A HARD LUX STORY
World War II my late father used to put an additive in the tank of his old Citroen. I believe it was like Lux soap flakes used for washing. He would mix half petrol with half kerosene and then add the Lux flakes. The car ran well on it. Could you tell me more about it? Lawson Ryan Warrnambool AI’M
NOT familiar with this practice, but there were lots of things done during the war to keep cars going when petrol was scarce. If readers know of the practice, they could send us a letter or an email.
IN THE HOT SEAT
love to buy a new VE Commodore V8-powered ute, but the lack of three seats is a real pain. Does Holden have plans to make a ute with three seats? Alternatively, do you know when Holden produced its last three-seater V8-powered ute? Chris email AI KNOW of no plans for Holden to built a three-seater ute, and I believe you’d have to go back to the WB to find a bench-seat V8 ute. Ford has a third seat option for the new FG ute, but not with a V8 engine.
recently did a used car review of an early-’90s Corolla and mentioned the fifth gear could be a problem. I can attest to that. In 1999 I bought a new Corolla Conquest hatch, which developed a noise in the transmission at 130,000km. When the oil was drained it contained metal particles, and the fifth gear bearing had collapsed. The cost of rebuilding it was enormous using genuine parts, but Toyota wasn’t interested because it was out of warranty. I am bemused that Corollas and Toyotas tend to be always highly recommended by you. I think they are overrated. There is the impression they have impeccable reliability, but many Toyota drivers are older and slow and conservative in their driving habits, thus placing little stress on the car’s mechanical components. Stephen Dilks
cars, including Toyotas, have problems at times, even the best in the world. Toyotas are generally reliable and the problems they have don’t seem to be major ones.
PICK UP A CHECK
QI NEED to buy a car quickly in the sub-$5000 price bracket. I know this can be risky because a lot of cars in this price bracket are old and tired. Any suggestions? GlenM
rather than make — is vital when buying older cars. That said, it’s best to stick to makes that have a good reputation— Toyota, Nissan, Mazda etc. Look for body crash repairs, ensure it drives smoothly, the gears engage without resistance, there’s no smoke from the tail pipe, there aren’t any odd noises or vibrations when you drive it both straight ahead and around corners, it brakes in a straight line and doesn’t wander. If you’re careful and have it checked by a trusted mechanic, you should be able to buy a decent car that will be reliable. Even though your budget is limited, it’s still better to spend a little on checking it rather than regretting the wrong purchase later on.
QI HAVE two older cars— a 1967 MGB and a 1963 S Series Valiant— which I have had restored, but because I don’t drive them regularly the batteries run down. Can I damage them by leaving the trickle battery charger connected and turned on without disconnecting the battery terminals? Roland Brain
Altona Bay ATHERE’S
little that can go wrong if you use a trickle charger that’s designed to maintain the battery at the fully charged level and not keep charging it. If left on charge for a long period without a function, a battery can explode.
NO CHARGE HERE
like to buy an electric car with a range of about 150km that could be charged overnight from the household electricity supply. Does one exist? Alan Dobie,
MY knowledge there isn’t one available, at least not one that’s been properly developed and produced for public consumption.
Sitting target: the VE Commodore V8-powered ute does not have three seats.