Email Graham at email@example.com Search our entire Ask Smithy archive at carsguide.com.au
I have my 2006 Ford Focus serviced by my Ford dealer, but it’s cheaper to have it serviced at Ultratune, or the like. Is the service as good? The issue is Ford updates to the onboard computer that I presume non-Ford dealers cannot do.
Wayne Mitchell, email It’s always a concern when using a non-factory service outlet that you could miss out on recalls or updates issued by the factory. Nonfactory service outlets are capable of doing the basic servicing, but I’m not convinced they keep up to date with the changes that take place by carmakers without any advice to the wider community. But because your car is out of warranty you could have it serviced at a nonfactory outlet without too much risk. QWE
WERE very happy to see you address the issue of the ball joints in the 2004 RWD Ford
OUT OF JOINT
Territory. This is a repair we had to have undertaken about 18 months ago, costing more than $1000. We were outraged that our car, which had done less than 30,000km and none of it off-road, suffered such a significant failure. We are now in the process of having our money refunded. Please maintain the rage; Ford clearly took short cuts on the earlier models.
Rebecca Sullivan, e-mail Glad we could play a part in helping owners get some satisfaction in what has been a frustrating issue with the Territory. We believe Ford handled this issue poorly initially, but the company is now providing owners with assistance in getting their cars repaired. The problem hasn’t gone away, however. The ball joints are still wearing and you may have to replace them again at some point in the future.
WANT to convert my 2004 Mitsubishi Challenger to gas and would like to know the differ- ences between the various systems and which of them would best suit my vehicle?
Henry Lawson, Point Cook There are three main types of LPG systems: the mixer/venturi system that was very successfully used for many years and which is like a carburettor on a regular petrol engine; the vapour-injection system that operates like the fuel-injection system that’s fitted to your car; and the latest liquid-injection system that injects the LPG into the inlet manifold in liquid form. It’s claimed the liquid-injection system is the most efficient and delivers the best outcome, but vapour-injection is claimed by some to be almost as efficient and well proven. In your situation I would say either liquid or vapour-injection from a recognised brand, such as Eurogas or IMPCO, is your best bet.
READ about a problem with a vibration in a Falcon. We had a similar experience with my wife’s 2004 Falcon XT. The steering wheel would start to vibrate badly, sometimes so badly that you had to pull over. Our mechanic found that the brake master cylinder was faulty causing the front brakes to be lightly applied all the time, which in turn was making the rotors heat up and warp slightly. Once he’d replaced it the problem was fixed, but before that we had to replace the steering column because the ignition switch broke. We also replaced the front discs because they were worn out,
Risk: a Ford Focus driver has concerns over where to get his car serviced.