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OFF THE WAGON
2004 Subaru Outback was written off after being badly damaged in the recent hailstorm in Melbourne and we have updated to a 2008 Liberty wagon. We regularly transport bicycles on the weekends, but don’t want the bars on the roof during the week. The Outback bars have a hand twist and key lock arrangement that makes them much easier to attach and remove than the bolted rails on the Liberty. Is it possible to fit the Outback-style roof rails to a Liberty wagon?
Campbell Hutchison, email We asked Subaru and the short answer is no. They told us that the roof cross bars between the Liberty and the Outback are different, as are the way they mount to the roof. Your Outback has a rail system, similar to the current Outback and Forester, whereas the Liberty screws into the roof. With two different attachment systems, they cannot be interchanged.
FLEX SOME MUSCLE
A recent trip the flexplate on our low-mileage 2005 Toyota Kluger Grande all but destroyed itself. I have the offending part, which is cracked in a circle all bar about 2.5cm. The car is out of warranty, but has been serviced by the same Toyota dealer all its life. Is it reasonable to approach Toyota to see if they will help with this expensive repair? QOVER
time the clutch on my daughter’s 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer engaged closer and closer to the floor until it began crunching
David Blain, email We haven’t had any other reports of this failure on the Kluger, but cracked flexplates are not uncommon and I have seen many of different makes and models. I would certainly have a crack at Toyota, particularly if you have your car’s full service records and the cracked flexplate to show them.
gears. There was no clutch slip and the car had travelled only 67,000km. A dealer told us that the clutch was burned out and it was not covered by warranty. We disagreed and took it to a repairer who fitted a new clutch kit. The repairer reported the clutch was fine and that the pressure plate was the problem. We contacted Mitsubishi seeking reimbursement of the costs, but they asked for another report from a clutch manufacturer. We got a report from a clutch maker stating the pressure plate was the cause of the early engagement of the clutch. Mitsubishi read both reports and then denied the pressure plate was the problem and refused to compensate us. A Mitsubishi representative repeated like a parrot that Mitsubishi does not warrant clutches. I did everything Mitsubishi asked and they still won’t admit they were wrong and reimburse us. We have invested so much time in this dispute that we will not give up. Our next stop is court action if publication doesn’t shame Mitsubishi into honouring their warranty.
Karl Blake, email I think you will battle to get compensation on this, unless you can prove conclusively the pressure plate is out of specification. The only people who know the specification for the clamping load, which might be where the problem lies, is Mitsubishi. What makes it difficult is that carmakers don’t warrant clutches. They are considered wearand-tear items as Mitsubishi has told you, added to which you had the clutch replaced by someone other than a Mitsubishi dealer.
Taking a Liberty: regrettably, Outback-style roof rails won’t fit this wagon.