OFF THEIR PACE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

QTHE

first time I used the cruise con­trol on my new Ford Wildtrack, the speed fluc­tu­ated. I re­ported it to Ford and the dealer and they agreed to at­tend to it at the 3000km ser­vice. It was found it had a faulty so­le­noid and the part was or­dered as ur­gent. I was told not to use the cruise. Three weeks later I’m still wait­ing and have had no call from Ford to ex­plain why, even though I com­pleted Ford’s on­line qual­ity sur­vey and noted the prob­lem and also emailed the sur­vey co-or­di­na­tor. No one has ex­plained why the fault was not de­tected in the dealer’s pre-de­liv­ery check that cost $1540.91 plus GST. I’d ap­pre­ci­ate your thoughts on my ex­pe­ri­ences.

Trevor Lourensz, email You would ex­pect a car to be fully checked in the pre-de­liv­ery process, but like you I sus­pect many cars are barely driven around the block be­fore be­ing washed and handed over. Ford’s poor fol­low-up just adds to the frus­tra­tion you are clearly feel­ing. I can only sug­gest you keep the pres­sure on the dealer, and Ford as nec­es­sary, and tell them that you have waited long enough for the part. They could have built a new car in that time, let alone get a new so­le­noid off the shelf in the parts store. Clearly, it’s not good enough.

TIGHTEN YOUR BELT

QWHEN

I first start my 2005 Mit­subishi Lancer, morn­ing or even in the af­ter­noon, there’s a squeak from the fan belt for about a minute be­fore it stops and all is well. What can I do to stop it?

Fab, email In the old days me­chan­ics would prob­a­bly ap­ply a lit­tle grease such as Vase­line to the belt and send you on your way, and you could try the same, but I reckon yours might need to be re-ten­sioned or it might even need a new belt. If you in­stall a new belt, re-ten­sion it af­ter about 1000km be­cause it will stretch a lit­tle in the first few kilo­me­tres.

OUT OF JOINT

QCAN

you tell me what fuel econ­omy I could ex­pect from a 1989 Subaru Lib­erty? The ve­hi­cle has done 240,000km and was reg­u­larly ser­viced by the pre­vi­ous owner and I have changed the oil, spark plugs and ig­ni­tion leads. I’m also concerned about a whirly noise when I let go of the clutch and en­gage the gear. Could the clutch be worn or need ad­just­ing? Also, when turn­ing I hear that un­de­sired click­ing sound. Is that a sign the CV joints need re­plac­ing?

Alex, Syd­ney When new the Lib­erty would get about 12 litres/100km on av­er­age. If the whirring noise is heard when you de­press the clutch pedal it’s most likely a clutch throw-out bear­ing, if the clutch is worn it will be tak­ing up near the floor and you might ex­pe­ri­ence some crunch­ing of the gears. The click­ing noise you hear when turn­ing is prob­a­bly the CV joints, which will likely need to be re­placed.

GET THE DRIFT

QMY

TYRE spe­cial­ist sug­gested I in­stall a cam­ber kit on my 1999 VT S-Pack to re­duce tyre wear, but hav­ing done it I don’t get the same ride or feel when I am driv­ing. It al­most feels as though I don’t have any trac­tion on the road. And on a wet/windy day it feels as though I’m drift­ing and just doesn’t feel safe. I have taken the car back to the spe­cial­ist and they can’t see what the prob­lem is. Do you have any sug­ges­tions or an ex­pla­na­tion?

Paul M, email Check the align­ment. If you are wan­der­ing all over the road, the align­ment is not cor­rect.

LIT­TLE DIG­I­TAL NOISE

QA

FRIEND has told me that ra­dio will be broad­cast only in dig­i­tal for­mat af­ter 2015. Do you know if this is true and is there any way the cur­rent car ra­dios can be made to ac­cept the dig­i­tal sig­nal? No car man­u­fac­turer seems to be fit­ting dig­i­tal ra­dios to their new mod­els.

Tony Muller, email There doesn’t ap­pear to be any changes com­ing up, and you’re cor­rect, car­mak­ers are not fit­ting dig­i­tal re­ceivers yet. A source in the car ra­dio busi­ness tells us there is lit­tle de­mand from car own­ers for af­ter­mar­ket dig­i­tal ra­dios at this time, and even the ra­dio man­u­fac­tur­ers are not mov­ing that way as yet. We are also told that cur­rent ra­dios can be adapted to re­ceive the dig­i­tal sig­nal. I’d sug­gest you see your lo­cal car ra­dio spe­cial­ist for more in­for­ma­tion.

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