I bought my 53-plate Vectra GSi 3.2 V6 when it was three years old in October 2006. It was the first Vectra I test drove - in fact the first I ever drove. It felt fabulous on the road - precise handling, quiet, very confortable indeed and with plenty of oomph! It was a no-brainer and with 42,000 miles on the clock at three years of age, the mileage was okay too.
The car was purchased through Network Q and the warranty was really good. I used it twice - once for a bald tyre (as supplied) and once for the rear shock absorbers, which were knackered. No quibbles. Great!
Since then, the only problems I've had have been the driver's side front suspension spring snapping, which was a weird experience. It gradually sank until the tyre was rubbing the wheelarch liner over about 100 metres of so. I got the car recovered to the garage and had the work done. Eibach Sport springs were fitted and the handling immediately sharpened up. A result! A couple of years ago, the mass air flow sensor flagged a fault. Vauxhall wanted £280 plus delivery plus VAT! eBay yielded a suitable secondhand replacement for about £30 delivered. Sorted the problem and still going fine. Aside from that, I've had to replace a xenon headlamp bulb and assorted other bulbs around the car, front anti-roll bar drop links and rear upper control arms, plus tyres. I think that's all - not bad for almost six years!
Modifications have been... errr... non-existent! The car sits at standard ride height, on standard wheels and tyres. The shock absorbers are boggo, as is the air filter. I fitted 6000K headlamp bulbs. I did the airbox modification too, which was worthwhile; the car sounds healthier and pulls better as a result. Money is tight at present, though, so mods are not on the cards right now because they are usually expensive.
So what next? Well, the car is overdue a timing belt kit and a general really thorough service. I have been buying the stuff to do this over the past months since the new year. I have a Continental timing belt kit, water pump, thermostat, spark plugs, uprated (Meyle) front ARB drop links, new (Saab-spec) rear upper control arms, engine oil and filter, synthetic transmission oil, fuel filter, air filter and cabin filter to go on the car. Work begins with the basics this weekend - suspension work, engine and transmission oil and filters. The timing belt kit will go on on the coming weeks, as will the water pump and thermostat. I need a few more tools, gaskets and seals before I can go ahead. I might put a new radiator on it too; the temperature rises slightly in traffic until the fan cuts in and brings it straight back down again. (Is that normal for a V6? )
I have some eyebrows to go on the car. I shall paint them myself. I shall also blow in the bumpers and the scuffs on the bodywork. The car will get a full detail in due course, hosepipe ban notwithstanding. (I am hatching water butt plans... ) I want to refurbish the alloy wheels too and might be able to get a friend of a relative to help. I'd love to put a stainless steel cat-back exhaust on the car too. Better start saving up.
I really love the car. It is so responsive and comfortable, sounds lovely, pulls like a train, carries five adults, loads of boot space, looks fabulous, is just unusual enough (being a GSi) to be interesting, is okay to work on... Okay, so she likes a tipple but I can average over 29 miles/gallon on my commute. I didn't buy a GSi for cheap fuel costs.
That's all for now. Some photos...