FIX THE DAMAGE
QI AMashamed to admit that I failed to negotiate a car park exit correctly and our 2000 V8 Holden Caprice sustained some minor panel damage to the front and a few scrapes and a tiny dent to the back door. The leather interior is in excellent condition, the car has been fully maintained and most of the kilometres are from distance driving. Is it cost-effective to repair this cosmetic damage before we sell? Bronwyn Kershler
GOOD-LOOKING car tells the prospective buyer that it’s been well looked after. Scratches and dents say the owner doesn’t care. It doesn’t sound as if it will cost much to get it looking pristine again. With the damage clearly visible, a buyer would expect a discount on the
NOT SUCH A GAS
QI AMconsidering buying a 2005 Ford Falcon XR6 or XR8 and would like to put the vehicle on LPG. Can you advise if there are any known problems with doing this? Jason Brightman
are decent cars, but there are known problems with the diff and the oil cooler on autos, and I have recently heard of a problem with the spark plugs during a regular service on a V8. It seems they are susceptible to breaking while being removed. One owner lost his car for 11 days while the dealer worked out how to remove the six spark plugs that broke while being removed during a scheduled service.
ACCESSORIES BY DESIGN
owner of a VT Holden Commodore that I’m thinking of buying says it’s a Holden by Design model. Can you tell me what Holden By Design is and if it is a rare or special vehicle that Holden made? Jason Townsend.
by Design was a range of accessories and options developed for Holden by HSV and fitted at the Woodville factory. They ranged from dual-fuel systems to body kits, wings, wheels and other things that set them apart from the regular run of Commodores. I don’t believe they make a car any more valuable.
ETHANOL IN THE VAN
QI OWN a 1974 Ford Escort panel van and would like to know if I can use the ethanol petrol now available. What additives can be used in getting more kilometres per litre with standard unleaded petrol? Alan Kefford
shouldn’t be any problem in running your car on ethanolblend petrol, as long as you understand it is still an unleaded petrol and needs the same sort of valve protection it needs on unleaded. The ethanol blends we are seeing are low in ethanol and there’s generally no problem with them. It’s only when you get to quite high blends that you could encounter problems. In terms of increasing fuel consumption, I don’t know of any additive that will increase your fuel consumption on standard unleaded petrol.
CARNIVAL IS OVER
OWN a 2001 Kia Carnival that has suffered total engine failure after 60,000km. Kia offered us a ‘‘good will gesture’’ of a short motor, installed at our expense of $5000 because our vehicle is out of warranty. We believe Kia should pay for our repairs in full. They were advised by their importer Ateco to recall these vehicles; they chose not to. Kia must be held responsible for its actions and duly compensate all consumers affected by these defective engines. The Government, the ACCC and our Offices of Fair Trading should stop sitting on their hands, start listening to our complaints and do something. Mr and Mrs J. Brennan
replaced defective engines in Carnivals that were covered by warranty, but offered owners of cars out of warranty short motors at partcost, taking into account the number of owners the vehicle had, its service history, its age and the kilometres it had done. Should they have recalled the Carnival and fixed it when they knew it was such a widespread problem? They probably should have.
No satisfaction: a reader’s Kia Carnival suffered total engine failure.