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VX Calais V6 Ongoing DFI/Ignition Problem?

Discussion in 'VT - VX Holden Commodore (1997 - 2002)' started by VFCalais2017, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. VFCalais2017

    VFCalais2017 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I apologise in advance for this long-winded post. This problem has now got the better of me so I thought I'd throw this out there for those who like a challenge!

    My second car is a 2000 VX Calais V6 (non-supercharged). It has 196,000kms on the clock and has been meticulously maintained and services since new. It was an ex GMH car from Victoria after which it was a pensioner’s car. I purchased the car in 2011 with 54,000kms on the clock.

    Driving to work one morning last December, the car started struggling and would not go over 50km/h. Fuel tank was full and the engine was misfiring badly. Repco nearby so I stopped to buy 3 new coil packs (Delphi). Not the problem. Went back in and purchased new DFI module (Delphi). I didn't fit it on the spot. I tried to limp the car home (I wasn't far) so I could try some second hand DFI modules I had. Halfway home, had to call NRMA. The NRMA diagnosed coil packs until I told him these had been replaced. He then said DFI module, and to cut a long story short, we fitted the new one I purchased, after which the car ran perfectly.

    A week later, the car started playing up again. When I started the car, it would idle rough and would struggle to keep running. Once the thermostat had opened and the engine reached operating temperature, the car would run fine. This happened every morning and night when I went to start the car. It wouldn't happen on a hot restart though. I tried old DFI modules and coil packs, new leads, new plugs... nothing worked.

    I took it to my wife's mechanic in December who diagnosed and replaced both the crank angle and cam shaft sensors. The fault was still there. He said he couldn't resolve it and recommended I take it to an Auto Electrician. I decided to take the car to the local Holden Dealership.

    Holden has the car for a week. They discovered a fault code with the crank angle sensor and so they replaced it and charged me, despite the fact it had been replaced two weeks prior. This did NOT resolve the problem. Holden checked all ignition wiring to see if there was a fault. They couldn't find anything. My car wasn't a priority for them so I took it back and left it with a local mechanic my Dad recommended.

    This new mechanic checked everything. Keep in mind that this car now had brand new coil packs, DFI module, plug leads, plugs, crank and cam angle sensors. I had even replaced all 6 injectors on recommendation from a reputable source. Again, this wasn't the problem.

    A week later, this mechanic found the problem to be a faulty connection in the DFI module plug. He fixed the connection and the car was running without fault (although a consistent rough idle was noticeable) from then on.

    I sold the car to my Dad a month later. He was driving it to and from work until the car stopped one night with the same issue. Wouldn't start so called NRMA. He was towed home after the NRMA diagnosed crank angle sensor.

    The car has now been sitting in front of the shed for a month now. It wouldn't start. We tried everything again; swap DFI, coil packs, leads, plugs, check connectors. Nothing worked.

    Last weekend (June 10th) I decided to take the battery out to charge it as it had been sitting a while. I put the battery back in with a full charge and the car fired up first time! No rough idle and no struggling or stalling

    I took the car for a drive I went fine. The only thing I noticed was when shifting from Park to Reverse or from Neutral into Drive, there was a loud clunk. Also, when shifting from 2nd into 3rd, the car lingers in 2nd and then ‘jolts’ into 3rd.

    I’m not an expert mechanic by any means but I’ve managed to do everything to this car myself since 2011 up until now. I’ve tried everything I can and had quite a few mechanics look at it. I’m at the point where I don’t want to spend any more time or money on this unless I can guarantee a result.

    I might also add that I have checked the fuel pump and filter and there are no faults. Fuel filter was replaced in January this year with no noticeable change to the problem.

    Also owning several classic Holdens, I am extremely meticulous with my vehicles. This car is immaculate inside and out and probably one of the best remaining examples of VX Calais, hence my reluctance to keep it going, particularly after all the time and money I have put into it.

    Like me, I know a lot of forum members like a challenge, but this one has got me beat!

    Any ideas or assistance with this problem would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  2. VFCalais2017

    VFCalais2017 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    There's been a lot of looks on this one but no bites unfortunately. However, I have managed to get the problem resolved - finally!

    The problem turned out to be a bad wire within the DFI Module harness (as described above) and a faulty replacement cam angle sensor.

    The last mechanic who looked at the car said he wanted a challenge and advised he would only charge me for the work involved once the fault was found. The fault was found by pouring hot water over the cam angle sensor when the engine was cold. This revealed the issue.

    Now with a new cam angle sensor installed, there have been no issues with the idle or performance. Car is going like a rocket now!

    I hope this information helps other who have a similar issue with their car.
     
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  3. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    That's interesting. Thanks for reporting back.

    Interestingly enough, I'm sure the Holden service manual states that if the CAS shows as faulty and replacing it doesn't work to check the DFI, if that doesn't work than the fault lay with the wiring loom and needs replacement.
     
  4. VFCalais2017

    VFCalais2017 New Member

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    Thanks Immortality,

    I see a lot of references to the Holden Service Manual on here. Is this available for purchase anywhere or is it just for Holden Service Departments?
    I only have the Haynes manual which isn't the best but has got me out of trouble with things I've had to do.

    Cheers :)
     
  5. immortality

    immortality Moderator Staff Member

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    There are copies of it floating around.
     
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