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Author Topic: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?  (Read 669 times)

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Dr_Syn

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Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« on: 25 February 2018, 20:01:32 »

Hello all,

I used to have a 2.5v6 CD auto estate some 16 years ago.  Fast forward to 2018 and we are considering buying a touring caravan and I fancied something a little retro to tow it with and when I found a 2.6v6 CD auto saloon with a towbar fitted on Auto Trader I had to have a look.

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201802213949456?radius=30&keywords=towing&advertising-location=at_cars&price-to=3000&onesearchad=Used&onesearchad=Nearly%20New&onesearchad=New&postcode=m469qb&transmission=Automatic&sort=sponsored&page=1

The car drives very well.  The engine is very strong and should still have a lot of life in it at 108k.  The gearbox shifts and kicks down well and the different modes work ok.  Even the aircon blows fairly cold.  The car has "full" history, I say "full" because although it has plenty of stamps in the book, it has gone a couple of years between services on some occasion, though I suspect this is due to it only covering 3 to 4k a year in its later years.  Needless to say I'd be giving the engine and gearbox a full service if I bought it, along with fresh oil for the diff.  I'd even be changing the indicator stalk to add cruise to make towing easier.

There are a couple of issues I noted on the test drive though and would appreciate any input and advice you could offer.

The car pulls left, but the severity of this isn't affected by breaking.  I will most likely have the suspension overhauled and the tracking done, particularly as the shocks were a bit bouncy when I bounced the corners.  Is there something that would be top of the list to look at in remedying this?  The break discs at the front are well worn and will be getting replaced sooner rather than later if I buy it.

The steering feels a little "lumpy" (stiff, then less so, then stiff again) when turning from lock to lock and in general seems heavier than my daily drive, a Mondeo.  I cannot remember the steering of my last omega being heavy and certainly not lumpy.  Again, is there usual suspect to look at with the steering?

There was some mayonaise under the oil filler cap.  There doesn't seem to be excess pressure in the coolant system which is clean and there is no excess crankcase pressure.  Could the mayo be from condensation from shory journeys?  I know the V6 motor in a Merc CLK I used to have produced mayo which soon vanished after a long run on the motorway.

My wife sat in the back and said she could hear a noise that increased with speed.  I'm suspecting the diff or a wheel bearing.  I'm planning on replacing the diff oil anyway if I buy it.  Do the wheel bearings tend to go and are they a big job?

One of my main concerns was that both height adjustable seats would not work.  Pressing the switch would cause the motor to engage (You could feel it engage and hear the click) but then no movement from the seat and the motor would almost instantly disengage.  Is this a common fault and an easy fix?

The only other issue I found was the electric mirrors wouldn't motor right, I suspect the switch and cannot imagine it to be too difficult to fix.

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.  I quite fancy getting back into a big old Vauxhall, but don't want to buy a nail, thanks!
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #1 on: 25 February 2018, 20:33:06 »

Well I wouldn't be surprised if the front wishbone bushes are shot, as they don't last long. It's worth considering polybushing the front bush on the front wishbones. Shocks might also be a bit tired by now and springs can have a tendency to fail. By the time you've sorted the bushes and had it aligned the pulling will probably have been sorted. Don't let anyone tell you the front camber is OK of it's "in the green". It needs to be set to no more than about  1 degree 20 mins.

Steering might be low fluid level or the pump on its' way out. There's a possibility it might be the steering box but they are generally very reliable. A 2nd hand box would be fine if it comes to it.

Mayonnaise under the filler cap is common if the car has been used for lots of short trips. The head gaskets very seldom give any problems on the later V6s. Good coolant maintenance is vital to keep the oil cooler in good condition. You've reported clean coolant which means that's probably OK but add a coolant change to your list of jobs just for good measure.

Wheel bearings do go sometimes, and seem to be worse on the estate. They are not too bad a job but need the right tools.

Not sure on the height adjusters. Sometimes they can jam if a coin lodges in the runners.

Electric mirror switches can be a bit fragile. Should be readily available 2nd hand, though.

In summary, it sounds like there's nothing too onerous wrong there given the age Omegas are reaching now. What about the bodywork? Estates tend to rust on the tailgates around the rear wiper. It's also worth checking the rear of the sills where they meet the wheel arches and the front chassis rails where the front subframe attaches. Door panels can also bubble under the paint and rear wheel arches tend to go as well.
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neil74

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #2 on: 25 February 2018, 20:36:41 »

The MOT history seems to be good with mostly worn tyres having an advisory and nothing much else. but of course it doesn't mean that the car is ok now. but truth be told if a car sounds and feels ok it usually is but if you're in any doubt get the price down or walk away. as there are several other cars out there..
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Bigron

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #3 on: 25 February 2018, 21:12:46 »

I have only a small point to add here regarding the seat adjusters: clean the spiral drive and operate it manually from end to end a few times using a socket on the spiral, then all should be well.

Ron.
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Dr_Syn

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #4 on: 25 February 2018, 22:07:03 »

Thanks for the responses.  I was wishing I could edit my post as I'd managed to mispell brakes as breaks more than once!!

A little googling would suggest the seat mechanisms have become locked on their threads at the end of their travel.  This should be an easy fix and a bit of silicone grease along with working the mechanism a few times as Bigron suggests should sort things out.

As you quite rightly point out neil74, the Omega has a good track record on its MOTs and the car seems to be well looked after.  I was told by the garage the previous owner of 12 years had traded it in for a Freelander as he wanted something bigger (this made me chuckle, but having said that, my company Mondeo seems big in comparrison to the Omega, how times change!)

Thanks for all the input Kevin Wood, I think a bit of maintainence at the front end should sort most of the problems out.  Thanks for pointing out it has a steering box, I had meant to ask as I couldn't remember if they had a rack or a box.  I'll check the power steering reservoir when I call back to the garage tomorrow.

Aside from a scrape on one of the front wings the bodywork looks to be in good order all around and underneath.  I spotted a scab on one of the back doors but that was it.
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Kevin Wood

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #5 on: 26 February 2018, 09:16:03 »

Sounds good.

Worth also mentioning that the outboard rear subframe bushes are prone to failure, so they're worth checking while you're tackling the suspension.

Cam belt needs to be changed every 40k miles or 4 years so if there's no evidence of that having been done recently it's worth adding to the list (and may be a good bargaining point).

Another point on the cruise control upgrade - you also need to enable this in the engine ECU once the stalk has been swapped and this needs dealer diagnostic equipment. There are a few of us on here who have a Tech 2s and can do this for you.

Now looked at the pictures and seen it's a saloon so ignore my advice about the estate! I have sometimes heard a rumble that I've thought is the diff only to find it is the exhaust blowing slightly - it tends to fail at the last bend just before the mid sections join the back box. Worth a look as, again, you might be able to knock something off the price if it's looking rough.

The diff input shaft seals can weep a little. They can be replaced easily enough but the flange bolt also controls the bearing preload, so it's not entirely without risk. I tend to just keep my diff topped up!

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Andy B

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #6 on: 26 February 2018, 11:19:17 »

Seat height adjuster is covered in the guides ..... http://www.omegaowners.com/forum/index.php?topic=90530.0  :y
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Dr_Syn

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #7 on: 26 February 2018, 13:07:17 »

Brilliant. All the googling I did about the seats and the guide was here all along!  ;D Thanks for all your help.  I'm going to head down there later to make an offer I think!
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grifter

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #8 on: 27 February 2018, 07:42:06 »

When i test drove mine the steering was a bit wooly and felt light then heavy, turned out that the worn bushes and tracking caused this. I kind of guessed these were gubbed. Also steering resevoir pipe had a slight leak so all that was needed was jubilee tightened.
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Dr_Syn

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #9 on: 03 March 2018, 18:04:13 »

Due to the garage sticking their heels in on the price, I looked elsewhere.  I pick this grand old lady up tomorrow! :D

http://www.exchangeandmart.co.uk/used-cars-for-sale/vauxhall/omega/vauxhall-omega-2.6i-v6-24v-cdx-saloon-4d-2597cc-auto-20708515#&gid=1&pid=4
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BazaJT

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #10 on: 03 March 2018, 18:55:12 »

First places loss,your gain as it seems you've also gone up a rung on spec form a possible CD to a definite CDX :y
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robson

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #11 on: 04 March 2018, 17:31:57 »

looks good :y
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Dr_Syn

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #12 on: 04 March 2018, 18:55:59 »

It drove very nice on the way home, but unfortunatley was found to have a serious PAS leak.  It looks to be coming from the PAS cooling pipes where they pass across the front of the car behind the bumper.  Next weekend its going to be a case of stripping the front end down to investigate and repair the leak.  I've already ordered a set of pipes on ebay.  While I have the front end off I'll have to check the components on the aircon as that has depressurised (the seller had already told me about this).  In addition, I'll give the cooling system a flush and refill.

Also, I'll have to have a look at the air pipes at the back of the plenum.  One of them has perished and split so it will need replacing.

Other than that there are a couple of small things to attend to.  The keys need a look at with possible new microswitches or track repair and the solenoid needs replacing on the drivers door lock.

My weekends are going to be quite busy for a while!
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robson

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #13 on: 04 March 2018, 20:02:03 »

Don't forget the cam belt. :y
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Dr_Syn

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #14 on: 04 March 2018, 20:31:20 »

I didn't forget it, I'm just going to get a garage to do it!  I don't have the tools to lock the cams.

They can change the ATF while they're at it too.
« Last Edit: 04 March 2018, 20:46:29 by Dr_Syn »
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Bigron

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #15 on: 04 March 2018, 20:35:47 »

And, going on my recent experience, maybe the water pump? I got quite a bargain on Ebay, 22, and a good make, according to James.

Ron.
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Dr_Syn

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #16 on: 04 March 2018, 20:47:26 »

Good call, might as well get the serpentine belt sorted too.
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Bigron

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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #17 on: 04 March 2018, 21:11:37 »

James changed my Aux belt 4 years ago and it was still fine the other week, so if you don't do a high mileage, just inspect it for cracks, etc.
I am told that you can change it fairly easily without major aggro when it does look tired, but I defer to more informed opinion on that, as it will surely come along soon!

Ron.
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Re: Test Drove an Omega, advice please?
« Reply #18 on: 04 March 2018, 21:14:14 »

Good call, might as well get the serpentine belt sorted too.


It's got to come off for the cam belt, but a visual inspection ought to do: I've been doing that whenever I've done work on mine for the last eight years. What is essential is that the aux-belt tensioner pulley is greased, as that's the biggest failure with serpentine belts.
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