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    Are we going to see the new Mazda 3 turbo AWD in Australia?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 21 Sep 2021

    Mazda Australia has previously told CarsGuide that it would love to get hold of a batch of the hot-shot Mazda 3 Turbos. And while the local arm of Mazda has asked head office for a batch of the all-wheel-drive hot-hatches, no decision has been confirmed as yet.

    Mazda’s problem is justifying the cost of making the car in right-hand-drive form, and the complex mechanical packaging makes that even more difficult than usual. Designed for the North American market, the lack of a right-hand-drive variant will likely be the biggest hurdle to the car making it into showrooms here.

    Mazda Australia is obviously keen on the idea as it would give it a competitive product to tackle the success of the VW Golf GTi, the Renault Megane RS and the soon-to-arrive new Subaru WRX. The bottom line? Cross your fingers, but don’t hold your breath.

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    Why is my 2006 BF MKII XR6 making a clicking sound?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 20 Sep 2021

    I really think you’ve answered your own question here. You’ve admitted that you started to fix the park brake, but gave up half way through and you’re not sure whether you may have adjusted something the wrong way. I’d say you’re bang on the money. If the park-brake is dragging, it will soon get hot and can start to make all sorts of weird groans and scraping noises.

    I does surprise me a little, though, that your mechanic was so dismissive about this. He or she clearly didn’t look too far into things, and simply ruling out a bearing or differential noise because he didn’t recognise the noise seems a bit slack to me. I’d be reversing whatever you did to the car before it started making the noise and see if that fixes things. Good on you for having a go at home maintenance, but really, when it comes to something like a car’s braking system, it needs an experienced pair of hands tackling it to avoid potential disasters down the track.

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    What should I do if my 1995 Mazda 323 is leaking oil?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 19 Sep 2021

    Your car is certainly exhibiting the signs of a car with a blown head gasket. The smoke from the exhaust is one symptom, and so is the loss of performance. The oil leaks, could be part of the same problem, but could also be from somewhere else on the engine. Oil leaks have a cunning habit of being able to hide their true source.

    On top of that, even the exhaust smoke and lack of performance could be down to something other than a head gasket problem, so the next step is to take the car to a workshop and have what’s known as a TK test carried. This test will chemically detect if combustion from the engine cylinders is finding its way into the coolant. If it is, you can be pretty sure that you have a blown head gasket.

    At that point, you need to weigh up the cost of repairs to see whether you think it’s worth doing, given the overall condition of the car versus the cost of getting into something newer. If you really love the Mazda as much as you say, then maybe the cost of changing the head gasket will be acceptable compared with how you value the vehicle. And even if the repairs cost $2000 or even $3000 (which they could depending on how deep into the engine you need to go and what else you find wrong) there’s not much out there in today’s market for that money that represents anything even remotely decent.

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    Does the 3rd generation of the Mazda 6 have unreliable in transmission?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 18 Sep 2021

    Mazda’s 6 has always had a pretty good reputation in the trade for its reliability and durability, but globally, there have been a few concerns with the automatic transmission. The first of those is a situation where the transmission goes into limp-home mode. At that point, it can suffer slurred shifts and a lack of acceleration. It doesn’t seem a common complaint in Australia, but it’s reckoned to be caused by the transmission fluid becoming contaminated with small iron particles (possibly swarf from the production process) becoming attracted to the magnetic sensors inside the transmission. At that point, the sensors lose the plot and the information going to the computer becomes garbled.

    The other thing seen (mostly in the US) has been a whining noise from the transmission. Inspections have shown this to be caused by a damaged bearing in the transmission, possibly the victim of misalignment of the gearbox casing. Again, it’s not a common fault showing up here.

    Overall, the Mazda 6 seems one of the better bets out there in reliability terms.

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    What is causing my 2019 Mitsubishi Triton to have DPF issues?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 17 Sep 2021

    Since both the Triton and Pajero Sport boast exactly the same power and torque outputs, I doubt whether there’s a huge difference (if any at all) in the mapping of either engine. Which suggests that switching from one to the other without changing your driving patterns would be a very good way of reproducing the Triton’s DPF problems in a Pajero Sport. My suspicion is that you’re having to force multiple DPF regenerations because your driving habits don’t let the engine get up to the correct temperature often enough to allow the vehicle to conduct its own, automatic regeneration. This is a pretty common problem with modern turbo-diesels and it’s not a criticism of your driving, simply a confirmation that these modern diesel engines don’t like short trips. Then again, 24,000km in 12 months doesn’t sound like the vehicle is used solely for the school run.

    Six regenerations in 24,000km sounds like an awful lot, also, so I’d be more concerned that your dealer is underplaying the situation to avoid dealing with a problem in your specific vehicle. Has the vehicle been electronically scanned? Perhaps this might show up a dud sensor or other problem that’s making the computer think it needs another regeneration. We’ve heard of a faulty temperature sensor on this model Triton that can lead the DPF to offer up a false alarm that it’s ready for a regeneration. That could explain the high number of regenerations the vehicle has demanded. Again, a scan might tell the full story.

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    Are there any known issues with 2010 Holden Commodores?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 11 Sep 2021

    The biggest problem with this model of Commodore was it’s V6 engine and that unit’s propensity to suffer stretched timing chains. Cars without a full service history will be the worst offenders, but even a car with a perfect maintenance track record can still require new timing chains. However, this usually occurs long before 200,000kmk have been clocked up, so it would be very interesting to see if the car you’re looking at has, indeed, had this repair made by a previous owner. Of course, even if the timing chain has been replaced, that’s no guarantee that the problem won’t occur again. There’s also a suspicion that the three-litre version of the Holden V6 was a bit underpowered and needed to be driven hard everywhere; a situation that didn’t help timing-chain wear at all.

    Other problems with the VE Commodore generally include some electrical problems that are surfacing with age, particularly camshaft-position sensors, a build-up of carbon on the intake valves which can cause rough running and poor economy, oil leaks and leaks from the cooling system. That said, if you can find a good one with an engine that has had new timing chains, the VE wagon represents a lot of car for not much money these days.

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    Why is there a knocking noise under the bonnet before starting the engine of my 2005 Holden Astra?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 10 Sep 2021

    You’d expect any noise from under a car’s bonnet to be caused by the engine, but if this noise occurs before you’ve started the engine, you’re on to a real mystery. Perhaps the noise can be heard as you crank the engine but before it actually fires? If that’s the case, the clunk or knock could be coming from the starter motor. Or perhaps the action of the starter motor is causing the engine to rock back and forth on worn engine mounts and allowing the engine to hit on the cross-member or some other component under the bonnet. Perhaps it’s a loose exhaust system that’s banging on something as you crank the engine. Once the engine fires and is running, the frequency of its vibrations changes and the clunk goes away.

    But I’m afraid that without more information, this one remains a mystery to us.

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    How do I know if it's worth replacing the transmission in my 2008 Ford Escape?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 9 Sep 2021

    This is a bit of a perennial question when it comes to older second-hand cars that suddenly need expensive repairs. On current values, your Escape is probably worth almost exactly the same as the new transmission will cost you. The problem is that even if you do have the new transmission fitted, you won’t have doubled the value of the car. In fact, you’ll have done nothing for its resale value compared with any other working Escape. And right now, your Escape with a broken transmission is worth – roughly - $300 which is what a scrap merchant will pay for it to be crushed and turned into microwave ovens.

    However, balancing all that is the question of, if you do scrap the car, how much will you need to spend to get into something that will be reliable and safe? And the answer to that is probably more than $5000. At this point, you also need to assess the condition of the rest of your car. At 170,000km on the clock, it could well be ready for maintenance in other expensive areas.

    But assuming the rest of your car is in good condition and still works properly, here’s another option: Rather than a brand-new transmission, why not track down a good, second-hand unit from a vehicle recycler. Specialist recyclers have a range of components like these, and you should be able to find one that’s been tested and perhaps even carries a short warranty. It will still cost money to buy the transmission and have it fitted, but it shouldn’t be anything like $5000 and if it keeps your car on the road for another few years, then it’s recycling at its best. The greenest car is the one that’s already been built.

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    What can I do after the engine cover arms of my 2019 Isuzu D-Max broke after being serviced?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 8 Sep 2021

    Warranty or not, if the workshop that serviced the car broke the cover, surely it’s up to that business to fix it. Separate to that is the fact that the car is still well and truly under warranty, so that makes the problem Isuzu’s to some extent, also.

    To be honest, these plastic covers are one of the more useless additions to modern cars and really only serve to make the underbonnet area look a bit neater when you open the bonnet. In fact, they allow packaging engineers to be a bit lazy as they can cover a messy layout. The best advice is to get hold of a new cover under Isuzu’s warranty and store it in the shed. Then, when you’re ready to sell the car, fit the still-new cover so it looks neat and tidy for would-be buyers. The vehicle will run fine without the cover.

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    What is causing my 2013 Hyundai i30's rough cold start?

    Answered by CarsGuide · 7 Sep 2021

    Any smoke from the exhaust of a car suggests there’s something wrong with the fuel system or that there’s wear inside the engine. I’m leaning towards the fuel system in this case, though, as a cold-start is when the fuelling system is under the greatest stress.

    To make a cold engine run properly, the engine’s fuel-air ratio has to be altered (more fuel and less air than when the engine is up to temperature). To know how much extra fuel, the engine has a range of sensors that measure the temperature of the air going into the engine, the temperature of the engine itself, the flow of air, as well as sensors that sniff what’s coming out of the tailpipe to make sure the mixture is just right. If any of these sensors begin to send false information to the engine’s computer, the mixture can be incorrect and the rough running, poor idling and visible smoke can be the results.

    Even something as simple as the stepper-motor, which controls the idle speed of the car, can be the cause of rough idling, but that’s less likely to contribute to gales of smoke from the exhaust. The best advice is to have the car scanned and see if the computer has logged any faults. Smoke from the engine might also warrant a compression test of the engine’s cylinders, too. From there, you can make a more informed diagnosis and replace only the faulty parts.

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