Vauxhall Omega (1994 – 2003) Review

Vauxhall Omega (1994 – 2003) At A Glance


+Comfortable, well-equipped, big cruiser with balanced rear-drive handling. Improved throughout its life so later ones are better.

-General and wide-ranging reliability problems. Heavy oil consumption on 2.2 DI. Faults like heater matrix failure and transmission heat exchanger failure make the car an economic write-off.

Launched in 1994, the Vauxhall Omega was essentially the replacement for the Carlton and the Senator. But it was much more than that. Here was an executive car with an affordable a price point – a proper BMW and Audi alternative for the senior management.

But it still had a job to do – and replacing two cars in one go is no easy task. What Vauxhall needed was a large engine line-up and a baffling range of trim levels. And that’s exactly what they got. Ready? The Omega was available with: 2.0-litre 8v and 16v, 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre V6s and a 2.5-litre diesel from BMW.

Amazingly, the car handled better than it had any right too. Which made the sporty MV6 (or any of the V6s) a hoot to drive. Wafting along at motorway speeds was serene, but point it at the twisty stuff and the Omega proved to be a nimble companion. An often overlooked modern classic – buy one now before they all disappear.

Ask Honest John

How can I bypass the immobiliser on my car?

"I have a 1994 Vauxhall Omega which was running fine. When bought it had two keys, one a remote for the other a chipped but non-remote key. The central locking did not work however I removed the door panel as the window regulator packed in and noticed the central locking was unplugged. I plugged it in and although the central locking didn't work off the fob I locked and unlocked the car with the key. I later went to start the car and the immobiliser light came on. I now cannot start the car. Can the immobiliser be bypassed?"
Unfortunately, this is a fairly common problem - not just with Omegas but with many cars of this era. One option is to take it to a dealer to get a new key and get the car re-coded, but that is likely to quite expensive. There are some suggestions on Vauxhall forums, but probably the best solution is to take it to an autoelectrician. Try a few numbers and hopefully you'll find one who has encountered this problem (or something similar) before and can definitely fix it.
Answered by Keith Moody
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