Why does the engine light keep coming on in my 2010 Holden Barina?
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Asked by Philip
I have a 2010 Holden Barina with 52,000km. I bought this car new in 2010. It has been regularly serviced and I have always used BP Ultimate 98-octane fuel in it. The problem I have is the engine light keeps coming on and has been doing so for about two years now. The car has been checked by a Holden dealer and a number of items have been replaced (coil-pack, leads, spark plugs). Now they think it may be the valves and want to do a $2500 head recondition. They said it could be build-up on the valves. For a car with very low milage this sounds like rubbish to me.
Are there any known issues with this model that could be causing this problem?
Answered by CarsGuide26 Oct 2020
A build up of carbon deposits (a by-product of burning petrol) is, indeed, a known fault with this engine. If it occurs, it can create the precise symptom you’re seeing (the check-engine light) but can also lead to an erratic idle and misfiring. There have also been cases where this engine has developed wear in the exhaust valve and valve-seat region, with similar end results. Unfortunately, the only fix is to remove the cylinder head and replace both the exhaust valves and their seats.
I agree that 52,000km is a depressingly low mileage for problems like these to occur, so you need to make absolutely sure it really is the cause before you start to tear into the engine. A leak-down and compression test may throw some light on things, as can an electronic scan of the car. A fault-code of P0300 is a big clue that the exhaust valves are at the centre of the problem. This model Barina was another Holden that was simply a re-badged South Korean-built Daewoo with all that implies.
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