Vectra Steering - Peter Bowman
I have a high mileage vectra (145k) which has developed a 'clunk' in the steering. The noise appears to come from the steering column itself. The car recently passed its mot and I requested the garage to try and find the problem which they could not do. There does not appear to be any lost motion in the steering system and I cannot detect any movement ib the steering coupling. What worries me is the clunk is only evident when the engine is running (ie the power steeing is in operation). I am told it may be a steering column bush but do not see how this fits in with above symptom. Any suggestions please
Vectra Steering Noise - David Lacey
It's most probably (don't quote me) just a small amount of play within the rack itself making itself known, as the noise is only present with the rack pressured up. It may be worth tightening all the front subframe to body bolts and the bolts that retain the steering rack itself. A general tweak of all steering and suspension bolts has cured many a clonking car in the past.

As the car recently passed an MOT, then there should (hopefully) be no serious maladies present.....

Rgds

David
Re: Vectra Steering Noise - jon barnard
possible cause could be above the pedals there is a sliding joint on the lower column to absorb impacts. it has a nylon sleeve which wears and causes clonking noises when parking etc.
Re: Vectra Steering Noise - Sam
Jon,
The cavalier which preceded the vectra had a weakness where the steering column passed through the bulkhead, more prevalent on V6 models the bulkhead split around this area. maybe worth checking, although at 145k there is likely to be some play in the rack.

you've done well to get 145k out of this car, we had one N reg which was 1.7td, was only fit for scrap at 132k - good workhorse though, better than peugeot 406 - but so little legroom in the back - no more than an Astra, why do they do it ? My family hated it - said it made them feel sick to ride in it. so I had a Passat TDI 110 next - fandabidozi ! 3rd gear acceleration superb plus loads of legroom in the rear. This is due for renewal in a couple of months - New mondeo DCI is my favourite at the moment.

Cheers

Sam
Re: Vectra Steering - Mark
I had a Vectra until recently it was a 97 model. In late 98 a similar symptom occured with a clonking column. I took it to the main agents as it was still under an extended warranty but this was not needed as they informed me Vauxhall had produced a revised steering rack knuckle (whatever that might look like) it was being issued to those that moaned about clunking steering. They ordered the part and it was fitted free a few days later. From what I gathered there was not a general recall for this part it was only given to those who complained. Incidently moaning was the only way to get another free revised part, this was a new engine mount and shock absorber, you had to be able to quote vibration at 2100rpm in all gears to qualify apparently. I got one of these too. Bear in mind I had a 2.0l DI so it might not work on a petrol variant.

as ever

Mark
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Richard
Hi,
I recently bought a year 2K Vectra LS DI 16V saloon and I am very impressed with it. The engine is very good, lots of go and I am averaging 47-50MPG. The engine is a little noisy when cold, but when warm it is much smoother and quieter. In fact on the motorway it is only doing 2250rpm at 70mph and it can hardly be heard at all.
However the only small 'problem' is that it drinks about 0.4 litres of engine oil per 1000 miles. The car has 15,000 miles on it and therefore may not be fully run-in yet.
Has anybody else here experienced some engine oil useage with this engine?
Has anyone any comments on the engine regarding reliability etc?

thanks
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Mark
Hi Richard

I had one of these (but the earlier body but much the same engine) and sold it a couple of months ago with 120k on the clock having owned it from 15k.

If you search this site you will find a number of threads about the oil consumption on these engines and as I recall letters on this subject are a regular feature of HJs column in the Telegraph.

It seems to be the case the cylinder heads retain a quantity of oil for sometime after switching off the engine and therefore a check of the dipstick shortly after stopping can reveal a low oil level with the conclusion the engine is using a lot of oil. If you give it a couple of hours you should get a truer reading but as I recall my oil consumption did not start to decline until about 25k at which point I changed to fully synth (Millers XFE for turbo diesels).
Up to then it was using 1-1.5l between 7K changes (Vauxhall recommend 10K changes but I have always followed the advice oil cheap, engines expensive).

The engine itself has a cam chain rather than belt and I was never able to get a Vauxhall main agent to suggest a replacement period for this, they all said "its not a service item it will go on forever" make of that what you will.

In general engine reliability was not bad, I did have an ECU burn out at 20k but that was due the Vauxhall Main Agent Mechanic shorting the glowplug connectors against the block when fitting a new engine mounting.

I also had a spate of relays going at around 30k, they were all on the starter side and probably linked to the glowplug/ecu fiasco.

I did have a vaccum pump seal go at 60k and of course the glowplugs went at 95k, after 80k the rocker box started to weep slightly but never to the extent it became a worry. Other than that the engine was by far the best part of the car although some of the electrical bits seem a bit fragile.

I wont go into all the non engine related bits that failed however but I can assure you it would be a much bigger post than this one.

as ever

Mark
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Richard
Thanks Mark,
I do my own servicing on this car and I am using Miller's XFD semi-synthetic currently. I did use the fully-synth, but I channged to the semi-synth to see if the oil consumption lessened, which it didn't.
The 0.4 litres per 1000 miles is not too bad, I make a point of checking it every week and I do expect the consumption to decline over time.
Regarding the rest of the car I cannot really fault it. I bought it in February with 7k on the clock, and it has now on 16k miles with no problems at all.
It seems very well put together and drives quite nicely, although the ride is a bit on the firm side and larger pot holes are felt.
My only critisism so far is that the bonnet is getting some awful stone chips! I do not tailgate people but I had hardly any stone chips on my previous white mark 3 Astra. The Vectra is satin red metallic BTW.
Anyway, thanks again.
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Mark
Hi Richard

I had more stone chips on the Vectra than on any other car I have owned, the paint seemed to be very soft. Luckily there are large amounts of plastic at the front end so it could be much worse.

Best of luck with the touch up paint.

Mark
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Alvin Booth
Hi Richard,
I have a 98 Vectra with the TDI engine which is tha same as yours apart from having an intercooler.
I prefer diesels and this engine is by far the best I have ever driven and I cannot fault it with its low down torque and a perfectly matched turbo which is not always the case.
I had this car new in 1998 and still only have 10,000 miles on it due mainly to the wifes car always being in front of it on the drive and being to lazy to move it out of the way.
As regards the oil consumption I have read previous threads on this and they don't altogether agree with my experience. Firstly I found that dipping the oil with it cold gave me readings well above the level mark and repeated dipping never gives me a clean level on the dipstick.
The old adage "when all else fails read the instructions" led me to read the handbook which states "the oil level must be read with the engine at operating temperature allowing enough time for the oil to drain down" (or words similar) which you will find in your owners handbook and is the method I have since adopted.
I usually check it about an hour after a run and always get a clean dipstick reading.
As regards consumption..yes it does use a small amount of oil which I attribute to a diesel always taking a long time to run in so I am not at all concerned. I use Morris Multivis semi-synthetic oil which has been the only oil I have used for some years.
My wifes maestro with a Perkins Turbo diesel engine whit 60,000 miles on the clock has only just recently almost stopped using engine oil so its about ran-in.
I wouldn't concern yourself in the slightest Richard with the compsumption you are getting and Vauxhall would say this is well within the parameters they themselves set down for this engine.
regards

Alvin
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Richard
Thanks for the input guys. The DI is a good engine ( I have not tried a DTI/TDI). I am a diesel fan as I find modern turbo diesels better to drive than petrol engines, due to the low down torque. Therefore it is much less fussy than a petrol engine around town as you can tootle along in 1st and second gears without using the accelerator, it is easier to make progress when cruising (none of this changing down a gear all the time like in a petrol powered car) if you are doing about ~2,000 RPM in any gear, as the turbo will be spooled up to a decent speed, and the engine is quieter than a petrol engine at higher speeds due to tall gearing.
The best feature of the engine is that its power is well distributed throughout the useable rev range e.g. 1200-4500 RPM, and there is instant 'go' in first gear, so good progress can be made if you pull out of a junction for example. I once drove a Mondeo diesel ( I know it is old-school indirect injection etc.) but it was awfully slow in 1st, and when the turbo kicked in rather unexpectedly at about 2500 rpm, I was taken by surprise when pulling out from a roundabout after wondering why the engine was so sluggish! Once up to speed it was reasonable however.
Anyway I bet the 2.2 DTI as fitted in the Saab and the latest Vectra is quite something, and I read in Diesel Car magazine recently about a Vectra 2.2 DTI SRI!
With all this rapid development within diesel passenger cars, petrol engines are slowly becoming the second choice and rather out of date.
I notice that Honest John is rather pro-diesel, so keep up the good work!!
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Alvin Booth
Richard,
Agree with everything you say about diesels.
As someone on an earlier thread said. "If petrol engines were just being invented today, stating that a new fuel had been developed which needs a spark to ignite it and is highly volatile its doubtful that it would get off the ground".

Alvin
Re: Vectra-OT-Opinion on DI engine - Stuart B
I support the other comments about Ecotec DTI oil cunsumption. I thought mine was bad until I read the various threads which basically amounted to read the manual. I thought that such a simple task would not be so critical but it is, and since adopting a regime like Alvins of leaving a hot engine about an hour before dipping has "reduced the oil consumption" to about 0.5 litres per 1200 miles approx.

Considering that its a lease car and if I want to put Millers or another synthetic in its out of my pocket then I just accept the higher consumtion than on previous XUD engines which was negligible.

Then again who was it said, "it's the additives do the work, the oil just carries them round the engine" So maybe a regular shot of fresh oil/additives is not such a bad thing?
Re: Vectra-Clunking suspension - gwyn parry
Hving run a 2.0l (SRi) Vectra from new, P plate current mileage 55k I can confirm the clunking from the steering is a common complaint. I moaned when mine started rattling at around 10K and they were replaced (free of charge) by the Main Dealers. They told me that there was a design fault that was fixed on request - steering knuckles. Over the last 55k I have a list of common faults on Vectras (based on Service Managers remarks)

1. Steering "knuckles"
2. Middle box on exhaust
3. Crankshaft sensor
4. Rear suspension bushes
5. Stereos
6. Door seals.
Re: Vectra-Clunking suspension - Mark
Hi Gwyn

I had the door seals and the stereo replaced on my Vectra as well as the bits mentioned in earlier posts. Seems to be a common link here.

Regards

Mark
Re: Vectra-Clunking suspension - crazed idiot
my vectra 1.6 16v snapped its cambelt at approx 2 years old and 30 odd thou miles...

not under guarantee, was towed to a main dealer who estimated £ 2 k to fix...

eventually vauxhall agreed to pick up the tab...

that car is now exactly 3 years old so built after the period when they acknowledged a problem in this area...

oh and the same car had less than perfect steering from new, nothing dangerous, as described above, which I never bothered to sort cos I'm lazy (unless I get really upset)...
Re: Vectra Steering - John Slaughter
I belive a common cause of steering 'clunk' on Vectras is worn bushes in the lower suspension arms.

Regards

john
 

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