1999 Holden Vectra JS CD 2.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand




Exhaust and muffler rusted after 7 years - replaced.

False OBD/engine light illumination caused by loose sensor connector - refitted by the dealer at no cost.

Coolant system is very touchy, and requires an annual flush to run smoothly.

'Twaomp' noise from the wheels, replaced bearings, brake pads and rotors, but the noise is still there. Does not effect performance or the vehicle.

Recently, the vehicle misfired whist travelling at freeway speed. It felt as though I'd just driven over a speed bump at 100km/h, although the road was clean and level. The car continued a further 2 or 3 km before doing the same thing. Concurrently the tacho started jumping erratically, and even red lining, all while the vehicle was barely ticking over 3,000 RPM. The car then proceeded to stall, and I lost control of the power steering.

The car was able to restart, but the RAC advised it was best to have a tow back to a repairer.

The mechanic checked the OBD with a scan tool, and a series of faults, including misfire and ignition problems, were identified. On their advice, I replaced the crank angle sensor and the cam sensor.

After about 2 hour of idling in the workshop, I was informed that the mechanics could not make the vehicle 'fault' to replicate the previous issue, and that it performed well on the test drive.

I drove out of the workshop with no problems, and the repairs certainly fixed the issue with the tachometer.

A few days later, whist driving on the freeway in wet, cold conditions, the car's temperature was fluctuating between warm and hot. As soon as it reached about 98 degrees, it would drop down to warm again. This continued for about 20 minutes. Then, in almost the same way as before, I lost power on the throttle; it rev'ed but would not pick up speed. I'm travelling at 100km with my foot on the accelerator getting minimal response. The gearbox would not shift down gears as the car slowed past 50km/h or even at 30km/h. The engine just cut out in top gear, and I lost power steering at about about 30km/h. There was no problem restarting the engine, but the problem persisted and the engine light illuminated. I continued to drive, pulling over every 5 minutes to let the car rest and cool down.

It seems to happen when I'm travelling a distance further than 10 minutes from home.

Since then I have put the car in the naughty corner, and started catching the bus.

I don't know what to do now. I'm thinking that it could be a fuel injector problem or a vacuum leak, but aside from that - I'm out of answers. Do you have any ideas?

General Comments:

Remember, this is the good 4 cylinder 2.2 ecoline engine with auto transmission.

Handles extremely well.

Excellent 'pick-up' on the throttle, with power delivered instantaneously.

Suspension is brilliant - can hardly feel speed bumps or rough roads.

Interior controls are well placed.

Good fuel economy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2011

17th Jun 2011, 17:55

Read the other reviews on JS Vectras here. Sounds like you had a very lucky run out of an otherwise unreliable vehicle. Time to move on.

18th Jun 2011, 02:25

Just curious, what does your heading Sensible refer too? Sounds more like it would be sensible to get rid of it ASAP. There's a huge number of negative reviews of this car on this site. I feel real sorry for anyone who owns one. The daughter of a friend of mine bought a year 2000 auto 2.0L Holden Vectra privately secondhand, I warned her not to buy it, but their 'family mechanic friend' who was actually just the owner of a wreckers gave it the 'all clear'. Sure enough, it ended up being a total dog, and she junked it in disgust, bought a Corolla, and never looked back...

1999 Holden Vectra JS from Australia and New Zealand


If I knew then what I know now...!!!


The car has since last year, several times had the engine cut out whilst driving at 60-70km hour in traffic, which is extremely frightening and deadly. No acceleration, and no steering. I have had the car serviced regularly, and the mechanic cannot find the problem!!!

The coolant hose system split, dumping a complete reservoir of coolant all throughout the engine, and immediate overheating of the engine, requiring the full main coolant hose system to be replaced. Coolant hose system they call 'an octopus'. Complete removal of the engine is required to remove, replace and fit the hose system. Hose unit itself costs over $650. All up, including labour, almost $1,000.

Remote central locking no longer works, so use the key, however central locking on the rear doors is also intermittent if at all.

General Comments:

With no accountability being acknowledged by Holden for the engine cut, or recall to replace, or advice to resolve the issue. I am driving a death trap, which I cannot wait to get rid of!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th January, 2011

10th Feb 2011, 06:11

I wouldn't buy another Holden after my old Camira - terrible. Similar story to you. I've now got a Toyota, which is light years ahead.

19th Jan 2012, 22:11

Hello world.

I am dying and crying on every drive, since 3 years I brought Holden Vectra 99 model. By mistake, I got this car without reading blogs forums. Now, yesterday, it broke on a drive and smoke started coming out of it. NRMA came and told me that there was no water and oil.. God knows how it got emptied, as I do get the regular service done.

After taking it to a mechanical shop by NRMA towing service, the mechanic says the engine is cooked and it almost looks like a new engine needs to be replaced, which is going to cost around $5000. I am F*in freaked out with this car.. No words to express.. I have already spent more than what I have purchased it for over 3 years. Dammit... if time could go back 3 years, I would not have taken it for free either... what a crap lemon...

Anyway, can someone suggest to me please where to go from here? My aim is spend the minimum possible to get the car up and running.

Many thanks.