Don’t fuel yourself
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.”
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.
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