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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -


Q DUR­ING the re­cent rains in Vic­to­ria, pot­holes ap­peared in the Calder High­way that were big enough to catch fish in. I hit one hard enough to pull over to see if there was any dam­age. There wasn’t, but there were four cars within 100m of me chang­ing wheels. Three of them had 18-inch mag wheels and the other 18-inch steel-chrome, and all had low-pro­file tyres. I have stan­dard­is­sue 15-inch steel rims, which weren’t dam­aged. A few years back, I was help­ing my son buy mag wheels and the sales­man did say 18-inch mag wheels were sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age. Are the larger wheels more prone to dam­age or is it the lack of give in the low­pro­file tyres or both?

Trevor Al­lan, email It’s re­ally both. The al­loy wheels are more sus­cep­ti­ble to crack­ing and break­ing than the old steel wheels, which could be belted back into shape if they buck­led, and the low-pro­file tyres do load the wheels more than ‘‘nor­mal’’ high­er­pro­file tyres. We have had a few re­ports of BMW X5 SUVs crack­ing their big al­loy wheels, and we have been in­formed by some­one who should know that Holden doesn’t run its dura­bil­ity test cars on their big op­tional al­loys be­cause the test is too se­vere for them.


QMY WIFE and I plan to tow a car­a­van with our 2008 BF Se­ries II Ford Fu­tura and would like to en­sure the trans­mis­sion is up to the job. I be­lieve the car has a small, in­ad­e­quate cooler lo­cated mid­way along the mo­tor. But both ra­di­a­tor and trans fluid run through it and the pipes have been known to fail, cre­at­ing ma­jor prob­lems. I’m af­ter a larger-ca­pac­ity cooler, which pro­vides bet­ter cool­ing of the trans­mis­sion un­der load and negates the pos­si­bil­ity of coolant en­ter­ing the oil line. A Ford dealer I con­tacted has a kit but it only works in tan­dem through the sys- tem that’s al­ready there. That may as­sist with the cool­ing but doesn’t re­solve the prob­lem of coolant en­ter­ing the trans­mis­sion. I also spoke to a Fluid Drive owner who has not come across this prob­lem. The dealer said he’d need to get the car up on the hoist and to use his words ‘‘ex­per­i­ment’’. Can you shed any light on the above or per­haps pro­vide names of trans­mis­sion com­pa­nies who may know how to deal with this is­sue?

Merv Fin­ger, email There’s no sys­tem avail­able to do what you want, and with the plas­tic fit­tings Ford uses on the heat ex­changer it’s not an easy thing to de­velop. And a note of cau­tion from AW Au­to­mat­ics, who have looked at mak­ing an af­ter­mar­ket ex­changer, the six-speed auto tends to run a lit­tle hot any­way and re­plac­ing the fac­tory ex­changer that uses wa­ter with an af­ter­mar­ket one that uses air has the po­ten­tial to cause the trans­mis­sion to over­heat if the re­place­ment ex­changer doesn’t have suf­fi­cient ca­pac­ity to do the job.


Q AF­TER ask­ing for the brakes to be checked at the 3000km ser­vice on the VE Se­ries II Com­modore wagon, I was told the mas­ter cylin­der needs re­plac­ing. That was over a week ago, and Holden is say­ing it can’t get the part. Have you heard about this is­sue from any­one else?

Steve Terry, email Why did you ask for the brakes to be checked? Was there a prob­lem with them? It’s most un­usual for a mas­ter

Warn­ing: A reader is concerned about the steer­ing lock­ing up on an As­tra.

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