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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -



CAN’T find a dip­stick on my 2006 T5 VW diesel. I have been told you can’t check the oil level and there is no need to ever change auto fluid. Be­ing an exme­chanic, I don’t like dirty oils. Is this true or not?

Ken Ram­say, Kiama, NSW It should have a dip­stick to check the en­gine oil; it should be iden­ti­fied by an orange knob. But it doesn’t have a dip­stick to check the auto trans fluid. The trans is filled for life at the fac­tory, and the­o­ret­i­cally doesn’t need chang­ing. What that means is be­yond me, be­cause ‘‘life’’ could mean any­thing. Like you, I like to keep track of oil lev­els and oil con­di­tion, and I would be chang­ing the trans fluid on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.



hav­ing the 45,000km ser­vice done on my wife’s 2006 Camry at a non-Toy­ota ser­vice cen­tre, I got a phone call in­form­ing me the rub­ber bushes in the rear trail­ing arm were worn and needed to be re­placed. I was in­vited to look at the bushes while the car was on the hoist. I took the car back to the Toy­ota ser­vice cen­tre only to be told that move­ment in the rear bushes was nor­mal and they did not need to be re­placed. Toy­ota also put the car on the hoist along with a new Camry and two older cars. All had move­ment in the bushes. Who is telling me the truth?

Mar­garet Lees, email With­out see­ing the parts, it’s hard to com­ment, but I think you could take the dealer’s ad­vice. The dealer has demon­strated to you the move­ment is nor­mal, and I think you could as­sume they would also be keen to re­place the bushes if they needed to.



I push­ing my luck by hang­ing on to my 2003 Mazda2, which has done 197,000km with­out a hitch and is a real gem? My only ex­pense has been fuel, ser­vic­ing, tyres and bat­ter­ies, but I keep ex­pect­ing some­thing ma­jor to hap­pen. I was of­fered $3000 as a trade-in, but as I’m 18 months from pos­si­ble re­tire­ment, I don’t want to get into huge debt again. Can I ex­pect to con­tinue with my good luck?

Paul Alderson, email It’s im­pos­si­ble to say you won’t strike trou­ble, but it would seem un­likely given your ex­pe­ri­ence with the car. Ser­vic­ing is the key to a long life with a car and if you have done that con­sis­tently, you can have con­fi­dence it will con­tinue to give you good ser­vice.



have had prob­lems se­lect­ing re­verse gear in the 2007 Ford Ter­ri­tory I bought last year with 52,000km on the clock. My Ford dealer says it needs a changeover trans­mis­sion be­cause it had shav­ings in the oil. The dealer I bought it from didn’t want to know me be­cause the war­ranty had ex­pired by seven weeks. The Ford dealer fixed the prob­lem, and con­tacted Ford be­cause it should not have worn out with the low amount of kilo­me­tres it had done, but Ford doesn’t want to know about it be­cause I am a sec­ond owner. The changeover trans­mis­sion cost me $2760. The ser­vice man­ual shows all the ser­vic­ing was prop­erly done. Who should I see about some­one re­im­burs­ing me? Surely it would be Ford’s re­spon­si­bil­ity be­cause it was a de­fec­tive part?

Kevin Trezise, No­ble Park, It’s un­usual for an auto to wear out at such low kilo­me­tres. You don’t say if it’s a four-speed or a six-speed, but at the cost you have been charged, I’d guess it’s the cheaper four-speed used in the 2WD Ter­ri­tory. If that is the case, they are sus­cep­ti­ble to los­ing re­verse be­cause of so­le­noid fail­ure. Re­plac­ing the so­le­noids is rel­a­tively sim­ple for a trans­mis­sion spe­cial­ist, but a dealer might choose to re­place

Quandary: A reader wants to know if he should trade in his re­li­able Mazda2.

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