How can I make my fuel dol­lar go fur­ther?

NT News - Motoring - - CAR PROBLEMS? GRAHAM SMITH CAN HELP. EMAIL HIM AT -

Three years ago vi­bra­tions started to oc­cur when mov­ing off up­hill.

The dealer’s so­lu­tion was to flush the gear­box and put in new oil. The ‘‘fix’’ would last for ap­prox­i­mately 10 months be­fore the pro­ce­dure had to be re­peated.

Honda wants me to pay $220 ev­ery time this hap­pens, some­thing that should have been taken care of un­der war­ranty.

What should I do now, tackle the dealer, go to Honda Aus­tralia, or go to Con­sumer Af­fairs?

John Hicks, e-mail.

A: Hope­fully you have kept a record of the times the oil has been changed and the re­sult. I would take that to the dealer in the first in­stance and present a claim to have the gear­box re­placed, as has hap­pened with some other Jazz own­ers.

If that does not get the re­sult you want, then move up the chain, and if nec­es­sary go to the Con­sumer Af­fairs peo­ple as the last re­sort.

Q: I have noted that the speed in­di­cated on my GPS dif­fers by as much as 4km/h from that show­ing on the speedo of my car, and it is al­ways less. I have read this is nor­mal. Which one is cor­rect?

John, e-mail.

A: I can’t say that ei­ther one is ‘‘cor­rect’’ but the speed shown on the GPS is prob­a­bly the more ac­cu­rate one. THE most asked ques­tion

re­ceives is from own­ers want­ing to know how to get more bang for the buck they spend at the petrol pump.

Here are some of the ways that can be done:

Com­pare be­fore you buy. Car mak­ers must re­veal the fuel con­sump- tion of the cars they make and it’s dis­played on a sticker on the cars wind­screen.

But that con­sump­tion is de­rived from a stan­dard test un­der strictly con­trolled lab­o­ra­tory con­di­tions and not real life.

Use it to com­pare one model to an­other. You could ex­pect that the claimed av­er­age con­sump­tion would be close to real life, but the ac­tual fuel con­sump­tion can be af­fected by a myr­iad of things, some of which you can con­trol, but some you can’t.

You can also save by plan­ning your driv­ing route to min­imise the num­ber of traf­fic lights you travel through, and use free­ways, and avoid hills.

When driv­ing use a con­stant throt­tle as much as pos­si­ble, avoid un­nec­es­sary ac­cel­er­a­tions, and an­tic­i­pate traf­fic move­ments ahead.

Con­sider con­vert­ing to LPG or buy­ing a diesel model.

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