HON­EST JOHN EX­PERT AD­VICE

The dealer you can trust is on hand to an­swer your ques­tions on car prob­lems and con­sumer is­sues

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - OPEN ROAD -

HAR­VEST GOLD

As a farmer all my life, I have owned Land Rovers, Dai­hat­sus and, more re­cently, pick-ups. Now semi-re­tired, I need a fairly cheap, rugged seven-seater with four-wheel drive to trans­port chil­dren and grand­chil­dren as well as tow a cat­tle trailer. I will only do a few thou­sand miles a year. Do you think that a Toy­ota Colorado would be re­li­able? CN

Toy­ota Colorados and Land Cruis­ers are rarely cheap be­cause of their rep­u­ta­tion for over­all tough­ness. You could also con­sider a Mit­subishi Shogun or even a Shogun Sport. The Sport is ef­fec­tively the com­pany’s ac­claimed L200 pick-up with an SUV body and they seem to last well. Al­ter­na­tively, look at the SsangYong Rex­ton. You don’t men­tion a bud­get, but the lat­est Rex­ton costs from only £28,500 on the road.

RE­LAX, DON’T DO IT

I am think­ing about re­plac­ing my 11-year-old VW Golf diesel es­tate with a new or nearly-new petrol hatch­back. My ini­tial thoughts are for ei­ther the Volvo V40 Mo­men­tum or an­other Golf. Which of these would be bet­ter? CV

The Volvo V40 with the low-power 2.0-litre 120 en­gine is very re­laxed. An equiv­a­lent Golf would be a 1.5 TSI 130. How­ever, a Kia Ceed 1.4T GDI 140 comes with a seven-year, 100,000mile war­ranty and you have to ques­tion why the Volvo and the VW are cov­ered only for three years.

UR­BAN WAR­RIORS

What are the best small au­to­matic cars? I would con­sider new or used, other than that what should I look for? GE

Try the Kia Pi­canto with a seven-year war­ranty from new or Hyundai i10

Tow­ing with a torque con­verter trans­mis­sion heats up the fluid from the con­stant slip­page, so yes, for tow­ing any car ben­e­fits from a larger trans­mis­sion oil cooler. On a Volvo they are mod­u­lar, so the ex­ist­ing oil cool­ing sys­tem can be ex­panded.

DAY TIP­PER

I have a three-door Citroën Ber­lingo Mul­tispace 1.8i that I bought new in 2000 and use pre­dom­i­nantly for trans­port­ing my three large dogs. It is also used on fre­quent trips to take gar­den waste to the tip. As you can imag­ine, it is get­ting near the end of its life and I am strug­gling to find a suit­able re­place­ment. The lat­est Ber­lingo does not have a fold­able bench seat nor a flat floor space in the rear. I hes­i­tate to buy a win­dow­less panel van as I would then not be per­mit­ted to use the tip with­out pay­ing. What would you sug­ges­tion as a suit­able re­place­ment, cost­ing up to £12,000? RT

The 2008-2018 ver­sion of the Ber­lingo Mul­tispace (and sim­i­lar Teepee from Citroen’s sis­ter com­pany

JARGONAUTS

I want to buy my wife a re­place­ment car with a 1.3- or 1.6-litre petrol en­gine, but sales­men say I should go for a 1.0-litre en­gine that has been geared to give good horse­power. Is it re­ally true that the power is a re­sult of the gear­ing and not the en­gine ca­pac­ity? GR

A lot of car sales­men don’t know what they are talk­ing about. Most 1.0- and 1.2-litre petrol en­gines work bet­ter than 1.4 and 1.6 petrol en­gines when they are tur­bocharged, be­cause they give more torque at low rpm. The over­all gear­ing of a small tur­bocharged en­gine should give be­tween 25-30mph per 1,000rpm in top gear rather than the 20-25mph per 1,000rpm of a non­tur­bocharged 1.4- to 1.6-litre unit, which might be what the sales­man was strug­gling to tell you. is no longer cov­ered by its two-year war­ranty, should I try to in­sist that the wheel bear­ing is re­newed at no cost? SD

In the UK a BMW is cov­ered by a three-year war­ranty. You can check for a fail­ing wheel bear­ing by jack­ing up the rel­e­vant wheel by half an inch and feel­ing for in and out move­ment of the wheel on the hub.

Peu­geot) have tum­ble-fold­ing rear seats that leave a flat space in the back. These seats are also re­mov­able. The lat­est Ber­lingo, Peu­geot Rifter and Vaux­hall Combo Life have proper flat-fold­ing rear seats and the seven-seater ver­sions have a huge amount of space in­side.

HEAVY THIRST

I have owned a 2006 Volvo XC70 from new and it has done 104,000 miles. I am now driv­ing less, but for the last few years have no­ticed that the oil con­sump­tion is very high: half a litre ev­ery 400 miles. The car had no prob­lem pass­ing its MoT and there is no oil vis­i­ble on the drive, where it nor­mally stands. Any thoughts? RS

It’s likely to be caused by fail­ing valve stem oil seals. On some en­gines, re­plac­ing them can be done with­out re­mov­ing the cylin­der head but, even as­sum­ing that, you’ll be look­ing at about £600 for the job.

IN­SIDE IN­FOR­MA­TION

We have a 2005 Ford Fo­cus that has cov­ered more than 100,000 miles. I re­cently no­ticed some rust be­hind the off­side wheel arch and some bub­bling on the sill. I pre­sume that it is not worth get­ting these re­paired, es­pe­cially since the tim­ing belt needs re­plac­ing as well. We have been look­ing at a Peu­geot 2008 to re­place it, but the boot space seems a lit­tle smaller than the Fo­cus and we need rea­son­able room for our dog and when we go camp­ing. What petrol-en­gined, man­ual car can we get for £10,000? SB

I’d have an­other look at the 2008. The load area of your a 1968 F- reg Van­den Plas Princess 4-litre R. It is in very good, rust-free con­di­tion. Can you ad­vise? PI

That’s an un­usual car with a Roll­sRoyce en­gine, prob­a­bly worth be­tween £5,000 and £10,000. The best thing to do is en­ter it into a clas­sic car auc­tion. If you con­tact the his­torics.co.uk auc­tion house there is a chance you can get it into their sale on Novem­ber 24 at Mercedes-Benz World, Wey­bridge. They will ad­vise on what price you are likely to get. This is best for pro­bate be­cause then, as an ex­ecu­tor, you can never be ac­cused of show­ing any favour to a buyer.

BAR TEN­DER

Our Honda HR-V is al­most three years old and will soon need new tyres to re­place the cur­rent Miche­lin Pri­macy 3 rub­ber. Would more re­cent Pri­macy 4s be a suit­able re­place­ment? BC

I switched an HR-V to Miche­lin Cross Cli­mates, which trans­formed the car. They im­proved the ride qual­ity, were qui­eter, gave bet­ter steer­ing feel, lasted just as well and I still got al­most 60mpg (it was a 1.6i DTEC). You need to lower the pres­sures to about 2bar all round, how­ever.

YORK­SHIRE MORES

My daugh­ter is look­ing at mid-price SUVs as she is mov­ing to a hilly area of York­shire and has the re­quire­ments of a young fam­ily. Her bud­get is £15,000 and she are con­sid­er­ing a Nis­san Qashqai, Land Rover Free­lander and a Volvo XC60 or XC90. What are the rel­a­tive mer­its of each model? BD

Qashqais are very pop­u­lar but not bril­liantly re­li­able with the 1.2 en­gine or the CVT auto trans­mis­sion. Most are 2WD, so no help in a hilly area. Free­lander IIs are mostly 4WD, but have a few quirks. For £15,000 a Volvo XC60 will be get­ting old and an XC90 will be a cou­ple of years older. It would be bet­ter to seek out a Suzuki Vi­tara S 1.4T Boost­er­jet 4x4 and fit it with all-weather tyres.

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