Tyre-sized headache

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

Af­ter more than 30 years in the tyre busi­ness I’m puz­zled by the ever-in­creas­ing num­ber of tyre sizes. Oh for the days when Fal­cons, Mag­nas, Cam­rys and Com­modores all used 205x65r15 Dun­lop Mon­zas, Goodyear Ea­gle GAS or Bridge­stone RE92S, which all cost $90-$100. Now it seems that with ev­ery new model the tyres change to a size few ve­hi­cles share and, be­ing rare, are dis­pro­por­tion­ately ex­pen­sive and un­likely to be stocked, forc­ing cus­tomers to wait for tyres. Even mi­cro-sized cars have large-di­am­e­ter tyres with ul­tra-low pro­files which are hardly de­signed for our harsh and pot­holed roads. I re­cently helped a woman re­place her 2010 Holden Ba­rina’s 155x70r14 Con­ti­nen­tal tyres, which would have cost $152 each, with a much cheaper, ac­cept­able al­ter­na­tive. But there are no al­ter­na­tives for many ve­hi­cles, such as Toy­ota Klugers with 19-inch wheels, Mazda CX-9S with 20s, Dodge Nitros with 18s and Ford Fi­es­tas with 16s. Why are there so many sizes?

Richard Ma­honey, email Bridge­stone’s Stan­ley Toh says de­mand closely fol­lows ve­hi­cle sales trends. ‘‘ Aus­tralian con­sumers have a much wider range of ve­hi­cles com­pared to 10 years ago; this has re­sulted in a more frag­mented tyre mar­ket. The tyre sizes ac­count­ing for 80 per cent of de­mand (are) dou­ble that of 10 years ago.’’ HOW­FAR ISNEW? How many kilo­me­tres can a ve­hi­cle have on the clock and still be sold as ‘‘new’’.

Dar­ryl O’hal­lo­ran, email Less than 100. Some pres­tige brands sell cars with de­liv­ery kilo­me­tres— less than 300 in many cases— as sec­ond-hand cars. COME ON, COROLLA When will the new Toy­ota Corolla be re­leased in Australia? We be­lieve it will be a quan­tum leap with six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. What other fea­tures will it have?

Maria and Greg, email It should be here by Novem­ber with much sharper styling (nose more like that of the Yaris) and with six-speed man­ual and au­to­matic. AREG­U­LAR GUY What is the best oc­tane rat­ing for petrol for my Mazda CX-5 to en­sure its longevity?

Laze Tozievski, email The of­fi­cial re­sponse from Mazda spokesman Steve Maciver is: ‘‘ Petrol vari­ants of the CX-5 have been tuned to run on reg­u­lar un­leaded petrol in Australia and do not re­quire pre­mium un­leaded. The com­pres­sion ra­tio of the Skyac­tiv-g petrol en­gine is 13:1 in Australia (as op­posed to 14:1 in Europe) and it is this change that en­ables petrol CX-5S to run on reg­u­lar un­leaded.’’ CLUNKY AD­VICE My 2007 ATX Toy­ota Au­rion has a sort-of clunk noise when I re­verse first thing in the morn­ing. The deal­er­ship, and a friend who owns the tour­ing model, told me it was the ABS turn­ing on. The Au­rion own­ers’ club seems to ac­cept the noise as the ABS. Any­one wor­ried about a sim­i­lar noise should go to their ser­vice depart­ment to chase it up. Brett John­son, email

That sounds crazy to us; seems like the own­ers’ club has run it down. LIQ­UID GAS IS THE GO I want to con­vert my 2007 Ford to LPG. Most of the con­ver­sion sta­tions rec­om­mend the old vapour in­jec­tion sys­tem rather than a new liq­uid in­jec­tion sys­tem. What’s your ad­vice? If it’s liq­uid in­jec­tion, should I choose an Or­bit or a JTG sys­tem, which are what’s avail­able in Melbourne?

Dondis­sanayake, email Get a liq­uid sys­tem. It will cost more but is vastly bet­ter and you will also get a bet­ter re­sale re­sult— get the one that works best for you on costs and cus­tomer ser­vice.

Vwaus­tralia says the prob­lem in this ve­hi­cle was cured when the fuel sys­tem was purged of low-oc­tane 91 un­leaded and run on the re­quired 95-oc­tane un­leaded. SILENCEFROMVW Many peo­ple say thevw­golf 118TSI has se­ri­ous is­sues, but mine has been per­fect for nearly three years. VW ob­vi­ously does not think that there are enough Cars­guide readers to war­rant de­fend­ing the brand. I can­not be­lieve that no re­search bas been made into these claims. Even if the claims are half true, surely peo­ple have a right to know and jour­nal­ists have a duty of care to in­form.

Ste­fan, email All reader ques­tions are sent di­rectly to the maker in­volved and we pub­lish their replies. Vwhas not re­sponded to a num­ber of ques­tions.

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