Dual cab has dual pur­pose

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

I wrote to VFacts once say­ing the car sales to­tals for each month should not in­clude the Toy­ota HiLux. It’s not a car, it’s a com­mer­cial ute. So your story with the plain new bor­ing Corolla set to over­take the equally bor­ing Mazda3 — your com­ments ring true — shouldn’t have the HiLux among the cars.

John Bren­nan, email The HiLux is not just a ute. A vast num­ber of them are now fam­ily cars, with dual cabs from all brands now do­ing dou­ble (or triple) duty for work, fam­ily and fun runs. JUSTDOIT YOUR­SELF I have bought a new Audi A4 and ex­pect de­liv­ery soon. Fol­low­ing the deal I was ap­proached by the Audi after­mar­ket sales peo­ple with the Vogue car-care pack­age of paint pro­tec­tion, win­dow tint, vinyl and leather treat­ment. All have a life­time war­ranty — though I won­der what ex­actly that is — and the full pack­age costs $2999. This seems very high, as there are other after­mar­ket pack­ages at half the price. Are any of them worth­while, or should I just be putting in a bit of el­bow grease to wax the car my­self ev­ery few months? This is my first new car so I am­pre­pared to in­vest in a pack­age if it is worth­while.

Paul, email It’s a mas­sive waste of money. Such pack­ages have be­come a ma­jor profit gen­er­a­tor for new-car deal­er­ships but you can get sim­i­lar stuff much cheaper else­where. And most of it comes down to com­mon sense, just look­ing af­ter the car. PIN­NA­CLE OF SER­VICE Af­ter read­ing of read­ers be­ing charged ex­or­bi­tant amounts by Ford to pro­vide them with the se­cu­rity PIN for their ve­hi­cle sound sys­tem, I feared the worst when I needed the num­ber af­ter an elec­tri­cal sys­tem prob­lem. The books for my 1997 EL Fal­con, along with sound sys­tem PIN, were nowhere to be found. I ap­proached my Ford dealer with some trep­i­da­tion but not only did I re­ceive prompt and cour­te­ous ser­vice but also, as I reached for my wal­let, the help­ful ser­vice staff mem­ber said to me, ‘‘That’s OK sir, there’s no charge.’’ With these words ring­ing in my ears and se­cu­rity code in hand, I thought as I drove away, ‘‘With that sort of ser­vice, I’ll prob­a­bly be back there to buy my next new car.’’ So thank you to Still­well Ford in Ade­laide, and also to Ford who can make great cars as the 330,000 trou­ble-free kilo­me­tres trav­elled by my Fal­con demon­strate.

David Pick­les, email IS ISONITSWAY I have a Lexus IS 250. Do you have any idea as to when Lexus will bring out the new model? Will there be a hy­brid ver­sion?

Julie Zaoui, email We are down for an early pre­view drive of the next IS in Novem­ber, which points to sales in the sec­ond half of next year. A hy­brid is al­most cer­tain. PRONE TO CRACK­ING I have read about crack­ing in wind­screens of FG Fal­cons and I re­cently no­ticed a small crack in the lower near­side cor­ner of the screen in my 2010 Ford G6E Turbo. Staff at my lo­cal O’Briens wind­screen re­pairs said this was not iso­lated case, as the screen is at­tached to the body with an area of un­sup­ported over­hang in both lower cor­ners. Ap­par­ently an im­pact in this area can crack the screen.

Peter Black, email Thanks for the up­date. MAXMX-5 FUN I’m look­ing at buy­ing a used Mazda MX-5 for a sec­ond car — for fun ba­si­cally — and cost is no bar­rier. I’m look­ing at ei­ther a 1998-2000-plus NB model, or a 2005-plus NC model. Man­ual trans­mis­sion of course. I’ve ex­cluded pre­vi­ous mod­els due to a lack of safety fea­tures such as airbags. So my ques­tion is fairly sim­ple: Which model is more fun to drive?

Chris Page, email Max­i­mum fun in an MX5 comes in the orig­i­nal 1989 model or the lim­ited-edition SP turbo done by Mazda Mo­tor­sport in Sydney. But, with your plans, we’d just get the new­est car. BLOWMEDOWN I’ve heard re­cently about peo­ple wor­ry­ing about over­heat­ing cars and I’ve an in­ter­est­ing story. A friend had a sim­i­lar prob­lem which puz­zled ev­ery­one. Then, one day, the son who was stand­ing in front of the car felt a breeze on his legs. It turned out that the engine fan was wired back­wards. I hope this un­usual ex­pe­ri­ence might help some­body.

An LPG con­ver­sion is def­i­nitely not some­thing to do at home. There are, in any case, very strict li­cens­ing re­quire­ments on these jobs.

Ge­orge, email DIY GASANO-NO I am­inter­ested in fit­ting LPG sys­tems to my cars and do­ing it my­self. I am­keen on au­to­gas, as nat­u­ral gas is not a vi­able op­tion for me. Can you point me in the right di­rec­tion?

Brad Ford, email

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