Fil­tered ad­vice

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

A WARN­ING to Toy­ota LandCruiser 200 Se­ries turbo diesel own­ers. Toy­ota says you only need to re­place the fuel fil­ter when the warn­ing light comes on — we shouldn’t think that this will be part of a nor­mal ser­vice. It’s not even men­tioned in the ser­vice sched­ules. It will stop the ve­hi­cle if not at­tended to within 300km-500km. This hap­pened to me in the mid­dle of nowhere with no phone re­cep­tion. Be­fore you start a big trip around Aus­tralia, spend $30 on a new fuel fil­ter and carry a spare. John Calder, email Toy­ota Aus­tralia spokesman Stephen Cough­lan says a fil­ter change is part of the 40,000km ser­vice. He also says the most likely cause of your prob­lem is dirty fuel, which is com­mon in re­mote ar­eas, and agrees a spare fil­ter is a good pre­cau­tion for any ve­hi­cle tack­ling a long run in the Out­back.


Toy­ota is way be­hind on in­dus­try stan­dards on ser­vice in­ter­vals and the up­dated LandCruiser 200 is a good ex­am­ple, with ser­vice in­ter­vals of six months/ 10,000km, which is well be­hind other ve­hi­cles in the same class. Many of the Euro­pean diesel ri­vals have had 12 month/20,000km ser­vice in­ter­vals for well over 15 years with no is­sues. I am won­der­ing whether Toy­ota is over-ser­vic­ing the ve­hi­cles, or if their ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy is out of date. I have a fleet of Toy­ota work vans and the 10,000km ser­vice in­ter­vals are a real pain. Some of the diesel Iveco com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles have ser­vice in­ter­vals over 30,000km. Paul Barry, email Toy­ota’s su­per-con­ser­va­tive ser­vice in­ter­vals — like its tow rat­ings — are a pain but the com­pany is not money grab­bing. They have just about the cheap­est capped­price ser­vic­ing plan in the busi­ness and in many cases will give you six ser­vices for less money than you’ll spend for three with an­other man­u­fac­turer. They also have a bet­ter rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity than the Euro­peans and the parts are cheaper.


I am sur­prised at your as­sess­ment of the Hyundai Blue­tooth in your Car of the Year judg­ing. I have owned two Hyundai ve­hi­cles with Blue­tooth ra­dios and they paired eas­ily with no prob­lem each time and with no sound is­sues. In de­fence, I have to say they are ex­cel­lent. Bill Suck­ling, email Even Hyundai ad­mits there are short­com­ings in its Blue­tooth setup so, al­though it works fine for you, per­haps you have not had the op­por­tu­nity for a back-to-back test with 10 other ve­hi­cles in­clud­ing the su­per-im­pres­sive Mercedes-Benz GLC.


I hope you all ap­plauded the Ford XF Fair­mont Ghia which had a nice big dig­i­tal speedo. Why this sud­den ob­ses­sion with the de­vice? Ian Thresher, email The plague of speed cam­eras on Aus­tralian roads means a large, ac­cu­rate speedome­ter is es­sen­tial and the lat­est dig­i­tal mod­els do the job. A head-up dis­play is even bet­ter.


I have a Nis­san Pul­sar turbo, a 2014 model with just 30,000km on the speedo. If I’m hav­ing a has­sle with the fuel gauge do you be­lieve I should be able to have it re­placed on war­ranty? If I fill it up within 100km the gauge shows ¾, then al­most full, then ¾ again. Jim, email It should definitely be re­placed. Nis­san spokesman Peter Fadeyev says: “This mat­ter can be checked and, if needed, rec­ti­fied by a trained

tech­ni­cian at any au­tho­rised Nis­san dealer.”


I’d like some help on buy­ing a small SUV for about $25,000-$27,000. I’ve test driven the Mit­subishi ASX and Mazda CX-3. I’m not sure about the new Honda HR-V so would like your views. I like the Mazda but I think that the en­gine stop­start is just an­other thing to go wrong.

Karen, email There’s noth­ing to worry about with start-stop tech­nol­ogy. It’s been around for years and ev­ery­body has it. As for your choices, I’d put the CX-3 well ahead of the ASX and just in front of the HR-V but I wouldn’t buy ei­ther. For me, a mid-level Mazda3 is big­ger than the CX-3, has more power, more room and is bet­ter to drive.


I need a new car and I think I’m down to two choices. It’s ei­ther the Honda HR-V VTI-s or Hyundai i30 Pre­mium. Some peo­ple are suggest­ing Hyundai cars are still throw­aways af­ter five years. Any thoughts?

Shane Beck­in­sale, email The i30 gets The Tick from me, is definitely not a throw­away, and is a bet­ter choice than the smaller and less re­fined HR-V, de­spite the flex­i­bil­ity of the Honda’s cabin.


An air­con­di­tioner com­pres­sor for a 2000 Hyundai Ac­cent costs $620 in Aus­tralia yet the in­ter­net price de­liv­ered from the US is $179. The Toy­ota price for a V8 diesel fuel in­jec­tor is $800 but Toy­ota New Zealand price is $220. Mack truck own­ers tell me they can im­port parts from the US for a third of the Aus­tralian price. Please tell the read­ers why Aus­tralian ve­hi­cle spare parts are so ex­pen­sive.

Bob Char­ters, email We’re not about to de­fend the car com­pa­nies but do the im­port prices in­clude the same fees and taxes a fac­tory op­er­a­tion charges, or the ware­hous­ing costs? Also, the much higher vol­umes in the gi­ant US mar­ket al­lows com­pa­nies to keep their mar­gins down.


I’m in the mar­ket for a dual- cab ute and I am look­ing at the new Ford Ranger and the Nis­san Navara NP300. I’ve heard that both have some me­chan­i­cal is­sues — is this true?

Rick Dal Ben, email The Ranger gets The Tick, hav­ing made our Car of the Year fi­nal field, and would be my choice. I’ve heard no com­plaints about it from own­ers.


My wife and I have the op­por­tu­nity to use a Peu­geot 208 (with 1.2-litre three-cylin­der turbo and sixspeed trans­mis­sion) when we are trav­el­ling from Paris to Lis­bon for about 20 days. We would greatly ap­pre­ci­ate your thoughts.

Leon J. Co­mod­ro­mos, email The lit­tle 208 should be great for your trip, with great com­fort and econ­omy. I’ve just had one on test and it gets The Tick.

Fuel afore­thought: Pack a spare

fil­ter for your LandCruiser

Hyundai i30: Definitely no throw­away:

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