It’s dou­ble de-clutched

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

I have a quote to re­pair my AWD 2006 Ford Ter­ri­tory af­ter the ‘‘shift so­le­noid fail­ure code’’ came up. A changeover au­to­matic trans­mis­sion was rec­om­mended at a cost of $7200. The car is only five years old and has only done 127,000km. Can that be right? It is only worth $15,000. What are my op­tions?

Rose­mary, email Take it to an auto trans­mis­sion spe­cial­ist and get an­other opin­ion. If it is a failed so­le­noid as the code sug­gests, it is pos­si­ble to re­place the so­le­noid and it should not cost more than about $1000. LPG CON­VER­SION Where can I get my 2007 four-cylin­der Toy­ota Camry con­verted to LPG and how much should it cost?

Ben­con­ner, email IM­PCO has a cer­ti­fied kit for your car that is avail­able through IM­PCO in­stall­ers. View­ for your near­est in­staller or phone (03) 8788 1000. Typ­i­cal price is about $3600. CLUTCH CRI­SIS We have been per­ma­nently on the road with our 2010 Mazda BT-50, tow­ing a 6.4m car­a­van that is un­der the three-tonne load limit, and we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing clutch shud­der. We have al­ready had one clutch re­placed at about 20,000km, and we are now up to 33,000km and have the clutch shud­der back. Is this nor­mal, or is it be­cause they have too light a clutch sys­tem and not meant for pulling con­stantly, as they claim? We have spo­ken to oth­ers with the same prob­lem, and also to peo­ple with Nis­san Navaras who have had to re­place clutches as well.

Den­nis, email It is a rel­a­tively com­mon com­plaint with the BT-50. The an­swer seems to be that the fac­tory-fit­ted clutches are mar­ginal for heavy-duty use, and the an­swer from me­chan­ics we have asked is to fit a heavy­duty after­mar­ket clutch. GOOD TIM­ING When should I change the cam tim­ing belt on my 2003 Mit­subishi Magna?

Sid­mauger Magna belts are gen­er­ally pretty durable but the rec­om­mended change time is 100,000km. GASKET CASE My 2007 Ford Es­cape has a mi­nor oil leak, and the lo­cal Ford dealer has told me that the sump gasket and tim­ing cover oil seal need re­plac­ing. As the ve­hi­cle has only trav­elled 70,000km, is this un­usual? He has quoted me a price of $2175 to fix it. Have I got any op­tions?

John Ken­wor­thy, email It does seem a lot of money to do the work needed, but be­fore draw­ing any con­clu­sions, check the quote and es­tab­lish ex­actly what it is you are be­ing charged for. With that in­for­ma­tion you could ap­proach other me­chan­ics and have them quote on the job. TOUGHAS NAILS I have a 1999 VT Se­ries II 3.8-litre V6 that has done 217,000km and I’m won­der­ing if it would be suit­able for

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