Vaux­hall’s finest?

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Editorial -

Our lat­est project car is prob­a­bly the youngest we’ve ever bought – it was reg­is­tered on May 13, 2011. How­ever, it was cheap for a rea­son: the mileage is over 167,000 – that’s around 26k a year.

With our new spon­sors Au­to­vaux of­fer­ing to help re­pair any Vaux­hall model we chose, we had to make a de­ci­sion be­tween a Corsa, As­tra or In­signia – those be­ing the best-sell­ers. As the lat­est project was to re­place the rather huge Mercedes-benz E320 es­tate, we de­cided to go for the big­gest of the three Vaux­halls.

I took my usual route of find­ing a suit­able ve­hi­cle on­line at Bri­tish Car Auc­tions in the week lead­ing up to Christ­mas. It would help if we had a car bought be­fore the hol­i­day break, so we could give it more of a test drive.

Around 90% of In­signia A models on the used car mar­ket are diesels – mostly the 2.0 CDTI in power out­puts of 130 or 160PS and some with ECOFLEX (what­ever that may en­tail). So, a tur­bod­iesel was the model of choice and a high-miler would give us some­thing to get our teeth into. Hence, when I saw the 11-plate Sports Tourer in Elite trim listed at the BCA sale on De­cem­ber 20, it seemed worth a punt.

There was rea­son to be cau­tious, though. Over the past few weeks I had spot­ted many dead In­signias, mainly due to en­gine seizure, which could arise for any num­ber of rea­sons. Is the 2.0 CDTI that bad, I won­dered?

I had al­ready lost two In­signias in bid­ding wars the day be­fore, each ex­ceed­ing my tar­get price. So with the Elite model driv­ing through the hall, I had a max­i­mum of £2000 to spend. Bid­ding started at £1000, climbed to my bid of £1800 in a mat­ter of sec­onds and that was it – we had won this twoowner, high-mileage project.

I’ve not seen our In­signia my­self, only in the pic­tures that Rob Hawkins took for the fea­ture start­ing on page 30. But, as you will read, Rob didn’t get to drive it around much over the fes­tive pe­riod.

Ac­cord­ing to the V5C, the first owner had the car through the Mota­bil­ity scheme for the first two years. The sec­ond owner added around 30,000 miles a year from 2013. We’ve man­aged to speak to the last owner and hope­fully will be able to solve the mys­tery of the non-ex­is­tent ser­vice records.

If you have ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing on

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