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.