I bought the car on a well known Internet Auction site, but lost everything the same day I collected it when the engine eventually went for a burden.
The handbrake seemed none existent when I came to try it, it turned out that the Vectra uses a rear disc brake that also has internal shoes as well, to operate the handbrake, and at some point they had become stuck to the drum and then been damaged when the car was driven off. This cost me £280 for new discs, pads and shoes before I even got the car home.
Later, traveling at speed along the A50, the oil light came on, so I de-clutched and the engine cut out. I coasted to a pull in place and re-started the engine, which ran really rough and clattered terribly from the camshaft area. Called the AA who said the engine was a write off, must have suffered oil pump failure or had a problem with the oil circulation. The oil was fine, just had it changed earlier when having the brakes done.
I began to get the feeling I had been sold a duff car by the guy I bought it from.
The other problem Kwik Fit told me was that the rear exhaust manifold had fractured, which was why it sounded louder than it should have been - apparently this is common on V6 Vectras, and expensive to repair.
Seemed to be prone to rust around the rear tailgate wiper on the hatchback - was quite bad and leaking in water into the tailgate.
The car looked great, Star Silver, really stylish with alloys, boot spoiler and twin exhaust. It's a lovely shape and I was taken by it when I saw it for sale on a well known internet auction site.
Looks can be deceiving!
It was a bag of spanners that I had the pleasure of driving for less than a day before it packed up - terminally.
The drivers door window would not come up properly without being 'helped' by my hand to close straight without leaving gaps at the side.
The gear stick linkage was not centralised, so getting first and second was a nightmare. It's a shame, because the interior was not too bad, nice Recaro style seats and useful dashboard display module showing things like bulb checks and trip computer. But the build quality was dreadful.
At 120,000 the engine was shot - I was very upset and annoyed - the cost of a replacement engine inc labour was nearly £1000 and that was a cheapo engine off Ebay, and my local backstreet mechanic changing it out.
Back to my old Cavalier - it's still running - 14 years old and not an ounce of bother apart from silly things like the radiator or alternator going.
Considering the Vectra was the replacement for the Cavalier, it is a whole leap backwards in terms of quality and reliablity - I was told to avoid the 2 Litre EcoTec engines and go for a V6 - I agree, the V6 is very potent and fast, but what good is that if it blows up as soon as you push it a little?
Avoid the Vauxhall Vectra (95 - 02) like the plague, what a load of rubbish poor excuse for a car.
And also be very careful of buying on Internet auction sites, you are committed once you buy and usually you will not have seen the car first in real life - just pictures of it. Sellers can be dishonest and not say about faults with a car they are selling.