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QAS SOMEONE with many years of experience in the motor industry, I would like to comment on the recent ‘‘ PT Cruiser service rip-off’’ report in your column. For starters, no manufacturer recommends cleaning the fuel system, it’s something unscrupulous service personnel use as a profit booster. People who know about cars don’t have them serviced at dealers for this very reason. A skilled service adviser can add $250 to his/her pay every week by selling these services and products. The paint protection/fabric protection/ tint stuff that the pretty girls in the showroom sell people is another example of putting profit back into a lean dollar sale. Your readers should be warned about these sales traps.
John, email As you say, some dealers will use these tricks to squeeze a few more dollars out of an unsuspecting customer. Anyone being offered these services and products should question the need for them. If the dealer claims that the carmaker recommends them, ask to be shown the recommendation in writing.
you recommend I convert my 2007 2.4-litre Kia Magentis, which is still under warranty, to dual-fuel? If so what LPG system would be the best?
Krystyna Duncan, email The guys at the Australian LPG Warehouse have done the necessary emissions testing on the car to enable them to do the conversion and they have done at least one car using their EMR vapour-injection system.
said that using E10 fuel on cars built after 2007 was fine, but I was told by the service manager at Taree Subaru it was not a good idea because it damaged O rings, hoses and even the plastic fuel tank, and that the fuel required was the higher-octane premium unleaded. I then rang Subaru Australia and they said I could run my 2009 Forester on E10 with no problems. But, being a pensioner, I don’t want to get stuck with a huge repair bill, and the higher octane is much more expensive. What do you recommend?
W. Wilson, Forster, NSW Subaru’s advice is correct and they confirmed it for us. The problems mentioned by the service manager are ones that might be experienced by owners of old cars, particularly those running carburettors. We also approached the Biofuels Association and they too confirmed that you could use E10 without a problem.
FEW weeks ago my 2007 Ford Fiesta XR4 started to lose revs on initial start-up and then stall. It now does this every time the engine is cold, but then it’s fine once it’s restarted. I have twice taken it to my dealer and, though the service has been excellent, they do not know what’s causing it. They have said they will give me a call when they hear back from Ford Australia, but my warranty runs out in less than a month and I’m concerned they will not get back to me before then and I could be left to cop the bill.
Brett Reidy, email You have reported it while the warranty is in force so I would believe they are obligated to honour the warranty whether or not they report back before the warranty ends. Keep all records of the reports you have made, and any conversations you have had with the dealer/Ford, and any undertakings you have been given by either party. If they don’t come good and fix your car you would then have the ammunition to
Decision: a Kia Magentis owner is considering the merits of LPG conversion.