OFF THEIR PACE
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
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
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
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
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.