• Peter

    I reckon these are the worst car’s ever built,
    I drove a 1 year old Barina a few years ago and what a disgrace, first the engine light came on every time you hit the brakes or came to a complete stop, smoke bellowing out of the exhaust, torque steered like a skateboard on three wheels, so that was it for me Holdenwoo make the biggest LEMONS on the road with poorest quality I have ever known, I wish not to be a passenger in such a time bomb either.

    • lube city motors

      most of these emission light and rough running rough running faults are caused by a faulty egr valve.unfortunatly all the car makers state that their cars are happy to run on 91 octane fuel.the rearlity is that 91 octane fuel is killing cars with carbon deposits.the egr does not seal and causes misfires.i removed mine and blanked the holes and now it runs sweet.just put a small piece of black tape over the emission lamp and forget all about it.

  • Me.

    If you want to buy a Holden (rebaged Opel) car, remember this…
    They are a real lemon of a car. Stupid old re-badged Opel.

  • Tank

    Having worked for 2 years in a holden dealers workshop, we only ever came acroos 1 barina that constantly had warning lights coming on, running rough, and towards the end constantly stalling, and not be able to re start it. after trying everything under the sun (plugs, coil pack, ecu, fuel pump etc) we gave up, and contacted holden technical assistance. They had no ideas, so they sent a tech down from melbourne to have a look, his only suggestion was to try running premium fuel, if that made no change to send the head out to be tested. After running premium with no change, we sent the head out, and sure enough that was the problem, After changing the head, the customer never came back other than routine service.

  • Fab

    My wife’s boss has the same sort of problems as mentioned above. She has had a new ecu and the coil replaced 5 times in 12 months. The problem still persists. She’s now going back to the dealer with “tank”s advice.


    message for tank. re head on barina,
    was head cracked or warped, we have car with same symptoms.
    thanks mark.

  • Annoying

    It is a really good story for whoever wants to get a Holden Barina. I bought one 3 years ago, having the same symptoms as most as people had had. The worst thing is after 3 years warranty, I had to paid nearly $2000 for the starter motor and switch just 2 weeks after that. The car is completely breaking down …and holden service said they have no idea why ??? very regret for buying it.

  • FORD

    Holden have trouble building anything half decent these days, they don’t really care anyway, just way too busy attaching lion badge’s on Daewoo’s then have the cheek to tell everyone it was made in Australia…hahahahaha yeah right, bottom line Holden means nothing to our precious country…

  • mina

    yeah I’ve just had the same problem with the emissions light flickering whenever i push the car a little then after it does that the whole thing shakes when i’m not accellerating.
    I’ve taken it to be looked at 3 times; the first two times i was told it’s nothing, the third time they cleaned the plugs. although the problem still persists, and it’s quiet the issue since I’m a student and can’t really afford to be putting money into guessing what’s wrong with it.
    any advice?

  • Claire

    We have a 2005 Barina (New Model). At the 35,000 km service we needed the brake pads replaced – which is crazy for such a new car! We were informed by the dealership that this was in fact a manufacturer’s fault (similar to that with the commodore) however it was not yet recognized as by Holden as such therefore not covered by warranty etc. If you’ve had the same problem let Holden know!!

    To top it off this week the fuel pump suddenly stopped working whilst driving in the middle of a highway – with absolutly no warning! Although this was fortunatly covered by warranty, for a new car this is absolute madness! Hopefully this is the end of our unlucky run with the Barina…

  • Duck

    U cant talk ford!

  • Oz.

    I think these are the Opel Barina’s, the new ones are Daewoo’s.

  • David

    We had a similiar porblem with all the same symptoms at my workshop on xc barina. We went over everything electircal and also checked the head but it was not the problem. The problem we discovered was a blocked/ melted catalytic converter which blocked the exhaust and set of all sorts of funny readings on all the electrical sensors, along with the engine surging/ lack of power and emission control light. Because of all the electrical problems with this model of car we didn’t even consider this. Make sure whoever you get to look at the car checks this. It only take a coupe of minutes to do this. Since thn we have seen it once more on another and numerous times on astra’s. If this is your problem then expect a big bill. They are expensive. And by law it must be fixed or your car will fail emision standards/ not pas rego

  • mina

    thanks David,

    I went to holden a few weeks ago and they said that something (forgot what, but RPG comes to mind) was blocking the the emissions exhausts, they cleaned it up and the car drove alright.
    since I only use the car every second day for short trips around, I didn’t realise the problem that crept up on me; he struggles to start, then is slow to respond and last night as I was climbing some hills it was on the verge of stalling and the emissions light kept made another appearances.
    i’m hoping that it isn’t the catalytic converter, but the likelihood seems to be going that way.

  • Sean

    As David so accurately described, my wife and I have just experienced the same thing. We bought a 2nd hand late model Barina (60 days warranty through dealership), and no sooner did we drive away that problems started! lack of power, failure to start when cold, etc etc. Lo and behold we take it to our mechanic and discover we have a ‘melted’ catalytic converter. We’ve owned the car for 70 days now and haven’t driven it more than a couple of weeks. It’s currently back in the shop getting fixed again!

  • maphead

    Barina’s. Hmmm, my mum has had two with the first purchased over 20 years ago. It lasted until after my sister drove it into the ground. The second is 12 years old and is just starting to show signs of wear.

    I bought a 2005 (Opel) model about five months ago, and just this morning, went to go off to work and first gear has decided not work properly. I’ve been driving 15 years and never experienced this? It’s like first gear has decided not to understand it’s power. It’s like it thinks it’s 5th gear. It worked a couple of times like normal, but then, nothing again. What on earth could it be? The gear stick did start acting strangely a few months ago. It was very hard to get into first, but once in, all fine, and from first to second it quite tough too. Any advice?

    • adam

      It’s the gear linkage. GM know about the fault and Holden sell a repair kit. Bu they still make you pay a lot more than GM in europe.

    • Mel

      Within 2 months of purchasing my 04 Sxi model, i could not get the gear into 1st. I later found out that it was the ‘elbow’ like gadget in the gearbox…cha ching at $280…now my emissions light is on and im about to get the 120km service and the cost is $980!! + new brakes…apparently not just the pads but the whole peice so $450 cha ching again. Love my little zippy Barina, but hate it too!


    check syncro mesh or gear selecter bearings

  • Marlena

    Yep, exactly the same thing has happened with my 2nd hand 2001 Barina which i’ve had for 5 months now.

    The emissions light started last week and the car feels like it’s shaking unless i accelerate but loses power over 50km and feels like it’s going to break down.

    I started using E-10 fuel about 3 weeks ago and am wondering if this has caused the problems??
    I was told the car would run a little rough when first using E-10 as it cleans out the engine filters so i had the fuel injectors cleaned out and it ran fine until a week later when the emissions light started??

  • frustrated

    Well where does one start on this “worst choice of car”! Our daughter purchased her brand new XC Barina in July 04. In Feb of this year (08) all problems began, 1st with need to replace timing chain & kit + everything else that had to be done along side total cost to us of $1464.05. At that time the car had only done 72,000 ks but of course was not long out of warranty. Just recently when booked in for it’s 80,000 service was brought to her attention that gear box was faulty & brakes also faulty (mechanic’s words were – car is nothing but a lemon all problems been seen b4 & HOLDEN should have recalled this model). Obviously all costs had to be met by us. But no good for young girl studying @ uni to be burdened with or anyone for that matter. I am so pissed off for want of better words & wondering where to turn for advice on what if anything we should do! Can anyone pls advise! Am sure is something in what have mentioned that can also help others as well.
    thankyou & hopeful of some insight.

    • Deanna

      Check the EGR valve

  • Wormy

    I have a 2005 model barina with 45,000kms. If i am at traffic lights or stop even for a few minutes the car starts shaking ALOT and my emissions light comes on once i take off the light goes off, this only started a couple of days ago and im booked in to see a mechanic. After reading everyones stories im a little scared…. Hope its nothing too bad, like some people here im a student trying to put myself through university, i don’t have the money either to ‘guess whats wrong’ and fix things that dont need fixing :(

    • matt

      Did you find out what the problem was

  • tim

    shit……. my girlfriend just bought a 2005 model

  • Mark

    Wish i had seen this site before i bought mine. so far the car is two and a half years old and i have had to replace the front bearings twice ( dealer said it was tyre noise ) and am now having problems with the airbag light coming on and staying on ( dealer commented that the airbag won’t go off anyway even if it crashed ) all of this within the warranty period oh and last but not least have also been told that the front discs and pads have to be replaced due to wear and ( you guessed it ) the discs are not covered by warranty.. what can i say i regret ever buying this rubbish that they call a holden barina.

  • http://Saab Tony

    I have had the 2005 Opel Corsa 1.4l ‘Barina’ for 3 years now minus 2 days. I am of the opinion that the rear brake shoes do not contribute to braking under hard but progressive braking. I have around $2500 damage to date because of collisions with traffic islands and curbs.

  • Kev

    Well I have had my Barina (2004 XC) for 12 months now and have had not one single problem “apart from bonnet cable breaking”. I was looking for costs on replacing cam belt, that’s why I came here. I have an extended warranty on my car till 2012 but sure hope I don’t need it, must admit last week when the car started it felt like it was running on 3 cylinders maybe I should get shot of it before it falls to bits.

    • David

      Check the ignition coil pack. If there are cracks in it there may be a short between spark plugs causing it to run on 3 cylinders. I have a 2002 SRI, drive about 2500km/month and have had no trouble apart from the above. $270 for a non-genuine coi;l pack and all’s OK.

  • andrew

    i to have a 2004 xc and have had no ploblems so far. had a friend mechanic do the 60000 klm service which required timing belt change however he found that a timing chain was fitted instead so we didnt replace it. but since fitting new spark plugs the car wont start first go when cold, have to turn off ignition and try again then starts no problem and has a small miss in the engine at idle and sometimes at constant mid throttle position

  • James

    Hi I just bought a 2001 Barina SRi, first the check engine lights up and took it to Holden dealer service,told that maybe thermostat sensor coolant leaking.But I check my coolant,never leaking…took to Ultratune,check the engine,told maybe oxygen sensor fault…But the check engine light not always pop up,some times it’s fine,but mostly it pop up at low speed high gear…one day,the emission lights up,but the check engine light gone…I am not sure what happen but no mechenical told me what the exactly cause….

  • Craig

    Hi, just wondering if anyone has come across this problem with their Barina. The dash board completely dies while you are driving. Speedo, tacho, temp gauge, fuel gauge does not work. Odometer no longer shows on the dash. Indicator lights on the dash don’t work. Then it will all start to work again (for a while). It can also happen when you go to start the car, no ignition lights come on, only the engine warning light & the car will not start. If I hit the dash board on the left hand side just behind the tacho, the dash board works and I can start the car.

  • Tim

    Hi Craig – my friend is having the exact same problem with her 2003 Barina. Have you discovered the cause?

  • mark

    i own a sri and it happened to me holden know of this in there techline in house training magazine it costs bout 240bucks to fix its a special terminal glue that needs it be replaced it drove me mad

    • Sam

      Yeah thanks mark, it only cost us $130 to fix the problem, but it seems like a problem that Holden are unwilling to share with everyone. Sounds like some Barina owners are replacing all sorts, and its costing them $1000s when its just bad wiring in the dash.

  • Craig

    Hi, I went to a couple of Holden dealerships and they said they have never heard of the problem and would charge me $125 per hour in labor + any parts with no cap on how many hours thy would use to find the problem. So I went home pulled out the instrument panel and plug it back in. It has been about 3 weeks since I have done this and it has not played up since.

    • Sam

      Hi Craig, Thanks for the great advice. Our 2003 Barina started playing up exactly like yours did and we had it to 2 different Auto electricians and called the RACQ out on several occasions when it wouldn’t start and no one knew what the hell it was. I found your advice about hitting the dash on the left and it started every time, so I took it back to the Auto Electrician and told him to pull out the dash and check all of the wiring and that was exactly the problem. He said he was surprised there werent more problems behind the dash as it is poorly put together. I hope more people read this as I think there are people out there with Barinas, getting parts replaced unnecessarily, when all it is is faulty wiring.

    • Theeso


      Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this information on this forum,
      Ever since I bought my Barina just over a month ago The speedo has been cutting out whilst driving-
      Then This morning I go to leave for work and It doesnt start,
      I was about 1 green call button away from having my car towed to mechanic when I came across your advice about hitting the dash on the left hand side,
      One small Bash of the Dash and the car is running perfect again =)

  • Suzan

    Craig my car does that all the time.It can go for ages without doing it then bang,starts doing it again.I might get someone to do to my car what you did to yours and see if it helps.

  • michael

    is it worth buying a 2005 barina xc

  • michael

    is it worth buying a 2005 xc barina

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Hi. I drive 160 kms a day in my barina 04 SXi hatch. I have had it since 2005 and it has a total of 169,000 kms on the clock. It hadn’t missed a beat for 3 yrs but since this year 2009 I have a timing chain that sounds like its cutting through timber and it’s leaking about 45mls of oil A DAY. This particular model has not been made as well as in previous years and I am dubious as to whether I will drive a Barina again. A shame because they are the only cars I’ve ever liked and wanted to own (have done since 1998 where my first car was an 92 BaRINA – the old ‘swift’ model). Unfortunately this will be my last Barina, nay Holden.

  • Norm

    Today i took my XC (2004) Opel Version (last before the Daweoo), it has 75000 km on the clock, For the past two years i have noticed a noise which some have said to me sounds like your car is a diesel engine. I ad asked both Brian Kelly Holden and McGrath Holden both times to check the noise for me and both times they have said there is nothing wrong with my car.

    Today thinking i would just have to get the normal 75,000 km service i was called 1hr later saying that we need to do a fuel system clean and the noise i had been asking about for 2 years, was the timing chain.

    Advised that the chain should have been service (replaced) at 60,000 Km service and that the condition of the timing chain was BAD, and lucky that it had not broken and gone through the engine block, to which would have meant a new engine.

    So a $250.00 service, has now turned into a $1800 service and three days with out a car.

    I must admit, this is all i have had gone wrong with my car, so i can not complain, just wished Holden had picked up on the timing chain whilst in warranty, i think they did it on purpose to get more money once the car came out of warranty.

    My days with olden are over, the next car will not even be from holden or ford, i have my eye on a Honda Euro


      Honda Euro is great if you’re very rich and love paying for expesive services and ridiculous price of parts; you’ll wish you had your Barina again. And how many Barinas can you buy for 1 Honda ???

  • Cynthia

    I bought a 03 SXI about 9 months ago. WIthin a month I had problem with the gear box not wanting to go in gear and sure enough the linkage needed to be replaced and Holden wouldnt cover this under their second hand warranty so that cost me $600. Absolutely ridicullous. Next thind to go was the coil pack. I was driving and then all of a sudden the light came on and the car started misfiring etc. So this time I bought a second hand coil pack as I am selling the piece of crap. Ive bought myself a XR8 ute, back to the good old ford. But my hubby went to drive my little BB and low and behold its doing the same crap again. I have not replaced the timing belt and the car has done 84000kms so could this be the problem?

  • A little peeved

    I’ve owned my 2005 XC Barina (Opel Corsa) since it was 4 months old, my new car warranty ran out on the 20th of Dec last year and so far this year I’ve had 2 breakdowns (only this week mind you) and have had to jump start it.
    I’m disappointed that this is happening now after having such a dream run with it the last 3 years and that there are so many other people with similar problems coming out of the woodwork.
    I noticed that the starter motor seems to be a fairly common fault, which is what went on my beep beep. I live 25kms away from the nearest city and I was driving in to meet a friend, started my car – no air con.
    I was a bit ticked because I thought that I would be up for paying for the air con to be fixed, didn’t think of anything else happening.
    Continued driving – about 15kms down the road (going 100km/h mind you) my car seemed to switch off (gauges, stereo, clock) and the car shuddered and then everything switched back on again;. I had a minor coronary which only grew as smoke started flying out of the front of the bonnet.
    Long story short, turned out the starter motor blew up and the switch is faulty. Compared to some of you out there I got out fairly easy – first 2nd hand starter motor failed 2 days after I got my car back, now have a new aftermarket starter motor and still have yet to take it to an auto locksmith to get them to service the switch.
    So my beloved little beep has cost me $400 (so far – still have yet to find out how much the switch will cost) and I have had the pleasure of not having a car for the last 5 days…
    What’s the go?

  • Crin

    I have a BARINA 2008 and its giving me so many problems. The abs light comes on and stays on sometimes for days, within the first 3 weeks of this brand new car the spedomoter stoped working. And the topping on the cake is my warning lights coming on and off when everthey please. They stay on while the car in on and starts when i start the car. please if anyone has this problem or has had please contact me. I have taking my car in four times and keeps getting the respone “we dont know why” or “can’t see a problem”

  • Mav

    Got a 2001 XC Barina. Trans problem like all of you out there, picked up revised trans linkage kit for $290 and installed myself. Much better now.

    Had the emissons problem too, holden replaced the spark plugs and igntion module and finally replaced the head
    (I don’t believe Holden). Problem went away, but then problem came back (shock – horror!!!).

    I replaced the timing belt myself @ 60,000km but made an error and killed the head (valve clearnace are so small). Cost me nearly $2800 to fix head but the positive is that the emission light issue and shuddering went away – go figure.

  • David

    Have a 02 Barina. Timing chain, coil pack fixed under warranty pre 20000k. Has run perfectly since. Accident a few weeks ago with a hit at the front. Well known Queensland insurance company currently refusing to complete repair (ie: get it back to a driveable state because the coil pack has gone) because “this is a common fault of this car”. Trying to find this in my policy – but if it is the case need to let Barina owners know of this situation and check their insurance policies.

  • David

    The outcome of the above. Insurance company spent $240 getting 3 opinions on what was actually wrong with this car – one Holden dealer, a Honda dealer (don’t ask why) and an independent. All three claimed it was a coil pack, although the Holden dealer claimed it was stale fuel and a coil pack. All three of these places claimed to have run a “full diagnostic test” on the car. Took car to my regular mechanic who cleaned the fuel injectors – and now everything is running just fine. Lesson here – stay away from RACQ and, if you can’t do it yourself, find a mechanic you can trust.

  • Katrina

    Hi there,
    I have a 2001 XC Barina and it has a slight miss in 2nd and 4th gear. I have replaced spark plugs, and given it a full service and even changed fuel to the dearer one. Still happens at start of acceleration in these gears.
    Can anyone shed some light as to how to fix this problem.

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Hey Katrina…………..who is looking after your car ?

  • http://noboundarydiscussions.org/ Evelyne

    I have a brand new TK Barina Hatch automatic
    1350kms on the clock and I have already some problems: stuck in Park: the dealer said faulty solenoid????
    The sale of Barina is a crime, as it can cause accident. However those big companies get away with it

  • http://noboundarydiscussions.org/ Evelyne

    I have a brand new TK Barina Hatch automatic
    1350kms on the clock and I have already some problems: stuck in Park: the dealer said faulty solenoid????
    The sale of Barina is a crime, as it can cause accident. However those big companies get away with it

  • aleesha

    I have a 2005 xc barina (daewoo one) i have been searching the internet for days now as my mechanic has just let me know i will have to replace my whole engine.
    My car too sounded like a tractor/diesel motor. I took it to Holden’s twice & they couldn’t fault it. I then took it to another mechanic and he changed the timing chain, tensioners and oil pump as these were all apparently knackered. Since changing this my oil pressure has dropped. The mechanic advised me that he removed some bearings from the engine that were also knackered, but he is still unsure as to what is causing the oil pressure issue. If anyone has any ideas on what the issue would be, it would be great to hear unless my next step is to replace the whole motor.

  • Mumble Duck

    I’m sorry Aleesha. It would have not been a Daewoo XC Barina. Maybe that’s why youre search results are wrong. The XC Barina’s were made by Opel. And the Daewoo you would be talking about is a TK Barina. Two different cars, made in two different countries.

  • Ferodo

    See Duck, that’s what happens when you teach Holden fans to read – they then think that they’re smart enough to advise their girlfriends on what car to buy: “Buy the XC Barina, she’s a beaut Daewoo ya know.”

  • aleesha

    ferodo.. completely useless info but whatever makes you feel important…!!!!

    Thank you for your advice mumble duck but it was my mechanic who advised me that for half of the year that the 2005 barina was in production, holden’s switched to the daewoo motor as it was cheaper. I was told that my motor was one of the daewoo engines.



  • Mumble Duck

    I’m glad I could help Aleesha.

  • megamale

    Good on you Carol Brownlie for bringing this to our attention.Holden is not as good as the much older Holdens use to be.Its good to be able to read things like this before going buying a new car that you think you may want and like so thanks guys.I’m sticking with Ford or something else.

  • Feasible

    i’m having a similar prob as most of you, my 02 barina was great little car, no problems, started leaking water, took to holden dealer service and spent $110 to tighten up a nut. Was told 60,000 service was going to be $900 at least due to timing belt. Due for soon. Week later the warning ECU light has been on and off and it is stalling at lights. Took to another mechanic and they have been testing for problem. Thought it was electrical but auto elec couldn’t find anything so now they think they have narrowed it down to ECU which has possibly been heated and now has fault. After reading comments by tank and fab going to suggest on Monday the *head *melted catalytic converter *coil pack and *fuel injectors. Sounds to me like the catalytic converter. Anyone else had to replace the ECU???? Gen part is to $1400. Don’t want to do unless sure.

  • A little peeved

    Bit of an update on my 05 XC Barina that had the blown up starter motor – barely 8 weeks later I was driving home from a staff meeting at night, went to overtake a car (barely going 110km/h to get around him – didn’t drop a gear to do so) and the little beep beep shuddered violently and started to lose acceleration; to me it felt like it had dropped a cylinder or something like that.. (the little bit of knowledge I have from religiously watching the V8s for years :P).

    Luckily I was only about 5kms away from home so I managed to limp it home, my dad had a look at it for me and he thought that a hydraulic lifter might have broken in the engine (everytime you pressed the accelerator it would shudder violently and have a ticking noise), the local mechanic came over the next morning to have a look at it and on first inspection he thought the same thing.

    They managed to limp it over to his workshop which was about 12kms away – he opened her up…


    All of the tappets that hold BOTH camshafts were loose and I was pretty damn lucky that they both didn’t go…

    Holden didn’t really care that much and it wasn’t worth the fight with them and paying to get the car (which had it’s guts laying over the mechanic’s workshop floor) to their service centre for them to turn around and say they may or may not be able to do anything…

    Got a quick and dirty fix done on it and nearly $3000 later I decided it was time to buy a new car…

    Had my gorgeous Mazda 3 for 3 months now…

    • Alana


  • Craig

    Hi, just a quick question about these fantastic cars (sarcasm). I have fixed a few electrical faults on this car myself over the past year, & now I seem to have a new one to keep me entertained. The problem I am having is that the air bag light would sometimes come on while driving, this did not happen all the time. Now the light is on all the time. Has anyone else had this problem? If so what did you do to fix it? If you went to the dealer to get it fixed, what was the reason they gave you for the light coming on. Any help you may be able to give would be great. So until the next problem (probably only a few hours away) thanks.

    • Car Fanatic

      I rented out loads of Vauxhall Corsa’s ( Holden Barina) in the UK when I worked as manager for Enterprise and had the airbag light come on in approx 30% of Corsa’s on fleet. The local Vauxhall dealer said it was just a loose wire. All he did was removed the airbag from the steering wheel and push the yellow connector back in place and most of the time it rectified the problem.

      Another reason could be the wiring under the seat has been loosened by having stored stuff under the driver seat or while cleaning under the seat. Don’t let a mechanic charge you the earth to fix it though, it really isn’t that expensive, though some will try to rip you off.

  • MAL

    Have just bought 2001 Barina. Private sale. Drove well when inspected.
    Picked up car 1 week later, got half way home & engine light comes on & there is a miss in the engine. On mechanics advice, bought new coil unit & spark plugs. Car runs well now but engine light still on. On the drive to the mechanics, noticed that the engine would hold revs (for a second or so) while changing gears. Mechanic reset the engine light & said maybe oxgen or other sensor could be problem. Oh and timing belt is now noisy. Anyway, drove away from mechanic, engine did not hold revs & all seemed fine. Got half way home again & noticed engine starting to hold revs & engine light back on. Wish I had read this forum before buying this dud.

    • Melinda

      Mal, do you still have the same problem, Ive been having this problem for YEARS, spend god knows how much money on 4-5 different mechanics. Holden suggested COULD be a faulty sensor, quoted around $850 but not guarentee its the fault

  • Automan

    I bought my daughter a new 2005 Barina XC,she had all sorts of problems with it from the car shaking while driving it and then stalling,losing power which wasn’t safe to drive.The speedo,tacho,revs etc would stop working while driving and the emission light remained on all the time and then began to flicker,the list goes on and on.At times the emission light would go off for an hour or day but then it would come back on again,damn frustrating.The 3 year Holden Warranty meant nothing so I have to ask what does the warranty cover if anything and whats with the Dealerships not wanting to fix the problems with the car while its in warranty,is it a loss of money to them?
    Holden should have done a recall on these cars as they are dangerous to drive on the road,a time bomb waiting to go off and if you own a Barina and have yet to encounter a problem with it give it time and yours will shake rattle and roll also. Shame on you Holden. No more Holdens for us,one dud is enough to stop us from buying another one.

  • Girlie Girl

    Hmmmm………….Shoulda did my reseach on here before buying my Holden Barina bomb.Small and good on fuel bah bah bah….yea right…not!!! Costing a fortune to keep it running with all the breakdowns and problems im having with it. Holden if i have an accident due to the unsafe way it drives (when it goes) with the way it runs with stalling,shuddering bah bah bah i will see you in court if i survive if not my family will and thats a life time promise. Talk about crap,a hunk of junk and a hard costly lesson to be learnt. Free advice to anyone whose thinking of buying one whether it be new or second hand…..DONT…you will regret it. They are so unsafe and unreliable its a disgusting disgrace to Holden and all the dealerships that fob them off to us with their bs sales talk about how great of a car they are.

  • Georgina Officer

    I ordered a Hatch in Orange with the ABS brake pack, I did this around July 2006 at the end of November I FINALLY got my car. It was pretty and shiny and all anger over having to wait so long was long forgotten.

    Soon however I started to have issues, in three years and 65,000Km I have had these issues

    The baby saftey bolts/catches are in the WRONG WRONG WRONG place, you put a baby seat in this car and you can’t fit anything in the boot as the strap goes across the boot in the hatch. It also stops the hatch cover from closing so you either have to remove it or lie it on top. Add to this the plastic covers snap off with little to no effort, in fact I broke 2 of them within the first 2 days of having the car!

    I got brake shutter, and had the discs plained. Only to have it come back again, in three years I have gone through 3 sets of discs (which only one set was covered under warranty) and a number of brake pads. I am now having issues with the braking failing on me and as I can not reproduce the issue in the 5 mins the dealer wants to spend driving my car around the block they claim there is nothing wrong. Basically what happens is that I put my foot on the brake pedal, I hear and feel a clicking noise, I am unable to depress the brake all the way down and the car does not slow or stop, I then have to re align the car and pump the brake to get it to catch and hold. Feeling so safe every time I drive it!

    The car would not come out of park, I was told this was a shift lock issue, I could not open the cap to insert the key to take the car out of shift lock so the car became un drivable. Once fixed I now have a loud click that sounds each time I engage or dis engage the brake. Again the dealer is telling me this is normal. I can also feel this this “click” through the gear shift.

    The middle console light next to the gear shift lights up at random, I asked from day one for something to be done about this and nothing happened, in fact I was told it was working fine. Now AFTER the car has come out of warranty they admit there is an issue however I will be charged it fix it.

    The air con rattles if on low speeds and I was told there is a 5cent coin in the air vent, I have tried to fit a 5cent coin in there but it is impossible, they refused to fix the rattle while the car was under warranty, however now they claim they can fix it again at my cost!

    The brake peddle fell off and I had to super glue it back on.

    My ABS brake light keeps coming on, again as I can’t reproduce the issue with their service department in the 5 mins allotted time the issue does not exist. According to the manual this light coming on means my ABS has failed to work and has turned off.

    The cigarette lighter NEVER worked. Again an issue I complained about from day one and again an issue that was never fixed, in fact one dealer said “Well you should not be smoking in your car anyway so there is no need for it” that is not the point the point is it should have worked!

    The aircon refused to come off de mist setting. I have to pull the car over, turn it off, reset all the air con settings and turn it back on and even then there is only about a 1 in 3 chance of this fixing the issue. Again something I have complained about and gotten no where.

    I have since found out that the Barina is not a Barina at all but instead a Daewoo. On doing some research all these are known issues of the Daewoo so all Holden did was slap their badges on a car that already had huge amounts of issues!

    Add to all this that the finance that the original dealer set me up with was for a 5 year payment plan. I had been paying it for a few years when I went to check the amount remaining only to find due to some clerical error that I now owe MORE on the car then I originally borrowed to buy the thing, in fact I owe MORE on the car then the cost of a new one! (and before anyone asks yes I have down the lawyer route and gotten no where other then being billed by the lawyer to put me more in the sink hole!)

    I am so tired of this car and all the money that I have had to throw at it over the years. I am about ready to scream. I know that I will NEVER buy another Holden and will actively let other people know about the crap that they are producing. If you are considering a new car run away from the Barina. Go do your research and you will find many people who are throwing money at this car and hating it!

  • leash

    hi guys
    i have a 1994 barina swing its an auto, since i got it a few months back i have had quite a few problems my sports mode light flashes and my car goes into limp mode which means it locks into 3rd gear from my understanding, and then i have to change gears manually to gain power. i have done a bit of research but these cars seem to have so many probs i figure it’s best just elimating things bit by bit.
    so i thought i would start with adjusting gears if that is even possible, i havent found any information on how to do this yet. i have very limited funds so if anyone can give me an idea where to start i would appreciate it.

  • Tim

    My wife has a 2004 SCi XC Holden Barina (Opel motor) and for the last 2 or so years there has been an increasing diesel sound that is being generated from the motor.

    From what i have read from above and the info we have received from different mechanics, the timing system is going. But, this should have been done at the 60,000km service. The car is now at 94,000km. At the time the service was done at a cheaper dealer and they COMPLETELY missed replacing the timing belt and pulleys. But, since they did the service and ripped out the logbook page all other places that did services afterward assumed that this was replaced.

    Well, found out that Holden may have discovered that there was a timing belt problem and decided to change the service from the 120,000km to also have one at the 60,000km. But, it is probably not mentioned in the service book. So, if this is the casse then the place that did the service should have checked for any service buletin updates for the vehicle. But they didn’t, obviously. All they did was replace the oil and filter and charged $125 for the privelage. Rip-off.

    Otherwise, this car has absolutely no troubles at all. The revs do hold for a little bit when changing gears but from what i can determine, that is due to the fact that the throttle butterfly is computer operated from the accelerator pedal and so it ‘thinks’ that this should be a good thing.

  • lewis

    Well Well Well… Did not realize that many problems with Opel Barina.
    I bought a 2001 XC model and have to change timing belt now, as mentioned 60000kms and diesel engine sound. However, it costs $800 to get everything replaced including timing belt and the whole kit!! Just a little bit extra, the crank shaft seal has to be replace due to leaking oil. My mechanic said “I want to talk to the guy who design the engine in this way that it takes me 4-5 hours to change the timing belt”. It is a complete nightmare!! It costs only $350 to replace the timing belt on a 1998 Hyundai excel, while it is only supposed to be done at 100,000kms!!
    So diappointed, European is not always good, may be they like complexity.
    With respect to the coil problem, I think I might have been experiencing with, since sometimes could not start engine or start a misfiring engine.


  • kelly

    2005 blown motor.

    help please i brought a 2005 barina for my daughter with the hope that she would be driving a reliable car for at least the next 10yrs.last week the motor blew the camshaft bearing snapped and sent camshaft through the sump.i would like to hear from others who have had same problem i am going to fight for this with the help of my mechanic as it is a production fault the more i know about this car the better equiped i will be. thanks all

    • Alana

      It just happened to mine…im devastated as i hav just paid mine off then it does this? Im going to fight Holden for this!! This is the second complaint i hav come across that has had this happen…the same year as well!

  • Maree

    I’ve had my 2005 xc barina for 2 years now and the other night I was driving home when the car started to shake violently and lose acceleration. I had my car towed to my Holden certified mechanic the next day to find out that the cam shaft had snapped completely in half. I believe this is a production fault because as u search the net I find dozens if people have had this same problem as me. After serveral conversations with Holden they want me to take it to there service centre which I don’t have a problem with but after my mechanic spoke directly to the leading mechanics from the Holden service centre he was told that no matter what the outcome Holden will not take any responisibility for the faults and it would cost ME $600 for them to tell me that after they confirm the cam shaft problem that has already be identified. I would like to help anyone take this further even if it involves the media. Could you please write me an email maree1988@live.com.au. And by the way my car has only done 66000 kms so anyone looking to buy a barina…………….DON’T.

    • steven

      Same problem with my 2005 barina. 55000 km and broke camshaft in two. How did you go with getting it fixed through holden

      • Col

        Did you have any luck Steven?
        I’ve just been told my fiance’s 2005 XC with 55000kms has snapped the camshaft aswell.
        Initially, emissions light came on and misfiring, changed sparkplugs and fuel filter and even swapped a coil with a known working coil at a local mechanics, who, bless him, wouldn’t take a penny cause he couldn’t fix it (Carton of beers instead) Had to tow the car to Holden garage and they’ve just given me the news about the camshaft. They have said they are going to apply to Holden to come to the party regards costs as this shouldn’t happen! I’m still waiting to hear if they will.
        How did you go?

  • no beep beep

    I seem to see a few cam shaft problems here.
    My car ompletely ceased, at 44,000 kms – 2005 XC Barina.
    The holden service centre has lodged a request for assistance from, Holden (i.e. Holden to pay for the repairs).
    Has anyone had any experience with that? Or had experience with going to consumer affairs (or state equivalent) to reclaim costs?
    Everything I can find on camshafts failing prematurely points to a manufacturing issue.

    • Grace

      I stumbled across this page only today out of vengeance with my latest brush with Holden. My 2005 XC snapped it’s exhaust cam shaft in half at 47,000km in December 2009. Complained directly to Holden’s head office in Melbourne and was reimbursed most of the repair costs of the engine rebuild, leaving me about $1100 out of pocket on $5000 repairs. I had no complaints with the dealer I dealt with – they were excellent on this occasion. The camshafts in these cars are definitely faulty given the number of posts on this forum.

  • no beep beep

    I should mention the reason it completely ceased was that the camshaft broke. (yes, at 44,000 kms of driving like a granny and using premium fuel – shell v power for most of it).

  • Kate


    My 2008 Barina has been having some problems similar to those listed. My first issue with the Barina was that it would not move out of park. This was due to a faulty solanoid that was an issue rife in the 2008 Barinas.

    Now, almost 2 years after purchase, with 18000k’s on the clock, my Barina is shuddering and losing power, regardless of how much I am pressing on the accelerator.

    The first time it happened I was driving up a hill 1 min after leaving home on a foggy morning. I had half a tank of petrol. The car began shuddering and the HOLD and engine/emissions lights came on. I pressed the HOLD button, thinking I may have accidently activated it. This only made the car worse- so I unclicked it and the car went back to its previous shuddering.
    Stopped the car, left it for the day. Was able to drive it home, and for another week before it happened again.

    So, exactly a week later, it happened, same time, same place- the only differnce was that the warning lights did not come up. Before shuddering, I could only reach 40kmph even though my foot was to the floor.

    My car also makes odd creaking noises, especially when going over bumps, or when turning and correcting the wheels around corners.
    The brakes shudder at high speeds and down hills, so I think they may be warped. Please help with any advice or stories of your own- I love my Barina- but this is rubbish! I’ve only had it a short while!

  • Duckula

    For what its worth, I have had a 2004/5 XC Barina since new… hasnt skipped a beat, ever once.. its still go the original set of tyres on it – I drive from syd to the north coast and back a fair bit and run around the city/beaches etc with mates, friends borrow it. It gets serviced once a year when the rego is due and she hasnt given me any trouble – honestly the only thing I have had to do is replace one of the globes in my tail light in 5 years – guess Im just lucky *Shrugs*

  • Martin C

    It must be any Holdens (nee Opel/Vauxhall) built 2000-05. Loved my Astra but my god did it have so many electrical and engine problems. It was a comfortable good-looking car but it was a horror to own, and you needed deep pockets to keep it on the road and driving.

    All I can say is that Holden definately made a lot of money out of repairs – but it has cost them any future car sales from me.

  • Brett

    Firstly what a fantastic thread (that i find after a 05 purchase)
    It seems like a lot of people are having some very serious and costly issues.
    I bought my 05 model and on the way home i filled up with premium fuel, within a few minutes bam the engine light comes on.
    Hopefully the car will run long enough to run out of fuel so that i can fuel up again with the normal fuel (cheap).
    I will be doing this before a service to see if this eliminates the engine light.

    I will post back the results

  • Brett

    Great thread even though i found it after i purchased a 05 xc barina.

    Dont get me started on the emissions light, I have had replaced and fitted a new cat converter at $1500, o2 sensors and still the emissions light has a mind of its own, I am to scared to look at the new water pump that cost a small fortune as i am scared it will break again.

    However i can put up with all of that not a problem, after all Its the only car i have owned that i need diagnostics software and cable so i can remove warning lights that appear for no valid reason. But at least i don’t get charged for it.

    My 05 xc barina is so noisy it is embarrassing, Holden took it for a drive and said “what noise”

    When i explained the hissing chhhhhh sound that increases with revs, i was told it was just the timing chain and that everything is fine.
    When i said it has to be fixed, i was told it couldnt be made more quiet.

    Nothing is fine, It is load its horrible and it stops me from driving the dam thing.

    Any one know if their is a fix for this besides foamo fill in the engine ?
    Is their a recall or upgrade part that stops the insanity

  • Judy

    Oops. I just put a deposit on a XC Barina 2005 Automatic. 63,000 kms. Hope I am not gonna have any of these problems. I had an accident last Sat..not my fault..and my XC Barina (same as above) was written off. Had owned it since April 2007 and never had any problems with it. Can I be that lucky twice.. As an Ex Holden Employee I had 1 of these on the Lease Scheme also. In 2002 I bought an XC Manual (my ex has it now) and the aircon went about 18mths ago. $3k to fix.

  • nickdl

    Thankfully all three of my mother’s XC Combos have never had any problems. Fingers crossed…

  • aleasha

    hi there! i own a holden 05 xc 1.4L mine is doing the exact same, dont get me wrong i LOVE HOLDEN and support the team to the full extent, but this barina is a disgrace! it needs a new coil pack, and to find one at a decent price is so hard. i found one on ebay but it was the wrong part!

  • Melinda

    Hi all..
    I have a 2001XC, she is/was a brillant little buzz box. But that damn engine light keeps coming on and dropping cylinders and setting off the emissions codes. ANYONE else had/have these problems and did they get a fix?

  • Grace

    Hi all – so glad I stumbled across this page!
    Things where going great with my 2005 XC unitl until just before Christmas last year. Was traveling at 80km/hr and bang – the camshaft snapped CLEAN IN HALF! Nearly had an accident. Required a complete engine rebuild. Luckily, even though the car was out of warranty, Holden came to the party and I was only left $1100 out of pocket on nearly $5000 of repairs. Since then however, the car hasn’t been the same – it tries to stall when driving, the engine management light and check engine light come up and the revs drop momentarily and then the car goes back to normal again. This problem happens intermittently, only when the car is warm. Have taken it to Holden several times, and they can’t find the problem and have basically washed their hands of it. Grrr. Last week, this happened and the car did a complete stall and I was nearly rear ended by a B-Double. Truck squealled to a halt and I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. Holden didn’t seem to care that I was nearly in an accident again because of their PIECE OF RUBBISH LEMON CAR. The service manager may as well have been humming with his fingers in his ears while I explained to him what had happened. They have the car now and are still using their diagnostic software to try and get it to fault to find the problem – this approach is just not good enough – they just don’t seem to be able to do proper mechanical work anymore – anything besides an oilchange is beyond them these days it seems. So frustrating. Meanwhile, I am forced to hire a car while my car is off the road for yet another week so I can keep running my business to make ends meet!

  • Mark

    I have just bought a 2001 Holden Barina a week ago and having problems sometimes of starting my engine, the battery light comes on. It only has 54000km on the clock and need time to be serviced will be 60,000. Wwhat shall I do as I travel to Melton every day and worried that I will conk out.

  • Grant

    Hi Folks, yet another saga…. after reading this forum, we felt compelled to contribute….Ok, we purchased our daughter (uni student) her first car being a 2 door 2003 Barina Sxi Auto just on 2 years ago from the first owner. Car had 83,000km on the clock. Well, we have had nothing but problem after problem…. After spending $1,200 to have the timing belt/chain replaced, the car started playing up intermittently with engine check light randomly coming on off. The car became sluggish to the point it was to dangerous to drive as it would cough and splutter before randomly stalling when under power… so, after visiting 3 different mechanics for a diagnosis, the problem was still not rectified. The car was fitted with a new coil pack, new EGR valve, new ECU (Computer for Engine Management system), new spark plugs, two new oxygen sensors (top & bottom), new air filter, new oxygen flow sensor, ..yup, you name it, all replaced at a humbling cost of just over $3,100, the car still continued misbehaving to the point it started blowing smoke under load, again with loss of power…. On holdens advice we took it to an EFI specialist who had the car for 3 days… and as fate would have it, the only thing we basically hadn’t replaced was the catalytic converter… Yup!!.. it had melted, partially blocking the exhaust gases from exiting… At a further cost of $900, the car was finally driving like new again…. YAAAAYYYY!!!… however, this week upon taking it to Kmart auto care for a routine service, they report the car needs to rear wheel bearings replaced (@ 94,000km) left one is about to collapse, needs 3 new shock absorbers, and a suite of other things.. all this at an estimated cost of $1,700 fitted… HURRAY!!.. the cost of repairs in less than 2 years is now about to exceed the original cost to purchase the car… Shame on Holden for scamming the public with rebadging a dogie built imported car… I agree, this should make it onto the media (A Current Affair or Today Tonight), with a view to forcing Holden to do a nationwide recall. Very upsetting to say the least !!!

  • Dave

    My daughter has a 2005 barina and had the same problem with the engine light coming on and the chugging etc.
    When i had my commodore fixed by a mobile mechanic i mentioned this problem to him .He fixed it ( about 12 months ago ) by Spraying the throttle body , sensor in the airfilter box and the co2 sensor in the exhaust with a product called throttle body cleaner . He said that they all get a build up of carbon and tells the computer that the engine is running too rich and restricts the amount of fuel to the throttle body causing the engine to run too lean. The car has never missed a beat since.
    You also have to disconnect the battery for about 5 minutes to reset the computer . Total cost was $20 .

  • Hobbo

    My ex wife has an 05 Barina with a bizzare electrical problem. She couldn’t start it the other day (flat battery ), RAA came and jump started it and it started ok again that afternoon but the reason for the flat battery turns out to be that the Radio just switches itself on any time it feels like it. I checked it out and removed the main Radio fuse, still did it. Then removed the other fuse that mentioned Radio. IT STILL DOES IT. She went out and switched it off every add until she went to bed then it came back on and flattened the battery again overnight.
    It must be getting a rogue feed from somewhere.
    Does any one have any clues, she thinks it’s posesssed?

    • Candie

      I had that problem too, I prefered to think it was lonely rather than possessed. I was driving home by myself, At Night, the first time it happened, freaked me out a little but shrugged it off. A few days later I was hanging washing and heard music coming from the garage, went to investigate and the radio was on…Turned it off an hr later it was back on, so I sat there in the car reading through the manuals for ages and low and behold it turned itself off. For about a month it kept turning on/off of its own free will atleast once a day while driving, two or three times on a 100km journey, I also heard it playing to itself in the garage several times. Three weeks ago, It just stopped doing it. The only thing that coincided with that was my low beam bulbs blew, again, but thats prob not much help.

      • TorchTheRed

        I bopught my wife a Barina yesterday and it has the same issue – I took the fuse out and the radio still works just fine! Did you ever get to the bottom of this?

    • TorchTheRed

      Bought my missus a 2005 Barina yesterday and the car has the same issue. Taken the fuse out and the radio still works… WTH! Did you get to the bottom of this? 

      • Goldcoastkiwis

        My daughter’s 2004 holden barina had same problem.  Radio kept turning on by itself at night and flattening the battery even with the radio fuse pulled out.  Solved our problem by having a cd permanently inserted in the cd player.  Don’t ask me why this works, but I read this fix elsewhere on google and has worked for her.

  • David. J.

    Hi all, so sad to hear all the XC Barina problems here on this forum. I see far more of the bad than the good. I bought a brand new 4 door in 2001 & regret the $16,000+ I paid. If I could go back I wouldn’t hand over $16 for same. Yes, a BIG ROTTEN LEMON! Sure there are a few that got off the assembly line with little or no issues (the robotics must have been on the Vodka those few days LOL) but sure as hell they will fail over time it seems. I’ve so far had to replace 1 coil pack, 1 throttle body, 1 computer, 1 throttle positioning sensor or foot pedal box/thingy, injectors off and serviced, rotors all round twice and pads (after market heaps better), gear linkage twice (GMH discovered metal knuckles better than nylon, derrr!), one front engine mount (the rubber had vanished & again aftermarket heaps better) air/con R/S after 4years and never bothered to replace it for the $800+ & told it will fail about every 4 years anyway. As for those pesky little dash lights flashing trouble at you, I’m totally sick to death of them. Now as for good old fashion service from the local Holden dealer, FORGET IT! They simply do not have a clue. They rely heavily on computer diagnostics and that’s it, end of story. If replacing one thing doesn’t fix a problem they just replace something else. It’s called the process of elimination @ your expense. These cars are an actual safety issue & something should have been done about it a long time ago but of course we are dealing with a big powerful company that so often get away with this sort of thing until that is, and usually, several people are killed. Seems to me that’s just a matter of time. I say let’s all get together and do something about it. Yes ACA & Today Tonight sounds a good start & maybe we should all take a drive in our lovely little bip-bips & dump these heaps of garbage on the front doorsteps of GMH’s head office where ever they might be. I’m sure there will be hundreds of XC Barinas turn up and why I say that is, the XC Barina was the “CAR OF THE YEAR” so they would have sold a few one would think. That was the only reason I bought one. I will add that I do not drive the car myself except when it plays up and having said that, and now due to it revving its head off on start-up, I will be reluctantly jumping into the driver’s seat tomorrow. Yes, it’s now the emission lights turn. Believe it or not!
    P.S Only use RON 98 fuel and make it Caltex without shop-a-docket discount suppliers. Oh and I forgot this one, when it comes battery change time you will find you need the BIG $$$ cranking $$$ type $$$ as it is the one that sits in place properly and this of course is used because of the cold northern hemisphere winters. Go figure.
    P.S.S The car does feel solid on the road if you get to enjoy those moments.

    • Jimmy

      I’ve had the throttle body and position sensor replaced on our 2005 xc too. And the computer now needs to be replaced. Did you have engine management problems / reduced performance?

  • David. J.

    Just quickly and on a much lighter note I bought a one owner Toyota Town Ace SBV 2003 with 3,000 k’s on the clock and up to now I’ve done all the services for oil changes, filters & plugs etc myself and that’s the only money I’ve had to spend. I tow an Avan camper every year when holidaying and it never misses a beat. “OHHH WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELING”.

  • Roger Ramjet

    The Suzuki made Barina with free rattly interior was bullet proof compared to this typical Euro model!

  • nolemonplease

    Do not buy European built car including BMW etc..Most of them are just piece of crap!!!

  • nolemonplease

    I am wondering why those car makers are still doing business in that they should have been out of business at least 20 years ago…I say again.. do not buy European built car especially Opel..This brands is the worst of the worst…Buy Korean or Japanese built cars…Buy a Car with your head not your heart..

  • Roger Ramjet

    I owned a variant of the Older Barina, the Suzuki Swift Gti for over 13 years and 290000km and apart from routine servicing and consumables, the only thing that failed were the CV joints. Same starter motor, alternator, engine, gearbox etc without a rebuild and the car was still faultless and reliable when I sold it.
    Yes the interior trim was rattly and the car did not feel like the most solid thing on the road but obviously the Japanese were and are still so far ahead of the Euro’s for better engineered car electrical’s and overall component reliability.
    As said, Opel are junk and like all Euro cars, they are overrated.

  • Michael

    Owned a 2002 XC 1.4 Z14XE from new, now done 199,300k’s and always problem with EGR valve, the emission light came on always, the cost from GMH was silly, today is over 800 bucks, ask them how much one cost’s now. Anyway, left it alone since 40,000k…recently it was idling rough, no power, flashing emission light, running like a pig…changed the EGR vavle, coil pack, cleaned throttle body…works like a dream. I bought the parts from VauxCentre.co.uk EGR cost 60 bucks, coil pack cost 70 bucks, GMH you rotton sods, it’s just a blatant RIP OFF what they charge knowing the problem about the faulty EGR valves.

  • Michael

    Forgot to mention that a 2002 XC 1.4 is what they call in the UK a Vauxhall/Opel Corsa C 1.4, get your parts from the UK….www.vauxcentre.co.uk

    • Amber

      I have haad the same problem twice in my barina 2001 xc. The EGR valve just keeps stuffing up- fortunately the last time it stuffed up holden replaced it free of charge as it was still under warranty from the last replacement (I think it is 50,000km or two years) BUT they didn’t let me know that until I check and would have happily taken my $950 bucks to pay for it- after it had been to my mechanic twice to try and fix the problem. Then Holden tried to tell me that this problem rarely occurs- interesting seeing it’s coming up for it’s third replacement of the same thing. When you ordered the parts from the UK who ended up fitting them for you Michael?

  • Miss S

    I have have the 04 SXI auto model and just yesterday the engine light came on, since then the front of the car shakes like hell and the car continually stalls…

    Any ideas? I have only had the car a year and all services are up to date.

    Also just recently the ignition barrel decided to break and left me with a car with everything on. In the end i disconnected the battery and had to pay $398 to get the barrel replaced. :(

  • Della MacLeod-Jenkins

    I own a Holden Berina model made 2004 and stamped 2005 and have had to replace the starter motor twice now. The key locked both times and burnt out the starter motor. This is extremley frustrating as we are not young and live on the pension. I shocks me to hear so many other compalints against the 2005 Berina. Holden should let all owners know that there are problems instead of acting surprised when told. My car is up on a ramp at the moment as I can not afford another starter motor at the moment.

  • Thomas

    Problems our 2005 (110,000km) Barina XC has encountered, it is regularly serviced and driven sensibly:

    – Front right suspension knock (control arm bush and dampener replaced)
    – Left front suspension knock (control arm bush and dampener replaced)
    – Engine rev surges
    – Accelerator unit replaced
    – Timing belt kit replaced TWICE
    – Constant realignment required for steering
    – Headlights blow at least once every 3 or 4 months
    – Indicator light fails
    – Speakers short circuited
    – Water seeps in through passenger door
    – And the pièce de résistance… the computer just broke and will require a $2000 replacement

    Suffice to say, don’t buy a Holden. Ever.

    • Jimmy

      … and to add to the growing list – transmission just packed it in. Can’t believe it.

      This car is basically a write off now.

  • Angel

    I had bought a Holden 2004 Holden Barina SXi brand new & within the first month, I had to have the engine rebuilt, however, they told me it was the oil, not the engine – how wrong they were! I call it a ‘Friday’ car, because nothing has ever gone right with it! Its sounding like a ‘truck’ & now my oil-pressure switch is playing up…I will NEVER buy another holden & cant wait to get rid of it! My husband also had a Holden & no mechanic had ever told him that the timing belt has to be replaced every 400ks….so of course, it broke & ALL the pistons were shot! We then invested in a Mazada & that is a car worth every cent!!

  • Candie

    I need help!I have a Barina 04/05 XC (opal)I bought from a holden dealer brand new in May 05. I noticed a droning noise after about a year that sounded like it was coming from the wheels but I dont know anything about cars to now what that could be. I did the typical girly thing and turned the sterio up as the mechanics found no issue when servicing it. I had the 120,000km log book service done sept 10 with timing belt and I’m sure it got worse afterwards. My dad got me new tyres, aligned and balanced but that didnt fix it. It’s now on 133,000 and Last week it shuddered and vibrated as I was leaving the driveway and the emmissions light came on. I turned the engine off in a panic, I restarted a few moments later it was fine. Since then he droning or whirring noise is at the point that it is driving me insane. I dont think the engine is labouring as at 100km/hr the rpm thing ts still sitting just above the 3 only slightly higher than it always did, temp gauge has moved slightly but still no higher than half. Can someone who knows about cars and difs and all that stuff please advise what it could be. I know I need to go to a mechanic but they always rip me off so I’d like to have some idea before I go. thanks

  • Candie

    I think I found an answer on another site, wheel hub bearing failure…symptom – excessive noise when driving. G Awesome that with all the services I had with mechanics who have supposedly done a the whole safety check etc… that they fill out, not one of them noticed it. I’ve had my tyres replaced three times and none of those guys noticed anything. I’ve been reading about the issue and I shouldnt be driving the car because its extremely dangerous. Since the noise started at around 35,000km and i’ve now driven around 133,000km I’m greatful to not have killed myself or anyone else. I treated this car like a gem and got screwed. I my ran my 92 barina (suzuki swift model)into the ground rarely serviced it, didnt replace timing belt till 180,000, one fuel pump and one replacement set of tyres and brakes and got 257,000kms out of it, still running when I “traded it” for all of $500 for this piece of junk. Holden should be held accountable, I WILL NEVER BY ANOTHER HOLDEN..EVER.

  • Timesup

    Oh please. Holden has not made a profit since 2004, and this is whilst still receiving hundreds of millions of dollars each year in assistance from the federal government. How would any person with basic common sense think that a company run like this, would place any great level of effort on quality. If they build them as cheap as they can, and cant make a profit, how cheap do you think they are aiming for if they want to make a profit.

    • Candie

      Oh please, accept my appologies for my stupidity, Timesup. Your attack on my common sense was totally justified. What was I thinking, an dvise site such as this one should not be used by the uneducated who are seeking assistance. Your comments have been most helpful in resolving the issues with my car

  • Roy

    My daughters XC Barina was not starting and I traced it to a dud battery. After replacement I found that the starter motor was tired starting the engine, but not all the time. I removed the starter motor and found that the end shield inside the starter motor between the planetary gearbox and the motor rotor has releasead and welded itself to the rotor windings. Holden wants $1199.00 for a new starter and Repco is offering a replacement for $235.00. Which would you buy? (just kidding). When are manufacturers going to start being responsible for producing a product with integrity?
    As for the comment about manufacturing a cheap car, if you can’t manufacture a cheap reliable car then get out of the game. All you’re doing is giving your brand name a bad reputation. Recommended advice don’t buy a Barina

  • Robin

    Is there a forum where owners can get help.

    A friend with a 2006 Barina has jsut had the ECS light come on


    Herewith is my Professional friendly advice………….I’ve been a VACC qualified mechanic & electrician for over 40 years, and all these problems in this forum make me wonder why people fall in love with a car, or get conned into buying it, and THEN look on the web for help AFTER the purchase in lieu of BEFORE the purchase.
    These Barinas make the CAMIRA and Lada Niva look like great cars, and I’ve worked on every car out there. I would rather have 1 Camira or Niva than 10 Barinas after reading this forum. ……..ALL cars have issues of ridiculous proportions since around 1986 with all the electronic controls and Gadgets that would sink a battleship. Before 1986, ALL cars still had issues, by virtue of their nature, but nowhere to the extent of post 1986 lemons, which if they made up only 10% of sales, is 9.99% too many; I’d hate to think what the real “lemon” rate really is……….If you want to save yourself a lot of heart-ache and sorrow, in whatever you buy, change both the engine oil AND filter EVERY 5,000kilometres with any GOOD brand you like,as long as the grade is what the Book says it should be. Never buy “no-name” oil. I have kept all the cars I’ve owned since 14 years of age and none of them have given any trouble; my first being a used 1957 FE Holden in 1966 and the latest being a 2001 Toyota Prado 3.4 V6, and in between a broad spectrum of cars from A to Z, of which only 2 were brand new. Still all going well. All have correct ROUTINE SERVICING with new oil and filter every 5,000k………trust me: Oil and Filter are dirt cheap……..and if you think the book’s recommendation is not often enough, don’t fight it! Do it more often…….like Transmission Oil, like Differential Oil, etc. BRAKE FLUID MUST BE changed every time you get new pads or shoes, or definitely every 2 years. Fuel Tank must be flushed out if contamination is suspected, or at least every 10 years……Change the TIMING BELT not 1 k over the recommendation……..is destroying the engine worth the delay or postponement ?

  • http://www.google.com solicitor

    Have recently suffered the same fault regarding the faulty cam shaft, (re: Barina 2005 XC) I have notified head office and arranged a good will application pending diagnosis of the fault, I will keep readers updated as to the progress, if I am not satisfied I will be proceeding with legal action.

  • D’s SRI

    I have an ’04 Barina SRI and have had no problems whatsoever!! It’s done 76,000kms now and I service it every 15,000….

    I thrash the crap out of it and it just takes it.

    If it lasts to 150,000kms I’ll be happy and throw it away and buy a new car.

    • Psmith

      i have a 04 sri ive put 120,000 on it in 2 yrs and drive it hard it takes it well.
      the only problem is the guages die some times (loose conection somewere)

  • Debbie

    I have been driving automatic cars for 27 years and have never had the problem of the car being stuck in park.  The other day, whilst waiting at a set of lights, I put the car in park.  Once the light turned green I could not get the car out of park.  What a shock that was in traffic.  Now doing this intermintently.  Barina Nov 07 Model.   Dealer advised cost to repair this would be approx $250.  I am wondering if this is a manufacturing fault and these cars should be recalled.   Love to hear back from anyone else with same problem.  debbielee200@gmail.com

    • Jon

      We have a Holden Barina MY07 and we ahve had this fixed twice in the 3 year warranty period as it was a leased car. Its something to do with the electrics but can’t think of the part that needed replacing.

  • derrfred

    Have 2002 Barina XC (Black).  Have been sole owner and being a 2nd car (i.e. only goes out on wkends), it’s done <50,000kms.  We've had it for over 10 yrs now and didn't expect such problems since it isn't driven much.  In Sept'2011, whist driving in CBD the car completely stalled.  RACV Roadside came out and couldn't jump start etc.. battery wouldn't take charge.  The guy had suggested it could be either issues with fuel pump, or something bigger like electrical problems.  We towed the next day to auto electrician.  Replaced battery AND the fuel pump, after that car seemed to run ok.  Then this month (April'2012) the car just started to stall, then die.  We left it off for about 20mins, then it started ok again. But just as we got nearer to home, it slowly stalled again- then it wouldn't start.  Took it back to the auto electricians the next day (the same place that had changed the battery & fuel pump the previous year).

    They came back with ECU had to be replaced, which we ended up doing.  Have had the car back for few days now.  It seems to start up ok, handles high speeds well.  However, couple of times when driving under say 60kms – the car seems to want to stall, but does not (phew!).  So far so good, we are hoping it will be ok.  Can anyone suggest why it may still be wanting to stall occasionally, even though ECU has been repaired. 

    Also the paint on roof and bonnet has faded.  Even though it's parked on street, the paint should not come off the way it has.  Its gross, seems a defect as we have owned even older cars than this which are also parked on same street, but their paint has never come off the way it has 'disappeared' off this POS Barina.


  • Pottsie

    05 Barina Z14XEP
    M y daughter bought her little Beep Beep 18 months ago. Through this last wet season it filled with rain water When she was home from uni I stripped the interior to dry but couldn’t find the leak so took it to Holden. $900 hasn’t fixed it.It is a known problem to leak at the brake booster and along seams in the fire wall.Has anyone else had similar problems? 5 weeks later we still haven’t got the car back! Not happy at all.

  • Jon

    I have a Holden Barina MY07 but actually manufactured late 2006. We got it brand new under lease and while under lease we kept up the servicing and also ran the car on E10 petrol. We have not kept up the servicing but making sure that all liquids are always filled. Lately we have noticed plumes of white smoke when we start the car up. The other day the hold light also started flashing but after a stop of the car and then start back up again it disappeared. Well tonight my wife called me saying that both the hold light and engine light came on. The car was shuddering and the RPM’s on the car went no higher then 800. She said there was also a smell coming from the car as well, like petrol.

    Getting the car in for a service on Thursday but from what I have been checking on here I am plain scared that this is going to cost big time. I mean how much is a head or new catalytic converter cost plus the labour as well ?


  • Shan


    I had purchased a 2011 Holden Barina from the Holden Dealer in Glen Waverley. It was 6months old when I purchased it and had done only $3000kms. When I noticed the engine light come on while driving I took it straight to the dealers and they said there is nothing wrong with it. When it came on the 4th time (June 2012) I took it again to Holden Barloworld as the engine light was on. 

    They said that it was because the petrol I was using was not of good quality and charged me $350 to drain the petrol from my car and advised me to only fill up with Premium petrol at BP. After using the preimum petrol the enging light has still come on and I have taken it back to the dealers for the fifth time. 

    The car is still  under warranty and I am so frustrate that it covers nothing!!

    I am so frustrated with the Holden service Centre and I the Holden brand.  

    • Richardprado76

      OMG!! We have the same model (TK M11 barina). This is so frustrating. What happens to your car now? Is it fixed yet? First time to see mine to light up today so i immediately turn the car off. I plan to bring my car to the dealer tomorrow. What if they ask me to replace the fuel too and charge me wih the labor! I hope not.

  • Jacobdlyle

    Hello. I have an xc combo. It is virtually the same as the barina except it is a panel van. I also work as an apprentice mechanic at Mazda but have Holden next door. The problem with many dealerships and the service department is that they cannot be bothered to do warranty jobs. Also xc Barinas and combos known for electrical problems. Today my electric problem was the cooling fan. It wouldn’t turn on. There for causing the engine to get hot. It was solved by putting the fuse into another position. It went from cooling fan with a/c. To cooling fan with out a/c in the car. Also lifetime warranty doesn’t mean life time. It’s misleading. Eg my NANs home a/c died. She bought lifetime warranty fr it when she bought it. She then went to Fujitsu to get a new ac but they said that it was expired. That they only last 10years. There was a perfect court case but never happened

  • Jayne

    I have a 2004 Opel Barina I have never had any problems with it and its always sounded like a diesel, since the day I drove it off the show room floor. I asked Holden each and every time I took it in and they said that’s how they sound these eco- tech engines. Monday last week I took my car into Holden Albany WA first time I’ve had an engine problem, car light diming up and down on idle, and running rough, like a miss. Holden said leave it with us, could be timing chain or short, but it doesn’t sound great at all it sounds like a diesel !!! I said I beg your pardon its always sounded like one, you guys told me that’s how its suppose to sound ! You’ve done all the services, and told me that you didn’t change the timing belt at 60,000 service, because its a CHAIN ! It will last 20-25 yrs. ! next day they call me early morning and tell me my valves are bent, timing chain is stretched and needs replacing. But I could need a new head ! So I say hmm okay so the test showed all this? Reply was we cant run the test until we fix timing chain. Okay so fix the chain I said. Next day I get a call, sorry bad news valves are bent, need a new head and timing chain, for sure. we could get you a second hand head and new timing chain, for maybe 4,500. but would be better off trading it in and buying a second hand car, from us we could give you a small loan. I was TICKED to say the least! I have 9yr old car with less then 125,000 on the clock ! engine is stuffed because you didn’t change the timing chain… the paint is faded because of a problem with the paint tint ! even though the car is in a lock up garage everyday except when I have to go to the doctors. I invested my insurance money from my disability payout in a car that would last me 20yrs plus and now that im in and out of hospital because my disability is incurable, I have a car in my garage that wont even start ! THANK YOU HOLDEN AUSTRALIA

    • David

      I’m saddened by your story and this should never have happened, not to anyone. Like we did, I can only suggest to cut your losses as fighting GMH will be a total waste of your time and it’s not worth the damage to one’s health.

      We sold our lemon to Pick-A-Part for $150 about 6 months ago and were glad to see the damned thing go! It had shredded the timing belt this time and was due to one of the cam shafts locking up and this may be due to oor/inadequate design to oil pick-up and oil galleries.

      We purchased a 1999 Mazda Metro as a replacement (I actually wanted to put the missus into a new one in 2000 but decided on the Barina because the Metro looked like a grannies car) which was 1 owner with 100,000k’s and this thing just doesn’t miss a beat.

      If you can afford it, just get rid of your Barina b4 it costs you more money. I took a few parts off ours and sold them on eBay but had complaints about crappy parts there as well so it wasn’t even worth the trouble.

      Good luck and please repeat your story to all regarding Holden’s
      poor customer relations as they deserve the worst of everything for what they
      have done to so many loyal Australians and personally I hope Holden goes BUST!


      • Niarg Rifek

        Your wish for Holden goes bust has come true.

  • Caitlyn

    I own a 2001 Barina XC and everyone is describing my EXACT problems. If I give my car a little too much (accelerate too heavily) the engine light comes on, flashes like crazy, the car begins to shudder violently and loses power rapidly! It is SO DANGEROUS. I have to immediatly pull over before it breaks down. I turn the engine off for 2 minutes or so, and when i turn it back on, i can drive off, the car seems to be ok, engine light still on. Only way i manage this problem is to take off from lights slowly and accelerate to top speed very very slowly. This is SO DANGEROUS and frustrating to all other drivers on the road. The car is a mess, cant wait to get rid of it. Taken it to get fixed so many times, but nothing helps. Mechanics have no idea…

  • Mich

    I just got my 2005 XC Barina back from the mechanic yesterday after arranging for a replacement L/R hand brake cable. The brake cables were ordered using the vehicle VIN number and plate identification details. As it turns out the brake cables received for the VIN number from Holden are about 30cm too short and can not be installed. The details were double checked again and were found to be correct for the model built 01/2005 XC04B model but still did not fit and were subsequently returned. Does anyone know how to get the correct info on where to get the correct cables for my 2005 Barina XC04B Model Z14XEP Variant 3 door.

    • David

      The cables you received are no doubt for the 4 door or some other model something???. I would try a wrecker like pick a part for a fraction of the cost. Got me beat why the cable broke being only 8 years old except to say its an XC. Try and grease or oil the next one to get some life out of it.
      Good luck.

  • Skye

    My daughter 07 Barina won’t go into any gear, well was going into 1st & 2nd & reverse but no 3rd 4th 5th gear, had a mechanic come and look and he reckons it is not the linkages.since he played with it will not go into any gear.Is it worth fixing? Mechanic says $800 to fix and then there is a tow fee – maybe $150. When I was young my brothers fixed and serviced my cars, would anyone out there know what’s wrong. Mechanic said its like all the gears are stuck in the one thingo? Help

  • Nicola

    I had exactly the same issue as described above, after months of googling I decided to reset the check engine light, and since then I have never had an issue with this, that was almost 1 year ago. the suggestion was that at some point I may not have tightened up my petrol cap after refuelling, this would cause the check engine light to come on, and put the car into a limp mode.. it would shudder and feel like it was going to stall exactly as described.

  • Lance

    I have a 2005 xc barina that I put a new motor in all went well car ran for a week and then as I was reversing out my driveway it turned off and wouldn’t restart. Now I thought it was the fuel pump as I couldn’t hear it prime no more, I changed it still no prime and then I changed coil pack and still no fuel prime or spark. I have gone through everything I can think of relays fuses I even bypassed the fuel pump relay to make sure it works and it does but somewhere in the start up process it has a problem where the fuel doesn’t prime and it has no spark. All so there was no dash lights or error codes, can anyone help me????

    • David

      I would be checking the ECU first as these units have been behind many of the XC issues. If it is a faulty ECU then you’re looking north of $1,000. Do NOT buy 2nd hand as the ECU needs to be ‘Flashed’. The ECU needs to match all the other components, i.e. key, door/boot locks, auto/trans, security etc.

      There’s been an issue with camshafts snapping in a batch of the 2005 models and I’m curious to know if that’s why you had the motor changed.

      These lemons have a habit of shredding/breaking timing belts, coil pack failures, ECU failures, gear linkage failures, early A/C failures, dash light problems and then there’s the catalytic converters to worry about. These particular C/C’s last around 12 months and are around $2,200 to replace and Holden have refused to come up with an affordable and reliable replacement.

      In my honest opinion it would be best to get rid of the car all together. I sent my wife’s car to ‘Pick-A-Part’ after it shredded a 12mth old timing belt (new timing belt + water pump kit @ every 50,000k is an absolute joke as well) and that in turn bent 14 out of the 16 valves. I gladly took the $170 that the wrecker offered.

      We did have the car from new at an on road cost of $19,000 and we had ten years of issues that started just six months from purchase. I’m a ‘Jack of all trades’ with a fitting and machining background and I maintained the Barina just as I’ve done with all our cars and my advice is get rid of the car ASAP.

      Pop a letter of disappointment in the mail to Holden head office and let them know you’re done with the Holden brand. Holden are done and dusted here in OZ anyway and it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

      Sorry for all the negatives but that’s the Barina XC unfortunately.

      We ended up buying a 99 model Mazda Metro 1.5 and this little rocket hasn’t missed a beat in the four years we’ve had it and that’s how it should be.

      All I can add is, good luck.