Not out of woods yet with Forester

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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

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