Chero­kee rat­tle ‘pe­cu­liar­ity’ woes

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

Q: From new my 2012 Grand Chero­kee Laredo diesel has emit­ted a ter­ri­ble ‘‘clunk/rat­tle’’ noise through the en­tire rearend of the ve­hi­cle when driven over small, sharp un­du­la­tions on the road. I have been un­suc­cess­ful in my at­tempts to have the mat­ter rec­ti­fied through my dealer and Chrysler, and have of­fered to have new shocks fit­ted at my cost, but still no help from Chrysler/Jeep. Their fi­nal de­ci­sion re­ceived to­day is ‘‘it is an op­er­a­tional noise and not a fault and as such is not a war­ranty is­sue and that new shocks will not rec­tify the prob­lem, it is a pe­cu­liar­ity with Self Lev­el­ling Shocks’’. Where to from here to rid a $55,000 ve­hi­cle of this hor­ri­ble rear-end noise? Bill, Tas­ma­nia. A: Yours is not the only re­port we’ve had of this ‘‘clunk’’, so we con­tacted Chrysler to get their in­put. They told us that they ‘‘have had a small num­ber of cus­tomer queries re­gard­ing a clunk­ing noise over some road sur­faces in Jeep Grand Chero­kee mod­els. As a re­sult, ear­lier this month a ser­vice ac­tion was is­sued to ad­dress this cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion con­cern re­lat­ing to 2011-2013 Grand Chero­kees (Mod­els with­out Quadra Lift sus­pen­sion)’’. Chrysler’s fix in­volves the re­place­ment of the rear shock ab­sorbers, which is fully cov­ered un­der war­ranty, and own­ers are en­cour­aged to con­tact their lo­cal Jeep dealer to have the fix car­ried out on their cars.

Q: When I re­cently pur­chased my Toy­ota Atara S the ser­vice depart­ment ad­vised that the $130 capped ser­vice uses min­eral oil and that it was bet­ter to up­grade to $179 so they will use syn­thetic oil. Can you please tell me any ad­van­tage us­ing syn­thetic oil? Kumar, email. A: We asked Toy­ota for its rec­om­men­da­tion and the re­ply we got was that ‘‘TMCA doesn’t spec­ify that a par­tic­u­lar type of oil be used, such as min­eral, or syn­thetic oil, al­though we do pro­vide spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the ac­tual vis­cos­ity, as stated in the ve­hi­cle owner’s man­ual.’’ They went on to say that syn­thetic oil is a bet­ter qual­ity oil, which is why it is more ex­pen­sive and gen­er­ally rec­om­mended by deal­ers. The bot­tom line is that the min­eral oil you would be get­ting un­der the $130 capped ser­vice is fine as long as it meets the vis­cos­ity spec­i­fi­ca­tions listed in your owner’s man­ual. Syn­thetic oil might be a bet­ter oil as Toy­ota says, but it also con­trib­utes more to the dealer’s cof­fers.

Q: Ref­er­ence your comment about fit­ting af­ter­mar­ket lights to the Hyundai i30, only kits that com­ply with the rel­e­vant ADR’s re­gard­ing au­toalign­ment and lens wash­ing should be in­stalled. I should know. I in­stalled af­ter­mar­ket HID’s on my 2005 Suzuki Swift and was de­fected within two weeks. Richard Gor­don, email. A: Yes, any­one con­tem­plat­ing fit­ting af­ter­mar­ket head­lamps to their Hyundai i30 should en­sure they com­ply with the rel­e­vant laws.

Q: Re­cently my son’s Fal- con XR6 had a ma­jor me­chan­i­cal fail­ure, the ra­di­a­tor/engine trans­mis­sion cooler split with cat­a­strophic re­sults. Most ve­hi­cles have a 100,000 km war­ranty and as such Tony’s car should be cov­ered for such ob­vi­ous flaws that are part of the man­u­fac­tur­ing process, es­pe­cially as it had only clocked up 88,696km. But this is not the case, it would seem, with my son’s rel­a­tively new car. We have been dis­cussing this fault with Ford as we be­lieve it is a clear pro­duc­tion fault and our ad­vice from our me­chanic and the me­chan­ics at the Ford dealer is that this fault is ex­tremely com­mon in this make/ model car. As this is ob­vi­ously a man­u­fac­tur­ing fault we be­lieve it should be cov­ered in stan­dard war­ranty, or in a re­call sit­u­a­tion. We are of the be­lief that the Ford war­ranty should cover the ex­penses that we have in­curred – $3950. Can you give me some ad­vice as to how to pro­ceed with this mat­ter,

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