Cherokee rattle ‘peculiarity’ woes
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,