Long-haul ser­vice


I am 57 and have been driv­ing en­thu­si­as­ti­cally all over the world. I am not in­ter­ested in a “safe” car as I find only un­safe driv­ers have them. I like to drive the car, so the more cor­ners and up-and-down hills the bet­ter. I got my 2000 VT Com­modore Ex­ec­u­tive 3.6-litre when near-new and it has done 250,000km. It goes quite well, with enough power to have some fun. I’m in a quandary whether to keep the old girl or move to a newer car. I used to drive a man­ual but now am quite happy with an auto that I can at times punt along but also take it easy on long drives. I don’t need a V8 as you never use their full power and they are quite thirsty. I will be tow­ing and launch­ing a small boat (about 700kg) and haul­ing other small trailer loads. Gor­don Gapes, email The easy and ob­vi­ous choice is the lat­est Com­modore SV6 (Black edi­tion pic­tured). It gets The Tick, and will do great ser­vice long af­ter the Holden fac­tory closes next year.


I wish to buy a new Holden Com­modore SV6 be­fore it’s all over. A lo­cal me­chanic told me the cur­rent cars had prob­lems, in­clud­ing is­sues with the tim­ing chains in the V6. He also said the elec­tric power steer­ing was prone to prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly if a wheel was knocked against the kerb when park­ing. I am won­der­ing if you have heard any­thing of these is­sues? Tony Stone, email Holden spokesman Sean Pop­pitt says: “The his­tory of a small num­ber of tim­ing chain is­sues on cer­tain V6 mod­els dates back to early VE Com­modores. On­go­ing hard­ware and soft­ware im­prove­ments mean since the launch of VF this is a non­is­sue, and for ear­lier mod­els a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to this is­sue re­lated to poor ser­vice his­tory/oil qual­ity. We’re also un­aware of any steer­ing is­sues re­lated to ‘knock­ing’ the wheels against a kerb.”


Re non-con­vex glass in car mir­rors, I think I have a so­lu­tion. Keith Read is the mo­bile ex­pert with mir­ror con­ver­sions. When I con­tacted him he said he was happy to meet your reader half­way from his base in Wan­tirna, Vic­to­ria. Keith Read is on 0407 027 330. Colin Bock­man, email Re­sult!


I had the mir­ror on my Kia re­placed last week. I can rec­om­mend the car mir­ror man (www.carmir­rors.net.au or 0488 898 788) and they will come to your home or work­place to fit the glass you want. Mau­rice Sil­ver­man, email And again.


I can’t lo­cate the build date on my Volk­swa­gen T6 Trans­porter. I have spo­ken to a num­ber of peo­ple at the sell­ing dealer, in­clud­ing the dealer prin­ci­pal, who keep point­ing me to the com­pli­ance plate. I have con­tacted Volk­swa­gen Syd­ney three times, again be­ing re­ferred to the com­pli­ance plate. What is the le­gal re­quire­ment for the build date? David Hask­ins, email Volk­swa­gen Aus­tralia spokesman Paul Pot­tinger says: “There is no le­gal re­quire­ment in Aus­tralia to fit build plates to com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, al­though our Caddy Van is an ex­cep­tion, so you won’t find one on the Trans­porter. Nonethe­less, from the owner’s VIN we know the build date was 12.04.2016.”


I’ve been a sports car fan for 50-plus year and loved your ar­ti­cle about the four gen­er­a­tions of the Mazda MX-5. Back then my favourites were MGs and Tri­umph TRs, but I missed my chance to buy one even though the pas­sion re­mains. When I first saw, and read about, the newly re­leased MX-5 in 1989 I was greatly im­pressed. It had the po­ten­tial to be­come the “spir­i­tual” suc­ces­sor of those won­der­ful English road­sters of the 1960s. Over the years

I’ve fol­lowed the progress of suc­ces­sive mod­els, all with ex­tra fea­tures and up­grades, while stay­ing true to the orig­i­nal con­cept. But the one that re­ally grabbed my at­ten­tion is the cur­rent ND 1.5-litre, not only be­cause of its fea­tures but also the start­ing price of $31,990. Jim Round, email And it’s not over yet. I have been driv­ing the MX-5 RF hard­top in Ja­pan and it’s an im­pres­sive ad­di­tion to the fam­ily.


My 2005 R51 diesel Pathfinder has just had piston No. 3 de­velop a hole at 180,000km so I need to find a re­place­ment. I tow a car­a­van, ski boat and do oc­ca­sional four-wheel driv­ing. I also use four­wheel drive to launch the boat from the river bank. I would love to re­place it with some­thing new, but think some­thing sec­ond-hand might be more af­ford­able. I want an auto diesel only a few years old, but at this stage I have no idea what to start look­ing for. The bud­get is about $35,000. I could get a loan and go higher but that would hurt. Mark Adam­son I’d go for a sec­ond-hand Mit­subishi Pa­jero. It will do all your jobs and will be bet­ter value and newer than you would get in a Toy­ota Prado at the same price.


My Range Rover Evoque is booked in this week to have the en­tire panoramic roof re­placed, so thanks to Cars­guide. Land Rover weren’t in­ter­ested, ap­par­ently. How­ever Vic­to­rian deal­er­ship ULR Malvern will make the nec­es­sary re­pairs as a ges­ture of good­will. Huge thanks to David Genca at ULR Malvern. He has fol­lowed up ev­ery re­quest and I’m very happy to rec­om­mend his deal­er­ship. Jenny Berry, email Great news. I’m sure ULR will re­quest some sort of war­ranty sup­port from Jaguar Land Rover.


We have sought your ad­vice be­fore, about a new car, and were happy with the out­come. We are look­ing at a Volk­swa­gen Tiguan or Sub­aru Out­back. We vir­tu­ally never go off-road and would also like to know which en­gine and drive sys­tem is best. We play golf and some­times have two bags and two bug­gies in the boot. Jo­ce­lyn Stone, email Both will do the job and both get The Tick. The Out­back is slightly more like a car to drive where the Tiguan is def­i­nitely an SUV. A test drive will point you in the right di­rec­tion. I’d get a front-wheel drive Tiguan with the ba­sic en­gine but the full safety pack.


Re high in­ten­sity dis­charge lamps. They are new to the au­to­mo­tive world but have been in use for decades in com­mer­cial light­ing ap­pli­ca­tions, such as fac­to­ries, ware­houses and flood­light­ing. HID globes will change colour over time. This is quite nor­mal and is in­dica­tive of the blend of gases within the lamp age­ing. An­other thing that may not please own­ers is that the light out­put re­duces grad­u­ally over time, just like a flu­o­res­cent tube. But it is un­usual for them to blow with­out warn­ing, as with con­ven­tional 12-volt globes. I think you will find LEDs will re­place HID, as LED out­puts are now ex­ceed­ing that of HID and con­ven­tional lamps. LEDs, as a “lamp” are much smaller and cheaper to pro­duce than HID. In short, get used to dis­coloura­tion as noth­ing can be done about it and it is quite nor­mal. Giles Tweedie, email Thanks for an ex­cel­lent wrap-up.

VW Trans­porter T6

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