What about odome­ters?

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE.COM.AU -

THE let­ter re: speedo in­ac­cu­ra­cies (Cars­guide, March 20) is one of many. Surely in this day and age the man­u­fac­tur­ers can get all of them cor­rect, not just some. Also, you are cor­rect at 10 per cent for speedos. How­ever, odome­ters are only al­lowed 5 per cent. There­fore this should be fixed un­der war­ranty.

John Ash­ton, Banksia Beach

Euro cars tax­ing

more for Euro­pean cars than they do over there? In many cases we ap­pear to pay nearly dou­ble the price.

Also, why are diesel en­gines more ex­pen­sive here than in Europe, where they are of­ten much cheaper than petrol-pow­ered ve­hi­cles?

I know there is a lux­ury tax on more ex­pen­sive mod­els, but that could not ac­count for the huge price dif­fer­ence. Nei­ther could adding a few ex­tras. For ex­am­ple, you can pur­chase aMini for un­der $20,000 in Eng­land. Bot­tom-end 3 se­ries BMWs are well un­der $40,000.

Also, why not huge price drops for the rise in the value of our dol­lar in the past 12 months? I would imag­ine on a Fer­rari or sim­i­lar the drop should be about $50,000.

Phillip Smith ED­I­TOR: There are many rea­sons for the price dif­fer­ence, such as freight, 5 per cent im­port duty and 33 per cent lux­ury tax, but also, most Euro­pean mod­els we re­ceive have a higher spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Most have de­creased with the re­cent 5 per cent im­port duty drop. Diesel en­gines are more ex­pen­sive to man­u­fac­ture. In Europe, there have been gov­ern­ment in­cen­tives to buy diesel, which has cre­ated a huge de­mand, there­fore de­creas­ing prices. Im­porters use dif­fer­ent strate­gies to hedge against cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions, usu­ally av­er­ag­ing over time.

Mo­tor or en­gine?

YOU can do me a small favour in the in­ter­ests of cor­rect­ness and con­vey to all your motoring jour­nal­ist col­leagues the cor­rect­ness of re­fer­ring to a ve­hi­cle’s power source. In most cases an en­gine of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion type refers to a fuel-air mix­ture burned in­side the en­gine. It is very com­mon to see ref­er­ences to ‘‘mo­tor’’, which is in­cor­rect, un­less the ve­hi­cle is a hy­brid. Even then that ve­hi­cle still has an en­gine.

David Bai­ley

Cruis­ing and coast­ing

WITH the cur­rent in­ter­est in cruise con­trols ap­par­ently jam­ming on, and be­ing a re­tired driver trainer, I ex­per­i­mented with my BA Fal­con Fu­tura with the cruise con­trol on.

The speed was set at 80km/h and we were climb­ing a slight rise. I moved the gear se­lec­tor to neu­tral, ex­pect­ing the en­gine to roar in an at­tempt to main­tain the speed, where in fact the car be­gan to slow and – on check­ing the in­stru­ments – the cruise sys­tem had gone into coast mode, re­quir­ing me to re­set the re­sume con­trol for the car to con­tinue. Hope­fully this may be of ben­e­fit to many driv­ers.

Peter Bell­mont

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