WHAT WAS THAT?
10-YEAR-OLD son is a car nut. He’s always ‘‘spotting’’ US muscle cars while we’re out driving, and recently he saw a Chevy ute. My response was that the US does not make utes, and he must have been mistaken. But not long after that we both saw one parked, Chevy badge and all. It looked like a Holden. A win for my son, but I haven’t totally given up. Where is it made and is it a Holden or a genuine Chevy? Stephen Handley-Merkt
Riddells Creek AIT
WAS a fad to fit Chevy ‘‘bow-tie’’ badges to Holden utes a couple of years ago, and you can still see them.
QI AMthinking of converting my 2003 BA Falcon XR6 Turbo to LPG. I drive mainly in the suburbs but about 30 per cent of the time I’m cruising on the open road. Can the XR6 Turbo be ‘‘successfully’’ converted without loss of power and torque? Mr Zorbar
specialists Australian LPG Warehouse tell me they can convert the turbo with virtually no loss of power and torque. The kit suits the standard factory engine and is capable of staying on LPG all the way to full throttle. It costs about $4200 installed.
MY FIRST CAR
17 years old and ready to buy my first car. Should I buy a used or new car? And what models make a good first car? Alannah Orr
used is not going to cost you as much as buying new, but you need to know about cars or have the help of someone who does. Otherwise, buy new and get the security of a warranty. The new car will also be safer. Generally they have more safety features built into them and will probably use less fuel than an older car. Look at the Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Tiida, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Getz and VW Polo.
the past year my 2001 Kia Carnival automatic has had serious performance problems. Sometimes it loses power abruptly, at others it does not produce the power it should. I have taken it to an auto-transmission specialist, but apparently nothing came up on the computer. I also took it to my mechanic and, though I paid more than $900, the fault could not be fixed. I don’t like travelling too far because of it. Could it be a fuel or transmission problem? Julie Cullen
faults can be hard to trace, so you have to go back to the basics and check everything. I doubt it’s a transmission problem. It sounds more like an electrical or even a fuel problem, perhaps something as simple as an earth connection on a coil pack or clogged injectors. Take it to a Kia dealer and have it thoroughly checked.
is a terrible smell of rotten eggs in my 2005 Subaru. My dealer suggested I run it on PULP, which I have done, but to no avail. Can you suggest how I might get rid of this smell? David Macauley
email AI ASKED Subaru’s technical people for help and they replied: ‘‘The rotten-egg gas smell is from the sulphur content in the fuel, which varies depending on the brand and grade of fuel used. It occurs when either the content of sulphur is high or when there is insufficient temperature in the exhaust catalyst to completely burn off the sulphur. Typically it occurs most often after a long trip and a short break, then a short trip, when the catalyst does not come up to full operating temperature.
‘‘This type of gas generation is solely dependant on the sulphur content of the fuel. It may also be caused by incorrect operation of the exhaust catalyst. If you have tried many different grades and brands of fuel without effect, replacement of the catalyst may be required.’’
First car: the Ford Fiesta would be a good choice.