Not on my watch

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Write -

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?

Gra­hamShaw, email

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?

An­drewAshby, email

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

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