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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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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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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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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.
Просмотров: 179913 AutoExpertTV
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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13 things you don't know about crashes
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Top three basic vehicle check most owners don't do -  but should | Auto Expert John Cadogan
In this report: The three classic vehicle checks every car owner should know - and perform at least once a fortnight (or every second time they fill up with fuel). The checks are simple to do and they could save you thousands - in sidestepped repair bills. Coolant level - a simple underbonnet sightseeing exercise in most modern cars. Oil level - you just need to remove the dipstick and have a rag handy... Tyre pressures - and remember, the air at the filling station is one of the few things in life that is still free. Amazingly, many people still don't use it...
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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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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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Mail Sack 4 (Q&A) - Your Car Questions Answered
Mail Sack 4 TIME CODES IF YOU WANT TO SKIP AHEAD 0:51 - "I’ve watched some of your videos. You’re not a real journalist. You’re just a shill for Hyundai" - Terry 4:08 "What’s a dual-clutch transmission - and what’s with the horror stories I hear about them?" - Enrico 9:58 - "I just got a new job, and I can finally afford an Audi Q3 TFSI - just under $60k drive-away in NSW. You don’t have a review - how come?" - Angela 13:24 - "Just like to say your shirt collar and Tie look ridiculous did your taylor run out of collar material LOL" - Forex 14:19 - "I work at a dealership - just a yard worker there. When talking to one of the dealers there he said a customer wanted a car for $6000 instead of the listed price of $7000. He invented another customer willing to pay $6500, even though this second customer does not exist. Clearly it’s just a way to get a higher price for the vehicle. Does this seem wrong or is it just me? They want me to get into the sales area over the few coming months, but I don't think I can say that to someone's face. Curious what you think about this" - Matt 16:05 - "Got new tyres the other day. The tyre shop wanted to sell me nitrogen to fill them up, for an extra $40. They said the tyres would last longer and the ride would be smoother. I went with air, because at the time it felt like a con. Now I’m second-guessing myself. Should I have gone with nitrogen?" - Judy 18:00 - "Is Toyota’s ‘legendary’ reliability a crock?" - Mitch 19:23 - "Safety seems to be your biggest concern when buying a new car. I’ve got three kids, and I agree with you. I'm looking at an Volvo XC60 - what do you think?" - Anita NUT 1 22:30 - "You're a journalist? And know about the car business? You’re an idiot. I googled the words ‘dumb shithead’ and your name popped up" - Rango Millaway NUT 2 23:00 - "You’re arrogant and not nearly as funny as you think. Your analogies are draining. I had to watch first to see how shit it really was, before I could comment ... but don’t stress, overweight Gollum, I wont make that mistake twice. I’m not trying to be anything or anyone. In fact this is just throwaway account I use to tell ass hats like yourself what they need to hear. What does it feel like to sink so much effort into these vids only to produce steaming piles of shit filled with misinformation, your ego and that puckered asshole face of yours?" - oiboiii
Просмотров: 14768 AutoExpertTV
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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Is your car distracting you to death? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
You might not know this, but all carmakers have a ‘human factors’ design team. These people are specifically tasked with dealing with what’s called ‘HMI’ - the ‘human-machine interface’. HMI is all about control architecture, feedback and the flow of information. The car tells you stuff, and you act on it - hopefully it’s the right stuff and the right actions, and you get home without a detour to the emergency department. This is where the HMI dudes live - and their playground has enlarged somewhat lately. This Kim Kardashian-isation - arse-wise - of the HMI arena is due to the increasing complexity of modern cars. A modern car bombards you with all this ‘information’ (if that’s the right word) about the driving process. And a lot of it is simply bullshit. Dangerously distracting bullshit. Here’s an example: I remember many, many years of the donkey ago, being on an Audi TT launch in some God-forsaken forest in Western Australia… We’re screaming through the forest, and the message centre between the speedo and the tacho suddenly lights up. Cracker night. That’s fourth of July (Murica). Big orange warning symbol. Like a volcano erupting. Mt Vesuvius, or something. This is distracting, right? I’m setting the car up for a big, sweeping right-hander on gravel. Big trees on both sides. Attention to detail: Important. I get out, check the car out: All good, seemingly. No volcano-like leaks, anywhere, that I can see. No lava. Water, oil, tyre pressures. Seems fine. Urgent orange spurty symbol on the dash: Still there. Bastard. Long story short: It’s the low headlamp washer fluid warning indicator. Those boxhead mother-lovers. Couple of points on this: One - I don’t need to know that when I’m driving. It’s not mission-critical. So why not just chime in later, on shutdown, instead of distracting me? Why not have a list of mission-critical immediate warnings: low oil pressure, over-temp, low tyre pressure, whatever. Plus a list of things that can wait? Two - Not only do I specifically not need to know this, knowing it can conceivably distract me, and hurt me. Badly. How hard is this to figure out? Your friggin’ job in HMI land is to make driving easier. What if some hapless owner stops, immediately, in a dangerous place, wanting to protect their shiny new monkey spanking toy? Gets cleaned up. That’s kind of a bad outcome - dying because your headlamp washer fluid got low. How ignominious… And the next thing I want to talk to you about is ‘false positives’. A false positive is, like, you’re walking through the forest 100,000 years ago and there’s some - I don’t know - bustle in the hedgerow behind you, it could be the wind or it could be a hungry tiger. If you react and it’s the wind, you look like a dick. If you don’t react and it’s a tiger, you become lunch - and then you don’t get to pass your genes on to subsequent generations. So false-positive reactors tend to survive. It’s deeply ingrained in us at a gene-type level. But it is intensely frustrating in a car. Take lane-keeping assistance. So many intelligence insulting beeps and warning symbols. Like, I know I’m close to the right edge of the lane - I put the damn car there because a left-hander is imminent. Blind spot monitoring - don’t keep warning me. I know that car is there. I know it’s there because I set the damn mirrors up correctly and I’m situationally aware in 360 degrees when I drive a car. Because that’s my job. Parking sensors: same thing. Too many false positives. Beeping because you’re in imminent danger of hitting three petals of a dandelion or something. All these beeps and chimes and flashes, warning us all of non-threats, continuously. So what do you do? You ignore them. Or you turn them off, because they annoy the shit out of you. Because they don’t help. And then, one day you actually are drifting out of the lane, or you haven’t seen that car in the adjacent lane, or the parking sensor detects a child and not some branch hanging over the driveway - and it’s a disaster. A preventable disaster. But I really do want to slap those automotive HMI dudes, collectively - Bosch, etc., carmakers collectively - you arseholes have an obsession with endless false positives. Thousands of false positives for every real threat. The real threats become needles in a haystack of false positivity. The real threats get lost - so either the HMI design protocols are shit, or the technology is just not quite there yet. There’s a third possibility of course: This is so bad in modern cars that I sense the evil input of lawyers. The disturbance in The Force is that bad. It could be an arse-covering legal directive to detect everything; then they can’t sue us for not warning them.
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Top 3 Test Driving Mistakes New Car Buyers Make | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
So: You’re test driving a new car. Don’t make these classic mistakes. Welcome to another episode of What the FAQ - the segment where I oxygenate your most common questions. This episode is inspired by the dissertations - the boxed sets, with director’s commentaries - I get, twice, sometimes thrice, each week, in which someone, perhaps you, sends me a highly detailed brain fart dressed up as a road test report. Their road test report. Detailed driving impressions. And I mean ‘detailed’. 3000 words, and no punctuation. The education system leaves too many people behind… And often they’re painted on a sweeping Technicolor backdrop of ‘Yaris versus LandCruiser - please help me decide.’ So that’s interesting. There’s really three mistakes for the test-drive obsessed new car buyer. Let us exorcise them and cast these demons back into the pit of hell. People overstate the importance of test-driving impressions. Grossly. Look, if you’re a complete car nut (something I can certainly relate to) then driving impressions are important to you. I get that. But if you are a mainstream car buyer, it’s the 21st Century. If you take the most popular segments - the small cars, the medium SUVs, the 4X4 utes … they all drive very similar (within the segment - obviously utes don’t feel the same as small cars - but all the top utes feel very similar, and so do all of the best small cars). You can call bullshit on this if you want - and I can already hear car enthusiast nuts doing this all over town - but all carmakers benchmark every new car against the leading competitors. The entire aim is to get close, or a little bit ahead on each key criteria. The present these analyses at press conferences during the launch. This is why, dollar for dollar, cars in the same category are increasingly trending towards becoming clones of one another. And yeah, there are driving differences, but they’re generally not critical differences in the context of ordinary owners and what they should buy. Certainly the differences in the driving experience of common leading competitors is not as important to the purchasing decision, overall, as other factors. I’m talking here about factors like the equipment levels, the value, the safety credentials, and the parent company’s ethical compass - should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having a real problem and needing considerable support. In this situation it makes a helluva difference if you’re dealing with a Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia or BMW (all pretty good) as opposed to a Jeep, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Holden or Ford (all pretty reprehensible). People blow the importance of the drive experience completely out of the water - and typically this is a male Achilles heel. The reality is: Among the leaders in every mainstream segment, there’s just not enough difference in the drive experience to swing the decision one way or the other. You have to put the drive in perspective, or you’ll end up buying the wrong car.
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Volkswagen announces five year warranty | Auto Expert John Cadogan
VW 5yr warranty kicks off in Australia (Still lousy at customer support, however.) Volkswagen Shitsville: a South Korean carmaker, trapped within the body of a German importer. Now, one step closer to the big, identity-changing surgery. Volkswagen Shitsville - or ‘Monkey Spankers down under’ as they are known colloquially in the Wolfsburg boardroom (may not be a real fact) - has taken another step closer to admitting publicly that, deep-down, they’ve always wanted to be Hyundai. That’s right - just 19 years after Hyundai up-ended the Shitsvillian automotive apple cart the Volkswegian World War II losers have capitulated and will offer a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty. Closing the gap on Hyundai, little by little, every day. Officially the Volkswagen warranty Wonderbra is just from now until the end of the year, and then there are conflicting reports. Some say the warranty will revert to the same shitty three-year warranty they’ve always offered. Others say the extra two years will be offered at an additional cost. And yet other reports claim the five-year deal will simply continue. Michael Bartsch - one of my favourite glorified import clerks, who runs VW's operation … has an interesting take on the five-year warranty jackboot in the water exercise: “If you have a look at what’s putting us on the consideration list, nobody is walking in saying” ‘I need a five-year warranty’. We don’t lose sales at the moment.” That’s what he’s quoted as saying in The New Daily. Deliciously contradictory, an oxymoronical validation, apparently: “We’re offering something none of our customers want, the absence of which poses no commercial downside, just to see how it goes.” Anyhoo - the three-year stinge-fest warranty club continues to battle bulimia. Only Nissan, which suffered that terrible brain injury in the GFC and never fully recovered, together with Subaru, plus the four-ringed monkey-spankers, the Bavarian money wasters, the three-point Swastika and of course, ‘oh what a feeling’ continue to hold onto the courage of their inadequate three-year warranty convictions here in ‘Straya. Elon Musk - the real life Phony Stark - should be most pleased. Tesla offers eight years and 160,000 kilometres. Kia offers seven and unlimited. Holden has no idea what it’s doing. It’s three, five or seven years, depending how the wind blows that day. Currently five, I think, but there could be another change mid-afternoon. Most of the other carmakers are at five and unlimited. Mitsubishi is at five and 100,000. Rumours are rife that Kia will jump to 10 years in Shitsville - they already do this in Retardistan, of course. I never thought I would live to see the day that the Monkey-gassers went 100 per cent Gangnam style.
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2015 Subaru Liberty Review
The latest Subaru Liberty 2015 from Subaru Australis is a real step forward from previous Subaru Libertys. But, tragically, the new Liberty 2015 is looking for love in a world infatuated with SUVs. A family car doesn’t have to be an SUV. Most SUV buyers would be happier in the new Subaru Liberty. Prices on this new 2015 Liberty have been slashed. They’re three to four grand less for the four-cylinder, and $14,000 has been dissected from the six-cylinder Subaru Liberty. Where, exactly, did they find $14,000 in savings on the Subaru Liberty 2015? This is the cheapest six-cylinder Liberty ever. And pricing on the four-cylinder Subaru Liberty just woke up back in 2002. So what’s behind this massive Subaru Liberty 2015 pricing slash-fest? Subaru Australia says the currency has moved, it’s manufacturing more efficiently and the free-trade agreement between Australia and Japan has kicked in. They even euphemise ‘increased competition’ in the market. This price reduction is the proof that the stiffest competition produces the best deal for consumers, and also the best vehicles. If you’re looking for premium family transport, the new Liberty is a great car. This Liberty is the Safest Subaru ever. And the standard features across the range make this 2015 Liberty more attractive than many notional competitors. It’s fascinating to see Japan dusting it up on price, in the ring with contemporaneously with Europe and South Korea. Subaru Australia (and Subaru the brand, globally) sticks to its guns and it knows exactly what it is. They do boxer engines. In fact, they’ve done 15 million boxer engines, over the past 49 years. Subaru has also managed to make 14 million symmetrical all-wheel drive systems since 1972. That's the Subaru DNA. That Subaru Liberty Symmetrical AWD driveline - all four wheels driving all the time - is a huge advantage every time traction is marginal. None of these notional competitors offers you that. It’s a huge fundamental plus. The Symmetrical AWD system even has torque vectoring now, which delivers outstanding neutrality in corners. For several years now, the Liberty has been a very ugly car. You could set your clock by it. Until this one - it actually looks as good as it is. Finally. Even if they did have to clone Hyundai’s grille to do it. The biggest problem with the new 2015 Liberty is this national affair everyone is having with SUVs. It’s completely irrational. Only 150 people are going to buy a Subaru Liberty every month in Australia, which is a shame. If one of them is you, don’t be afraid to buck the SUV trend: you’re doing the right thing. If you want to save some cash buying your new Liberty, contact me via the website: http://AutoExpert.com.au.
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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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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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How to negotiate a new car deal & avoid the 'false urgency" scam | Auto Expert John Cadogan
So I get this e-mail last week. I’m inferring it’s from an elderly couple - ‘his & hers’ unified e-mail address - that’s usually a dead giveaway. The victims in this saga have gone to the dealership to browse - not buy. They’re doing research. They just want to have a look around. Next thing you know, there’s a deposit paid and a signature on a contract. They’ve taken a bath on the trade-in, and even signed up for the paint protection, which you should never do. I’d suggest, when the Sons of Anarchy pull up, get off their Harleys and advance towards you with that telltale vengeful gleam in their eyes, it’s easy to know you’re in a deeply adversarial situation. When you’re at a dealership, it’s not like that. There’s handshaking and smiling, and you’ve probably been handed an espresso during an outbreak of polite conversation. But the situation you’re in is just as conflicted, and the stakes are pretty high. It can cost you thousands if you fail to be an effective advocate for your own interests. You and the salesman do not want the same thing. You might want to browse - check out this particular car and maybe two or three others from different manufacturers. Make a fair and balanced decision based on some comparative observations and after you’ve had time to consider the purchase carefully. This is the last thing the sales guy wants you to do. He does not want you walking out the door and visiting his competitors. He knows that if he lets you walking out, the chance of you and your money walking back in, in the days to weeks ahead, are greatly diminished. He hates that. So, if you were negotiating with the Sons of Anarchy here, it would be easier to see what’s going on. They’d probably shoot you in the knee and thus see if you could be prevailed upon to alter your plan. And oddly enough, metaphorically, philosophically, this is pretty much what happens in a dealership. The salesman needs to present you with a compelling, imperative reason for you willingly to upend your plan and do the deal now. And I just want to take a moment to explain the ethical dimension you stepped into when you walked through the door. If you’re a person with a functional moral compass, it’s a mistake to imprint these values into how you see this process working. I’m not saying all car salesmen are snakes who’d sell their mothers into slavery if there was a deposit in it for them - but there are enough ethically ambivalent car salesman out there for it to be insane for you not to acknowledge this risk and deploy appropriate countermeasures. I always think of it in terms of the time. I imagine being face to face with a car salesman, and casually looking down at my watch. [LOOK] What do you know? It’s ‘bullshit o’clock’. Agin. It’s always ‘bullshit o’clock’ in a car dealership. He’s going to present you with a set of compelling alleged reasons to drop your plan and buy right now, which serves his agenda. The most common bullshit gambit here is: False urgency. There has to be a good reason for you to go now. To inject urgency. To up-end your plan. To get a signature and a deposit out of you. Now. And the most expedient falsely urgent gambit is the allegedly unbeatable deal, allegedly expiring when the doors close this evening. I mean, when you think about it, this is unbelievably lucky, right? (Key word: unbelievably.) You just happen to have darkened his door in the closing stages of the very last day of an unbeatable deal, which will never be repeated, which would represent a missed opportunity of epic proportion, bordering on a financial tragedy, should you not embrace it right now by signing on the dotted, and paying a deposit. We all want to believe we’ve been unbelievably lucky, but ask yourself: Why would this deal not be available tomorrow, or next week? If this is actually a genuine carmaker incentive, it would be on the website. It would have a stated closing date. It would be available from all other dealers of the same brand. If it’s just a special the dealer has cooked up, flying solo, there is no commercial reason why he could not do the same deal on this car tomorrow, or next week. If it’s in stock, he’s already purchased it from the manufacturer. There’s no economic reason for that special to end tonight. If you front up tomorrow, or next Tuesday, and offer that exact sum, do you really expect to be shown the door. “You had your chance mate: get out. I don’t think so. You might have to dig pretty deep here, to cast a net of skeptical disbelief capable of containing this expertly coiffed bullshit. Just remember: It’s an adversarial situation. The path of least resistance is just to say yes, and watch your finances bleed out, all over the floor. My advice: Man up (even if you’re a chick). Start saying ‘no’. Be properly skeptical of everything that is said. And do not underestimate how convincingly it comes across in the moment.
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Is it OK to lubricate wheel studs and lug nuts? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Should you lubricate wheel nuts? Lubricating wheel nuts: so hotly debated by armchair experts. The owners manual says: clean threads and no lube (in many cases). I say: definitely use lubricant on wheel nuts (actually on the studs). But up front I am not telling you to do this. My default advice on everything related to your car is: don’t deviate from the owner’s manual. What manufacturers are trying to avoid with their ‘no lube’ proclamation is a worst-case scenario - where someone lubricates the threads, and then some knucklehead uses an over-enthusiastic rattle gun on those same threads, over-tightening the nuts well beyond the boundaries of reason and common sense. The lube increases the stretch of the thread for any given amount of applied torque. That makes sense, right? And there’s a limit to how far you can stretch those studs safely. Worst-case scenario: the stud over-torques, it yields (which is a point of no return separating the elastic deformation (temporary stretch) you want from plastic deformation (which is permanent distortion you definitely don’t want). If a stud yields it no longer provides effective clamping force. This is bad - no doubt about it. Manufacturers acknowledge this risk by over-designing the studs. Massively over-designing them. Just doing a quick thought experiment here - I actually crunched the numbers a few minutes ago, roughly. A common wheel stud size for cars is 12 millimetres. And I suspect they’re Grade 8.8 fasteners (that’s a common high-tensile category - not to brittle, reasonably tolerant of abuse, but no good for NASA, probably). This is an educated guess about grade 8.8 because most carmakers specify about 100 Newton-metres assembly torque. And most bolt manufacturers specify 98 Newton-metres for M12 8.8 threads. QED, right? Carmakers have just rounded up for the spec in the manual. So five of these M12 8.8 studs will deliver 35.7 tonnes of clamping force between the wheel and the brake disc - absolute maximum, with all of the studs at the yield point. And you don’t want to go there, but that’s the limit before bad shit starts to happen. 100 Newton-metres on M12 8.8 gives you about 4.2 tonnes of clamping force per stud. Which is about 20.8 tonnes for the five, holding the wheel on. That’s only 58 per cent of the way to the yield point. In other words, you’d have to stretch each stud 72 per cent more to get it to yield. A bit of anti-seize is simply not going to achieve that. It’s just not. There’s a massive safety margin in play. The case for lubricating the studs is: You get a flat tyre in the boonies and you can’t undo the damn lug nuts using the standard wrench that comes with the car... ...because A) - it’s repulsively inadequate, bordering on being a joke, and B) that over-enthusiastic rattle gun that may have been used to secure them? It’s no match for that. For starters, I wouldn’t be letting anyone near my car for servicing or to replace the tyres, service the brakes, rotate the tyres - whatever - if they use a rattle gun. Forget it. If that’s your business’s wheel-installation protocol, take someone else’s money, because you’re not getting mine. There’s a wheel nut torque specification in the owner’s manual. In every owner’s manual. I’d be referring to that, and I’d be ensuring anyone who puts their hands on my car uses a torque wrench. For lube, you can use whatever you want, but the best stuff is probably that copper-based anti-seize compound. Which looks like grease with powdered coppery stuff in it. Principally because it’s made of grease with powdered coppery stuff in it. I’m sure it’s highly technical. A little smear is all you need. Get a torque wrench and some anti-seize. Every man needs a torque wrench. I’ve got three. A torque wrench and anti-seize is not a hot tub full of cheerleaders, but it’s somewhat close. Good for all kinds of things that you might have to undo one day. Like dancing nude on the boardroom table and waving your reproductive organs in the chairman’s wife’s face. A ‘command-Z’ button for life’s unfortunate slip-ups. Another ace hedge against being stranded where the extras from Deliverance are all domiciled, with a flat tyre you cannot remove is: Get one of these and carry it in the car - a proper half-inch-drive breaker-bar with a four-inch extension and the right sized socket for your car. Finally - take heart. There’s no road-going epidemic of wheels falling off in service, out there, in reality. This is purely because those studs are massively over-designed. On every car. Massively. They will certainly tolerate a little anti-seize - as long as you don’t also go nuts on them with the rattle gun from hell.
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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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How To: Basic Tyre Plug Repairs
How to repair a flat tyre (tire) without even taking the wheel off the car - using a special puncture plug kit. A repair like this will take you less than 10 minutes.
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Nut-fest Friday #29 | Shock: Holden's marketing Manager tells truth + Porsche: Still bitchin'
In this week's show: World’s worst airbag manufacturer collapses under the weight of the biggest ever automotive recall. Plus: the Texas mother who killed her kids to teach them a lesson while spliffed senseless. Holden’s marketing manager tells the truth - a shocking development. (I’m pretty sure that’s a breach of the marketing manager’s code of ethics.) And the coldest, hardest cock of the week ever. And so young... The world’s worst airbag manufacturer, Takata has gone out, not with a bang, but with a whimper. The company, whose 100 million potentially defective airbags globally have so far killed 16 people and injured 180, sparking the biggest recall in automotive history, has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Takata’s assets will be sold to US auto parts supplier Key Safety Systems for $1.6 billion US dollars. If you’re affected, the recall process will continue, over the next several years. And, no - you should not disconnect your airbags. That is far more likely to kill you in a crash. Holden’s marketing director Mark Harland has seemingly had a rare attack of honesty. GoAuto - a boring industry online rag that nobody ever reads, statistically, reports Mr Harland admitting the Holden brand is (quote) at an “all-time low”. Mr Harland also admitted, allegedly, the vast majority of the population is indifferent to Holden, and that loyalty rates had plummeted. He also said the brand was bombing with younger buyers, and women (irrespective of age). I think he’s being optimistic. Sales are in the sewer. So far in the sewer that they make the distant memory of the S-Bend look like a suite at the Palazzo Versace. 24-year lows. This is because Holden betrayed you, the Australian taxpayer. Holden took your hard-earned tax dollars under entirely false pretences for many years. And they foisted some of the worst cars on unsuspecting people like you, and offered atrociously bad customer support. The Cruze and the Captiva - utter shitboxes. Holden deserves every bit of public shaming it gets. Because you simply cannot burn people without consequences. Clever marketing does not overcome unconscionable conduct in the boardroom. And the current marketing is shit - let us not forget that. This gay-appeasing, ethnically homogenised, dumbed-down, cult-like, intelligence insulting, bland quasi-marketing communications shit has to stop. Be honest and lift your game instead.
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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review & Road Test
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT: you'll drive away in one for eighty-something thousand bucks. So it's unbeatable value compared with the German SUVs. And it's a real man's SUV. The sort of vehicle the Marlborough Man would drive if he hadn't croaked prematurely thanks to emphysema. The base model Mercedes-Benz ML is more expensive than one of these babies, and you just about need a nice pair of Jimmy Choo pumps and a Prada tote to drive the Benz. The Lexus RX 350 is line-ball on price with the SRT, and three times as girly. On a good day. The Grand Cherokee SRT sits right up the other end of the hormonal spectrum. It got all the testosterone. Jeep calls it the ultimate performance SUV. But in reality, it's the ultimate PMT soccer Mom's don't-mess-with-me PMT conveyance. Very few SUVs will manage to keep up, and the ones that can are insanely expensive. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo is a whopping $222,000. And a BMW X6 M or Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG Benz will cost you almost $200,000 -- that's equivalent to two Grand Cherokee SRTs and a decent old holiday in Europe. To be fair, these three Euros are all slightly more powerful. But -- trust me -- the Jeep is anything but anorexic -- even in a relative sense. The Grand Cherokee SRT occupies a place where glorious irrelevance, affordability and insane point-to-point capability intersect. So, move over BMW X5, and Audi Q7 - and it's not even like these notionally more premium vehicles are even made in Germany. Joke's on you if you think that. Like the Mercedes-Benz, the BMW X5 and X6 hail from the USA, and the big, fat Audi is built in Bratislava. Perversely, the Grand Cherokee is the closest of all four to being authentically German: it's made in Austria. More at www.AutoExpert.com.au
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Volkswagen bends over voluntarily to facilitate ACCC reaming | Auto Expert John Cadogan
A blizzard blew through hell last night, and the temperature fell below freezing for the first time ever. Hospitals down there overflowed - or is that ‘overflew’? - it should be ‘overflew’ - overflowed with souls of the damned suffering hypothermia. A new torment. Yesss! I know this happened because Volkswagen arseholes here in Shistsville have gone 100 per cent Faust and signed a deal with the devil. Meaning, the ACCC. A court-enforceable undertaking, which essentially says they’ll try to obey consumer law now. That would be a first, and admittedly rather a different look for them. Part of the deal is a ‘60-day refund or return policy’ where the Monkey-gassers Down Under, proprietary limited, will refund your money or replace your car, should it go poopy in its trousers and be thus undriveable in the first 60 days you own it. The court-enforceable undertaking is viewable at the ACCC website - ACCC.gov.au - and is specific to Volkswagen the brand, not Volkswagen the company. Other key brands that exist under the Volkswagen Group Death Star rubric: Audi, Skoda, Porsche, etc. Are not part of this deal - they’re free, at least for the time being, to continue their time-honoured tradition of treating you, the customer, as if you are merely human excrement. It should also be noted this deal is separate to the ACCC’s reaming of Volkswagen and Audi by way of litigation in Federal Court for behaving like such unprincipled arseholes over Dieselgate - allegedly. If you think this new arrangement is a reason to put Volkswagen - arguably the world’s most unethical carmaker - back on your shopping list, you’re insane. They remain the producers of some gorgeous cars that are great to drive - but are ultimately unreliable shitheaps with nonexistent customer support. Good luck with that.
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Mail Sack 1 (Q&A) - Your Car Questions Answered
The regular segment where I answer your questions. This week's questions: 1. I’m thinking of buying a Mazda SP25 Astina. Can you provide some input on the pros and cons of the 2.5-litre petrol engine over the 2.2-litre diesel engine? - Wayne 2. Can I use e10 petrol in my car? It’s a 10-year-old Hyundai i30. - Kathy 3. Should I buy the Volkswagen Golf GTI or the Hyundai i30 SR? - Tina 4. I need a vehicle that will tow 3.5 tonnes, and I’ve been reading your website. You only talk about the utes, not SUVs. How come? I don’t want to spend more than $42,000. - Wendy 5 After 16,000km my Ford Focus started to shudder. They’ve done a software upgrade and later fitted a new transmission control module. It’s still defective. What can I do? This is a defective transmission, and Ford is just not helping. I feel like I’m stuck. How do I get my money back? Please help. - Ivan 6 The Subaru WRX STI or the Chrysler 300 SRT8? I like the Subaru WRX STI because it’s a four-door sedan and a manual (so the wife won’t be able to drive it) but I’m really stuck against it and the Chrysler 300 SRT8. Is the Chrysler reliable? Is the fact that the WRX STI is running the old engine going to be a problem for resale when the new one arrives eventually? - Daniel
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Why I love A-grade YouTube haters (they're the best) | Auto Expert John Cadogan
In this episode, one of the finest, most outstanding comments I have ever received in the entire history of YouTube. By one of the most engaged audience members ever. “I live in America and I'm offended by your constant attacks and stereotypical comments about this great country. You are just jealous. If it weren't for us you'd still be convicts buggering gators in the Outback. Is that how you lost your hair? A gator ate it?” - Michael Anthony We’re going to unpack Mr Anthony’s missive in stages, because this is one of the most excellent comments I’ve ever received. This is proof of my hypothesis that the most engaged audience members are those who detest you. Fans are kind of OK, but haters: they rock. For the record, I love America - the USA, North America generally. I’ve always enjoyed visiting, and the hospitality has been outstanding - except for that one time when I nearly got shot in Detroit, in the Nineties. And that was my fault - I was dumb, and in the wrong place. And once my assailant realised I was a tourist - ie someone with ‘noncombatant’ status - even he was a gracious host. He was very big and very black - and nobody messed with us as he escorted me back to the demilitarised zone. I’ll never forget it. I’m also impressed by how impossibly articulate the average American is. The average Aussie is a dribbler who can’t string three words together without an ummm or an ahhh. It’s disgraceful. So it pains me to point out that my ‘Retardistan’ commentary is satire. Retardistan and Shitsville are two of the best countries on earth. Even if you don’t use Yemen as the benchmark, this is true. The point of being critical is: to keep them that way. Australia is not Shitsville, and you don’t have to be retarded to live in Retardistan. But to your other point, Michael, about our love of reptiles in ‘Straya, specifically our alleged passion for outback gator buggery, thank you sincerely for that selfless Retardistani intervention last year, which means Outback gators no longer fear a wide load reversing into them Down Under. I don’t know who was more relieved - the gators or us. (Small point of order. There are no gators in Australia. Just crocodiles. Salt water and fresh water.) But - just to be fair - there are no, nor have there ever been any, hair-eating gators in this fine nation. Biosecurity Australia takes that kind of thing very seriously. Michael went on, in the spirit of frank and open hater discourse: “I also drive a Mercedes C class, and your constant bad mouthing of this great car company shows you still have that escaped-convict, bald headed, gator buggering mentality.” - Michael Anthony I’m very sorry to hear that, Michael. (About the Mercedes shitheap. Nobody deserves that. The three-pointed Corolla. The gayest car in the Arayan Brotherhood garage - if you don’t count the A-Class. Jesus. I guess they saw you coming…) And I didn’t think we were escaped convicts. I thought the whole point of sending us to ‘Straya was that there was no escape. And, yeah, you can take the convict out of the gator, but … one can’t help but reflect on good times. It’s just like slavery I guess. “While Trump is making America great again, who is going to help you? Captain Cook is long dead, and the cannibals ate your hair.” - Michael Anthony Now I’m properly confused: I thought it was gators eating my hair. Now it’s cannibals. Or is that just gators who eat other gators, and hair? I’m not sure we have cannibals, either. That’s Papua New Guinea. In any case I’m glad my hair was all they got. Could have been far worse. Finally, thank you, Michael, sincerely, for your offence and your deep, thin-skinned outrage. I’m happy that you got what you wanted from my channel, but sad that you’re such a dumb shit you don’t know enough to click away from content you don’t actually enjoy. Thank you for your interest and correspondence. I hope our paths cross again soon. I’d ask you to recommend my channel to all of your friends, but of course, you don’t have any...
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Nut-fest Friday #10 | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
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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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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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Car reliability: Turbos & timing belts | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Let us bust a cap in the grilles of all you amateur engineers out there, painting by numbers and reducing complex issues to binary propositions because … the internet. Welcome to another episode of What The FAQ - where you throw me the ball, and I come running back with it, enthusiastically, and then hump your leg (in the most platonic way, of course). I’m John Cadogan director of dry humping outreach operations here at AutoExpert.com.au - the place where Aussie new car buyers save thousands on their next new cars. Hit me up on the website for that. The online everything culture has a remarkable ability to disseminate uninformed opinion - and ordinary people get led up the wrong track on the hunt for some required automotive resolution. Here are some examples: Warwick says: I'm an elderly driver concerned with what seems to be the trend of dispensing with larger engines and replacing them with smaller turbocharged engines. I'm particularly wary of the merits of turbocharging for cars doing heavy stop/start city driving, particularly in relation to reliability issues. Now sure, I appreciate that it may well be that the turbo may not even operate in these cases and remains idle for long time periods but perhaps that in itself could be a problem? Is it something we need concern ourselves with? - Warwick Marcelo says: Do you know if the Hyundai i30 comes with a timing belt or a chain and how often does it need to be replaced? And Ian says: I’ve owned a 2009 Holden VE Ute from new and I’ve always had it serviced regularly by Holden dealers. Got the 150,000km service done last Saturday. The dealer’s diagnostic computer reported a timing chain problem. The Check Engine warning light went off but has reappeared today. Looking at online forums it appears that this is a known fault in this model. Some people suggest approaching Holden for a goodwill gesture in contributing to the cost of repair despite the car’s age as this should be a lifetime part. What should I do? These are really common questions - belts versus chains (I get that all the time) and modern engine technology generally. So let’s deal with the specifics first and then the broader, bigger picture - because there’s a ‘forest for the trees’ visual scenario in play as well. On turbocharging: There’s no real evidence smaller turbocharged engines are a reliability problem. (And I’m such a big fan of evidence.) Yes - turbocharging increases specific power output - so there’s more power per unit of swept engine displacement goodness. But that idiot who said there’s no replacement for displacement? Obviously that was before forced induction and direct injection, and microprocessor control. In fact, turbocharging saves considerable fuel by increasing thermal efficiency. So you get more power for each gram of fuel you burn. It also allows the engine to be smaller and therefore lighter (which delivers further efficiency-type savings). Executive summary - turbo engines are more efficient and better to drive. They’re very well thought out, albeit a little more complex. There doesn’t seem to be profound negative feedback on this - the roadside littered with dead turbochargers. On this issue of timing chains versus belts: They both do the same job, which would be precisely synchronising the cam and valve operation with the crankshaft - and this is tremendously fundamental to engine operation. Belts typically are quieter and need to be replaced at some manufacturer-specified interval - like 100,000 kilometres. Chains don’t usually have a specified replacement interval - but they do wear out. And the principal wear characteristic is stretching. When that happens, if the tensioner literally can no longer (literally) pick up the slack, the cam timing gets retarded, and the engine starts running like a dog. In Ian’s case, the car has done 150,000 kilometres. If the timing chain needs replacing that’s fair wear and tear. You have to be reasonable: 150,000km is nearly four laps of the planet. Everything wears out. 150,000 is not an unreasonable life, and personally I think it’s a bit rich to allege that’s a fault. It’s actually just a consequence of that chain doing several million laps of the timing case…
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The 2014 Top 10 Motoring Myths
Have you been sucked in by one of the top 10 motoring myths of 2014? - Is it better to fill your tyres with nitrogen? - Are solid, old cars actually safer? - Does your car actually run better on premium fuel? - Can mobile phones cause fuel station fires? - Is petrol that expensive in Australia? - True of false: Speed kills... - Will a fuel saver actually save you money? - Are you on your own with the manufacturer when the warranty is over? - European cars: Are they just built better? Find out here - and let me know if you agree. TRANSCRIPT: Visit www.AutoExpert.com.au and search 'top 10 motoring myths'
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DCT Durability: Will Towing Kill Your 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. https://autoexpert.com.au/contact This question is from Paul. I am thinking of buying a new Hyundai Kona Highlander 1.6T but I occasionally tow a box trailer to the local tip. Will this affect the DCT in the vehicle as I have seen your video on the different types of transmissions and how to break them? Long story short: The most common enquiries I get about dual-clutch transmissions or DCTs - what Volkswagen calls DSGs - are about the Hyundai 1.6 turbo petrol engine in Tucson, Kona and i30 (and also the baby diesel in i30). Hyundai DCTs seem pretty robust - I don’t get owner complaints about them. But they can be killed if you presume your DCT is an auto transmission and therefore abuse the clutch. So let’s sort this out. Kona is rated to tow a maximum of 1300kg (max). A box trailer to the tip will be less than half that (because Kona’s limit for unbraked trailers is 600 kilos), so Paul’s is a very conservative proposed towing assignment. And he’s not going to be doing it that often, most likely - because most people don’t have a trailer-load of used rubber adult products (or whatever) to dump each week. What you need to watch with DCTs is riding the clutch. Obviously the clutch is automated, and the 11th Commandment - the one Moses fumbled and dropped - is ‘thou shalt not inch forward under load’ (meaning: at a speed so low it does not allow the clutch to engage properly in first or reverse). Because if you commit the venial sin of expecting the clutch to transmit a lot of load before it fully engages, the parts will rub together hard. There’s going to be a lot of heat. And friction-based devices like clutches and brakes all have a limit to the amount of heat they can reject. And when you generate more heat than that, they die. If you’ve driven a manual you know what I mean. Riding the clutch fills the car with that distinctive ‘barbecued clutch’ smell, at the same time as it fills your monthly budget with a black hole of mechanical accountability. Obviously there is a (slow) speed around walking pace below which you need to start to slip the clutch or the engine will start to labour and eventually stall. With the automated clutch in the DCT, at these slow speeds the computer automatically intervenes to keep the engine from stalling by slipping the clutch. This is what you must avoid. You can feel this easily as you drive on a DCT. It’s patently obvious when the clutch is not yet fully engaged. Especially under load. The key-word here is 'under load'. Think: trailer-gravity-hill plus ‘slower than walking pace’ equals ‘repair bill you cannot jump over’. I’d suggest the easiest place on earth to destroy the clutch is reversing a loaded trailer (boat, caravan - whatever) up a steep, convoluted driveway. For the clutch - this is like waking up in hospital and seeing Dr Kevorkian at the bedside. That’s never a good omen. In my view, this vulnerability to damage is not a design defect any more than riding the clutch in a manual and killing it prematurely is a design defect. So if you kill the clutch this way, it’s not going to be a warranty job. I do, however, think the car industry really needs to do a better job getting the word out there on this. Saying ‘it’s in the owner’s manual’ is a bit of a cop-out. Remember that this limitation only pertains to inching forward (or in reverse) at a speed so low it does not allow the lowest gear to engage fully. You can drive normally on a DCT all day long with a trailer behind, in stop-start traffic, no problem. Normal takeoffs in traffic - hill starts, etc. - minus the trailer are also no problem. It’s not especially fragile. I strongly advocate the use of the vehicle's 'auto hold' function to make those hill starts easier. You also need to remember that the transmission - like the rest of the car - is designed in the case of Kona for 1300kg trailer GVMs.
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Top Six Ways to Break Your SUV | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Have you ever wanted to break your shiny new SUV? It’s easier than you think. Thanks for joining me out here in the great Australian cultural vacuum. If you’ve ever wanted to break your seemingly robust new SUV, this report is exactly what you’ve been searching for. I’m John Cadogan, the founder of AutoExpert.com.au - the place where Australian new car buyers save thousands of their next new cars (and SUVs) These are the top six ways to generate thousands in additional revenue for the service department - without breaking a sweat. 1. Put in the wrong fuel 2. Keep the centre diff lock engaged on a high-traction surface 3. Hydraulic the engine by submerging the air intake 4. Suck water into driveline components via the breathers 5. Clog the radiator with mud 6. Don't drive a diesel the right way to regenerate the DPF This is great advice for you, if you want to tackle the terrible problem of service department poverty head-on. The dealer principal - he’s probably got five kids to three wives, past and former (I’m not alleging he’s a Mormon). They all go to private schools, failing basic mathematics at considerable cost - just like dad. That all costs serious money - and you can help. Act now. Alternatively, be a bastard - don’t do these things, and your SUV will live to drive another day. It’s completely up to you. Or, you can be a cheap bastard and not do these things, saving heaps of cash. Thanks for watching.
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Q&A:  Buying a used 7-seat SUV & more | Auto Expert John Cadogan
Forgive my outrageous temerity in writing to you, but you are my last hope; perhaps the only person who might be able to answer a question that has long bothered me. Why do they use “4x4”? 4 x 4 (four by four) = 16. Sixteen what? PS - You have that delicious gift of being outrageously insulting in a way that, far from causing insult, results in laughter and a feeling of friendship. Very old-school. - Byron J Thank you - the good-natured insult - telling a close friend ‘fuck you very much’ truly is an art form, which is incrementally being lost. 4x4 is a subset of a bigger picture that details the number of wheels on a vehicle (the first number) and the number of driven wheels (second number). I don’t know why they use the multiplication symbol between them. Thus you can have 4x2 utes (four wheels, two of them driven) and 4x4s. And in the off-road trucking domain almost any combination of big number (usually even numbers) goes: 6x6 or 6x4. Whatever. The military and firefighers tend to use a lot of those bizarre big number combinations; not so much in the civilian world. My wife loves her 1998 Corolla (only 125,000km and runs nicely) but I would like to get her into something safer. She thinks a modern Corolla is too big for her to drive regularly. A rental Yaris we recently drove overseas seemed a good size but I swear it seemed a bit larger than the Yaris in Australia. - Kym S More modern, safer car: Good idea. Totally. The new Corolla is not too big for her to drive. She is imagining that, just like you are imagining the overseas Yaris being bigger. Neither assessment is a true reflection of reality. The current Corolla is only 10.5cm longer than the 1998 one. It’s 10cm wider and 5cm higher. Human beings are astonishingly bad at making determinations about the size of things like cars, without once referring to the actual facts. They just look at a car and go: “She’s too big, mate.” I get this all the time. Bullshit dimensional determinations in the absence of any data. People make $50,000 decisions this way. It’s a glaring neurological deficiency. My wife is now in permanent aged care due to dementia and a fall in hospital resulting in a broken hip. I am exploring the possibility of purchasing a vehicle capable of carrying a wheelchair, which will then enable me to take her out on short trips. Any suggestions? Thanks. - Bob H Up front, Bob, please accept my sincere condolences in relation to your wife’s condition. It must be a confronting situation. If I were you I would speak to the guys at: P-M-E Auto Conversions http://www.pmeautoconversions.com.au/ They’re in Sydney on 9482 2808. As I understand it, they’re complete specialists in this disability modification area. I’d simply ask then what vehicles modify best for this application, in view of your wife’s present and likely future condition, and any special requirements this might impose on the modifications. Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento: After happily re-partnering after an awful divorce, I now have four children I need to be able to carry around. I find myself in need of a 7-seater. I have watched a lot of your reviews and I like the look of both the Santa Fe or Sorento diesel. My budget doesn't stretch far enough to buy new, but I'd like to buy something less than 5 years old, under $30k - Rebecca G Happily, Rebecca, it sounds like you’ve managed the most challenging part of the upgrading process (which would be trading in the former partner). They really to tend to hate it when you upgrade to a better model, with more features. Especially if there’s been a long-term test drive of which they were previously unaware. So just changing a should be child’s play. Also, I apologise for my appalling crassness, which usually only occurs on days ending in ‘Y’. For $30k you are certainly looking at used, and you can research used values all day long by make, model and year at Redbook.com.au - make sure you use the ‘research’ tab, which is free, and not the ‘valuation certificates’ which they charge you for. For $30k you should find something under 5yrs old in Sorento or Santa Fe (both excellent 7-seaters). This is good because they will have some factory warranty remaining. You might also consider a used Kia Carnival - which is more versatile for moving people and their stuff. Always check the service history (up-to-date servicing means no excuse to deny a warranty claim). Always get the $37 certificate from carhistory.com.au - which tells you if the car is a repaired write-off, or encumbered by someone else’s finance, etc. Always have your own independent mechanic assess any used car before you buy it. Get them to look for mechanical condition and evidence of dodgy crash repair, etc.
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Holden just killed the Barina Down Under | Auto Expert John Cadogan
As much as I enjoy a good public execution, lingering death remains undignified. Holden imbeciles just killed the Barina, after three decades of moderate success, taking yet another step closer to the brink. And that’s not even the humiliating part of this report. Holden killed the Barina nameplate in Australia last week - a perennial shitheap (at least after they changed from a Euro-sourced Barina and put it on a glorified Daewoo) but quite a successful seller nonetheless. Six generations of Barina had been sold here for more than 30 years. The writing is so on the wall. Cue DR Kevorkian … set … and … action! Some Holden dude reportedly said the Barina: “...will not continue as part of the Holden line-up.” Love those euphemisms. Unfortunately, nine minutes after entry interface, the Space Shuttle Columbia experienced a thermal overload disassembly malfunction. Jesus… ‘will not continue’. ‘We’re killing it,’ right? This statement went on, allegedly: “Our Barina customers will continue to have the highest quality service from our Holden dealers.” That’s export-grade PR bullshit. These are like facts from alternative universe, because in this one, just over a year ago, on August the 2nd 2017, Holden entered into a section 87B court-enforceable undertaking with the ACCC. Basically this is a 22-page, public domain, regulatory pull-through around which which ACCC Chairman Rod Sims identified the epic scope of Holden’s long-term, entrenched mis-representation of consumer law obligations to its customers, who were systematically violated by Holden’s business practices, right when they needed this mythical (quote) “highest quality service”. Translation: They’re arseholes at customer support. This is a fact. They don’t have to like the facts. Nobody does. You don’t have to be Bob Woodward to dig this up, by the way. Google can help. Any statement, in my view, that Holden’s customers will (quote): “continue to enjoy the highest quality service” is indefensible, and at complete odds with the facts. It’s also, in my view, an epic insult to your intelligence that Holden thinks it can say these kinds of things with impunity. Does the company think you’re that dumb? Or is the gravitational pull of the bullshit just that extreme internally that it really does seem plausible? So: Barina, RIP. Another 4000-ish sales Holden will not make next year. Barina will go to that great shitbox parking lot in the sky, with the harp music and the clouds, and the Craptiva, the real Commodore, the Epica, the Volt, etc. If you were a Holden dealer you’d have to be thinking about the value of the franchise now, versus the inevitable trend to zero over coming months. When do you cut your losses and run? Holden’s focus - to the extent that you can have one on death row - appears to be missile-locked on prick-teasing us all over its upcoming Acadia seven-seat SUV. That’s a hastily rebadged GMC Acadia with a 15-year-old engine - so perhaps tomorrow we’ll should talk about why Acadia will fall flat on its face Down Under.
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Nut-fest Friday | Busting nitrogen's nuts | Auto Expert John Cadogan | Australia
Got a sec? Do you feel like exposing some nuts? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This is the inaugural AutoExpertTV nut-fest Friday. (Language warning - what follows is not safe for work, and might educate the kiddies prematurely. You have been warned.) Let’s play with a big, fat sack o’ nuts. Automotive nuts. And, right at the end, we’ve got a new segment - Cock of the week - to award. The YouTube comments feed is the wild, wild west of retard feedback. There are some very nice, educated, polite, considered commenters, too. But the comments feed is certainly a place where trolls coalesce. Some creators get quite upset by this, but I kinda like it. It’s what talk radio would be if it weren’t filtered unendingly for toxicity. I actually love these troll arseholes, sitting there in their underwear, alone, holding their dicks, and making their unique contributions public. No report I’ve ever done has attracted so many offensive, scientifically illiterate nuts more effectively than the nitrogen-filled tyre scam-alert report. So, like sands through the hourglass, these are my nuts about nitrogen.
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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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Can you video police in Australia during a roadside stop? | Auto Expert John Cadogan
According to the NSW Police Force Media Handbook: "Members of the public have the right to take photographs or film police officers which are observable from a public space or from a privately owned place with the consent of the owner or occupier. "Generally speaking, if a person takes photographs or videos Police Officers, operations or incidents from a public space, Police do not have the power to: prevent the person from taking photographs or filming, confiscate photographic or filming equipment, delete images or recordings, or request or order a person to delete images or recordings. "If Police Officers try to confiscate equipment or interfere with members of the public to delete images or recordings, the officers may be liable for prosecution for assault or trespass to the person concerned. The Surveillance Devices Act 2007 regulates the use of listening devices. Specifically it’s illegal to eavesdrop on or record private conversations. During a traffic stop, it’s debatable whether or not you’re in a private conversation. The Surveillance Devices Act says it’s legal to record a conversation if you’re a party to it (as you are during a traffic stop) provided it’s: "reasonably necessary for the protection of the lawful interest of that principal party [ie - you]" Or if: "the recording is not made for the purpose of communicating or publishing the conversation or a report of it to persons who are not parties to the conversation" Of course, all this recording is not much good if all you do is make a recording of you dumping yourself right in it. That’s not going to help. According to LY Lawyers - you might recall I interviewed the practice’s principal Adam Ly a few months back: "Courts recognize that recording police activities is legal. "Many police officers and citizens in Australia believe that as soon as a police officer tells you to do or not to do something that it is an order. However, police can only order citizens to do something (or not) based on the current laws in effect. "If you are approached by the police while recording them, you should calmly explain what you are doing and state you have a legal right to do so. So here’s the top 10 things I suggest you do in this situation: One: Try really hard not to be a dick. Instead, play it completely straight. Call him ‘officer’ and don’t swear. Ps and Qs. Two: Be respectful, but don’t make any admissions. Police are very good at extracting admissions, which will definitely be used against you. Don’t make any. Three: The best way not to make admissions is not to answer questions. Do you know why I’ve stopped you? Officer, I respectfully decline to answer your questions during this interview. Four: You are not required to incriminate yourself. Procuring the evidence that you did it: that’s his job, not yours. Five: Don’t use your phone. I know - it’s there. It’ll do that. It’s a perfect option, seemingly. Except, here in Shitsville it’s actually illegal to touch your phone while driving and technically you might still be driving while stopped at the roadside, and that might be a traffic offence. Use a point and shoot camera or a GoPro - there’s no similar prohibition on touching one of those. Six: Press record before you do anything else. It’s a stressful situation. So easy to forget. Grab your camera, power up, hit record and prepare to say nothing with extreme politeness. Seven: If he tells you to stop filming, calmly say something like: Officer, respectfully, according to your media handbook, I am entitled to film you in the course of your duty and I decline to turn the camera off. If he tells you this is a breach of the Surveillance Devices Act: Calmly say that you’re in a public place and you are recording to protect your lawful interests as allowed under the act. This is substantially different to saying: I don’t trust you. You’re all lying pricks. Go to buggery. At least the words are quite different. You’re playing ‘thinks and says’. Thinks: ‘Piss off idiot - this is my right.’ Says: ‘Respectfully I’m going to decline your request to stop filming.’ This game helps a lot in marriage and the workplace. Eight: Comply with all lawful directives. Licence, breath test. All of that. Definitely comply. Nine: Keep the camera in plain sight - don’t do any covert recording, and don’t hinder the officer in the conduct of his duty. Ten: If he grabs the camera, arrests you, whatever, don’t resist, remain absolutely polite and respectful. However, clearly and unequivocally do not consent to any request to search of the vehicle or your person. Let the lawyers sort that one out. The bottom line is: Record the traffic stop at all costs. Be tremendously polite, in inverse proportion to how you’d like to act and what you’d really like to say. This is a game - you might as well be good at it.
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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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