Con­fi­dence ebbs like the oil did

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy - GRA­HAM SMITH

An oil line on my 2007 Toy­ota Au­rion burst with no warn­ing, and could have had cat­a­strophic con­se­quences. A Toy­ota re­call oil hose has been fit­ted — but it’s the same style of rub­ber hose. I’m not at all happy about this as all engines af­ter 2009 have come with a metal pipe. Will this prob­lem re­cur in time? Man­fred Hansen, email The re­place­ment hose ad­dressed the prob­lem, so it shouldn’t hap­pen again, but it’s not pos­si­ble to say that it won’t. If you feel un­com­fort­able about it you could get the later oil pipe fit­ted to your car.


In Novem­ber my 2008 Mercedes-Benz 200 Kom­pres­sor be­gan revving be­fore en­gag­ing third when shift­ing up from se­cond. I took it back to the dealer who said there were metal fil­ings in the trans­mis­sion. The quote for the re­pairs was $11,000, which was re­duced to $9250. Benz Cus­tomer Re­la­tions said they’d not help, nor would they ex­plain how this could have oc­curred. The car has done 60,000km, it has never been thrashed or abused, and has been ser­viced by the dealer. I was told this has never hap­pened be­fore, but I’ve since found an­other per­son who has had the same prob­lem. I find it un­rea­son­able and frus­trat­ing that hav­ing bought a Benz for $90,000 that this could have hap­pened in such a short pe­riod of time. I have had no choice but to pay the $9250. Bernie, email The frus­tra­tion on your part is un­der­stand­able. Go back to Mercedes-Benz di­rect and re­quest some as­sis­tance with the cost of re­pairs. I doubt Benz would cover the whole cost but they might cover part if you make a rea­son­able ap­proach.


I re­ported a grind­ing noise in the en­gine of my 2010 Com­modore SV6 ute at 24,000km in April 2011, again at 37,000km in Au­gust 2011, and again at 46,000km in June 2012. All these times co­in­cided with a ser­vice and al­though I re­ported it as an en­gine grind­ing noise, they blamed heat pro­tec­tion plates. These were taken off and re­worked and the noise went away, but not once did they lis­ten to my protest that they were wrong. Six months later, at 55,351km, the en­gine seized; the dealer re­placed it with what they said was a long mo­tor. But I’ve had is­sues with the new mo­tor: mis­fir­ing (said to be be­cause the in­take man­i­fold was car­boned up), warn­ing lights have come on, and it used oil. They then said they’d re­place the mo­tor with a short mo­tor. It turned out that they’d only fit­ted a short mo­tor the first time. I protested and put in a claim in for a re­place­ment or heav­ily sub­sidised ve­hi­cle since they still can’t say what is wrong with the car. Holden of­fered to trade my ve­hi­cle in on a new one with no on-road costs. No con­sid­er­a­tion was given to the fact that I’d bought a ve­hi­cle that hadn’t per­formed sat­is­fac­to­rily since I first re­ported noise in April 2010. The Depart­ment of Fair Trad­ing ap­proached Holden with my find­ings that I could bet­ter their of­fer by walk­ing in off the street. In Jan­uary, I re­turned af­ter 4200km to have the oil con­sump­tion looked at; Holden said it only used 1.1 litres; I ques­tioned the re­sult as there was hardly a read­ing on the dip­stick. I’m wait­ing for their find­ings to see their next move. I’m lit­tle fish be­ing screwed by big fish, and don’t know what to do. Joel Fin­ni­gan, email Holden has an obli­ga­tion to fix your car if it has a prob­lem, and while you might dis­agree it would seem that they have at­tempted to fix it. They fit­ted a short mo­tor, then of­fered to fit an­other one, and they have done an oil con­sump­tion test to de­ter­mine if it does have an oil con­sump­tion is­sue. Most Holden V6s do have an is­sue with oil con­sump­tion, so I wouldn’t be sur­prised if yours does as well, but it comes down to how much oil it uses as to whether it has a prob­lem. If you doubt the re­sults of the oil con­sump­tion tests, do your own.

Long and short of it: Com­modore ute’s V6 causes a reader a load of grief

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