Don’t fuel your­self

Herald Sun - Motoring - - In Box @ Pg - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER

I want to use E10 fuel in my Subaru WRX. I know there can be prob­lems with ethanol ab­sorb­ing wa­ter and also po­ten­tial dam­age to seals. But my rea­son for chang­ing would be so that I could use the 100-oc­tane E10 avail­able from United, which I think could give me a per­for­mance boost. Could you please ad­vise me on this, as I don’t want to dam­age the en­gine.

Peter Irby, email David Row­ley from Subaru Aus­tralia says: “The fac­tory has ad­vised that all WRX from 1994 on­wards can op­er­ate on E10, 10 per cent ethanol, pro­vided the min­i­mum oc­tane rat­ing of 95 RON is main­tained. There­fore 100 oc­tane E10 should be no prob­lem.”

CVT EC­STASY

I take is­sue with some con­tro­ver­sial state­ments about con­stantly vari­able au­to­mat­ics. Yes, I agree they are not at their best in small cars. How­ever, I have fre­quently driven hire car Nis­san Dualis two-wheel drive CVTs, own a 2008 Nis­san X-Trail CVT with 123,000km, and have re­cently test driven a cou­ple of CVT Subaru Out­backs as a pos­si­ble re­place­ment for my XTrail. I find them all smooth and quiet with none of the noise and flar­ing that the cap­back­wards motoring jour­nal­ist brigade talk about. Even driven briskly they are quiet and re­spon­sive. Yes, at low speeds they flare and are nois­ier than some but most Cars­guide read­ers would not know the dif­fer­ence be­tween the CVT and con­ven­tional auto dur­ing nor­mal high­way or city driv­ing in these Nis­sans and Subarus.

Ste­wart Eldridge, email You’ve con­cen­trated on the best of the CVT mod­els but there are plenty of oth­ers that are poor. The Subaru XV is lethar­gic and noisy with a CVT and we can­not for­get or for­give the early days with cars like the Nis­san Mi­cra. We have also had plenty of com­plaints from Cars­guide read­ers who can feel and hear the dif­fer­ence.

GETZ IT FIXED

I took my 2009 Hyundai Getz to the dealer due to ex­ces­sive static on the ra­dio’s AM band. They said they wouldn’t fix it as the FM was work­ing fine, but I only usu­ally lis­ten to AM sta­tions. Is there any­thing I can do?

Gary Woolums, email You’re not the first Hyundai owner to com­plain about AM re­cep­tion. Pub­lic re­la­tions di­rec­tor Bill Thomas will get your car to a deal­er­ship ASAP to find a so­lu­tion.

IT’S TO­TALLY RS

I drive a model year 2011 Subaru WRX sedan with 55,000km and I’m guess­ing it’s worth in the high $20,000s. The new WRX 2014 is not re­leased un­til April and I would pre­fer to see it be­fore buy­ing. My new job will re­quire me to carry sam­ples in four medium-large suit­cases but I don’t want to buy a wagon un­less it’s pretty sporty. So I can­not see much that in­ter­ests me around the $45,000 mark that I could lease for three years without los­ing big on de­pre­ci­a­tion. Do you have any sug­ges­tions?

Ge­off Rothen­berg, email The new Skoda 132 TSI wagon (here now) or RS wagon (here shortly) meet your bud­get and will match the WRX’s driv­ing en­joy­ment. It’s pretty swift, will be in­vis­i­ble in traf­fic and has the car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity you need.

KEY­LESS NON-EN­TRY

We have lost both sets of car keys for our 2011 Toy­ota Kluger Grande. We’ve been told that the whole com­puter sys­tem needs to be re­placed as they can no longer just sync it with an orig­i­nal key. The price is about $3500. We are hop­ing you know of a cheaper al­ter­na­tive — this is way be­yond our bud­get.

T. McLaugh­lin-Splatt, email There are spe­cial­ists who can do the job for con­sid­er­ably less. Toy­ota spokesman Mike Breen says the transpon­der in the ECU has to synch with the transpon­der in the ig­ni­tion key for the doors to open and the en­gine to start. That means a new ECU and new set of keys.

PLUS CA CHANGE

I’m driv­ing a 2010 Peu­got 308 which has done 43,000km. I have had many prob­lems with the trans­mis­sion and have had the discs re­placed twice. I am look­ing to buy a dif­fer­ent car. I test drove the lat­est 308 and 3008 with six-speed gear­boxes, which made it a much more pleas­ant drive. I am un­sure about whether to risk an­other one. I want to have a car of sim­i­lar size and a hatch with sim­i­lar boot space. My last car was a Subaru Forester which also had me­chan­i­cal prob­lems.

El­iz­a­beth Ap­pleby, email Don’t do it. In the mid-sized car range, look­ing at hatch­backs, we’d rec­om­mend the Ford Mon­deo or Skoda Oc­tavia. But the Mazda6 is a bril­liant car and the class leader, with a bul­let­proof rep­u­ta­tion and plenty of space in the tail.

Your choice: E10 should work well in the Subaru WRX

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