1998 Holden Vectra JS from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

5th Oct 2005, 07:07

I have a JS II Olympic Sedan (2.2) and like a few others I love to drive it. The road holding is excellent and the economy is also good. I am 6'5" so driving anything smaller is out of the question. Also, like just about everyone else in this survey, I have a terrible stalling problem. I work with some very clever engineers at work and they seem to think that a crank angle sensor is pretty likely. As for not knowing what has been changed by the mechanics, always ask for the old part back if anything is replaced. This ensures that they don't try and take you for a ride and also helps you to identify if it is the same item being replaced time and again. I drive over 1000ks per week and if I could be confident that the idling can be fixed I would consider keeping it for a while longer. Of course if it keeps bugging me it will be passed on to someone else. I love both of my cars, but you have to be realistic about the incurred costs. After all its not exactly a classic.

17th Nov 2005, 03:39

Yes, I'm afraid all of the above covers my experience. I swapped a 1981 Sigma for a JS Vectra V6 and, in hindsight, that was a sad day.

All the roof struts have come loose and bits rattle around inside the hood lining when going around corners. The inside lining of the rear hatch refuses to stay attached and hangs down sadly on one side.

The electric mirrors no longer work, neither does the remote key ("fixed" 3 time by Holden - I've given up asking now).

Dash lights go off and on at will. I have replaced more than a dozen brake and tail light bulbs this year alone (I started counting). It's latest trick is to blow the brake light fuse which results in the car being locked in "Park" and unable to be moved. My wife is not happy.

The clock on the dash has stopped working.

Apparently disk brake discs only last as long as the pads. Why do they fail on Vectras after 60,000K's, but last on our Pajero (driven by the same drivers) for more than 150,000 K's (and still going strong)?

Idle intermittently rough. More recently very hard to start. It seems from the above comments that stalling is not far away.

I have always maintained my own vehicles with much success. Holden refuse to release any technical information and appear incapable of fixing any problems, don't communicate what they have done and are happy to keep on randomly replacing parts as long as you are prepared to pay them to do so. This leaves with with a very expensive lemon.

I too bought a Holden because of their name for reliability and build quality. I will not make that mistake again. Unfortunately, I'm almost too embarrassed to sell it to some other poor soul.

12th Dec 2005, 00:08

It seems that problems with this model is common although your last comment of "We decided to buy an Australian-made car to support our local industry. We will never buy a Holden again..." this isn't a Australian made car... this is a European car made in Belgium. Please do not try and give the Australian car industry a bad name because you don't have the right information. There is a lot of good Australian and European cars, it is unfortunate that you got a lemon.

21st Jan 2006, 02:39

If only I had visited this site two weeks ago...=)

My sister has just purchased a 1998 JS Vectra with only 34,000 on the clock. We thought this was a good deal as the car looked and drove great at the dealer.

However...1 week later we noticed the passenger door wouldn't lock remotely. Didn't think much of it, Holden said they would fix it. The next day the car cut out on her, luckily driving through a back street.

We called Holden and expressed our concern at the problem. They said this was the first they had heard of any such problem and that we should bring it in again. On the way to dealership, the car stalled on a main road. Needless to say, my sister and mum were quite shaken up when they arrived at Holden. After insisting that the dealer take this car back in exchange for something else, they replaced the IAC valve/motor/whatever and stated that the stalling problem will not happen again.

My mum and sister bought the story and drove home with no more problems. The VERY next day, the car would not start, idled erratically, and then stalled again. It was then I did some research and worked out it is a 'common' problem.

We called the dealer, expressed our disbelief that they would lie to us and put us in danger with an unroadworthy car. They then offered to have the car towed to the dealer for further inspection.

While we continue to insist that we no longer want this car, the dealership manager has stated that he has asked a Holden electric specialist to drive the car over the weekend and determine the fault. The fault will then be rectified and he will give us the 'Holden Certified' warranty (3 year / 175,000k) at no charge. In the meantime they provided my sister with a new Daewoo Matiz to get around in.

I plan to go to the dealership when they call us and say the car is 'all good' to ask for a detailed explanation of the repairs performed. I am also interested in the potential the timing belt may need to be replaced given the car is 8 years old, regardless of the 34,000ks travelled.

Simple question... does anyone have experience with Holden successfully resolving this problem???

Please let me know at thehoopers@iinet.net.au.

Good luck! Brad.

31st Jan 2006, 16:43

In regards to Brad's enquiry,

I also bought a 1998 Vectra inn September 2005 with 47115 kms on the clock.

I have had no trouble with stalling, but would strongly recommend that the timing belt be done before 60,000 Kms (The scheduled Service for replacement of the Timing Belt).

My Mechanic has had several instances where the Timing Belt has snapped at 61000 kms.

The cost of this Service is quite large, as usually the Pulley Bearings need to be replaced.

My service cost was $1068.00 (I also needed a Water Pump).

2nd Feb 2006, 17:26

I love my Vetra and the way it drives, but since buying it in 2000 I've had so many things go wrong from basic to major.

4 new tyres

New brakes

New alternator

New central locking system

New battery

2x new cam belts with tensioner, water pump etc

10 new valves after water pump seized

Faulty fuel tank - twice

And stalling / cutting out while doing 100k on the motorway (can't remember what cuased that).

9th May 2006, 04:31

Just checked out this site as I just took a 98 S station wagon out for a spin (test drive). Love the look, size, space and no fuss style of the car and this one has only done 63000 Klm's.

During the test drive, I didn't notice any problems, but after reading this thread, I have become very wary of even considering picking this thing up!

I have had an 85 civic for 11 years - it is 21 now and completed 333000 klm's - the normal things have been replaced along the way, but other than that, no problems at all!

I would be livid if an 8 year old car would give me such grief after being blessed with the Civic.

By the look of most reviews here - I would be best to stay away from the Vectra full stop.

This is unfortunate as we hired a 99 station wagon in Holland in 2000 and it was ace! - it is the reason I checked this one out. As you can see, I like to hold onto cars for a long time and if I was to encounter these types of problems listed frequently, I would go crazy!

Are the wagons just as bad? Any feedback would be appreciated, but for now, I think I'll keep driving my start first time gem Fuzzy, my ever reliable '85 civic! :)

Cheers.