my Porsche gearbox failure will cost me
Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0
Protection racket?I have owned a 15,000 mile November 2016 Porsche 718 PDK from new and it has been fully serviced. A couple of weeks ago, the gearbox failed. I have just been told that to protect its intellectual property, Porsche does not allow anyone to repair its gearboxes and the only solution is a new one for about 11,000. Porsche will contribute 80 per cent with me having to pick up the bill for more than 2,000. This seems unreasonable. Are you aware of any problems with these gearboxes? Can I reject the car after all this time? IT
I don’t remember any previous 718 gearbox failures. Porsche appears to be acting reasonably you would pay 2,000 for a new dual mass flywheel and clutch pack anyway. But the transmission should not have failed within six years of purchase, so the Sale and Supply of Goods 1994 might apply, and you also bought the car subsequent to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. That said, the grounds the dealer might use to counter your claim are that you physically abused the transmission and, if you did, they should be able to prove it by downloading data from the ECU. The engine could have been over revved on a downshift, when it is not protected by the rev limiter.
Youth policyWhile I understand that some Minis, Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans and Lotuses are manufactured in the UK, a lot of revenue goes out of the country with every boat load of cars that arrives here for sale. It’s not unusual to pass a salvage yard and see the very best of cars, barely 10 years old, being crushed. Nowadays, many car engines are good for 200,000 300,000 miles; if the youth of our society could be gainfully employed servicing and repairing older cars to keep them in roadworthy condition it would help our trade balance. What do you reckon? JO
That’s a fair point, but unfortunately it doesn’t square with current “scientific” and political thinking and vested interests regarding climate change. Building a new electric vehicle has a more significant effect on the environment for many years than repairing and keeping an old vehicle running. Also, advanced “safety” features and emission reduction systems have made recent combustion engined cars less reliable and less repairable. I have been considering changing it and, thinking green, was looking at the Evoque PHEV plug in hybrid. However, I keep reading reports that PHEVs are not as good as dealers would lead us to believe. I do a lot of short journeys, but we’d also use it for long journeys. What do you suggest? SH
The WLTP test regime for plug in hybrids greatly favours being run short distances. For example, the EV range of a Suzuki Across/Toyota RAV4 after a full charge is 46.6 miles. So, if most of your running about is within that range, the combustion engine will not be employed very often, and you could see fuel economy of between 100 200mpg. However, if you take the car for a replica hermes cufflinks
300 mile run you will use up that 46.6 mile EV range, so most of the distance will be on petrol and your average fuel economy could drop to 40 50mpg. This is what misguides people, particularly politicians and some journalists. Another factor that causes confusion is that a good PHEV has the capability to recharge its hybrid battery up to 80 per cent while being driven, and this can build up an EV range of 35 miles although it increases the amount of petrol being used while recharging. The benefit is creating EV capability to drive cleanly through towns and villages en route.
Tip of the Pops
I want to buy a Fiat 500 for my daughter. A local garage had a 2020 1.0 mild hybrid model that seemed very reasonably priced compared with the regular petrol 500. Why is this? MB
A Fiat 500 mild hybrid is a petrol engined car with a new 1.0 litre chain cam three cylinder engine and six speed manual gearbox backed up by an integrated starter/generator/electric motor. Lovely little thing. I took one on a 700 mile run and got 58.4mpg, which is several mpg better than the old 1.2 litre 500. The price disparity must be between trim levels, because the high spec Launch Edition version I tested was 16,795, but you’ll pay 12,665 for the Pop.
Sting a VogueMy aging but reliable 2003 Range Rover Vogue 4.4 V8 is not EU4 emissions compliant, so will be subject to the ultra low emissions zone (ULEZ) penalties in London from October 25. My infrequent use makes paying the ULEZ charge each time I take it out economically feasible, when taking the high replacement cost into account. I have had it for 16 years, so it owes me very little, and I am tempted to keep running it until it goes to the great scrapyard in the sky. When that time comes, it is perhaps ironic that to comply with ULEZ limits I need only to buy a post 2005 model, though I might as well look at something newer. Any tips? DJ
You could consider a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) such as the Hyundai Nexo or the Toyota Mirai. If I were you, I avoid diesels and definitely think about a plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV, if you have anywhere you could charge it). I found the Suzuki Across/Toyota RAV4 PHEV very impressive.
Moist opportunityMy wife’s 2014 VW Golf is driving us both to distraction with only intermittent success in locking/unlocking using the key fob. The batteries were replaced, keys have been reprogrammed and the ignition barrel lubricated, but still it refuses to work half the time. The red light on the fob comes on, but the central locking doesn’t function. Any clues? SP
This is probably caused by condensation moisture on the lock servos inside the door. There should be a rubber access grommet on the lock face of the door. If you temporarily remove the grommet and use the extension nozzle supplied with a can of WD40 to give it a squirt, it should drive the moisture out. If that doesn solve the problem, then the next suspect will be the windows and locking switches on the driver door armrest. Moisture could have got into them, too.
Insane boltThe power steering on my 2011 Range Rover Evoque SD4 has failed and needs the electric steering rack replacing. I was expecting less than 1,000 plus fitting, but am told JLR charges 2,400 plus VAT for the part alone. My Land Rover specialist is looking for options for a genuine or refurbished rack. I had the car from new and serviced it annually. Can you help? TBJ
Corroded aluminium steering rack motor bolts are an acknowledged safety fault with the Range Rover Evoque and you should not have to pay anything to have it corrected. Unfortunately, the DVSA stepped back from ordering a full Safety Recall and compromised with JLR simply to recommend one, despite the evidence. Another reader suffered the same problem with a Discovery Sport recently and JLR paid for the replacement rack, but not the fitting cost.
Seasons in the sumI ordered Grip Control on my new Peugeot 3008, due to occasional winter trips to Scotland and France. Various websites attested to its ability in snow and ice and mentioned all season tyres. I (naively) assumed all season tyres were part of the package, but my car arrived on Michelin Primacy 4 225/55s it seems strange to have Grip Control with summer tyres. Should it have all season rubber? CP
I checked with Peugeot. Though Grip Control comprised a limited slip differential and all weather tyres from 2009 to April 2020, the option then changed to just the limited slip differential for 300 and the advice to fit all season tyres. From 2021 model year, Grip Control specification reverted to the original limited slip diff and all season tyres for 470. This should have been made clear and, because it wasn’t, I think you are entitled to demand fitting of all season tyres for the additional 170, whatever it costs the dealer to do this.
The joy of sixI want to buy a new small or medium van the equivalent of a Ford Transit or Custom. Due to the distances it will be driven, I am looking for the best handling, most comfortable and most enjoyable to drive, ideally with an automatic gearbox. Capacity is not as important although it must have a load length of at least 6ft. Any ideas? MB
The Citron Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Vauxhall Combo and Toyota LiteAce are all basically the same, with a sensationally good eigh speed torque converter automatic gearbox, plus excellent ride and handling and a choice of 1.2 petrol or 1.5 diesel engines.
Death wishUpon my death (hopefully not imminent), the executor and main beneficiary of my will shall be faced with disposing of my two cars, one of which is on the road and fully legal, while the other is SORNed. Because she does not drive and doesn’t know the first thing about the car world, I would like to leave clear instructions. What legal and other processes would she need to go through to sell the cars and add the proceeds to the estate? AY
These are the government instructions. One recommended car buying firm is Motorway. Alternatively, you could arrange to give the cars to charity: Give a Car.
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