1990 Vauxhall Senator CD 3.0 24v petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A high performance luxury bargain

Faults:

CD Player sticks.

Heated seats don't work.

Heater won't work.

Broken wire from the ECU caused a loss of power.

New timing chain and head gasket.

Air con won't work.

Digital dash broke.

General Comments:

An excellent car. There have been a few niggling faults with the electrics. It seems that all Senators seem to be having a problem with electrics. Some however have been caused by myself and garages who don't know what they are doing. Vauxhall dealers are a waste of time.

The car is a 3.0 24v CD white 1990 model (not ex police). It has all the usuals including alloys, ABS etc. The main problem with this car is finding someone who will fix it. Every garage that I have been to seem to either bodge it or break something else. It best to do the work yourself.

I have made a few modifications to the car. I've had the head gas-flowed, stainless Scorpion exhaust (cheaper than a Vauxhall one) and a Autobahnstormers owners club chip fitted. All have made a big difference. I estimate the power to be around 215bhp. It would eat a five series for breakfast and out handle most boy racers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2001

1990 Vauxhall Senator CD 3.0 24v petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Half the price of a 5 Series and just as good, but the badge lets it down. A big car bargain

Faults:

Timing chain has just been replaced.

Heater broke.

Heated seats won't work.

CD player sticks.

Scorpion exhaust.

Owners club chip.

Gas flowed head.

K+N filter.

Cat replacement pipes.

General Comments:

Very smooth, and powerful.

Handles very well for a big car.

Not very easy to work on, but well made.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2001

1990 Vauxhall Senator CDi 3.0 24v petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Excellent value combined with prestige motoring

Faults:

Air conditioning failed and removed as too expensive to replace.

Cruise control unit failed.

CD cartridge not working.

Intermittent engine fault resulting in jumpy acceleration.

Timing chain tensioner failed.

New timing chain.

New 24 valves.

New distributor.

New lambda sensor.

General Comments:

If only the intermittent engine fault could be cured I would keep the car until it rotted under me.

This is my third Senator and I am looking for an 'immaculate' 1993/4 replacement.

The huge surge of power in sport mode makes the 25mpg worth while, and for cruising it is the only car I have driven, where you can drive all day and still want to continue into the night.

Vauxhall dealers are not worth visiting, but finding someone who knows much about Senator's is difficult.

Why did Vauxhall stop production of what is arguably one of the best prestige cars in its class - to replace it with the Elite?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2000

27th Feb 2001, 02:32

I may know why your car surges. Check the wires running from the ECU. There are two black wires. Check them both. When these break the car runs on emergency fuel mode. Which means you lose power and thus causes surging.

23rd Mar 2001, 12:17

Re: the surging. Could be the lambda sensor. My 24v surged when accelerating, took it to numerous experts, eventually got a tip from the internet.

Replaced sensor (£45) - cured!

1990 Vauxhall Senator CDi 3.0 24v petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Buy one, you won't regret it!

Faults:

Fuel pump packed up a week after I got the car, £30 from breakers.

Air con needs re-charging.

Intermittent fault on the digital dash.

General Comments:

Fantastic motorway cruiser, nothing can get beat it for speed/acceleration combined with comfort. Very quiet engine even under hard acceleration.

All controls are easy to see and reach, digital dash excellent for keeping your eyes on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2000

1990 Vauxhall Senator CD 24v 3.0 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Cheap, fast, reliable

Faults:

Air con unit failed, rear off-side electric window, head hasket.

General Comments:

I use this car as my work-horse, I use it almost like a van during the week as it has masses of boot space. At the weekend it changes into a limo.

This car can keep on accelerating hard right through up to license banning speeds, and for a BIG car the sports selectable suspension makes it handle better than most GTi's.

My car has over 160,000 miles on the clock but it still sounds and runs superb. I used to have a 94(L) Rover Vitesse that died after only 120,000. That's why I don't care if it's only a G plate.

Advice - Buy one, cruise at around 35mph, select Sports Auto and put your foot down hard. Awesome.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th July, 2000