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James ASKED THE GUIDE

3027 Holden Commodore: Fuel-injector failure.

I have an MY17 VF Series 2 SS Commodore. I started it up on the weekend and the engine-warning light, traction-control, stability-control and service light were showing on the dash. The engine was running very rough. I did a bit of research and found that the LS3 V8 has a history of fuel-injector failure and that Holden has been replacing them, even out of warranty. Is this true?

These late Commodores (the very last of the locally-made Commodores, actually) do, in fact, have a history of fuel injector problems. Holden has claimed that poor quality fuel is the cause, but some technicians disagree, arguing that it’s a problem inherent in the injector’s design. Some owners have been told that it’s better to run these cars on 95 or 98-octane fuel, even though the LS3 V8 is rated to run on 91-octane ULP. But it seems even cars that have been run on the pricier brew are still recording problems with the injectors.

The faulty injectors send the engine into a potential lean-mixture situation, at which point the on-board computer intervenes and sends the car into limp-home mode to avoid engine damage. That’s why you’re seeing all those warning lights on the dashboard, while the injectors themselves are what’s causing the rough running you’ve reported.

There’s been no recall on Holden’s part, but the word on the street is that a Holden dealer will replace the injectors free of charge if you present the car at the dealership with the symptoms in evidence. Holden’s announcement that it will cease to trade in Australia should not affect this situation.

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