Ain’t broke, won’t fix it

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

I RE­CENTLY bought a 2007 Lexus IS250 and find that the speedome­ter dis­play is in­ac­cu­rate. It shows the speed at 100km/h when the ac­tual speed is only 93km/h. The dealer says that this is within the ac­cepted range and so is un­der no obli­ga­tion to fix it. Is this right? My other is­sue is with the side mir­rors, which make ve­hi­cles ap­pear to be much fur­ther back than they re­ally are, and can be un­safe when chang­ing lanes. Why are these mir­rors used nowa­days?

Leigh How­ell YOUR com­plaints are com­mon and they re­late not only to Lexus. The dealer is cor­rect, the speedo is within the legal lim­its, so he isn’t obliged to cor­rect it. The mir­rors are used to give you the widest pos­si­ble view of what’s around you. They do that well, but they also dis­tort the dis­tance to cars fol­low­ing you and you must be care­ful when chang­ing lanes. You can have the mir­rors re­placed by flat ones at a glass shop.

WHEELY IR­RI­TAT­ING

WE own a 2002 Mazda SP23, which is a great car ex­cept for the space-saver spare wheel. In three-years we have had three punc­tures and a buck­led wheel, while on a hol­i­day when the tyre stores were closed. How were car­mak­ers al­lowed to equip their cars with these use­less, makeshift spares?

G. Wal­lace YOU’VE sure copped a bad run. Per­haps you should buy a full-sized wheel and tyre to use when trav­el­ling.

QUIET PLEASE

I BOUGHT a Nis­san Dualis Ti Se­ries 2 model last year and af­ter the six-month ser­vice I no­ticed a noise for about 30 sec­onds af­ter a cold start, but nei­ther the dealer nor Nis­san has been able to di­ag­nose the prob­lem. Also, the Ti model comes with 18-inch fac­tory fit­ted wheels, but the spare is a 16-inch wheel with a yel­low sticker show­ing a speed limit sign of 80km/h — the specs say it comes with a full spare.

Ma­heshKr­ish­nadas FIRST make sure the oil used in the ser­vice was the Nis­san-rec­om­mended oil. Even if it was, have the oil changed again. The spare wheel is full­sized, be­ing a nor­mal 16-inch wheel, but be­cause it isn’t the same size as the 18-inch road wheels, it is speed lim­ited.

LABOUR PAINS

WE have no­ticed that when in 50 to 60 km/h speed zones, or driv­ing at low speeds the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion in our Hyundai seems to go into fourth gear too early caus­ing the mo­tor to labour. is this a com­mon prob­lem? Elsie and Colin Bernard, email

ALL cars drop into higher gears as soon as they can to save fuel. I would ex­pect a car to run com­fort­ably in fourth at 50 to 60km/h.

FUEL FORTHOUGHT

I HAVE ac­quired a 1995 Ford

Wide view: Ob­jects in the Lexus’s mir­ror are closer than they ap­pear

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