The good oil on top-ups
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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