Tune-up may fix a thirsty issue
Q: The dash screen in my 5.0-litre V8 Ford Fairlane AUII shows that its average fuel consumption is 18 litres/100km, which doesn’t seem right, as I’m 59 and a slow driver. Do you think just a tune-up is required, that the screen is getting the fuel use wrong, or could it be something more sinister? Ron Lindsay, e-mail. A: The consumption does seem to be higher than it should be. Ford’s claim when the AUII was launched was 9 litres/100km on the highway, 14.5 litres/100km around town with an average of 11 litres/100km. The fuel consumption shown on the trip computer is usually accurate, as it actually measures the fuel being injected into the engine. It’s probably time it had a tune, so I would suggest you do that.
Q: I am another one who hates the rear view mirrors that distort the view and cannot understand why manufacturers foist them upon us. If we were to replace them with the normal type would we be modifying our vehicle and occur the wrath of the insurance companies for doing it? Don Cruden, Jane Brook, WA.
While the car is at the dealers you have some negotiating power
A: I don’t believe you would be at risk of offending the insurance companies but, if you were concerned, speak to your insurance company and ask them that very question.
Q: The navigation maps that came with my 2010 Holden VE Series II CalaisVwagon appeared to be out-of-date on delivery and I complained to both the dealer and to Holden through the customer satisfaction survey. I asked the dealer how much it would cost to upgrade the maps, as I was told that a new release of the maps had recently occurred. I was given a written quote for $500.50, which seemed very costly so I didn’t proceed with the update. Are there any cheaper options or do I need to buy a cheaper portable satellite navigation system? John Mitka, e-mail. A: I believe you’re locked into getting the dealer to do the update when you buy a factory-fitted system and I’m not aware of a way around that problem. Your experience is well worth noting for others who might be taking delivery of a new car. It’s a good idea to check the maps that come with the car, as they are often well out-of-date, and demand they be updated before you drive away in the car. While the car is at the dealers you have some negotiating power. Once you drive away it’s much harder.
Q: My 2005 Kia Optima 2.7-litre V6 sedan has done 34,000km and hasn’t missed a beat since I purchased it, but there is a problem of the auto transmission flaring. I am not a lead foot, but accelerating normally causes the engine to race, until eventually the car catches up to the engine. When I contacted Kia about this they said it was normal because it was an ‘‘intuitive’’ transmission.