Service with a frown
THE first service on my 2010 VWGolf 118TSi Comfortline cost $450 at theVWdealer but the same service at a non-VW agent is $165, a difference of $255 for exactly the same service. How do you explain it?
It’s not possible to explain without seeing the invoices but I would guess theVW dealer is charging more for the parts and is almost certainly charging more for labour. I have seen dealers, not necessarilyVW dealers, charging $140 and more an hour for labour. It’s outrageous and should encourage owners to take their business elsewhere.
THIRSTY FUEL MIX My 1993 EB Falcon dual-fuel auto station wagon is using too much fuel, about 20L/100 km, whether on petrol or LPG. I have had it since near new; it’s in very good condition and has been serviced every 5000km. I have not worried about it until now but, with the price of petrol and gas starting to hit the roof, I thought I had better ask someone. What do you think could be wrong?
Because it’s using too much on either fuel the problem is not related to one fuel system or the other. I would have the oxygen sensor checked as it determines the mixture going into the engine and it would seem the engine is running too rich.
FOR BIG WHEELS By using a GPS I have discovered that the speedo in my 2007 Toyota HiLux SR5 is out by as much as 7km/h, which explains why I was always being overtaken by other cars. It’s fitted with 255/70R 15 tyres, so could
No comfort: Golf 118TSi
16-inchers make a difference?
It’s unlikely you would be able get a 16-inch set-up that would give you the increase in diameter you need to correct the speedo.
GAS SUCCESS Do you know of a successful gas conversion for a Hyundai iLoad van?
Irene Morris, email
Impco has an approved kit for the iLoad and it is one of the industry heavyweights, so I would suggest you seek out
one of its dealers.
BROWNEDOFF We have had ongoing problems with the diesel particulate filter in our 2010 Nissan X-Trail. The DPF light comes on, then the engine malfunction light comes on, and if left for even a few days, our car loses engine power. It has occurred about four or five times and each time when picking our car up again the dealer tells us it has been fixed, as they have cleared the filter or replaced the filter. The dealer tells us this will always occur with short trips and being stuck in traffic and that we are not doing sufficient higher speed mileage. But our car is driven to and from work every weekday and in each trip, we reach speeds of 100 km/h when travelling on freeways. We also do short local trips and drives to the coast on weekends. Our current dealer and other dealers say they have had other complaints of this nature, but Nissan simply will not listen or try to solve the
problem. When it occurred the last time, just after the 60,000km service, our Nissan dealer told us to buy a new car. Can you believe this? ClintonTownsendand
Sharee Bryen, email
Your driving routine doesn’t meet the requirements for the diesel particulate filter to conduct an automatic burn to get rid of the carbon that accumulates as part of its normal function. These ‘‘ auto burns’’ happen without you knowing. There is no effect on engine operation while it’s going on but if it doesn’t happen the warning light comes on, eventually the engine warning comes on and the car goes to a limp-home mode that virtually forces you to go to the dealer, who can do a forced burn to restore the filter to normal operation. If it’s not done it can damage the filter, and also damage the catalytic converters and that can lead to a very large repair bill of many thousands of dollars. There isn’t much the dealer can do, other than what they have done on your car, and suggest you buy a new car. This is a sign of their frustration. The solution needs to come from Nissan Japan.
PLEAD THE FIFTH My 2005 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser popped out of fifth gear and now will not stay in gear. One mechanic said I’d need a new gearbox, so did Toyota, but yet another mechanic said I needed a fifth gear upgrade kit. When he gave Toyota the VIN of my car they told him an upgrade kit is not available for it as they had fixed the issue in the newer models and it doesn’t happen any longer. I currently have no fifth gear and would like to get it fixed. What are my options?
Rebecca Chilcott, email
It would seem that the problem might not have been fixed as Toyota claims. Go back to your dealer and demand it be fixed.
Costly warning: Nissan’s very particular diesel X–Trail
Don’t take no: Toyota’s RAV4