Apply the brakes on stop-start
I recently bought a new Mazda3 Maxx, with the accursed engine stop-start. All my attempts to get it permanently disabled have proved fruitless. Mazda, NRMA, auto electrician and mechanic all agreed there had been lots of inquiries but no solutions. Google produced one IT expert who fooled the computer into setting extremely hot or cold outside temp, which disables the beast, as you don’t want your aircon or heater cutting in and out in stop-start traffic. Does anyone know how to fix it? Barry Brain, email This is designed to save money on fuel, as well as helping the environment. The best advice from Mazda Australia is just to turn the function off each time you start the car. From my experience with stop-start in various cars, if you ease the brake pressure just a fraction after stopping, the engine will either keep running or restart.
WHY NOT HYDROGEN
Why don’t car makers put more effort into perfecting a hydrogen-powered car rather than the batteryelectric version? The infrastructure would be much cheaper and easier with hydrogen as I understand they only need to be filled with water. Bill Whitbourne, email It’s not nearly so simple, as hydrogen cars need to be filled with hydrogen to run their on-board fuel cell to make electricity to drive the vehicle. There is zero hydrogen infrastructure in Australia and it’s difficult and costly to produce the gas. Battery cars can plug into the existing grid. Having said that, Toyota and Hyundai are pressing ahead with the technology.
I am traumatised by my experience with my Audi A3. First a faulty alternator was replaced after the first year, second the battery died after 2½ years and was replaced in March this year. Then I had a burning smell coming from the engine every time I turned the car off. Now something has started a fire (pictured). I’ve reported it to Audi Australia and my insurance company. Sue Ma, email Audi spokeswoman Anna Burgdorf says: “An incident of this nature is a very rare event and we acknowledge that it must have been very distressing for Mrs Ma. The investigation into the cause of the incident will be led by Mrs Ma’s insurance company and our technical department will provide information and assistance to the investigators, should they require us to. We treat all customer topics seriously. The safety and security of all customers remains our top priority.”
My wife and I did some online research for an SUV. It seems these days that most manufacturers’ websites require you to at least put in your email address so that you can download a brochure, but Jeep required full name, phone number and postcode. I was not entirely happy with putting in all of my personal information. The next morning the phone starts ringing. Then an email arrives from a Jeep salesman wanting to organise a test drive. Later in the day another email tells me they have a really good drive-away deal. Why do they treat people like this? No Jeep for me. Andrew Stevens, email Fiat Chrysler Australia spokesman Glenn Butler says: “Prior to September a customer would visit jeep.com.au and supply all personal details and a brochure would be mailed; a few days after mailing the dealer would follow up with a courtesy call. From October 7, customers can download the brochure from our website and select to receive the brochure by email. Customer details are still passed to the dealer so that they can follow up and ensure customer expectations are being met.”
TAKE A BAD TURN
The influx of people from Victoria into the NT has brought a huge rise in people doing illegal U-turns at traffic lights. The locals see it, think it’s OK — and now they do it. The practice is illegal in all Australian jurisdictions except Victoria. See Australian Road Rule No.40. Ross Finocchiaro, email
Mazda3: Start the car, turn off the fuel saver