fearfulmaster

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About fearfulmaster

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    Ken

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    Male
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    New South Wales
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    0 to 5000
  1. For any high kms car, as long as you have money for repairs, then you are good. Don't spend all you have on the purchase price.
  2. Engine oil is a complicated topic and there will be differences between the two, down to a combination of chemistry and marketing. But with your usage pattern, the differences between the brands do not justify the difference in price. If you want to save money, keep an eye out on the supercheap and repco catalogue. Several times a year, they have 5w30 or 5w40 on specials down to around $30 - $35 for 5L.
  3. Once upon a time, I was looking for ways of undoing a filter without a wrench. One common online suggestion is to stick a screw driver into the filter which I didn't want to. Ended up buying 2 wrenches for 2 different cars. Since then, a mechanic told me to wear latex gloves. These days, I don't even have to use the wrenches I have even when the engine is cold.
  4. In general, no lubricant last forever. So a regular change is a good idea, regardless of manufacturer recommendation. As mentioned, you can only change a fraction of the fluid by draining the pan. Some transmissions have external cooler and a full transfusion of fluid can be done using those lines, but this is usually not an official procedure. Some sensible manufacturer recommends transmission pan drain and refill say every 30K. That way, the transmission will get some new fluid regularly and the fluid quality won't degrade to an unacceptable level. For those DIY people who take a long term view, my gut feel is that a pan drain and refill every second service beginning from say 45K is a reasonable approach. Waiting for problems to come up before changing is not ideal as wear / damage most probably have taken place.
  5. I would say the contis are >= KU39. So unless the KUs are a lot cheaper, go with conti. So KU 39 / CSC5 front and CSC3 rear. I don't think having different make and model on differnt axles will be a problem. For those into details, there are a lot of info on the net. Tread wear rating (US standard) are available from tirerack and other US retailers. Economy, wet grip and noise are avialble from the european site of the manufacturers. For kumho, it is: http://www.kumho-eu-tyre-label.eu/en/our-tyres/car/summer.html For conti, it is: http://www.continental-tires.com/www/tires_de_en/themes/tirelabel/viewer.html
  6. Kumho KU 31 / 39 are decent and value for money, especially if they are parallel imports. As with most things, there is the 80 20 rule. You have to pay 80% more to get the last 20% of performance. So if you are not the kind of driver who challenge the boundary of physics at every turn, then keep the change and don't worry about the last 20%. Let us know how they feel after a few hundred Ks once they are worn in.
  7. 225 40 18 are fairly common. You can get dodgy unknown chinese brand from around $100. Half decent parallel import Kumho ku31 for around $160. Pilot sport 3 and continental sport contact 5 are well regarded but would be much more expensive type 225 40 18 into ebay and you see the usual sellers like taleb, tempe, st george and payless tyres. A lot of guys buy from tirerack in the US. Don't know about 255 40. Type it into ebay and see what pops out. The range on ebay is nowhere comprehensive but provide some point of reference.
  8. As a sanity check, keep track of how many kms you done after last refill, until you are confident that the situation has been fully resolved. I reset the odometer at every refill regardless so I know if there is a sudden change in the health of the vehicle. In the past, this procedure has helped me in identifying problems with other cars: A thermostat stuck open causing the engine not fully warmed up, causing 20% increase in fuel consumption. Dropping several fuel caps onto the ground during refilling which broke the vapour seal inside the fuel cap, causing fumes and $$$ escaping from the thank. Having a fuel level sender float occasionally stuck on very hot days indicating low fuel level when the tank is 3/4 full.
  9. Sometimes it is the bushing and sometimes it is as simple as a loose bolt. On another car, the right rear was clunking over speed humps, then over a few months, it progressively got worst until I get a knocking noise all the time. So I got another person to push the car while I identified the source. Turned out just a loose bolt on the strut mount. Tightened the bot and noise gone. You should go to a suspension shop like pedders and get a second opinion. Or if the knock is reproducible when someone push the car, you can try and identify any loose parts yourself.
  10. I once had a random parasitic battery drain on a car. About 2 - 4 times a year, the battery will go completely flat (< 12v when measured with a multimeter). The drain will go away after the car is restarted. Sometimes the drain will go away even when the battery is bench charged and reattached to the car, without restarting. Knowing that unless the perpetrator was caught in the act, the auto electrician will just take my cash, promise all is well but problem will still be there. Drove me insane for 2-3 years. One day, the culprit was finally caught in the act. NRMA guy arrived and his instinct is to jump start the car and check the charging system. Instead of that, I asked him to hook up the jump start pack and use his current clamp to check for drain. Sure enough, the alternator was draining the battery. So car is jump started and off to the auto electrician. Even with that information, the auto electrician said it took ages to identify the problem when he bench tested the alternator. I probably should have just called a tow truck. Anyway, hope it is only the battery and not something more annoying.
  11. Bowen, Did they change the brake fluid or just the pads / rotors? If they changed the fluid, perhaps there is a bit of air in the lines? As for trusting people, one has to trust but verify when dealing with mechanics. For example, if they supplied the pads / rotors, ask for the empty box and verify the part number on the box so that they didn't just give you any empty box lying around. They could always ignore your request, but the point is to let them know you are vigilant. Shifty people tends to pick their targets carefully to avoid detection. If you supplied the pads / rotors, tag it (if practical) and verify after install. I always tag my oil filter and where practical, other parts that are supposed to be replaced during a service. Ken
  12. Interesting.... Have you personally tried this before? Any more info? I have not personally used it, as I don't drive many kms. Therefore, my oil change is always end up being at around half the recommended distance intervals. There are a few people who post their reports online. The blackstone website has lots of information, including sample reports and what the fields mean. http://www.blackstone-labs.com/standard-analysis.php People send engine oil, transmission oil, gear oil and others to test. Some people want to know whether the new panel air filter they put in is letting too much sand through, others want to work out whether they need to change their oil more often due to hard driving / tracking. Pricing is not bad at $25 USD for a standard test excluding the cost of shipping the sample.
  13. If you really want to be sure, send your used oil to a lab like blackstone to work out what oil change interval is appropriate for the oil you use and your driving pattern.
  14. There used to be a red light camera at the end of eastern valley way. If you stop at the lights in the right hand lane and roll back a little bit, the camera will go off without fail. Good times.
  15. The 3 usual suspects in that area are Taleb, Tempe and St George. They all do parallel imports. Some say they are run by the same extended family. If you google, you will find a few rumblings about Tempe and St George. Taleb seems to be OK. Another place is Tyres for less in Fairfield East. They also do parallel imports. I was there on a Tue afternoon and they were very busy. 4 bays and still a queue. I don't know whether they parallel import the high end stuff in 18s, I was there for some cheap and nasty tyres for an old volvo. When it is time for me to buy some 18s, I hope the AUD is still close to parity with the USD. You can't beat tirerack. But witht he recent export ban, you will have to plan ahead and use a sea freight forwarder. They all have ebay shops. If you see cheap Pzero on ebay, some of them is the all season version (harder compound for snow / near freezing temp). Which means it will last longer but won't be as sticky as the summer version.