Chipped over silicone
My understanding as a mechanic is that using excess silicone sealant in the assembly of engines and automatic transmissions is an absolute no-no. Particles of sealant can contaminate the oil, lead to the blockage of oil galleries and cause the demise of engines and transmissions. Well, I bought a new Ford Ranger PX 4WD utility in July and have noticed excessive sealant has been used in the assembly of the diff. This may not be as critical as with engines and transmissions — but if the amount of sealant on the outside of the diff is any indication of what is inside, do I have a problem? Is my ute the victim of a bad bonding job? What should I do?
Rick Campbell, email Excess sealant suggests sloppy workmanship. Mention it to your dealer and suggest they disassemble the diff and put it back together cleanly — or you could let it go and hope it doesn't cause any later problems. If it was the engine I would want to fix it but in the case of a diff I’d be tempted to report it in case something does develop, and let it go.
KEEP LOW PROFILE
I read a complaint in your column about a MercedesBenz pulling to the left. Here’s a similar problem, which I had for nearly a year and a half before I went to a tyre repairer and was told my front tyres were too wide. The advice was to go to a narrower tyre and this fixed the problem. The load on the tyre was too great and the car was moving on the tyre and then pulling to either the right or left. My car wasn’t a ML300, it was a 380 SEL, but it had the same problem.
Michael Wroblewski, email Low-profile tyres are more prone to following the changes in the road surface than higher aspect ratio tyres, which is probably what you were experiencing. My Kia Sorento, as in an earlier report, has had intermittent power loss over about six months. Kia tried many things, removing the injectors and checking the pressure, even replacing the engine management — but as it was intermittent they couldn’t find the cause. About four weeks ago I changed the battery and haven’t had a problem since. A truck fleet owner told me a faulty cell in the battery could cause this issue. So far so good.
I bought my Ford Focus hatch new in November 2010. After 10 attempted fixes over the past 18 months, I’m still chasing the local dealership and Ford about the leak in the boot. By repair No. 6, all I wanted was a new car. Consumer Affairs has helped but according to consumer law Ford is doing what it should be doing, repairing the vehicle. Where do I stand and what more can I do?
Sandra Padthaway, email Yes, the consumer law requires the maker to try to fix a problem. That said, there has to be a reasonable expectation of an outcome, and the fact there is no satisfactory outcome after 10 attempts I would think is quite unreasonable and perhaps you do deserve to have a new car. Consult Consumer Affairs again for the official view, then consider legal representation. You could also speak to our body repair specialist, Graeme Cuthbert, on 0422 444 335, and get his opinion on what might be causing the leak.
Seal of disapproval: A reader is concerned about the bonding job on his Ford Ranger
John Armstrong, email
Thanks for your feedback.