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GEARS GO CLUNK
December I bought a 2007 Holden Astra CDTi automatic from a Holden dealer with 97,000km on the clock. It had the balance of new car warranty and additional threeyear 175,000km warranty. After a week and less than 1000km a problem occurred where a gear change was missed under acceleration, the engine revved wildly and on release of the accelerator, the car loudly clunked back into gear with violent force. The dealer checked it and diagnosed that a software upgrade was required and done, but the identical problem has occurred another 10 times over 20,000km. The dealer has had the car back another three times, but diagnostics show no faults. I have written asking them to replace or completely overhaul the transmission under warranty at the next service. No reply yet. Has anyone else had similar problems?
Rob Bethune, Camberwell You’re right to demand the gearbox be replaced or overhauled. At the very least it needs servicing; at the worst, it needs replacing as you have requested.
OFF THE AIR
the radios in our cars today work after the new digital radio signal starts? I want to upgrade the sound system in my 2002 Mazda MX5, but if the current store products will not work, then I will hold off until the ‘‘digital-compliant’’ systems are available.
Perry Tountsios, email Current analog radios won’t work without some sort of interface. Pioneer make one called the Pure Highway that is mounted on the windscreen and receives the digital signal and puts out an analog signal.
BOUGHT my 2004 Honda Odyssey from a Honda dealer a year ago and the trim was like new, but a year later, with 90,000km on the odo, the fabric trim on the front seats is badly frayed and spilt at the seams. I weigh 48kg and am not rough on my cars; my husband weighs 80kg, but is hardly ever in the car. I have been to two trimmers to have it repaired and both told me the fabric was poor and neither has seen anything like it before. Both told me take it up with Honda, which I did, but my claim was rejected due to the car’s age. The dealer told me to buy seat covers. Do you think this is general wear and tear, and do you think Honda should help with the cost of repairs?
Lorraine Aitkin, Mount Martha From the photos you supplied it would seem the wear is extreme for a car that’s six years old, but because it is that old and well out of warranty you would have little chance of getting Honda to help with the cost of repairs.
QI WANT to convert my 2006 VZ Commodore Executive to gas, but my research has thrown up many different systems and prices. Can you advise which system is the best price and value?
Dave van Dolderen, email The best system for your car is a vapour-injection one and Impco was the system used by Holden for the factory-fitted cars. But there are lots of other systems that would also perform well. All systems are made in Italy, no matter the brand. Choose a well-known brand and an experienced installer, and ask the installer for references from other owners who have had similar systems fitted. The vapour-injection systems are more
Wild revving: a Holden Astra owner is having transmission problems.