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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

CLUNKY GEARS

QCAN any ad­just­ments be made to en­sure smooth changes in the four-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sions fit­ted to VZ Com­modores? I of­ten no­tice a light but abrupt clunk when the trans­mis­sion shifts up or down be­tween sec­ond and third gears. It is most ap­par­ent when ac­cel­er­at­ing up to 50-60 km/h. Com­pared with the other seam­less gear changes, there seems to be a slight hes­i­ta­tion be­fore the next gear is taken up. The dealer I bought it from told me there was noth­ing wrong with it, that it was nor­mal, but I’m not sat­is­fied and I’m think­ing of tak­ing it to an auto trans spe­cial­ist. Is this a good idea or should I just turn the ra­dio up?

Steve Parks, email It could be a faulty shift so­le­noid or a prob­lem with the throt­tle po­si­tion sen­sor. Take it to an auto trans spe­cial­ist who should be able to di­ag­nose the prob­lem for you.

GO­ING BACK­WARDS

QWHEN

a car is on a slight gra­di­ent with the auto in drive and your foot off the brake should it roll back­wards or hold on the gra­di­ent? I have had a VP and cur­rently have a VS Com­modore and nei­ther would roll back­wards with an idling en­gine, but a VE re­cently bought by a rel­a­tive does. Is this nor­mal with a VE Com­modore, or is it a fault?

Ken Dutch, email It de­pends on the gra­di­ent, the idle speed etc., but gen­er­ally an auto will sit on a slight gra­di­ent with­out rolling back. The idle speed could be a lit­tle low. But I wouldn’t be concerned about it if it does roll back. It shouldn’t have any ef­fect on take-off when you’re out driv­ing and have to stop on a hill.

SLIP­PING CLUTCH

QI

AM­wor­ried that the clutch in my Peu­geot 308 2.0-litre diesel is start­ing to slip af­ter 28,000km. It hap­pens only on warm days when the en­gine is warm, go­ing up­hill in fifth or sixth gear at peak torque at 2000 revs. I told the dealer at the last ser­vice, but they could not repli­cate it? Does any­one else have this prob­lem?

Colin Prasad, email Yours is the only com­plaint we have re­ceived to date, so I would sug­gest it’s not a wide­spread is­sue, if in­deed is an is­sue. To have a clutch slip­ping at such low kilo­me­tres is very un­usual and I would be scep­ti­cal about it.

PLUG TOO TIGHT

QTHE

pre­vi­ous owner of my 2007 Nis­san Navara D40 STX 2.4-litre turbo diesel had it ser­viced by an in­de­pen­dent me­chanic, but since I bought it I have had it ser­viced by a Nis­san dealer. At the 55,000km ser­vice I was in­formed that the sump plug had been over­tight­ened and the thread had pulled put, and an over­sized plug had to be fit­ted. At the next ser­vice I was ad­vised that the sump needed to be re­placed at a cost of $470 plus fit­ting. The head me­chanic at the deal­er­ship said that this has hap­pened be­fore on ve­hi­cles ser­viced out­side the deal­er­ship. But when I asked the me­chanic who’d pre­vi­ously done the ser­vic­ing about help­ing with the cost of re­plac­ing the sump, he said he had ex­pe­ri­enced the same prob­lem with Navaras ser­viced at the Nis­san deal­er­ship. I was won­der­ing if this may be a fault and per­haps should be cov­ered by war­ranty. Have you heard of this be­fore?

Gary Pap­palardo, email It can hap­pen if some­one over­tight­ens the sump plug. The thread can be dam­aged and dis­torted, but the usual way of fix­ing it is to use an over­size plug, as has been used on your car. The thread can some­times be

Slow up­take: a Com­modore owner hears a clunk in his au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

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