A switch from top to tow

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

I HAVE heard of man­ual and au­to­matic gear­boxes fail­ing when tow­ing car­a­vans in top gear. Is this a com­mon fault with mod­ern day gear­boxes, or is it just co­in­ci­dence. I have just pur­chased a Hyundai Ter­ra­can diesel au­to­matic. Should I be tow­ing in top or third gear? The dealer says top gear is quite OK but I still won­der. John Honisett, email

Hyundai tells us it is OKto tow in top gear in your car but I would ad­vise you to use the best gear for the sit­u­a­tion you find your­self in. Use top gear on the flat, but in­stead of wait­ing for the trans­mis­sion to change down when you hit a hilly sec­tion, an­tic­i­pate it and pull it back man­u­ally to ne­go­ti­ate the in­clines. That way the en­gine will not be labour­ing and the trans­mis­sion will be un­der less load. Hyundai also rec­om­mends a dif­fer­ent ser­vice sched­ule for cars be­ing used for tow­ing— see your ser­vice book. WHIRRINGWORRY MY 2011 Holden Barina Spark had the gear­box re­placed at 10,000km and now, at 30,000km, the whirring noise when turn­ing left seems to have re­turned. Should I in­sist on hav­ing the gear­box re­placed again, as there ap­pears to be a def­i­nite fault with them? I am me­chan­i­cally minded and found the fault but how many other cars have it? It’s hard to pick. Have other own­ers had sim­i­lar trou­bles?

Sean, email You should in­sist on hav­ing the prob­lem re­solved. But I would not in­sist on re­plac­ing the trans­mis­sion straight up be­cause the prob­lem might not be the gear­box.

Big strain: Tow­ing a car­a­van can take its toll on a trans­mis­sion, so an­tic­i­pate when to shift gear be­fore the en­gine be­gins to labour

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