Price is not quite right

Herald Sun - Motoring - - ROADSIDE ASSIST -

I may be mis­taken but aren’t all car deal­ers sup­posed to put drive-away prices on their ads? Each time I read your Cars­guide they say from $27,000, so af­ter ex­tras it’s $33,000 driveaway, not $27,000. Why can’t all deal­ers be told they have to only put drive-away prices, then I know if I can af­ford the car or whether I just can turn the page be­cause the price is just not in my ball­park.

Paul, email

We al­ways use rec­om­mended re­tail prices in Cars­guide be­cause it’s a na­tional pub­li­ca­tion and on-road prices vary de­pend­ing on where you live. In the case of deal­ers, they are al­ways go­ing to ad­ver­tise the cheap­est pos­si­ble price so drive-away deals are usu­ally for base­model man­ual cars when most peo­ple add at least an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and that bumps the price up.

EV­I­DENCE IS IN

Re­gard­ing the cli­mate change dis­cus­sion, cli­mate sci­ence it the most com­pre­hen­sively re­searched and rig­or­ously peer re­viewed sci­ence in the his­tory of hu­man­ity. The ev­i­dence that an­thro­pogenic global warm­ing is oc­cur­ring is over­whelm­ing and un­equiv­o­cal. The cli­mate change de­nial in­dus­try is not in­ter­ested in facts. It ex­ists pri­mar­ily to cre­ate con­fu­sion and de­lay ac­tion. In re­sponse to Mr Stock­man: firstly, 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded, break­ing the record set by 2015, which broke the record set in 2014; se­condly, “global warm­ing” and “cli­mate change” are terms with dif­fer­ent mean­ings, although they are of­ten used in­ter­change­ably be­cause they share the same ori­gin. Hu­man ac­tiv­ity causes global warm­ing, which causes cli­mate change. Sci­ence gives us the facts. Ide­ol­ogy and vested in­ter­ests give us the con­tro­versy. You may as well ar­gue about the ex­is­tence of grav­ity. He­len Moss, email

SAVE US THE HOT AIR

Please don’t start get­ting into the en­vi­ron­ment thing as you are a mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ist, not a sci­en­tist. I would bet 99 per cent of Cars­guide read­ers are not ei­ther and, like me, want to read about the cars you test drive and com­ment on. Peo­ple’s opin­ions on global warm­ing and cli­mate change are only opin­ions. Most don’t know what they are talk­ing about. Please write about cars, cars, cars as your opin­ions on the en­vi­ron­ment are im­ma­te­rial as are other peo­ple’s. Barry Ten­nant, email

The en­vi­ron­men­tal de­bate be­tween read­ers was trig­gered by a story on the BMW i3, an elec­tric car made in re­sponse to grow­ing com­mu­nity con­cerns about the ef­fect of ve­hi­cle emis­sions on the en­vi­ron­ment. Since elec­tric cars are com­ing and pro­vid­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly en­ergy, it’s a topic that needs to be dis­cussed in Cars­guide.

GO SLOW IF YOU TOW

I have had two Jeeps now, tow a 3-tonne car­a­van, and the lat­est model’s tem­per­a­ture for both trans­mis­sion and oil runs 8-10 de­grees higher than the older model and I was told it is very much nor­mal. Oil runs to 120-122 de­grees up a big hill with out­side tem­per­a­tures around 32 de­grees, over the top and some three kilo­me­tres later the gauge is back around 105 de­grees. Nor­mal run­ning is 100 with trans­mis­sion around 90. When go­ing up­hill with the tur­bod­iesel if you fiercely ac­cel­er­ate the gauge will go off the scale, how­ever if you just keep revs be­tween 2000 to 2500 with slight ac­cel­er­a­tion it al­lows the very clever sys­tems to do their job in chang­ing down or up gears to main­tain the abovenor­mal tem­per­a­tures. I have never had a prob­lem and the other nee­dle tem­per­a­ture gauge on the dash has not gone be­yond three quar­ters and well within safe range. Stay­ing within the rev range is the an­swer, not giv­ing it a boot full, and you will find the only prob­lem is you may have to back off as some­one in front of you is slower. Gavin Knight, email

HEATED DE­BATE

Re­gard­ing Ian Dunn’s over­heat­ing Jeep, this is in­dica­tive of an un­der­sized cool­ing sys­tem that can­not re­move the heat gen­er­ated by tow­ing heavy loads/ up­hill/hot days, when the heat gen­er­ated is the great­est. As long as the coolant stays in the ra­di­a­tor the en­gine might sur­vive but it’s not a good thing as this will risk a fail­ure of the hoses and ra­di­a­tor be­cause of the ex­treme pres­sures be­ing cre­ated. The maker’s claims that it’s not a worry to see the gauge al­most off the dial is BS. Modern, wellengi­neered cars never run that hot in any con­di­tions. Ian’s Jeep is ba­si­cally un­fix­able short of a new heavy-duty ra­di­a­tor, cus­tom-made to fit the space avail­able. Also some peo­ple don’t know that eth­yl­ene gly­col coolant is flammable and if this sprays on the hot ex­haust it will start an un­der­bon­net fire that be­comes self feed­ing. Many burnt-out new cars are due to coolant leaks, not petrol as you might think.

Peter Kon­ing, email

Good tip on the coolant and on the ra­di­a­tor front I’ll send him de­tails for PWR on the Gold Coast, which has the best radiators I know, in­clud­ing for all but two of the teams in For­mula One.

SER­VICE QUERY

I have read your com­ments about deal­ers try­ing to do more than re­quired in the ser­vice man­ual. On a re­cent ser­vice for my Benz C200, they sug­gested I pay more for air fil­ters, spark plugs, brake fluid re­place­ment and a trans­mis­sion ser­vice. The trans­mis­sion would cost $690 and I de­clined. How do I know when is the proper time to do any of these items?

Barry Peake, email

Plugs and fil­ters and brake fluid are nor­mal ser­vice items and will be listed in the owner’s man­ual. It’s the same for the trans­mis­sion, which will have a proper ser­vice life that you should hon­our to keep the car run­ning prop­erly.

AS GOOD AS NEW

I des­per­ately need ad­vice about the best au­to­matic SUV to buy. I’m look­ing at the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tuc­son or maybe the Kia Sportage, but I only have a bud­get of about $30,000. I’m think­ing I should per­haps get a used car so I’m not lim­ited to the en­try mod­els? I’d like sat­nav, leather seats and hands-free. Rear cam­era would be help­ful. Gil­lian Stone, email

You should eas­ily get a lowk­ilo­me­tre Kia Sportage with plenty of the orig­i­nal war­ranty cov­er­age and it would be my choice for a classy ve­hi­cle that’s also great value.

HOLD THAT THOUGHT

I have owned a 2003 Subaru Out­back H6 since 2005 which is com­ing up to 90,000 kilo­me­tres and is still per­fect for me. I used to have a Nis­san Pa­trol but pre­fer to sit lower to the road. I was won­der­ing if there are any is­sues I should be con­cerned about af­ter 100,000km, although I have had no ma­jor is­sues with it. Also, are there any crack­ing used buys along the lines of this car? It must be per­ma­nent 4WD and fairly low to the ground. Ed­sel Fal­coner, email

Your Subaru should have plenty of life in it, pro­vided you keep up with the sched­uled main­te­nance. I’m not a fan of the H6 en­gine but Subaru does great cars for your needs so, if you’re not in a rush, keep an eye on the Cars­guide and sites for a deal that suits on a re­place­ment.

Hot top­ics: Our story on BMW’s i3 gen­er­ated heated ex­changes on cli­mate change; while the run­ning tem­per­a­ture of Jeeps was a talk­ing point

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