The er­ratic au­to­matic

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

Every time I brake at the lights the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion in my 1998 Mit­subishi Magna V6 dis­en­gages, then re-en­gages with a bit of a lurch. I have checked the trans­mis­sion fluid and it is up to the right level, but it is a brown colour and has a slight burnt smell. I am won­der­ing if it has over­heated or if the coolant has some­how con­tam­i­nated the fluid. I am­plan­ning to do a com­plete fluid and fil­ter change to fix it, but was a bit scared by the idea that there is cross­con­tam­i­na­tion by coolant, as my me­chanic said. If he is right, am I look­ing at a com­plete trans­mis­sion re­place­ment? Would it be worth do­ing a coolant flush clean and re­place as well?

James, email It would ap­pear the fluid has been over­heated, so I would be do­ing a full flush of the trans­mis­sion, not just a fluid change. I wouldn’t bother about the coolant. PRE­MIUM GO I re­cently bought a Chrysler 300C with a 5.7-litre petrol V8, for which the dealer rec­om­mended pre­mium un­leaded. The hand­book states that 91 RON is ac­cept­able, but 95 is pre­ferred. A friend has been run­ning his on 91 with no ill-ef­fects. What is cor­rect?

Der­rick Ker­shaw, email You can run it on the cheaper 91 oc­tane without any dele­te­ri­ous ef­fects but to get the best out of it you need to run it on the higher 95 oc­tane pre­mium, as the dealer has rec­om­mended. GEAR­ING­DOWN I’m go­ing on a car­a­van trip in my 2006 Toy­ota Hilux turbo diesel, tow­ing a camper trailer weigh­ing 1700kg. A friend has told me to stay in fourth gear and sit on 110km/h the whole way as such tow­ing stuffs up fifth gear if you use it. He was told this but ig­nored it and, when he got back, fifth gear was noisy. Have you heard of this and should I stay in fourth?

Brad Fitz­patrick

You can use fifth gear when ap­pro­pri­ate. Drive to the road con­di­tions, so when it’s flat use fifth, but change down when you face a hill so the ve­hi­cle is not lug­ging in fifth gear. FULL AHEAD We are very pleased with our

Flushed: Amagna’s auto trans­mis­sion fluid smells burnt, so it’s time to flush it

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