Don’t take no for an­swer on noise

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

Q: My 2009 Toy­ota RAV4 V6 auto has a whine in the trans­mis­sion fi­nal drive that is ev­i­dent be­tween 40 and 100 km/h, but loud­est at lower speeds and un­der light load. Two auto trans spe­cial­ists, a Toy­ota dealer mas­ter tech­ni­cian and three in­de­pen­dent au­to­mo­tive tech­ni­cians have di­ag­nosed it and all con­sider it un­ac­cept­able. A Toy­ota Aus­tralia rep­re­sen­ta­tive who drove the ve­hi­cle stated that the whine was a nor­mal oper­a­tional noise, even though other qual­i­fied peo­ple rec­om­mended that the source of the noise should be rec­ti­fied. Toy­ota stands be­hind its rep­re­sen­ta­tive and will not do any­thing. Do you have any sug­ges­tions? Chris Brown, e-mail. A: Get all of the peo­ple who say it should be rec­ti­fied to give you their views in writ­ing and re­quest a meet­ing with Toy­ota through the dealer and sub­mit your claim di­rectly. It would seem on the sur­face that you have a good claim. Should that fail to achieve a sat­is­fac­tory out­come your only course of ac­tion would be to seek a so­lu­tion through con­sumer af­fairs.

Q: I re­cently pur­chased a six-cylin­der Fal­con XR6 ute with the ZF trans auto and so far I have been happy with it ex­cept for a loud thump­ing when it down­shifts. At the same time there’s a sen­sa­tion of the car be­ing pushed for­ward. When re­cently over­tak­ing, it loudly changed down a gear and the next change was even louder. It thumped on both changes and it felt like it was push­ing the ute for­ward. I have not ap­proached the dealer yet be­cause it’s dif­fi­cult to de­scribe, in­ter­mit­tent, and I’ve tried to repli­cate the thump­ing but couldn’t. Have you heard of this be­fore and is there a fix? Ian, e-mail. A: It’s most likely a soft­ware prob­lem, so you should think about tak­ing back to the dealer to see if they might have a fix avail­able for it. An­other pos­si­bil­ity we were told about by our auto trans ex­pert, An­drew Wil­liams, is to dis­con­nect the bat­tery and leave it sit­ting overnight. There’s no guar­an­tee it will work, but it might be pos­si­ble to re­set the adap­tive learn­ing of the trans­mis­sion.

Q: The air-con­di­tion­ing vents inmy2011 MercedesBenz SLK350 con­stantly make crack­ing/creak­ing sounds as they heat and cool. They are clearly au­di­ble over the ra­dio/mu­sic. In over 30 years of driv­ing I have never had a car that does this. They are driv­ing me crazy. The dealer tried to fix them, but no luck. Now Mercedes is say­ing that this is not a de­fect and there is noth­ing wrong with the car. This is not the qual­ity you ex­pect and pay for from Mercedes. How can I get Mercedes to ad­dress this is­sue?

Rod Nash, e-mail.

A: Go back to the dealer and ex­plain your frus­tra­tion to him and re­quest again that they be fixed. Should that not achieve the out­come you want take your com­plaint higher and go di­rectly to Mercedes-Benz it­self. I am sure if you do that you will re­ceive the ser­vice you be­lieve you are en­ti­tled to.

Q: At 60,000km my 2008 Mit­subishi Tri­ton diesel had its man­i­folds re­placed un­der war­ranty due to car­bon build-up caused by our poor qual­ity diesel fuel. Just be­fore 135,000 km and only a month or two out­side the 5-year part of its 5/10 war­ranty, the en­gine started surg­ing and hunt­ing at low revs, so I booked it in for its ser­vice. A day later the airbag warn­ing light came on as well, so I added that to the list for the dealer to take care of. Over $2100 later, I had one suc­tion con­trol valve re­placed, one airbag clock spring re­placed, and a

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