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Top 10 Ways to Beat a Car Dealer | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Here are the updated top 10 tips for beating a car dealer and buying a cheap new car without getting ripped off. It's how you can fight back, and organise a much better deal on basically any new car. Buying a car is not fun. Everyone on the other team is match fit, and systematically incentivised to rip you off - if you let them. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here's how to recognise the car dealer's tricks and sidestep the traps. Let's focus on the car you want. It might not look like a commodity, but that's exactly what it is. There's no qualitative difference between the car you want at Dealership A and the same car at Dealership B. They came out of the same factory. Their mothers can't tell them apart. The dealership doesn't change them in any way, or add intrinsic value. The dealership is actually just a fancy vending machine. When you're buying a commodity, the only factor that matters is the price. Lowest price wins. That's what you need to deliver. For more advice, fill in the contact form on the right at www.autoexpert.com.au - I'll help you see just how low the price on your new car really goes. I'll also show you how to put your trade-in out to tender and arrive at the highest possible price, if you lack the time or the inclination to sell your old car privately. Buying a car is not an uplifting experience. It should be, but it's not. It's challenging, stressful and generally fairly unpleasant. But it doesn't have to be a rip-off. You absolutely can drive away in a cheap new car without being absolutely violated by a car dealer. Especially now.
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Novated Lease Basics, Tricks and Traps | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Here’s how to avoid GST on a new car - without breaking the law. It's one of the most cost-effective and tax-effective ways for an ordinary mortal on a salary to own a new car. http://autoexpert.com.au/buying-a-car/salary-sacrifice-car Novated leasing - also called ‘salary sacrifice’ - makes real sense for a lot of employees. It’s often the best way to own a new car. You can even do it on late-model used cars. I’m John Cadogan - the founder of AutoExpert.com.au - the place where Australian new car buyers save thousands on their next new cars … when they’re not roasting on Bondi Beach watching European tourists working on their sun tans. I handle a lot of novated leasing enquiries every month. A novated lease is a simple three-way agreement between you, your employer and a finance company. Basically, you agree to the payments. They come out of your pre-tax salary. The Federal Government gives you a big, fat 80 per cent free kick on the fringe benefits tax (even if the vehicle never gets used for work). Your employer makes the payments as a payroll deduction, from your pre-tax salary. So some of the money you would otherwise have paid in tax helps get you the car. That’s where the term ‘salary sacrifice’ comes from. That also reduces your taxable income. And the finance company does the administrative heavy lifting. They also technically own the car, and they lease it to you - which is why it’s a novated LEASE. The LEASE part is a huge benefit to you, too. The finance company buys the car as part of their operational expenditure. And that means they get to claim the GST as an input tax credit. So, effectively, they get the GST back, and they pass this saving on to you. Bottom line - you pay the ex-GST price for the car. On a $40,000 car, that’s an up-front saving of $3600 - a walk-up start, with no negotiation required. On a fifty grand car it’s four-and-a-half thousand off. No questions asked. Show me the other way a normal employee gets the GST off a new car... More employers should agree to novated leases for their key staff - and for purely selfish reasons. Think about it - if you’re an employer, you want to motivate and incentivise your key employees, right? Because they’re the ones making you the big bucks. You want to keep them pumping up the productivity. Here’s a small problem: Most incentives cost money. But a novated lease is essentially a zero cost incentive for you. Like, here’s that several thousand dollar saving up front. Here’s your free kick on the tax front that effectively gets your employee either a better car for the same take-home spend, or the same car for a lower take-home spend. And if the employee leaves the business, the lease is theirs - it departs with them - it’s not a residual burden for you. It’s a virtual zero-cost option for an employer, with huge benefits on the table for the employee, and it’s a super-effective incentive for those employees who are critical to the success of your business. Do not get railroaded by a lazy, locked-in novated lease provider amping up the fees and charges. Do the sums - because there are other ways to get cheap car finance, and it’s philosophically reprehensible to see an arsehole financier profit from your hard work. If you want help with a new car, the finance, novated lease, whatever - hit me up via the website. And remember: Always be yourself. Unless you can be a Jedi Knight. In that case, always be a Jedi. It’s the secret to happiness, and you heard it here first. I’m John Cadogan. I hope this helps. Thanks for watching.
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Top 20 Ways to Beat a Car Dealer | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Full report: http://autoexpert.com.au/buying-a-car/top-20-ways-to-beat-a-car-dealer The Top 20 ways to beat a car dealer Buying a new car from a car dealership is awful. Getting that new car should be a pleasant experience, but it’s not. The deck is stacked against you, and your opponent (the car salesman) is match fit. That car salesman is not on your side. The dealership is not ‘helping you’. The dealership's mission is to extract your cash - as much of it as possible. Car salesmen have a playbook full of tricks and traps. They do it every day. This video - and these 20 tips for beating the dealer - is the cure. 1. Shop at the end of the month 2. Buy a car in stock 3. Pitch a low offer 4. Abrogate the limit 5. Walk away 6. Sell your used car & get independent finance 7. The dealership is a vending machine 8. Any time a car dealer talks, it’s probably bullshit 9. Time pressure is definitely bullshit 10. There’s plenty of profit in the deal 11. Normal conversational rules and etiquette don’t apply 12. Don’t answer questions - ask them 13. Don’t cave in to emotional pressure 14. Dealer delivery is a scam 15. Don’t queue up 16. Scare tactics (protection) 17. Accessories 18. Extended warranties 19. Branded insurance 20. Use a broker - that’s where I come in. My strong advice is: use all of these tips at the dealership. Negotiate the best deal you can on your next new car. Don’t pay a deposit. Don’t sign a contract. Don’t succumb to any of the car dealer's BS about the deal evaporating when you walk out the door (it won’t). Then contact me online at AutoExpert.com.au - I’ll get my brokerage onto this purchase, and they’ll use their inside knowledge and bulk-buying power to cut even more cash out of the car you want. There’s no obligation. It’s easy, quick and painless, and it’s not a scam. We’re currently saving new car buyers a total of more than $100,000 off the recommended drive-away price of new cars - every month. You can save too.
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How to Test Drive a New Car
Most people test driving their next new car at a dealership get it horribly wrong. Here’s how to get it right. I’ve driven thousands of different new cars over more than 20 years. I love it. It’s one of the best bits of the job: getting in new cars and figuring out what they’re good at - and not so good at. Like everything else, a test-drive is a game with rules. It’s an essential step in choosing the right new car. There’s a lot at stake, too. So this video shows you everything you need to know. Before you start - make sure the car is insured. If it’s not, and if you crash, and if it’s your fault, you could be in for monumental financial pain. Make sure you know exactly what the insurance excess is, too. Dealers often ramp the excess right up to keep the premiums low. So a mistake you make out there on the road might still cost you five grand - even though the car is - technically - insured. This video shows you the top 10 tips for test driving a new car at a dealership. More at www.autoexpert.com.au
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2018 Subaru XV Review (A.K.A. Subaru Crosstrek) | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
What strikes me more than anything is: XV is what Forester used to be - a substantively pumped-up Impreza. Same footprint - but a bit over five inches higher. It’s compact and affordable. Just right for active lifestyle adventuring - but not proper blue-singlet off-roading. It’s typically Subaru - well built, good ergonomics, and an easy to understand range - four variants with one powertrain. New Global platform - that’s the fundamental architecture. A two-litre Boxer four and a CVT with Symmetrical AWD. The EyeSight safety system is brilliant. If you care about your loved ones - you really do want EyeSight. Don’t scrimp on this - it’s only $2400 more, and you get a bigger touch screen and dual-zone climate air thrown in. It’s a no-brainer. EyeSight also adds adaptive cruise, which is just awesome. So good on the freeway - the car automatically adapts to congestion, slows down and maintains a safe following distance, then speeds back up. You’d never go back. The weight is within 100kg of Impreza. It’s the same powertrain. Therefore: Very similar performance. Basically line-ball with other strong two-litre petrol SUVs - the 2.0-litre Sportage and Tucson, and the 2.0-litre CX-5. XV keeps up in traffic and on the highway. It’s reasonably quiet and it goes where you tell it to go. Perversely the boot space is smaller even than Impreza (310L versus 345 on Impreza) and just to get the volume in perspective (a lot of people think SUVs are bigger because … SUV) the new i30 is 345 litres. Subaru only provides a space-saver spare, which is kinda at odds with the wild adventuring this vehicle is otherwise so well set up to accommodate. And I don’t know why they do that - the other SUVs (Forester and Outback) see fit to run full-sized spares). It seems an odd choice. This begs an obvious question: All things considered, then why not just buy an Impreza hatch? Same powertrain. Same parking lot footprint. Impreza even holds more luggage. But it’s a close thing. One reason might be ground clearance. The other might be your mobility. The extra height - 135mm or 5 inches adds both. So if you want to traverse rough roads, XV is going to be a better option, and if you have a bad back or a bung knee - ditto. Getting in and out is just going to be easier. Subaru added X-Mode to extend the all-terrain envelope. It chills out the throttle response at low speed to minimise the chance of you provoking traction-sapping wheelspin. Hardens up the limited-slip diff and also sharpens up brake response. This is all for the slippery stuff, under 40km/h. Under 20: HDC - you take your feet off and let the computer manage that, and just steer. It’s a real plus when traction is low - if you want to avoid becoming a toboggan - which - trust me, you do.
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2018 Subaru WRX Review | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
I just stepped out of the STi and into this base-model manual WRX - and frankly I expected to be disappointed at being punted back to economy from business class. Happily enough, I wasn’t. Far from being underwhelmed at my ersatz demotion to economy class - I actually kinda like it. In some ways it’s better than the STI. Purists will be pounding the keyboard indignantly, but I can think of 12,000 really good reasons up front why I like it a whole lot more than an STI. One of the unfortunate consequences of separating WRX from Impreza is that the new Impreza (released a year ago in November 2016) does not herald a platform-up re-jig of this 2018 WRX. A new model is not due until 2019 - so this version is more of a comprehensive primp of the hair and makeup. This is sticky and firm - there’s a joke there, I’m sure. But let’s keep it classy, for a change. To me, this car is kinda the Goldilocks tuning for a performance car that you could drive every day. WRX sits seemingly dead flat in the corners, the steering is precise and the ride’s firm but not brutal like the STI. And it’s so neutral - meaning you can tweak its attitude easily with the throttle. Steering is maybe a frag light - but it’s very precise, and the ride is firm but not brutal. I could drive this car every day and be pretty happy - this is in the context of owning a performance car. It’s not the epitome of comfort. It’s the epitome of great value and chuckableness. That’s not a word. But it should be. In many ways it doesn’t choose to highlight all your driving deficiencies the way an STI does. WRX proves to me you really don’t need 100 different driver-selectable modes and settings. This thing just works, out of the box - tha Apple Mac of performance cars. Wet, dry, sealed, unsealed, it’s a blast. And despite the firm ride, it’s not skittish on rough surfaces. It’s like: This is a performance car. Here’s your firm suspension - no ‘comfort’, ‘sport’ and ‘track’ modes. Here’s your direct steering. Here’s your 245/40s on 18s. Here’s your symmetrical AWD. Wet, dry, sealed, unsealed, it’s a blast. And despite the firm ride, it’s not skittish on rough surfaces. It’s also very forgiving in the way a BRZ is not. I’d be getting the interplay between steering and throttle dead right in the wet in a BRZ, unless you want the rear to overtake the front. WRX will give you more rope - and more warning that the limit is imminent. But it will ultimately let you hang yourself if you drive like a Muppet. A couple of criticisms: The six-speed manual is pretty notchy. I’d describe it as adequate rather than a delight. There’s no sat-nav on the base model, and it’s about $800 a year for servicing at six-month intervals - in a market where the competition is on 12. And I get that turbos are hard on oil, so maybe the more frequent servicing is ultimately a decent investment in longevity. We’ve had WRXs for a quarter of a century now - and there’s no question this is the best one ever. That’s on objective criteria - you’re allowed to be infatuated with the past. There can absolutely be a special place in your heart for the WRC Blue bug-eye hatch. Just be aware you’re looking at history through rose-coloured glasses. It’s also pretty clear the WRX recently has lost its place in the drug-dealing, ram-raiding hall of fame. And, as nostalgic as those glory days were, I’m sure senior management at Subaru Central is patting itself on the back for that. Today’s WRX is a car that a fat middle-aged white man could own without feeling like a paid-up member of the Neddy Smith fan club. WRX is six seconds to 100 kays an hour for $40-odd grand. And in the wet it’s one of the fastest, most confidence inspiring cars on the road. Always super-rewarding to drive. It’s 0.8 seconds slower than an STI to 100 - a saving of about $15,000 a second, when you calculate it out. On that basis alone, I’ll take one.
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Car Loan Calculator - Easy Car Loan Comparison
How do you choose the best car loan? This easy car loan comparison shows you how to cut through the BS and choose the best and cheapest car loan. Doing this makes car finance easy, and allows you to identify the truly cheap car loans from the more expensive ones. The best car loan rates are often not the best way to choose a loan - because fees and charges add substantially to the real cost of car finance. Choosing the lowest car loan repayments is a flawed strategy too. This review is a simple 'how to' guide to deciding - simply and logically - which car loan is the best car loan for you. Don't decide on the spot at the dealership - take your time and look hard at any finance that is offered to you. For more information on the different types of car finance, go here: http://autoexpert.com.au/buying-a-car/car-finance/what-are-the-best-car-finance-options If you need help getting a bunch of solid car finance options in front of you - all from reputable Australian lenders - contact me here: http://autoexpert.com.au/contact You can be sorted in under 48 hours. And don't stress if you have a bad credit history - reputable lenders have tailor-made products for you, subject to meeting some sensible credit criteria. Don't be put off by the names - 'bad credit loans' or 'bad credit car loans' - these are reputable commercial car finance products.
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Is a dual-clutch transmission right for you? (10,000km test - part 1) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
In this series: Everything I learned about dual-clutch transmissions from driving more than 10,000km in one - what they are, how they work, three key positives, three key negatives and four critical conclusions, which you need to know if you want to buy the right new car. This video covers DCT basics - what they are and the long-term test I performed. Dual-clutch transmissions look just like automatics from the cockpit. Same kind of shift lever. Maybe, but not always, some shifting paddles behind the wheel. But [LOOK DOWN] down there, it’s all very different. There’s essentially a manual gearbox doing the work, with two different parallel gear trains and two different clutches - the clutches are concentric, so they look like one clutch from the outside. Trust me, there are two. One clutch engages one gear train, and the other clutch controls the other - hence the name. All the clutch operation and gear shifting is automated - there’s a computer making the decisions and high-speed servo motors moving the parts, engaging the clutches and shifting the gears. The control is very precise. The i30 uses a dry clutch setup. The alternative is the so-called ‘wet’ clutch - an engineering euphemism for a clutch sitting in an oil bath. I’ve driven dozens of test cars with dual-clutch transmissions. But I’ve never lived with one. So I approached Hyundai about it and they got on board with the project. But just to be clear - Hyundai supplied the 1.6 turbo petrol i30SR Premium for evaluation but they have no say in what I report, and no money changed hands. Just a note on the way I drove the car: I’m not an abuser of vehicles. I’ve been driving media evaluation vehicles for two decades. It’s hardly a novelty - at least, not any more. But I hate abusing vehicles. I guess what you need to know there is that these kinds of evaluation vehicles generally live harder lives than vehicles driven by actual owner. Very few people buy a new car and drive it this hard, this often. No point wrapping a car in cotton wool, to evaluate it. It’s fair to say that my 10,000 kilometres in this car would be harder than most owners’ 20 or 30,000 kilometres. Plus I drove in a lot of Sydney traffic, which is hell on earth for engine oil and hard on clutches in particular. This car has been to boot camp on Parris Island for 10,000 kilometres. After all that, I can’t feel any obvious signs of wear and tear - no rattles and squeaks, no shudder on clutch engagement. I had it up on the hoist the other day while they serviced it - even the brakes showed minimal wear. It seems pretty durable to me. The i30 SR uses a seven-speed transmission called the D7UF1 manufactured in-house by Hyundai Dymos. It’s rated to 340 Newton-metres. It’s the big brother of the other seven-speeder, which is rated to 220. They’re both kinda modular - same basic design. Beefier clutches and geartrain on the high-rated one, but the same control architecture on both. It’s only seven kilos heavier for the bigger torque capacity. This is actually the second generation of Hyundai dual-clutch transmissions. The first was a six speed DCT in the Veloster, which debuted in 2011. These seven-speeders rolled out in the Sonata and Veloster Turbo in 2015, and made their way into i30 and Tucson in 2016. They’re compact and reasonably light - seven forward gears plus reverse in a package that’s 385 millimetres long and weighs just under 80 kilos.
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How to choose the right car in 2017 | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Buying the wrong new car is one hell of an expensive mistake. So here’s how to get it right. In most markets in the developed world there’s an overload of choice. Here in Australia, there are (let’s call it) 300 vehicles from 60 brands - and each one of those brands can give you several dozen typically bullshit reasons why each of their vehicles are the best. It’s so easy to stall on the grid - confounded by choice - especially if you’re that typical mainstream car buyer who doesn’t think about new cars when you’re not actually in the market to buy one. I’m John Cadogan, the founder of AutoExpert.com.au - the place where Australian new car buyers save thousands on their next new cars, and I see this a lot - because new cars are hard to buy. If you need a new TV or a new refrigerator, you can go to a retailer and see the competitors side-by-side. If you get a good sales consultant they can give you some insight on which brand has the best deal right now, and which brands see the fewest returns and warranty claims. You can’t do that with cars - there are about 30 different Toyota Corolla-sized cars available, and you just cannot see them side-by-side. It’s a disgracefully dickensian anti-consumer arrangement. A car dealer wants to sell you his brand. He doesn’t really care if you buy a Yaris, a Corolla, a Camry, a Hilux or a Landcruiser. He doesn’t really care which one of those is right for you. But he sure as shit doesn’t want you walking out the door so that you can see if there’s a better option from Mazda, Hyundai or Kia. So that’s tip number one: Never ask a car dealer for advice - you won’t get it. All you’ll get is propaganda. Six more steps to choosing the right new car in 2017 in the video
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How to Beat a Car Dealer at the End of the Month | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
People get this wrong all the time. And then a car salesman bends them over. My number one tip to new car buyers is to shop at the end of the month. It’s strategically important to go to battle when the enemy is weak, right? That’s the end of the month. Unfortunately, though, a lot of potential car buyers go in at the end of the month, but get the approach monumentally wrong. They blow the deal, and it costs them thousands. I’ve worn hidden cameras into car dealerships on top-rating tabloid TV in Australia, to expose car dealers’ grubby little secrets. And I’ve built my business off the back of deploying countermeasures on the showroom floor on behalf of car buyers. So let me tell you how the end of the month really works. When you look at all the shiny new cars there in the dealership, realise one thing: The carmaker has already sold them. The dealer has purchased them. They’re his problem now. He bought them on credit and the interest hurts him in the wallet. It’s payable at the end of the month. He needs to clear that stock. It’s imperative. The importer who sold him those cars is under pressure, too. They need to account to the mother ship overseas - the factory - every month - because when you own a factory there’s a real simple equation: production equals sales, otherwise you go tits up. Importers therefore incentivise dealers. They say: Your quota this month is X. There is a massive carrot dangled out the front of this quota, and the message is simple: Make your quota, we’ll pay you a huge bonus. Don’t make your quota: no fat bonus for you. The end of the month is a strategically significant time to buy a car, because it’s good to go into battle when the enemy is most likely to be vulnerable. So what you need to find is a dealer who has the car you want in stock, and who is also just short of making that all-important sales target. That’s a plan, right? It’s the 29th of the month right now, as I’m getting this report package together. For the past several days I’ve been deluged with end-of-the-month enquiries from punters. It happens every month. And a lot of those people are making a critical error. This happens every month, too. The error is: Some people seem to think that simply turning up at the end of the month in some way guarantees a great deal, as if the rest of the process will just unfold automatically in their favour. This is the wrong way to think about the end of the month. At its core, I think this presumption exists because a lot of people really don’t want the confrontation that buying a new car entails. And trust me, it’s intrinsically confrontational - even if the wolf is wearing Armani and a Rolex. Some people hate confrontation so much that they imagine some magic time when confrontation in dealerships just evaporates. Like, they’re gunna walk into the dealership, sing kum-bah-yah, braid each other’s hair for some suitable interval, and drive out with a great deal - all because they got the date right. Frankly this is nuts. It’s a bit like going into battle at exactly the right time, breaching the door with that glint of malevolence in your eye … but forgetting to draw your weapon. Result: you get shot in the face. And this is exactly what will happen at a dealership if you forget to draw and fire. Even if the date is right.
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FAQ | The Truth About Dealer Delivery Charges | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
The dealer delivery charge on new cars is a grubbly little scam that pumps up the car dealer's profit out of all proportion to the work that is actually done. I get questions about this all the time like this one from David, who says: "One question I have is in regards to the dealer delivery. You mention dealer delivery consists of only a few basics tasks, but I've asked a few dealers (nissan and subaru) what is dealer delivery and they tell me its the costs to ship the car from overseas to Australia, I said doesn't nissan australia pay for that and they said they pass the costs onto us dealers. Is this true? If so it's perfectly justified for dealers to be charging $2000+ for delivery or are they just pulling my leg?" I go into some detail in the video, but basically, dealer delivery is a basic car preparation fee for detailing the car, putting in a full tank of fuel, giving it a mechanical once-over, the labour cost of registering it for you (legwork). It absolutely does not include the cost of international shipping. That's absurd.
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Best Steering Wheel Hand Position | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Best Steering Wheel Hand Position The web is drowning in car reviews and automotive technology deconstruction - but hardly anyone ever talks about arguably the most important part of the car - you - and becoming a better driver. So let’s do that. Here’s a new segment - Pro Tips. Every Tuesday I thought you and I might sneak off for a quickie, in the most hetero possible way, aimed at upgrading your software. Could be pretty useful if you’re teaching someone to drive, too. Here we go. How you hold the wheel is vital - and there really is no alternative to getting this right if you want to exert control over the driving process. Put your thumbs at nine and three - not coincidentally where the thumb-rests are, and leave them there. Here’s why. * Upright and symmetrical - vital for perceiving the world * Indexed for straight ahead - vital in a crisis * So you won’t spoil the deployment of the airbag If your shoulder needs to leave the seat back to move the wheel around, you’re sitting too far away. Get the hand placement right, everything flows from there. After a few weeks, it feels like the most natural possible way to drive (because - newsflash - it is). Once you get used to it, it’s actually more relaxing to drive with your hands at nine and three than any other way. Make sure you like this video, and subscribe for regular updates - including more of these pro tips. I’m John Cadogan. I hope this helps. Thanks for watching.
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Adblue diesel additive explained | AutoExpert John Cadogan | Australia
AdBlue goes into your diesel engine’s exhaust, and fewer toxic emissions come out - that’s what it does. But on the consumer front, can the carmaker compel you to use their own brand of AdBlue in your car? That’s next. This report is inspired by a damn fine recent question from Robert W - and I’m tipping he is not alone: I went for a service at my MB Dealer. I told him I fill up with AdBlue at the BP truck pump. He said I should not use it because it crystallises. He told me I should only use MB Adblue, but of course it is a lot dearer. At the fuel pump it is only 90 cents a litre. So, is Adblue that different between the petrol station and what MB sells? Robert is the owner of a Mercedes-Benz ML 250 diesel - so I know you’ll join with me in extending my sincere sympathies to Robert on this. An ML 250. Nobody deserves that. Frankly, what Robert was told sounds like illegal, shady advice from a pretty dodgy and/or ignorant dealer to me. It reinforces my belief that a car dealership is not the kind of place one should attend to procure advice. The ACCC is very clear that Mercedes-Benz (or any other carmaker) cannot mandate the use of genuine parts or consumables used to service or repair the vehicle. That would be illegal. There is, however, an obligation that the parts you do use be fit for purpose. A simple example is: The oil filter on your car. It does not have to be the carmaker’s filter, but you must use a filter designed for that engine. Same for the oil used to service the vehicle, or a replacement radiator used in crash repair - whatever. My understanding is that AdBlue is trademarked by the German Association of the Automobile Industry - meaning that anything marketed as AdBlue is just a 32.5 per cent solution of urea in de-ionised water. It’s also called AUS32 - for aqueous urea solution, 32.5 per cent. As chemicals go, AdBlue is not rocket science. Not even close. It’s not 224 trimethly pentane, is it? (Look it up.) AdBlue is clear, non-toxic and safe to handle, easy to make and store, and it’s classified under the ‘minimum risk’ category for transportable fluids. Anyhoo … AdBlue goes to war against oxides of nitrogen in your exhaust. Oxides of nitrogen are toxic chemicals that are respiratory tract irritants. Very bad for you. AdBlue decomposes them to harmless nitrogen gas and oxygen gas. You use up to five litres of AdBlue for every 100 litres of diesel. And the car will not run if you run out of AdBlue - so, don’t leave it too long with the warning light on. It seems to me that anything legitimately called AdBlue would be compatible with any Merc that requires AdBlue - if it has the AdBlue trademark it complies with the ISO 22241 quality standard - regardless of whether you pick it up at a filling station or the Mercedes-Benz dealership. To see what the mothership said on this, I scoured Mercedes-Benz’s Australian website. They do have a page on AdBlue, which is currently required on S-Class, G-Class and ML-Class. Basically, any Benz with the BlueTEC badge needs glorified piss to run. Happily enough, nothing on the Merc AdBlue reference page says you must use the genuine Mercedes-Benz AdBlue solution - presumably because requiring that would be illegal. They do suggest it. (That’s allowed.) So, Robert, it seems to me that you may legitimately power ahead with non-genuine glorified pee in your glorified luxury German SUV. So that’s nice. Of course, this is unlikely to make your local dealer very happy, in respect of his unjustified billion per cent AdBlue markup. (Actual ACCC determination of average dealer profit margin in the servicing business across all brands: 64 per cent. Service is the most profitable part of a new car dealership. And they do so pump up the price of the consumables.)
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Nut-fest Friday #27 - Flying Car Takes Out Bus on Freeway & Holden Axes 30 Dealers
Coming up on another fake news Friday: Holden marhes one dealer in 10 down the hall for a Zyclon B shower. 30 Holden dealers in total are being boned. Full details of Volkswagen’s shock re-branding announcement. Brilliant. Bold. (But might not be actual news...) Plus, we identify (literally) the world’s hottest Ming mole, and a horrific glimpse of what flying cars in the future might really look like when a flying car takes out a bus on a Japanese freeway. (You'll have to wait for the Hollywood adaptation 'Crouching Mazda, Hidden Greyhound' due for release next year...) Some of it’s even true this week. Like this story about Holden: Holden will - literally - decimate its dealer network. The company, of course, misses no opportunity to talk up the future of its operations, after the factory closes later this year, but the facts are inconveniently at loggerheads with the corporate spin. Reports are emerging that 30 Holden dealers are for the chop - slightly more than one in 10. In a statement, those disingenuous arseholes said: “Taking into account a number of factors, the difficult decision has been reached that the size of the dealer network must be reduced. This will be a challenging period for those dealers impacted and their staff. Just as throughout the wind-down of our manufacturing operations, we are trying to put our people first and help them wherever we can.” Let me translate: [Clears throat] After a rolling series of eff-ups with the product and also unethically siphoning money from the taxpayer under entirely false pretenses, Holden’s poor decisions have finally bitten it on the arse. Sales are in freefall and they’ve had to take the unpalatable - not to mention unprecedented - step of unceremoniously boning their dealers. But, hey, have you seen their new Commodore V8 Supercar concept? It’s awesome! Let the good times roll.
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2WD versus AWD SUV: Which is best? | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
2WD versus AWD is the classic SUV dichotomy - and the default presumption is: AWD is better. But the truth is, a lot of this depends upon you and how you’ll actually be using the vehicle. Mary’s question about this is pretty typical: “I’m looking for a good SUV. I’ve been told AWD is a better safety choice as there is more control in braking. I am doing a lot of driving between Ulladulla and Sydney and often have the grandchildren with me, so this is obviously a concern. Can you help?” Some simple advice up front: If you want to go off-road adventuring exploring, on fire trails, whatever: get the AWD. You do not want to be in a position where you drive down some fire trail to an idyllic campsite, where you can burn the dinner and commune with nature, listen to the kids bitch about not having WiFi all night and then it rains in the morning and you can’t get home because … 2WD + muddy ascent equals fail. Regular trips to the snow, launching a boat on a ramp, rural property with driveway from Hell - all excellent reasons to own the AWD. But if you want an SUV really only to act in the capacity of a defacto family station wagon - and that’s all you want it to do - you probably don’t need AWD. In fact, if you’ve had a car all these years, and you’re getting an SUV, and you don’t plan on driving any differently, 2WD will be fine. The first thing to remember is that plenty of SUVs are only 2WD. Nissan’s Qashqai and Honda’s HR-V, for example, are 2WD only. And the base models of plenty of other SUVs - like the Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson - the base models are all front drivers. At this point, let’s put Subaru in a box on its own - that company only does AWD. And it’s a unique-ish selling proposition. In fact, Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD is an excellent system and (together with their involvement in rally) it rocketed them from obscurity in the 1990s to where they are today in the mainstream. In Subaru’s case - all-wheel-drive really does mean all the wheels are driving, all the time. But in the majority of the rest of the market … not so much. We’ll get to that now. Most AWD systems are ‘on-demand’: meaning they are predominately, overwhelmingly, 2WD for the vast majority of their operational lives. AWD is only invoked when there is front wheel spin. When the front wheels lose it, that’s the demand for all-wheel drive. So let’s be perfectly clear - your common, and notionally AWD SUV, just driving down the street normally, is doing so under the tractive effort of just the front wheels. It they’re not threatening to spin, the rear wheels aren’t threatening to drive. Sure - you can lock AWD in, manually. Locking in AWD is a really good idea in that ‘rain overnight/camping’ scenario we discussed earlier. But it’s a really bad idea at other times - especially on high-traction surfaces, where driving in AWD will start scrubbing out the tyres and (potentially) break the transmission. Good safety tip there. Leave it in auto. You have to remember that the front end of the car and the rear end follow slightly different paths when you drive around curves. Therefore they travel different distances. Therefore they need to turn at different rates. If you lock them together by pressing the button, and traction levels are high, there’s an excellent chance you’ll break something. Subaru gets around this problem with a viscous coupling just behind the gearbox. It’s a bunch of precise hardware swimming in very thick silicone fluid, and the upshot is that it allows the front and rear prop shafts to turn at different rates without blowing up. Apart from additional traction in slippery conditions - the purported advantages of all-wheel-drive for ordinary drivers pretty much just fluff. AWD used to be a huge contributor to overall dynamic stability. But then, when the dinosaurs all died and Twitter was invented, cars came with a bunch of other stability-enhancing systems (like electronic stability control) that have levelled the playing field by making 2WD vehicles just as stable in most driving scenarios. People say AWD gives you more grip, but this is unmitigated bullshit. Grip is a function of rubber on the road - it’s not a function of which wheels are driving. What AWD does, however, is reduce the tractive effort at each wheel for any given throttle input. In other words - AWD makes it more likely you’ll be able to maintain traction in slippery conditions where equivalent 2WD system would be spinning their tits off like a pole dancer on crack.
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New Cars Cheap: Why Price Ain't Everything | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
In this FAQ report, Neal asks about Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium, Mitsubishi Outlander Diesel LS Safety Pack, Hyundai Santa Fe Elite He says: "Hi John and Auto Expert team. I'm just wondering what prices are you able to obtain for the vehicles mentioned above, given we're nearing the end of June and EOFY. I'm trying to gauge affordability and financing." I'd suggest pricing is not the biggest determinant of which vehicle to buy here - certainly discounting is not the right way to choose the right final vehicle. Tangible differences between the vehicles are much more relevant to ultimate satisfaction (or not) as an owner. Hyundai & Subaru deliver excellent customer support. (Mitsubishi is OK) Hyundai has the best diesel powertrain performance with Santa Fe. Subaru has EyeSight and Symmetrical AWD (huge advantages) but offers the least standard warranty & most expensive servicing Outback has 5 seats only, while Santa Fe has seven across the board, and Outlander has a foot in each camp with some 5- and some 7-seat SUV models. These differences are probably a lot more important in the long run to ultimate satisfaction (especially as price variation across the board is likely to be only slight.)
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The truth about sulphur levels in automotive fuels | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Sulphur is an impurity in fuel - petrol and diesel. Currently our regulations here in Ass-trailer (‘Straya) have a deplorably excessive sulphur limit for 91 RON gasolina at 150 parts per million (PPM) while 95 and 98 premium unleaded are 50 at parts per million. Among developed nations in the OECD only Mexico is worse. Well done, ‘Straya. Yesss! Australia is always somewhat spasticated on fuel quality and emissions regulations. But things here are not as bad as they seem. Despite our stratospheric limits on sulphur, in practice, the bowsers here in Shitsville average 28 parts per million for 91 RON and 16 parts per million for premium. I don’t think we should be high-fiving ourselves, however, because global best practice is a mandated maximum 10 parts per million. We are thus ‘only’ double-to-triple where we should be. Sulphur content matters because the stuff passes through the combustion chamber and impacts the effectiveness of catalytic converters. One of the key jobs the cat does is to magic away gasses called oxides of nitrogen in exhaust. These are also known as NOx - the twisted freaks of the stoichiometric combustion process at the centre of the Volkswagen monkey-spanking dieselgate scandal. NOx are a respiratory tract irritant and generally burden on human health. Pollution kills a lot of people - and NOx is a big part of the problem, which is why it’s so heavily regulated. Drilling right down into this - the catalytic converter grabs NOx on the way through and reconfigures it with mad chemical voodoo to become plain old nitrogen gas and oxygen gas - the two major components of the air you’re breathing right now. So that’s nice. Sulphur gums up the works and stops that from happening. And NOx is emitted, the better to kill people prematurely. Which is exactly what it does. That’s bad. The fuel industry bitches and moans about how expensive it would be to comply with 10 parts per million and the car industry bitches and moans about not being able to meet emissions regulations without it. They deploy their arsehole lobbyists to Canberra armed with A-grade, export quality bullshit. Our politicians - useless lawyers, overwhelmingly - technical spastics - are the referees of this bitching and moaning world championship. They drive around in government cars with their heads up their corpulant arses, calling the shots. Which is, of course, why nothing ever gets done. If you’re a combustion propeller-head in some super-secret engineering skunkworks, it’s like this: The leaner you run the fuel-air mixture, up to a point, the more torque you get at the crank. You know you’ve been over-enthusiastic on this if the engine misfires. But running leaner than the ideal stoichiometric air-fuel ratio is good because you’re getting more work done with less fuel. Temperatures increase somewhat, so you have to make sure (using robust R&D) that you don’t over-temp critical engine components, because owners often hate it when their engine melts the pistons or the valves. But, basically, a lean-burning engine does more with less. Meaning manufacturers can get away with smaller capacity lean-burn engines doing the same work as larger, richer-burning engines - so there’s a compounding fuel economy benefit there. (Less weight from a smaller engine and intrinsically less fuel used into the bargain.) Unfortunately, the rate of NOx production increases as you make the mixture leaner. There’s too much oxygen, and not all of it gets laid with its first-preference partner on tinder (gasoline). Frustrated and alone, remaining oxygen does what any of us would do - it gets drunk and goes home with nitrogen, and wakes up humiliated. We’ve all been there. There’s no shame. This of course means designers need to do even more mad catalytic converter voodoo to ensure the NOx limits in the emissions regulations are met, with a lean-burn engine - and that’s precisely what the monkey spankers intentionally failed to to in the dieselgate scandal. So, to Jason I’d say it’s probably OK to use 91 or e10 on the highway, but better to switch to premium around the city - because the city is where the impacts of NOx are really felt. It’s not an environment thing in the sense of climate change. It’s an environment thing mainly in the human health domain.
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Engine capacity explained - 4cyl vs 6cyl vs V8 | Auto Expert John Cadogan
In-line four-cylinder engines are great. Performance is pretty good for average cars, in the 1.6 to 2.5-litre capacity. They’re easy to build. There’s not too many parts, so there’s minimal machining and assembly, relative to sixes and eights. Inline fours idle smoothly because the firing pulses don’t make the engine rock. The cranks don’t need real heavy counterweights - so they rev up quickly.So they’re starting to sound perfect, which they’re definitely not. They’ve got a real inherent problem with a thing called secondary imbalance and this is a huge issue for large capacity inline fours, especially at high rpm. Up to about two litres in capacity your inline four engine design brainiac can mask that secondary imbalance in a production car using the engine mounts. Over that, you need counter-rotating balance shafts - and it’s really not practical to make a four-cylinder engine bigger than about 2.5 litres for this reason. There’s no question that the best six in terms of inherent balance is the inline six, and I’d have to say inline sixes done right are just brilliant. BMW’s inline six M3s were awesome. Unfortunately, inline sixes also tend to be quite long, physically, and therefore hard to package up in an engine bay designed for a four. So if you’ve got a four-cylinder base model whatever, and an inline six on the higher spec, the engine bay is going to be a packaging disaster. Inline sixes tend to be (basically) two inline threes joined longitudinally, with the back three cylinders phased at 120 degrees to the front three, to deliver even firing pulses. And that’s a problem because you need the front three exhaust ports feeding into one collector and the back three feeding into another and then the two collectors need to feed into one, if you want even exhaust pulses, for efficient scavenging. So just to prove to you that mechanical engineering is absolutely the applied science of compromise: V6s are far more common. You can forget the cut-down V8 with the rear two cylinders lopped off and a 90-degree ‘V’ - that’s an economically rational abomination. People think a 60-degree ‘V6’ is ideal. That’s bullshit. The ideal design from a balance perspective is a 120-degree V. Most people don’t know that. Unfortunately this 120-degree V tends to be too wide to fit in the same engine bay as an inline four, so they went with 60 degrees for compactness and they fudged the 120 by offsetting the crank pins on the quasi-shared cranks by a further 60 degrees. And unfortunately, there’s not much overlap on those shared pins when you do that. In fact, they’re really more like two separate crank pins with a thin web between them, and that makes the crank in a 60-degree V6 inherently weak - I guess you could call it a design challenge if you wanted to be nice about it. Above about four litres (atmo four litres) if you’re a carmaker you’d probably go with a V8. So, just to digress here, the first V8s were essentially two inline fours Siamesed up and inclined at 90 degrees, and sharing the same flat crank. Single-plane crank. Like an inline four. This is a whole ‘good news’/’bad news’ story too. Unfortunately, although it revved up really fast, it shared the secondary imbalance problems of the inline four - times two - making high-rpm failures hard to prevent. So they changed to a cross-plane design in the early part of the 20th Century. Cadillac and some other manufacturer co-patented it, if memory serves. When you look end-on at a V8 crank today, the crank pins are arranged in a cross. So, a couple of things about that: Single-plane designs - the early ones - didn’t really need counterweights on the crank, so they revved up really fast … until they broke into a thousand pieces at high revs. Cross-plane designs - the current one - need heavy counterweights to counteract the inherent rocking type vibration, so they don’t rev up as fast. But they are more durable at high revs. And the other thing is the firing pulses. The single plane design was left right left right left right left right. Nice and even. The cross plane one is left right left left right left right right, right? - so this leads to uneven inlet and exhaust pulses per bank. Stay with me. Change batteries now, if exhausted. It’s a marathon. So, in your cross-plane V8 road car, like a Mustang or a Corvette - whatever - with four exhaust ports merging into one pipe, per bank, you get uneven filling and scavenging of the cylinders. Because the pulses aren’t even. That prevents truly even combustion across all the cylinders. And if you want to know why this matters, it’s because that’s what makes the distinctive V8 burbling sound that we petrolheads all react to in such a semi-carnal way. Without that unevenness, the burble goes away. And I’m tipping nobody wants that.
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FAQ | Who's responsible for a blown diff? | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
This is part of my new FAQ series. A customer has a blown diff and the manufacturer can't (or won't) help. What do you do in this situation? Here's the question: We purchased a used Hyundai ix35 in July last year. Not long after we had the vehicle serviced by the local Hyundai as the vehicle was still under warranty. As part of this service the tyres were rotated. There were no issues with the vehicle. In May this year the vehicle was serviced and my wife advised them it felt like the transmission was slipping or a noise when taking off on an incline. The dealer advised there was nothing wrong. Three weeks later the vehicle has developed a loud noise in the rear end, and now the dealer says the rear differential has worn & requires replacement. The vehicle still being under warranty I assumed would be repaired at their expense, but Hyundai has refused to cover the damage as they state the vehicle has had incorrect tyres fitted and this mismatch had voided the warranty. (Two of the tyres in the vehicle are correct at 225/55R18 but 2 are 235/55R18) I was unaware the tyres were incorrect as they look to be the same size all round, I have asked if Hyundai were able to assist in covering the cost of the repairs (over $7000 quoted). Unfortunately neither the dealer nor Hyundai are willing to assist us in covering the cost of repairs. An independent mechanic has confirmed the issue is the differential and has had the cost of a new rear differential quoted as over $6000 from Hyundai. At this point my wife & I are at a loss as to which way to proceed. Any advice you could provide would be appreciated. Here's the answer (in brief): You might also see if there’s a rebuilding option for these with a specialised transmission repairer. Although it is inconvenient, it is hard to apportion any liability for this failure to Hyundai. Even the servicing guys are in the clear on this - servicing involves rotating the tyres, checking the pressures and looking for obvious damage, but making sure the tyres are the right size is not part of that remit. Basically the former owner fitted the wrong tyres (for whatever reason) and it caused the part to fail, over time. It’s pretty clearly your problem, even though I know it’s galling. There are probably cheaper repair options as discussed above. A bit of Googling might save you a few thousand dollars.
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The top 8 ways to beat road rage (before road rage beats you) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
If you’re going to enter any hazardous environment, it makes sense to equip yourself - not only with the right tools - but also a plan. This is just as true, in my view, for driving, as it is for going door-to-door in Fallujah, or welding some pipes in an oil refinery. Here are the top eight ways to throw a spanner in the works, when you’re face-to-face with a poster boy for poor impulse control, out there, on the road. RIGHT & WRONG DON’T MATTER Forget about right and wrong. The only thing that matters on the road is personal safety. Traffic is an imperfect environment - people make mistakes. Some behave like outright malicious tools. That’s just a given. Your principal job as a driver is to roll with the punches here, and keep everyone safe. The thing to avoid is a chain reaction of escalating aggression, and the inevitable consequences. LOSE THE CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER There’s something about getting into that big, metal exoskeleton. Makes some people think they’re entitled to this bit of road or that. Makes some people think they can behave in a manner that would get them punched in the head in the supermarket, or fired, in the workplace. Just drive like everyone is potentially out to get you. Then it won’t be an disappointment when they are. VICTIM ENTITLEMENT In 2014 a former banker and scumbag of the year Ian Bouch, then 48 years old started tailgating the vehicle ahead, flashing his lights and blowing his horn. Generally driving like a prick. The vehicle ahead contained mum, driving, three school kids on the way home from school, plus the baby. Perhaps Mr Bouch felt they had impinged his moral entitlement in some way. Perhaps he was - is - just a self-entitled cock. Entitled to revenge. Can’t you see how important I am? So he overtakes the vehicle with the family aboard, and immediately jams on the brakes for no reason. Both vehicles stop, just … but the truck behind the family, it can’t stop in time, and following the crash, one of the children, a 10-year-old boy, dies from massive head injuries after five days in intensive care. Imagine that. Mr Bouch was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail, and thankfully he lost his appeal last year. SCUMBAGS R US If you’re one of those people who always plays by the rules, it might surprise you to learn that society’s scumbags use the roads too. Scumbags like Clinton Brimson, 35. Father of five, driving a 4WD with a trailer, Mr Brimson became enraged when a car cut him off. So, at the next traffic lights, he jumps out, yells obscenities at the 59-year-old driver and then assaults him. As you do at the supermarket or in the office. At the time, Brimson was six months into a suspended sentence, which meant he also had to be re-sentenced for assaults he’d committed against a former partner and a family member. At least he’s consistent. DON’T ENGAGE So, what do you do? Confronted by someone you’ve angered? Do not engage them - not at all. No eye contact, no rude gestures. Don’t brake test them. Throw water on the fire, not gasoline. DON’T ESCALATE Last year, two scumbag drivers in South Australia were found guilty of causing the death of a 63-year-old pedestrian. Colin Munn, 32, and Damien White, 43, had some long-running dispute going on. There was some verbal abuse between them in traffic, Munn in one car; White in the other. High-speed road rage ensued - real-life fast and furious, only with consequences. 120 in a 60 zone. Damien White killed Stuart Oates while Mr Oates was crossing the road outside a shopping centre. After the crash, Damien White’s antagonist, Colin Munn, laughed and clapped his hands, telling White: “Sucked in. Look at what you’ve done. You’ve killed a man.” Munn’s eight-year-old son is sitting in the back of the car, presumably watching. Nice. What a role model. NEVER GET OUT Whatever you do: if you are confronted by road rage, never get out of the car. Slow down, drive conservatively, windows up, check the locks. The car is a fortress - do not step out of it. The situation is not going to improve, face to face. Balance of probabilities: All outcomes get substantially worse, up close and personal. NEVER HEAD HOME IF FOLLOWED Finally, if you are being followed by some outraged scumbag - if pulling over, attempting to let them past, etc., if the disengagement strategies have not worked: Don’t head home. Stay somewhere public. A petrol station is a great idea, because A) they’re everywhere, and B) they have kick-arse CCTV. Park near the console operator. Call the cops. Keep the car in drive, foot on the brake. Finally, the best way to prepare for emergencies is: Before you get in one. That’s how pilots and soldiers do it. It’s all very Baden Powell.
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Ford Powershift transmission problems: $10 million penalty | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Earlier this week, my heart was as heavy as a garden full of hummingbirds on the first day of spring, when the Federal Court placed Ford Australia’s head in a vice and handed down a $10 million fine for unconscionable conduct orbiting the infamous PowerShit transmission. It’s one of the biggest consumer law penalties ever in the nation. Well deserved, too. Ford will also - and this has really gotta hurt - finally have to address customers’ PowerShit transmission issues and - heaven forbid - actually comply with Australian Consumer Law, as interpreted by an independent umpire. Those customer-violating blue-oval mother-lovers will also be required to upgrade and independently review their consumer law compliance and complaints handling systems. Fancy that. Actually having to obey the law. Talk about fundamental change. Unfortunately, the official review program that flows from this ruling will only help a fraction of the 70,000 people who bought Focus, Fiesta or EcoSport shitheaps. For the remainder there’s always the class action. Details on who the current ruling actually helps and how to apply coming up at the end of this report. A $10 million reaming in Federal Court would be a heart-stopper for you or me, but for Ford it’s really just a speed hump. The cost of doing business. And you need to bear in mind that Ford made $6 million profiteering from affected PowerShit owners, denying them refunds and forcing them into expensive upgrades. For a corporation like Ford, a net $4 million wrist slap is not the sandpaper suppository it would represent for you or me. It’s just not. Rod Sims, who fronts the normally asleep ACCC, said: “Ford’s $10 million penalty is one of the largest handed down under the Australian Consumer Law and reflects the seriousness of Ford’s conduct. Ford knew that its vehicles had three separate quality issues, but dealt with affected customers in a way which the Court has declared to be unconscionable.” That last bit is important - because Ford’s unconscionable conduct is no longer a matter of speculation. It’s a legal fact. The court has determined this about Ford’s conduct. ‘Unconscionable’ means ‘unreasonably excessive’. There’s no way Ford could have done this by accident. They screwed thousands of customers, causing immense emotional distress and financial hardship, because they thought they could get away with it. They even saw that distress as an opportunity to make money. Rod Sims said Ford’s illegal behaviour was an act in three parts. Firstly, Ford told owners the uncontrolled shuddering was a result of their driving style when the company knew it was a design defect. Secondly, Mr Sims said: “Ford knew that the symptoms of the quality issues with the vehicles were experienced intermittently, but required customers to demonstrate them on demand in the presence of a dealer in order for repairs to be undertaken.” And, third, (the big one in my view): Ford’s refusal to provide a refund or no-cost replacement even after multiple repairs had failed to resolve the problem. Instead, Ford instituted the Orwellian ‘Ownership Loyalty Program’. This would be like a frequent flyer program where one of the ‘rewards’ is to charge you $10,000 and drop you out of the bomb bay without a parachute, if you complain. The company told owners a refund or replacement was not an option. And that’s a bare-faced lie. It’s a legal entitlement. Instead, owners were coerced into making a significant payment to get out of their PowerShitboxes and into another Ford. So - just to be crystal clear on this: Ford knew the transmission was defective. They denied it. They failed to resolve the problem. They treated consumer law as if it were optional or disposable, and then they profiteered off the affected owners. I don’t see how Ford could do this by accident. That would be like robbing a bank by accident or mass murder by accident. You simply can’t do that. It’s not possible.
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Top 6 ways to beat a car dealer before the end of financial year | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Car dealers transact every day. You don’t. They’re match fit. You’re not. Don’t fall for any of their crap. It’s all part of the dodgiest script on earth. This deal is only available today. Let’s get the sales manager to approve this low price - it’s completely outside my approval authority, but he’s a good bloke. How do you expect me to feed my family if I sell it to you for this unrealistically low price? (Correct answer there: Who cares?) It’s all crap. It’s a veneer of politeness over the real objective, which is: to greet you and gut you before you walk off the lot. Do not play this game. Car dealers are ambush predators. They need you to stand on their ‘X’ - this is how ambushes work. Don’t stand on the ‘X’. Remember the ‘golden rules’. You’re the one with the gold. Therefore: You get to make the rules. One per cent finance is a con. It’s not a real interest rate. What really happens is: They don’t discount the car as low as they’d otherwise go, and they pay the financier a real interest rate under the table, undisclosed - it’s called subvented finance. Usually you get locked in for half the amount of the sale for a maximum of 36 months, and you have to find the balloon payment - some five-figure sum, inconveniently - in three years’ time. So that means either refinancing at a substantially high interest rate, or they’ll use it as a trigger for you to trade and go again - which might not otherwise suit you. Get real finance, and screw them down harder on price. That’s usually the best overall outcome. People generally don’t appreciate that there are often two or three transactions on the table at a dealership. You buy a new car, sure, but you often trade in your old one, and you arrange the finance. So, the car dealer can bend over, hard, on the price of the new car - if you unwittingly allow him to bend you over on the finance and the trade-in. And he’s better at this than you, on the balance of probabilities. The best way to avoid this is to separate the transactions. Know how much your trade-in is worth. Investigate the best independent finance deal available for you. And only then, attend the dealership. Tell the salesman there’s no trade in (maybe you’re considering selling the old car to a relative - whatever) and tell him you’ve got the finance sorted. Nail the price of the new car in absolute isolation. And only then you can introduce the possibility of the other transactions. This is probably the most important tip of all. Pitch a low offer, and then walk if they don’t go for it. Whatever the offered price is, take about 20 per cent off, offer that as the limit that you can afford to spend. If they don’t go for it, walk away politely. Let’s say it’s a $30,000 car - that’s the price they’re offering. $29,990 drive-away, kind of thing. You say: My wife, boyfriend - whomever - is going to separate my reproductive organs from me if I spend more than $25 grand. If they decline to accept, just say: Sorry we can’t do business. I’ll keep shopping. I like this car though - gimme a call if you can nudge the price down to $25 grand and I’ll come back - provided I haven’t purchased elsewhere. They hate that - but it’s a very effective lever. The person who’s prepared to walk away has the most power in a negotiation. You can do this at half a dozen dealerships in one day - one of them is going to be under pressure. Just wait for the phone to ring and the clock ticks closer to end of financial year. You might be amazed how malleable the price becomes. Finally - and this is a biggie: never pay a deposit until you’re absolutely sure. I have lost count of the number of people who have e-mailed me in a flap because they’ve signed on the dotted, paid $2k as a deposit, only to discover subsequently a far better deal. Research first. Purchase second, once you’re absolutely sure. That’s the only sane way to do this. Do not leave anything blank in the contract. Do not leave more than $1000 as a deposit.
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The physics of turbochargers (for dummies) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
You want the physics without the mathematics and the consequential intracranial bleeding? OK - here we go: Today’s chat is inspired by JB007: "30 years ago I was told the heat loss through the turbo causes it to turn and I have been trying to get my head around this ever since. ie, heat loss creates a pressure differential that creates flow. It’s still bending my brain. How does this work?" Combustion is the process that drives everything. Fuel has a high amount of stored energy. Combustion byproducts (CO2 and water) have a low amount of stored energy. The difference in the two stored energy states is liberated and used for motivation (and to drive the alternator, etc.) It’s the heat that energises the gas in the combustion chamber. And it’s the energetic state of the gas that does the mechanical work on the piston. Unfortunately, we just throw some of that apparently serviceable energy away, out the exhaust pipe. It’s this wasted energy - at least some of it - that is used to drive the turbocharger. There’s a lot of energy still in the exhaust gas as it exits the cylinder and enters the exhaust manifold. The energy inside the gas in those headers exists in the form of heat, pressure and motion. Because it’s pressurised relative to atmosphere it’s on the hunt for a way out, and the only exit sign is hanging over the entry to the exhaust turbine part of the turbocharger. It’s like a pressure release valve. Lots of processes take place here. The pressure inside the exhaust manifold is caused by heat - because there’s a direct, linear relationship between absolute temperature and pressure. So there’s high pressure on the engine side and relatively low pressure on the exit side. Therefore, there’s flow. (Because gasses flow from areas of high to low pressure.) Gasses have mass. Exhaust is mainly nitrogen gas, CO2 and steam. They’ve all got mass. If you’ve got mass and flow, you’ve got kinetic energy. So the heat and pressure turns into kinetic energy by virtue of its motion through the turbine. The gas also has viscosity - which is a fancy way of saying it just doesn’t like being pushed around. Or at least it resists being pushed around. So it hits the turbine blades on its way out out the door and the resistance translates to force acting on the blades, and that spins the turbine, which is connected to the compressor on the other end of the shaft. The compressor pressurises the air on the way into the engine, and that’s basically the mechanism for transferring energy that would have been wasted in the exhaust to additional energy in the inlet air stream (in the form of pressure). A couple of points on this: Several people took issue with the fact that I said turbochargers are not driven by heat. And I stand by that statement - a turbocharger is driven by mechanical flow - kinetic energy and viscosity. The gas that flows is energised by heat, certainly, but you cannot drive a turbine by heat - you need flow. If you want to claim it’s heat also driving your alternator, then yeah - OK. We’re totally on the same page here. There’s a thing called the first law of thermodynamics, which basically covers the conservation of energy. It essentially says the sum of work and energy in a closed system is constant in the time domain. So if you put a box around the turbine in a turbocharger, you’ve got energy going in (in the form of highly pressurised, hot gas). You can see it’s hot because it’s heating up the headers to bright yellow while it waits for its turn to go through. You’ve got energy coming out, in the form of mechanical work done spinning the turbocharger (the rotational kinetic energy acquired by the turbine and the compressor). And also in the form of the energy left in the exhaust gas after it passes through the turbine. Energy in has to equal energy out, or you violate the first law, and that’s not allowed. So the energy coming out of the turbine equals the energy on the way in minus the work done on the turbine and compressor. So the total energy of the exhaust gasses after the turbo must be less than before the turbo. It’s definitively a lower temperature on the output side of the turbine (you can see that) and the pressure is also lower (otherwise there wouldn’t be flow in that direction). And these are two of the key indicators of the energy state of any gas, all other things being equal. So instead of thinking about this like: ‘How does the temperature difference (or heat loss) drive the turbocharger?’ just think about it like this (at the risk of dumbing it down to the point where even a politician would get it): You’ve got high energy gas going into the turbo. It comes out at a lower energy, and the difference between the energy states, before and after, is the energy that’s been returned to the engine by the turbocharger. The temperature and the pressure differences are just individual pieces in the thermodynamics jigsaw puzzle.
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How to Buy a Car: Top 6 Tips to Buy New Cars
How to Buy a Car: Top 6 Tips to Buy New Cars details the top six things new car buyers don’t investigate, but should: NEW CARS: BUILD DATE A listener of mine on Radio 2UE in Sydney put a deposit down to buy a new car in January 2015. It turns out the new car - a Suzuki S-Cross - was actually built in 2013. The compliance plate went on in 2014, and the new car was set for delivery in 2015. Disaster. Get a discount on your next new car if you’re actually buying old stock - last year’s model - because you are certainly going to pay for it at trade-in time. NEW CARS: SPARE TYRE When you buy a car, check the spare tyre. Space saver spare tyres are one of the car industry’s great, enduring frauds. They are of absolutely no benefit to you on a new car. They’re limited to 80km/h, and they don’t grip the road very well. Always investigate your intended new car’s spare tyre, at the dealership, before paying a deposit - and sometimes you can negotiate to fit a full-sized spare when you buy the new car. If it’s critical to the new car sale, the car dealer might even throw it in for free. If you only ever drive 15 or 20km from home in suburbia, space-savers are probably OK. But if you get out on the highway, even occasionally, don’t risk your life by buying a car with a space-saver. They’re a joke. NEW CARS: LIGHTS You don’t normally test drive new cars at night, right? But there are two things you really should check here: outside the new car, you need to know whether the headlights - and in particular the high beams - are adequate. Some new cars are just anorexic in the high beam department. Again, not so important if you only ever drive in the city, or suburbia. But very important in the country. Inside the new car, the reverse applies. Dimmers on instruments are great for driving in isolated areas at night - you dim the instrument lights down to maximise night vision out there on the road ahead. Very important. But the big, fat centre LCD display often doesn’t dim sufficiently (or at all) for night driving. NEW CARS: DEPRECIATION There are two ways to lose money on a car. You can pay too much for it up front, or the depreciation can burn you at the back end of the deal. OK - all cars depreciate, but some depreciate like Dresden on the ides of February, 1945. A classic example here was in last month’s Ford Territory review - which Ford fans hated, principally because it’s such a lemon. Mechanically as well as on the depreciation front. It pays to do your homework on depreciation - and here, past performances are excellent indicators of the future. NEW CARS: UPDATE TIMING You don't want to buy a nice new whatever, and see the manufacturer upgrade it four weeks later. Even a mid-life upgrade is a bit of a disaster because a) it usually comes with more standard equipment at the same price and b) the one you bought - the suddenly ‘old’ model - becomes instantly obsolete and its value takes an immediate hit. You need to let your keyboard do the walking here: google the car you want and keywords like update, upgrade, plus the current year and the next year. Find out what’s going on in the near future. NEW CARS: FIRE SALES Here's what the car industry does with its marketplace dogs. When all else fails, and sales have flatlined, the manufacturer bends over and drops its pants. Every time. They fire-sale the price in an attempt to prop up or stimulate sales. Generally unsuccessfully. Holden dropped its pants on the latest Cruze and Commodore, and Ford has just played the same undignified card with the Territory. Although none of them put it like that in the press releases... So I guess that's good news if you desperately want a Cruze, a Commodore or a Territory… Of course, if you actually bought one of these marketplace lemons a few months earlier, guess what happens to the value of your car? It just evaporates. Desperation discounting by manufacturers slashes the same amount from the value of the lemon you own - because used car prices vary directly in line with replacement cost. So there you go: Six things you probably weren’t considering while you’re poring over the specs and the pretty pix of your possible next new vehicle.
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The applied physics of boxer engines | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Inline fours and boxer fours have the same sort of firing pulses. There’s a bang every 180 degrees of crank rotation, but the balance situation is profoundly different. Inline fours don’t rock very much, but they have poor secondary balance. (Which is why the high-revving, big displacement ones need balance shafts.) So, they like idling smoothly, but don’t like a rev, inherently. Pretty much the reverse situation with boxer fours. They rock like a bastard in the Z-axis (that’s a ‘zee-axis’ in Trumpistan) because the pistons are offset. But on a more positive note the boxer configuration gives them excellent secondary balance characteristics - so they really do like a rev. When I say they rock, imagine it like this. You’re standing on the bonnet of a Subaru Impreza. (That’s the hood, in Retardistan.) You’re holding a dirty big chrome-vanadium crowbar, and you drive it with Iron Man strength, vertically down, through the mass centroid of the engine. Because this is a parallel universe where that doesn’t catastrophically destroy the engine (because: magic). What you would feel is the crowbar rotating slightly backwards and forwards, like it’s a spindle, and the engine is a top with Tourette’s syndrome. This rotational rocking is because the pairs of cylinders are offset. There’s no getting around it. There’s another problem (challenge, feature, whatever…) The firing pulses are right-right, left-left (or vice versa). The point being that both cylinders on one bank fire, then the other bank fires, repeat. And that means, if you want to have even scavenging of the cylinders, which is kind of essential to evenly refilling them with the next charge of air, you need long header pipes to merge the discharge from the ports from bank to bank. So you need to pair every exhaust pulse with another pulse 360 degrees away, or you don’t get uniform combustion in every cylinder. And that means you need to join exhaust ports across across the width of the banks. OK? It’s a real estate challenge - because space in an engine bay is extremely limited. So why don’t boxers and inline fours sound the same, given there’s the same number of combustion events per rev? Riddle me that. It’s because in older designs they just merged the left bank exhaust into one manifold and the right bank into another, joined them up into a single tailpipe, and they lived with the uneven pulses, the uneven filling of the cylinders and the uneven combustion. And that’s where the typical dak-dak burble/noise comes from. Our friends at Subaru - which incidentally managed to teleport its somewhat niche business into the monolith it is today by building it on just two pillars: boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive, put a magic ‘equal length, even pulsing’ exhaust system into competition in the WRC in the 1990s. That system went into the Liberty (that’s a Restardistani Legacy) in 2003, then Forester in 2005, Impreza in 2007 - and the dak-dak burble receded from memory. WRXs lost it in 2015 - because the exhaust feeds a centrally mounted turbo. But the STI - with its somewhat antique engine - retains the uneven length headers. But it’s probably next for the chop. And of course one of the reasons WRXs that get tweaked heavily in the aftermarket game sound so distinctive is, obviously, they put the burble back with a suitably uneven exhaust. Like, it’s still there, waiting, to burst forth from the closet of conformity, in every factory flat-four Subaru. So, moving to flat sixes - they don’t have this latent dak-dak ability. Essentially a boxer six comprises two inline three-cylinder engines facing away from each other in bed together, lubed and hot, and yet still managing to engage in a form of perverted copulation by virtue of sharing the same crank. The firing pulses are even per bank, so standard exhaust manifolds - one for each bank - are all you need for efficient scavenging. They rev like a bastard, too, because they have rock-bottom secondary imbalances, intrinsically, and they’re on a par with (or slightly better than) inline sixes on most other balance-type criteria. This explains why Porsche is so historically fixated on them. If you want to build an engine gagging to rev its tits off, that’s also wide and low and doesn’t therefore mind riding right out the back, behind the rear axle, I think we’ve found a winner. The big advantage of the boxer is its low height, reducing the centre of mass, and that reduces the roll effects when you’re cornering - without requiring you to slam the car onto the deck. (But you can of course do both if you’re building a race car, so that’s kinda nice.) And the main disadvantages are the cost and complexity of manufacturing - and the inherent width of the engine, from a packaging perspective. Good luck changing the spark plugs - although you could say that about virtually every modern engine. They design them to be assembled, not worked on, that’s for sure.
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Nut-fest Friday #7 | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
The first world really is full of stupid people. An under-utilised resource. Let’s turn this frown upside-down by highlighting 10 nuts and one massive cock. http://autoexpert.com.au/buying-a-car/nut-fest-friday With this in mind let’s empty the sack, greet and gut 10 new nuts, and ice this week’s cake of greeted, gutted nuts with another epic cock. Nut #10 - an intellectual powerhouse called Zwimipo1 "What a pile of bullshit! The main component of gas is c8h18. How can you go from 8 carbon atoms to only one carbon atom in co2?? Where did the 7 other carbon atoms go? This is another clear example of how mr. know it all thinks he can do chemistry." Nut 9: Gigimanjo "Ok..you are being rude and disrespectful by calling Japanese design nonsense. In fact you are insulting their culture because the name is coming from there." Nut 8: Daniel Quistberg "Nitrogen expands and contracts A LOT LESS than O2 with changes in temperature. Nobody ever claimed anything else. Women don't like you because you're fuckin dumb. That's why you don't get laid." Nut 7: Cameron Kelson "Geez, maybe this channel could be a little more rude." Nut 6: CAM "I see not much has changed on this channel since I was last here. Still shit. Still a wanker. Still hated by all. On a nice note though, we do share the same view on religion." Nut 5: Shoominati23 "Not to mention using a fuel with more octane than your car was designed for can damage your engine. As higher octane fuels burn hotter, if your engine isn't designed for them, you could have problems with say, valve heads, valve seats and maybe valve guides also." Nut 4: MR E "Higher octane burns slower. So they charge ya more for less flammable gas." Nut 3: Thestephen8 "What is the best speed to drive at to save petrol ? in my Toyota avensis 2002 vvti" Nut 2: Rick Higson "Nice report but I did not appreciate the dig at my president,that was rude!" Nut 1: benbmx1000 "For fuck sake John your recommending a car that does not even exist! Cannot be purchased and trying to take the piss out of people for it?Attempting to have a serious chat about cars to the so called AutoExport is evidently pointless. Your the one that is looking daft as fuck, because all that you can bring to the table is responses from your book of rent an insult. This is mentally in-stable." COCK OF THE WEEK: oProudAsFUCKo: This is why you shouldn't trust any of the car reviews or even bother watching on these kind of cars. Useless review. The wing on STi is there for a reason and you have to be utterly un-experienced not to know why is it there. Not for aerodynamic reasons but for downforce in particular. If there's no wing on the back you can say goodbye to high speeds. It's even the symbol of the whole STi badge. Another thing is, CVT? How serious are you on this one? There's a reason why drivers cars have manuals instead of your autocrap. The only box that would do justice for this car is a sequential one.
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13 things you don't know about crashes
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Minister Paul Fletcher Breaks Promise on Grey Imports for Australia
Goodness me: Paul Fletcher, the Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, seems to have an interesting relationship with the truth all of a sudden. If I’m not mistaken, that odour you’re smelling … it could easily be weapons-grade bullshit. Paul Fletcher, whom I had previously considered a decent federal politician - one of the oxymoronical few - has shot himself in the foot, announcing today he would renege on his promise 18 months earlier to allow private imports of near-new vehicles from right-hand drive markets. the Turnbull Government has decided not to proceed with one element of changes proposed earlier, which would have allowed personal importation of new motor vehicles from the United Kingdom and Japan. 18 months earlier, on the 10th of February 2016, he announced “Planned changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, announced today by the Australian Government, will give more choice for car buyers and save industry over $70 million a year in lower regulatory compliance costs.” It hardly seems equivocal. This is a minister making a commitment. A done deal. At least that’s how I read it. He dribbled on: “The law will be changed so that, from 2018, a consumer will be able to personally import a new car or motor cycle from another country with comparable standards to Australia's, up to once every two years, if specified conditions are met. The vehicle must be a motorcycle or right hand drive passenger vehicle, be no more than 12 months old and have no more than 500km on the odometer.” I can’t believe it’s just me who is getting a sense that this is absolutely going to happen. A commitment. With a due date. But in case there was any doubt, he added: “The changes announced today follow an extensive consultation process undertaken as part of the review announced in 2014. Legislation to implement the changes will be introduced into Parliament later this year.” Isn’t it hard to believe these two positions - separated by just 18 months - are issued from the same ministerial mouthpiece? But no - we were firmly committed to doing that. Only, now, we’re not. Because politics. Mr Fletcher cited: “...the cost and complexity of providing appropriate consumer awareness and protection arrangements, including investigation of each vehicle before it was imported to Australia; ensuring consumers were aware that the manufacturer’s warranty may not apply in Australia; and establishing systems to deal with a manufacturer’s safety recall.” This is exactly the barrow the car industry’s arsehole lobbyists have been pushing from Day One on this, if memory serves. I have actually tried to imagine some viable middle ground that justifies the Minister’s apparent bullshit position on this. Some movement in the goalposts that change the state of play, necessitating this insane policy reversal. Trump becoming president, pehaps. Kim Jong Un Vaginabrows threatening to bomb Guam with his ‘shake and bake’ nukes. But I can’t see a single salient strategic piece that’s even moved inside its own square on the chessboard in the past 18 months. What follows is my honest opinion, and of course I could be wrong. I’ll leave that to you to judge. In my view, the relationship between the first and second announcements is that they are mutually exclusive. The apparent absence of justification - real, tangible change in circumstances - leaves me holding only two possibilities. One: that the minister is an epic bullshitter who goes off half-cocked - or who acts on behalf of bullshit information from half-cocked departments inside the bureaucracy. It’s either that, in my view, and/or (two) he and/or his department is/are incompetent.
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Is a dual-clutch transmission right for you? (10,000km test - part 3) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
This video covers the four conclusions I drew from the test and the research I did surrounding it. The next few minutes will help you make an informed choice - one way or the other. First - there’s no such thing as the perfect transmission. Conventional autos cost you money in wasted fuel and they’re slower accelerating to 100. And they’re not as good for sporty driving. DCTs aren’t as refined in traffic and aren’t as suited to low-speed crawling under load. Manuals are hard work in traffic, but satisfyingly engaging off the chain. CVTs save fuel and get the power down really well on the fly, but they drone on a bit. Which means: Second, you need to choose the transmission that’s best suited to your driving. No point buying a conventional auto and bitching about the cost of fuel. Or buying a DCT and bitching about low-speed refinement. If you’ve got a trailer that needs to head backwards up a steep driveway every weekend, DCTs are not be right for you. If you prioritise refinement over engagement, DCTs are not be right for you. Just remember: While the ‘crawling under load’ thing is a deal-breaker for the trailer-reversing fraternity, because of clutch endurance, refinement might not be. It’s a nuance thing. DCTs are not spectacularly unrefined in traffic. They’re slightly less refined than a conventional auto - that’s the price you pay for the fuel saving, the faster acceleration and the superior shift engagement. Third - they say ignorance is bliss. Here, it emphatically isn’t. If you presume you’re driving an auto because that’s what it looks like in the cockpit, and you proceed to slip the clutch under load, it will wear out prematurely and you’ll need to get those parts replaced. I’m very sure the funds you divert to those repairs could be deployed better elsewhere. And it’s not a warranty issue because warranties do not cover wear and tear. Which of course leads to... Point number four: Carmakers, and dealers need to get a lot more ethical, balanced, whatever - about ensuring buyers are fully informed about strengths and weaknesses of different automotive systems before they commit to the deal. This is true for things like diesel, where there are operational prerequisites for particle filter regeneration. It’s bad to find out you need that highway running, for example, after the car goes into limp mode. It’s very frustrating to go on a voyage of discovery at this point, where the first point of disembarkation is: ‘Should’ve bought the petrol’. Same with a DCT - if you know the strengths and the limitations, you can make an informed choice. It might be: ‘Yeah - I love that engaged driving. I’ll take it.’ It might be: ‘Nah - renovating the house. Need to back endless trailers up the driveway.’ Either way, you’re making the right call. So I’d suggest that manufacturers need to get better at helping buyers make informed choices. All manufacturers - not just Hyundai. But have a look at what Hyundai says about the DCT, on its website: Paired with the 1.6 T-GDi engine is the 7-speed DCT. The DCT combines the convenience of an automatic with the sportiness of a manual for seamless shifts between gears, improved driveability and excellent efficiency. That’s par for the course as a typical glossy marketing ‘buy our wonderful product’ statement. It’s a string of benefits and buzzwords. But probably not definitive in the domain of helping people make an informed choice. Dealers need to get better too, because there’s such immense pressure to sell a car - any car - to anyone - right now - that the last thing any car dealer wants do do is give you pause to reconsider when he’s on the cusp of getting you over the line. If it’s got a DCT and you don’t know what you don’t know about that transmission - the dealer is unlikely to erect a roadblock of qualifications and operational information that might make you U-turn. Unfortunately, of course, this is pretty short-term thinking. If you make an informed choice, you’re far more likely to be thrilled with the vehicle in the long term. Meaning you’ll back up for another and another in coming years. If ignorance proves most definitely not to be bliss and you end up with a trailer at war with your transmission on the battlefield of your driveway, you might end up being the anti-ambassador from hell. It’s certainly a challenge for marketers across the entire automotive domain, because short-term conversion strategies don’t always make for lasting satisfaction. For what it’s worth, personally, I love the things the DCT is good at, and I can tolerate the negatives. To me it’s a net benefit. I enjoy driving it. I hope this helps. Thanks for watching.
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DCTs for Dummies. (How dual clutch transmissions really work.)
Ever wondered how a dual-clutch transmission works? Her it is: DCTs for Dummies - the 'even a politician would get it' explanation for the underlying functionality of the dual-clutch transmission. I’m John Cadogan from AutoExpert.com.au, the place where Aussie new car buyers save thousands off their next new cars. Hit me up on the website for that. This episode is rated ‘Triple-C’ because that’s what dual-clutch transmissions are. Compact, complex and (increasingly) commonplace in the new car mix. Carmakers are including them for three main reasons: Fuel efficiency, performance and lightning-fast shifts. You can expect 6-10 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency compared with a standard auto, and maybe a six per cent improvement in 0-100 kilometres per hour (that’s 0-60 im ‘Murica). And the shifts take place in less than one tenth of a second. Both Volkswagen and Ford have tried as hard as they could to trash the global reputation of DCTs - Volkswagen with it’s botched DSG recall fiasco, and Ford with its infamous PowerShit, a living nightmare that many a Ford owners experience daily. But not all DCTs are disasters - the important thing is to know if you are buying one, and drive appropriately. I’ll cover that off in a separate report. They look just like autos from the cockpit - there’s a lever you move from P through R and N on the way to D - and then, the shifts are automated. This report explains exactly how they work. Over the next week or so, I’ll be releasing a three-part series on DCTs - everything I learned from just driving 10,000 kilometres in one. The good, the bad and the ugly. You’ll see my three key positives, three key negatives and four critical conclusions that’ll help you decide if a DCT is the right transmission for your next new car. What an excellent reason to subscribe. Smash that subscribe button now - with great anger and furious vengeance if you must - but (while you’re down there) show the bell icon thingy a little love, and it will be reciprocated in the form of a notification whenever I inflict a new version of myself on the YouTube universe. You know you want to. 10,000 kays in a DCT - did it make me or break me? That’s coming up in the week ahead.
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Cheap Car Loans: Is 0% Car Finance a Good Deal?
Cheap Car Loans: Is 0% Car Finance a Good Deal? Is the truth about zero per cent car finance - and you're not going to like it. It's not a good way to get cheap car finance. Find out why car companies feel compelled to offer you an apparently unbeatable low interest car finance deal - even though if it's true, somebody's losing money by the truckload. Are there better deals around? You bet. Find out why zero per cent car financing is a con - designed to help a car dealer greet you, hook you and gut you ... in the shortest possible time. And find out where the profit really comes from. There are better cheap car finance options. There are better ways to get a great deal on cheap car finance - whether you need a cheap car lease, a low interest car loan, whether you have good credit, or whether you need a bad credit car loan.
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The truth about modern car reliability (with added nuts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Thanks to the car, you enjoy more mobility than a Roman emperor - but none of us plays air guitar over this nearly as often as we should. Not enough riffing and too much bitching about the cost of unexpected repairs. "I know your pretty keen on the Santa Fe but I wonder about its mechanical longevity. I have a 2009 Santa Fe that has done 115,000ks. Every driver should expect wear and tear but so far, I have replaced a starter motor, (just under warranty) a rear seatbelt, and now a harmonic balancer where rubber has separated from the steal pulley. What SUV's do you recommend that can last the distance (i.e. around 10 years over and above the regular replacement parts being required or with a considerable warranty period?" - Bill Here’s a nine-year-old vehicle that has done three laps of the planet, effectively. In that time the starter motor failed and they replaced it free. Plus a seat belt and a harmonic balancer. Fairly small-ticket items, I’d suggest. If you think this is bad, a brief conversation with the owner of a Volkswagen should turn you around... Since the 1970s, cars have been packed with ever more features, they’re tremendously safer, they’re far more comfortable, the price has plummeted in real terms. They’re cheaper, better and more reliable, despite being significantly more complex. That’s just how it is - it’s an amazing achievement. One of the negative consequences of this is: People expect their cars, increasingly, to last forever and require no maintenance. I’m not saying everyone expects this - but there’s a growing class of person who resents paying $400 to service their car once a year, and who thinks it’s outrageous to pay something like five bucks a week over 10 years for replacement parts. Of course, there’s another class of person whose tyre pressures, oil and water levels and brakes only ever get checked during that annual service... I corresponded a bit with Bill over his problem. Apparently, what tipped him over the edge was a bill for $1200 or something to replace the harmonic balancer. So I found him a new one for $300 on eBay and advised him to get an independent mechanic to fit it at a greatly reduced cost compared to the Gestapo - and by ‘Gestapo’ I mean ‘authorised dealer sniffing blood in the water’. But Bill managed to get the shits with me anyway. I formed the view this was his default position on basically everything. And it might surprise you to learn that I am occasionally undiplomatic. Anyway - knock me down with a feather - I had the hide to point out that the second law of thermodynamics pertains even to modern cars, and as a result some unexpected repairs over nine years are just unavoidable. Second law of thermodynamics for dummies: Everything wears out. Every old, busted car started out as a shiny new one. Then, unless outrageous resources are devoted to upkeep, this trajectory towards inevitable old and bustedness is inevitable. This process affects everyone and everything. Expecting it not to pertain to your car - or you, as you age, or your computer, mobile phone, clothing, your home or your garden - is nuts.
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The truth about diesel engine reliability (& how Wheels Magazine blew it) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Emissions scandal. The motoring world is rocked as Wheels Magazine attempts diesel takedown and vents excess bullshit on unsuspecting readers. This report is my honest personal opinion. In the June issue, pages 26-33, Wheels lifts the lid on what it claims is: “Australia’s own Dieselgate”. Dieselgate of course was a high-level Volkswagen Group criminal conspiracy that disgracefully, and in a carefully considered way, prioritised profit over human health worldwide, and backfired gloriously, over a couple of years, to the tune of $26 billion dollars, and counting. This Wheels story hypes up alleged poor reliability of diesel engines. These are the highlights. “Out of the warranty period, owners are on their own.” I hate to break it to the paper dinosaurs in MC Hasbeenville - but consumer law hasn’t operated that way since January the 1st, 2011. The law currently includes legislated Consumer Guarantees. One of those is ‘acceptable quality’. And part of that is ‘reasonable durability’. In practice, this means goods and services (including your fine automobile) must meet the durability expectations of a reasonable person - after taking into account the nature of the goods. This guarantee specifically may not be abrogated by the warranty “...exhaust gases are ventilated via the oil soaked crankcase, then back through the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve, where they return to the intake. Positive crankcase ventilation, they call it.” OMFG - where do I start? Perhaps the obvious: Crankcases are supposed to be oil soaked. If ever they are not, it’s 53 hours into the translunar injection on April 13, 1970, all over again. So there’s that. Secondly, last time had a bad acid flashback to the tools, crankcase ventilation and EGR were totally different, completely separate systems. EGR is a completely different system designed to operate at moderate outputs, as a hedge against oxides of nitrogen. It reduces the oxygen density of the exhaust. That’s important because because diesels run lean - so otherwise the exhaust would be full of oxygen. And aspects of the catalytic converter would not function properly. “The EGR technology is up for debate” - Andrew Leimroth, Berrima Diesel, quoted in the report In my view that’s a load of indefensible bullshit. I guess you can debate anything if you want to, but without facts it’s just ontologically irrelevant noise. That would be like debating gravity. “Diesel particle filters are designed to burn off harmful nitrogen oxides and other tiny particle emissions at blast furnace temperatures.” Really? Wheels should have thought harder about that, I think. Because if a DPF were truly as hot as a blast furnace, it would melt itself. DPFs are encased in a steel box. Blast furnaces are specifically designed to melt iron and steel. Now, this business about (quote) “burn off harmful nitrogen oxides”. Sorry to say, but this is a load of shit too. ‘Burning’ is the absolute opposite of what happens to oxides of nitrogen. Perhaps we could call this process ‘unburning’ for journalists to understand, but in fact it already has a name: ‘reduction’. Just to be crystal on this: you can’t burn NOx away. (It’s already burnt.) “...nitric oxide (NO), which reacts with oxygen to form the fine particulate matter that diesel engines produce.” [SIGHS] Nitric oxide is nitrogen that has already burned in oxygen. It didn’t really want to the first time, and it’s certainly not gagging to go again, with even more oxygen. The problematic particles are mainly made of carbon. There’s no carbon in nitric oxide or oxygen. (D’oh!) Therefore, no matter how creatively you combine them, you’ll never get particles if you start with start with a big bucket of nitric oxide and oxygen. “These micron-fine particles of carbon soot are so small they can lodge in the lungs and are known carcinogens.” Actually, the carbon is relatively benign. But it is problematically sticky - and the stuff that sticks onto it is very bad indeed. Just to dumb this right down so even a Wheels journalist might get it: The carbon is OK. What’s sticking to it is not - and that needs to be burned off in the DPF. Stuff like polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Organics from the lubricating oil and the fuel. Plus some ash and sulphuric acid on the side. They could easily have run this dog’s breakfast of a report past any engineer in any car company, but instead they just went with their gut - seemingly - and consequentially demeaned the reputation of their brand in front of anyone who paid attention and is quasi-technical. There’s a lot of potential advertisers on that list. If I were the product manager at a carmaker selling a line of well-sorted diesel SUVs, I would be monumentally pissed off. And the naked fearmongering. Please: “...buying [a diesel] is like starting the clock on a financial time bomb.” Bullshit tabloid excellence right there. Well done.
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Is a dual-clutch transmission right for you? (10,000km test - part 2) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Here are the three key positives and three key negatives you need to know before paying that deposit and driving off into the sunset with a DCT. POSITIVES The big one is fuel economy. There’s a six-to-10 per cent fuel saving attributable to the DCT. And while that’s not a lot of money in terms of annual fuel budgets for you and me, perhaps, it’s a potentially huge saving overall. Look at it this way - if you spend $100 a week on fuel, the annual saving is $300-$500. But if this kind of transmission were widely deployed, there’s an immense amount of fuel saved. Australia drinks about 20 billion litres of gasoline annually. A six per cent saving there equates to 1.2 billion litres saved. The benefits are: Better national energy security because: less dependency on foreign oil, extension of a finite, non-renewable resource (gasoline) and less CO2 emission and pollution for any given amount of driving. And it saves you money. The second big benefit is acceleration. If you look at 0-100km/h (0-60 miles per hour in ‘Murica) you’re 4-6 per cent faster. That’s without any engine tweaks. Same engine performance - 4-6 per cent reduction in time 0-100. The last big positive is the shift quality for engaged, sporty driving. It’s incredibly positive, fast and seamless. That’s because the computer already has the next gear engaged and ready to drive. All a shift really is, is the disengagement of the clutch on the geartrain driving now, and the engagement of the other clutch. Shifts occur in less than one-tenth of a second, and they’re ultra smooth. This is when you’re in ‘D’ and also when you’re shifting manually, with the paddles - nothing shifts as well as a DCT. NEGATIVES The unfortunate thing about engineering is that there’s no solely ‘good news’ story. There’s always feedback. If you make a car better it costs more. If you improve the off-road performance, on-road performance suffers. If you increase outright dynamic performance, refinement takes a hit. It’s always a balancing act. The first negative is the transmission’s computational challenge of predicting the future. In some situations this is straightforward. Unfortunately though, there are plenty of situations in traffic where the future is entirely difficult to predict, and the computer pre-selects (say) fourth with the gearbox driving in third. Then there’s a rapid change in the conditions, and second is in fact suddenly required. There’s a slight but noticeable lag while the computer reassesses things and switches from fourth to second and swaps geartrains. This typically happens in these dithering driving situations in traffic, at relatively low speed. This is a slight negative operational characteristic, not a glaring flaw. The next negative is a big one - but only for some potential owners, and unlike what I just spoke about, this is a reason not to own a dual-clutch transmission - but only for some few number of people. You have to be aware of the danger of slipping the clutch under load. This is something that only happens at low speed, like less than jogging pace. Remember, a dual-clutch transmission is like a manual transmission, and this problem is just like riding the clutch in a manual. You need to be wary of low speed crawling under load. Both those things - low speed and under load. Let’s say you’re in a traffic jam, uphill. Lots of inching forward against the load imposed by gravity, tugging you backwards. If you inch forward at speeds lower than those which allow full clutch engagement in first gear, the clutch will slip to stop the engine from stalling. Significant heat will be generated (just like riding the clutch in a manual). In the short term, the car will tolerate that - because the clutch is not especially fragile. But if you keep doing it, you’ll damage the clutch. The same sort of creeping under load clutch abuse is easy to do if you need to (say) reverse a trailer up a steep driveway. It’s hard to do that without slipping the clutch - so I’d be re-thinking whether a dual-clutch is appropriate for you in that situation. Or maybe you can just drive up, de-couple the trailer, swing it around and drive out. I did not just say: never do a hill start in a DCT. Normal driving, hill starts, a bit of stop-start traffic, having a steep driveway - all completely compatible with DCT ownership. Slipping the clutch under load - not OK. OK? The final negative is about steep hill-starts and low-speed maneuvering. Because the clutch is automated, you’re essentially driving a car with a clutch take-up algorithm instead of a pedal. Sometimes that take-up response is a little non-linear - and this is more apparent, the steeper the hill you’re on, especially if you roll back.
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e10 Fuel Problems (It's not clean or green - or a good deal for you.) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Time for the ethanol chat. I’m pretty sure there’s gunna be a fatwah. (Said the actress to the bishop...) My comments in this report relate to Australian ethanol - which is mainly produced from wheat. In the US they use corn, and in South America they use sugar cane. And the energy economics vary as a result. At the risk of being totally parochial, we don’t have a famine problem in Australia. We have some poverty, but there’s enough arable land. Here in ‘Straya, farmers are going to grow what they can grow on their land, and they’re going to sell it to the highest bidder. If part of that market is for ethanol production - fine by me. At an ethanol factory, the wheat gets separated into its two constituents - starch and gluten. They ferment the starch to produce the ethanol, and they sell the gluten into the food industry. The first big problem is: ethanol’s not green. All that marketing bullshit - clean, green leaves coming out of the petrol bowser? It’s A-grade bullshit. We produce ethanol here, using coal and diesel. It’s environmentally disgraceful. Here in Shitsville, there’s effectively an ethanol monopoly - it’s all made by Manildra. The company operates one large ethanol plant in Bomaderry on the South Coast. Coal and wheat roll in at one end, and ethanol pours out the other. Manildra is privately owned by a rich dude named Dick Honan through his personal company Honan Holdings. He’s a prolific political donor - kicking the tin to the tune of $179,000 in the 2014-15 financial year. According to the ABC’s Four Corners, Manildra made $4.3 million in donations over the past two decades - straight in the favour bank. Personal opinion. On fundamentals, Manildra seems like a pretty shitty business. I don’t know why they bother. Total income on sales for 2013-14 was a staggering $1.2 billion for Honan Holdings, according to Fairfax, but the taxable income was just $35 million - that’s a margin of less than three per cent. That’s terribly thin. This means the income tax payable was just $6.6 million. On $1.2 billion in sales. To put this in perspective, if your taxable income here in Shitsville is $100,000 per year for the total sale of your labour to your employer, and you paid tax on that at the same rate as Manildra, the impost of income tax to you would be $500. Annually. Mr Honan appears to be rather the regular at meetings with the big end of town. According to Fairfax Media he met with then NSW Premier Mike Baird and other cabinet ministers on 20 occasions in the lead-up to the government compelling small filling station operators to sell e10 for the first time. Here’s what the NSW Treasury said about that in 2012: “Beyond Manildra it is difficult to identify a net benefit for any other segment of society.” The ACCC said in 2013 that e10 had (quote) “reduced consumer choice” and resulted in (quote) “significantly higher prices”. Even the Greens weren’t convinced. The late Greens MP John Kaye said: “There's no evidence that requiring motorists to use ethanol-blended fuels has any net greenhouse gas gain or much in the way of air quality improvement.” It kinda sucks when you can’t sell an allegedly sustainable fuel to the Greens. Yet, none of this convinced the Premier. In February this year the NSW Planning Assessment Commission approved the reopening of one of the state’s shittiest coal mines so that the dodgy output can be trucked to - you guessed it - Manildra’s ethanol plant in Bomaderry. The Planning Assessment Commission said in 2014 that operating the mine would be: “Incompatible with the significant conservation of the site” The allegedly independent agency rejected that previous non-Manildra mining proposal saying open cut mining there posed: “Unacceptable risks and impacts, and only limited short-term benefits.” I wonder what changed. Because soon, it seems, 20 filthy, stinking coal trucks every single day will stuff themselves full of low quality shit coal, and head across the the Blue Mountains to the Manildra ethanol plant - which has breached its EPA licence more than 2000 times, according to the Financial Review - to keep those boilers ticking over and that clean, green ethanol flowing. According to Fairfax Media, Manildra has development applications in play, which will see the plant expand from 126 million litres to 300 million annually. Do you suppose there’s really any doubt that this plan will get the green light? When it does, I can guarantee you that it will be a great deal - for Manildra.
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2018 Kia Stinger Review: Should you buy one? Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
The first burning issue is: Who is a Stinger right for? I’d suggest if you’ve previously been into that rear-drive muscle thing, and you’ve been gutted by the demise of Holden and Ford, then Stinger is the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve seen some reviews quite keenly out of touch with the facts on this, and I’d suggest these are A) looking in the rear view mirror with rose-coloured glasses, and B) written by people still grieving the loss of the local bent eights and blown sixes. And if you need a ‘C’, then, C) two-thirds of car reviews online are bullshit. So there’s that. Me? I’d say hyper-criticality here is undignified and also that these things are machines - so they’re overwhelmingly better assessed in an objective and not emotional way. The fact is: the limits of performance on a V6 twin-turbo Stinger are very high… ...so high that you’d need to be a crazy-brave individual indeed, with breathtakingly poor impulse control, to drive one of these babies at the limit on a public road. Because if you did, and it all went wrong, your clothes would be out of fashion before the scenery stops. I guess that leads to the key question: Should you buy the turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder or the twin turbo V6? It’s a $3000 upgrade, which in my view is trivial in the context of a $50,000-ish purchase that’s going to be a one-off for three-to-five years. You get 50 per cent more peak power and 50 per cent more peak torque with the V6. And it’s 4.9 to 100 (kays an hour) versus 6.0. So it’s pretty hard to make the case for the four. I spent a week in each - the four-cylinder first - and the four was OK. But the V6 is like going to business class for the first time. Economy seems even more shit, next time you fly, right? I guess, if you make all your own clothes and you’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser, and you’re a tightarse, the four could be just right for you. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There weren’t too many things I hated about the Stinger. The transmission logic could be better. It does play some … interesting tunes in the cabin on entry and departure… the point is you need not suffer some South Korean software engineer’s idea of auditory foreplay and post-coital cigarette every time you drive your Stinger. Just get the appalling chimes turned off. That’s do-able, I’m told. Speaking of customisation, this car is very customisable. You really can select a range of modes and settings as your ‘Goldilocks’ Stinger settings preference. So if you buy a Stinger I’d highly recommend you take the time to wade through the menus and do this, because it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all deal. There’s some very nice touches, too, from a user-interface point of view. You get message centre confirmation when you alter, for example, the lights. That’s quite neat. However, I’m not sure it’s not just a little claustrophobic in the back for extended trips, given the somewhat high sills and the low roofline. But at least people do definitely fit back there, even full-sized ones - unlike in a lot of sports coupes. Finally, there’s the safety rating - five stars for all but the entry-level models, which get three. I’m not going to dwell on this here - I’ve already done a full report on this, which I’ll link to a the end of this report. Suffice to say, it’s not a cynical exercise on Kia’s part, like it was for Ford with the two-star Mustang. All Kia Stinger models crash the same, in the ANCAP tests - and the crash performance is worthy of five stars. Kia’s meeting a price-point on the entry-level models, and they don’t come with enough safety-assistance technology to earn five stars under the new ANCAP test regime. If you want five, it’s pretty simple: spend more money. Stinger is a true grand tourer - it’s quite a bit harder-edged than a luxury car, but very rewarding to drive at eight out of 10 from A to B in the country. It’ll get you to the office and back Monday to Friday as well, plus it’s a bit of a head turner. In my two weeks in Stinger I drove it in all kinds of conditions - freeways, backroads, urban cut and thrust. I really enjoyed it. I wondered for the millionth time what the obsession with SUVs was all about. I could live with a Stinger V6 for three-to-five years without once feeling like I’d sentenced myself to a kind of automotive Guantanamo Bay. Quite the opposite. It’s got a couple of minor quirks, but you can live with those. And the straight line performance is sensational. Serendipitous timing for Kia in ‘Straya - turning the demise of Ford and Holden into a solid commercial opportunity.
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Repaired Write Offs
Related: Full report on the website - http://www.autoexpert.com.au/buying-a-car/buying-a-repaired-write-off REVS check: http://www.revs.com.au/ Car History Report: http://www.carhistory.com.au/ Dodgy used cars cost Australians more than half a billion dollars every year. It’s big business. So here’s how to sidestep ‘rebirthing’ and other used used car sales scams - by making sure you don’t unwittingly drive away in a repaired write-off. This report is inspired by Stephen, who contacted me via the website: He’s thinking of buying a 2014 Kia Rio that’s a repaired write-off - effectively 40 per cent below fair market value for the equivalent used car. So: it’s above board - but is it a good idea? A repaired write off is the six million dollar man of used cars. Only it’s not better, stronger or faster. The best you can hope for is that it’s almost as good, and a lot cheaper. Repairable write-offs happen when insurance companies declare a vehicle uneconomical to repair. This might be following a crash, or some other insurance event like a flood, or severe hail. The owner cops a cash payout or a new replacement vehicle - whatever the policy stipulates - and the wreck is generally sold at auction. Depending on how crappy the condition, that wreck might be stripped and sold for parts. But if it’s only partly crappy it might end up repaired, inspected, re-registered and re-sold. Now, because YouTube is global and I live in Australia I can only comment on the repairable write-off legalities down here. Nothing is intrinsically wrong with repaired write-offs, provided the repairs are done to a professional standard. But I wouldn’t be paying the full freight for one. I’d want a discount for the abuse it’s suffered in the past. There are scumbags who routinely attempt to pass off these repaired write-offs as run-of-the-mill used cars - at the full market price. So you have to protect yourself from inheriting one of these without the appropriate discount. In ‘Australia, there are essentially two categories of written-off cars: Repairable write-offs and statutory write-offs. Statutory write-offs are the ones that, by law, must never be repaired. They’re usually badly damaged, and they can only be sold legally for spare parts. Here in NSW, the state government made it illegal in 2011 to re-register any repaired write-off. Here, they can only be scrapped and sold for parts. That was done in an attempt to reduce re-birthing. Re-birthing is where you steal a car, you park it somewhere unobtrusive and then you buy a wreck of the same make and model. Then you transfer the wreck’s identity to the stolen car and attempt to sell it as if it’s above-board. This set of ‘zero tolerance’ write-off repair rules only applies to NSW. Other Australian states still allow you to repair and re-register repairable write-offs. There’s even an official inspection process to get them re-registered and back on the road. Most people buying a used car in Australia do a REVS check, which reveals financial encumberance. It’s bad to buy a vehicle used as the security over a car loan - because it can be repossessed if the loan isn’t discharged with the sale proceeds. But a REVS check won’t identify repaired write-offs. In Australia there’s an official Written-off Vehicle Register. And the best way for you to access the data on that register is to drop $37 online and get an official Car History Report. In addition to the financial liability check from REVS, a Car History Report will also give you the vehicle’s full insurance claim history, it’ll tell you if it’s ever been stolen or written off, you’ll also get a valuation and the registration details. It could just be the best $37 insurance policy of all time. To get a Car History Report, you’ll need the vehicle’s VIN code - a 17-digit alpha-numeric code (effectively a serial number) located on an official plate in the engine bay or inside the door frame. The other thing you really should do, no matter where you live on Earth, is get your own trusted, independent mechanic to inspect the car - not only for its mechanical health, but also for evidence of major repair work. Especially dodgy crash repair - which is easy to spot if you know what to look for. If you buy a repaired write-off, you need to tell your insurance company that’s what it is. It’s part of your duty of disclosure to tell the insurer anything that materially affects their decision to insure you. The final thing you need to do is clarify the vehicle’s warranty status with the manufacturer. This is especially important for reasonably new cars, like the 2014 Rio that Stephen’s sniffing around, which sparked this report - don’t just presume the balance of the factory warranty protects you because you might find that the factory warranty is voided.
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Nut-fest Friday 35 | Turbochargers, Hydrogen and Ford Fires Making News
Nut-fest Friday is back - only a bit leaner. And, definitely, meaner. I’m John Cadogan from AutoExpert.com.au - the place where Aussie new car buyers save thousands off their next new cars. Hit me up on the website for that. Now - sorry about the Nut-fest hiatus. Had to recharge the batteries - and figure out how to do this so it doesn’t kill me. So time-consuming. Anyway … we’re here now. And now - to the nuts. First up let’s talk etiquette, diplomacy and the black art of comporting one’s self in a gentlemanly fashion at all times. Now, here’s R Down using his sweeping breadth of thermodynamic knowledge the better to help us all understand turbocharging and combustion. LOL. "Energy that would have been wasted" used to drive the exhaust side of the turbo. You're sounding a bit like those nuts with the hydrogen generator. You don't get something for nothing. The exhaust side of the turbo takes energy from the moving exhaust gases which take energy from the moving piston that pushes them out of the cylinder. (Yes, depending on valve timing, the exhaust gases do somewhat push themselves out of the cylinder but even so - Newton's 3rd law - they rely on the upward moving piston to do so.) A few points on the facts here: One: There is no ‘something for nothing’ first law of thermodynamics violation, as Down, Jnr, alleges. There is in fact lots of otherwise waste energy in exhaust gas - especially at medium to high revs, and big throttle inputs. It’s one of the major ‘loss’ areas of internal combustion. Two: Differential diagnosis. Turbochargers actually work. That’s proven beyond reasonable doubt. They only work because they use some energy that would be lost in the exhaust to energise the induction side of the engine’s inlet airstream. If they were only lunching off energy provided by the upwards motion of the piston (acting like a pump) they would not, in fact, work. Three: When the exhaust valve opens, the main mechanism for the ejection of the combustion gasses is pressure from their own expansion. The engine does incur some pumping losses, but engines are not pumps. The main thing ejecting the gas is its inherent greater pressure, with respect to the exhaust manifold, by virtue of the combustion process and vast energy release. Four: Please do comment again, young Mr Down, and fuck you very much for your contribution to date. And now, my favourite nut: Roj C Sir, I am compelled to make contact with you to inform you of a grave misleading claim that you have publicised on your YouTube channel. The episode is on ''The truth about HHO. With all due respect to your expertise in the auto industry I'm qualified to say the decomposition of the water molecule is NOT a chemical reaction. You DO know Einstein's famous equation- E=MC2 ? FACT - there is a mathematical equation that expresses a loss of mass within a closed loop 'water-HHO' system. (E=MC2) FACT - in recent months, scientists have detected Helium after the recombination of the water molecule. Helum is the second element in the periodic table,and can ONLY be created when two Hydrogen atoms 'fuse'. (Cold Fussion) So John, please please remove that episode as you do not fully comprehend the disassociation between Classical Pysics and Quantum Mechanics. Simply stunning. Here on Earth, there is no such thing as cold fusion. Real fusion of hydrogen into helium has to be quite hot. Come to mention it, there’s an operating fusion reactor above your head most days. It’s called the friggin’ sun. Surface temperature: about 6000 degrees absolute. But who’s counting? Tragically enough there is no magical nuclear reaction component to the electrolytic decomposition of water. It is an entirely electrochemical process so simple that even school kids do it in science class, for kicks. And hardly anyone ever dies doing it. Nuclear fusion: Not so much. Hydrogen produced by electrolysis has tremendous potential as a viable transport fuel to replace hydrocarbons. But making it yourself under the bonnet with a so-called HHO generator and believing it helps boost efficiency makes you dumber than our ace correspondent Roj here. Holy conflagration, Batman. An ACT family travelling on the Bega Highway recently were the latest shitheap Ford owners to go up in flames - according to the internationally renowned Bega District News. Up in smoke. Just like that. Knock me down with a feather. Thankfully, nobody was injured. But the reputational damage to Ford and its crap engineering is ongoing, and they are in my view worthy recipients of the fowl-est award in automotive journalism this week.
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The truth about extended warranty and your car | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
In this report: Time to dissect ‘extended warranties’ in the ‘good idea/bad idea’ domain. Here in shitsville we have Australian Consumer Law - which was conjured up into existence on January the 1st, 2011. Let’s call it ACL for brevity. ACL includes a number of so-called ‘consumer guarantees’ - these are legal obligations enforceable against the sellers of essentially all consumer goods and services. These guarantees mean products - including cars - need to be acceptably safe, acceptably durable, free from defects, and function in the way a reasonable person would expect them function. Google ‘ACCC Consumer Guarantees’ for more. Breaching the guarantees is the kind of thing, Ford, Volkswagen, Jeep and Shitsville Chevy are famous for - and it gets them into hot water from time to time. The guarantee we’re going to talk about is ‘acceptable quality’: This is something which is legally guaranteed under ‘Strayan law - car dealers are required to comply with this guarantee. The length of the factory warranty is completely irrelevant in the domain of ‘acceptable quality’ here in Shitsville. The warranty status of your car is also irrelevant. Acceptable quality works like this: If a component on your car shits itself at a point on the car’s timeline - at some distance or age before the time at which a reasonable consumer would expect it to last, then the dealer is obliged to repair it for free. They cannot brush you. They cannot compel you to pay for the repairs. They cannot brush you off to the manufacturer. It is the dealer’s obligation. This is - in layman’s terms - how ACL works. These legislated guarantees are automatic. If you buy something, it’s guaranteed. The guarantees cannot be overwritten or limited by some factory warranty tacked on the top. You can’t waive them contractually. In the case of a ‘major failure’ - this is an important consumer law term - you might even be entitled to a full refund or a replacement. So let’s look at a hypothetical nightmare scenario - you own some shitheap like a Grand Cherokee or a monkey-spanking Tiguan, or a Shitsville Chevy from the old Daewoo factory. Let’s say you’ve been quite happy with it to date. It’s four years old. You’ve done 80,000 kilometres in it. The engine, however, just went poopy in its trousers and the service department walks you over to the defibrillator and tells you a new one’s gunna cost you $12 grand. It’s highly likely that they’re just trying it on - there’s a lot more profit in the job for them if they get you to foot the bill. Some dealerships are arseholes like that. A great many of them. Of course, your claim to these guarantees will evaporate if it transpires that you have not had the vehicle serviced correctly, or if perhaps you have fitted (for example) some aftermarket Muppet-spec engine ECU performance upgrade chip. Or if the source of the malfunction can be traced back to you parking your vehicle inconveniently in the Pacific Ocean, or under a bulldozer, one balmy night. In other words, there are checks and balances. It’s not a blanket guarantee. But if you’ve been reasonable as an owner, they are obliged look after you for a reasonable period regardless of the stated factory warranty. And I think a reasonable person would agree that an engine in a $40,000 car should last more than four years and 80,000 kilometres if it’s been properly maintained and not abused - even though the warranty went south a year earlier. Frankly, a lot of dealers prey on consumer ignorance. And that’s why you need to be informed. If you get any push back in a service department - start dropping the keywords: Acceptable quality, consumer guarantees, reasonable durability, major failure, etc. ‘Major failure’ is a really good one - because it’s the trigger for a full refund or a replacement (and you get to choose which). So this could lead them to the conclusion that fixing it for free is in fact the preferable option. Extending the warranty for nearly two grand, like in the question above, sounds like a great deal - but only for the dealer.
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New Cars For Sale - Can You Trust New Car Prices?
If you're looking at new cars for sale, can you trust new car prices quoted to you by car dealerships? This report by leading Australian motoring journalist John Cadogan details the unscrupulous business practices of a particular new car dealer in Australia (a Land Rover dealer), which tried to grossly over-inflate the new car prices of a Land Rover Discovery Sport TD4 SE, on an unsuspecting female car buyer. At the risk of sounding sexist, it seems female car buyers are especially at risk of this kind of gross misrepresentation when looking for new car prices at the dealership. The recommended retail price (before on-road costs) was $61,000 - and the final quoted drive-away price was an incredible $78,500. The story demonstrates just how important it is to do new car research if you want to avoid being ripped off by a car dealer. Researching cars online is essential if you want the best deal. New car prices can't be fixed under Australian law, so dealers are free to charge whatever they want. (Whatever they think they can get away with in the case of the proposed transaction reported in this story. The story also proves that it pays to shop around - there are new cars for sale everywhere, and substantial discounts on those new cars are available to those who research cars online before visiting new car dealers. Never go to a car dealer and believe what they tell you about new car prices. For more information, contact me direct at www.autoexpert.com.au/contact
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Crash Tackle - Understanding Airbags | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Full report: http://autoexpert.com.au/buying-a-car/why-didnt-my-airbags-deploy-in-a-crash You crash your car. It feels pretty bad. Car crashes are violent, brutal and chaotic. Maybe there’s a lot of damage. Maybe you sustain some injury - bit of whiplash, bruises, a few cuts. You look at the wreck and you discover the damn airbags didn’t even deploy. And you presume your car is defective. You’re understandably angry with the manufacturer. Maybe you can smell a lawsuit. Before you retain a lawyer, let’s look at the counter-intuitive line between life and death in car crashes, and the mad science of survival. I get questions about this a lot. 'My airbags didn’t deploy in a crash: Should I sue the manufacturer?' Or: 'I’m never buying another [INSERT BRAND NAME HERE]. Never.' These questions - I get dozens of them every year - tell me there’s a fundamental misunderstanding about the dynamics of violence in car crashes. The physics. The engineering. So let’s clear that right up.
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Why Small Cars Got Big
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The Truth About Speedo Accuracy | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Is your speedo the biggest bullshitter on your entire instrument panel? Find out next. This question, is from Andrew P. "Why have I notice lately they Speedo’s in cars a lieing. In my mums brand new xtrail her car seems to be doing 6 Kms less ph then what the gps says in my Audi it’s less then 3 kmph and my other aunties xtrail it’s 6kmsph again and my partners RCZ 5kmph ah is this so? Are manufacturers doing this on purpose?" Yes, Andrew, they are. About 11 years ago the essentially globally homogenised regulations for speedos in new cars changed. Essentially they’re not allowed to under-report your speed. So a speedo cannot display - say - 100 when your actual speed is 105. On the 1st of July 2006, here in ‘Straya, they updated the speedo compliance regulation called ADR 18. New ADR 18 says speedos cannot indicate less that the true speed, and over-indication accuracy is limited to a maximum 10 per cent plus 4km/h. This means that at a true speed of 100 kilometres per hour the speedo can’t be displaying 99, or under, but it could be displaying up to 114. Before 1 July 2006 the speedo accuracy was simply plus or minus 10 per cent - so the true speed could be 100 and the indicated speed could be anything between 90 and 110 - something to bear in mind if you own an older car. It’s not really a conspiracy to slow us all down - it’s a compliance issue. What galls me is this this: I want to drive on the freeway at the limit. For example, it’s 300 kays door to door from my joint to Canberra - mostly freeway. If ‘Strayan Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbullshit calls me for an urgent consultation on running the nation, some thorny issue (which tie makes me look like less of a Churchillean git) I have no tolerance for dilly-dallying on these pressing matters of national security. If I drive at the 110 kilometre per hour limit the drive to save the nation will take me two hours and 44 minutes. And, just like my hero Jack Bauer, I don’t want to keep Bullshit Mountain waiting. The PM needs my help, to prevent Tiegate. However, should I happen to be in a car with the least-accurate (but still compliant) speedo, I’ll be staring down at 110 but my actual speed over the ground will be just 96 kays an hour. Transit time: Blown out to three hours and eight minutes. Nobody wants that. This means I’ll be keeping Bullshit 6 Actual waiting for 24 minutes longer than absolutely necessary. I hate that - also, back in the real world, that’s not driving: it’s just wasting your life bored shitless on the freeway, and I have no wish to do that for a nanosecond longer than needs must. So, you could use GPS - but not integrated GPS, from the carmaker, because it generally does not display speed. Presumably because manufacturers don’t want to open the floodgate of complaints about speedo inaccuracy from indignant customers, when they see two mutually irreconcilable readings on the same instrument panel. If you want to drive legally, but at the maximum permitted speed, you can suck a GPS unit to your windscreen (but remember not to burn your lips approaching the summer solstice here in ‘Straya). Once sucked on enthusiastically, you might compare suck-on receiver’s speed to that of the speedo and derive a correction factor. Or, if you want to use the correct technical jargon, a ‘fudge factor’. Couple of caveats on this - I’d be doing it on a flat, level section of road, because GPS accuracy is potentially compromised uphill or downhill. The system itself is reasonably robust for the Z-coordinate, but the receiver you use might not be paying that much attention to elevation in practise. I’d also use a wide-open road without overhanging trees - because canyons and trees that occlude the sky can block the line of sight to multiple satellites and degrade the suck-on unit’s accuracy. If you’ve ever been on the freeway in a 110 zone and blasted over a crest or around a curve and come face-to-arse with a highway patrol interceptor lying in wait, and then - visceral reaction - you look [LOOK DOWN] down there and you’re aghast that the speedo is nudging 120 kays an hour. ...and then you wonder why the blues and twos never actually go on, in this situation, like a deleted scene from Mad Max (you know, the first one, before Mel Gibson emerged like a butterfly from the anti-semitic nutbag cocoon) it’s probably because your actual speed could have been as low as 105 on a perfectly legal speedo.
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