Holden Calais Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Holden Calais reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Why is the paint in the drain channels on the roof of my 2018 Holden Calais peeling off?

Answered by CarsGuide 13 Nov 2021

This is an ongoing concern for owners of cars that were built in places that simply don’t have the UV radiation levels we experience in Australia. And, yes, I know your car is a Holden Calais, but the ZB model you own was actually built in Europe and is a fully imported car. That said, even local car-makers have had an awful time over the years trying to get their paint to last in the Aussie sun.

However, I don’t believe that a 2018 car should be showing signs of paint degradation this early, so I think you’d have a very chance of making a warranty claim to have the problem put right. Even though Holden no longer exists as a brand, its parent company still has an obligation to provide parts and service (and warranty) for the next few years. That said, there’s not much in it for General Motors to keep you happy as you won’t be a repeat Holden customer (since the brand is gone).

But it’s definitely worth a try and if you don’t get any satisfaction from head office’s customer service division, I’d be talking to the ACCC (what used to be Consumer Affairs) to see if a resolution can be found. It’s difficult to diagnose problems by remote control, but if the paint is peeling in a very specific section (the drain channels) rather than randomly on the roof, then it would seem as though there might have been a production problem when the roof was painted. If that’s the case, what’s left of Holden should put it right.


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What gearbox can I use in my 2007 Holden Calais?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Jun 2021

The five-speed automatic in your Calais is a bit of an odd one, Mark, as it was only used for a handful of years and only in the high-feature 3.6-litre V6. Holden switched the car to a six-speed automatic in September 2009, so technically, that would be possible to fit to your car. As with a lot of these things, however, it’s not as simple as finding a gearbox and bolting it in. Modern engineering dictates that the five-speed and six-speed transmissions, while physically similar, may have featured bigger differences in terms of the information they fed to the car’s on-board computer and the program within that computer that, in turn, told the gearbox what to do next.

At the very least, you’d need the electronic transmission-control module to make the six-speed work and possibly some changes to sensors and wiring. Even then, you might find that your speedometer needs recalibration. Unlike the good old days when the transmission was simply a set of gears, a modern transmission these days is a much more sophisticated piece of equipment and does a much more complex job.

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How much is a used 2006 Holden Calais worth?

Answered by CarsGuide 10 Feb 2021

The prices of second-hand cars have sky-rocketed recently due to a lack of supply. People are simply not selling their old cars at the usual rate (as trade-ins and private sales) so the laws of supply and demand apply. That is; more demand plus less supply equals higher prices. This phenomenon has been most strongly felt in the case of locally-made Holdens and Fords, perhaps because of nostalgia and the `they don’t make ‘em any more’ factor. Either way, it’s true that the second-hand Holden Calais that cost $6000 this time last year can be worth almost double that now.

With just 120,000km showing, your car is a relatively low-mileage example and the fact that it’s a V8 is good news. Beyond that, however, you haven’t given me much to go on. For a start, 2006 was a change-over year for Holden models; the VZ left showrooms and the new VE model entered. The difference between a VZ and VE in price is significant, particularly in V8 form. I’d also need to know whether your car is a Calais V. All those things have a bearing on value.

For the record, though, a VE Calais sedan in good condition with similar kilometres to yours would probably be advertised for around the $14,000 mark or even more. And that’s almost twice what it was worth just a year ago.

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Why is water coming into the passenger side of my 2006 Holden Calais?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2021

The prime suspect for this is a blocked vent that normally funnels condensation from the air-conditioning system to the outside of the car. If this vent becomes blocked or split, the condensation can enter the cabin. Other possibilities include a damaged heater matrix which can leak coolant into the cabin or a sunroof with blocked drainage channels that can also leak into the vehicle.

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Holden Calais 2010: Is the engine worth replacing?

Answered by CarsGuide 17 Jul 2020

The bad news, Andrea, is that your car is probably worth between $8000 and $11,000 and maybe even less as a trade-in. Certainly that figure will be less if you don’t fix the engine problem, so that’s your starting point for working out the mathematics of your situation.

The one thing you haven’t told me is whether the car is a V8 or a six-cylinder car. If it’s a V8, I reckon you’d be spot on the money with a lifter, rocker or valve-spring problem as these engines were notorious for these components wearing out in roughly the mileage you’ve noted (sometimes less). The good news is that it’s not a terribly involved or costly (relatively) fix.

If, however, the car is a V6, then you might be in a bit deeper. These engines were even more notorious for stretching their timing chains and that can lead to all sorts of engine noises as well as a check-engine light illuminating on the dashboard. This is a bigger, more expensive fix, too, and since a V6 Calais will be worth less in the first place, it might be better to simply replace the whole engine. There’s also the very strong possibility that the cost of repairs will simply not stack up against the value of the car.

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Holden Calais 2008: Does the timing belt need to be replaced?

Answered by CarsGuide 29 Feb 2020

I think there’s a bit of confusion sneaking in here. Your Calais doesn’t have a timing belt, its engine is fitted with a timing chain instead. However, if it’s a V6 engine, then there’s every chance the timing chain does need to be replaced.

This seems counter to conventional wisdom where a timing chain should last the entire life of the car. But in the case of the particular V6 we’re talking about, the chain was definitely a weak point and lots of Calais and Commodores have needed replacement chains. That was particularly true if the engine received less routine maintenance than the handbook stipulated.

The first sign can be a rattle when the engine is started; sometimes you’ll get a check-engine light on the dashboard because the chain has stretched sufficiently to allow the camshafts and the crankshaft to become out of phase with each other. Either way, it’s new-chain time and you can expect to pay something like $2000 to have the job done, possibly more.

Most workshops will be able to carry out this work and, when it comes to finding a local garage, word of mouth from friends and family is usually a good way to proceed.

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Do I need windscreen replacement coverage?

Answered by CarsGuide 1 Nov 2019

If you happen to damage a windscreen you’ll have to use a genuine replacement ’screen. It can be fitted by a windscreen service, but if it needs to be calibrated they would have to send the car to a Holden dealer for that to happen. If you go ahead and buy the Calais make sure you’ve got windscreen replacement coverage on your insurance policy.

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Holden Calais 2014: What should I do about the safety recall on my car?

Answered by CarsGuide 13 Sep 2019

Don’t stress yourself. Take it to your nearest Holden dealer and book it in to be fixed. There shouldn’t be any problem in having it attended to.

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Holden Calais 2019: Water leaking from exhaust

Answered by CarsGuide 31 May 2019

Water vapour from the exhaust is common during the warm-up phase. It should stop after a short time of driving, but I wouldn’t be concerned about it.


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My Holden Commodore keeps rattling

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Oct 2018

The widow is probably rattling in its channel, which should be obvious when you remove the door panel to check it. The dealer should be able to fix it, and since the car is in warranty it’s their responsibility to do it. Keep at them, if not take it to a body shop.

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