BANG TO RIGHTS
FEW weeks ago an engine mount broke in my 2005 Mazda 3 SP23. I could hear a banging sound so went to my mechanic, who told me to take the car straight home because the engine could fall out. When I asked Mazda if they could tow my car to my local dealer they said no because it was out of warranty. When I did get it to the dealer I was told it was my fault the mount had broken and I was asked if I had hit a gutter. I haven’t and there are no marks or indications that there has been any body damage. Do you think it fair that I had to pay? Maret Wrigley
ASSUME you bought the car new, not used; if you did buy it used the damage could have been caused before you bought it. If you have owned it from new and haven’t hit anything as you claim, I do think it’s unfair you had to pay. Mazda has given you the standard deal for a car that’s out of warranty, so they’ve come to the party by covering half the cost of repairs, but I agree that in this case it isn’t enough. No one should have to pay even part of the repair cost for something that shouldn’t happen in the first place.
QI BOUGHT a Toyota Prado in 1998 and had LPG fitted. Recently I checked the economy and found I was getting 20 litres/100km around town. My system is 10 years old. Should I buy a new one? John Lawson
systems generally use up to 30 per cent more LPG than petrol, whereas a new injection system uses a little less LPG, more like 20 per cent, so there would probably be a saving. A new injection system typically costs $4000-$4500. Is a switch justified?
SON-IN-LAW has a 1998 Mitsubishi Triton V6 manual dual-cab ute, on which he has spent squillions, from a new diff, clutches, new motors et cetera. He uses it to tow a work trailer, but is worried that it won’t last in the long term. He has $50,000 to spend on a dual-cab ute that can tow 2.6 tonnes, but has been advised that Aussie dual-cabs are not strong enough for constant towing of these weights. He is not sure whether he should buy a turbodiesel or a petrol engine, or manual or auto transmission. I suggested maybe he could turbo his current ute, but he was told that the pistons et cetera would have to be changed. AI WOULDN’T recommend turbocharging a 10-year-old engine without rebuilding it first. It would need to have new pistons anyway, and I would err on the side of caution and go through it from top to bottom to make sure it will be up the job. The best way for him, in my opinion, would be to buy a diesel. They’re all turbocharged these days and have the torque to tow the 2.6 tonnes he needs to tow. Most will tow up to three tonnes, but if he were towing that weight every day I would consider an aftermarket heavy-duty Janet Hazeldene
Kilsyth clutch. We have heard reports of clutch problems with the Toyota HiLux when towing. The commonly held view is that they’re geared for highway use, which puts the clutch under pressured when it has to tow a substantial load.
CAM AND GET IT
1997 four-cylinder Toyota Camry is due for a cam timing belt change and my mechanic tells me it is leaking oil from the front seal. If we have the timing belt changed, would the oil leak be automatically resolved or are two jobs needed to fix it? Is it true that the oil could leak into the cylinders? Ritwan Sunarjo
DEPENDS on the location of the leak. If it is from the front cover it will be fixed when the belt is serviced, but if it’s from the front crankshaft seal it won’t be and that will have to be an additional job. It’s best to do them at the same time if you have to because that should save you some money compared with doing them independently. There’s not much chance of the oil leaking into the cylinders.
Bang on: what’s causing that Mazda 3 SP23 banging?