Vauxhall Vivaro Common Problems


hile the Vauxhall Vivaro might not be the most powerful van you have ever driven, it does handle very nicely. A survey by Fleet News said this mid-sized van ranked in the top ten most reliable vans on the market but several owners on forums have commented about issues with older models.

Vauxhall Vivaro Engine

In some cases, the 2.0 DCi M9R diesel engine of the Vivaro has been reported with some issues such as a failed bonnet catch that led to corrosion between the cylinder head and the injectors on the vans. Other problems include gear linkage issues.

The second generation Vivaro vans after 2014 seem to be more powerful after partnering with Renault which led to several improvements and fewer Vauxhall Vivaro problems. This British-made van is built at the Luton factory so you should expect a higher level of production and added benefits from good assembly with new models.

Like the Vauxhall, larger vans will come with some issues with the older models including the suspension and electronics that should be checked out before making a purchase. Vivaro was first produced in 2001 but in 2014 Vauxhall, in collaboration with Renault, created a better model in newer vans that are more reliable.

Despite the van’s good reputation, there are owners who have found various issues with the bonnet seal, corrosion, gear linkage, and the cam chain in older models. The good news, many Vauxhall issues can be easily corrected and with parts that are easily available.

Vauxhall Vivaro Common Problems

Vauxhall Vivaro Service

If you are in the market to purchase a Vauxhall Vivaro, especially an older model, you should be aware of various issues. In many cases, if you are aware of various faults, it’s easier to prevent further damage down the road. Here’s a brief summary of issues found with the Vauxhall Vivaro.

Vauxhall Vivaro Problems Starting

In the past, there have been several issues caused by different reasons. The most common problem has been the accelerator not responding. Vauxhall released a statement warning about wear on the injectors that reduced fuel pressure preventing the van from revving.

In some cases, the starter motor will not spin properly and this part will have to be replaced. To find out if the starter motor is working properly you can connect a voltmeter to the small terminal on the starter solenoid. If it shows 12 volts when you turn on the starter, then the starter has an issue and should be replaced. No voltage indicates that you need to look to see if you have a bad ignition switch or wiring from the switch to the starter to correct the issue.

Vauxhall Vivaro Turbo Faults

Turbo issues are common with Vauxhall Vivaro. A bad turbocharger will cause your van to go into limp mode and lose power and acceleration. Many owners have reported this issue and often the only alternative is to replace the turbo.

Some owners have reported a problem with the glow plug lights when driven over 60 mph. This could mean the EGR should be cleaned or replaced. In our experience, many turbo issues are caused by shorts in the wiring. Another issue is a poor turbo pressure switch controlled by the turbo pressure sensor. Diagnostics should be run to analyse the fault code.

Vauxhall Vivaro Electrical Problems

Vauxhall Vivaro Interior

Various electrical issues or a major power loss can be troubling as it will affect the dash electronics, lights, windows, locking mechanisms, and the engine starting. With the Vivaro, it’s often caused by poor battery connections that have corroded. This is often caused by exposure to the elements as the battery sits underneath a metal panel on the floor. Along with the bonnet catch and engine corrosion, there are some common problems with this van.

To solve these problems, you will have to strip everything back and clean all the connections before greasing them to prevent future corrosion. You will need to fix any source of exposure including the bonnet catch.

Vauxhall Vivaro 2.0 CDTi Engine Problems

The 2.0 DCi M9R is one of the most discussed issues with the Vauxhall Vivaro. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to rainwater dripping from a poor bonnet seal at the base of the windscreen. Corrosion will build up between the fuel injectors and the cylinder head.

Other problems from this engine include a commonly known “kangarooing” which happens between 2.5 and 3K rpm. This noticeable stuttering can be caused by a number of issues that must be diagnosed to isolate the issue but usually happens due to wiring, pins, or connection issues.

Vauxhall Vivaro 1.6 Bi turbo Common Problems

The high-power 1.6-Bi turbo engine is the first of the twin-turbo engines to deliver Vivaro’s best fuel economy. This van has a strong performance and smooth engine thanks to its 340Nm of torque.

The downside, this model involves its complex twin-turbo system that usually produces a whining sound signalling a problem. To fix it is not easy and the cost will be much higher than a single turbo. Other owners have reported a problem with the clutch sticking.

How many miles can a Vauxhall Vivaro last?

Vauxhall Vivaro Milometer

Many owners have reported that their Vivaro is still going strong even after 300,000 miles. Keep in mind, with an engine built to last a long time you will probably have to replace some parts if you haven’t already.

If you are looking to buy a second-hand van, always check the alternators, power steering pumps, cam chain, and always look over the condition of the suspension. The condition and reliability of a used van will depend on how it has been taken care of. Keep in mind, that ex-lease models can involve economical purchases as they will require regular services.

Keep an eye out for the 1.6 diesel engine which is considered a good-performing engine. As always, take care of Vauxhall Vivaro issues early on to reduce any possible damage to the van so you can keep it on the road for many more years to come.

The Vauxhall Vivaro is a very reliable commercial van and it has proved itself over years. If you own a Vauxhall Vivaro in or around Manchester and it’s due for service or if you suspect a problem with your van, drop in to our van centre in Manchester. We will take good care of your van and you will get high-quality and friendly service at reasonable rates.

For Vauxhall Vivaro van servicing  in Manchester and North Manchester, Bury, Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale, Tameside etc, contact us or call us on 0161 628 5270 at the Van Centre Manchester, with decades of experience our specialists are sure to service or repair your Sprinter to a high standard without breaking the bank.

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