I purchased a new car in Feb this year after many months of research into the local products. Holden appear unable to provide the truth about the Gen3 engine problems. Yes, I have spoken to at least 6 people who have had piston slap and oil consumption problems from new. All of these have been rebuilt under warranty, One has been rebuilt twice & another 3 times. Contact service at Paul Wakeling Motors and ask if they are tired of fixing them. The HSV product is very stylish and hard to go past, but I decided to go for the Ford XR6 Turbo. The XR has had some minor problems (brake shudder, Electrical switch) but you would think they could all get it together with today's technology.
I have purchased a new VX SS in October 2002. It has now 10, 000 kilometres on the clock and it is starting to show problems.
I never rave it hard or put any unnecessary stress on the car and still it is already developing tappets noise.
I also can feel a sort of a vibrating noise from underneath the automatic gear selector.
The drivers seat-cover is wearing through and the whole seat is rocking back and forth, I only weight about 70 kilograms and only wear a suite driving to the office and back.
The next issue is the back lights are filling up with water every time I wash the car.
Every time I speak to the service people about these issues they try to get rid of me.
Last month (November 2003) I purchased a new VY series 1 SS Commodore sedan - manual.
From the time I collected it I noticed a 'tappet' or 'fluttering' noise from the engine during constant light acceleration (between 2000 and 3000 rpm). I informed my dealer of this at its 1500km service, but they have found nothing wrong.
This problem has not gone away. I have had it back twice since and was told it was just a bit of engine noise. So I had Holden put on their 'sporty muffler' which they use on the Monaro at a cost of $550. It made no difference.
I have also tried synthetic engine oil, premium unleaded & replaced the air filter. Nothing makes any difference.
I will not rest until this matter is resolved and for those interested, I will update on my progress.
At this stage, I would not recommend a friend of mine to buy a SS Commodore.
To the comment from 10th December 03, I must ask if you've considered whether the noise is actually coming from the gear box. These gear boxes are notorious for this, but are neither damaging, nor a problem in the long run.
I've had my VY II SS for several months with only one complaint; traction control should stay off all the time if I turn it off (it defaults to on every restart of the car). :-)
Other than that, the price tag may be high, but when purchased 2nd hand at a much lower price, it can't be beaten for looks and when lowered is a real stunner.
I bought my 03 SV8 in March 06. It had only minor problems with the t/c and the ABS, which was due to a faulty relay switch.
Also had problems with the ignition; it wouldn't turn over for some reason, but was soon rectified.
Other than that, it's very happy; a very quick car, 6 speed, cruise control beast.
Just because it is old and you can't remember how bad they were when they came out...doesn't mean they are good.
I know what car I would want to be in a crash...
Bought a second hand VY SS with 110,000ks; so far been very smooth, reliable and quiet, and I have a very heavy right foot.
I was driving a 1998 Lexus LS400; the motor in this car was just as tappet noisy as the VY SS.
I would definitely buy another Holden; it handles extremely well for a big car, and is very very comfortable.