Which Opel / Vauxhall (GM) Engine to Avoid?

Opel is one of the most popular brands in the aftermarket. In order not to fall into an expensive trap, it is worth knowing the worst Opel engines – both gasoline and diesel.

A very favorable ratio of age to price and equipment, a limited degree of complexity, corrosion-resistant bodies or an extremely rich database of substitutes and used parts translate into the market popularity of Opel.

To avoid an unpleasant and costly mishap, avoid the worst Opel engines. Of course, someone can say that everything can be fixed – we will answer: why waste time, nerves and money?

Read Also: 5+ The Best Opel / Vauxhall (GM) Engine Ever Made

Below is a List of Opel / Vauxhall (GM) Engines To Avoid

1. Opel 1.0 12V Engine (X10XE / Z10XEP) – Too weak and fuel-consuming

Occurrence: Opel Agila A, Corsa B, C, D

Before the downsizing era, the liter engine under the hood did not herald anything good. The X10XE (54-58 hp) was fitted to the Opel Corsa B and C. The Corsa C lift brought the Z10XEP engine, which also went to the Corsa D (60 HP). All of them are characterized by a low work culture due to the three cylinders.

In addition, the performance is poor – outside the city you have to plan your maneuvers well in advance. To get dynamics out of the engine, you need to spin it at high speed, which results in a lot of noise in the cabin and fuel consumption inadequate to the performance or driving comfort.

So it is better to choose a more powerful 1.2 or 1.4 engine. It will burn a little more or the same, and will not be annoyed by being permanently impotent.

On the minus side, we also enter the timing chain drive in 1.0 engines – it is not durable (fortunately, the complete drive does not differ in price from many belt timing drives).

The ignition coils have an average service life. There are oil leaks from under the valve cover. Many car users report increased oil consumption.

2. Opel 2.2 Direct (Z22YH) engine – directly problematic

Occurrence: Opel Vectra C, Signum

At the beginning of the 21st century, most automotive concerns experimented with gasoline direct injection. It turned out to be a dead end. The demand for fuel decreased slightly, but the complexity of the engines increased significantly.

There were also problems that had not occurred before – direct injectors were damaged by the high degree of fuel sulphation at the time, and large amounts of carbon deposits were deposited in the inlet, which was not washed away by the fuel (it went directly to the cylinder).

The solution also significantly hindered the installation of gas installations. Soon it turned out that the 2.2 Direct engine also had timing chains of average durability, not very solid vortex flaps in the intake manifold, fuel pressure regulators and high pressure fuel pumps.

Prices Opel with the 2.2 Direct engine can be attractive. It is not a coincidence. Many people avoid buying this version due to the inability to install a gas installation and concerns about a failure of the power system. When choosing a Vectra C or Signum with a 2.2 Direct engine, you must be prepared for the difficult resale of the vehicle.

3. Opel 2.8 V6 Turbo engine – exotic, powerful, fuel-consuming

Occurrence: Opel Vectra C, Signum, Insignia A, Saab 9-3 II

There has been no shortage of powerful engines in Opel’s history. One of them is the 2.8 V6 Turbo engine which, depending on the version and accessories, offers 230 HP and 330 Nm to 325 HP and 435 Nm.

Performance? Adequate to power. Combustion? Opel has never declared less than 10 l / 100 km, and in fact about 30% can be added to that. The engine is the fruit of a collaboration between Cadillac and Holden engineers.

This fact makes it easier to understand why suggestions about ordering spare parts overseas often appear on forums. The critical point of the 2.8 V6 engines is the timing, which often does not last up to 100,000. km. Exchange is expensive. There are reports on forums about offers of services for over $2,118.

Of course, the amount can be reduced – just compare the service offers and order replacements. The final cost will depend on the quality of the parts purchased and the scope of work. When replacing the timing drive, it is often necessary to install new gears, sensors or valve tappets.

A comprehensive service costs several thousand dollars. The timing drive consists of three chains and cooperating sliders and tensioners. It’s not worth saving on parts. It is better to pay more and enjoy the elements with a long service life (the cost of the replacement itself is high).

To extend the durability of the timing drive, it is worth changing the oil every 10-15 thousand. km. The metallic noises from under the bonnet should under no circumstances be taken lightly. If the chain is stretched and the tensioner is too weak, the chain may jump over a few teeth, damaging the 2.8 V6.

4. Diesel Opel 2.0 / 2.2 DI / DTI – Long-serving diesel engines

Occurrence: Opel Astra G, Vectra C, Frontera, Saab 9-3 I / II, Saab 9-5 I

Before Opel entered into technical cooperation with Fiat, it was equipping its cars with its own diesels. Engines marked with the codes X20DTL, X20DTH, Y20DTL, Y20DTH, X22DTL, X22DTH, Y22DTL, Y22DTH and Y22DTR have many versions with different accessories.

In their heyday, they were worth recommending. Currently, due to the high degree of wear and years of service negligence, it is difficult to recommend them.

For example, due to the risk of wear and tear of the injection pump – the cost of repairing it may exceed the value of the vehicle, and installing a used one is a lottery. There is also a risk of wear to other accessories, e.g. injectors. It is better to choose the gasoline version, and when you want to save on fuel, equip it with a gas installation.

5. Diesel Opel 3.0 V6 CDTI – Not too strong, but very problematic

Occurrence: Opel Vectra C, Opel Signum, Saab 9-5 I, Renault Espace IV, Renault Vel Satis

The collaboration of the General Motors concern meant that the V6 diesel from Isuzu appeared under the hoods of the larger Opel cars.

While the company’s smaller 1.7 diesels are durable, successful and appreciated, the 3.0 V6, especially in the Y30DT variant, turned out to be a failure at the beginning of production.

Not only was it overheating, but it had a problem with sagging cylinder liners which resulted in a loss of compression. A repair valued at several thousand dollars did not always bring a good result.

After years, you should also expect problems with the equipment and problems with resale (many drivers have heard about the 3.0 V6 diesel breakdowns).

Even the improved version of the Z30DT develops “only” 184 HP. A better choice may be to buy a 1.9 CDTI diesel, which will be slightly weaker after tuning (whoever insists, will squeeze over 200 HP from it).

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