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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -



HAVE a 2002 VY Com­modore and tow a 5m pop-top car­a­van. Are there any mod­i­fi­ca­tions I should do, such as fit­ting a trans­mis­sion fluid cooler, to the ve­hi­cle to elim­i­nate any pos­si­ble prob­lems?

Gra­ham Hoff­mann, email Fit­ting an ex­ter­nal trans­mis­sion fluid cooler would be one you could think of, par­tic­u­larly if you are do­ing a lot of tow­ing. If you’re not hav­ing the trans­mis­sion ser­viced reg­u­larly and the fluid changed, it is a wise thing to do.


Q MY MIT­SUBISHI Magna has done nearly 90,000km and is due for a tim­ing-belt re­place­ment, and I was won­der­ing if I should have the wa­ter pump re­placed at the same time? If so, what would I have to pay for parts and labour to have it done?

Brian Mundy, email The Magna gen­er­ally doesn’t have a prob­lem with the wa­ter pump, and Mit­subishi spe­cial­ist Gra­ham Lewis tells us he has cus­tomers who have had three belt changes with­out chang­ing the wa­ter pump. He does, how­ever, ad­vise check­ing for any coolant stain­ing, and if found, then change the pump. Oth­er­wise, the pump gen­er­ally doesn’t give any trou­ble.



brake pedal on my 2009 Toy­ota Prado feels as if it reaches the floor and needs to be pumped to stop the car quickly. The brakes may be ad­e­quate in most sit­u­a­tions, but I need to be care­ful when pulling up quickly go­ing down­hill or when tow­ing. I have been re­port­ing the prob­lem to the dealer since the car was new, but they told me the brakes are fine, though they have been bled and ad­justed ev­ery time. Is this is an is­sue with other Pra­dos? Can I get an in­de­pen­dent check? If I up­grade the brakes, I may void the war­ranty.

J. Stevens, email It’s not some­thing that has been re­ported to us at cars­Guide, so it would seem it’s not an is­sue wor­ry­ing other own­ers. I sug­gest you find an owner of a sim­i­lar car and ask about their ex­pe­ri­ence, and drive their car if they let you. That way you will have an idea if it’s just your car or is more wide­spread. Also con­sult a brake ex­pert who can give you a re­port you can use if you want to pur­sue it with Toy­ota. I wouldn’t be up­grad­ing the brakes yet, be­cause it could af­fect your war­ranty. In any case it’s some­thing Toy­ota should do if there is a prob­lem.



MONTH af­ter buy­ing my 2009 Ford Fi­esta new, a knock­ing noise was dis­cov­ered in the front of the car. The dealer told me to fill the car with pre­mium fuel. Other me­chan­ics said there was noth­ing wrong, but the noise is still there and is get­ting worse on ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Hol­lie John­son, email The car is still un­der war­ranty, so take it back to the dealer and ask that it be fixed again. If they can’t fix it, ask them to con­sult Ford about the prob­lem. Per­sist un­til it is fixed. Long-term ping­ing can dam­age the en­gine.



Wayne Jarvie, who is concerned about the wear on the seats in his Nis­san Dualis, I’m concerned the seats in my 2010 Nis­san X-Trail are also wear­ing. Af­ter 15,000km the back of the driver’s seat was pilling and fray­ing in the lum­bar

Hot work: a reader’s 2002 VY Com­modore is tow­ing a pop-top car­a­van.

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