It’s the wheel thing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

The steer­ing wheel on my 2010 FG Fal­con ute has be­gun de­gen­er­at­ing. It started with part of the steer­ing wheel rub­bing away on the right­hand side about mid­dle of the wheel on the out­side. Ford re­fused to cover it be­cause the car was out of war­ranty, but they of­fered to pay 25 per cent of the re­place­ment cost. More re­cently I no­ticed there ap­pear to be pin­holes ap­pear­ing at the top of the wheel and it is wear­ing away from un­der­neath the bot­tom. Surely a steer­ing wheel should last longer than three years. Is there a statu­tory war­ranty that cov­ers this area? Have any other read­ers ex­pe­ri­enced this prob­lem? Where else can I take my com­plaint?

Mal Legg, Vic It is un­usual for a steer­ing wheel to fall apart in such a short time, but yours is the only re­port we’ve re­ceived here. You could con­sult con­sumer af­fairs in Vic­to­ria, but I would rec­om­mend you ac­cept the of­fer. Go­ing fur­ther is only go­ing to take up more of your time and it’s un­likely you would get the re­sult you want. HOW­BOUT IT? I’ve had three 2.5-litre Nis­san Navara utes since 1997, all of which have done over 280,000km and I amused to the re­li­a­bil­ity of Nis­san en­gines. I re­cently pur­chased a 2006 2.5-litre diesel Nis­san Pathfinder, which had clocked up 140,000km, with the idea that I could dou­ble this mileage. But upon tak­ing out the engine, num­ber two pis­ton has a crack in the top, and to put it back in or­der I will have to re­place four pis­tons, rings, bear­ings, gas­kets and re­bore it. An ex­pe­ri­enced engine-re­builder told me the pis­ton fail­ure was due to over-fuelling, which could be traced back to the com­puter and the air-in­take sen­sor. Now, the sen­sor it­self is ei­ther faulty or send­ing out in­cor­rect sig­nals? A list of new parts comes to $4600 or so. Maybe Nis­san would be gra­cious enough to sup­ply these to me at half the cost, I would be happy to cover the labour charges. What do you think?

Brian Burns, email It’s pos­si­ble that they might come to the party and help out with part of the cost of re­pairs, so you should ap­proach them with a claim. You might find, how­ever, that be­cause the car is six years old, you bought it sec­ond-hand so there’s no record of its pre­vi­ous use, and that it is well out of war­ranty. I think that your claim could be re­jected. ENGINE EXIT The engine in our 2008 Holden Cap­tiva has gone af­ter just 85,000km. We can get a sec­ond-hand engine with about 40,000km on it for $10,000, but were con­cerned this model has engine prob­lems and it may not be worth the $10,000 to fix. Ap­pre­ci­ate your ad­vice.

Leonie Wil­son, email You have to fix it, it is worth vir­tu­ally noth­ing with a dam­aged engine, so there’s no

Bad turn: AFal­con’s steer­ing wheel is wear­ing thin, and right, a Prado has

started crack­ing up

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