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    What gearbox can I use in my 2007 Holden Calais?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 29 Jun 2021

    The five-speed automatic in your Calais is a bit of an odd one, Mark, as it was only used for a handful of years and only in the high-feature 3.6-litre V6. Holden switched the car to a six-speed automatic in September 2009, so technically, that would be possible to fit to your car. As with a lot of these things, however, it’s not as simple as finding a gearbox and bolting it in. Modern engineering dictates that the five-speed and six-speed transmissions, while physically similar, may have featured bigger differences in terms of the information they fed to the car’s on-board computer and the program within that computer that, in turn, told the gearbox what to do next.

    At the very least, you’d need the electronic transmission-control module to make the six-speed work and possibly some changes to sensors and wiring. Even then, you might find that your speedometer needs recalibration. Unlike the good old days when the transmission was simply a set of gears, a modern transmission these days is a much more sophisticated piece of equipment and does a much more complex job.

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    Will the new 2021 Toyota Landcruiser 300 Series have the centre console fridge?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 29 Jun 2021

    The chilled box between the front seats of the current LandCruiser is on just about every four-wheel-driver’s wish-list. It’s a great idea and it’s a wonder more car-makers don’t offer this even as an extra-cost option, even beyond the off-road market. So, the smart money would say that the new 300-Series LandCruiser will continue with this feature.

    The catch – as it is now – is that you’ll probably have to pony up for the most expensive version of the LandCruiser to get the drinks chiller. In the current 200-Series Cruiser, you need to buy the range-topping Sahara to get the chilled centre console which also gets you heated and cooled leather front seats just to complete the decadence. Perhaps Toyota will make the chilled centre-console available on lesser versions of the new 300-Series, and perhaps as an extra-cost option for, say the volume-selling GXL model. That’s a distinct possibility as, historically, Toyota has moved the LandCruiser range further upmarket with every new model. It’s an option that would probably experience a pretty high take-up rate, we reckon.

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    What is the best dog-friendly car?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 24 Jun 2021

    If you like the idea of the Honda but don’t want such a physically large package, take a look at the Honda Jazz. Yes, it’s probably one size down from your current Focus, but its interior is very spacious for its external dimensions. It’s also the car that has probably the most versatile interior in terms of flexible seating arrangements with a rear seat that folds, slides and tumbles. It also has normal ride height (as opposed to the jacked-up stance that SUVs boast) so your dog may find it easier to jump in without hitting anything. Beyond that, you really need to visit dealerships and check for yourself that rear doors, rear seats and general layout suit your very specific canine requirements.

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    Why does the auto transmission in my 2019 MG GS have a delay on take-off when it's cold?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 24 Jun 2021

    Dual-clutch transmissions continue to haunt some manufacturers with poor reliability and short lifespans. I’m not going to categorically say that your gearbox is showing signs of premature wear, but the symptoms you’ve listed – harsh shifting, engagement delays and general harshness – are classic signs that a dual-clutch is not well.

    There are many causes of this; wear in the clutch packs can cause shuddering and harsh shifting, while worn internals and iffy electronics can cause delays in the unit selecting gears. Either way, it’s straight back to the dealer for your car, but at least it’s still within the factory warranty period, so it shouldn’t cost you a cent to have it put right.

    This type of transmission works beautifully when it’s in tip-top condition, but – speaking very generally – they have been known to give problems early in life and some manufacturers have moved away from this tech to a more conventional style of automatic transmission.

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    Should I buy a 2013 Fiat Freemont?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 24 Jun 2021

    What you really need to know about the Fiat Freemont is that it’s essentially a Dodge Journey with a Fiat badge (and all that implies). The Dodge Journey itself is not very well regarded within the trade and there’s no reason to suggest the addition of a Fiat badge to it will change any of that.

    The major areas of concern are in the electrical and build quality departments, where both the Dodge and Fiat have their problems. Be especially careful to make sure that all the electrical gear works properly, including the stuff at the rear of the car such as the reversing camera, rear wiper and central locking. Poor design and assembly meant that the wiring at the rear of this car is suspect and prone to failure with a new wiring loom sometimes required to fix it. The Freemont was also recalled for a variety of major problems including a bearing-failure problem in the engine, engine bay fires, faulty cruise control and even a driver’s air-bag that could deploy without warning.

    Most workshops should be able to service the car, and any that doesn’t want to, clearly doesn’t want your money. The Freemont’s long-term running-cost forecast will have far more to do with what work needs to be carried out than anything to do with its fuel consumption. Frankly, there are better choices out there.

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    Why does the engine light keep coming on in my 2008 Holden Colorado?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 24 Jun 2021

    If replacing the actual sensor doesn’t fix the problem, then you could be looking at a problem with the wiring that connects that oxygen sensor to the car’s on-board computer. Did the mechanic that changed the sensor check the condition of the wiring? This equipment all lives very close to a very hot exhaust system, so damage from that is not unknown.

    There’s also a chance that the computer itself is throwing up a bogus fault code when it’s interrogated. Temporarily swapping the computer for another one is a reasonably simple way to rule this out. There’s also a chance (and it’s more common than you might imagine) that the brand new oxygen sensor you had fitted was a dud straight out of the box. This has definitely been known to happen, and it’s the first thing some experienced mechanics will think to check.

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    How do I know if I need to change the gearbox in my 2011 Holden Barina Spark?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 24 Jun 2021

    Your problem could be a gear-selection issue within the gearbox or the selector linkages, but it’s also very likely to be a clutch problem instead. Many people think that the first sign of a worn clutch is one that slips when you accelerate. And in many cases, that’s so. But sometimes, you can have a clutch that wears differently and, in that case, an early symptom can be difficulty in selecting gears from a standing start as the clutch refuses to disengage completely. As the problem progresses, you might find it difficult even to select higher gears once you’re moving.

    A workshop should be able to diagnose what’s going on, but we definitely wouldn’t be rushing out to replace the gearbox when a much simpler, cheaper clutch replacement might very possibly put things right.

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    How do I know if my Mitsubishi Challenger has a fuel blockage?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 17 Jun 2021

    A fuel blockage is definitely one possibility. When was the last time the fuel filter was changed? But in the case of the earlier, petrol-powered Challenger, don’t disregard other things such as an ignition problem which could involve spark plugs, ignition leads or some component of the distributor or coil(s). Has the vehicle sat idle for any length of time? Modern fuel goes `off’ pretty quickly and poor or rough running is a classic symptom of that phenomenon.

    If your car is the later diesel version, the same comments regarding the fuel filter apply, but the situation is magnified as the fuel systems on these modern, common-rail turbo-diesels are quite complex and run at enormous injection pressures. Sorting out a rough running problem in one of these Later Challengers is best done by first electronically scanning the vehicle to see if its on-board computer throws up any fault codes. Those messages can then be decoded and you’ll have a much better idea of what’s wrong. Frankly, the problem could be anything form a high-pressure pump failing to a throttle-position sensor sending false information back to the computer.

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    Why does my 2011 Toyota Kluger turn off when I turn sharp corners?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 17 Jun 2021

    It could very well be that there’s something amiss in the car’s ignition barrel (which lives on the steering column, remember) or its wiring and connectors that is causing the power to the ignition to be cut when you turn the wheel. The problem could also be a short-circuit somewhere in the wiring in the column (and there’s plenty of it) that is causing the problem. Either way, you need to get it fixed immediately, as having a car cut out when you least expect it is can lead to all sorts of extremely dangerous situations.

    Another possibility is that there’s something wrong with the car’s power steering system which is overloading at the point you turn the wheel hard and causing the engine to stall. Again, it needs to be fixed now and I wouldn’t be driving the car anywhere other than to a workshop for diagnosis.

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    How reliable are Peugeot 3008?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 17 Jun 2021

    While there’s no doubt that Peugeot’s quality has improved after the terrible days of the 1990s and 2000s, there remains a school of thought that suggests the brand still lags behind much of the Japanese and South Korean competitors when it comes to build quality and reliability. Not that some of Subaru’s engineering in the last couple of decades has been beyond reproach, either (a batch of dodgy head gaskets did the brand’s reputation no good at all) but on balance, a Subaru is more highly regarded by the trade on the subject of reliability.

    Like any modern turbo-diesel, the one in the 3008 can suffer if your driving habits don’t suit the way the engine and its particulate filter are designed to operate. In a nutshell, unless you do at least some highway driving every month, then a modern turbo-diesel is probably not for you (and that applies to all makes and models, not just Peugeots). Other complaints about the 3008 we’ve heard involve the heating and ventilation system, and random electrical glitches are not unknown. The diesel version of the current-model 3008 has also been recalled for a potential engine overheating problem as well as a possible fuel leak problem on a batch of early-build cars.

    As for after-sales back-up, it’s fair to say that some dealerships are better than others, regardless of the brand they support. The difference might be if you live in a relatively remote area where Peugeot’s 30-dd dealerships can’t offer the coverage of Subaru’s 100-plus dealers.

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