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Will a 2006 Isuzu nudge bar fit on my new 2021 Isuzu D-Max.

Answered by CarsGuide · 3 Nov 2021

Almost certainly not. Unless there’s some strange quirk of manufacturing that allows the mounting points to magically line up, the current Isuzu D-Max is an all-new design, compared even to the most recent predecessor, let alone the model from 2006. The 2006 D-Max shared a lot of its architecture and engineering with the Holden Rodeo and later Colorado, while the new D-Max is a joint venture with Mazda and forms the basis of that company’s BT-50 range of utes.

You may be able to engineer a set of adaptors to mount the early nudge-bar to the later vehicle, but at some point it’ll get messy and simply not worth the time and money investment compared with buying a nudge-bar designed specifically for a 2021 D-Max. There’s also the issue of whether the old nudge-bar design would be compatible with the air-bag system of the new Isuzu. Again, almost certainly not is the short answer.


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Does the Mitsubishi ASX 2018 have a timing belt or chain?

Answered by CarsGuide · 30 Oct 2021

Both the petrol and diesel versions of the 2018 ASX used a timing chain rather than a toother rubber timing belt. That means both engines’ timing chains should be good for the life of the engine, although in practice that hasn’t always been the case and some engines do, in fact, need new timing chains if wear develops in the chain or its tensioners. Neither Mitsubishi engine has thus far demonstrated that trait, however, and it’s far less common if the engine has been serviced correctly.

The task of the timing chain or timing belt is exactly the same: They take drive from the engine’s crankshaft to the camshaft and, in the process, keep all the moving parts in harmony. Many car makers moved away from a timing chain to the rubber, toothed drive belt as a way of simplifying engine design and driving down the cost of each engine. The rubber timing belt is also quieter in its operation and is also less prone to stretching (as a timing chain can) so the camshaft stays in perfect synch with the rest of the engine’s rotating parts. It’s a simpler design because it doesn’t need to be tensioned via oil pressure from the engine as many timing chain systems are.

The timing chain, meanwhile, is preferred by some manufacturers because it should last the lifetime of the engine and never need replacement. This isn’t always the case, however, and some engine designs from a variety of manufacturers suffer problems in this regard. But, in a properly maintained engine of sound design, the timing chain should never need attention, while the rubber timing belt generally requires periodic replacement, typically between 60,000 and 120,000km depending on the manufacturer.

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Does the 2021 Subaru Outback Touring have any electronics issues?

Answered by CarsGuide · 29 Oct 2021

Subaru is firmly committed to the CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) concept as it gives a theoretical efficiency advantage over conventional transmissions. The catch is that to make the CVT feel less alien, many car-makers (including Subaru) engineer in electronic `ratios’ which kind of sidesteps those theoretical advantages.

It’s true that Subaru CVTs have experienced some reliability problems in the past, but in the case of the Outback, that appears to mainly affect vehicles built between 2010 and 2015. After that build date, things improved dramatically on the reliability and durability front, not to mention the driveability and comfort offered by the CVT. So we wouldn’t be too concerned about this aspect of the vehicle. Given that you’re buying a brand-new vehicle, you’ll get the full five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. And as proof of Subaru’s faith in the CVT concept, for the 2018 facelift of the Outback, the CVT got a seventh `ratio’ and a shorter-pitch chain to reduce cabin noise. So a brand-new Subaru CVT should represent the best the concept has ever been.

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How do you check transmission oil in a Holden Cruze 2009 and where is the fuel filter located?

Answered by CarsGuide · 28 Oct 2021

It used to be the case that you could simply, quickly and easily check a car’s transmission fluid by looking at the transmission dipstick. In the case of the Holden Cruze, that’s not the case and clearly, the manufacturer doesn’t want anybody unauthorised attempting to check the fluid level. That and the fact that a transmission without a dipstick is cheaper to make.

Without a dipstick, the fluid level is set when the transmission fluid is changed as part of a service. The transmission when refilled is then warmed to a pre-determined temperature and a small bung removed from the side of the transmission near the driveshaft. If the level is correct, there should be a drop of two of fluid leak from this hole. Clearly, this is not a job for the home mechanic, but that’s how a workshop does it.

On the diesel-engined Cruze, the fuel filter is located in front of the driver’s side rear wheel, under the floor and next to the fuel tank. You may have to remove the plastic under-floor panels to gain access to the filter. In the petrol version of the Cruze, the filter is located in the driver’s-side rear wheel arch and, in either case, you’ll need to get under the car to change them, so make sure the car is safely supported.

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What is the best car for easy access for elderly persons with dodgy hips and knees?

Answered by CarsGuide · 27 Oct 2021

The best answer to this question is not which specific make and model, but rather which type of vehicle in a broader sense. And with that in mind, we’d have to suggest a smaller SUV as being a good choice for a lot of people with the hips and knees you’ve just described.

Forget all the marketing hoop-la about SUVs, and instead concentrate on the fact that they’re usually not much (if any) bigger than the conventional hatchback on which they’re based in terms of their footprint. But where they are larger is in the height dimension and that means the seats are simply higher up off the ground, making them a lot easier to step into and out of.

The rest of the news is very good, too, because there really isn’t a single car-maker that now doesn’t have a small or compact SUV in its showrooms. You really are spoiled for choice, so take the time to make a short-list of the cars that have the other features and specifications that you like, and then go shopping. Don’t forget to check that the car isn’t too high off the ground for you, that you can easily operate the tailgate and that the doors open wide enough to make the most of that easy access.


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How much does the Porsche Macan cost to maintain?

Answered by CarsGuide · 26 Oct 2021

You’d think this would be a fairly simple question to answer, but in reality, it’s far from it. It seems neither BMW nor Porsche offer what we know as fixed or capped price servicing, that is; a known price that the service will cost, paid when you need to have it carried out. This is not uncommon with prestige brands and reflects the changing costs of imported service parts as well as different marketing approaches.

BMW, however, comes closest to this concept with what it calls its Service Inclusive Basic Plan which requires the car’s buyer to pay up front, typically for the first five years, of servicing when the car is purchased. That sounds odd, but it makes sense to buyers leasing their cars as the service costs are then paid for as part of the financing package.

In the case of the BMW X4, this package, which covers consumables such as filters, oil, spark plugs and brake fluid (but not clutches, brake pads and windscreen wipers; that’s another step up to the Service Inclusive Plus Plan) lasts for five years or 80,000km (whichever comes first) and works out to an average of $350 per service or a total of $1750 over the plan’s duration. Fundamentally, it’s like other car-makers’ capped-price servicing but you pay up front for it.

Meanwhile, at Porsche, the servicing costs for a Macan over the same 80,000km/five-year period will depend on what state you live in as labour rates vary from state to state. Since you’re from NSW, I’ll use the data from that state. As such, the Macan will need an annual service at one-year/15,000km costing $695. The next service at two years/30,000km is an intermediate service at $995, followed by another annual service at three years/45,000km ($695 again). The four-year/60,000km service is a major one costing $1750, followed by the five- year/75,000km service at $695 to end with. In total, that’s a grand total of $4830, making the Porsche by far the most expensive car to service for those first five years.


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What should I do if my 2011 Mitsubishi Triton makes a grinding noise when changing gears?

Answered by CarsGuide · 23 Oct 2021

Mitsubishi’s manual gearboxes from around this time (and earlier) were some of the noisiest around. But usually it wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Bearing rumble and some clutch bearing noise were pretty much par for the course, but your problem sounds more like it’s associated with the gearbox’s synchromesh rings. These rings are designed to allow the gearbox to slip between ratios smoothly and silently, and any crunching noises during shifts can often be traced to worn synchromesh parts.

The good news is you won’t harm the transmission by continuing to drive it, particularly if you’re careful and take your time with the shifts you know are most likely to create a crunch. If you can live with that, fine. If not, the gearbox will need to be removed from the car and rebuilt. That will be neither cheap nor simple.

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Why does my 2018 Nissan X-Trail make a rattle noise when I have my foot on the brake?

Answered by CarsGuide · 22 Oct 2021

It sounds as though something is loose in the transmission and is vibrating (the noise you hear) when the brakes are applied and the load is taken off the transmission. Then, when the brakes are released, the load reapplies to the transmission (as the car begins to creep forward) and whatever is rattling is suddenly under load again and stops making the noise.

This could be down to something in the transmission itself, and if that’s the case, could be a worn torque converter. This is the component that actually turns the engine’s power into a force that drives the transmission and, eventually, the wheels. Inside the torque converter is a series of vanes. If one of these is loose or damaged, a rattle can be the result.

However, before you rush to that conclusion, have a good look under the car. There’s every chance the noise is a simple case of a heat shield, bash-plate or even part of the exhaust system rattling at a particular engine frequency. When you take your foot off the brake and the car starts to move, the engine revs change, the vibration frequency changes at the same time, and whatever it is stops rattling. An internally broken catalytic converter is also a prime suspect for producing a rattle at certain vibration frequencies.

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How can I check what's eating the battery while my 2013 Holden Colorado is switched off and parked?

Answered by CarsGuide · 22 Oct 2021

There’s a chance that the battery is old enough that it won’t hold charge for long, so a check of the battery’s general health would be the first step here. Beyond that, conventional wisdom holds that there’s something in the car that’s staying on even though the ignition switch is off, and that’s what’s draining the battery.

But before drawing the latter conclusion, attend to the basics: Make sure the battery terminals are clean and tight and test the vehicle with the engine running to make sure the alternator is, in fact, charging the battery at the correct rate. Most tradesmen agree that something between 13.5 and 14.5 volts at a fast idle is about right for the alternator. While the voltmeter is hooked up, turn on the headlights and make sure that the alternator keeps up. If the voltage drops during this stress test, you could have a dodgy regulator.

If that all checks out, the usual suspects here become a stereo (particularly an aftermarket one) or an alarm system (ditto) that is draining the battery. Make sure that the ignition switch is, indeed, turning everything off and then go back and check the car in the dark to see if there’s a courtesy light or underbonnet light that’s still on and slowly sending the battery flat.

If nothing sticks out as being wrong, the next step would be to take to the car to an auto electrician who can use a multi-meter to check each circuit in the car individually until they find the one that’s energised when it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t take a huge current draw to flatten a battery or at least take it to the point where it will no longer start the car.

Ignoring this will not only eventually leave you stranded, it will send your battery to an early grave as batteries don’t appreciate being flattened over and over again.


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How do I get a key programmed to my 2006 Holden Astra?

Answered by CarsGuide · 22 Oct 2021

There are two possibilities here and it will all depend on whether your car is a 2005 model (that was first sold in 2006) or a post-facelift model and also whether it’s a TS Astra or an AH model Astra. If it’s the earlier car, then you might be in luck. The process involves taking the new key, placing it in the ignition and turning the ignition on (without starting the engine). Then, when all the dashboard lights are lit up, you press one of the remote buttons on the key. And that’s about it. You should hear the car lock and then unlock itself to let you know the process is complete and you’re good to go.

For post-2005 models, however, things are not so simple. In this case, you need to either visit a locksmith or a workshop that has the Holden diagnostic gear, as the new key needs to be coded to the car via the diagnostic port. That said, I’d give the first method a try before spending money at a workshop. Who knows, you might just get lucky.

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