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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 3rd 2010
16--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, July 3, 2010 Adopting a softly, softly approach SUPER HERO: The Mercedes- Benz SLS supercar will be an old- school soft- top and will also have conventional front-hinged doors. Picture: CARPARAZZI PAUL GOVER THE gullwing is about to have its wings clipped. The SLS supercar produced by Mercedes- Benz, and just announced as a super-quick electric coupe, is getting the final tweaks for roadster work. Carparazzi has caught the drop-top SLS once before, but new pictures fresh from Germany show the car with far less camouflage and with a clear look for the first time at the top-down work. The SLS is going to be an old-school soft-top --- not one of the new-age coupe-convertibles with a folding hardtop roof --- and it will also have conventional front-hinged doors when it is revealed towards the end of the year. The body of the convertible --- probably to be called the SLS Roadster --- is almost identical to the gullwing coupe, apart from the tail-end changes necessary for the soft-top mechanism. It is similar, says Carparazzi, to the system used for the open-air version of the McLaren-Mercedes SLR produced in a collaboration between the German prestige brand and its former frontline F1 outfit. There is no news yet on whether the SLS Roadster will get the E-power pack just revealed for the coupe. There is also uncertainty on timing, with the car not expected in showrooms for about 18 months. The first Australian deliveries of the gullwing coupe begin this month after a likely review at either the Paris or Los Angeles motor shows before the end of this year. Temperature rising over light show ASK SMITHY Graham Smith Q: Until recently I was very happy with my 2009 Toyota HiLux SR-5. It looked good and was great to drive, but then a mate told me the transmission temperature light in his similar vehicle came on when towing his caravan. Three weeks ago I went on holidays with my caravan and, sure enough, my transmission light came on as well. These vehicles are quoted as having a towing capacity of 2200-2500kg, which makes me ask why they have an issue when my van weighs about 1700kg. Adding to my concern, two other owners have told me that this is a common problem with the HiLux. I have contacted Toyota and the dealer, but Toyota has chosen to disregard the issue, saying they haven t had any problems. The dealer, however, admitted that there had been some complaints and said Toyota won t fix the problem until they have a certain number of complaints. Has anybody else had this problem? Peter Sunbury, Vic A: We asked Toyota to look into your case and, while it hasn t yet reported back to us, it told us it would investigate it. In the meantime, to solve your problem it would be best to fit a transmission oil cooler. Q: I have had a number of close calls at roundabouts and pedestrian crossings in my Holden International Wagon, where my vision has been impaired by the front pillar of the windscreen and door on the driver s side. My dealer said the bulky design was necessary for the five-star safety rating and the housing of the airbag. Great, but that does not help if you missed seeing the oncoming traffic. I previously had a VS Berlina wagon and never experienced any issue with the visibility from the driver s seat. Have you heard of this concern, or do you have a comment about my supposed issues with this blind spot? Gerard Harris e-mail A: The front pillars are certainly wide, to accommodate the airbags, as the dealer said, and it is something you need to be aware of when driving so you don t have those close calls. You could try moving the seat to minimise the blind spot. It is also something prospective buyers should be aware of and check during a road test. Q: I have disc brake rotor shudder on my BA Falcon under light to moderate braking. Some have said the rotors need skimming and different pads fitted. Others have said new rotors are needed. What s your opinion? Bill Barnes Carindale, Qld A: Have the rotors checked to see how much they have worn. It could be they only need a skim, but if they are heavily worn they might need replacing. Q: My 11-year-old V6 Nissan Maxima A32 has developed an intermittent shudder in the engine that is getting worse. It s only noticeable at idle, and is more pronounced in Drive or Reverse, and gets worse the longer the car is driven. I have just had the fuel injectors cleaned because it was thought it might be fuel starvation brought on by dirty fuel, but they were apparently quite clean anyway. Having them cleaned has not helped. All computer testing has shown up nothing, and no lights are lit up on my dash. It feels the more I try to fix the problem the worse it is getting. Can you suggest what might be the problem? Ross Doonan e-mail A: I would have suggested that you clean the injectors, but as you have already done that I would go through the plugs, leads, coils, etc, and make sure all is well with them, and make sure the idle is correct. Q: The best fuel consumption I can get out of my 280,000km 1997 V6 Toyota Camry is 11l/100km, the worst is 14.5l/100km around Canberra. Is this OK for a car of this age? I have replaced the leads, fuel filter, plugs, distributor, rotor button, high-flow cat converter, rear muffler and also have a power chip piggyback ECU. Shiraj e-mail A: The consumption is higher than I would expect. When new Toyota was claiming 11.0l/100km in city driving and 8.0 or so on the highway, but after 280,000km you could expect it to have worn a little and the compression would be down, so you would anticipate that you wouldn t be getting close to the new figures. Even so, your consumption does seem too high. Q: For the first time, in over 40 years on the road, my wife and I determined to get a new vehicle that would see us out to the end of our driving days. One of our requirements was for it to have a quality in-built GPS system. We decided on a Mitsubishi Triton with the lot, including the expensive MMCS, but you could imagine our dismay when we found that the MMCS couldn t guide us home. In fact, it couldn t get within a mile of the place and we had to rely on our old el- cheapo Tom Tom. The MMCS uses a whereis system 15, but there is a system 16 out, which is available for a lot of user systems, but apparently not taken up by Mitsubishi yet. When Mitsubishi do take it up, the upgrade will be at my expense. We believe we have been sold a dud. I am very disappointed with the Triton and even more disappointed with the response from Mitsubishi. Rob and Leyla Johnson e-mail A: Carmakers are locked into what their parent companies are doing, and in this case it means there was a delay in the local roll-out of the upgrades that are launched first in their home countries sometimes weeks, even a month or two, before arriving here. We understand you just missed the introduction of the upgrade to the GPS system by a week or two, but we also understand that Mitsubishi has come to the party and upgraded the system in your car for you. Q: I took my 2002 Nissan X-Trail to a mechanic to have a front wheel bearing fixed. While that was being done the mechanic told me both front wheel bearings and the hubs needed to be replaced, at a cost of $789. My car has only done 41,000km and I have found that other owners have had front wheel bearing problems, some as low as 10,000km. As the damage to the hubs is directly related to the bearing failure, do you think I have a case to take to Nissan for some compensation or reduction on the price of the hub assemblies? If so, can you advise whom at Nissan I should contact? Keith Brooke e-mail A: I reckon you would have good reason to ask Nissan to supply new hub assemblies free of charge, leaving you to pay for the labour. The best place to start is with your dealer, and you should show him the failed parts and a report from your mechanic. Q: I would like to know what my 1960 Morris 850 might be worth, and perhaps who may be interested in purchasing it. I have owned the car for 22 years; it has been restored from bare metal, but requires some minor mechanical work. Kevin Lamb e-mail A: Depending on its condition and what mechanical work needs to be done to it, I would think its worth $5000 to $10,000. First contact a Mini club near you where I am sure you would find a buyer. JUST ASK Good advice WHEEL DEALS used cars NEAR NEW: DJ has seven Nissan Tiidas on special. Lexus of Hobart A 2001 BMW X5 is the hot Lexus used deal today. It has 159,000km on the clock, a 4.4-litre V8 automatic, ABS, climate control, sunroof, CD stacker, television, stability control, plus front, side and curtain airbags. Drive away at $29,990. Tilford TILFORD Used Cars has a 2008 Ford Ranger XL crew cab automatic in eye-catching black. Complete with chrome ladder racks, this updated model has electric windows and remote central locking. Reduced for this weekend to $24,888. Co-Op A 2006 Yaris YR five-door hatch must go at $10,990. This 1.3-litre five-speed manual features air conditioning, ABS, dual airbags, low mileage. DJs SEVEN Nissan Tiida sedans and hatches are priced to sell at $15,990 drive away. Each has an automatic transmission, dual airbags, ABS, cruise control and the remainder of three year/100,000km warranty. All have travelled less than 35,000km.
June 26th 2010
July 10th 2010