily.

Also great overtaking speed during highway travel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2001

12th Jun 2002, 18:19

My '89 V6 Commodore/Lexcen has now run some 250,000k and I have to say that apart from several instances of exploded air boxes. The LPG system has been trouble-free.

These backfires are largely avoided, so I am advised, by regularly checking high tension leads for breakdowns and modifying the air box to cope with such backfires.


1989 Holden Commodore VN Executive 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Reliable and good to drive


Tailgate air struts needed replacing.

Crankshaft pulley replaced.

Speedo fault at 175000 km: needle would only come up to 70 km/hr, then dropped to zero.

Minor electric problems: fan not going on speeds 1 and 2, oil light staying on, replaced the ignition switch.

General Comments:

I had a very good run with this car: at 250,000 Km there is no sign of the motor or transmission failing.

Great for towing a boat.

Economical to drive if you don't push it.

Motor vibrates when idling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2001

22nd Jun 2001, 05:31

Hey!! What was the resolution for the oil light staying on? mine seems to be intermittent at the moment.

28th Nov 2006, 02:13

Replace the fan speed controller, its located under the black plastic cover under the front window. so take off your wipers and the plastic nut things under them, remove the black seal strip.

There are 6 little clips and 2 plastic wedges, you can take them off or gently pull the cover off.. if done to rough you will snap it..

Under that take off the cover with 2 screws, then there is a white plastic cover over the wires, unplug the wires and pull it out and replace it (looks like a cage for springs :P)

Put it back together in reverse order. enjoy.

As always with electric parts unplug the battery saves that sudden shock...

1989 Holden Commodore VN Berlina 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Great performing family car


Not much.

Interior lights don't work.

General Comments:

The car really goes well, great performance and the manual is the best option on the car.

Very comfortable, and smooth power windows and cruise control make it even more enjoyable to drive (all factory options).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2001

1989 Holden Commodore S VN 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


A gutsy car with a good handling


Things that went wrong were:

Leaking radiator.

Leaking water pump (nb. if I'd used the prescribed inhibitors this may not have happened).

Fuel pump failed (they all do!)

Warped front discs.

Not a major problem, but some of the window seals became loose.

General Comments:

The VN was one of the lightest Commodores ever built, and the original V6's were tuned to be very throttle responsive, so the car had excellent acceleration. I have driven a lot of current Commodores and they just don't have the same acceleration.

The FE2 suspension gave good handling, though the car had a tendency for the tail to slide. The ride was a bit harsh. It was always a fun car to drive hard, but my current car (1999 Ford Falcon) may not go as hard but is much better built.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2000

3rd Sep 2001, 22:48

I have a VN S pack which has very good acceleration.

Coil pack went, but my fuel pump is still fine, should I replace this?

Oil leaks at the engine (rear main seal) and the rear suspension clonks.

Be prepared to feel every bump, especially with FE2. Other than that, a great car to drive.