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The Mercury Cars Guide : March 6th 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au ---17 Porsche looks to future PORSCHE Australia boss Michael Wink- ler is adamant the brand's fu- ture is looking good. Having weathered the financial crisis and sorted out the Volkswagen business, the Australian arm of the German sports car ma- ker is aiming at contributing to the global volume increases and taking advantage of VW back-of-house synergies. ''We'll try to get as much saving as possible in terms of engineering and production --- locally we'll look at back of house things like warehousing,'' Winkler says. ''All those things make good business sense and don't effect the brand---Is e eita sa normal way of doing business.'' The Australian Porsche sales tallies will target a figure north of 2000 cars but any car with a Porsche badge has to ''feel like a Porsche and drive like a Porsche''. ''Compare the three-litre diesel Cayenne versus that engine in other products: it delivers power in a similar way but the way it feels in a corner and drives, it feels like a Porsche --- if you don't feel the difference we shouldn't be making the car,'' he says. The brand is emerging from the depressed market and is aiming to complete 2010 as a year of consolidation --- although they'd be happy to sell more and believe the customers are still there. ''I'm very confident about the business over the next few years, it probably won't go back to the highs of 2008 but we're heading in the right direction,'' Winkler says. The recently unveiled hybrid 911 race car and the soon-to-arrive hybrid Cayenne are eagerly anticipated by Porsche customers, something Winkler says demonstrates the market changes. ''Four years ago if you'd suggested the brand would sustain a diesel SUV I would have said you were crazy. ''It's now our predominant entry-level Cay- enne. Time changes and you have to go with the market.'' The unique Porsche driving experience has to be part of the hybrid models for them to be successful. ''As long as we can do that with the hybrid it will be successful,'' Winkler says. ''The 911 hybrid is a race car only, it will be campaigned as an engineering exercise to gain experience with the system. That will determine what might happen in future road cars.'' STUART MARTIN Pug parts can be tough to claim BE WARY: Peugeot is not always so accommodating when claiming parts such as brake pads and discs. firstname.lastname@example.org with GRAHAM SMITH LET DOWN: A Car's Guide reader has been disappointed by a tyre dealer's refusal to replace a faulty tyre, for free, on their Mazda 6. Q My dealer has told me that I have to replace the front discs as well as the pads on my two- year-old Peugeot 407 as they are also worn out. Because it has only done 29,999km I thought it should be done under warranty, but that was rejected because the discs are not covered. Is it normal for discs to wear out at such low kilometres, and should they be replaced under warranty? Ranjan Mallawa email It s not unusual for discs to need replacing at that sort of distance, particularly on European cars that tend to wear discs more quickly than cars from other parts of the car-making world. Making a claim against Peugeot is difficult, be- cause brake pads and discs are not covered by the warranty, they are considered consumables, so you have to make a case for the wear you have experienced being excessive. While it s very frustrat- ing to have to pay to replace the discs so early, there s no bench- mark to say the wear is not within the bounds of being normal. Q The very next day after I bought a set of Bridgestone tyres from my local Bob Jane T-mart store for my 2005 Mazda 6 the passenger-side rear was flat. I took it back and it was apparently fixed, but less than 20km later it was flat again. This time I was informed that the sidewall had a pinhole in it and could not be repaired, and that I was up for a new tyre. Having spent more than $1000 I was a little disappointed with their attitude, which was basically that there was nothing they could do. Is there any recourse here? Tremayne Fowler email It sounds like there was a manu- facturing fault with the tyre in question and as such it should be covered by a warranty, either by the seller or the tyre manufac- turer. Return to Bob Jane T-mart with your receipt for the tyres and ask them to replace the tyre at no cost, and if that doesn t produce the result you want, contact Bridgestone direct and seek their help. Q My son has had his learners permit for a few months now and wants to get his first car, one that he can learn to drive in. We want to get him a small four-cylinder manual and have a Holden Astra in mind. We would like to find one with less than 100,000 km and not more than 10 years old. What are your thoughts on the Astra of this age, and what would be the likely price range? Stephen Harrington Templestowe, VIC A four-cylinder car is the way to go when you re learning; too many young drivers buy turbos, V6s and V8s and often get into trouble when they outdrive their skill and experience. The Astra is one of the cars I would certainly con- sider, but you need to be aware of the cam timing belt problems they had with that model. To avoid breaking the belt, and causing massive internal damage to the engine, the belt needs to be replaced every 60,000 km. With that in mind it s important to make sure that any car you consider has had the belt changed according to that schedule, and be aware that he will have to replace it every 60,000 km in the future. A 10-year-old Astra will set you back $8000-$9000. Others to consider are the Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Pulsar, Mazda 323 and Toyota Corolla. Q We are all being told now we should buy cars with elec- tronic stability control, but not all cars come with the system, how- ever, many come with electronic brake force distribution. Are they the same? Simon Tannard email No. Electronic stability control systems are designed to correct a slide in a car that can often occur as a result of a sudden and violent steering action, like when you swerve to avoid an object on the road. The system monitors the rotation of the vehicle about a vertical axis and if it deems it to be too severe it applies one or more of the cars brakes to correct the rotating motion, which in practical terms is a slide or a spin. Electronic brakeforce distri- bution, on the other hand, is designed to deliver the most effective braking force to each wheel individually. With old brak- ing systems, before the advent of EBD, each brake received the same braking effort when the brakes were applied, but that effort might be too much in the case where one wheel is on gravel, or snow or some other low-friction surface. With EBD that force can be moderated to the level needed for optimum braking at that wheel while the braking force at other wheels could be boosted if they were in contact with a higher friction surface. Q The paint on the top of both door mirrors on my black 2008 VE SS Commodore ute is fading. My dealer told me that as I live in Nth Qld, it s to be expected for this to occur. The ute has only done 19,000 km and is still under warranty, so I was surprised to get that response. Doesn t the warranty cover paint and paint defects? Libby H email The paint would only be covered by the warranty if was defective in some way from the factory, nor- mal wear and tear wouldn t be covered. But to have it visibly fading after just two years is not acceptable and I would certainly press the dealer, and Holden, to repair it. For the dealer to say its expected is even more unaccept- able.
February 27th 2010
March 13th 2010