A ma­jor change

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

Sto­ries of me­chan­i­cal faults, gear­box noises and brake wear point to a very short life­span of the cars be­ing built to­day. Is this be­cause the parts are be­ing man­u­fac­tured out of lighter ma­te­ri­als than that used in pre­vi­ous years or are the car mak­ers mak­ing the ve­hi­cles too com­plex? It seems you can­not guar­an­tee a ve­hi­cle’s wor­thi­ness un­til it has proved it­self af­ter 10 years. My 52-year-old Mor­ris Mi­nor is still go­ing strong.

RonMid­dle­ton, email Your Mor­ris Mi­nor might seem won­der­ful but it is light years be­hind mod­ern cars in so many ways, and re­quires far more main­te­nance— there are grease nip­ples on the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents, for a start— than to­day. Peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions are far higher to­day be­cause cars are so re­li­able, much qui­eter, more re­fined and safer than in the 1960s. And they don’t need to start a trip with a fan belt, wa­ter, fuses, globes and carry a tool kit. AUTO FOR THE FOLK I was hop­ing you could en­lighten me on the sub­ject of ef­fi­ciency of mod­ern au­to­matic gear­boxes. It was not so long ago, be­fore se­quen­tial and dou­ble-clutch au­to­matic boxes, that you would lose up to 20 per cent of your en­gine’s power in an au­to­matic box, com­pared to 5 per cent in a man­ual. Is this still the case with se­quen­tial and other mod­ern-day gear­boxes? What is the use of an auto box in a four-cylin­der car shift­ing in a tenth of a sec­ond if it sucks up all the power and torque?

Paul Victor, email Mod­ern au­to­mat­ics have lock-up clutches that cut losses dra­mat­i­cally, and not just on top gear. So they are much more ef­fi­cient, in the op­er­a­tion and the way they are linked elec­tron­i­cally to the en­gine. A dou­ble-clutch gear­box is ba­si­cally fully me­chan­i­cal with a spe­cial clutch sys­tem, so there­fore the ef­fi­ciency beats many man­u­als. TRAIL OFWOE My 2010 Nis­san X-Trail, with 32,000km, needs the brake ro­tors skimmed. Nis­san Aus­tralia in­sists this is fair wear and tear and is not un­der war­ranty. I have been told the best long-term so­lu­tion is to have non-gen­uine Aus­tralian ro­tors fit­ted. I be­lieve this will negate the war­ranty but, as Nis­san won’t cover the re­pairs any­way, what do I have to lose?

Peter, email

Lots of mod­ern ve­hi­cles need brake work ear­lier than their own­ers ex­pect, be­cause anti-lock brake sys­tems work bet­ter with soft discs. Your so­lu­tion sounds po­ten­tially like a good one. CHEAP JEEP I was about to buy a new Jeep Chero­kee as it ticks all the boxes for me — looks, size, price, fea­tures — but af­ter read­ing owner re­views on­line I am con­cerned they are very neg­a­tive to­wards the ve­hi­cle. I have a bud­get of $30,000-$33,0000 and I re­ally want to buy the Jeep. I love it and had my heart set on it but I now have my doubts. I ex­pect it to be a bit thirsty and I know the new Grand and Wran­gler have the new en­gine, but they are way be­yond my bud­get.

Kathryn Brown, email I ama rep on the road and do about 25,000km year. I need space to carry gear around but not loads. The ve­hi­cles I am con­sid­er­ing are a Ford Ter­ri­tory turbo diesel, Holden Com­modore SS V8 Sport­wagon and a Jeep Grand Chero­kee Laredo. If you have any other sug­ges­tions I amopen to them — al­though nothing French.

DeanSharp, email If you like driv­ing, it has to be the Sport­wagon. And by a big mar­gin.

Old re­li­able: No, thank­fully they don’t make them like this any more

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.