Make it last

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

I have a re­cently re­built Wind­sor 289 cu­bic inch V8 but don’t know what com­po­nents were built into it. With mod­ern re­builds, does the en­gine still re­quire the valve lu­bri­cant to be added to the fuel? I have been adding it along with pre­mium fuel just in case. Would that do any harm longterm if it wasn’t nec­es­sary?

Sam, email If hard­ened valves and valve seats were fit­ted in the re­build, you wouldn’t need to use an ad­di­tive, but it’s un­likely that they were, so it would be best that you use one. Adding it won’t do any harm should it turn out that you have hard­ened valve seats. GOOD IN­TER­VAL I reg­u­larly change the oil and fil­ter in my 2000 Dae­woo, ev­ery 5000km in fact. Would this be con­sid­ered over-ser­vic­ing?

Dar­cym­c­kee Chang­ing oil and fil­ters reg­u­larly is good in­sur­ance for the longevity of your en­gine, and 5000km is a good in­ter­val. TRUE MILEAGE The 1996 Holden Combo that I picked up cheap with 190,000km on the clock seems to have power is­sues. When I ac­cel­er­ate I ei­ther lose power or it feels as if I’m tow­ing a 100-tonne ex­ca­va­tor. I’ve re­placed the ex­haust, the plugs and leads, the throt­tle body, map sen­sor, fuel fil­ter, oil fil­ter and ev­ery­thing I can think of. Ive also checked the fuel pump and it’s work­ing fine.

Chris Dowl­ing, email Are you con­fi­dent that the odome­ter read­ing is cor­rect and it hasn’t done a lot more than the 190,000km it’s show­ing? Check the com­pres­sion— the en­gine could sim­ply be worn out. GAS DOES HEAD IN We con­verted our 2002 Corolla to gas in 2008 and have just had the head re­built due to burnt valves. The seats have been re­placed but we have been in­formed that it is in­ad­vis­able to use gas, as the prob­lem is likely to re­turn. We have dis­cov­ered that the gas can be aug­mented with a drip-feed ad­di­tive lu­bri­cant which may ‘‘cool’’ the com­bus­tion. Man­u­fac­tur­ers of the ‘‘drip-feed’’ lubri­cants pro­duce sales brochures with gen­er­alised com­ments ex­tolling the pro­tec­tive prop­er­ties of their prod­uct, but no em­pir­i­cal facts to sub­stan­ti­ate the prod­uct’s use. Fur­ther in­quiries have un­earthed an­other ap­par­ently strange ap­proach, which is to run the ve­hi­cle on petrol for a quar­ter tank for ev­ery full tank of gas. The use of petrol over, say, a run of 100km and then gas for, say, 400km to cre­ate a long-term ben­e­fi­cial resid­ual in­flu­ence from the petrol does not ap­pear to be log­i­cal. It is sus­pected this ap­proach has been more to en­sure that petrol does not go stale in the tank. It has also been sug­gested that the en­gine man­age­ment sys­tem should be checked reg­u­larly to en­sure that petrol and more im­por­tantly, the gas mix­ture, is not too lean. What is cor­rect?

Ian, email The re­pair­ers of your cylin­der head should have used Lpg-com­pat­i­ble valves and valve seats; had they done so you would not have any fur­ther

Keep it fresh: Dae­woos of this vin­tage need oil changes at 5000km in­ter­vals

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