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The Mercury Cars Guide : May 29th 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au ---15 email@example.com with GRAHAM SMITH Graham Smith answers your driving questions with some great tips and advice Airbag light on the blink, spells trouble WARNING SIGN: A CarsGuide reader has been advised that a flashing airbag light in their Nissan Micra (inset) needs addressing immediately. Q The airbag light on my 2007 Nissan Micra flashes whenever I start the car and keeps flashing unless I turn it off. An autoelectrician I consulted flicked some switch and changed the light globe and told me to bring it back if the light comes on again. It did, so I took it back for a second time; this time they told me that the car needs to go back to Nissan because the airbag module needs to be replaced as well as a whole new computer system for the airbags. They temporarily fixed it for me again, but recom- mended that I don t drive it long distances. Three days later the light came back on for the third time. Do you think that the problem is worth getting fixed, or should I start looking for another car? Nathan Robinson email Yes, get it fixed. You are driving around in a car with dodgy airbags, ones that probably wouldn t deploy if you have a crash. It s unsafe. It s only three years old so it is possibly still under warranty, if not it is only just out of warranty, so I would think you shouldn t have to pay anything to have Nissan fix it. Q The petrol gauge in my Mazda 6 has been unreliable ever since I bought it, so much so that I have run out of fuel when the gauge said full and the trip computer said I had 120km to empty. My Mazda dealer told me it was common for the gauge to be unreliable on Mazdas, and there was nothing that can be done. I now rely on my trip meter to fill-up after 600km of driving. George Bauer Black Rock, Vic There is something wrong with the fuel gauge, so don t be fobbed off by the dealer. Insist it be fixed, they could always replace the gauge and any other parts that are faulty in the system. Q I thought I d tell you how I fixed the rear tear wear problem on my 1998 VT Series I Commodore V8 that was scrubbing the rear tyres at a fairly fast rate. It was so fast that new tyres would be scrubbed on inside edges within 10,000 km if not rotated to the front. My solution was to install a complete rear K-Frame from a VX Series II, which is the updated rear- end. I have now done about 50,000km and the tyres are perfect. The new VX Series II K-Frame cost $350 from a Holden Wreckers and the installation was $120. Geoff Jones Ocean Grove, Vic Good to know that the problem can be fixed, but I would think such a rework is beyond all but the most enthusiastic owners. Q I have always disliked the concept of cruise control, believing it cons drivers into believing that less control is somehow better, but I recently decided to learn to use it in case I happened to move the lever accidentally. As soon as I activated it I became aware of a reduction in my concentration, it made me feel more like a passenger than a driver. I would consider this to be quite unsafe, as having the right foot engaged on the accelerator, rather than relaxed while using cruise control, surely allows for a quicker reaction time in the event of an emergency. I would like to know what the official spin is regarding cruise control, and why it is supposed to be such a great luxury to lower a driver s concentration level. Linden email Cruise control is not there so the driver can relax at the wheel, it does a number of things, but it s important to use it correctly. It can make it more comfortable over long distances when you would otherwise have your foot resting on the accelerator pedal for long periods of time, it can also be used to set your speed so you don t exceed the speed limit, and it is generally better at maintaining a steady speed than a driver. It s up to the driver to maintain concentration at all times, whether the cruise is on or not. Q Is it normal to be getting 5km/litre when running a 2.6-litre 1996 Ford Courier on gas in city traffic? Also, is a car that has fuel injection supposed to be more economical? Tony Smith email The rule of thumb is that a vehicle would use around 20 per cent more LPG than it would use of running on petrol. On average a 1996 Ford Courier would do around 12.5 L/100 km on petrol, which means it should do around 15 L/100 km, or 6.6 km/litre, on gas. On that basis yours is thirsty. On your second question, yes you would expect a car with fuel injection to be more economical than one with a carburetor. Q I have recently noticed a top-end rattle from my turbo-diesel 2006 Toyota HiLux SR5 when the engine is cold. It will also rattle while idling, but only intermittently. The Toyota dealer checked the ECU and said everything was within acceptable parameters, and I have changed the fuel filter, but a mechanic said it points to a faulty injector? Kerrie Kugele email Your mechanic could be right, the engine is a common-rail diesel and the injectors are elec- tronic. You could try having them cleaned before replacing them, that would be a cheaper option. Q I noticed a question regarding two ignition coil failures in a 15-month period on a 2006 VE Commodore that had done 93,000km. I have had two fail in two weeks on my 2005 VZ Crewman with 184,000 km. Is this common? Can I expect the rest to fail in the coming weeks/months? Chris email Ignition coil failures have been an often reported failure on Commodores going back a number of models; it s not necessarily something new. I can t say the others will fail, after all the two failed coils did 184,000km before giving up. 275 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 • Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 • Allan Gebel 0428 729 659 96 Hyundai Excel GX -- power steering...................... $3,290 97 Toyota Starlet -- 5 door hatch .................................. $3,490 95 Suzuki Baleno -- automatic ......................................... $4,990 98 Honda Civic CXi -- hatch, low km ........................... $5,990 99 Corolla CSi Sedan -- 1.6 manual ............................ $7,450 97 Pajero GLX Wagon -- 3.0 litre auto..................... $8,290 06 Holden Barina -- 5 speed............................................ $8,490 04 Suzuki Ignis -- 5 door .................................................... $8,950 01 Nissan Pulsar LX -- 73,000 km............................... $8,990 07 Kia Rio EX Hatch -- 1.6 manual............................. $9,490 04 Nissan Maxima ST-L -- 3.5 litre ............................ $9,990 04 Hyundai Elantra GLS -- auto, leather trim..... $10,990 04 Ford Courier -- steel tray........................................... $10,990 05 Suzuki Liana -- alloy wheels ...................................... $10,990 98 Subaru Forester -- GX wagon................................ $11,990 99 Holden Statesman -- 5.7 litre luxury................ $13,990 Good cars at cheap prices! SPECIAL OF THE WEEK 02 Lancer GLi Sedan alloy wheels ....................$6,990 Tilford Trade Clearance Centre TONY: 0417 569 323 ROD: 0419 122 991 56b Gormanston Road Moonah Finance Available TAP 6273 8533 www.tilford.com.au CHEAP CHEAP CARS & COMMERCIALS Hobart's true & original Trade Clearance Centre Wholesale & Trade welcome CARS 95 TS Magna Sedan $450 As traded bargain, auto, power steer 90 Mitsubishi Starwagon GLX $4,000 Family 8 seater, auto, 2.0ltr engine 93 Daihatsu Charade Sedan $5,000 Only 99,000klms, t-bar auto, p/s, a/c 98 Mitsubishi Lancer GLX-i S/W $6,000 5 speed manual, economical 4 cyl, tidy 98 Suzuki Baleno Sedan $6,000 104,000klms, 5 speed, immaculate throughout 99 Peugeot 306 XR Sedan $7,000 Only 114,000klms, t-bar auto, p/s, a/c 00 Peugeot 306 Cabriolet $7,700 129,000klms, 5 speed, navy blue paint 07 Hyundai Getz Hatch $8,900 5 door, manual, p/s, a/c, power windows, tidy 03 Ford Focus LX Sedan $13,000 70,000klms, t-bar auto, alloys, p/s, a/c 04 Peugeot 307 XS-HDi Touring Wagon $14,000 5 speed manual, 6 months reg, immaculate 04 Mazda 6 Classic Hatch $16,000 84,000klms, 5 speed, red paint, p/s, a/c 03 BA Ford Falcon XR8 Sedan $22,000 104,000klms, Gunmetal Grey paint, 5 speed COMMERCIALS 90 Mitsubishi Triton 4x4 D/Cab $5,500 Petrol or gas, canopy, 5 speed, drives well 00 Honda HRV 4x4 S/W $7,000 5 speed manual, alloys, white paint, p/s, a/c 97 Ford Courier 4x2 D/Cab $8,000 Canopy, auto, 2.6ltr engine, p/s, a/c 95 Holden Rodeo 4x2 D/Cab $8,000 180,000klms, canopy, auto, neat & tidy 02 Holden Rodeo 4x2 D/Cab F/Tray $10,500 V6 engine, 5 speed, clean & tidy, p/s, a/c 05 Mitsubishi Triton 4x2 D/Cab $12,500 5 speed manual, neat & tidy throughout, p/s, a/c 03 Ford Courier Extra Cab Ute $12,750 135,000klms, 5 speed, 2.6ltr engine, tidy 05 Mazda Bravo 4x2 F/Tray $14,700 Only 67,000klms, gas/petrol, 5 speed 04 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS S/W $15,000 T-bar auto, alloys, neat & tidy, p/s, a/c 04 VZ Holden Commodore One-Tonner $15,500 80,000klms, auto, alloys, p/s, a/c 04 Ford Courier 4x4 F/Tray $17,400 Turbo diesel, alloy bullbar, alloys, p/s, a/c 04 Subaru Forester S/Wagon $18,000 112,000klms, auto, immaculate, p/s, a/c
May 22nd 2010
June 5th 2010