It’s no great secret that we are not fans of the Captiva. We have humorously and otherwise eluded to the fact that owning a Captiva is a poor life decision for more than just financial reasons. However if you are one of the unlucky ones that own one there is a new “common fault” that is plaguing the 4WD versions of this vehicle.
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You can find our review of the Captiva by clicking the link below.
Holden Captiva Review
The fault in question is a metallic grinding noise that is audible while the car is moving. The issue is the bearings inside the 4WD drive transfer case. This part is what transmits drive to all four wheels, basically it allows four wheels to have power transferred to them as opposed to just the fronts (Front wheel Drive) or just the rears (rear wheel drive)
These faulty bearings and sometimes gears are internal components inside a transfer case, which bolts onto the transmission. The noises in question are road speed related, that is to say as you drive the vehicle and you increase the road speed, the noise will become more dominant and change pitch as the road speed changes. If you have this fault, you are up for a replacement transfer case or a rebuild of the transfer case.
If left un attended, the transfer case can completely fail and in some cases explode which results the vehicles complete inability to drive at all. If you are experiencing this noise, it is best to get onto it before the car becomes underivable.
The good news is that this fault is so common that there are service bulletins available for int which you can locate here.
Service manual Holden Captiva Transfer
Additionally its so common that the dealers are covering this repair under warranty and in a few cases where warranty has expired but the vehicle has a good service history the dealership have come to the party and helped out a few clients of ours.
If you had to fund this yourself, its not a pocket change kind of Job. Removal and replacement of transfer case in a 4WD will cost you several hours in labour plus the parts.
Purchasing a second hand transfer is a risky choice. This fault is so common that it is more than likely that the new, second hand transfer may have the fault already. Consumers often opt for this only if planning to sell the car, which opens up an entirely different issue surrounding the ethics of such transactions. We always advise that the best course of action is to remove the transfer and have it rebuilt a opposed to fitting second hand units.
Unfortunately to date there is no upgrade or superseded part to prevent this from happening in the future. The only advise we can give to reduce the chance of this happening is to regularly have the transfer case oil replaced. Even if it is not yet needed. Prevention is always better than cure.