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Fuel injector failure

jono67

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Hi guys, I searched here and elsewhere but didn't find much if any information regarding this.

I have a May 2015 series 1 SSV, and had an injector fail back in June this year (got the 'flashing engine' warning light along with the 'service ESP' warning light, with the engine misfiring). Injector for cylinder #8 was tested by Holden dealer and found injector resistance to be too high. So I thought, well, a one off.

Last week I had another one go in the same fashion. The dealer spoke to Holden head office (as the car is out of warranty) about replacing the remaining 7, and to my surprise they are picking up the tab to replace them all. Apparently this same dealer had another VF in recently and he is up to injector number 5. I am however having to wait 2 to 3 weeks because injectors are on back order, made by Seimens and have to come from Germany??? (well, that's what they told me).

According to the dealer, it seems when my engine was built I must have had a "bad batch" of injectors installed onto it. So I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced injector failure, as there hasn't been any posts on here about it?

I don't know a lot about car electricals, so additionally I am wondering if it is what the dealer has told me and in fact correct and I just got a "bad batch", or could there be another issue with the engine causing the injectors to fail? The car has done 55 000km.
 
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Skylarking

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Fuel injectors should last the life of the vehicle. About the only issue I’ve had with them on a different brand of vehicle is chemically dirty fuel that passes through the filter which gummed up the injectors themselves causing the service lamp to light up. An ultrasonic clean of all injectors along with tank and fuel line flush solved the problem in my case.

On rare occasions an individual injector fault is not unheard off. That being the case, if you’re having all injectors replaced under Holden’s good will (hate that term), then it’s obviously not a one off. It’s likely a bigger issue with a faulty batch of injectors as has been suggested to you.

If it is indeed a bad batch, which surely can be tracked to specific engine numbers, “good will” in my view would be a recall of all impacted vehicles and a timely fix before the problem actually manifests itself.

As for the electrical causes of injector faults, who knows... but I’d have thought an injector coil will either short (low resistance) or go open circuit (no continuity) so I’m not sure how an injector can go high resistance other than being built to wrong specs. On that front, I’d also assume GM test incoming injectors for resistance, inductance, flow rate, etc, to ensure they are matched to the ecu electronics and the designed engine power.

But I’d also like to hear from those in the know about such injector failures and whether it imay be a common issue on a batch of LS3s o_O
 

tml678

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If it is indeed a bad batch, which surely can be tracked to specific engine numbers, “good will” in my view would be a recall of all impacted vehicles and a timely fix before the problem actually manifests itself.
It's more likely the case that a certain 'batch' had a few bad ones amongst it, so by recalling all vehicles in that range wouldn't be cost effective nor indeed necessary. And full recalls generally only happen for safety reasons.

I think Holdens preparedness to replace them all on a case by case basis is quite reasonable in this instance. A dud injector isn't a safety concern nor will it inflict any collateral damage to other components.
 

jono67

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Righto, thanks for replies fellas. Yeah, I would have thought that injectors should last longer than 50 odd 000 kms. I had a VX Berlina that had 150 000 on it when I sold it, never missed a beat. I'll be interested to hear of any others over the next few months to see if any more instances crop up (not that everyone who owns a VF SS comes here so there could be other cases already).
 

Skylarking

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It's more likely the case that a certain 'batch' had a few bad ones amongst it, so by recalling all vehicles in that range wouldn't be cost effective nor indeed necessary. And full recalls generally only happen for safety reasons.

I think Holdens preparedness to replace them all on a case by case basis is quite reasonable in this instance. A dud injector isn't a safety concern nor will it inflict any collateral damage to other components.
OK, recall may be the wrong term as a service campaign may be a more appropriate method to handle such an issue.

Such was done with rocker arms, aircon drain tube, etc, and fixing these problems before the they cause unplanned downtime is a good customer focused approach. Waiting for the problem to occur is not.

In any case, if you had an issue with an injector and took your car to a Holden dealer only to have them charge for a fix as they didn’t know about problems with a bad batch of injectors as they may not know of such things unless Holden have a service bulletin/service campaign on the subject.

From an owners perspective, such service bulletins/campaigns are unavailable and should be made available by law. This would put more control in the hands of the vehicle owner (which can only be good thing for us) but the industry resists.

This is where case by case handling falls down. With a lack of customer accessible service information, it’s too easy for dealers to be sloppy when times are tough and charge a customer at a higher rate than that which Holden would pay them.

Fixing faults, due to a bad batch of whatever widget it may be, shouldn’t be contingent on always having to go to a dealer for service.

And to be clear, in my view it’s not a Holden only thing. All auto manufacturers need to better communicate such known faults to owners via making service bulletins available to all.

Just go back to the VH commodore days where case by case handling of blocked aircon drain (a known fault caused by lack of screen filter) resulted in costs ranging from ‘good will’ to $1000. Handling a known fault on a case by case basis is company speak for passing the buck... which in this case many owners were forced to carry...

Too often, a case by case basis simply doesn’t work and it shouldn’t be the company fall back position where a known fault exists.
 

tml678

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Such was done with rocker arms, aircon drain tube, etc, and fixing these problems before the they cause unplanned downtime is a good customer focused approach. Waiting for the problem to occur is not.
You're comparing apples and oranges. The rocker arm issue may very well have been isolated to a few bad ones as well however a recall was done because the consequences of failure are catastrophic, which is not the case with a dud injector. The engine will run roughly but that's about it. The drain plug was identified as a well known problem and appropriately subjected to a service bulletin.

In any case, if you had an issue with an injector and took your car to a Holden dealer only to have them charge for a fix as they didn’t know about problems with a bad batch of injectors as they may not know of such things unless Holden have a service bulletin/service campaign on the subject.
Too often, a case by case basis simply doesn’t work and it shouldn’t be the company fall back position where a known fault exists.
Where's the evidence of a widespread problem with injectors beyond the OP's dealer mentioning he 'must have had a bad batch?" Do Holden just take his word for it and issue a service bulletin? For all we know, Holden may have agreed to come to the party on the mere basis of the vehicle only just being out of manufacturers warranty (presuming he had 3yrs).

A couple of people at the same dealer having a similar issue isn't indicative of a wider problem or a 'known issue', i'm sure we would have heard about it on here if it was. The other VF that was in is up to injector number 5, are we suggesting that they are still being fitted with this same 'bad batch' at least twelve months down the track? Who's to say it wasn't bad fuel or another issue?

From an owners perspective, such service bulletins/campaigns are unavailable and should be made available by law. This would put more control in the hands of the vehicle owner (which can only be good thing for us) but the industry resists.
I'm all for service bulletins for known issues, however in this case, there is simply no evidence beyond the dealers opinion, that there is a wider issue with any injectors fitted to VF's. If bulletins were issued for every problem a couple of people have then we'd be at our local dealer every second day.
 
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Wayne001

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I have replaced 2 so far and now need to do a third , mine is vf calais v8 . I get mine from america so much cheaper than here and that factoring frieght and exchange rate still cheaper .
 

jono67

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For the first injector to be replaced they hit me with just under $400, at that point my car had only been out of warranty for 1 month. The dealer would not budge on either they or contacting Holden to pay for it, so I had to accept that hit. As tml678 suggested, Holden have now come to the party to replace the remaining injectors as it's likely the rest will go and it is not long after being out of warranty.

Interesting that Wayne001 has added to this discussion and he is up to his 3rd. Wayne, what month/year build is yours?

I did look at just purchasing some myself when this 2nd one went from the US as Wayne mentioned, they are dirt cheap (so why do we get charged so much for them here?), but then I got the call from the dealer, so may as well get them to do the lot. Mind you, my car is still sitting in the corner of their workshop, as the new ones have not arrived in Oz yet, which I find puzzling in itself that they were on back order, suggesting there were NONE in the whole of Australia??? I thought if a dealer here, a dealer there or wherever they keep their parts elsewhere, they could have found 7 injectors. That's odd!!
 

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@jono67 i have always understood dealers prefer doing retail work rather than warranty/goodwill work as the later is at much lower Holden rates. So, I’m not surprised a dealer would hesitate in getting a manufacturer involved if they thought you’d take it laying down.

And I’d guess this behaviour may occur more frequently now that Holden dealers aren’t selling cars like they previously did, so they search for cash any way they can get it. (Yes, I don’t have a high opinion of many manufacturers dealer networks, ymmv).

In this case, it seems that this dealer isn’t following Holden’s undertaking to the ACCC that they don’t behave like doushbags and the subsequent injector problems have caught them out.

Being that your car was only one month out of factory warranty, but still covered under your statuatory warranty right, i’d suggest (if not already the case as it’s not clear in your 1st post) that you contact Holden to arrange a full refund of the just less than $400 you paid the dealer (for fixing what should have been fixed by Holden itself). Don’t accept anything les than zero out of pocket cost for this injector failure. Also consider hitting Holden for a loan car for the troubles they have put you through (if not having your car while they wait for parts to arrive is causing you difficulties).

After the car is fixed, I’d also consider making a complaint to Holden and possibly ACCC about the fact their dealer didn’t want to contact them to discuss a warranty claim when the first injector failed.

I’d also consider servicing your car elsewhere in future as this particular dealer doesn’t seem to be looking after you as I think they should (injector failure @ 55000 kms and 1 month out of factory warranty and they don’t want to talk to Holden for potential warranty claim?). Sadly, most dealers are probably the same.
 

jono67

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Yeah Skylarking, I am definitely making a complaint first up to Holden. Just waiting to get my car fixed and back before I do so. If no joy I'll be off to the ACCC. Part of the complaint will be the initial cost of injector 1 going, but in addition, like you mentioned, I've been without a car now for 2 weeks, and still no sign of the injectors, so I'll be throwing that in as well. By the way, the dealer made no attempt to offer me a loan car or any compensation, which I thought was pretty ordinary. I've been servicing my car with them since I bought it!

I thought the same as you, as they are not selling cars like they did, their attitude would have changed dramatically, particularly since they no longer manufacture them here.
 
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