Put fuel to the test

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

Is there any real ben­e­fit run­ning my new Toy­ota Kluger on premium fuel (95 or 98) in­stead of 91? Claims at the petrol sta­tions in­clude cleaner en­gine, longer life etc.

Ja­son Smith, email

Gen­er­ally you can get bet­ter per­for­mance and econ­omy from run­ning the higher oc­tane premium fu­els but they cost more, so you have to weigh up the ben­e­fits against the cost. I sug­gest you run a test: use a tank of reg­u­lar 91 fuel then a tank of premium and see for your­self. AUTO OIL CHANGE Nowhere in the ser­vice book can I find any ref­er­ence to the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion hav­ing to be ser­viced in my 2008 Toy­ota Kluger KX-S AWD. It is now just over three years old and has trav­elled 35,000km. Should the trans­mis­sion be ser­viced?

Dennis Green, email

Gen­er­ally man­u­fac­tur­ers to­day do not rec­om­mend ser­vic­ing au­to­mat­ics. The trans­mis­sions are ‘‘ filled for life’’ in the fac­tory and ac­cord­ing to the mak­ers don’t need any ser­vic­ing. Auto trans­mis­sion ex­perts would dis­agree and say that you should change the oil ev­ery 25,000km or so, and carry out a ma­jor ser­vice ev­ery 100,000km or so. On that ba­sis you could have the oil changed as a pre­cau­tion but if you’re not tow­ing you could safely let it go for a while. ALEAK BE­FORE TIME I was con­cerned re­cently when my dealer said my 2006 Holden As­tra con­vert­ible had de­vel­oped an oil leak and would be very ex­pen­sive to fix. I got an­other opinion and was told there was a lot of oil around the head gas­ket that would need in­ves­ti­gat­ing. My con­cern is the car has only done 78,000km and has been very well looked af­ter, never thrashed or driven roughly. Any come­back with Holden?

Pamcollins, email

First you must find the cause of the leak. De­pend­ing on what that proves to be, you might be in a po­si­tion to ap­proach Holden for help. Un­til you do that, there’s noth­ing Holden can do for you. SNAKE OIL ANY­ONE? In later life, I am­not us­ing my Vw­pas­sat as much as I’ve used other cars. Rarely now do I drive more than 50km. A so­called Euro­pean spe­cial­ist mo­tor me­chanic told me that short runs are bad for the car, even pos­si­bly re­quir­ing a new or re­con­di­tioned mo­tor in some

Tug-of-war: Toy­ota says modern auto trans­mis­sions do not need ser­vic­ing but some dis­agree

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