Badly rat­tled by clunk­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

My 2012 Grand Chero­kee Laredo diesel emits a ter­ri­ble clunk-rat­tle noise through the en­tire rear of the ve­hi­cle when driven over small sharp un­du­la­tions. I have been un­suc­cess­ful in my at­tempts to have the mat­ter rec­ti­fied through my dealer and Chrysler, which has of­fered to have new shocks fit­ted at my cost. Chrysler-Jeep’s fi­nal de­ci­sion is: ‘‘It is an op­er­a­tional noise and not a fault and as such is not a war­ranty is­sue and that new shocks will not rec­tify the prob­lem, it is a pe­cu­liar­ity with Self Lev­el­ling Shocks.’’ Where to from here to rid a $55,000 ve­hi­cle of this hor­ri­ble rear-end noise?

Bill, email Yours is not the only re­port we’ve had of this ‘‘ clunk’’, so we con­tacted Chrysler to get in­put. They told us that they ‘‘ have had a small num­ber of cus­tomer queries re­gard­ing a clunk­ing noise over some road sur­faces in Jeep Grand Chero­kee mod­els. As a re­sult, ear­lier this month a ser­vice ac­tion was is­sued to ad­dress this cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion con­cern re­lat­ing to 2011-2013 Grand Chero­kees (Mod­els with­out Quadra Lift sus­pen­sion).’’ Chrysler’s fix in­volves the re­place­ment of the rear shock ab­sorbers, which is fully cov­ered un­der war­ranty. Own­ers are en­cour­aged con­tact their lo­cal Jeep dealer to have the fix car­ried out on their cars. SEE THE LIGHT Ref­er­ence your comment about fit­ting af­ter­mar­ket lights to the Hyundai i30, only kits that com­ply with the rel­e­vant de­sign reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing auto-align­ment and lens wash­ing should be in­stalled. I should know. I in­stalled af­ter­mar­ket HIDs on my 2005 Suzuki Swift and was de­fected within two weeks based on the above cri­te­ria.

Richard Gor­don, email Yes, a check on rel­e­vant laws would be a use­ful first step for any­one con­tem­plat­ing fit­ting af­ter­mar­ket head­lamps. THE GOOD OIL When I bought my Toy­ota Atara S re­cently the ser­vice depart­ment ad­vised that the $130 capped ser­vice uses min­eral oil and that it was bet­ter to up­grade to $179 so they will use syn­thetic oil. Can you please tell me any ad­van­tage us­ing syn­thetic oil?

Kumar, email We asked Toy­ota for its rec­om­men­da­tion. The re­ply that Toy­ota ‘‘ doesn’t spec­ify that a par­tic­u­lar type of oil be used, such as min­eral, or syn­thetic oil, al­though we do pro­vide spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the ac­tual vis­cos­ity, as stated in the ve­hi­cle owner’s man­ual’’. Toy­ota’s view is that syn­thetic oil is a bet­ter qual­ity oil, which is why it is more ex­pen­sive and gen­er­ally rec­om­mended by deal­ers. The min­eral oil you would get in the $130 capped ser­vice is fine as long as it meets the vis­cos­ity spec­i­fi­ca­tions listed in your owner’s man­ual. Syn­thetic oil might be a bet­ter oil as Toy­ota says but it also con­trib­utes more to deal­ers’ cof­fers.

On the warpath: Jeep’s an­swer to ‘‘cus­tomer queries’’ is to re­place Grand Chero­kee rear shocks un­der war­ranty

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