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HILUX HEAT IS ON
READ with interest the reports of transmission overheating problems in the Toyota HiLux because I had the same problem with my 2007 turbo-diesel HiLux SR5 when towing our 1900kg caravan. We only got 40km up the highway on a 40C day when the light came on. I complained to Essendon Toyota, which checked the car and found nothing wrong. Both the dealer and the Toyota Customer Centre in Sydney blamed my non-factory bull bar, which I had fitted. After voicing my concerns about doing our planned trip and having the light coming on continually, Essendon Toyota (now Airport Toyota) sent me to an automatic transmission workshop they use for auto problems, and they fitted an after-market oil cooler. I questioned if having the cooler fitted would affect my warranty and was told there would be no problem, because they had sent me to an automatic transmission dealer, and I have a letter to this effect. I have since towed the van up hill and down dale at more than 40C and have not had the overheat light come on again.
Ian Johnson, email Well, goes to show what can happen when we insist on having a problem fixed. All of a sudden there’s a solution that works. Anyone else wanting to tow with a HiLux and, I would also suggest, a Prado, should consider talking to their dealer about having a transmission oil cooler fitted.
ENGINE BREAK IN
long should it take to ‘‘break in’’ the reconditioned engine in my 1984 XE Falcon, and what is meant by ‘‘break in’’ for an engine? When should the 10W-30 oil be changed? Can I then start on the 20W-50, which is what was used before the reco?
Tony Crossley, email Breaking in, sometimes also called running in, is the period when components in the engine, such as the rings and bearings, work in on the surfaces they are in contact with. It’s best in that time that you don’t drive it hard under load or at high speed, and it’s a good idea to vary the engine speed so you’re not driving it at the same speed all the time. Engines in today’s new cars don’t need much running in at all, according to the carmakers, but older engines do and it’s a good idea to give them 1000-1500km to settle in. Swap oils at the end of that period and you could use a 20W-50 oil at that time.
dashboard cluster in my 2005 Renault Scenic recently started resetting itself. The clock and the odo went back to zero, and within a few days it completely died. I had no speedo, temperature or fuel gauge. My research re- vealed that this is a common problem in Europe and the UK, and Renault is aware of this manufacturing failure. Renault first handed me a bill of $2000 for the part alone, in a car that is just over four years old and has travelled a mere 61,000km. They then came back to me and said my contribution to a new dashboard cluster would be $520. But why should I pay anything if it is a manufacturing fault? Nickolas A. Horton, Pascoe Vale South Renault’s offer is standard practice within the industry. The amount they pay is based on the age of the car and the use you have had of the failed part until it broke. What they are saying is that they can’t fit a part that is four years or so old and done 100,000km or whatever your car has done, and by fitting a brand new part they are re-
Hot stuff: several readers have reported problems with the HiLux overheating.