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Choking to fix it
Q WHENEVER I take my foot off the accelerator at low speed in my 1981 Ford Falcon GL 4.1-litre auto ute, especially when turning corners in town, at stop signs or stopped by traffic, the revs drop immediately to zero and, unless I am quick with the manual choke, the motor cuts out. No spluttering, instant drop of revs and engine stops. When travelling on the open road there is no problem until speed is reduced to low and then the problem happens. As a consequence I am driving around town with either the choke out or my hand resting near it, ready to pull it out. Two mechanics and a carby expert haven’t been able to find a fault. The carby expert told me to give it a ‘‘good shake-up’’ by driving to Wollongong and back. He also advised me to use premium fuel. Neither suggestion worked.
Grahame Davies, email The fact that you can save it by using the choke tells you it’s run- ning too lean. Have the carby reconditioned, it’s probably worn. Make sure the idle mixture is set correctly, and replace the air filter.
Q I FIND the nitrate grey dash in my 2010 VE Commodore SSV nearly impossible to read and somewhat of a danger when attempting to drive within the speed limit and have to keep the digital speedo displayed. Twice I have contacted both the dealer and GM, but with no satisfaction. In an attempt to make the dash readable I have modified a plastic magnifying sheet to clip in, and despite driving with the parkers on, it is still borderline, particularly when the sun shines on to the dash. What remedy is there to overcome this safety issue?
N. Connell, Hallam This is a hobbyhorse of mine, because I think the designers in this case have put form before function, and I agree with you the instruments are hard to read. Putting the low- beam lights on makes it a little easier, but doesn’t fix the problem. Having the digital speed readout on, as you have done, is about the only solution for you, but if, like me, you don’t like digital speed readouts you’re out of luck. I urge people to check things like this when they testdrive a car before purchase. That’s the time to identify issues you might have with a car later on.
Q THE speedo in the new Subaru Impreza R reads fast. When the speedo reading is 109km/h we are doing 100km/ h, which we established after many comparisons with other cars and GPS systems. I have been told this is common with all new cars and is legally permissible. I think, as with a new car fitted with wheels and tyres by the manufacturer any difference above 2 per cent is unacceptable.
Peg Hawkes, Maclean, NSW The law allows speedos to read as much as 10 per cent fast, which makes yours legal. There’s not much you can do about it, other than make mental adjustments as you drive.
Unfit to drive
Q THE new demo FG Ford XR8 I bought last October has been back to the workshop five times with the same problem — it surges and stops. It has done it four times in the middle of oncoming traffic, leaving my wife in shock. The dealer has had the vehicle this time since midJanuary. They have seen the problem, but can’t fix it. I have rung Ford many times and they keep telling me until the problem is diagnosed they can’t do anything. So we’re going around in circles: the dealer won’t replace anything and Ford won’t do anything. I don’t know what else to do. Have you heard of this problem? Rod Harrison, Queanbeyan, NSW No we haven’t heard of this issue, but
Design fault: The instruments in a 2010 VE Commodore SSV are hard to read.