A matter of timing belts
JUST wondering if your readers have experienced the WE engines in the Mazda BT-50 and Ford Rangers breaking timing belts earlier than the replacement intervals of 120,000km. I have a small workshop and have seen three that have broken, causing considerable and costly damage to valves and rocker gear. Carl Humphries, email
We haven’t heard of such belt failures but it would be good to hear from any of our readers who have suffered the problem. It sounds like a serious one. BATTERY FLAT Recently, my 2006 VE Holden Calais would not start. The RACV got me started and checked the battery. It was found to be OK and simply needed recharging. I bought the car new and this is the third time this sudden loss of charge has occurred. With this in mind, I returned to the dealer to ask if there was a fault that would cause this to happen. They replied that they knew of none but would check the car for me. They did this and, when I collected my vehicle, they informed me that they had downloaded a software upgrade and it had fixed the problem. Such a software upgrade must have been developed in response to this problem being experienced by others. If they knew of the existence of the problem, then why not inform owners instead of having them experience the inconvenience of a car that won’t start?
Rhett Griffiths, email. There was a problem with the early Calais and a software fix was developed to fix it. It wouldn’t have been a sudden loss of battery charge, but a steady drain that ultimately meant there wasn’t sufficient charge to start the car. I would have expected the fix to be automatically installed when your car went to the dealer for its regular servicing. It certainly should have been if you had complained about the previous times the battery went flat. GOING FOR BRAKE I recently bought a 2009 Ford Mondeo Zetec diesel. It’s a lovely car but the brakes grab when they are applied in bumper-to-bumper traffic, which has never happened in previous vehicles I have owned. The dealer tells me everything is OK and that it is common with the Mondeo and other European cars. Is that so, or are they having a lend of me?
Brian Gillham, email
It’s not my experience that the brakes on European cars, or Fords, grab, as you say yours does. Take it to an independent and reputable brake service outlet and have it assess it for you. If the staff agree with you, take it back to the dealer and request that the problem be fixed.