Not on my watch
I’m dumbfounded by the questions and comments from some Carsguide readers, who seem to lack the basic knowledge that goes hand-inhand with car ownership. Reading of people who buy a commercial vehicle like a Nissan Navara and then complain about the ride shows a lack of thought during the purchase process. Fuel consumption is another common complaint and many people have unrealistic views on how much their car should consume. If you’re driving a 2.5-3.0 tonne four-wheel drive that has the aerodynamics of a house brick you can’t expect 6.0 litres/100km. Although cars are more efficient and reliable, the public seems to have been brainwashed to expect more and understand less about their cars. Clearly that’s the case when someone wants to claim warranty on a 10-year-old car with 200,000km on the clock. For the record, I own a 2002 Nissan Patrol 4.8-litre petrol manual with a performance chip and several 4WD specific accessories. My best fuel consumption is 15.0 litres/ 100km and worst is about 25 litres. I get 100,000km120,000km from my tyres, and I do most of the servicing myself. What do I do for a living? I’m a watchmaker.
Stephen Vecchiet, email
Bulls-eye. SMARTROGUES I had an not-inexpensive car radio fitted to my 2003 Toyota LandCruiser with screen for reversing camera, Bluetooth etc and then bought a 4S iPhone. Only about 100 of 135 contacts would pair. After weeks of investigating, the company replaced the notinexpensive radio, Apple first restored my new iPhone and then — as nothing changed — they replaced my phone. Still the same. I ultimately worked it out as I had to delete ‘‘rogue’’ contacts one at a time and then re-enter them with variations until they talked to each other. Barry became Baz, Peter became Pete etc. It was a very expensive, time-consuming exercise and wouldn’t you think one of the two companies concerned would be aware of this situation?
At least you found a Bluetooth solution. We’re hearing horror stories about so many phones and systems every day. SHOCK TOPPING Regarding the need for oil topups, we have two diesel cars in our household — a Renault Koleos with 60,000km and a Ford Mondeo with 46,000km — and neither has needed topping-up between services. If Ford and Renault can make engines that don’t burn oil, why can’t Audi and the others? If the manufacturers are going to push this line, maybe they should include what their normal engine oil consumption is in their publicly available literature. If the brochure showed a litre in 170km was to be expected, or 9 litres over a 15,000km service interval, I would steer well clear of that marque. I think the makers such as Audi are peddling nonsense and have sucked you guys into believing them.
John Pohlman, email
All cars use some oil but we’ve been spoilt by longer service intervals and better oils. We first heard of regular oil use from Subaru, on its WRX. ONDEFENSIVE I have a new 18-year-old driver in the family and another soonto-be. I want them to complete a defensive driving course as soon as is practicable. Should they do the course as soon as they get their licence or at some time after? Is there one you recommend in Melbourne?
It’s never too early to pass on survival skills and good driving habits. In Melbourne, we’re fans of the courses run by Murcotts and John Bowe. DUMPTHE OIL Have you heard anything about the Mazda CX-5 diesel engine problem? I have to take it back every 2000km to dump the oil as it overfills itself. Should I
Nick of time: Car servicing has common ground with watchmaking. Swatch Watch founder Nicolas Hayek in the micro car that became the Smart