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Q WHEN I picked up my 2005 BA Fairmont Ghia after its 105,000km service, my mechanic told me the front springs were bowed and rubbing on the struts. The local Ford dealer told my mechanic it was a common problem, but when I rang and suggested they supply new springs, they said ‘‘it’s not going to happen’’. Am I asking too much and is this a problem you have heard of?
Greg Pearce, Traralgon If you talk to suspension specialists they will tell you it’s a common problem. The springs Ford used are quite long and they’re compressed into a small space so they can distort and foul the strut, as yours has done. You can replace them with factory originals from Ford or use aftermarket springs. They cost about $190 a set of two springs, or about $390 fitted with a wheel alignment. I don’t like your chances of getting new springs out of Ford.
FEEL THE SWAY
Q IN RESPONSE to the letter from AM ( carsGuide, September 3) about the ‘‘high level of bounciness and swaying’’ he experienced in his Hyundai SLX i30, I noticed my new i30 SX seemed to feel every bump on an uneven road. Having said that, I was given a ride in a friend’s new Honda Jazz and that seemed to be much the same.
I can only assume that most smaller cars in this ‘‘ sporty’’ category are built with firmer springing and suspension which, though not giving the cushioned ride of larger cars, do drive well on the highways and corner beautifully without any noticeable sway. I have done several trips to Sydney in the past six months and am quite happy with the car’s performance.
David Nichols, email Other readers contacted us about their experiences with the i30 and they have all been positive. None complained about the ride. Hyundai has also contacted us and is keen to talk to AM to sort out his issues with his car. He should contact Craig Frazer at email@example.com.
FUEL A WORRY
READ Ian West’s inquiry ( carsGuide, September 10) about using E10 in his 1998 Toyota Camry. I’d be very wary after my experience with a low-mileage 2002 Toyota Avalon. Perhaps it was simply coincidence, but when I tried E10 there was a slight improvement in performance, but it used more of it. After 2000km the motor became hard to start, particularly in cold, wet conditions.
The dealer said a rubber part in the tank had failed and replaced it. I switched back to ULP and the starting reverted to normal, but when I again tried some months later, the starting problems returned. I vowed never to use E10 again and used 95 for the rest of the time I owned the vehicle.
My present car, a Honda Civic, has a sticker on the fuel filler cap giving the nod to E10, but I’ll stick with 95 or 98, both of which certainly improve the performance of a vehicle that goes quite well, anyway.
Noel Carter, email Your experience of increased performance and increased fuel consumption on E10 is in line with what we’ve been told would happen, but the failure of a rubber component in the fuel tank is cause for concern. So too is the starting difficulty you had. Both of your cars are claimed to be E10 compatible but, like you, I’m not convinced that E10 won’t cause some issues on some cars.
OWN a 2003 TJ Mitsubishi Magna that has averaged about 12-12.5 litres/100km around town
Rubbing: a reader is concerned about the front springs on a Fairmont Ghia.