Men­tally, Bent­ley

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

Thank you for alert­ing us to the Bathurst 12-Hour race and telling us that cars such as McLaren and Bent­ley (pic­tured) would be run­ning. It cer­tainly whet­ted my ap­petite and I stopped work com­pletely on Sun­day and put the ear­phones on. It was a magic race. It glad­dened my Aussie-Pom heart no end to see the Bent­ley, al­though not Bri­tish-owned any­more, and the McLaren charg­ing round the cir­cuit flat-chat with that gor­geous ex­haust note. But I was sur­prised to read the Bent­ley had only a 4.0-litre twin tur­bocharged en­gine and won­der if that’s cor­rect.

Brian Lambert, email It’s a V8 with tur­bos be­cause the V12 is too heavy and thirsty for rac­ing. And it still sounds epic.


With the changes to rules on par­al­lel im­ports that were just mooted, why can’t we im­port gar­den-va­ri­ety cars like F-Se­ries Fords, Dodge Ram utes and Mercedes-Benz Un­i­mogs? I won­der why we are obliged to buy in­fe­rior, tid­dler-type, Dinky toy cars? I’m un­sat­is­fied when su­pe­rior, proper city-sized cars are avail­able. It’s not fair. They cost well below $US80,000 new in the US.

Kai Soukka, email Very few peo­ple would de­scribe an F-truck as a com­muter car but the changes will only ap­ply to right-hand drive ve­hi­cles. Ram pick-ups are avail­able, cer­ti­fied and con­verted to right-hand drive through the Walkin­shaw Group, but the start­ing price is $140,000.


I have run-flat tyres on my car. I ca­su­ally men­tioned to my lo­cal tyre dealer I was think­ing about tak­ing a trip around Aus­tralia. His re­tort was, “Not on those run-flat tyres.” He reck­ons I could get stuck out in the middle of nowhere as the only place you can get re­place­ment run-flat tyres is Syd­ney or Mel­bourne. I said I could buy a spare tyre and take it with me. He reck­ons no one out in the bush has the equip­ment to take the old tyre off and fit the new one. He also said be­ing able to drive 80km at 80km/h is an ur­ban myth as the tyre will over­heat and dis­in­te­grate.

John McKen­zie, email Your tyre man is right that there are plenty of down­sides to run-flats, es­pe­cially in the bush. You can go more than 80km. I have a mate who drove 200km on a BMW space-saver — then waited two days for the re­place­ment to be flown from the city.


Re tow­ing and low-pro­file tyres. We have been tow­ing vans for about 35 years and with our cur­rent dual-axle 1850kg van have done 35,000km over three years. Our Ford G6 Fal­con, run­ning on low-pro­file Kumho tyres and with a Hay­man Reese setup, has had no prob­lems at all. At 90km/h, the van sits level, tracks straight and tows beau­ti­fully. We ro­tate the tyres ev­ery 10,000km and get reg­u­lar wear from

them. Could the read­ers who had tow­ing prob­lems have other is­sues: sus­pen­sion, van setup or type of van?

Garry Turner, email Ob­vi­ously your rig is bet­ter tuned for the job than theirs.


Could you please list the pros and cons of us­ing E10 petrol in mod­ern cars? I have a 2015 Mazda3 SP. What prob­lems might arise from long-term E10 use?

Noel Drew, email If Mazda has ap­proved that fuel for your car there is no real down­side. It should make the right power and torque. With to­day’s fuel set­ups there is no im­pact from ethanol’s po­ten­tial cor­ro­sive ef­fects.


A sedan per­son all my life, I now want to buy an SUV, prob­a­bly my last car pur­chase. In the top-of-therange mod­els, would you favour the Hyundai Tuc­son or Kia Sportage or an­other?

Tony Rocca, email You should first drive the Mazda CX-5, which is the bench­mark in the class and gets The Tick. The new Sportage is best of the rest.


I have had great plea­sure driv­ing Nis­sans, two X-Trail four-wheel drives and now the Dualis two-wheel drive, over the past 10 years. I hired a Juke in Europe last year and, al­though the car per­formed well, I was not im­pressed with the ex­ter­nal styling. I am won­der­ing whether Nis­san is due for a model change within the range of small SUVs. I’ll be con­sid­er­ing a midyear switch from the Dualis al­though I would like to re­main with Nis­san.

An­thony Ime­son, email Most of Nis­san’s SUVs are less than two years old and the Qashqai (Dualis re­badged, pic­tured) was launched only last year, so it should be your first stop. If you want to com­pare brands, you should also look at the Mazda CX-5.


A note about clutches in cars. I bought an 18-mon­thold VE Com­modore in 2009 with a worn clutch, which I did not no­tice. A friend drove the car and told me that the clutch was no good so I re­turned it to the dealer. They re­placed the clutch, no ques­tions asked. I then no­ticed there was some­thing wrong with the new clutch, so took it back to the dealer, but they said they could find noth­ing wrong. I took the car to a dif­fer­ent Holden dealer, who said the thrust bear­ing and slave cylin­der were faulty. They re­placed them with­out charge and this dealer now gets all of my busi­ness.

Glenys Rus­sell, email You got lucky — clutches are def­i­nitely a wear-and-tear item. It’s al­ways grat­i­fy­ing to pass on good news.


I have just signed to buy a Mazda6 Sport. I live very close to the reader last week who was com­plain­ing about his low-pro­file tyres and I’d be happy for the dealer to ar­range a swap of

his 19-inch rims and rubber.

Brett Poul­ton, email

I feel a bit like a match­maker.


I have a Mazda6 2015 Tour­ing wagon bought with 17-inch wheels. I want the 19-inch wheels so can you please for­ward my email?

Gary Porter, email

This could be a bid­ding war.


I very much con­cur with the gen­eral view that bat­ter­ies are in­creas­ingly be­ing built to in­fe­rior stan­dards. The bat­ter­ies bought as off-theshelf items from the usual man­u­fac­tur­ers seem to be OK, so per­haps there is a range of bat­ter­ies be­ing sold at a knock­down prices to the mo­tor-ve­hi­cle brands.

Alan Ford, email Car mak­ers al­ways squeeze sup­pli­ers for the best price so per­haps their cost-cut­ting is com­ing home to roost.

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