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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

COST MIS­FIRES

Q I TOOK my 1996 dual-fuel Mit­subishi Pa­jero wagon to a me­chanic to fix a mis­fire. It was there for two days and had plat­inum plugs and leads fit­ted. I was charged $137 for the plugs and $127 for the leads, and then $225 on top of that for labour. Is this ex­ces­sive for the work car­ried out on my ve­hi­cle?

Tony Snow, Port Macquarie, NSW The cost of the plugs and leads is about right, and the labour charge is about right for three hours’ work. If all he did was fit the plugs and leads, it’s ex­pen­sive, but if he in­ves­ti­gated the cause of the mis­fire be­yond sim­ply fit­ting those parts, the labour charge is prob­a­bly about right as well.

GAS CON­VERT

Q I’D LIKE to con­vert my 1994 six-cylin­der Ford Fair­mont ED Auto to dual-fuel LPG, but I’ve heard that there are dif­fer­ent types of sys­tems that you can use. Which do you rec­om­mend?

Steve Crouch, email An air-valve sys­tem that works much like a car­bu­ret­tor was the sys­tem that would have been used back in the 1990s when your car was built and that would be the cheap­est sys­tem to use if cost is your pri­or­ity. These sys­tems were fit­ted to mil­lions of cars over many years and per­formed well. In­jec­tion sys­tems are the al­ter­na­tive and these drive and per­form bet­ter than the old air valve ones, but they’re quite a bit more ex­pen­sive. I would choose an in­jec­tion sys­tem for the per­for­mance and drive­abil­ity, but go for the air valve if you want a more af­ford­able sys­tem.

FULL FLUSH

Q THREE months ago I had to re­place a cracked ra­di­a­tor in my 1994 V6 Toy­ota Camry. We found that the wa­ter was dark brown and there was sed­i­ment 2cm thick in the reser­voir. My me­chanic told me to flush the sys­tem with clean wa­ter ev­ery week un­til no more dirt was com­ing out and then put in coolant and leave it. Two weeks later I be­gan to have prob­lems start­ing the en­gine. It was run­ning roughly a lot of steam was com­ing out of the ex­haust. This time the me­chanic told me to flush the wa­ter and put Chemi­weld on for two weeks with­out coolant, then flush it out and re­place it with fresh coolant. Now the en­gine is not run­ning roughly and there is less steam, but the wa­ter is still dirty and forms a sed­i­ment.

Pantelis Natis, email I’d say you have an en­gine prob­lem, per­haps a cracked head. Chemi­weld is mostly used for a tem­po­rary re­pair to seal a crack in the cool­ing sys­tem with­out tear­ing the en­gine down and do­ing a proper fix. It has worked to some de­gree in that the en­gine is no longer run­ning roughly and less steam is com­ing from the ex­haust, but the prob­lem still ap­pears to be there. Pull the en­gine down and find the real cause.

NOISE DEAL

Q SOME­TIMES I can hear a vi­o­lent clunk com­ing from un­der the rear of my BF Fal­con MK2 SR when the auto trans­mis­sion kicks down at around 90km/h. It’s as though the trans is snap­ping back to sec­ond with no give, and wind­ing up the driv­e­line all the way back to the diff. I can­not re­pro­duce it for the dealer, be­cause it only does it af­ter it’s been run­ning for a while and when you over­take. Any ideas?

Mur­ray Cox, email It’s some­thing we’ve heard about be­fore. It was de­bat­able whether it was the trans­mis­sion or the diff, and Ford

Cost: Did I pay too much to fix a Mit­subishi Pa­jero mis­fire prob­lem?

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