As­tate of sus­pen­sion

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy - GRA­HAM SMITH gra­ham.smith@carsguide.com.au

The cur­rent Jeep Grand Chero­kee Laredo diesel seemed to be the per­fect ve­hi­cle for one’s re­tire­ment; it could tow a large car­a­van, was ac­cept­ably eco­nom­i­cal, and had plenty of crea­ture com­forts. About all I could fault was the pre­his­toric foot-op­er­ated park­ing brake that took up so much of the driver’s foot well. But then I heard of an ex-Ford ser­vice man­ager who moved to a Jeep deal­er­ship and told a col­league that the cur­rent Grand Chero­kees are “plagued with prob­lems”. I’ve al­ways con­sid­ered that the num­ber of times a make or model comes up in your col­umn to be a good in­di­ca­tion of what’s good and what’s not, and I can only re­call a cou­ple of let­ters com­plain­ing about noisy sus­pen­sion. Have I missed some­thing? Michael Cemm, email I wouldn’t put much store in hearsay as re­li­a­bil­ity sur­veys show Jeep is gen­er­ally well re­garded by its own­ers. That’s not to say it is 100 per cent trou­ble-free— no car is —but own­ers over­all ap­pear happy with their lot. Those who aren’t have mostly had trou­bles with elec­tron­ics; usu­ally they com­plain about the ser­vice they re­ceive when they take their cars to their deal­ers to have them fixed.

BLOWN TOP

Have you heard of the top spout of a VE Com­modore V8 ra­di­a­tor break­ing off, dis­lodg­ing the top ra­di­a­tor hose? It did on my five-yearold car and cost me $550 plus fit­ting. Barry Thom­son, email We’ve had no other re­ports of this is­sue but we’ve seen re­ports of the ra­di­a­tor fail­ing. The plas­tic fit­ting in the ra­di­a­tor breaks away and you need a new ra­di­a­tor. It seems to oc­cur when the car has done about 70,000km-80,000km. I’d press the dealer and Holden for a re­place­ment ra­di­a­tor.

HAIL HELL

I re­cently bought a 2008 Toy­ota Corolla and when I went to reg­is­ter it the VicRoads web­site said it had been hail dam­aged. On the trans­fer doc­u­ments there is an op­tion for the seller to note if it has been in an ac­ci­dent or had hail dam­age, but this was not ticked. I bought the car from a news­pa­per ad, but now can’t con­tact the seller. I re­alise now I should have had the car checked be­fore I handed over any money. What I should do next? John Swain, email If you bought it from a pri­vate seller you can only per­sist in try­ing to con­tact the owner and come to a set­tle­ment with him/her. If the ven­dor was a li­censed mo­tor car trader you can con­tact Con­sumer Af­fairs Vic­to­ria and seek their ad­vice.

CON­STANT VARI­ABLES

I am­think­ing of buy­ing a new Subaru Forester 2.5 with the CVT and I want to know if the trans­mis­sion up to tow­ing a small car­a­van around Aus­tralia. I cur­rently own a 2005 auto and this has been fine tow­ing my van, but I'm not sure about the CVT. Alan Pax­man, email The Forester with CVT is rated to tow 1500kg, but you also need to make sure you stay within the max­i­mum weight limit for the car. Pro­vided you are within those lim­its you shouldn't have any trou­ble with the CVT.

Ig­nore the hearsay: Carsguide reck­ons this Jeep is grand

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