Not out of woods yet with Forester
Q: I bought a 2004 Subaru Forester XT three years ago and from day one it’s had a surging/hesitation issue. It is mainly when it’s cold, but it is still there when warmed up. I had the MAF sensor and in-tank filter changed; I’ve run it on premium and regular fuel with no change, and the timing belt was done 18 months ago. I was told remapping the ECU might help, but I’ve never heard of this before, nor has my mechanic. What do you think? Andrew, Darwin, NT. A: Remapping the ECU might fix it, but it’s not really addressing the problem. It’s most likely that it’s running lean for some reason. Cleaning the throttle body is a good thing to start with, checking fuel filters can work, and checking the fuel injectors would be a good move.
Q: The Mitsubishi Triton we bought new in 2013 has made a clunking noise ever since it was purchased. It doesn’t do it until the car is warmed up, but the longer you drive it the louder it gets. The centre bearing was replaced in an attempt to fix it, but it didn’t and we have been directed towards the differential. But Mitsubishi says it’s in spec and won’t do anything. A Mitsubishi rep who drove the car had said it was normal, but we don’t believe that. We have had it checked by a couple of diff specialists and while the diff backlash is within the spec it is at the higher end of the scale. Is there any advice you can offer or anyone you might be able to direct me to in order to help get this resolved? Jodie and Nick, email. A: It does sound like it could be a problem with the differential. At this stage you should continue to seek a solution with the dealer and Mitsubishi. We will contact Mitsubishi on your behalf and see if we can enlist higher up help.
Q: A few weeks after purchasing a TJ Magna station wagon Advance in 2004 we were at a shopping centre carpark and after briefly starting, the engine would die and not turn over again. After it happened a few times I realised that if I unlocked the steering column and violently moved the steering wheel up and down that the engine would finally start. The dealer denied any knowledge of any inherent issue with the model and could only recommend changing the battery to solve the problem. The intermittent nature of the fault has made it very difficult to identify the cause. I am concerned that the trick of bumping the steering wheel up and down will one day fail to help the car start and my wife or I will be stuck somewhere with the children in a car that won’t start. Have you ever heard of this problem? Does Mitsubishi have any responsibility for this obvious generic fault? Steve Conde, email. A: It would seem likely that it is an electrical problem in the steering column. Take it to an auto electrician and have them check it for you. You’ve put up with the problem for nine years, so I don’t think you can ask Mitsubishi to come to the party now.
Q: Toyota recently recalled my Prado 120 concerning the tow bar, and they replaced four bolts and fitted a new gooseneck. They also talked me into replacing my shepherd hooks with a Toyota WDH brand. It would appear that the Prado cannot handle the aftermarket weight distributor hitches and they want us to use the Toyota brand. This was all done at no cost to me, which makes me more suspicious as we have never had a problem with our shepherd hooks and they did not ask us what size of