Rust never sleeps

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

Rust is com­ing through the roof of my CE Mit­subishi Lancer GLi Coupe, which I be­lieve is caused by faulty ad­he­sive used on the roof struts when it was man­u­fac­tured. My dealer put in a claim for the roof to be re­paired but it was re­jected be­cause Mit­subishi claimed ‘‘the rust is en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age’’. The rust is in two lines across the roof and I have found it is a fault with Lancers of this era. The ser­vice man­ager agreed with me and re­sub­mit­ted the claim but again it was re­jected, this time it was be­cause the war­ranty had ex­pired. But con­sid­er­ing the dam­age was caused dur­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing and that rust takes many years to come to the sur­face I thought they would hon­our my claim. I then put my com­plaint in writ­ing and sent it to the cus­tomer re­la­tions man­ager along with pic­tures of the roof but I re­ceived a let­ter stat­ing that it was well past the war­ranty and there was noth­ing they could do. Is there any­thing else I can do to get them to at least con­trib­ute to the cost of a new roof? I have the full ser­vice his­tory and it has less than 165,000km on the clock, so should be worth over $4000 but with the cur­rent state of the roof I would only be able to trade it in and would prob­a­bly only get $1000, if I’m lucky. What should I do?

Kate, email

Get an in­de­pen­dent opin­ion and then sub­mit a full re­port ex­press­ing your dis­ap­point­ment with the com­pany, that rust is un­ac­cept­able in a car in this day and age and that you be­lieved Mit­subishi was a bet­ter cor­po­rate

ci­ti­zen than it ap­pears to be. For an ex­pert opin­ion, contact Graeme Cuth­bert on 0422 444 335.


With ref­er­ence to Trevor Bow­ley’s let­ter about the Nis­san X-Trail’s loss of power, I had ex­actly the same prob­lem in mine. I was trav­el­ling at speed on the free­way when I sud­denly lost all power, plac­ing me in a very dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion. For­tu­nately there was lit­tle traf­fic and I just had enough power left to pull on to the emer­gency strip. My car was towed to the deal­er­ship where it was iden­ti­fied as a crank po­si­tion sen­sor fault. It was re­placed, prob­lem solved.

Heather, email

It’s good to know that some­one is able to di­ag­nose the prob­lem cor­rectly. Los­ing all power at speed is very dan­ger­ous.


Re Trevor Bow­ley: af­ter much per­sis­tence a friend of mine has had his X-Trail re­placed but only af­ter wiring, var­i­ous lines and, fi­nally the engine was re­placed and the ve­hi­cle was off the road for many months.

Name­with­held, email

I be­lieve there is a case for car­mak­ers be­ing re­quired to re­place cars that are too trou­ble­some to fix. Your friend is for­tu­nate. Most mak­ers re­sist re­plac­ing them.


Be­fore I bought my 2010 Holden Cruze from a Holden dealer I asked about the three-year/175,000km war­ranty and was told that it had fin­ished and my war­ranty was the bal­ance of the new car war­ranty, which was one year plus dealer war­ranty of one year, which takes it to the mid­dle of 2014. Two days af­ter buy­ing it the car broke down and has been at the deal­er­ship wait­ing on parts. When I asked when it might be ready I was put on hold and forced to lis­ten to recorded mes­sages about their ser­vices. One was that all used cars came RACV-tested and with a three-year/175,000km war­ranty. I feel I’ve been mis­led and don’t feel any con­fi­dence in driv­ing this car

in the fu­ture with­out this ex­tra war­ranty. Should I take it up with the dealer?

Robert, email

Yes, speak to the man­ager. Ex­press your dis­ap­point­ment at be­ing mis­led in this way and ask that they hon­our the three-year war­ranty they say ap­plies.


I have owned a 2005 Mit­subishi 380 LS for the past 12 months. I bought it with 60,000km on the clock and it has only done 70,000km. The ser­vice man­ual in­di­cates that the tim­ing belt should be changed at five years or 100,000km. This has not been done. I nor­mally do ev­ery­thing by the book but chang­ing a tim­ing belt that may be in good work­ing or­der is ex­pen­sive. What are the risks in de­lay­ing its re­place­ment?

Ge­orge, email

You say you do things by the book, so why not change the belt? The dam­age to the engine should the belt break doesn’t bear think­ing about.


Is it OK to use E10 fuel in my 2012 Nis­san X-trail or should I use un­leaded 91?

OwenHol­lay, email

Yes, it is. Nis­san has ap­proved the use of E10 in all mod­els af­ter 2004.

Pitched bat­tle: AMit­subishi Lancer with a rusty roof is not a one-off

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