Don’t demand new car yet
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 firstname.lastname@example.org