1990 Vauxhall Senator CD 12v 3.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Having read some of the other reviews, very little serious problems.

I bought it last year with 132K on the clock.

It had been owned by a large company for 6 years of its life and had been serviced in house.

I didn't realise when I bought it that the digital speedo was a bit iffy.

The fuel, oil pressure, temp, voltmeter, used to go into a discharge state for between 5-10 miles after starting.

Once I had got over the initial "I've been tucked up here" shock, I accepted this was a quirk of the car.

The speedo went totally pearshaped one hot summers day in Bristol, when everything lit up, the speedo read 888MPH, every segment of the rev counter was on, looked like a chinese fold-out fan.

Anyway, bought a 2nd hand one from a Vauxhall scrap specialist in Dunstable for 100.00, and changed it in 10 minutes. I can see why they are so easy to clock.

The alternator packed up, so I got a 2nd hand 24v one from the local scrap yard for 25.00.

The biggest problem was the interior fan.

I took the whole dash apart trying to find the problem, and eventually traced it a ceramic moulding with 4 resistors.

At the bottom of this "thing" was what I thought to be a diode, but turned out to be a thermal fuse.

Put it all back together again, and it went 2 days later in Scotland in the middle of winter.

This time I remembered that the bloke I bought the fuse from, said if it goes again simply strap it out, which I did.

Bloody stupid place to put it, took almost 4 hours,having the remove the wiper assembly, and the fan housing.

2nd time around it only took 2 hours.

One concilation was that while I had the dash apart, I took out the aircon button, which had developed a high resistance caused by arcing across the contacts.

General Comments:

On the whole, probably the best car I've ever owned. Apart from a few niggly faults everything worked.

A cheap cure to beef up the poor lighting is to replace the original 55/60W with 85/100W. Each bulb is only about 6.00. I know they are illegal then so is speeding.

I forgot to mention, that I had it chipped to 196BHP with no loss of economy for 120.00 which included a K+N filter.

Having had it chipped, I took off the 3.0 badge and replaced it with my old 2.5 badge.

It used to give me great pleasure during my thousands of motorway miles, to block off the young reps in their Beemers when they came racing up the middle lane.

I would have the box in sports mode and wait for them to cut infront of me, thinking that I'm driving a big slow 2.5 slug, only to get blocked out by a dab of the right foot.

And all this pleasure for probably only 10% of the value of the Beemer.

The only reason I sold it was because the heater matrix was starting to leak very slightly which caused the windscreen to mist up.

Because the previous owner had always used Magnate oil, I carried on using it every 6000 miles with a filter change.

When I sold the car, it was still like a Swiss watch, and averaged about a litre top up between oil changes.

Having had a total disaster with a Saab 9000 I am now in the process of trying unsuccessfully to get another one.

I've looked at about 8 over the past 2 weeks, and some descriptions of "immaculate, and must be seen" are a joke.

I drove from Manchester to Retford today to look at one. I specifically asked if the A/C was working, and was told Yes.

When I got there, quess what, yes duff A/C. "Well, it was working yesterday".

The exhaust was falling off, and it wasn't charging. It really hacked me off, more so because I had taken money with me with the intention of buying it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 1999

1990 Vauxhall Senator CDi 3.0i 12v petrol from UK and Ireland


Electric window motor.

Cruise control.

Window switch light won't go out.

Air con not very good.

Petrol leak.

Thermostat stuck open, only 10 miles to the gallon.

General Comments:

100,000 miles on the clock, goes very well, burns no oil really.

Tail dragger for a big car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd December, 1998