GOT SOMETHING TO SAY
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”.
QUESTION OF MILLIMETRES
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”.
ROADS TO RUIN
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.