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ENGINE ‘CROAKS’ IT
2008 Holden SS V8 Commodore ute developed a knocking sound after about 1500km and it is still there after 39,000km. I’m concerned that the warranty has almost run out. All services have been carried out by the Holden dealership. The dealer told me the noise, which goes away once the engine is warmed up, is due to motor tolerances and they call it ‘‘croak’’ and there is nothing they can do about it. I am very disappointed with this answer and wonder if it is true.
Laurie Bright, email It’s the fist time I have heard of ‘‘croak’’ and I would be asking the dealer to explain what they mean by the term. It could be as simple as a valve lifter needing to be replaced, or it could be more serious, such as piston slap, which is what affected the 5.7-litre V8 engine used before your engine. Have an experienced engine man listen to the engine during the warm-up phase to tell you what part of the engine the noise is coming from. Because your warranty is about to expire, I would recommend you place your concerns on the record with the dealer and with Holden. You should also be aware that Holden’s responsibility for the products it sells does not end when the warranty ends. There is no time limit on the company’s responsibility under our consumer laws.
WAS wondering if it is at all possible for water to get into your tyres. The day after I drove my 1997 Magna through flood water I pumped up the tyres and since then my whole car shakes as if the wheels are out of balance, especially on the freeway.
Alex DSouza, email I WOULD say it’s impossible for water to get into your tyres, other than moisture in the air hose you used when inflating them. If water could get in by any way other than through the hose, then air could get out the same way and you would have noticed you had flat tyres. A wheel alignment won’t help, so just get them balanced.
FITS AND STARTS
WIFE could not start her 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 and we thought it might be a flat battery. So she rang the dealer and they changed the battery, but it still wouldn’t start. The car is now in their service section and they told us the electronic computer board had been sent to Singapore for a special part. The car was serviced last September at 25,000km and the electrical system was checked. I understand a six to 12-month warranty applies and they are trying to stall us. So where do we stand if they invoice us for any work undertaken?
Gary Leith, email While the car was serviced only a few months ago, and the electrical system was supposedly checked, I can’t see that you have any claim against the dealer. You mention a warranty;read that and see if you can determine for what exactly you are covered.
2001 Holden Astra has done 115,000km since new and has had all the usual problems. We recently had the major 120,000km service done, because I was concerned about the timing belt, but we now do only about 1000km a month, so the recommended maintenance schedule is not really appropriate. What regular servicing would you suggest and at what time intervals?
Paul Cahill, email On the basis that you’re doing 12,000km a year, I would have the car serviced every six months and have the timing belt changed every four years.
Knocked up: A reader says his Holden SS ute’s engine has a knocking sound.