With its roots going back to Europe, the Opel or Vauxhall Zafira is a 7-seater vehicle developed by the Opel manufacturer from 1999 – 2019. It is classed as a multi-purpose vehicle, which can trace its roots back to the Opel Sintra. Nowadays, you can find a used Zaphira, but many have been wondering about common Vauxhall Zafira engine problems.
One of the most notorious problems with the Zafira is the problem with the heater blower resistor, which is responsible for controlling the blower motor speed of the vehicle. In some cases, it has been reported that the resistor could fail, leading to fires and significant component damage to the rest of the engine.
With numerous recalls that eventually sorted the problem, many owners have had other additional engine issues. To ensure you understand what you are getting into, we will look at the most common Vauxhall Zafira engine problems and what could be causing these issues. We also look at some possible solutions to solve these issues.
5 Common Vauxhall Zafira Engine Problems
Built with a durable engine, Opel is one of the most reliable brands in terms of quality. The cars are often middle of the pack in terms of price and offer you great value for your money. A few negligible issues are often reported when it comes to the Zafira. Here are some of the most common problems you could encounter:
1. Failed Heater Blower Resistor
Problem: The heater resistor blower is one of the most common problems when it comes to the Zafira (2005-2014). Many of these vehicles have been recalled at least two times due to the problem not being fixed. The resistor would often fail, which makes it hard for the vehicle to regulate the heat coming from the blower.
Solution: Vauxhall offers fixes to the heater blower resistor free of charge and since the vehicles have been recalled, the problem has slowly subsided. Some owners of the older models might still encounter this problem. However, you can take your vehicle to the dealership and these issues should be fixed free of charge.
2. Faulty Water Pump
Problem: Since the Zafira often comes with a 1.9-liter CDTi power unit, many owners have experienced problems with the water pump. Not only does it clog from time to time, but the pump could leak water and coolant. A faulty water pump needs repairing immediately and can often lead to more serious issues, often culminating in a write-off.
Solution: While fixing the water pump can be done at home, it is often advised that you take your vehicle to the dealership. The problem might have already caused other issues in the engine due to overheating. It is best that a specialized mechanic gives your vehicle a complete check and fixes the water pump issue. It could cost you up to $600 to have the water pump replaced by your local mechanic.
3. Diesel Particulate Filter
Problem: It is always important to fill your vehicle with the best source of fuel you can afford. However, you might still need to rely on the particulate filter to filter out some of the contaminants found in these fuel sources. With the diesel Zafira model, a failure of the diesel particulate filter is not uncommon and can often lead to bad contaminants in the engine.
Solution: You can easily fix this filter at home and if you have the needed mechanical skills, you can buy a new diesel filter and replace it yourself. However, it might just need cleaning once in a while, which should not cost you anything. If you take your vehicle to the dealership, it will be less than $100 to have it fixed.
4. Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor
Problem: The mass airflow sensor is responsible for regulating the air through the vehicle and often ties in with the clean air filter. The sensor will indicate to the vehicle how much air should flow and when to stop. One of the common issues with the Zafira is that the sensor can often fail, leading to performance issues and a loss of power.
Solution: Unfortunately, the problem is hard to diagnose at home and you might need to take your vehicle to a mechanic. If the mass airflow sensor is at fault, your mechanic would need to replace the component. For the Vauxhall Zafira, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 to have this component replaced.
5. Fuel Pressure Regulator Fails
Problem: Since the Zafira is also available in the petrol version, many people opt for the 2.2-liter petrol engine when buying the car. The fuel pressure sensor will regulate the fuel flowing from the tank to the combustion chamber, which powers the vehicle. Should the sensor fail, the engine could flood or not receive enough fuel leading to a loss of power.
Solution: The problem is often the sensor and not the fuel regulator. However, it could be both, which means you need to take your vehicle to your local mechanic and have them check for the issue. Unfortunately, the prices for fixing this will vary depending on what needs to be replaced. However, $500 should cover the fuel regulator and sensor.
Is The Vauxhall Zafira Reliable?
If we disregard the fact that Opel had issues with about 160 vehicles catching fire from 2005 – 2014, the Zafira is generally durable. The heater blower resistor seems to be the biggest issue that might discourage buyers from buying it. This is topped by the fact that production stopped in 2019 and only used models are available.
Is It Expensive To Maintain The Vauxhall Zafira?
The Zafira is similar to most other vehicles and maintenance costs would run you the same. It should be less than $1,000 annually to maintain the vehicle, but certain problems might arise. In general, it is a very dependable vehicle. Since the recall, the major issue with the heater blower resistor fix is free of charge.