Major doubts on owning a diesel
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