TROU­BLE AND SQUEAK

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page - Iain Curry

I have a Toy­ota 86 GTS Lim­ited Edi­tion with Brembo brakes that squeal when ap­plied at low speed, hot or cold. The prob­lem has been ev­i­dent since I bought it new and it has done only 9000km. The dealer says they’ll charge me for an in­spec­tion, as brakes aren’t cov­ered un­der warranty.

Ge­off Ford, email

It may be ac­cept­able for cold brakes on rac­ing cars to squeal but not on a new road car. The prob­lem’s been there since new, it’s not gone away and the dealer must take some re­spon­si­bil­ity. A Toy­ota Aus­tralia spokesman (whose own 86 GTS Lim­ited Edi­tion doesn’t suf­fer brake squeal) says your dealer should look at the prob­lem, then per­haps ma­chine the ro­tors or re-bed the brake pads to fix. If they won’t do this free, I’d sug­gest tak­ing your busi­ness and loy­alty to an­other Toy­ota dealer.

SWITCHED ON

I drive a 2017 Toy­ota Prado GXL and am won­der­ing whether Toy­ota can retro­fit a switch to ac­ti­vate the burn cy­cle for the diesel par­tic­u­late filer?

Rod Stub­bings, email

There’s much in­ter­est in retrofitting a DPF switch and there’s also good news. Toy­ota says a dealer can retro­fit such a switch but “only on a case-by­case ba­sis to en­sure the switch will be ben­e­fi­cial and that there are no other un­der­ly­ing is­sues”.

UP THE RAT­INGS

I’ve just bought a brand new Hyundai i30SR and see the rec­om­mended fuel is stan­dard 91 RON. But Hyundai staff sug­gested I use 95 RON, 98 RON or even a blend of the three dur­ing the year. What would you use if it were your car? Colin Forsyth, via email

Crack­ing car, the i30SR, and its 1.6-litre turbo en­gine will run fine on 91RON. It will en­joy 95 or 98 more with their lower sul­phur con­tent, de­ter­gents to help it run smoother and, pos­si­bly, im­prove fuel econ­omy and per­for­mance. Mix­ing all three seems rea­son­able ad­vice to me. If it were my car? I’d use 95 mainly, 98 be­fore a blast in the hills, but never E10.

OIL DIS­AGREE

Re pre­mium diesel and en­gine per­for­mance. Pre­mium gen­er­ally has a higher cetane rat­ing (its com­bus­tion and com­pres­sion in­di­ca­tor) than stan­dard diesel. Our Audi A6 3.0-litre diesel runs smoother and, I be­lieve, ex­hibits more power us­ing BP Ul­ti­mate with cetane rat­ing of 53. I’ve found other diesel rated at 46 to 53. It would be use­ful if ser­vice sta­tions de­clared cetane rat­ings of their diesel fuel. Glen Mickan, email

I’ve tried all brands of diesel and found no ev­i­dence of im­proved per­for­mance from any of them — but have seen a dif­fer­ence in fuel econ­omy. A spe­cial­ist diesel work­shop told me you don’t need pre­mium diesel for clean­ing and in­stead rec­om­mended Flash Lube each time I fill up. At an ex­tra 20c-30c per tank, the cost is neg­li­gi­ble.

Ross Gard­ner, email

Us­ing pre­mium fuel in my Mercedes-Benz E270 CDI has stopped it blow­ing smoke and given bet­ter econ­omy on the high­way. Graeme Baird, email

Mixed re­views on pre­mium diesel be­ing worth it. A few diesel ex­perts I spoke to sug­gest you’ll see no per­for­mance im­prove­ment but the pre­mium’s de­ter­gents and cor­ro­sion in­hibitors make it worth­while to put in your tank oc­ca­sion­ally. Some diesel own­ers re­port gains in per­for­mance, econ­omy and smooth­ness, so if it works for you …

TRANS­MIS­SION RE­VAMP

I’m in the mar­ket for a new SUV as my older legs need some­thing higher off the ground. I’m con­sid­er­ing a Mazda CX-5, Toy­ota RAV4 or Subaru Forester but I’m con­cerned about con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sions. My re­search sug­gests some own­ers don’t like them and they’re ex­pen­sive to re­pair. What are the pros and cons?

Don Gam­ble, email

CVTs are typ­i­cally lighter, cheaper to pro­duce and help im­prove fuel ef­fi­ciency. Neg­a­tively they can be whiny, un­sat­is­fy­ing to drive and yes, very costly when they go wrong. I reckon Subaru’s CVT is a good thing, at its best work­ing qui­etly and smoothly so many driv­ers love them. For me, a con­ven­tional torque con­verter auto still trumps all CVTs. Buy the very good Mazda CX-5 if you agree but test its CVTe­quipped ri­vals to form your own opin­ion.

RACK AND RUIN

I own a 140,000km 2014 Holden Com­modore Sportswagon that is los­ing power steer­ing. The dealer told me it needs a new steer­ing rack at a cost of $2352. My re­search shows this to be an on­go­ing con­cern with this model. Should it be cov­ered un­der warranty? I thought GM cars were su­pe­rior and I told my dealer I ex­pect a lot from a qual­ity car.

Paul Rankovic, email

Your car is out of warranty, so it’s frus­trat­ing when such an ex­pen­sive fix is needed af­ter just four years. If you’ve ser­viced the car with Holden its whole life, re­mind your dealer you’re a loyal cus­tomer and ask them to con­sider cov­er­ing labour costs if you pay for parts. If you feel the steer­ing rack has failed in ad­vance of rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tion, and don’t con­sider your Holden dealer’s re­sponse ad­e­quate, you could take your is­sue to the ACCC.

“There’s not enough de­mand for a right-hand drive At­las — it’s petrol-only so South Africa won’t have it, and it’s too big for the UK — but we’d take it to­mor­row. A right-hand drive prospect is re­mote but we never give up hope.” From sib­ling brand Skoda, the seven-seat Ko­diaq is a de­cent al­ter­na­tive, even if it’s not quite as big and im­pos­ing and Amer­i­can-y as the At­las, plus there are petrol and diesel op­tions.

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