Don’t de­mand new car yet

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

Q: My daugh­ter’s six­month-old Jeep has died three times, it just loses power and stops, ap­par­ently some­thing to do with fuel. It was patched up the first time it hap­pened, a new fuel pump was fit­ted the sec­ond time, and now it has been towed to the work­shop. The Jeep mob say it is dirty fuel, but it is com­ing from a pri­vate bowser that sev­eral other cars are filled from and they aren’t hav­ing prob­lems. I think they should de­mand a new car or put it in the hands of a so­lic­i­tor.

Mar­cia Carmichael, email.

A: It’s a lit­tle too early to de­mand a re­place­ment car. Be­fore do­ing that I would want to es­tab­lish that it isn’t the fuel from the pri­vate bowser you’re us­ing. If you can, switch to a fuel out­let that has a high turnover of diesel and see if the prob­lem re­turns.

Q: Last year we no­ticed an in­ter­mit­tent vi­bra­tion in the six-speed auto in our 2010 XR6. Tests con­firmed that the trans­mis­sion was con­tam­i­nated with wa­ter due to cooler fail­ure. The dealer looked af­ter us very well and sup­plied a loan ve­hi­cle while a new trans­mis­sion was in­stalled. I asked about the fit­ting of an ex­ter­nal cooler in­stead of the wa­ter-cooled one and was told that the fail­ure was very un­usual and was un­likely to re­cur. I’m think­ing we might get an ex­ter­nal cooler fit­ted be­fore then. Jim Lawrence, e-mail. A: It was thought that the re­vised cooler de­sign had fixed the prob­lem, and that was backed up by a lack of re­ports of failed cool­ers for a long time, but more re­cently we have been get­ting re­ports of cool­ers fail­ing and dam­ag­ing the trans­mis­sion. That would sug­gest the prob­lem hasn’t been fixed. It’s worth con­sid­er­ing fit­ting an ex­ter­nal cooler.

Q: Al­though Ford would have you be­lieve other­wise it ap­pears that there is still a prob­lem with the auto trans­mis­sion oil cooler on Fal­cons. It hap­pened to me a few years ago and it cost $8000 to re­place the trans­mis­sion in my BFI Fal­con XR6 Turbo. There was no real warn­ing, other than it would ‘‘flare’’ when shift­ing at times, and the shift­ing be­came rough and er­ratic. My op­tions were to re­place the cooler with a com­plete by­pass cost­ing $800-$1000 — but the ef­fect of do­ing this on the com­puter in the box is un­known — or, as I have done, re­place the cooler ev­ery 12 months or 20,000km at a cost of $200 each time and hope that it goes while its un­der ‘‘con­sumer war­ranty’’. Just thought I would share my ex­pe­ri­ence with this prob­lem, and as of now I am still con­tem­plat­ing the com­plete by­pass op­tion as I am not to con­fi­dent in the war­ranty if it goes again, I fig­ure $1000 is bet­ter that $8000 again, and I then have next to no wor­ries with the cross con­tam­i­na­tion that can oc­cur. Chris Kerr, email. A: The best op­tion is to fit an ex­ter­nal cooler and by­pass Ford’s cooler in the ra­di­a­tor. Chang­ing the cooler ev­ery year doesn’t re­ally seem to be a work­able op­tion for most people.

Q: My 2009 Toy­ota Corolla six-speed man­ual hatch­back has gen­er­ally been solid and re­li­able, ex­cept that it fre­quently stalls, which is both frus­trat­ing and dan­ger­ous. The clutch feels in­con­sis­tent and of­ten fails to take up. I have raised this is­sue with the dealer when get­ting the car ser­viced and they can’t solve the prob­lem. Do you have any idea what the cause of the prob­lem could be? Should I wind up the rev counter at idle? Suzanne, email. A: If it has got pro­gres­sively worse over time it could be that the clutch is worn and needs to be re­placed. If it hasn’t, and it ap­pears to be a char­ac­ter­is­tic of the car, then per­haps a change of tech­nique is re­quired. It might be that you sim­ply need to raise the revs a lit­tle when us­ing the clutch and make sure you feel the point of en­gage­ment so that you’ve got enough revs on board at the crit­i­cal mo­ment the clutch takes up.

Q: My 2013 Holden Colorado has had a vi­bra­tion at 90-100km/h from new. I was told by the dealer that the new sus­pen­sion would fix this prob­lem, but it did not. I again told them about the vi­bra­tion at the 15,000km ser­vice, but when I picked it up I was told that the vi­bra­tion was nor­mal and was of no con­cern. I also don’t think that a brand new car should have this type of vi­bra­tion. Mark Lougheed, email. A: At that speed it’s likely to be ei­ther tyre or driv­e­line im­bal­ance, but you need an ex­pe­ri­enced me­chanic to test drive the car with you. Talk to your dealer and ask for a me­chanic to come with you while you demon­strate the prob­lem.

Q: Like Rob Fox (Cars­guide, Fe­bru­ary 14) I also have a vi­brat­ing 2013 Holden Colorado. Mine hap­pens around 3000rpm in most gears. My dealer toldme that they test drove

Car prob­lems? Gra­ham Smith can help Email ask­smithy@cars­

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