27 September 2023

Ask the Doctor

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By Paul Gover.

Q: I drive a 2010 Volkswagen Golf TSI which I purchased brand-new from a dealer.

The car is due to have a 110,000-kilometre service and have been quoted around $800-plus for this major service.

The mileage that I have done is 56,000, nearly half of the expected mileage rate.
I have always found the service costs to be a bit on the high side so am wondering, given that I haven’t yet done the mileage, is it expected that the major service be a requirement and the cost reasonable?

Karen M

A: All servicing is distance/time, not just the distance you have travelled. Having a vehicle sitting, or doing short trips, is often far worse than driving regularly and taking long trips. But Volkswagen is not the cheapest on service costs.

Q: We want to purchase an SUV so we can hire caravans with a toilet.

Which car would you recommend between the Ford Everest Titanium or the Toyota Prado?

The Prado is about $20,000 more than the Everest so, just for price, we prefer the Everest.

Trice M

A: The Prado is a significantly better vehicle for your needs, as the Everest is based on the Ranger ute. The Toyota is worth the extra for comfort and class, and will pay you back on pricing at resale time.

Q: I’m looking to buy a new car and have a 2012 Nissan Dualis which has been great for me.

I’m looking at a Hyundai Venue or Mitsubishi ASX.

What do you think?

Rob M

A: I’m not remotely a fan of the ASX. It’s cheap for a reason, and and old model. The Venue is new and, if you want something compact and good for a suburban runaround, also the right size at a good price.

Q: I’m in the market for a second-hand car and I’m looking at a Honda Civic 2012-2013 VTi-L N.

Could you share your thoughts on the car and what I should expect to pay for one with low kilometres.

Darren R

A: That era of Civic was pretty good although more recently they have been overtaken by the Koreans for less money. Maybe also check what you can get in a Hyundai i30 for your budget. Best way to test values is to go to www.carsales.com.au as they have the biggest marketplace in the country.

Q: I recently bought a Holden Trax ls turbo which is recommended with 95-octane fuel.

I’m having trouble finding it as I can can get 91 or 98 but not true 95.

Do you know which servos have a true 95 or can you offer a solution please

Bob H

A: The 94-95 octane fuels are generally ones with 10 per cent of ethanol. All the major brands have a ‘mid-strength’ fuel between 91 and 98, so you just have to drive around and find a supply close to you.

Q: I’m having trouble with my Mazda’s battery and had to call the RACV as it wouldn’t start.

He charged it so I went to Mazda to have it checked out, but they said it would cost $140 to look at it and if a new battery was needed the cost would be $400.

I cannot afford this so do you have any suggestions?

Robyn T

A: Call a battery company as they have specialists who will come to you. I would not spend any money with Mazda as batteries often fail within four years without any underlying problem in the car.

If you have a question for the Car Doctor, send an email to [email protected]

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