A shift in opinion
I BOUGHT a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with the Sprintshift gearbox and noticed it would not always go into auto. A Mercedes mechanic said the pump was broken and the injectors were on the way out. The dealer said he would fix the pump and fit reconditioned injectors. Should I get an undertaking that they’re OK?
Barrie H, email
The Sprintshift gearbox is an automated shift manual unit, so I’d have the ECU controlling the gearbox checked. I’d also seek some form of guarantee from the dealer covering the injectors and perhaps find out where they are coming from.
AFTER owning Holdens for 40-plus years we are now happy Kia owners, having bought a 2010 Sorento and a 2011 Optima. We are pleased with the vehicles but both have cracked windscreens — the Optima’s cracked on the way home from the dealer the day we took delivery of it. Our friends also have cracked a windscreen in their Sorento, which makes us wonder if there is something wrong with the Kia glass. I have tried contacting Kia twice to ask about any issues with the glass in their windscreens, but have had no response. In the previous 40 years, we have never had a cracked windscreen, so you can understand our questioning. Apparently there is also a serious lack of replacement windscreens in Australia, so we are hoping we do not receive an unroadworthy certificate on either vehicle. Are you aware of any problems with Kia windscreens?
Kia told us you often drive on unmade roads, which may explain why the windscreens cracked. A company spokesman told us it has sold only one Optima windscreen in the time it has been on sale, and that there are windscreens in stock. There are two windscreens used in the Sorento— Kia has stock of only one but can get the other very quickly. Kia says you can take the car to your dealer and have it checked for any possible quality issues.
MY 2008 Nissan Tiida has occasional starting problems. It turns over but won’t start. My Nissan dealer says that if the calcium battery is below a certain voltage it will not allow the motor to start. The dealer used a surge charger but it still won’t start at times. Is it the battery or is the immobiliser not disengaging when I turn the key? It cranks so I don’t think the battery is at fault.
Bradley White, email
The battery is a piddly little one. If it drops below 9.2 volts there’s not enough grunt and the engine will turn without starting, as the dealer explained. Buy a better battery that will hold a decent charge.
OCCASIONALLY, when changing from first to second gear in my 2008 Mazda3 SP23, there is a heavy clunk and grinding sounds. At first I thought it might be me not pushing the clutch in far enough, but it occurs even now that I make sure I depress it fully. It happens once or twice a week and has happened since the car was new. It goes into gear all right but I’m worried about causing damage. My dealer has checked it at every service but cannot find a problem and has asked me to drop it in if it happens when I’m in the area. I don’t think this will be a productive course of action. The car is still under warranty. Should I be concerned with this problem and the fact that the dealer cannot find the cause?
It’s obviously concerning you, so you should get it resolved. I suspect the dealer has driven around the block and when it has not happened he has declared it checked out. Not all dealers are properly equipped to investigate problems and resolve them. If it doesn’t show up on their diagnostic equipment or fails to happen all the time then they can be stumped. You could try an independent mechanic who specialises in Mazdas or, if you prefer to stick with your dealer, sit down and find out what action they’ve already taken to find the problem and then map out a plan of attack.
Do you know of anyone who can convert my 2007 Nissan Pathfinder to LPG? One fitter told me no kit is made for it.
Chy Kith, email
You can’t find a kit because there are problems with the Pathfinder V6. The catalytic converters are very close to the engine and particles can be blown back into the engine from the converter and damage the engine. Most of the kits developed for the Pathfinder have been removed from the market because of the problems with the cats. It’s not worth the risk to convert it.
Non-goer: Tiida’s starting problem may be fixed with a better battery
It’s a gas: Except in the V6 Pathfinder