Accord auto has a rebuild point
Q: I’m looking at used Honda Accords, but after speaking to a couple of auto transmission specialists I’m a bit wary. They tell me that it is common for the softer bands that Honda uses to wear more quickly and clog the oil filter, resulting in the need for a full overhaul of the gearbox, costing thousands. Honda Australia denies any issue. Is this really a problem and is it for both the 4-cylinder and V6 models? Nina, e-mail. A: Word from the industry is that Honda autos typically need rebuilding after 90,000-100,000 km. They just wear out.
Q: After a recent 45,000km service on our 2010 2.0-litre Audi A4 at our local Audi dealership we asked how much the next service would cost. The service adviser stated that it would depend on whether the auto required servicing or not. It would be $800 for a standard service or $1600 if the auto required servicing at the
Honda autos typically need rebuilding after 90,000-100,000 km. They just wear out
same time. Is it not fair to assume that servicing is all scheduled these days and a dealer would know if it’s required or not, and given that most autos are sealed units is it something that should be carried out? Also does the price seem fair and reasonable? Tony Kyriazis, Rowville, Vic. A: It’s not part of the scheduled servicing and I would suggest the dealer is trying to sell you something extra. Auto gearboxes are generally ‘‘sealed’’ for life, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be serviced. The transmission fluid can still be drained and replaced like any auto, and depending on the type of use they get, servicing can be a wise move. The $800 for a major service sounds about right, $800 extra for the transmission sounds like an oil change rather than a full service. The transmission fluid alone would cost around $500. I would question the dealer on the need for the service.
Q: I’ve been told the camtiming belt on my 2005 2.0-litre Subaru Liberty, which has done 100,000 km needs to be changed at the next service. I’ve also been told I need to change the water pump as it’s a sealed unit, and if not done it could cause big trouble later on. I’ve been quoted about $400 for the water pump, is this correct? BP, Mt Gambier, SA. A: It’s common practice to replace the water pump at the belt change, and not just on Subarus, as the water pump is usually found to be leaking when they take off the front cover and belt etc. By replacing it when the engine is pulled down for the belt change you won’t have to do it again when the water pump finally fails. If you’re not sure ask to see evidence the water pump needs replacing before the mechanic goes ahead and fits a new one. The $400 is about right if it has to be replaced.
Q: When I took my 2011 Hyundai IX35 in for its 45,000 km service I was told that the brakes had only 1-1.5 mm left on the pads and the discs had a lip and that they could not guarantee they could machine and leave sufficient disc thickness. This makes the car just about unroadworthy. The dealer sent a