The good oil on top-ups

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

I have a 2011 Audi Q5 which I bought new and it seems to have an oil is­sue. Ev­ery 1700km I have been go­ing back to the dealer for a top-up. They have told me it’s the way it’s meant to be and falls in the re­quired Audi spec­i­fi­ca­tions. This can’t be true. Is there any­thing I can do be­fore the war­ranty ex­pires?

Tony, email

Ev­ery engine uses oil and about a litre for 1000km is noth­ing to worry about. But with the demise of proper ser­vice sta­tions, we’ve lost the knowl­edge and for­got­ten the need for main­te­nance. You should eas­ily be able to do the top-up your­self with a sup­ply of the right oil at home and reg­u­lar checks of the dip­stick — it has a yel­low top to make it easy to find in the engine bay.

CARNIVAL GAMES

Do you know when the updated Kia Carnival will be re­leased in Aus­tralia? We are look­ing for a com­fort­able peo­ple mover that can ac­com­mo­date six kids and we have found that the Carnival fits within the bud­get. But we feel it’s let it­self down in the pre­sen­ta­tion of the dash, es­pe­cially when com­pared to the other newer Kia mod­els. We are won­der­ing whether it would be worth hold­ing off un­til the up­date is re­leased.

Gerry MacGib­bon, email

If you want an all-new Carnival, the of­fi­cial mes­sage from Kia Aus­tralia spokesman Kevin Hep­worth is that the next model will arrive some time in 2014. But the ex­ist­ing car is great value, is very prac­ti­cal and well equipped.

SHOWONROTATION

Now that the mo­tor show in Sydney is over, when is the next mo­tor show in Mel­bourne?

Richard Young, email

The Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show is on ro­ta­tion be­tween the two cap­i­tals, so it’s Mel­bourne again next year and then back to Sydney, at Home­bush, in Au­gust 2014. Show boss Russ Tyrie con­firms the 2013 dates for the Mel­bourne Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre are Fri­day, June 28, to Sun­day, July 7.

BAT­TERY CHARGES

I have just taken own­er­ship of a Honda hy­brid, only to find out that the NiCad bat­tery has a life­span of only 80,000km. And costs about $3000 to re­place. When will some­one in the me­dia let peo­ple know the av­er­age life and cost of re­place­ment of the bat­tery pack? Be­fore I went out to find this car, even the Honda Car Club did not have the in­for­ma­tion. With the new Holden and Toy­ota be­ing more reliant on the NiCad bat­tery, this in­for­ma­tion should be pub­lic or open. Fur­ther to this, is there any­one or com­pany able to re­con­di­tion or ex­change bat­tery packs?

Stephen James Smith, email

You’ve let the cat out of the bag but our re­search shows hy­brid bat­ter­ies last much longer than 80,000km. And own­ers can ex­pect a lot of sup­port from car mak­ers, since they don’t want any bad news on this. There are Toy­ota Prius taxis run­ning in Cairns that have cov­ered well over 200,000km on the orig­i­nal bat­ter­ies and we know of own­ers who’ve had ma­jor fi­nan­cial sup­port on changeovers.

AHIGH COROLLA

If it was your money, would you buy the new Corolla over a Mazda3 or Ford Fo­cus? My fa­ther’s Fo­cus CL, a late 2009 model, is a dream to drive, with a cushy ride, great steer­ing and han­dling and a torquey engine. It’s far more en­joy­able to drive when com­pared with a Corolla I rented re­cently. How many Corolla own­ers can say they go for a drive through the na­tional park for the sake of it? I’ve been for­tu­nate to put a few thou­sand kilo­me­tres on aBMW M3, so I know when a car rides and han­dles well, and the M3 han­dles but doesn’t ride well. I look for­ward to com­par­i­son tests be­tween the Corolla, Fo­cus, 3 and Golf and sus­pect that it’s un­likely your peers will deem the Corolla to be the ‘‘top of the heap’’. Also, the re­sale is listed as 50 per cent, but I’m not sure if this is over three years. How did de­rive this fig­ure?

Lachy Brown, email

We would def­i­nitely buy a new Corolla but only un­til the true class bench­mark— the new Golf Mk7— lands next year. It even has BMWstyle driv­ing en­joy­ment, al­thoughVW­won’t match the Toy­ota’s $19,990 start­ing price. As for the re­sale num­ber, it’s the stan­dard rat­ing we get from the ex­perts at Glass’s Guide.

CRUZE CON­TROL

I have just had my 2012 Holden Cruze SRI hatch re­called to fix the bel­ly­pan (the un­der­engine air de­flec­tor). All they did was re­move it com­pletely. I have heard other peo­ple had holes drilled in the pan to drain any spilled oil. By re­mov­ing it com­pletely, does that put the tur­bocharger in dan­ger of be­ing dam­aged by stones de­flected from the road? Do you know what GM-H’s cor­rect fix was?

Mal­colm Mar­shall, email

Holden spokesman Craig Cheetham says: The cor­rect ac­tion is to re­move the air de­flec­tor, cut the mid­dle sec­tion out of it and re-in­stall the two side pieces. There is no risk to the tur­bocharger by re­mov­ing the air de­flec­tor com­pletely, how­ever.’’

Don’t worry: Areader’s Audi Q5 uses roughly a litre of oil ev­ery 1700km, which is not un­usual for a car

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