ASK SMITHY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - with Gra­ham Smith

WHAT WAS THAT?

QMY

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.

TURBO TECH­NI­CALS

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

email ALPG

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

QI’M

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

email ABUYING

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.

CAR­NI­VAL CRI­SIS

QFOR

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

email AINTERMITTENT

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.

SOME­THING SMELLS

QTHERE

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.

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