We will be pur­su­ing this as Mazda Aus­tralia’s an­swer is in­ad­e­quate: “Mazda Aus­tralia does not com­ment pub­licly on mat­ters re­lat­ing to its cus­tomers. We can as­sure you, how­ever, the safety of its ve­hi­cles and its cus­tomers is of para­mount im­por­tance to Mazda Aus­tralia and that any in­ci­dent which may give rise to a safety is­sue is thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated and ap­pro­pri­ate steps taken”.


I have a 2014 Subaru Forester and the only rec­om­mended tyres on the plac­ard are 225x60R17. I would like to fit 225x65R17s which seem to cost about $100 less each and should give a bet­ter ride. Could you tell me if it would be le­gal to fit this size and also would they sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect the speedo ac­cu­racy? Steve Dur­rant, email Rus­sell Stuckey, my go-to guru on tyres, says: “Reg­u­la­tions limit the change in over­all tyre di­am­e­ter to 15 millimetres. Since the dif­fer­ence be­tween 225x60R17 and 225x65R17 is 22 millimetres it’s not le­gal. The so­lu­tion may be to fit a 235x60R17, as used on the Ford Ter­ri­tory and Holden Cap­tiva soft­road­ers, which is only 12 millimetres taller.”


Re­gard­ing the com­ments about premium un­leaded in Road­side As­sist, I ran some premium un­leaded through both a VZ SV6 Holden Com­modore and an XC Holden Ba­rina and found no dif­fer­ence in per­for­mance or run­ning. Only a slight, 2 per cent, im­prove­ment in econ­omy and def­i­nitely not worth it on my ve­hi­cles. How­ever, in tour­ing in re­mote ar­eas, I found many places where the only fuel avail­able was 91 un­leaded or diesel — no premium. What does a driver fill up with when there is no premium avail­able? Doug Mul­lett, email Cars dif­fer and hi-tech cars of­ten get bet­ter re­sults from premium. As for re­fu­elling, it’s fine to drive for a while with reg­u­lar if there is no premium around, pro­vided you go gen­tly in hot weather to avoid ping­ing.


I bought a Jeep Grand Chero­kee as an ex-demon­stra­tor with 5000km and also or­dered the fac­tory nav­i­ga­tion and re­vers­ing cam­era, which the sales­man said would be retro fit­ted by the dealer along with the fac­tory tow­bar. Two months ago the sales­man told me, af­ter I got there to col­lect it, that the re­verse cam­era had not been fit­ted and the sat­nav had not been done. I was told the codes for the sat­nav had been sent to Jeep and was also told that cam­eras were on back or­der and wouldn’t be here till June-July. Now, fi­nally, the sat­nav has been ac­ti­vated, but I am told the cam­era won’t be avail­able un­til Oc­to­ber or Novem­ber. Jeep Aus­tralia says it’s a dealer is­sue. Franc Im­brogno, email

Jeep spokesman Liam Price, replies: “Our gen­uine re­verse cam­era is go­ing through a prod­uct up­grade. Once the prod­uct is re­ceived in Aus­tralia, the deal­er­ship will in­form Franc im­me­di­ately”.


On the sub­ject of Vic­to­rian roads, ear­lier this year we towed our car­a­van from our home near Gee­long and trav­elled ex­ten­sively through South Aus­tralia and NSW for three months. The roads in SA and NSW are in great con­di­tion com­pared to Vic­to­rian roads. The in­ter­state roads are well main­tained and we hap­pened to no­tice plenty of re­me­dial work be­ing per­formed. By com­par­i­son, Vic­to­rian roads are pot­holed, have bro­ken edges and are gen­er­ally in be­low-stan­dard con­di­tion. They are left in bad con­di­tion for months on end be­fore any work is done, and when re­pairs are done they are just tem­po­rary patches. We laughed when we re-en­tered Vic­to­ria as the first thing we en­coun­tered was one of those now in­fa­mous “Rough Sur­face” signs. VicRoads think they are do­ing a won­der­ful job in­stalling wire rope bar­ri­ers to im­prove safety on our ma­jor roads, how­ever they seem to ig­nore the fact that some of the rea­son for ve­hi­cle col­li­sions is the state of the road sur­face. Trevor Bre­haut, Clifton Springs VIC Thanks for adding your weight to the ar­gu­ment. Now it’s time to ask about poor roads in states out­side Vic­to­ria.

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