Don’t take it as gospel that the carmaker’s official fuel figure is what you’ll get in real life. Smithy says the figures are given mainly as a guide to use when comparing one vehicle to another
I BELIEVE my 2009 Mazda BT50 dual-cab4WD uses excessive fuel. It averages 12L/100km in combined use and 11L/100km in highway use, with no load and sticking to speed limits. I complained to my dealer and at first they told me to wait till the vehicle had done at least 10,000km. It was still using the same amount of fuel at 15,000km so I again complained and they checked the fuel system but could find no fault. I wrote to Mazda, but they gave me the brush-off by saying the dealer had checked the fuel system and found no fault. A neighbour has an almost identical BT-50 and his vehicle uses less than 10L/100km. In desperation I had him drive my vehicle for a period, and the best he could do was 11.9L/100km. I again approached my dealer. He suggested I do another 8000km to see if it got any better. What could be the reason?
Morris, via email
As Mazda pointed out, the fuel consumption figuresare the results of laboratory tests mandated by the government. Every carmaker has to publish the results on a sticker on the windscreen of the car.
Don’t take it as fact that you will get the same fuel figures when you drive it in real life. The figures are a guide and help compare one vehicle to another.
Many things affect fuel use, so you need to check everything and ensure you are doing everything in your driving to minimise your fuel use.
But it does seem that your vehicle is using too much fuel, as you say. I would ask your dealer to set up a fuel consumption test that measures the actual amount of fuel you are using so that both of you agree. You will then have a common basis on which to discuss what action you and the dealer could take.
Have you had any complaints about the right-side seat bracket on the driver’s seat on the VE Commodore SV6? Mine has cracked. Holden was good and replaced it after only 22,000km, but it is starting to crack again.
Robert, via email
We haven’t had any other reports of an issue with the seat bracket. One possible way of getting around the problem would be to slide the seat back before getting out. That way you might avoid sitting on the bracket while getting in or out.
I recently bought a new Toyota Aurion, which was fitted with alloy wheels, and was surprised to discover that the spare was a steel one, rather than alloy as I had expected. Given that I bought the car for touring, is the vehicle safe to be driven a longish distance with this odd spare wheel fitted? And do I have any comeback on Toyota?
Mazda BT-50: Fuel use figures just a guide