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Holden Commodore VS

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Holden Commodore

Holden Commodore VS

1995 - 1997
6 cyl. & V8
3.8 litre EFI V6; 5.0 V8 EFI
145kW (V6) & 165kW (V8)
5 spd man / 4 spd. Turbohydramatic
Top Speed:
Number Built:
0 star
Holden Commodore VS
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


The VS represented another Commodore upgrade where the emphasis was on mechanical rather than visual change. On the outside, the VS sported new wheels (or wheel trims for the lower end versions), as well as new badges featuring a revised lion-and-stone GMH emblem, only the third revision since the original 48/215 and makeover for the HQ range.

Mechanical improvements to the V6 would make huge improvements in almost every area – power was increased by 13%, yet fuel consumption was cut by 5%. Helping achieve these amazing figures was a new cylinder block and manifolds, reshaped cylinder heads, lightweight pistons and a small increase to the compression ratio, now at 9.4:1.

Smoother, sweeter and much better than its predecessor, Holden named the new unit the “ECOTEC 3800 V6” – an acronym for Emissions and Consumption Optimisation TEChnology.

The automatic transmission was modified to suit the ECOTEC, now offering even smoother shifts and better response to throttle pressure. All in all the drive-train of the Commodore had matured to world-beating standards. But the Holden engineers did not stop there, providing considerable safety improvements over the VR.

The VS Series was the first Australian built car to offer a passenger's airbag (with a capacity of 120L), while the Bosch ABS system was upgraded to the latest version. Dual airbags were standard on the Calais and Acclaim, but those purchasing the Executive could choose it as an option.

The engineers also made a change to the security system,  allowing you to select either drivers door or all door unlocking, while a rolling security code system was incorporated to improve vehicle security.

So little was changed on the outside that it is sometimes difficult to identify a VS over a VR – to do so look for the revised Holden emblem, ECOTEC badge located under the indicator lights and silver insert around the edge of the front grille opening.

There was a slight styling change to the top edge of the boot, and the Calais was now fitted with 16 inch alloys, and came standard with fog lights and a two-tone paint job. And last, but not least, the VS sported revised wheels or wheel covers.

In April 1995 the VS Statesman and Caprice models were introduced, and featured all the mechanical improvements incorporated into the Commodore range. In June 1996 the VS Commodore Series II was released, the update having refinements to the V8 engine providing both more torque and power (the power now up to 168kW), as well as producing a quieter idle. The V6 remained unchanged, except for the manual gearbox which was now a Getrag unit.

A minor cosmetic change would see the side indicator lights replaced with better looking oval shaped units, but the big news with the Series II was the introduction of a supercharged V6, available on the Calais, Statesman and Caprice. The interior was given a mild make-over, and from January 1st 1997 Holden changed its new car warranty to 3 years / 100,000 km.

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Posted 12 days ago
Posted 247 days ago
I have a 96 VS and Drive takes 2 seconds to engage is there a fix eg service adjustment ect to correct this condition?
Posted 419 days ago
Hi, I have a 96 VS Holden Calais which is still standard. It seems to have an intermittent fault where the stereo shuts down but still has power to it and if the car is parked and l0cked / alarmed with the key remote the alarm will sometimes go off on its own. Has anyone had the same or similar situation with theirs and can give me some info on what is wrong and what is required to solve this issue?
Cheers Gene.
Posted 454 days ago
i have a 99 series 3 ute goes hard but if i drop it sideways around a corner it looses all power then i basicalyy just clutch it and of it goes again can anyone help
Posted 524 days ago
I got 97 vs ute series 2auto third. gear free reves and engine light ison. done filtre in box
Posted 896 days ago
How do ya get vsfront rotore off??
Posted 921 days ago
afta auto trans 95 vs. stamp reads 6hdd 616hddy15128432, toledo 24201726...there is the no. 23 stamped on the casing.chers.
Posted 1070 days ago
i own a 97 series2 vs executive, auto, and keep killing gearboxes(5 of em)...1st gear always grinds within the first 100km then eventually have no gears,no codes have come up, whats going on??????
Posted 1086 days ago
where is the speedo sensor located on the getrag gearbox?? can anyone help me out?? cheers
Posted 1104 days ago
I have owned a VS SS for the past 14years, I am the second owner and have had little to no trouble with the car, I just recently decided to tart the car back up to its original glory starting with the dreaded headlining. One word of advise, if you are about to tackle this your self buy 1 first and prep this for the change, chances are you will need to reinforce and reshape it a little.
Posted 1121 days ago
hi just wanted to know how many vs ss with factory hsv upgrades where built cant find this info anywhere
Posted 1147 days ago
Haha I own a 1995 vs executive, a 1995 vs Calais and a 1997 vs statesman, executive is a bucket that gave me nothing but problems and I had it when I was on L's so I barely drove it but it still either wouldn't start or just died, after $1000's spent on it, the vs Calais and statesman both start first time everytime and neither one has ever failed me.. The conclusion: if you want a VS, get a later model one
Posted 1186 days ago
I had a vs Acclaim wagon the fuel tank size is 67L it was a very good car to drive and I still like the look. The paint for the Calais bottom I think is the same as the the VK,VL Calais.
crow cam man
Posted 1201 days ago
hi all im trying to find out how many1997 vs ss commodore sedans were built???i know i have 1 of the last out the door,being april 1997!!!!!cheers,
Posted 1206 days ago
how many vs v8 executives where made cheers
Posted 1225 days ago
what is the size of the fuel tank on a 1997 commodore wagon.
Adam James Rankin
Posted 1251 days ago
just wondering if anyone knows the paint code for the grey on the bottom?
Posted 1255 days ago
Just wondering if anyone knows about a "Limited Edition" (so I'm told) VS Executive. 5spd manual, Panther Mica Black, Gold Badges (came stock on the car) and Statesman rims with the Holden Wreath badges in gold too.
Posted 1265 days ago
Just wonderiung if the 1997 VS Commadore V6 3.8 has a rotor cap?
Posted 1266 days ago
Hi ppl, just wondering, i have a vs commi with an ecotech 6 in it which is blown, ive got a spare motor but its the series before from vn-vr will this bolt straight up?? or what would need to be changed?? cheers
Posted 1317 days ago
it could be the throttle body,as carbon builds up on the inside a stepper motor that when you take the t/body off you will see that the buttryfly hasnt been returning to its original position,it happened on my VS ecotec and has been fine ever since.......????
Dean lynch
Posted 1366 days ago
HI Paul i had the same problem untill i tried the coil packs and found that my coil packs had gone
Posted 1370 days ago
I have a VS Commodore my problem is it stalls for no apparent reason.I have changed the crank angle sensor bot still have the same problem.
Posted 1384 days ago
Hi Folks, I have written some previous comments on my Commodore VS ( Doug Barton Special). This car is garaged most of the time as I drive a Suburu Liberty Company Car. The Subbie is OK, and you believe that it can handle - thats until I get back into my VS, it outhandles the subbie on dry road, and just smokes it... just about everywhere. You do not realise just how good a lightweight Holden really is, compared to the later Holden models up to 350kg heavier. That is why they are dogs in the "go department". Again I stress, bring back a car like a lightweight Torana - but with all mod cons. Perhaps a slightly larger car than the current Cruze - but as a rear wheel driver. Forget the V8, it is not necessary, and the rego / fuel is prohibitive. We need a supercharged SIDI 3 litre supercharged engine. Six speed manual gearbox, or 6 spd auto. Then Folks we have a worthy successor to the great VS series 2.
Posted 1444 days ago
Holden Rodeo .. Enough said -_-
Jacob Wakerz
Posted 1450 days ago
I once had one of these . A beauty of a beast to say the least
Posted 1521 days ago
I picked the vx exec over the vs calais 5Lt V8 at the caryard, biggest mistake ive ever made.
Posted 1574 days ago
i jst bought a 1995 holden vs commodore executive for $2000 and its the best thing ever shes got a 2.5 inch sports exhaust new control module and 18 inch mags im looking at buying a ss body kit and louder exhaust they're thr best car out it smokes my bros 2004 xr6
Posted 1575 days ago
i have a vs berlina it has a blown head gaskit i will fix it but been a good car i have had it for four years
Posted 1603 days ago
yeah hey i had vs series 3 99' manual the thing is all over the sideways. i love em ay they go good. atm builing vs man sadan to be three times as quick dure to a car smashing into me and ridin off my ute
Posted 1635 days ago
hey guys i just brought a vs commie series two sedan with a T5 gear box and approx 250,000 kms and its the best thing ive ever spent money on its got a few problems but only minor stuff. i used to own a vl calais turbo and honestly the vs would smoke it stock, its got a way better throttle responce and hits 120 in around 6 seconds. im plannin on stroking it and supercharging it (on a new engine) parts are cheap and easy to get also needs a new ecu but other than that its the best car ive owned so far
Posted 1646 days ago
Well own a 1996 VS v6 ute, Paid $4000 on ebay for it, It was said to have approx 200,000 km on the clock CITY miles and lots of hard towing large boats around. It has gas/petrol and ran ok with a strange noise coming from the gearbox but we expected problems around that area. had a mechanic check it out and he replaced hoses, transmission oils etc. Noise went but he said there were lots of worn parts in the box. the gas was also back firing and eventually blew out my air intax. We replaced the plugs, leads, fuel filters, Oil ( ALWAYS use high quality stuff) Transmissioin cleaning fluid, fuel injector cleaning fluid and an additive to the oil to clean it out etc. Was running like new again as dad new all about the vs thus owning a VS 1996 wagon with 400 000km on the clock, of which 250000 he drove himself. The utes gear box did die but having a spare VS engine we replaced it for only $500, since then my standard ute is running great. Added A pod filter, sports exhaust, air manifold isulator and Cd player and speakers, It runs about an extra 25hp since these cheap upgrades and adding a grade 4 ecu chip l just purchased today. another 20hp out of the engine. So it shows before it was not taken car of very well by a guy how did heavy work but when you take care and use little more than average parts on a car it will out last your expectations, the wagon was really bad dripping oil and leaking coolant and after 400 000km why not? Fixed and with new engine mounts smooth and tidy again, sad to see it go but dad upgraded to a VZ wagon 52 000km on the clock. (X police car!!)
Posted 1659 days ago
I own a 1996 Holden Commodore VS V6 Station wagon, and its the best damn thing I've ever driven, My job requires me to drive a lot of cars and I have driven all models of commodores and I still prefer the VS commodore over anything else 270.000 on the clock and still going strong. I'm not sure how you others treat your commodore but my guess is it isn't the car that is broken.
Posted 1663 days ago
CAN'T go past vs s2,ESP CALAIS SUP6,1 of the BEST bang 4 buck/lux cars $ can buy,PLENTY of CHEAP parts/power upgrades etc GREAT 1st car,MAINTAIN them well,4GET about burnouts if u want them 2 last? ESP in auto's,auto's need shift kit,/cooler etc
boo yeah
Posted 1685 days ago
They really are just a bucket of junk !
Posted 1693 days ago
I have a VS series 2 and its more trouble than its worth. I service the engine and gear box regularly and the bloody thing still craps itself. i have spent more on fixing it that what i paid for it. Try turning a corner on a busy highway and the bloody thing stalls mid turn witt cars flying at you at 80kms. (scary) then having to spend $1800 just to find out it was the crank angle sensor. Then one minute its starting ok then it dosent start at all even with a brand new battery in it and a brand new starter motor and a brand new altinator which were all installed by supposed professionals. Then a brand new belt (2 days old) snaps and all the mechanic says is he cant see why thats happened mind you that cost me $155 just for those few words. I where do these people get trained a back yard shed and they get accredited for it. then on top of that a mechanic (a different one) smashed my windscreen and said to me it was aleady like that when i dropped it off to be serviced. Is it because I AM FEMALE they think i am FRIGGIN STUPID???????? I am fed up of being given the run around with my BOMBADORE i will never buy one again i can tell you right now. And to think i use to say I WOULD RATHER PUSH MY HOLDEN THEN DRIVE A FORD. WELL I HAVE BEEN PUSHING IT FAR TO LONG NO MORE
Posted 1704 days ago
Hi i own a 1996 vs commodore sedan i jump in the car put the key in the barrel but there was nothink from the barrel can they be replace if so can you help me please
Posted 1735 days ago
Hi just wondering if anyones had a noise that sounds electrical coming from the front passengers side of a vs commodore 1996. The noise appears while driving and stops when the car stops.
Posted 1741 days ago
hi just wondering if anybody has had any problems with the 5 speed manual getrag gearbox, i recently converted my 1997 vs berlina to manual and was wondering if any body has had any problems with there getrags, mine seems to run really well its very smooth
Jeebus Christ
Posted 1783 days ago
My partner owns a vs commodore and i always thought they were "scummodores filled with Rattle-Tec Goodness".
Truth is its actually been a really great car, i do oil changes every 5000 and its only ever needed a repacement belt tensioner pulley, other than that with well over 320 thousand on the clock, it still starts, stops, steers, and has a comfortable ride.
Posted 1913 days ago
the key barrel pops out when the key is removed check if this happes because if it dont when u put the key back in the barrel will not turn
Posted 1945 days ago
Hey cathy
i eave previously worked at holden for a few years n i would recomend you get a new key barrel coz the key barrel locks the steering so try that i very sure that it will solve this problem:Dif that dont work the powerstearing rack would have pooped itself :(
margaret the flasher relay unit is mounted in the the enginebay fuse box. the fuse box is mounted between the right strut top the the right headlight
may god bless:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Posted 1988 days ago
wre is the flasher relay unit situated on the vs
Posted 2070 days ago
TO Cathy , with the VS executive, I think I have a simple answer to your problem, try this, put your key in the ignition, then try turning the wheel firm but hard in each direction whilst triing too turn the key.
If you still have no luck ,email me @ burnie44@hotmail *** and i'll
give you some other advice. OK ?.
Posted 2100 days ago
i have just replaced my auto trans in my vs 96 ute and need knew trans lines because they were kink and had 2 cut them 2 get the old box out, wondering if any1 had any ideas bout the lines if so contact me on 042050900 thanx
Posted 2164 days ago
Cathy i dunno if youv tried this but shake your steering wheel with one hand and turn the key back and forth with the other, works with most cars that have that problem. youve gotta shake it fairly hard
Posted 2175 days ago
my 97 executive ,has a stearing lock problem ,its locked and i cant turn the key and wont unlock .I have asked a few people about this and knowone seems to have an answer for me its a mystery .I have been told it was a fault with this model and just hope i dont nee a new steering column iam not very financial have you ever heard of this happening , if you can give me any sort of advise i would greatly appreciate it i really hope its somthing simple to fix . thanks from cathy .Sorry if you get a bit confused with message i may not of explained it propperly.
Posted 2192 days ago
I Have a 97 VS Series 2 BT1 (Cop car) it has all the regular specials except for the Inderpendant rear suspension, and it is the only one i have seen with slotted front rotors??? any one know any thing about this i was told it was a persuit car from melbourne???
Posted 2201 days ago
i had a vs ute jeza best thing for you to do in it is get a lsd in in more traction and that i sould of had more weight in the back but i went round a corner on a cliff and the back end sliped out and i rolled it
Posted 2209 days ago
Gday, I just bought a VS ute about 2 weeks ago now, only done about 500kms in it it, but it is a beaut ute. Everything works great in it except for the horn which doesn't work at all, but bugger it who needs it anyway. drives great, except for on gravel road when its a bit slippery in the back end, but a couple bags of wheat in the back makes it track great. All in all a great ute, and it's only done 175,000, so sounds like its got plenty of life still in it.
Posted 2210 days ago
Kristine, holy smoke you have got some real electrical problems, I don't know how many kms the VS1 did before you purchased it or how many kms it has done since?
All I can say is that with the intermittent function of the Horn, Blinkers, wipers, and air conditioning - you need to visit a good auto electrican, but before you go, ask a mechanic to confirm that your VS1 has not been underwater at some time? If not these annoying electrical problems are easy to fix. In regard to your tape deck, after (14) years its probably time to update it, which will add some value to your vehicle. The ignition barrel, if it was an original Holden Replacement Part then there would be a warranty. Provided that your repairer used a Holden Part and fitted it correctly.
I have driven VS1 & VS2 for (13) years and I have never replaced a radiator or fuel pump, but I always use radiator corrosion inhibitor and I insist in replacing the low cost fuel filter every 20,000km.
Suspension rubbers and exhaust mufflers seem to last about 150,000km. But tie rod ends & Power steer rack? Crickey! it seems like this vehicle has been driven on rough roads, or with poor wheel balance and alignment.
Kristine, in summary if it has been drowned ditch it, if not fix it.
Posted 2211 days ago
I'm Starting to really have doubts bout the 95 VS, Does anyone else's have a serious electrical problem? B4 I moved to the coast the AC only worked when it felt like working , however I haven't had that problem in bout two years, The old tape deck only played tapes when it felt like it. Then the other night, the blinkers and windscreen wipers wouldn't work. I thought I had blown a fuse, but the next day they worked fine. The horn only works when the s wheel is turned a certain way, usually when you don't need it, Since I have had mine I have replaced nearly everything and not once but twice!! its had two fuel pumps, a fuel sender?, water pump, radiator, crank sensor, coil, power steering rack, two rear mufflers, front muffler, windscreen, sway bar rubbers and pins twice, tyre rod ends, Ignition Barrel, and now the spring is gone in the ignition barrel again, the key turns fine til you start the car then its really loose, Is it dangerous driving my car around like this? The last time the ignition barrel broke the key just turned and turned and didn't start the car, I had to use a screw driver to start it, However this time its still starting the car, the key just turns too far!!
Posted 2219 days ago
Gee Mike, it was good to hear about your Dad's Vs Commodore with 700,000kms on the clock. Cricky! its comforting to know - my VS Series 2 has only 273,000Kms on the clock - looks like she will be around for a bit yet. I have had new VY, VY2, and VZ commodores as company cars, but I can assure you that in terms of performance and fuel economy - none of the newer models compare to the VS series 2. As for the latest VE it is about 400kg heavier than my VS...so it goes like a snail by comparison and eats petrol for good measure. Bring on a lightweight Commodore / Rear drive Torana and forget the VE as a bad dream, complete with its putrid black interior - just what you need in a hot climate. I brought an LJ Torana 6 cyl sports brand new in 1972... it was light and fun to drive, no wonder they are still worth a bundle to buy now. After the Torana I bought a 1980 Falcon Fairmont Ghia 351 V8... this car cured me of lusting after Fords for life. For goodness sakes I only hope that GMH give us lightweight, fuel efficient, 6 cylinder cars in the future, not some obese excuse as a replacement for exceptional with character.
Posted 2222 days ago
My folks purchased a VR exec brand new, they traded that in after 150 000kms on a brand new VS exec, that VS was written off at 180 000 k's.. my dad then purchased a VS exec with 70 000k's with the insurance payout, he only just recently traded that VS on a low k VY Berlina ... the odometer on the VS showed just over 700 000k's at trade in, yes thats no misprint 700 000k, my folks do alot of country driving.
My dad never had any serious problems with any of his holdens, the VS with 700k's never had any serious internal work done on it besides a new water pump , ditto for the transmission.
Bodywise the old girl wasnt looking to flash for her 700k's but mechanically i think she mighta have had a chance at a million k's with regular servicing.
Posted 2227 days ago
DEAR AARON,sorry I can't agree with your statement. Frankly, I don't think you quite know what you are talking about. You see Aaron, this particular Holden VS bodywork was designed in Germany by Opel, similarly the gearbox is a German Getrag, also used by BMW. Now as for the motor it is a Buick, you know Aaron the roughest test on reliability in adverse conditions is to use the motor in a marine application, where constant high revolutions under heavy load takes its toll on lesser engines. We have used (3) of these engines in different boats which is testimony to their tough engineering . My VS Series 2 manual has over 270,000kms on the clock and I still use it for business every day - so much for your comment about reliability! and to answer your comment about power - this 11 year old original engine still runs less than 7.5 seconds zero to 100 kms - some vacuum cleaner hey?
Posted 2238 days ago
Great Car Ecspecially if you've got a stock manual in it. my vs is stock standard i've only worked the inside with Police Scanners, Digital radios, Computers, a Speed Camera, and if your wondering why i have this *** in my car, it's cause i drive this thing everday on the highway, pulling people over. lol
Posted 2238 days ago
beautiful car defently more for your money if you remember that saying the only thing i dont like about it is that ho many times it needs a different oil filter and new oil i got one 2 years ago and it's gone through 16 oil changes [can any one recomend deacent oil ang oil filters]
i use castrol and repco filters.
hq man
Posted 2238 days ago
you idiot holdens are not crap well if you think they are i think you need a trip to the looney bed
Posted 2277 days ago
Ahh, if they last so long why are'nt they taxi's? WORD! Holdens are underenginered crap! As for the V6, you get more power from a vacuum cleaner!
Posted 2306 days ago
"my perents bought there VS brand new in 1997 and passed it on to me when i got my P's but had 315 000 on the clock no recond. im 18 now driving a year and it now has 336 000 on the clock no major problems. just passed a safty test cos im driving it to Queensland from western Australia that about 4000km next week. dont think i will hav any problems its a great car"
No one said Australians couldn't spell, maybe someone should have?
Posted 2306 days ago
my perents bought there VS brand new in 1997 and passed it on to me when i got my P's but had 315 000 on the clock no recond. im 18 now driving a year and it now has 336 000 on the clock no major problems. just passed a safty test cos im driving it to Queensland from western Australia that about 4000km next week. dont think i will hav any problems its a great car
Posted 2347 days ago
my parents bought me a vs for my 16th when i got my L's its a sweet car cheap on fuel and got it second hand and it still goes like brand new!
Posted 2354 days ago
I own a 1998 VS V6 Caprice and will for awhile yet as I do a lot of country driving. Superbly comfortable, great on fuel, cheap parts and all trim and paint are still a1. Still looks a treat in my eyes and next car will be another 2-3 yr old caprice as they're unbeatable value for money and cheap to insure.
Posted 2376 days ago
Always loved the Statesman, just bought a 96 series 1 vs, still runs like a dream
Posted 2389 days ago
VS was my 1st car I baught.. Had it before I even got a hold of a liscence. I still have the same VS sitting outback and it still runs beautiful :)
I still think no other commodore has better looks than a VS.
Posted 2403 days ago
I purchased the last VS series 2 model S ,5 spd GETRAG Manual in Panther Mica sold in Australia, 1/8/1997. I had it since new, with $13K Holden Dealer mods. It looks like an SS with wheels & trims etc. but with extensive engine mods it is far quicker and level pegs a WRX.
I have had newer company cars, but I am using the VS again for business as it is a delight to drive. Cheaper to run, and less costly to register than an 8 or a new 6. Try to find a car speced like this one it is as rare as hens teeth! They are much lighter than later VT, VY, VX, VZ & even the plump VE similarly you can forget the Fords, Toyotas etc. check it out this is reason why I didn't buy the VT. KEEP IT LIGHT N' KEEP it Quick!!
Posted 2484 days ago
sweet car some up grades and i'am still kicking off the line
Posted 2672 days ago
top car! 1995 VS! never wanted to buy a new(er) model car but did as the family grew. havnt ever regreted buying this car. never going to sell it....
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