Fixed ser­vic­ing should be enough

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

BRAK­ING OUT

I OWNa 2010 Toy­ota Hilux SR5 Dual Cab Turbo Diesel and have been tak­ing ad­van­tage of the fixed cap ser­vic­ing of $170 per ser­vice, but while hav­ing a wheel align­ment car­ried out at a tyre out­let I was told that my hand­brake was only be­ing ad­justed at the lever and not the rear wheels. Is it bet­ter to find a true 4x4 me­chanic?

Matt Jones, email.

Be­fore you do any­thing, talk to your dealer. There is no need to find a spe­cial­ist 4x4 me­chanic.

POWER­OUTAGE

MY daugh­ter’s 2001 Ford Laser auto has a re­cur­ring prob­lem, which no­body can put their fin­ger on. It only oc­curs in­ter­mit­tently, but it is quite dis­tress­ing, es­pe­cially when you are driv­ing in traf­fic or stopped at the traf­fic lights. The en­gine shud­ders when sta­tion­ary and feels like it’s go­ing to ‘‘conk out’’. It seems to cor­rect it­self for a time, but might come back a week or two later. Re­cently when I was driv­ing at 100 km/h the mo­tor lost power; speed dropped to about 80 km/h. Af­ter a few min­utes the en­gine seemed to right it­self and we con­tin­ued with­out fur­ther in­ci­dent. The me­chan­ics we have taken it to have not been able to find any­thing wrong and noth­ing shows on a di­ag­nos­tic check.

Ross Gre­gory

In­ter­mit­tent prob­lems can be very hard to di­ag­nose be­cause they rarely hap­pen when the me­chanic is present. Same with the di­ag­nos­tic checks, noth­ing will show up if the en­gine is run­ning nor­mally when the checks are done. I would check the var­i­ous en­gine sen­sors, their con­nec­tors and the wiring loom, look­ing for a cor­roded or poor con­nec­tion.

TOUGHGRIND

MY Honda Jazz, now out of war­ranty, has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sim­i­lar gear­box trou­bles as re­ported by some of your read­ers. Three years ago vi­bra­tions started when mov­ing off up­hill. The dealer’s so­lu­tion was to flush the gear­box and put in new oil. The ‘‘fix’’ would last for about 10 months be­fore the pro­ce­dure had to be re­peated. Honda wants me to pay $220 ev­ery time this hap­pens, some­thing that should have been done un­der war­ranty. What should I do now — tackle the dealer, go to Honda Aus­tralia or go to con­sumer af­fairs?

John John Hicks, Hicks, email email

Hope­fully, you have kept a record of the times the trans­mis­sion oil has been changed and the re­sult of the pro­ce­dure. I would take that to the dealer in the first in­stance and present a claim to have the gear­box re­placed, as has hap­pened with some other Jazz own­ers. If that does not get the re­sult you want, move up the chain and if nec­es­sary go to the con­sumer af­fairs peo­ple as the last re­sort.

GASQUANDARY

I WAS think­ing of hav­ing my SV22 four-cylin­der Toy­ota Camry which has more than 260,000km on the orig­i­nal en­gine, con­verted and tak­ing ad­van­tage of the re­main­ing $1500 gov­ern­ment sub­sidy. Is it a good idea to do this so late in the life of an el­derly en­gine? Are there any is­sues likely to man­i­fest them­selves where an

Find­ing fault: Awheel align­ment un­cov­ered other prob­lems for a Hilux owner

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