Slow off the mark

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

THE starter on my 2003 Mit­subishi Pa­jero winds over for about 10 sec­onds be­fore the en­gine starts. The spark plugs, tim­ing belt and fuel fil­ter were re­placed, none of which made any dif­fer­ence. Once the mo­tor has been run­ning it will restart fine, but wait 20 min­utes or so and it won’t start prop­erly again. What­ever ad­vice you can give would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated as have had no luck so far.

Dean, email.

YOU’RE on the right track look­ing at the fuel sys­tem; the Pa­jero ig­ni­tion sys­tem is gen­er­ally ro­bust and gives lit­tle trou­ble. Check the fuel pump, it could be that the pump is strug­gling to get up to pres­sure af­ter the car has been sitting for a while.


WE ARE hav­ing trou­ble get­ting re­place­ment parts to re­pair our 2010 Nis­san Pathfinder Ti af­ter my wife put a ding in the front right guard and bumper bar last year. I was told it would be fixed by the mid­dle of Novem­ber, then I was in­formed it would be the mid­dle of De­cem­ber, then it went to the mid­dle of Jan­uary, and guess what, it went to mid­dle of Fe­bru­ary. No one can tell me when the parts will ar­rive. Could you tell me is there any law that re­quires a car com­pany to keep am­ple stock if a new model comes out?


THERE is no law I am aware of that re­quires car­mak­ers to hold a cer­tain stock of parts, but it has been the prac­tice in the past that they would hold parts for a pe­riod of 10 years. That was be­fore the dreaded GFC. We know that car­mak­ers are cut­ting back on the stock of parts held, that costs money, and are re­ly­ing on be­ing able to quickly source parts from over­seas if they aren’t on hand lo­cally. I’d say you have been treated poorly; Nis­san should have been able to fly in the parts you needed from their over­seas af­fil­i­ates and have them here in a mat­ter of a few days. Jump up and down and make a fuss, it seems that’s the only way some car­mak­ers get the mes­sage.


OUR Subaru Out­back is con­tin­u­ally blow­ing low beam head­lamps; at least five have failed since new on each side in 120,000km. The dealer has told us that they have never had this prob­lem be­fore, and ev­ery­thing checks out OK with the car. In other words ‘‘we are not go­ing to do any­thing’’. In dis­gust I sat down and sent an email in to Subaru Aus­tralia, but have not yet heard any­thing back. Where should I head with this, as it be­comes not only a prob­lem when you have to drive at night with no head­lights, as I had to do once, but it could also be a li­a­bil­ity prob­lem for a man­u­fac­turer?


WE­HAVE had pre­vi­ous re­ports of this is­sue and have ap­proached Subaru for their com­ment, which was that they were not aware of a prob­lem. They also ad­vised that own­ers should only use Subaru­ap­proved globes, sug­gest­ing that any prob­lem that might ex­ist was re­lated to non­fac­tory globes.


THE clutch in my Subaru Out­back had been slip­ping so it was re­turned to the dealer to be checked and my wife was told it was ‘‘full of sand’’. It was re­paired un­der war­ranty, but how can sand get in­side the clutch? I ama mem­ber of the Subaru Recre­ational and 4WD Club in Syd­ney and have been learn­ing how to take the ve­hi­cle off the tar. I have driven it once on Stock­ton Beach dur­ing a driver train­ing ex­er­cise with the club, it has also been driven off road around Newnes. Last year my wife and I towed a camper trailer to the Red Cen­tre and back, and dur­ing

Stop start: Fuel pump may be strug­gling to get up to pres­sure af­ter the car has been sitting for a while

Whenin the Out­back:

Keep off the sand

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