Leans to the left

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

Has Kia had trou­ble with steer­ing align­ment on the new Sorento? I bought one last year and from day one it has pulled to the left. At the ser­vice depart­ment I was quoted $65 for a wheel align­ment check, which I thought was wrong, so I took it to my lo­cal me­chanic who checked it and said it was OK. When the 15,000km ser­vice came up I asked to have the align­ment checked be­cause it felt worse. The re­sponse was that it goes straight on flat roads but will fol­low the road cam­ber. Fed up, I took it to a spe­cial­ist and the di­ag­no­sis was the caster bushes need to be changed. Is Kia at fault and should they fix it? Other than the steer­ing prob­lem the car has been great and I have even got down to 6.8L/100km. Eric Sum­mers, email You are not the first to com­plain about a Kia pulling to the left, in­clud­ing one of my big bosses. I’m told it’s im­por­tant to also check the rear wheel align­ment. Kia Aus­tralia spokesman Kevin Hep­worth says: “There is no iden­ti­fied sys­temic prob­lem with Sorento steer­ing pulling to the left. If an owner feels their car is not per­form­ing to spec­i­fi­ca­tion they should, in the first in­stance, take the car to a cer­ti­fied Kia ser­vice cen­tre to have the wheel align­ment spec­i­fi­ca­tions checked. It is im­por­tant in at­tempt­ing to ad­just the wheel align­ment those spec­i­fi­ca­tions aren’t ex­ceeded.”


I own a Hyundai i20 and would love to find a sun­screen that fits over the front wind­screen. My wife and I, be­ing el­derly, find the sun shin­ing through the front wind­screen in sum­mer, very hot, and ex­tremely glary. So I won­dered if you might pos­si­bly have an idea of any­one at all who makes, or might be in­ter­ested in mak­ing, a sun­screen. Mike Pond, email My best sug­ges­tion would be to find a win­dow tinting com­pany to put a strip across the top of the screen to cut the glare. It needs to be done care­fully to en­sure there is no le­gal com­pli­ca­tion or ob­scur­ing the view. No one makes the old-school ex­ter­nal vi­sors as they are noisy and ad­versely af­fect fuel economy.


Barry Wood wrote to you re­cently about the peel­ing on the steer­ing wheel of his Hyundai iX35. I was won­der­ing if his is­sue had been re­solved and, if so, who can I speak to as I am also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dif­fi­cul­ties with my 2010 iX35 and my lo­cal Hyundai dealer. I vis­ited my dealer four weeks ago, had pho­to­graphs taken and I was told they would con­tact head of­fice and call us back. We vis­ited the dealer again last week but there was no record of our pre­vi­ous visit or any in­di­ca­tion our de­tails had been sent to head of­fice. I find it strange they didn’t ac­knowl­edge there is an is­sue, par­tic­u­larly as there is a Hyundai ser­vice bul­letin dated Au­gust 30, 2013 out­lin­ing the is­sue and how to re­pair the prob­lem. Fran­cois Le Miere, email The peel­ing of the wheel cover­ing is a known prob­lem on some Hyundai mod­els and Mr Wood got a re­place­ment wheel af­ter I con­tacted Hyundai. We will just by­pass the dealer, who prob­a­bly de­serves a kick, and I will do the same for you with Hyundai head­quar­ters.


Since 1993, be­fore tak­ing de­liv­ery of each new car, I have ne­go­ti­ated with a lo­cal tyre re­tailer to trade-in the orig­i­nal new tyres on the day of de­liv­ery for qual­ity tyres of my choice. The tyre re­tailer cred­its me the trade price for the orig­i­nals and I pay the dif­fer­ence. The ben­e­fits of im­proved ride qual­ity, grip and noise re­duc­tion are well worth the ex­tra cost. When my el­dest daugh­ter was due for new tyres, I went on­line to find suit­able re­place­ments. She had Yoko­hama BluEarth AE10 fit­ted and has found the new tyres are no­tice­ably qui­eter and smoother rid­ing than the orig­i­nal Bridgestone Poten­zas. Les Lyons, email That’s a smart tip, as lots of Cars­guide read­ers are rais­ing con­cerns about their tyres.


It is great you help to hold the man­u­fac­tur­ers and deal­ers to ac­count for their myr­iad short­com­ings but I have a par­tic­u­lar frus­tra­tion with one as­pect of your re­sponses. You seem, quite rightly, to have no reser­va­tions in point­ing out the makes and mod­els with faults and is­sues but you never nom­i­nate the deal­ers who seem to be at the root

of most reader com­plaints. I suf­fered at the hands of a dealer who re­peat­edly called me dur­ing ser­vices to point out ex­tra work I should have done above and be­yond the spec­i­fied items. Usu­ally, these items were de­scribed as hav­ing some safety im­pli­ca­tions, and as such I should just agree to hav­ing them done. I be­lieve many read­ers would agree nam­ing and sham­ing of­fend­ers would lead to im­prove­ments in treat­ment of cus­tomers. Graeme Plumb, email It can be dif­fi­cult at times to iden­tify the ex­act source of a break­down in the cus­tomer sup­port and it can also be a per­son­al­ity clash with the owner. But your point is valid and, when I’m on solid ground, I’ll give it a go.


My par­ents are look­ing for a used car to re­place our VW Mul­ti­van, which has been very unreliable. We are look­ing for some­thing with five seats, good rear legroom as we are quite tall, the abil­ity to tow a box trailer up to 1000kg and, above all, that’s re­li­able. I have a short­list but just wanted a sec­ond opin­ion on the Nis­san Dualis, Suzuki Grand Vi­tara, Honda CR-V and Mit­subishi ASX. Scott Jes­sett, email From my ex­pe­ri­ence, the Grand Vi­tara has the best rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity and for you it ticks the boxes. Next would be the Honda CR-V, then the Dualis with the ASX def­i­nitely last.


Call me cyn­i­cal but since my ini­tial email to you and sev­eral other reader com­plaints about poor noise sup­pres­sion with their Maz­da3s, Cars­guide has writ­ten two glow­ing re­ports on Maz­da3s. Has Mazda PR got to you? We sold our 2016 Mazda Astina as chang­ing tyres was not go­ing to fix our road noise prob­lems. A Mazda tech­ni­cal group staffer said the new up­grade of the Mazda3 Astina was only cos­metic with no im­prove­ment to stem­ming noise/vi­bra­tion/ harsh­ness but in your re­cent ar­ti­cle on the new Astina you em­pha­sised a num­ber of times the car had much im­proved NVH. Whom should I be­lieve? John Swal­well, email We work for the read­ers, not a car com­pany, which is why you have seen the Mazda3 road noise com­plaints. There are sig­nif­i­cant changes to the 2016 Mazda3’s sus­pen­sion, in­clud­ing im­prove­ments to the noise paths in the rear. The Astina SP25 I first drove is much qui­eter but I ad­mit a Neo test car is not as quiet but still bet­ter than be­fore. I’m now in touch with Ja­pan to dis­cuss the noise dif­fer­ence be­tween the Dunlop SP Sport­maxx TT 215x45 R18 tyres on the SP25 and the Toyo Na­noen­ergy R38 205x60 R16 on the Neo. Re road noise in your reader’s 2014 Mazda3 and re­plac­ing his Toyo Na­noen­ergy tyres. I have had a 2004 Liberty GT from new and have re­cently fit­ted a new set of Na­noen­ergy tyres. These are the qui­etest and soft­est rid­ing tyres I have had on my car. I doubt he will find any tyres very much qui­eter. My wife’s 2005 Mazda3, which suf­fers from too much road noise trans­mit­ted to the cabin, is due for new tyres soon at 48,000km and I will be fit­ting Toyos, un­less some­one can sug­gest a qui­eter tyre. Jim Ham­mond, email That’s an­other one. I had a 2008 Mazda3 for seven years from new and found its tyre noise to be very loud. At every ser­vice at Mazda deal­ers I com­plained, to be met with shrugged shoul­ders and in­dif­fer­ence, so I even­tu­ally came to ac­cept it was mainly poor noise iso­la­tion. Imag­ine my sur­prise when, at 35,000km, I changed from the orig­i­nal Yoko­hama Aspecs to Kumho KH17 and found them much qui­eter in the first 50 me­tres. This is less a tyre rec­om­men­da­tion than an in­dict­ment of Mazda. They must have re­alised this when they se­lected a noisy but no doubt cheaper tyre, then stonewalled thou­sands of cus­tomers over the years. Richard Keyte, email And an­other.

Kia Sorento, far left; Mazda3 Astina.

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