1996 Vauxhall Omega Elite 3.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


A superb sports saloon


The self-levelling rear shock absorbers were ruined when I bought the vehicle. Turned out to be cheapest to buy a new set from Vauxhall for just over £80 for the pair - which is actually quite reasonable.

A water leak when purchased caused by a faulty heater matrix bypass valve. Dealers said it was a head, but I did the inspection myself and bought a new valve for £18.

Brake disks needed doing.

The starter motor needed replacing at 178,000 miles.

General Comments:

A superb car and it handles better than many small cars.

The automatic transmission is superb and is almost always in the right gear.

The engine is a gem and it simply pours out power at any speed - right to the red-line.

The interior is very comfortable and the climate control works very well. The heated seats all round the car are very nice in winter!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd June, 2001

28th Aug 2001, 13:06

I had the same water leak, and it was the same part - a heater by-pass valve (only on aircon models) though I had to pay £26 for a new one!!! Where did you get yours from???

Apparently it is a common fault.

8th Jan 2002, 15:07

I too had the heater bypass valve leaking, lots of lovely steam pouring out of the bonnet when exiting the M62 just coming out of warp 7! The effect was good! I got mine for 20 quid from Lookers in Wallasey, Merseyside, fitting took 20 minutes.

8th Jun 2002, 10:27

Bought the 1998 model for a fair price. Handles like a dream, and plenty of power when you need it the most.

Faults so far include a blown dash bulb and a message appearing indicating there is a problem with the Xenon range adjuster. The message when acknowledged does not reappear after 15 minutes as stated in the manual, and so far there has been no problems.

As for the dash bulb, a Haynes manual and a spare bulb will do the trick.

1996 Vauxhall Omega GLS 2.0i 16v from UK and Ireland


Solid car, interesting drive, bargain used


Idle valve replaced shortly after purchase (at about 54,000 miles). Disappointing, but seems to be a common fault. Vauxhall dealer diagnosed fault quickly.

New power steering pump at 60,000 miles. Having motored in the fast lane prior to this car (Viva, Chevette, Cavalier MK2) I'd never had power steering before. Still somewhat disappointing again.

Other than a faulty dash bulb all okay, although other owners' descriptions of 'tractor-like' start-up noise is familiar.

General Comments:

Car is okay in terms of acceleration, but top speed is cracking for such a big car and two litres.

Steering does tend to wander with camber, but the fun of rear wheel drive compensates for any minor quibbles.

Second-hand probably best. I think if I'd paid £20,000 for one new I'd be sweating as used prices have tumbled, but I paid less than forty per cent of the original price, so I'm happy enough.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th January, 2001

3rd Feb 2001, 16:52

The tractor type noise on start up seems to be a common problem having read this site. This makes me feel a little better as I am not alone! I have been told that the noise is due to worn hydraulic lifters although this can cost around £400 to repair!! A friend told me that a cheaper option is using a high grade synthetic oil and adding Slick 50. Can anyone confirm this?

11th Apr 2001, 02:10

Yes it does sound like your hydraulic lifters causing that noise. The reason is because the pipes that supply the oil to the top end are either partially blocked or the oil pump is not very healthy. I would suggest flushing the oil system out entirely using plenty of of engine flush (actually just petrol).Then using the best quality oil filter you can find (Champion for instance).Refill with fully synthetic oil (5w/40 or lower) but above all... NEVER use slick 50!! Tried it on my car and it took me 4 months to get the stuff out! As someone told me afterwards, "never put anything in your engine that says shake well before use, it it settles at the bottom of the can, imagine what it does in your engine!!?"

30th Aug 2001, 12:18

Looking at this site, a lot of people complain about oil leaks, therefore I wouldn't use a synthetic oil because this can help oil leaks that are already there, or maybe even start some.

9th Mar 2003, 17:27

I've recently purchased a 2litre C. D auto,73k on the clock, apart from the bogus light failure,I'm suffering a temperature malfunction, the dealership wish for me to part with money, is there a way to check and find where this outside temp sensor is located.