Maintenance of a used Opel Vectra 1.8 16v and 2.2 DTI (2002-2005) 

Opel Vectra

The latest generation of the Vectra, or as the Opel likes to call it the Vectra C, is still a relatively young model, with the first series produced since 2003, before the facelift, still a much sought after and enticing commodity in the used car market. True, Vectra is not drawn to design or any particular emotion, but rather to reliability and solid craftsmanship. Of course, this in practice means many miles traveled carelessly.

The Vectra C was proudly heralded as a major step forward in quality and durability when it launched in the fall of 2001 and even before. In particular, they emphasized the extremely long period of testing of the suspension and materials, which, over a long period, wanted to eliminate all the downsides that followed the Opel models.
The Vectra B as a precursor to the Vectra C quickly came to the fore in the used market due to the poor quality of the fitted parts. The reason for the drastic decline in quality at Vectra B and Astra lies primarily in the business moves of GM's then Vice President Ignacio Lopez, who, regardless of the consequences, forced parts suppliers to lower their prices by as much as 30 percent. Of course, this could only be achieved through a decline in quality, so the biggest consequences were felt by Vectra B and its customers. Fortunately for Opel, the Olympia program was launched at the beginning of the new century, aimed exclusively at enhancing the quality and reliability of Opel cars. The first result of this program is Vectra B, and a significant shift was already noticeable at the premiere. Numerous improvements and extensive development testing have proven themselves in all the markets and regardless of the place of production. The Vectra C was manufactured on GM's Epsilon platform at plants in Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and is assembled even in Egypt. Of course, the best confirmation of the improvement is the precise and unrelenting statistics of strict ADAC. Thus, they demonstrate that Vectre B had 24,8 failures per thousand copies a year in its latest series, while that average dropped to 2001 failures in 15,2. More dramatic improvements were seen with the advent of Vectra C, which in 2003 recorded only 4 failures per thousand cars in one year. We are convinced of the truth of these statistics also in practice, by reviewing several copies of Vectra these years.

Under the Vectra is truly one of the brightest spots of this car. Even specimens with significantly higher mileage are neat and in almost factory condition. Traces of rust, in negligible surface layers, are found only on the curved edges.

What really has no place are objections to bad sheet metal, which was one of Opel's major illnesses in the past. The problem with rust has been eliminated to a greater extent on Vectra B, so there is no need to think about this issue in this generation. Of course, it is advisable to inspect the edges that may have been damaged by the negligence of the previous owner. What impresses on the Vectra C, and even on those specimens that have served as official cars and therefore passed through the sieve and grid of the roads here, is the condition of the undercarriage and floor. Even on specimens over 150.000 kilometers, it is difficult to find resentment, so rather they seem to have just begun their working lives. Traces of rust are unknown even on the protruding parts of the suspension, where it is logical to expect them at least in the surface layers. The only places where superficial corrosion will be found are the parts of the exhaust system on older specimens, which is quite expected and logical, since it is nonetheless a consumable part.

Traps and suspension elements on the Vectra are also durable. There are no unforeseen costs, and the gap in the joints occurs only after the mileage within the factory-set deadlines. The advantage is that this also applies to models that have spent their lifespan on our roads, which is why many customers will be very happy to compensate for something more uncomfortable hanging in exchange for durability. On sporadic specimens, it is possible to find a slightly worse condition of rubber seals, and traces of grease on the ends are the result of poor sealing of the sealing bearing on the steering rack in a specific example. Other elements would leave the impression of almost new parts after washing.

Suspension is also robust and durable, and its durability is ideal for our roads and consumables such as ends of bindings and balls are consumed within the stipulated deadlines. Of course, one has to reconcile with the fact that the robustness and hardness of the suspension is paid with a somewhat more uncomfortable character, but this has certainly always been the characteristic of Opel that buyers of this brand are used to, and even liked.

Opel Vectra

Another of the "bright" elements on the Vectra is the durable, rugged, 2,2 liter, direct-injection turbo diesel engine borrowed from the Isuzua shelf. Although it incorporates relatively modern technology, it has shown no weaknesses in the poor quality of fuel in our market, making it the ideal choice. Under these conditions, the advantage is also the fact that the turbine does not have a variable stator blade geometry, so particles of combusted dirty fuel will not have an excessive impact on the turbine life. Extra voice for this engine is also due to the 125hp that cope solidly with the rather heavy bodywork and, of course, the moderate consumption, which makes this Vectra a great family travel sedan. A good choice will also be the Vectra with a 1,8-liter petrol engine that made up the basic offer. True, with 122 bhp and significantly less torque it seems a much less favorable choice than diesel. However, it will satisfy most customers who do not exceed 20.000 kilometers a year, and it is much easier to find petrol than diesel models with less mileage. There are no particular drawbacks and weaknesses on both engines, so if the previous owner regularly took care of it, it is almost possible to promise carefree and long-term exploitation. The Vectra C also introduces a new gearbox, an improved version of the famous five-speed manual gearbox. It did not notice problems on older specimens either, but despite the improvements at Opel, they were unable to relinquish the imprecision and clutter that became the trademark of their gearboxes over the years.

The Vectra interior does not really boast of attractive design, but it is functional and durable in any case. The materials are not overly comfortable, but will look good on older specimens as well.

The interior, like the exterior design, is quite cool and dull, but it cannot be criticized for its quality. True, the quality of the plastic liners was spared, but the lower limit of this class was still not exceeded, so it cannot be considered as a eliminating factor. Traces of wear and tear and heavy use will not be as easily noticeable on higher mileage specimens, which can be attributed to the rough surface finish. What will annoy you is certainly the sporadic squeak, which occurs in some specimens due to poorly made joints. The materials on the seats and door trims are also extremely resilient, so deformed and worn out seats will only be found on specimens over 150 thousand kilometers away, or that were in the hands of extremely negligent owners.
Generally, the Vectra C is a great and safe choice, even for those who are not fans of Opel. They and all others who choose it will appreciate it with reliability and quality, and with good mechanical properties, it is also advantageous to keep the price on the used market well, which is certainly an advantage in eventual resale.

Vectra will visit services mainly for regular maintenance. The turnaround in quality that started with Vectrom C is evident in every aspect.

Model chronology

Opel Vectra
The first generation Vectra, better known as the Vectra A, was introduced in 1988 in a five-door and classic sedan version. Vectra has replaced the legendary Ascon in Opel's offer, and it is known that on the basis of the first Vectra, an attractive coupe was built, which still has many fans today. Of course, this is a Calibra that shared the platform with Vectra, but also the strongest engines and gearboxes. In 1990, the Vectra A also received an all-wheel drive version, while among fans and collectors the real holy grail is the limited-edition 204-hp Vectra turbo. In the first generation, only one 1,7-liter diesel was available, delivering Opel to the Isuzu both in the atmospheric and turbo versions.
Technical characteristics
Opel Vectra  1.8 16v (122 hp)   2.2 DTI (125 HP) 
Engine Capacity (ccm) 1.796 2.171
Engine power (kw / hp) 90/122 92/125
Torque (Nm - rpm) 167/3.800 280/1.500
Brakes (Forward / Backward) disk / disk
Wheelbase (mm) 2.700
Dimensions L / W / H (mm) 3.596/1.798/1.460
Trunk volume (l) 500
Top speed (km / h) 205 206
Acceleration 0-100 km / h (s) 11,2 10,8
Average consumption (l / 100 km) 7,9 6,5
Opel Vectra powered by a sixteen-valve 1,8-liter gasoline engine will be satisfied with quality semi-synthetic engine oils with a viscosity of 10W-40. The viscosity of 5W-40 will be enough for the variant powered by a 2,2-liter turbo-diesel engine. Regular replacements are much more important than just choosing an oil manufacturer.

Prepared by: Adnan Huseinagić

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