Vauxhall Corsa Common Problems

Vauxhall CorsaOriginally starting life as the Vauxhall Nova, the Corsa is one of the classic vehicles of our time. There are millions of Corsas on the city and country roads of Europe, as it has become one of the best-selling cars of all time.

The second edition of the vehicle, available as small city run-around, announced the Corsa to a global market and there have been no signs of its popularity waning since.

Want to buy a second-hand Vauxhall Corsa? As with all used cars, there are many problems that you’ll need to avoid. In this article, we list some of the most common issues helping inform and guide your purchase.

Airbag Problems

If the Corsa you are thinking of purchasing was manufactured between 2000 and 2006 then check the service history. You’ll want to see that the front airbags have been fully tested as there is a well-known fault with the software system that can impact its functioning.

Seat Adjuster

Another fault with Corsas manufactured during the 2000-2006 period is a fault with the seat adjuster, where the latch spring is known to fail, preventing the seat from locking in a suitable position. This is a relatively easy problem to spot before a test drive – simply check that the seat is not stuck in its rearmost setting.

Water Ingress

Is the Corsa’s ABS light on? If you test the ABS system does the car skid with the brakes locking up? The culprit could well be a known issue with this system, which is prone to allowing water into the car, causing a malfunction with the ABS’s electronic controls.

Steering Wheel

When you take your potential purchase for a test drive, does the steering wheel wobble and feel a little loose? There is a reported problem with the central nut that holds the steering wheel in place. Whilst this is an annoying fault, it is one that is relatively easy to fix and should not necessarily impact your buying decision.


If the Corsa you are looking at buying was constructed after 2008, then there is a chance that the braking system may not have been correctly filled with hydraulic fluid. Test the brakes, if it takes longer than usual to brake or there is a spongey and inadequate response from the pedal then the vehicle may well need a proper service to fix this issue.


During your test drive of the Corsa, take a moment to check the handbrake. There is a known fault where the operating cable can become loose at the mounting end and move in its support bracket. This will prevent the proper application of the brake.


There are several known problems with the Corsa’s electrical systems that can manifest in different ways. One of the most common is with the ignition system, which can often fail to start on the first attempt.

Air Conditioning

Whilst the smart money will advise you to always check the air conditioning fully before parting with your money, with the Corsa there’s a little more going on. If the unit fails to pump out any cold air at all, then the chances are that you are looking at a severe problem with the pipes.


One of the more annoying problems that is likely to plague this Vauxhall small car is a juddering clutch. Whilst this issue can be quickly solved with a service, there are reports of it returning to the vehicle several times, effecting the road handling and management especially in urban areas.


Another weak point in the Corsa’s set up is the radiator. Have a look under the bonnet and be sure to keep a look out for all kinds of fluid leaks and check that the coolant levels are normal.

Water Pump

Thinking of buying a 1.4 litre Corsa? There are known problems with this Vauxhall’s water pump, which can cause the belt to malfunction in the engine creating huge amounts of damage. Most mechanics suggest that the water pump is replaced every time that the belt is changed, so check the service history to ensure this work has been completed.

The Corsa is a great second hand vehicle. You should be spoilt for choice with the range of options available and if this is your preferred vehicle there’s no excuse in settling for a lack of quality. If the car on offer doesn’t measure up with its price-tag then be prepared to shop around as you will have no trouble finding one that absolutely fits both your needs and the bill.

This entry was posted in Cars and tagged , on by Justin Smith.

About Justin Smith

As the man at the helm of BreakerLink, it is no surprise that its Director, Justin Smith, has always had a keen interest in cars, bikes and most things wheeled. Having spent over two decades in the car parts industry, Justin combines his passion that since 2002, has successfully united those looking for new and used car parts with the breaker that supplies them. Follow Justin on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: These articles are for guidance purposes only. If you have any questions regarding any matter relating to your vehicle we would recommend that you seek the advice of an appropriate professional. We accept no responsibility or liability should you suffer financial or personal damages in relation to the advice stated on this website.