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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

EN­GINE ‘CROAKS’ IT

QMY

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.

WA­TER WHEELS

QI

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

QMY

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.

SER­VICE TIME­LINE

QOUR

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.

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