Buying a used Vauxhall Vectra is a great way to get a quality, economical car without breaking the bank. However, like all used cars, the Vauxhall Vectra has a number of areas you need to examine closely before you purchase. This ensures you get a good condition car with plenty of life left in it.
Vauxhall Vectra Cam Belt
On both the Vauxhall Vectra I Series and Vauxhall Vectra II Series, you must check that the cam belt has had at least one change within the last four years or 40,000 miles. Without a cam belt change in this time, there is a significantly increased risk of it failing, which has the potential to completely destroy an engine and, if this happens when driving, it presents a serious danger, as the engine immediately cuts out. Ideally, at the same interval, the owner should change associated cam belt parts, including roller kits and tensioners.
Vauxhall Vectra Headlights and Bodywork
Ensure the headlights are crystal clear on the Vauxhall Vectra I Series, as this model is prone to headlight misting on the inside of the glass from condensation. The condensation is due to heat from the headlight bulb on cold mornings. For both I and II Series Vauxhall Vectras, you must check the bodywork for signs of damage. Examine every panel to look for dents, scratches, or inconsistencies. Pay close attention to the side panels and check for swirling scratches as this indicates a top-coat respray, which is often indicative of deeper underlying problems. Squeeze the sills to check for integrity and signs of rust or corrosion.
Check under the car for signs of an oil leak. The Vauxhall Vectra I and II use 1 litre of oil per 1,000 miles for the first 20,000 miles, as standard. After 20,000 miles, the consumption improves. Check that the oil level is satisfactory, and when test driving, ensure the oil light does not come on. If a car has no oil, it causes the moving parts inside the engine to grind against each other before they freeze up. This results in damage to the engine and the parts, and the entire engine may need replacing.
Suspension Springs and Suspension Bushes
A Vauxhall Vectra II with over 60,000 miles on the clock needs the suspension examined. At this stage, for a model with average wear and tear, the suspension springs often make creaking noises, especially when travelling over bumps. This indicates that the springs require modifying and the mounts need greasing. If the Vauxhall Vectra I has suspension bush problems, a knocking noise from the suspension occurs.