Over the years, we have addressed the VE Commodore a couple of times in our various forms of marketing. We have released a video review on the car and even covered the common faults that relate to the V6 Commodore timing chain. That issue seems to plague these vehicles.
After releasing both of these forms of vehicle reviews, we have copped a fair chunk of flack from various consumers. In response to this we have decided to address the issues with these vehicles once again with a straight to the point, what we think and why.
The VE Commodore is not a particularly good choice of vehicle for a number of reasons. We will address just a few of the common issues we see daily in our workshop.
The key reason for our “meh” attitude towards them is the VE was the release of a complete new platform for GM. This results in many bugs needing to be ironed out and as with most new things in the automotive industry, it’s the consumer who becomes the test pilot and also the one who foots the bill. By buying a VE Commodore, new in its day or second hand now, you are willingly putting your hand up to be a guinea-pig to test the new platform.
The single greatest issue is the timing chain fault that the V6 engine is very common for. Unfortunately the Holden V6 is known for stretched timing chains which is a very costly fix.
We have addressed this in a previous blog post which can be found at the following link.
Holden VE Commodore Stretched Timing Chains
Sticking with the V6 engine for now, there are other common faults these engines have. The Hydraulic lifters are known for getting very noisy and creating noises that can lead people to misdiagnose the above mentioned timing chain fault as the cause. Noisy lifters are a common issue with the VE Commodore.
The V6 is also known for flooding itself when it’s had some starting issues. A battery on its way out or any other no start issue often will be rectified but the vehicle still won’t start. The cause of this is the spark plugs have been flooded with fuel and won’t spark any more. To fix this the top of the inlet manifold has to be removed the spark plugs replaced or cleaned and reassembled. On a side note, these spark plugs are iridium plugs which makes replacing them rather expensive.
The main battery location in the boot or behind seats in the utilities, seem to be causing semi common problems with voltage drop becoming excessive. This is relatively easily fixed but requires owners to spend a few quid on a battery with substantial CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) to combat the problem.
The Engine mounts always split, with the passenger one failing first due to the torque of the engine, causing it to twist under acceleration. The drivers side one is less common for splits but in our experience 50% of the time, if the passenger one is gone the drivers one is too.
The V6 thermostat location is ridiculous. There are many different opinions on what the best way to tackle this job is. Transmission out, manifold off or have tiny hands. Regardless of how it’s done, it’s a labour intensive job and the simple thermostat replacement job on one of these will empty your wallet.
There you have it. Our list of the most common things to be mindful of when it comes to the VE Commodore. They aren’t the worst car ever made but they aren’t real flash either.
For more information you can check out our video review of them.
Vehicle Review Holden VE Commodore