Ac­cord auto has a re­build point

NT News - Motoring - - SPORT -

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

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