A sense of a false start
In the past couple of weeks my 2009 VE Commodore sedan has at times been hard to start. The starter motor turns over, but it takes several seconds for the motor to fire. Sometimes it times out without starting and I then have to turn the key again. It is fitted with factory dual-fuel, but it happens with the fuel switch turned to LPG or petrol, and can happen with the engine cold or hot. At the dealer’s suggestion, I left it with him for a couple of days and though it did happen to him a couple of times, it was too intermittent for him to make any sense of it. Can you offer any suggestions about its cause and what I can do about it? (I presented the car to the dealer before the warranty expired, but would it be covered if the problem gets worse now the warranty has run out?)
Victor, email It’s not related to the fuel system as the Impco system starts on petrol every time, whether you’ve got the system switched to petrol or LPG. It’s more likely to be an engine sensor, such as the crank angle sensor, which is playing up intermittently. Check the connections and the sensor itself. As for the warranty, you did the right thing in reporting while the warranty was in effect, so you could have a claim against Holden once the cause of the problem is determined. SHOT OR NOT? A friend has a 1996 Ford XR6 she bought new. It has done almost 200,000km and has been regularly serviced and runs beautifully, but she has been told the rings will be ‘‘shot’’ at this point and the car will need a new engine. What would you advise?
KenWoodburn, email The advice she has received is clearly rubbish. If, as you say, the car is running well, with no suggestion of a problem, she should keep servicing it as she has, and keep on driving it. SMOKE INMYEYES My 2010 Nissan Navara D22 has blown black smoke since it was new, but all Nissan will tell me is that it is normal. They clean the EGR valve and reset the fuel pump, which fixes it for a bit, but it then comes back. What do you reckon?
Steve Paton, email If it were normal why would they clean the EGR valve and reset the fuel pump? Clearly there is a problem, either with the pump or the injectors, as it seems to be getting too much fuel. Take it back and demand a real fix. ELECTRIC SHOCK The body electric management system on my 2003 BA Ford Fairmont V8 has failed three times in 12 months, resulting in me not being able to lock the car or turn off the interior lights. The replacement cost is $300-plus each time. What are your thoughts?
Adrian, email Those old Fords are renowned for failing body ECUs, but there would have to be an underlying problem to cause three failures in quick succession, so I’d call in an auto electrician to sort it out. CLUTCH BAG My D40 Nissan Navara is at the dealership to have the clutch replaced for the second time in 50,000km; the first was at 10,000km. Nissan paid for the first one but refuses to pay this time. The dealer suggested installing a cheaper and more reliable fixed flywheel thirdparty clutch, but I am afraid that if I do this I won’t be able to claim against Nissan Australia again in the future. I don’t really want to go down the legal path if it can be avoided. Any advice would be helpful.