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READER QUESTIONS: Some headlights don’t shine in Australia

A reader thinks the Skoda Fabia warrants more consideration by reviewers. Pic: Supplied.
A reader thinks the Skoda Fabia warrants more consideration by reviewers. Pic: Supplied.

We recently purchased a 2017 Hyundai Tucson Highlander after having a Holden Adventra since 2004. In our opinion the night lights of the Tucson are not adequate and there is a huge difference between the two sets of lights. We live in rural Victoria and spend our time travelling on gravel and dirt roads.

At night the lights are terrible and we don't feel they are safe. Maybe they were designed for city driving not country driving. We have made several complaints, even called the Hyundai customer care centre three times, only to be told that's the way they were manufactured and there's nothing we can do. We have asked about attaching more lights but are unable to do it because of front sensors and camera.

John Brennan, email

The Hyundai Tucson’s lights aren’t ideal for country roads. Pic: Supplied.
The Hyundai Tucson’s lights aren’t ideal for country roads. Pic: Supplied.

Firstly, the Adventra has brilliant headlights designed for Australian conditions, particularly on high beam. But a lot of Asian imports have super-bright Xenon low beams but only Halogen high beams, because their home conditions do not require the extra coverage even outside cities.

SHOW PONY

After reading your fabulous Mustang drop-top review I have just one question: what righteous 1960s muscle-car fan would brook a digital speedometer as fitted in the 2018 update? Ever since my retired neighbours rolled up the driveway in their new 1986 Magna Elite I've been stumped by this innovation. I don't mean to blow my cool, but surely this example of tech overkill is aimed squarely at yesterday's quiche-eaters and greenies.

Fraser Faithfull, Caulfield VIC

A digital speedo is almost an essential in a world filled with speed cameras with tiny tolerances, especially in something as brisk as a V8 Mustang.

Digital speedos are necessary today. Picture: Supplied.
Digital speedos are necessary today. Picture: Supplied.

 

BRAKING NEWS

Thank you for the recent information about brake squealing on the Mercedes-Benz GLC. We have had a similar situation when the brakes are cold, and were told by the dealer "It is not significant and will get better". We do not intend to purchase softer pads for the vehicle.

Don Roberton, email

I'm sure the other GLC owner will be happy to know they are not alone. And brake squeal is not unusual on premium European cars.

SPORTAGE A SAFE BET

What's the most reliable car with the best warranty, either a wagon or an SUV with a big boot? Is it a Subaru or a Honda, as I want something that doesn't have issues all the time. We bought a Volkswagen Golf wagon and it's already causing me pain and it's only done 43,000 kilometres. Because it's four months out of warranty I'm going to have to pay for the glitches to be fixed, so I'm not happy and want to offload it.

Eliza Sewell, email

ü Get a Kia. Seven-year warranty, great service back-up, and the Sportage gets The Tick as a family SUV.

SKODA A WORTHY CONTENDER

Once more the Skoda Fabia has been ignored by your road testers, in the review a while back of the Honda Jazz VTi-L where it was compared to the Mazda2, Toyota Yaris and Renault Clio.

Skoda’s Fabia Monte Carlo is an interesting alternative to the mainstream. Pic: Supplied.
Skoda’s Fabia Monte Carlo is an interesting alternative to the mainstream. Pic: Supplied.

While the Monte Carlo is a colourful version of the 81TSI, it would be a worthy winner against all four of those small cars. And it comes as a wagon with 505 litres to 1370 litres of load area. What's wrong with it, and you?

Lloyd Manning, email

ü We cannot keep everyone happy all the time and Skoda did earn our Car of the Year award for 2017. The Fabia gets The Tick but is still only a wildcard for the vast majority of showroom shoppers.

 

PRESTIGE STANDOUT

What are your thoughts on the Audi Q5 compared to a Lexus NX.

Sue Fine, email

ü The Audi trumps the Lexus by a fair margin, but the best of the prestige SUVs at the moment - and this year's World Car of the Year winner - is the Volvo XC60. It gets The Tick.

 

FEELING FLAT OVER BATTERY

A few weeks ago the battery in my late 2016 Ford Territory failed yet the car was only 15 months old. Assuming that the warranty would cover this, I took my car to the Ford dealer for rectification but was told the battery warranty was 12 months and it would not be covered. I contacted Ford who investigated my concerns and was told they would not cover any of the cost because my car was wired up to tow my caravan and they could not be sure this wiring did not contribute to the problem. I had the caravan wiring done by an auto electrician and it is not connected to anything if the caravan is not plugged in. I am disappointed by Ford's response. Do I have a case?

Ken Hammond, email

Sorry, but no. Despite your belief that the wiring for towing does not affect things, the warranty on the battery is a black-and-white deal.

 

PLEASE EXPLAIN

I've had no response from the dealer or Suzuki head office, despite two phone calls, in attempting to find out what 'check engine valve clearances' means in my service handbook. An independent mechanic told me the head has to come off but I doubt this as this item appears frequently in the service book. Suzuki obviously do not have their own service organisation and farm it out to others.

Robin Stewart, email

It's a very simple procedure, usually either just a screw adjuster or shims at the top of the rockers on the valve springs to ensure they are sealing properly and opening at the right time.

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