Lost in trans­mis­sion

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

The au­to­matic trans­mis­sion in my 2010 Com­modore SV6 was re­placed re­cently af­ter de­vel­op­ing a fault. Is this a known fault? Do you think I will have this prob­lem again? Is an ex­ter­nal cooler an op­tion? At what mileage should the trans­mis­sion be ser­viced?

Roger Hec­tor, email There’s no wide­spread is­sue with the trans­mis­sion but like ev­ery­thing it can have trou­bles. It’s im­pos­si­ble to say if the new trans­mis­sion will give you trou­ble— con­sult your crys­tal ball. Fit­ting an ex­ter­nal cooler won’t help if the trans­mis­sion fail­ure was re­lated to over­heat­ing. In the­ory the trans­mis­sion was filled for life at the fac­tory and doesn’t need ser­vic­ing but trans­mis­sion ex­perts will tell you it’s wise to have the trans­mis­sion reg­u­larly ser­viced, pos­si­bly yearly, par­tic­u­larly if tow­ing. TALK IS CHEAPER The Jeep Wran­gler two-door 3.8-litre I bought in 2010 has been av­er­ag­ing 3 litres of oil be­tween ser­vices. Each time I have it ser­viced I have to buy an ex­tra 3.6 litres to top it up. I have been in con­stant touch with the dealer I bought it from, Jeep Aus­tralia and the NSW Depart­ment of Fair Trad­ing. Jeep Aus­tralia told me this is a nor­mal amount of oil use, which I find dif­fi­cult to ac­cept. My daugh­ter has the same model and hers uses 100ml-200ml of oil be­tween ser­vices. The war­ranty ex­pired in March and the prob­lem from my view is get­ting worse. What do you sug­gest?

Robert Spratt, email

Be­fore you em­bark on le­gal ac­tion, go back to the dealer and ask to see a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Jeep so you can sit down and dis­cuss your con­cerns face to face. CAP­TIVA PRIS­ONER I was aware my one-year-old Holden Cap­tiva LX diesel seven-seater was leak­ing a bit of engine oil. How­ever, a closer in­spec­tion by Holden re­veals it’s also leak­ing wa­ter and trans­mis­sion fluid around the engine. It needs to have the engine re­moved and will be off the road for five to six days. Are you aware of this is­sue, or in­deed has any­one else had this prob­lem with the Cap­tiva?

Liam, email There has been an is­sue with the front seal on the diesel engine and the seal is be­ing re­placed. The prob­lem seems to be that the engine has to be re­moved to re­place it.


My 2009 Toy­ota Camry Al­tise 2.4 has blown a head gas­ket af­ter 130,000km. Just be­fore its 30,000km ser­vice it had a com­plete cool­ing sys­tem fail­ure at high­way speed and had to be towed to the near­est dealer. The mo­tor has never been the same since. I ad­vised the dealer of this in doc­u­mented ser­vice notes, and that the mo­tor had de­vel­oped a ping, but we were as­sured ev­ery­thing was OK. It was raised again at 60,000km and they sug­gested a fu­elin­jec­tion ser­vice with­out suc­cess. The only thing that helped was the ex­pen­sive op­tion of us­ing high-oc­tane petrol. The dealer and Toy­ota have backed away from any help and we have a quote for $3500 to fix the car. We be­lieve Toy­ota should be mak­ing some kind of good­will ges­ture to­wards the cost of get­ting this car back on the road.

Michael Auldrige, email You are as­sum­ing the blown head gas­ket is re­lated to the pre­vi­ous cool­ing sys­tem fail­ure but you don’t know that to be the case. Un­til you know the cause of the prob­lem you

Cooler topic: A Com­modore SV6’s trans­mis­sion is caus­ing con­cern

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