Dash lights war­rant care

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

Re­cently the engine light in my 2010 Ford Fi­esta came on and af­ter 10 min­utes of driv­ing the trac­tion con­trol and over­drive lights came on as well. My dealer re­placed the cat­alytic con­verter but it was only a day be­fore the lights came on again. The dealer started ‘‘run­ning tests’’ but I have no in­for­ma­tion on what was found. Is this a com­mon is­sue? I bought the car new and have reg­u­larly ser­viced it. I was of­fered ex­tended war­ranty for an­other two years af­ter De­cem­ber. It costs $1200. Is it worth it?

Gabriela Barna, email

If they haven’t come back to you with their test­ing re­sults then ask what has been done and what was found. Your ex­pe­ri­ence is rel­a­tively com­mon with to­day’s cars. The source of your prob­lem is prob­a­bly a faulty sen­sor and the test­ing be­ing done by your dealer should iden­tify it and fix it. I wouldn’t be too con­cerned about it. As for the ex­tended war­ranty, it comes down to the con­fi­dence you have in the car. If you lack con­fi­dence, the money spent on the ex­tended war­ranty is worth­while; if you feel con­fi­dent it will keep run­ning with­out ma­jor trou­ble then don’t take it. It’s your de­ci­sion but I be­lieve ex­tended war­ranties are not worth buy­ing. You should also be aware it is not a fac­tory prod­uct.


I have a 2010 Holden Com­modore VE SS Se­ries II sixspeed man­ual that has done about 49,000km. A miss has de­vel­oped in the mo­tor, some­times at idle, at other times un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion. We have taken it back to the dealer sev­eral times. On the last visit, af­ter hav­ing the car for four days, they re­set the throt­tle body, which seemed to work, but now af­ter five weeks and run­ning on only BP Ul­ti­mate (min­i­mum 98 RON) it is miss­ing again. Why is it that a ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tured and de­signed to run on E85/E10 etc is now rec­om­mended to only use the most ex­pen­sive fuel and only BP, but still have an engine miss? By the way, it didn’t show up on di­ag­nos­tics but the tech­ni­cian had the car for a few days and, yes, it missed when he was driv­ing. If you could shed any light on this prob­lem it would be ap­pre­ci­ated as it’s be­com­ing frus­trat­ing.

Mar­garet Hos, email

I guess by spec­i­fy­ing the 98 oc­tane, the me­chanic is elim­i­nat­ing fuel as a po­ten­tial cause, so I would go along with him while he at­tempts to iso­late the prob­lem’s cause. As it doesn’t show up on the di­ag­nos­tics it’s hard to track down. Give the me­chanic some space to get to work on it but main­tain the pres­sure. All said, it’s likely to be a faulty sen­sor or per­haps a faulty coil pack.


At about 54,000km, my Mazda BT50 started jumping out of fifth gear but Mazda and the lo­cal dealer don’t want to know about it. An af­ter­mar­ket kit to rem­edy the prob­lem is $520, then there is $1200 to re­pair the gear­box — which in­di­cates it is a wide­spread prob­lem and Mazda should be shoul­der­ing some of the ex­pense. Can you give me any guid­ance?

Mick Wal­lace, email

Jumping out of fifth is a com­mon prob­lem on early BT50s but a fix was meant to have been in­tro­duced in late

Fi­esta, no fun: The warn­ing lights go on but the dealer has no an­swer yet. Op­po­site: BT50s can jump out of gear

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