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.
ALL IN THE TIMING
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!
GLASS ACT II
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.
THAT’S A DATE
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.
PICK THE PAJERO
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.
PAR FOR THE COURSE
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