Common Issues faced by Holden Owners


Holdens may not be in production anymore, but they still are some of the most popular cars in Australia. The company continues to supply genuine holden parts and provide service expertise, ensuring that maintenance is not an issue. Some of the older Holdens, however, typically face some issues, which you can detect by asking the following questions. 

Is the Coolant Leaking?

Have you noticed splotches of bright coloured liquid on the floor under your parked the car? Cars such as the 2015 Commodores with an Alloytech V6 engine are prone to coolant leakage. The coolant helps run your engine at an optimal temperature, increasing its efficiency and performance. So, when it leaks it results in temperature anomalies in the engine. 

The coolant can leak because of a damaged gasket for the thermostat housing. It can also occur due to leaks in the O-rings at the front of the cylinder. Further, if you car has driven more than 100,000km, the coolant leakage can also be due to a damaged water pump. 

How well is the Timing chain performing?  

The gears that power the camshaft and crankshaft are connected by a metal chain, known as the timing chain. When in perfect working condition, it controls the engine’s firing timings. However, it can sag or wear out with use, and thus disrupt the engine’s timing. The problem was common in the 2008 VE Commodore wagons  with less than 200,000km on the metre. You can tell if the timing chain has sagged if you observe the following phenomena:

  • The engine misfires: A distorted chain skips a gear, and thus affecting the smooth movement of the engine’s pistons and valves. If an engine cylinder opens and closes earlier than it should, the engine misfires.  
  • Metal shavings in the oil: If the chain has eroded over the years, chances are that the shavings would have accumulated in the engine oil. Inspect the engine oil when you ask for an oil change. If the mechanic finds metal shavings in the oil, it could point to a deformed engine belt/chain. 
  • A rattling engine: If you notice rattling noises while idling, the timing belt or its tensor could be malfunctioning. Driving under such conditions is sure to cause further deterioration of the engine, and cost you thousands in repair. 

In general, if your car has run over 200,000 kms you may have to replace the timing chain. Regular service is the best way to keep it in good health, and change it when needed.  

Is the Camshaft sensor working?      

Several Commodore owners complain of a faulty camshaft-position sensor. This electronic sensor monitors and relays the position of the camshaft to the Engine Control Module. Based on the information received, the latter controls the fuel injection and ignition. So, a malfunctioning sensor leads to poor fuel economy. You may notice the following symptoms before the sensor stops working altogether:

  • Your “check engine” light turns on
  • A spluttering, stalling engine.
  • Increased fuel consumption.

In conclusion

The article mentions some of the common problems faced by Holden owners. If you own one, remember to specifically check for these problems during your next service. Opt for genuine holden parts if you need replacements, and always get your car serviced from a reliable expert. Holden cars are known for their rugged reliability, and with good maintenance, they are certain to go the extra mile.


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