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The Mercury Cars Guide : October 17th 2009
10--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, October 17, 2009 Lancer is the ideal first vehicle We answer the driving questions of the modern motorist FUEL CONCERNS: A motorist found water in the tank of their Peugeot 308 HDi. I HAVE just got my licence and am looking to buy my first car. I have seen a 1994 Mitsubishi Lancer GL CC 1.5-litre for $2000. It has done 160,000 km, and I was wondering if it would be reliable and cheap? Zhuye email The mileage is a little less than the average for a car of its vintage, so that's good, and the price is cheap. The Lancer is generally a sound little car and it should continue to be reliable providing it has been well serviced and you continue to service it regularly. And being a small car with a small engine it will be cheap to run. Is flush necessary? WHEN my 18-month-old Toyota LandCruiser 200 diesel was in for its 40,000km service the Victorian dealer wanted $106 extra to flush out and replace the power steering fluid. There's no mention of doing that in the Toyota. Is the dealer having me on? Ken G email We checked with Toyota and were told: There is no recommended periodic replacement of the power steering fluid unless there was some contamination in the fluid''. Talk to your dealer and ask if there was any contamination that might cause to replace the fluid. Water in the fuel AFTER filling the tank of my Peugeot 308 HDi recently the on- board sensors indicated they had picked up water in the fuel as well as the filters. A check at a dealer- ship found the ratio of water to diesel to be at least 10 times the acceptable limit. How does the consumer go about taking on the supplier of the fuel? Lornita Papworth email Hopefully you have a receipt from the servo showing the date and time you bought the fuel. Armed with the report from the dealer- ship showing the water content, you need to go to the servo to show them they have a problem that might affect other motorists. And go to the fuel company involved and seek compensation. Caravan concerns I USE my 2004 BA Falcon to tow my 16-foot, 1300kg caravan, but after my experience with this car, I don't feel confident towing with it. Could you help me with some inexpensive and economical sug- gestions for an alternative tow vehicle? Rupert email I'm not sure what your experience has been with the Falcon, but before you dump it and spend money on a replacement I would look to fix the issues that concern you. The main problem with the Falcon when towing is the auto- matic transmission and I would install an external transmission oil cooler to ensure the car doesn't overheat and will remove the chance of having a problem with the factory oil cooler in the radia- tor. First four-wheel-drive I AM looking to buy my first car in the next few months and I want to buy a four-wheel-drive because a lot of the kilometres I will be driving will be offroad. I am looking at a Landrover Discovery TDi because I can pick one up for $5000-$7000. But I will also be doing a lot of highway kilometres, and most of the four-wheel-drives around that mark already have around 200/300,000km on the clock. Is that too much? Charlie Wilkinson-Rilen email That is a lot of kilometres so you have to be realistic and anticipate that there might be more prob- lems down the road. The Disco is generally a sound vehicle and is very competent in an offroad situation so it can be a good choice. Another one is an older Mitsubishi Pajero --- not as flashy as the Landrover --- but a solid vehicle nonetheless. Under pressure I'VE been told that the pressure shown on a car's tyre placard is the minimum allowable so tyres should always be inflated a few psi above this. Also I've been told that the pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold as the pressure increases when hot. Is this correct? Brad Coulter email The pressure shown on the tyre placard is that recommended by the car maker to deliver the best compromise of ride, handling, braking, fuel economy and wear, it is not a minimum pressure at all. You can safely run a higher pres- sure, by a few psi, and will improve the handling, braking economy and wear. But you will probably see a deterioration in the ride comfort. It's best to try it out and see what works best for you.
October 10th 2009
October 24th 2009