ASK SMITHY

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

as­sured him that the prod­uct will not dam­age the plas­tic on the dash and that overuse leaves a white haze that can be re­moved with cloudy am­mo­nia and wa­ter. It seems to be a fault with the dash and Ford does not want to help in any way. They did say that re­plac­ing the dash would cost ap­prox­i­mately $2700. Is this a com­mon prob­lem with Fords of that era? Paul Parme­ter

Fad­ing usu­ally hap­pens when plas­ti­cis­ers mi­grate out of the plas­tic, and is ac­cel­er­ated when the car is ex­posed to the sun for long pe­ri­ods of time, but we haven’t re­ceived any other re­ports of the dash fad­ing on Fal­cons. Make sure the car is parked out of the sun when pos­si­ble, that way the fad­ing should be re­duced, and us­ing a prod­uct like Armor All should help main­tain the colour in the dash.

AQAfter hav­ing the 20,000km ser­vice done on my 2008 2.5-litre turbo diesel Ford Ranger, I no­ticed the en­gine cover and valve cov­ers, etc, had not been re­moved to check the valve clear­ances, which is a ser­vice item at 20,000km, ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s log book. When I checked, the dealer ex­plained that it is no longer done at 20,000km. If this is the case, I feel Ford should have sent all own­ers a let­ter out­lin­ing the change to ser­vice items. Is the dealer pulling my leg af­ter they were caught out or should the valve clear­ances have been checked? If it is no longer done, I feel the $605 I was charged for a fuel and oil fil­ter, change of oil and repack­ing wheel bear­ings is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able. An­thony Geis­zler

We were told that the valve clear­ances are no longer done at 20,000km, as the dealer told you. We un­der­stand it is now done at 80,000km. As for the charge, you need

Ato dis­cuss that with the dealer, and bear in mind that deal­ers are charg­ing up­wards of $140 an hour for work done in their shops.

QThe en­gine in my 2009 Honda Civic VTi oc­ca­sion­ally misses when I am cruis­ing at 90-100km/h. I have re­ported it twice, to two dif­fer­ent deal­ers, and both told me there was no prob­lem they could find. The sec­ond dealer told me that the slight ‘‘stum­ble’’ was a char­ac­ter­is­tic of this en­gine when the en­gine com­puter changed modes. I find it hard to be­lieve Honda would build an en­gine with this prob­lem. Is it just dealer spin? Neil

Honda Jazz

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