26 September 2023

Ask the Doctor

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By Paul Gover.

Q: I have a son who at the end of this year or early next year is going to look for a 2014/2015 VW GTI Performance car.

Now I know that these cars are usually driven hard and it worries me that he may end up with a car that is completely worn out.

Can you perhaps let me know what things to look for when he goes to look at these cars in regard to the engine, body, turbo so forth?

Denise B

A: Anything modified is asking for trouble, from bigger wheels to spoilers or the telltale ‘chipping’ that means the engine has been tweaked. You should look for a car from an older driver with a full factory history, as the Golf GTI is not always a hotrod for young hoons.

Q: I have a 2019 Mercedes Benz C300 with only 5700 kilometres on the clock and it started to leak oil.

I had it repaired and I noted a leak again, so took it back and they said it’s oil on the plastic covers.

They cleaned the oil away and said it’s OK, but now and about two months ago I saw the oil again

I took the car to the dealer and they said the motor has to come out to fix the oil leak.

They repaired once but it is not fixed, so what rights do I have?

Vasil K

A: The first thing you should do is report the problem to Mercedes-Benz Australia, so you are not relying on the dealership. The whole saga, on a car so new and under the factory warranty, should always go through customer service at HQ and that way you can get a full report on the problem and the work that needs to be done.

Q: We are currently thinking of trading our 2016 GLA180 Mercedes and our 2008 BMW 320i for one SUV with a large boot space.

It will need enough room for two sets of golf bags and buggies and luggage, but not too big for us to park and drive through our narrow driveway.

We are in our late 60s, wanting to have a comfortable ride to Adelaide every few months.

What do you suggest would be our best buy and not as expensive to service as the Mercedes

Jan R

A: Seems you like prestige cars, so I would steer you in a surprising direction. The Volvo XC series are excellent SUVs, winners of World Car of the Year awards. Both the XC40 and XC60 would probably serve your needs, so pick the one that has enough boot space for the golfing gear.

Q: My wife has had hand-me-down cars from her mum the last 18 years which we are forever grateful for.

But the time has come for her to choose the car she wants! We have never bought a car that’s been less than 6 years old.

She is looking at the Kia Sportage and Seltos. We will be looking at getting second-hand, used or demo models 2018 and upwards.

She has yet to see them in person but we welcome your advice before we take the next steps.

Tim C

A: The Sportage has more of a family focus, the Seltos is more youthful and slightly smaller. Since the Seltos only arrived last year you are likely to get a bigger range and better value if you go for a Sportage.

Q: I have 14-year-old Toyota SR5 HiLx which I love, with most of the good gear on it including bull-bar, lights, winch, snorkel, twin battery, tow pack, etc..

I am thinking about buying a new 4×4, but it irks me that I have to pay $60,000 to get something decent.

I am 68 years old and this will be the last car that I buy.

I have looked at the Ford Ranger, SR5 HiLx and the Isuzu X Terrain.

We tow a 18-foot pop-top off-road caravan.

What is you opinion of the X Terrain, or which is the best 4×4 to buy.

Ian C

A: The latest Isuzu D-Max is a ripper thing and I reckon it will be a good choice. It’s all-new this year, unlike the HiLux which has just has a facelift and the unchanged Ranger.

Q: Just wanted to know you opinion of the Toyota Tundra as my son is thinking of getting one imported and converted as he needs something that can tow at least 4.5 tonnes and carry 1.3 tonnes.

Or is there something you know of that is better and will do the job.

Richard D

A: It’s going to be very, very expensive to get a Tundra converted. My advice is to look at the RAM and HSV Silverado, which are both big American pick-ups that are already converted here in a classy operation by Walkinshaw in Melbourne. But they are not cheap, starting around $80,000 and quickly jumping over $100,000.

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

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