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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 27th 2010
14--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, February 27, 2010 Timing belt life needs checking firstname.lastname@example.org with GRAHAM SMITH MYSTERY: A rattle in Honda's Accord may be fixed by resetting the ECU. LOOK INTO IT: The 2004 Holden Astra's timing belt life can vary according to engine type. PLAUSIBLE: A reader may have the key to Ford Falcon battery problems. Q THE owner s manual states that my 2004 TS Holden Astra, which has travelled 47,000km, is due to have the cam timing belt replaced at 60,000km or four years, whichever comes first, but a Holden dealer has informed me that this has recently been changed to 90,000km or six years. Which is correct, and should I go to a Holden dealer, or can my preferred mechanic do it? Miss Noel Waugh Stanmore, NSW Holden has informed us that when the TS Astra was introduced the timing belt replacement was specified at 120,000km or eight years, whichever came first. There was then a running change to 60,000km or four years due to issues with the timing belt breaking, but late in 2004 there was another change that extended it to 90,000km or six years for cars with the Z18XE engine. You need to check which engine yours has. Changing the belt is a simple job which any competent mechanic can do. Q Thought I d add my own experi- ence of Stephen Harrington (car- sGuide, Feb 19) who complained about the battery in his FG Falcon G6E going flat. I too had an intermittent fault on my G6ET that caused the battery to go flat if left unattended for more than two to three days. The cause was an electric seat memory module that was sticking and staying energised after the car was parked. The green light on the drivers seat should extinguish after a minute or so of shutting down your vehicle. If you look straight down from the driver s side window at the side of the seat you should be able to see if it goes out or not. After much heartache and perseverance my local Ford dealer managed to find this and fix it under warranty. I have also heard that the auto dimmer on the rear-view mirror can be a likely suspect. Robin Hecker Traralgon, Vic Good information Robin, information the dealer could use when trying to trace the problem in Stephen s car, as it s most likely an electronic system that s not shutting down as it should when the car is turned off. Q I have been running my recently purchased 2008 Honda Accord Euro on E10 petrol, which is OK according to the sign on the fuel filler flap, but when I took it in for a service and asked them to check an engine rattle I was told it was pinging and that I should be running it in Premium. When I checked with a Honda dealer they told me they could put it on a computer and fix it. Will this work? I was also told there was some previous damage to the front bumper that has been fixed up, but since then I can hear a rattle from the door on that side; would that be a warranty claim from the place I purchased it from two weeks ago with a three-month war- ranty? Bourke e-mail. I would think the dealer would be able to fix the pinging by resetting the ECU. Depending on what is causing the rattle you might have a claim against the vendor, but I doubt it. Q Over the past couple of years the paint on the roof of my maroon- coloured 1992 Toyota Tarago GLi has been breaking down and now looks as though its losing a skin. One place quoted me $2000 to repair it, but another has told me that they wouldn t care to do it because of the likelihood of the problem recurring and me re- appearing at their doorstep. Would it be worthwhile to proceed with the repair, or would I be better off trading it in before it gets any worse? By keeping the vehicle as is, without repair, would the trade-in value be significantly re- duced, or would it make little differ- ence? Peter Vear Q The paint used at the time wasn t very durable; you ll see many cars of a similar vintage with the same problem. I doubt it would start peeling again in a short time frame as the repairer fears, but it s an old car, and not worth a lot of money, so I wouldn t be spending much money to fix it. Sure the resale value will be less if you don t fix it, but not by enough to justify repainting it. Q After my 2003 BA Falcon Wagon popped out of third gear I was told that the T-Bar was faulty. I told them to replace it, but they then came back to me to say that they could not access one immediately, the earliest would be late March, 51 days after the initial check. They have three wreckers looking for a decent second-hand part, but to no avail. Any ideas on how I might get one? John Packham Unanderra, NSW I would have thought Ford would stock replacements, although I doubt it s a high-demand item. I would contact a Ford dealer and ask them to source one, if they don t have it, Ford should have it in stock. Q I have recently noticed that the paint is starting to peel away from under the passengers door han- dle of my 2008 Kia Rio and I worry that this is just the beginning of a more serious paint problem. My dealer ad- vised me that this wasn t covered under my warranty and I would have to cover the cost of any future problems. Do you have any suggestions on what I could do? Kathy Davidson email I would seek the help of a paint specialist for an independent opinion. It could be a fault from the factory, or it could be the result of a repair to damage sustained by the car during delivery. Either way it should be covered by the warranty. Q Could you help me set a selling price for a 1978 XC Ford Fair- mont with the 351 cubic-inch Cleveland V8, FMX auto transmission nine-inch diff, and the square headlights? It has done 73,000km and is in original condition, and is well maintained. The engine was rebuilt some time ago and now runs on gas. It is a great old car that we have had for 22 years and it will beasaddaytoseeitgo,butIonlydrive it to the shops or tennis and a smaller car would be more practical. Dorothy Harrison Surf Beach, NSW It sounds like a nice, low-mileage car, and with the big V8 should be popular. The value really comes down to the condition of the body and the interior. The XC, like most cars of its era, suffered from body rust, and some- times it s hard to spot. They re particu- larly prone to rusting around the firewall and dash panel and it might not be visible. I would start by asking $8000-$10,000. Q I think I might have the answer to the problem of the battery going flat in the BA Falcon (carsGuide February 19). The BA Falcon and the VE Commodore, and most late model vehicles have electronic transmissions. The BA has a sentinel system for checking the ECU s. In the case of the transmission, the ECU checks the position of the gear lever in relation to the door opening condition and con- tinues to monitor the system until it is satisfied that the transmission is in fact in park. As a former auto electrician I have diagnosed a few BA s that have been presented with a discharged battery. What happens is that when the car is put into park, and everything checks out, a switch in the gearbox tells the ECU that everything is fine and after a brief period the systems shut down. Sometimes this does not occur even when the trans is in park and when the driver s door is opened, a warning appears on the dash that says Trans not in Park . The sentinel monitoring system creates a drain of about 1 amp until the transmission ECU says that everything checks out OK. This will continue until the ECU s switch off due to a very discharged battery. Kevin Andrews email It sounds plausible, and certainly worth checking on cars that are regularly suffering from a battery problem. Introducing the new Audi A5 Sportback. More dynamic, more progressive, more doors. Audi presents a new generation of the iconic coup marque; a design so innovative, it occupies a space all of its own. With sweeping lines, classic silhouette and sporty styling, it's the coup you always wanted. While with a full array of progressive Audi technologies, it's the driving experience you always dreamed of. However what really sets this prestigious performance coup apart is that with four-door accessibility and two full sized rear seats, it oﬀers the functionality you really need. Welcome to a new space; in the dynamic, versatile new Audi A5 Sportback. Visit Audi Centre Hobart, 246 Murray Street Hobart, or call (03) 6238 3344 today. Coup drivers; welcome to a new space. verseas model shown. A 5 A 5S H X8 2
February 20th 2010
March 6th 2010