Email Graham at email@example.com Search our entire Ask Smithy archive at carsguide.com.au
THE GOOD OIL
Q I HAVE a 2002 Mercedes Sprinter 316 CDI van with a six-speed Sprintshift gearbox. Because I can’t find any way to check the oil level in the gearbox I was wondering if they were sealed for life, or is there a way of having the gearbox serviced?
Jack Miller, Chandler, Qld The Sprintshift gearbox is like a normal manual gearbox with an automated shift mechanism attached to perform the cog swapping. You need to think of it like a manual gearbox, but in the case of the Sprintshift there is oil in the shift itself. Most Benz service specialists recommend changing the oil every 100,000 km.
STUCK ON DENVER
Q A CD has been stuck in the player in my VW Golf for about 18 months and will not eject. VW and the dealer have both said to return it to the factory, but because I live in the country I cannot afford to be without the car. I am getting sick of listening to John Denver. Do you have any advice?
Con Van Dartel, email You could try disconnecting the battery, and then reconnecting it, which will reboot the system, and it might eject the CD in the process. Other than that you would have to remove the CD player and have a car audio specialist dismantle it.
JAZZ LOW DOWN
Q REGARDING transmission problems with the Honda Jazz, my 2007 Jazz developed a shudder when accelerating in low gear. The Honda dealer recommended the transmission be serviced and the oil replaced, but there was no improvement. The oil was replaced twice more without improvement. After further discussion Honda agreed to replace the transmission at their cost, which has fixed the problem.
Patrick McEniry, email The first step is to service the transmission and change the oil, which appears to fix some, but with others the solution is to replace the transmission, as was done on your car.
A BAD STEER
Q AFTER a small front-to-rear accident in my 2002 Ford Focus automatic the radiator was changed and, in another workshop, the timing belt was changed. I now have a vibration of the steering wheel hot or cold, which increases when I turn the wheel slowly to the right or left. Dealers and suspension specialists can’t find anything wrong. Could you suggest any reason for this problem, or where to go to have the car examined?
Zdenek Vesely, email The crash might have seemed minor, but the damage could have been more substantial than you think. That they changed the timing belt would seem to suggest there was some significant damage to the car and that’s where I would start investigating. I would suggest you contact an experienced assessor such as Graeme Cuthbert, ph: 0422 444 335, and have them inspect the car and the repairs.
SEEING THE LIGHT
Q I READ with interest the question from Kevin Macarthur about globe life in his Toyota Hybrid. For several years I was the national manager for automotive globes, one of the world’s largest
Please, not that song again: a disc is stuck in the CD player ofVWGolf.