Ma­jor doubts on own­ing a diesel

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

Q: My 2007 Holden As­tra CDTI was flaw­less un­til it reached 90,000 km. Firstly the EGR valve failed, now the swirl flap guide rod has bro­ken off, which re­quires a whole new in­let man­i­fold. As they have dis­man­tled the car they have found that the wa­ter pump is leak­ing and the high­pres­sure in­jec­tor pump is leak­ing as well, and with a new man­i­fold the car also re­quires a new swirl flap ac­tu­a­tor. The prices of some of th­ese items are stag­ger­ing and now the ex­tended war­ranty com­pany is be­gin­ning to be­come dif­fi­cult. I have ap­proached Holden Cus­tomer Care seek­ing some as­sis­tance, but I’m not sure where that will lead. Holden is say­ing that its out­side of the war­ranty pe­riod, but my ar­gu­ment is its only done 90,000 km and has not missed a ser­vice at a Holden dealer. I can­not be­lieve the mis­for­tune that I’m hav­ing and have se­ri­ous doubts of whether I would ever buy a diesel ve­hi­cle car again. Am I the only one with th­ese prob­lems? Ian But­ler, e-mail. A: I can un­der­stand your frus­tra­tion, but it’s a fact of life that cars do break down, and once the war­ranty has ex­pired it costs money to fix them. It sounds like you have an ex­tended war­ranty, so that should cover you for the cost of re­pairs. If you want to per­sist in chas­ing Holden you might be able to get part pay­ment for the cost of re­pairs as a good­will ges­ture.

Q: My 2012 Mit­subishi Tri­ton diesel has just had its 30,000 km ser­vice and I was dis­turbed to see that the ser­vice in­cludes a valve clear­ance ad­just­ment and the re­moval and clean­ing of the in­let man­i­fold. The in­ter­ven­ing 15,000km ser­vices only in­clude an au­di­ble check of valve clear­ances. De­spite dis­agree­ing with Mit­subishi about the cost and rel­e­vance of this item I am oth­er­wise quite happy with the ve­hi­cle. This event adds a lot of time and ma­te­rial to the ser­vice. How, in the sec­ond decade of the 21st cen­tury can it be nec­es­sary to have to some­thing so in­va­sive to an engine as part of rou­tine main­te­nance? Paul Greenslade, Dar­win, NT. A: You’ll find most diesels no mat­ter the brand re­quire reg­u­lar valve clear­ance ad­just­ments. To avoid sur­prises like this I al­ways urge peo­ple to do their home­work on the cost of own­er­ship be­fore they sign up for their new car.

Q: I re­cently bought a new Subaru XV and have since been told by Subaru that the most cur­rent maps they have avail­able are the 2011 maps, and that its my re­spon­si­bil­ity to source and pay for up­dates. I would have thought it was rea­son­able to be pro­vided with up-to-date maps in a brand new car, and fur­ther when it is stan­dard equip­ment on the car I would ex­pect the maps to be up­dated au­to­mat­i­cally when my car goes in for ser­vice, much like they up­date the com­puter in the car. I don’t know why this part of the ve­hi­cle is be­ing ne­glected. I have spo­ken with my dealer and Subaru has not pro­vided him with any up­dates ei­ther. I think this is very poor and Subaru needs to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and pro­vide up­dates free of charge to cars while they are un­der war­ranty and maybe even for the life of the ve­hi­cle. My $200 Nav­man gives me free up­dates for life, so its ob­vi­ously eas­ily done. Deb, e-mail. A: I to­tally agree with you. This is an area that car com­pa­nies have gen­er­ally fallen short of the mark on and there should be free map up­grades for a pe­riod of time, per­haps the length of the war­ranty as you sug­gest. We’ve con­tacted Subaru on

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