ASK SMITHY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Special Report - with Gra­ham Smith

HOLDEN AN ACE

QMY

1982 WB Holden ute has a 253 V8, a four-speed man­ual ’box and moulded side mir­rors. The ID plate says WB coupe util­ity and I know there were only 60,000 WBs made. Is this a spe­cial model? Jim Kowski

email AI DON’T be­lieve it was a spe­cial model, but it has some op­tions that weren’t of­ten called up. The small V8 for one, the man­ual box for an­other. The moulded rear-view mir­rors were stan­dard on Kingswood utes so you’ve prob­a­bly got your­self one of those. Not a spe­cial model as such, but a lit­tle rare be­cause not many were sold.

BET­TER BY MILES

QA

READER asked about fuel con­sump­tion mea­sured in miles per gal­lon. You can eas­ily con­vert litres/100km to miles per gal­lon by di­vid­ing the num­ber of litres per 100km into 284. For ex­am­ple, 14l per 100km is ap­prox 20mp/g. Bruce Crowley

email ATHANKS,

Bruce, for the handy con­ver­sion guide.

HEAVY ON FUEL

QMY

SIX-MONTH-OLD Mazda Trib­ute V6 is very heavy on fuel at 15l/100 km, so I am­think­ing about con­vert­ing it to LPG. Is there a kit for this ve­hi­cle? Eddy de Graauw

email AMANY

own­ers are un­happy with the fuel econ­omy of their Tributes. LPG kits are avail­able and cost about $4500. With the gov­ern­ment re­bate you would re­cover the out­lay in two years driv­ing 15,000km a year.

FI­ESTA RE­SIS­TANCE

QI HAVE just placed an or­der and paid a de­posit on my favourite small car, a Ford Fi­esta LX five-door man­ual with ABS and EBD. The dealer told me al­most no­body both­ers to choose the $718 op­tion of ABS and EBD on the LX, so Ford stopped im­port­ing them with those op­tions. ABS is a po­ten­tial life­saver so I re­ally had to opt for it, hence my spe­cial or­der. The dealer told me that I might wait up to six months for the car. This seems an aw­fully long time to wait for a car. Pauline Hunter

Syd­ney ASIX

months isn’t a long wait for a spe­cial or­der car such as yours and I would agree with you ABS and EBD are worth the wait.

CHEAP OP­TION

QI AM­inter­ested in buy­ing a car that is re­ally cheap to run. Are the hy­brid ve­hi­cles the only choice in Aus­tralia at the mo­ment? C. Wright

email ATHERE

are many four-cylin­der diesels that are rel­a­tively cheap to run. Have a look at the VW Golf or Jetta or the Ford Mon­deo.

WHEN THE RUST SET­TLES

QFIVE

weeks ago I bought a 2004 BA XT Ford Fal­con. It was in im­mac­u­late con­di­tion, with all log books, had never crashed and had 130,000km on the clock. But I have dis­cov­ered it has rust in a num­ber of ar­eas. Af­ter read­ing the owner’s man­ual and war­ranty book­let to see there is a five-year rust per­fo­ra­tion cover, I took the ve­hi­cle to a Ford dealer and was ad­vised to take it to their ap­proved crash re­pairer. They would pho­to­graph the rusty ar­eas and send a re­port and quote to Ford. The crash re­pairer told me the rust is com­mon and he had re­paired many in an even worse con­di­tion than mine un­der that war­ranty. My claim was re­jected by Ford, stat­ing my ve­hi­cle has cor­ro­sion bleed, not per­fo­ra­tion rust, which is not cov­ered un­der the war­ranty. The crash re­pairer couldn’t be­lieve it and told me the rust was com­ing from un­der­neath the paint in some ar­eas and in oth­ers the seams were not sealed cor­rectly at the fac­tory. He sug­gested I put pres­sure on Ford to re­con­sider. They are hold­ing fast to their de­ci­sion and I am un­sure what to do. Emmanuel Nikoloudakis

email AKEEP

up the pres­sure on Ford. The per­fo­ra­tion war­ranty may well ex­pire by the time the rust eats through the sheet-metal so it needs to be ad­dressed now. If you can’t get a sat­is­fac­tory re­sponse from the com­pany, seek le­gal ac­tion.

Heavy, heavy fuel: the Mazda Trib­ute can be con­verted to LPG.

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