Gauge fu­els worry

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

THE dash screen in my 5.0-litre V8 Ford Fair­lane AUII shows its av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion is 18L/100 km, which doesn’t seem right, as I’m 59 and a slow driver. Do you think just a tune-up is re­quired, that the screen is get­ting the fuel use wrong or could it be some­thing more sin­is­ter?

RonLind­say, email

The con­sump­tion does seem to be higher than it should be. Ford’s claim when the AUII was launched was 9.0L/100 km on the high­way, 14.5 around town with an av­er­age of 11. The fuel con­sump­tion shown on the trip com­puter is usu­ally ac­cu­rate, as it ac­tu­ally mea­sures the fuel be­ing in­jected into the en­gine. It’s prob­a­bly time it had a tune so I would sug­gest you do that.

En­sure in­surance

I aman­other one who hates the rear view mir­rors that dis­tort the view and can­not un­der­stand why mak­ers foist them upon us.

If we were to do away with these mir­rors and re­place them with the nor­mal type would we be mod­i­fy­ing our ve­hi­cle and in­cur the wrath of the in­surance com­pa­nies for do­ing it?


I don’t be­lieve you would be at risk of of­fend­ing the in­surance com­pa­nies, but if con­cerned you should con­tact your in­surance com­pany.


The nav­i­ga­tion maps that came with my 2010 Holden VE Se­ries II Calais V wagon ap­peared to be out-of-date on de­liv­ery and I com­plained to both the dealer and to Holden through the cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion sur­vey. I asked the dealer how much it would cost to up­grade the maps as I was told that a new re­lease of the maps had re­cently oc­curred. I was given a writ­ten quote for $500, which seemed very costly so I didn’t pro­ceed with the up­date. Are there any cheaper op­tions in up­dat­ing the Holden

nav­i­ga­tion maps or do I need to buy a cheaper por­ta­ble satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem?

John Mitka

I be­lieve you’re locked into get­ting the dealer to do the up­date when you buy a fac­to­ry­fit­ted sys­tem and I’mnot aware of a way around that prob­lem. Your ex­pe­ri­ence is well worth not­ing for oth­ers who might be tak­ing de­liv­ery of a new car.

It’s a good idea to check the maps that come with the car— they are of­ten well out of date — and re­quest they be up­dated be­fore you drive away in your new pur­chase.

When the car is at the dealer’s you have some ne­go­ti­at­ing power. Once you drive away it is much harder.

Not so in­tu­itive

My 2005 Kia Optima 2.7-litre V6 sedan has done 34,000km and hasn’t missed a beat since I bought it but there is a prob­lem with the auto trans­mis­sion flar­ing. I am­not a lead­foot but ac­cel­er­at­ing nor­mally causes the en­gine to race, un­til even­tu­ally the trans­mis­sion catches up. Con­tacted about this, Kia said it was nor­mal be­cause it was an ‘‘in­tu­itive’’ trans­mis­sion. I also had it driven by an in­de­pen­dent trans­mis­sion spe­cial­ist, who drove it so ag­gres­sively that it smoth­ered the prob­lem. A new Magna that I had with the same prob­lem was fixed with a change of trans oil. Would this help or is there a com­puter fix?

David Thurston, email

The trans­mis­sion is de­signed to adapt its shift­ing pat­tern to your driv­ing style, which I as­sume is slow and

Thirsty Fair­lane: Av­er­age con­sump­tion for this Fair­lane should be 11L/100km

Out­dated: VE navmaps

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