ASK SMITHY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - with Gra­ham Smith

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

email AA

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

ask­ing price.

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

email ABOTH

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

QTHE

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.

email AHOLDEN

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

email ATHERE

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

QWE

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

Wodonga AKIA

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.

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