The Northern Star - - MOTORING - Email lain Curry: [email protected]

On Oc­to­ber 27, I bought a new Honda Civic VTi-LX with five-year war­ranty. Honda started a na­tional “Feel Good” cam­paign on Novem­ber 1 of­fer­ing an ex­tended seven-year war­ranty. I wrote to Honda’s head of­fice to re­quest the same cov­er­age but was re­fused. I think this is a pretty pa­thetic re­sponse to a new Honda cus­tomer. What do you think? Peter Knol, email It’s so frus­trat­ing when a deal comes out im­me­di­ately after pur­chase, es­pe­cially de­sir­able ex­tended fac­tory war­ranties. Holden, Volk­swa­gen, Mazda and oth­ers have all added years to their war­ranties re­cently and in­evitably some cus­tomers just miss the boat. You’re rightly ag­grieved but it’s just bad luck in this in­stance. From a maker’s point of view, if the deal was ap­plied to those who bought four days be­fore such a cam­paign started, should the same ap­ply to some­one who bought four months be­fore?


The cost of my Land Rover Dis­cov­ery’s sched­uled ser­vic­ing over three years comes to nearly $3000. By the time the five-year war­ranty ends, it will ex­ceed $5000. My lo­cal Land Rover spe­cial­ist ad­vised me to con­tinue with ser­vices through the deal­er­ship un­til the war­ranty ex­pires, as up­dates per­formed by other qual­i­fied ser­vice tech­ni­cians make any war­ranty claims “dif­fi­cult”. Dave Stim­son, email To pro­tect your war­ranty, ser­vices have to be per­formed in ac­cor­dance with the man­u­fac­turer’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions, fit­ting gen­uine or ap­proved parts. If a spe­cial­ist does so, war­ranty must be hon­oured. Land Rover ser­vices aren’t cheap — that’s the pres­tige car premium. Where the dif­fer­ence can come is if some­thing big fails after your war­ranty ex­pires. Good­will claims are far more likely to be met if you’ve kept in the dealer net­work.


Re 4WDs, buy­ers of such ve­hi­cles rarely go on a dirt road let alone across the Simp­son Desert. The tyres and sus­pen­sion are on-road spec­i­fi­ca­tion and you need to spend an­other $20,000 to make them real rough rid­ers. Why buy them in the first place? John Hay­man, email SUV mar­ket­ing de­part­ments, John is onto you. You’re ab­so­lutely right, that’s why when you go proper bush bash­ing you’ll find old LandCruis­ers and Pa­trols with lift kits and knob­bly tyres … and not many BMW X5s. The new Ford Ranger Rap­tor is an ex­cep­tion. It’s the real off-road deal.


Re early brake wear on BMW’s X1. I’ve found adap­tive cruise con­trol is a ma­jor cul­prit for rapid brake pad and disc wear as brakes are ap­plied so reg­u­larly. To avoid this, I now drop a gear to im­prove en­gine brak­ing when needed. Howard Wil­son, email

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