Mobile water tank
WHAT an irony, the Volkswagen Golf is named carsguide Car of the Year.
My Golf has travelled less than 50,000km and has a water leak into the passenger footwell.
I have returned the car to be fixed, only to find more water when it is washed or driven in the rain.
Volkswagen Australia’s response: ‘‘We constantly strive to ensure that customer satisfaction is paramount at all times.’’
At least I’m helping the environment, as the car doubles as a water tank, and it’s self-washing on the inside. A great new option available on your new VW Golf.
They’ve seen the light
I WOULD like to thank Audi and HSV for re-introducing daytime running lights.
For those who think they are superfluous, try showering tomorrow with the exhaust fan off. Then, while bathroom is still foggy and the mirror covered in condensation, turn the light off and bob up and down.
That is pretty much the view a truck driver has in his mirrors, in wet conditions on a freeway, trying to find your unlit car.
Tyre advice confusing
I DRIVE a 2005 Prado and am conscious of tyre wear, primarily due to the replacement cost of tyres. I am presently riding on Dunlop Grandtrek AT20, and with the great majority of driving being undertaken on sealed roads, I have covered 50K and am confident of a further 15K - 25K.
I endeavour to run with pressure of 32-34psi.
There is conflict between vehicle manufacturers seeking ‘‘ride comfort’’ and tyre manufacturers seeking ‘‘tyre life’’.
I was surprised to recently view a television report by a noted safety expert, demonstrating the dangers of under-inflated tyres and recommending viewers be guided by the sticker displayed on the door frame.
If under-inflated tyres are such a danger, then perhaps using the pressure displayed on the vehicle might, in fact, be a danger.
Another area of concern is the practice of tyre rotation. I noticed that, after a tyre rotation service performed by an authorised Toyota dealer, the new spare had not been utilised. When I mentioned this to the dealer, I was advised that it was now the policy of the tyre company that tyres only be interchanged on the same side of the vehicle (front to back and visa versa).
This is contrary to the driver manual provided with the vehicle. This week I have checked the service manual of a 2009 Prado and found that cross rotation of tyres is still promoted.
Keith Wilkins, Robina
Camber the culprit
I TOO have a 2005 Toyota Prado VX with the same Grandtrek tyres with a left front tyre wear issue.
On delivery the dealer suggested I keep the tyres at 35psi instead of the Toyota factory recommended pressures. I have done this diligently and at the first service was advised to have the wheel alignment checked and the tyres rotated as tyre wear was evident.
On handover the wheel balance was so far out the dealer had to redo it so that I could drive it.
The left-hand tyre wear issue continued and I have had to meticulously rotate them every 5000km or so. I had the wheel alignment checked yet again at Bob Jane and they advised the left front has positive camber and will wear the left front tyre.
They added that most of this model Prado have the same issue and that Toyota have not provided in their design the ability to adjust the camber to correct this.
I referred the matter to Toyota at my next service. They gave me same garbage that they have provided to you and I quote from the service report: ‘‘Toyota specification for camber is 19 +-45. ie positive camber. Camber on LHF is 13, which is less than the Toyota specification. Operational experience has been that the Dunlop Grandtrek tyres can wear more on the outer edge, especially if tyre pressures are not periodically maintained, the areas where the vehicle is operated may also contribute, eg where roundabouts/traffic calming are prevalent or if there are multiple drivers of the vehicle.’’
Sorry guys you have not convinced me with this spin. There is almost certainly not a city on the planet where there would be so many kilometres of roundabouts compared to the amount of straight road to have such an influence on the tyre wear.
It would seem to me to be a wheel alignment issue rather than an operating environment or tyre pressure issue, and Toyota have flunked in the suspension design by failing to provide adequate camber adjustment.
I have done many informal audits of the shopping centre car parks and found just about every Prado either with new harder tyre on low kilometre vehicles, or all four tyres with the edge worn smooth by rotating them through the left front position. The problem is widespread and endemic.
The Prado is an excellent car and I would recommend one to anyone but I wish Toyota would come clean and release a camber adjustment kit to correct the problem.
If I apply Toyota’s logic they must mean don’t buy a Prado if you have roundabouts in your town or want more than one driver to drive the car. That’s going to limit their market.
WINNER:The VW Golf, carsguide’s 2009 Car of the Year.Picture: Mark Horsburgh