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.
Views: 1504502 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 54956 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 49340 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 191813 AutoExpertTV
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...
Views: 71948 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 60220 AutoExpertTV
Coming up - the top 10 things you need to know about octane rating. Number one with a bullet: Never use a fuel with an octane rating lower than the carmaker recommends. That’s a great way to damage your engine. Going higher than the minimum octane the manufacturer recommends is quite OK. But it will cost you more money. Two: Octane rating has nothing to do with more energy, intrinsically. Ethanol blended fuels pump up the octane, but they actually have less energy than low-octane gasoline. The two things are unrelated. Three: Octane has nothing to do with the speed of combustion, or the heat of combustion. These are two things that scientifically illiterate halfwits claim all the time. Simply not true. Four: Octane rating is all about knock resistance. It’s about burning in a controlled way under pressure, while hot. High octane fuels simply resist autoignition better than low octane fuels. Autoignition - which is the fuel burning thanks to the heat and compression in the chamber - before the spark plug fires - causes knock. Which destroys engines at high rpm and big throttle inputs. That’s bad. Five: If an engine is optimised for high octane fuel the designers can increase compression and add ignition advance, because the fuel is more resistant to autoignition. And it’s these two things that lead to a peak power increasefor engines optimised for high octane fuel. Six: If you use high octane fuel in an engine designed for low octane fuel, the engine will adapt up, slightly. The knock sensor will allow a small increase in ignition advance and there will be a slight increase in power. Slight. Certainly not as much as there would be if they increased the compression ratio. Seven: Here in Shitsville, it’s almost never economically rational to use premium fuel in a car designed for regular. The extra cost of the premium fuel is, in practice, never offset by the slight increase in economy. You’re just blowing money out the exhaust pipe unnecessarily. Eight: And that’s why fuel manufacturers talk up the alleged ancillary benefits of premium - such as the spurious claim that premium will also keep your engine clean. And if you believe that, I’ll sell you the Shitsville Harbour Bridge. DM me. It’s such bullshit. They’re not promoting premium because it’s a benefit to you - they’re promoting it because it’s a benefit to them. Nine: If you’re reading owner’s manuals from overseas, bear in mind that octane ratings are not constant around the world. Here in Arse-trailer, we use ‘research octane number’ or RON. Same standard in most of Europe. But in North America they use the Anti-knock index, which is the numeric average of the RON and another octane measurement standard called the Motor Octane Number. Essentially, for any given fuel, RON is about four points higher than the Anti Knock Index. So 91 here - our entry-level cat’s piss petrol - is about the same as 87 gasoline in the USA and Canada. And if you’re wondering why so many Euro cars demand 95 here in Shitsville, it’s because 95 is the default, entry-level cat’s piss in Europe. They don’t do 91. Finally, number 10: Time to go 100 per cent propeller-head. Octane rating is an index of the knock resistance of a particular fuel compared to a laboratory standard kind of fuel called iso-octane. Which is actually 2,2,4 tri-methyl pentane - for those of you who remained awake for carbon chemistry in high school. Iso-octane has an octane rating of 100, and another chemical - n-heptane has a rating of zero. There’s your measurement scale. So, essentially, 91 RON unleaded has 91 per cent of the knock resistance of iso-octane when you run the test in a special experimentally controlled engine with a variable compression ratio, against a standard set of test protocols that is basically a miracle cure for insomnia. The engine runs at 600rpm for the RON test and 900rpm for the MON test and the difference between the two values is an index of the fuel’s sensitivity. It’s certainly possible to have octane ratings greater than 100. E85 is about 102, straight ethanol or methanol - both about 109, propane and butane (think: LPG) both about 112. Methane - that’s natural gas - is about 120. Toluene - a fairly evil octane boosting additive - is about 121. And hydrogen gas is more than 130. Who knew?
Views: 29387 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 1039633 AutoExpertTV
Once every two or three weeks I get a desperate e-mail from someone whose SUV’s all-wheel drive driveline has given up the ghost loudly and expensively. They’ve had the whole nauseating conversation about the repair bill - and it not being covered under warranty. And when you trace the whole thing back to the root cause of the problem, it’s often what they did with the tyres: specifically, replacing them. As in: They replaced two tyres and not all four. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is. At least on some all-wheel drive vehicles. This affects a heap of people, too, potentially, because softer SUV sales are booming, car sales are falling, and that means many people are ditching a conventional car and driving off in an SUV for the very first time. A lot of those vehicles have all-wheel drive of one flavour or another - not all, but many of them do - and while 2WD is easy and familiar, like the car you’ve always owned, AWD is complex. One of the operational prerequisites of many AWD systems is to have the same sized tyres on all four corners. Exactly the same size. As in: the same brand, with roughly the same degree of wear. See, when a vehicle drives here and there, especially in the city, all four tyres follow different paths (except when you’re going dead straight). Trust me on this. On every curve, all four tyres follow different paths. And that means they’re all turning at different rates - because for any time interval they’re travelling different distances. And that means all the driveline components: the axles, the front and rear propshafts, limited-slip differentials on the cross axles or the transfer case - whatever other hi-tech malarkey is rotating ‘down there’ - they have to cope with this rotational mis-match. And these systems do cope with turning at different rates. Up to a point. But if you throw in different rolling diameters on the tyres, by mixing them up - two new tyres of Brand A with two semi-worn tyres of Brand B. That can be enough to tip the driveline over the edge and break something prematurely. And, I sympathise: if you are the unwitting victim here, it just doesn’t seem very fair. This process, from the vulnerability to the breakdown to the manufacturer’s denial of a warranty claim leaves you - kinda - out in the cold legally. Because, hey, you failed to comply with the owner’s manual. It’s unfair, in my view, because who reads every page of the manual? If this is so important, why aren’t you told in a more proactive way? Why isn’t there a training course, if vehicles are that complex, or at least an instructional video online to help you out here? So it seems to me that many carmakers are doing owners a disservice by not getting these kinds of serious operational imperatives front and centre before purchase. So, here’s what you do to sidestep this particular mechanical takedown: It’s dead easy, too. Every 5000 kilometres, have your tyres rotated. And don’t get cute with me here: I know tyres rotate. What I mean is, get your mechanic to change each tyre’s position on the vehicle. In a systematic way. This is going to depend on the kind of tyres you’re running (because, for example, directional tyres cannot be changed side-to-side without removing them from the rim and turning them the other way around. Trust me on this.) So, unless you know exactly what you’re doing and you have too much spare time, get the mechanic to do it for you. It’s a small expense. He’s got a hoist, and all the right tools. It only takes a few minutes. What this does is even out the wear - because different positions on the vehicle wear more severely than others. Fronts generally wear more than rears, because they drive and steer and scrub more, and in right-drive markets like ours, front left tyres wear faster than front rights - especially in cities. This way, at the very least, all four tyres will be essentially wear evenly, and all be worn out at the same time, and you won’t be tempted to replace only two because the other two seemingly still have some decent life left in them, opening the door to transmission meltdown. It’s prevention versus cure.
Views: 41066 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 64804 AutoExpertTV
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
Views: 360891 AutoExpertTV
A crack has appeared in Holden’s mighty Bullshit Dam. The emergency floodgates were activated overnight and efforts to prevent low-lying settlements from inundation have begun. It doesn’t look good, frankly. Details next. “It’s crap and it’s gathering momentum.” - Holden marketing dude Kristian Aquilina That’s just part of what Holden marketing dude Kristian Aquilina told car reviewer Bruce Newton in The New Daily. He was actually talking, I presume, about the company’s increasingly butt-hurt attitude to online criticism, and Holden’s new 1984-inspired plan to deploy communications countermeasures. This is gold. Brown gold. Texas tea... This report is my honest personal opinion. No comment is made about individuals. Criticisms are directed at Holden, not the people who work there, some in onerous, soul-destroying, temporary roles like marketing … which must be a [LOOK LEFT] complete cock of a job. Apparently Mr Aquilina is heading up an innovative, new, bullshit initiative - a kind of online ‘thoughtcrime’ dirt squad, the purpose of which is, apparently, to patrol content and comments feeds, and “correct” (if that’s the right word) criticism of the Holden brand. Gotta love a good Ministry of Truth. Two plus two equals five, all over again … you Orwellian arseholes. Mr Aquilina told the New Daily: “We don’t want to do it on trivial stuff – we are not that precious – but when there is crap being spoken, and the editors of those publications don’t jump in and correct the record, then I think there is an obligation to do that.” - Holden marketing dude Kristian Aquilina I’d suggest not betraying the Australian taxpayer for billions of dollars that will never be repaid would have been a good start for the brand. Unfortunately, the truth is that the damage to the Holden brand stems directly from a series of management ‘own goals’ - not from baseless online invective. In the domain of facts, which, obviously, Orwellian marketing departments decline to frequent, sales have stalled. Holden finished 2018 a spectacular 33 per cent down, compared with 2017. December was a deadset Barry Crocker - 60 per cent down, compared with the previous December. Ouch. 27 per cent down in January, year-on-year. 23 per cent down, year to date until the end of Feb. This has been going on for a decade - it’s a cruel and unusual punishment. There are currently acres of allegedly brand new 2017 Holdens on ice indefinitely. Who wants a brand-new 2017 Holden? Anyone? The factory overseas has been instructed to halt production. A brand does not get more on the nose than this. According to Mr Newton, writing this puff piece in the New Daily - and apparently not asking a single hard question, which in my view is what journalists are supposed to do (but I suppose Holden is an advertiser) Mr Aquilina says Holden would notify any editors ahead of its people going in to argue the toss with commenters. Nice one - the whole initiative should make a huge difference. In fact, according to Bullshit Big Brother, the turnaround is already on. It’s part of Holden’s fully fledged (quote) “fighback strategy”. Newspeak. Love it. “The sentiment is turning. We measure that stuff and it’s codifying subjective comments, but there is some rigour to it and we’ve seen a 35 per cent decrease in negative sentiment and a slight increase in positive sentiment. It’s always been there, it’s just been drowned out.” - Holden marketing dude Kristian Aquilina And in breaking news, it’s not. (Not turning. That sentiment. Inconveniently.) The fact is, Holden sales remain in freefall. In June 2017, Holden terminated 30 dealers from its 230-strong dealer network. 2017 sales were just over 90,000. 2019 sales are on track (if that’s the right term) to hit about 48,000 - that’s not enough vehicles to sustain 200 dealers. Not even close. Seriously: 240 vehicles per dealer. Four or five a week? That’s not enough to bother opening the doors. It’s just not. More dealer beheadings to come - you mark my words on this. And I’ll enjoy hearing that bullshit rhetoric incorporated into the “fightback” narrative. There’s a PR challenge. As much as I’ll look forward to Holden’s dirt-squad thought police reaching out to me in the comments feed below, I do worry for the brand if this petty shit continues to dress up as the main game. It’s gunna take a society-wide tragedy of Winston Smithsonian proportions for us all to wake up tomorrow, perhaps after a quick overnight with Julia in Room 101, and decide that we’re all back in love with Big Brother again. Not even marketing millions could buy that result.
Views: 28916 AutoExpertTV
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
Views: 15076 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 182367 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 85826 AutoExpertTV
QUESTION: I would like to touch base as I thought you would get a laugh at email communication (or lack of) I received from Toyota regarding my Toyota Prado and it's fuel usage. I have attended the dealer with no avail so thought I'd send the customer service centre an email and the response was just as helpful as the dealer. My stock 2014 Prado diesel can’t get better than 10.5-11 L/100km with open road driving. I would also like to ask you what options you’d recommend for me. I have a 2.5 tonne Caravan (Prado Friendly) but I have now been promoted and it means I have to drive 300km per day to work and back. All the benefits of my promotion will go out the window if I have to drive my Prado back and forward so am wondering what options you can recommend that will tow my caravan but is also pretty good on fuel and running costs to go back and forward to work. It also needs to be safe and comfortable. Any thoughts? I have attached the emails from Toyota so you can have a giggle. ANSWER: The Toyota response is completely accurate mate. I understand your position on the fuel consumption, but I don’t agree with it. The stated fuel consumption is a product of a standardised test in controlled lab conditions. Unfortunately the test protocols aren’t very representative of normal driving, so real-world consumption is always 25-30% higher than the test. (This is not just in Australia - the tests are standardised around the world.) This is, like, physics in the beer garden mate - you bought a dirty big SUV to tow a dirty big caravan. Therefore, you should not be surprised that it’s quite thirsty. (Because otherwise the basic principles of thermodynamics would not work.) You drive an outrageous distance to and from work - therefore the vehicle consumes a lot of fuel every week. Just the commute is six times the national average for passenger cars. (I’m moved to point out that vehicle type and the distance travelled by you daily are both choices you made - because, obviously, no gun at the head - therefore, it’s really not a Toyota problem.) Still, fuel is dirt cheap in Australia - so that’s a silver lining. All vehicles with 2.5-tonne tow capacity are going to be like this, more or less. If I was you, I’d buy an additional cheap small car for the 300km/day commute. Like a Kia Picanto. Sorry - not what you wanted to hear, I know. I’d just drop the complaints to Toyota on this - there’s no point, and you can’t win. The facts are not on your side.
Views: 36147 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 60688 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 53786 AutoExpertTV
Coming up on another fake news Friday: Holden marhes one dealer in 10 down the hall for a Zyclon B shower. 30 Holden dealers in total are being boned. Full details of Volkswagen’s shock re-branding announcement. Brilliant. Bold. (But might not be actual news...) Plus, we identify (literally) the world’s hottest Ming mole, and a horrific glimpse of what flying cars in the future might really look like when a flying car takes out a bus on a Japanese freeway. (You'll have to wait for the Hollywood adaptation 'Crouching Mazda, Hidden Greyhound' due for release next year...) Some of it’s even true this week. Like this story about Holden: Holden will - literally - decimate its dealer network. The company, of course, misses no opportunity to talk up the future of its operations, after the factory closes later this year, but the facts are inconveniently at loggerheads with the corporate spin. Reports are emerging that 30 Holden dealers are for the chop - slightly more than one in 10. In a statement, those disingenuous arseholes said: “Taking into account a number of factors, the difficult decision has been reached that the size of the dealer network must be reduced. This will be a challenging period for those dealers impacted and their staff. Just as throughout the wind-down of our manufacturing operations, we are trying to put our people first and help them wherever we can.” Let me translate: [Clears throat] After a rolling series of eff-ups with the product and also unethically siphoning money from the taxpayer under entirely false pretenses, Holden’s poor decisions have finally bitten it on the arse. Sales are in freefall and they’ve had to take the unpalatable - not to mention unprecedented - step of unceremoniously boning their dealers. But, hey, have you seen their new Commodore V8 Supercar concept? It’s awesome! Let the good times roll.
Views: 25703 AutoExpertTV
The first burning issue is: Who is a Stinger right for? I’d suggest if you’ve previously been into that rear-drive muscle thing, and you’ve been gutted by the demise of Holden and Ford, then Stinger is the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve seen some reviews quite keenly out of touch with the facts on this, and I’d suggest these are A) looking in the rear view mirror with rose-coloured glasses, and B) written by people still grieving the loss of the local bent eights and blown sixes. And if you need a ‘C’, then, C) two-thirds of car reviews online are bullshit. So there’s that. Me? I’d say hyper-criticality here is undignified and also that these things are machines - so they’re overwhelmingly better assessed in an objective and not emotional way. The fact is: the limits of performance on a V6 twin-turbo Stinger are very high… ...so high that you’d need to be a crazy-brave individual indeed, with breathtakingly poor impulse control, to drive one of these babies at the limit on a public road. Because if you did, and it all went wrong, your clothes would be out of fashion before the scenery stops. I guess that leads to the key question: Should you buy the turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder or the twin turbo V6? It’s a $3000 upgrade, which in my view is trivial in the context of a $50,000-ish purchase that’s going to be a one-off for three-to-five years. You get 50 per cent more peak power and 50 per cent more peak torque with the V6. And it’s 4.9 to 100 (kays an hour) versus 6.0. So it’s pretty hard to make the case for the four. I spent a week in each - the four-cylinder first - and the four was OK. But the V6 is like going to business class for the first time. Economy seems even more shit, next time you fly, right? I guess, if you make all your own clothes and you’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser, and you’re a tightarse, the four could be just right for you. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There weren’t too many things I hated about the Stinger. The transmission logic could be better. It does play some … interesting tunes in the cabin on entry and departure… the point is you need not suffer some South Korean software engineer’s idea of auditory foreplay and post-coital cigarette every time you drive your Stinger. Just get the appalling chimes turned off. That’s do-able, I’m told. Speaking of customisation, this car is very customisable. You really can select a range of modes and settings as your ‘Goldilocks’ Stinger settings preference. So if you buy a Stinger I’d highly recommend you take the time to wade through the menus and do this, because it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all deal. There’s some very nice touches, too, from a user-interface point of view. You get message centre confirmation when you alter, for example, the lights. That’s quite neat. However, I’m not sure it’s not just a little claustrophobic in the back for extended trips, given the somewhat high sills and the low roofline. But at least people do definitely fit back there, even full-sized ones - unlike in a lot of sports coupes. Finally, there’s the safety rating - five stars for all but the entry-level models, which get three. I’m not going to dwell on this here - I’ve already done a full report on this, which I’ll link to a the end of this report. Suffice to say, it’s not a cynical exercise on Kia’s part, like it was for Ford with the two-star Mustang. All Kia Stinger models crash the same, in the ANCAP tests - and the crash performance is worthy of five stars. Kia’s meeting a price-point on the entry-level models, and they don’t come with enough safety-assistance technology to earn five stars under the new ANCAP test regime. If you want five, it’s pretty simple: spend more money. Stinger is a true grand tourer - it’s quite a bit harder-edged than a luxury car, but very rewarding to drive at eight out of 10 from A to B in the country. It’ll get you to the office and back Monday to Friday as well, plus it’s a bit of a head turner. In my two weeks in Stinger I drove it in all kinds of conditions - freeways, backroads, urban cut and thrust. I really enjoyed it. I wondered for the millionth time what the obsession with SUVs was all about. I could live with a Stinger V6 for three-to-five years without once feeling like I’d sentenced myself to a kind of automotive Guantanamo Bay. Quite the opposite. It’s got a couple of minor quirks, but you can live with those. And the straight line performance is sensational. Serendipitous timing for Kia in ‘Straya - turning the demise of Ford and Holden into a solid commercial opportunity.
Views: 228486 AutoExpertTV
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.)
Views: 133337 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 22386 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 42142 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 33736 AutoExpertTV
Coming up: The biggest car servicing rip-off in Arse-tralia. New development there. Guaranteed - you’ve been ripped off by by this. The GDBP of Shitsville - the gross domestic bullshit product - grew an incredible 25 per cent just last week, thanks to increased output from some of our more world-class, home-grown bullshitters. The science-denying arsehole Morrison Government did nothing - predictably enough. But here’s the genius of politics: They sexed it up like a real win for consumers. Fairfax Media: “Global car makers will be compelled to provide tens of thousands of Australian mechanics with the technical information needed to fix increasingly computerised modern vehicles, under a new plan being developed by the federal government.” Cognizant of the looming election, elite bullshitter and junior-burger Minister for Finance and Treasury, Zed Seselja, said: “More choice and more competition will put downward pressure on the cost of vehicle repairs, ensuring the best deal for families when getting their car repaired.” Now, sorry to rain on the whole ‘let’s get re-elected’ parade, but all those governmental mother-lovers really did was release another in an endless stream of consultation papers - again - still - over the firm proposal to, maybe, at some indefinite point in a possible future, perhaps mandate the sharing of servicing data between carmakers and independent mechanics. In fact, the ACCC found, more than a year ago, that carmakers were routinely withholding computerised vehicle servicing data from mechanics outside their authorised dealer networks. The toothless watchdog even found carmakers were systematically incentivised to do this. This costs you money - because you either go to the dealer for service or repairs and you generally pay through the neck for the privilege, or you go to your local guy and he hits a roadblock - in the form of a withheld informational black hole. When this happens, it costs him time (and you money) to solve. There are, of course, perfectly functional, off the shelf data sharing schemes overseas - America has one. They’ve had one for years. And carmakers don’t want to share the data in Retardistan any more than they do here. The difference is of course regulation. Retardistani Feds legislated to compel carmakers to share the data. It would of course be child’s play to clone this scheme and implement it here, in Shitsville. We don’t need more high-level bullshit ‘consultation’ to determine whether this is a good idea - it is - and we don’t need to develop a means of sharing the data, because one already exists. Here in Shitsville a powerful, anti-consumer lobby group with a grandiose but bullshit name, representing carmakers, called the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, has been busily giving the Government a fist-sized prostate massage on this issue, over several years. Federal Chamber arseholes claim a voluntary data-sharing code is ‘working well’ - and fuck me if that isn’t God’s honest truth. It’s working brilliantly - for carmakers. A spokeswoman for the FCAI - whom I’ve kinda known for years, and problematically respect - opened the bullshit floodgates on this: “Our focus will be on ensuring the end results provide the most positive outcomes for Australian consumers. Given the highly sophisticated and technical nature of the modern automobile, the FCAI will bring a strong focus on the safety and wellbeing of automotive staff, technicians and customers to the discussion.” Well, allow me to retort: Positive outcomes for consumer, safety and wellbeing of consumers … it’s not part of the topography of the car industry’s filthy little lobby group’s remit. They’re funded by the car industry to prostate massage the government into delivering the optimal outcome for carmakers. The FCAI is an anti-consumer lobby group, which of course is why they claim to be the opposite. And the media just lets them have it. It’s like giving them a free kick. Glace cherry on the icing of the filthy lobby group’s comments: A token truth in the form of a statement that they were (quote): “...looking forward to working closely with Treasury on this topic.” Meanwhile, it’s you and I and our local mechanics getting bent over, the government remains mentally retarded on who it actually gets paid to represent, and the car industry and its arsehole lobby group continues to enjoy getting exactly what it wants - ie - anti-competitive Nirvana. To happy-clapping, God-bothering, tongue-speaking Prime Mincer Scott Morrison, I’d say it’s beholden on this fine nation’s top political dickhead to display a prominent pair of testes on issues such as this, where the right course of action in support of voters is clear. What a pity you appear not to be packing the fine, swinging pair we demand of you, to get important jobs such as this across the line.
Views: 63573 AutoExpertTV
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
Views: 22461 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 177538 AutoExpertTV
Cheap Car Loans: Is 0% Car Finance a Good Deal? Is the truth about zero per cent car finance - and you're not going to like it. It's not a good way to get cheap car finance. Find out why car companies feel compelled to offer you an apparently unbeatable low interest car finance deal - even though if it's true, somebody's losing money by the truckload. Are there better deals around? You bet. Find out why zero per cent car financing is a con - designed to help a car dealer greet you, hook you and gut you ... in the shortest possible time. And find out where the profit really comes from. There are better cheap car finance options. There are better ways to get a great deal on cheap car finance - whether you need a cheap car lease, a low interest car loan, whether you have good credit, or whether you need a bad credit car loan.
Views: 146565 AutoExpertTV
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
Views: 244214 AutoExpertTV
Negotiating down the dealer delivery fee is essential if you want to beat car dealers and avoid one of the biggest institutionalised rip-offs when you buy a new car here in Australia. Australian new car dealerships are backward, compared with the rest of the world. One of the most breathtaking old school-style rip-offs is dealer delivery. This video puts that $2000 (or more – sometimes a lot more) right under the microscope. Everything about the dealer delivery fee is semantically promiscuous: Even the name. There is no ‘delivery’ – you come in; you collect it. The do not deliver the car. Actually, it would be very nice if they valeted the new car over to your place – but that would be way too clever. Dealer delivery is really a trumped-up ‘car preparation’ charge. It is not even - as some dealers like to claim - the cost of getting the car shipped to the dealership. That's rubbish. It's the cost of preparing it for your collection. They don’t deliver your new car, but they do prepare it – so how hard is it? And how expensive? Watch the video to find out, or visit the website: www.AutoExpert.com.au
Views: 34706 AutoExpertTV
How to upgrade any car to advanced blindspot management - without spending a cent. Blind spots do not actually exist - problematically for the designers of blind spot warning systems. At least, they don’t exist unless you manufacture them for yourself by getting the adjustment of the wing mirrors monumentally wrong… ...which most people do, because the standard of driver education is woeful in most countries. Parents who are crap drivers teach their kids to be crap drivers, like passing on some recessive gene. When most people look at the rear-view mirror in traffic, here’s what they see: The side of their own car. Which is pretty stupid when you think about it, because the side of your own car is not a threat. Not ever. It will never jump out and crash into you when you least expect it. It’s always there, in the same place. Do you really need ongoing visual confirmation? Imagine instead a sweeping panorama of rear vision where you can see everything approaching from the rear, to the side, in what you might traditionally think of as a blind spot. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see everything to the rear, continuously, right up to the point where that potential rearward threat drew right up alongside you, and you see it out of the corner of your eye? To prove this point, I did an experiment. I measured the width of two standard lanes, and hid a bright yellow RenaultSport Clio in a Tucson’s so-called blindspot. With the mirrors adjusted badly you cannot even see a car as prominent as the Clio unless you put your head on a swivel. But if you extend the arc of rear view, by shifting the mirrors laterally out, these alleged blind spots just disappear. They don’t exist. You effectively turn them into ‘oh my God it’s a miracle - I can see’ spots. And all you need to do to work this magic is: find a suitable landmark. Here, I used a print of Anna Latexia, the Italian Minister for recreation, seen here in collaboration with her close personal assistant. So what you do is, you find such a convenient landmark - or perhaps a road sign or tree, if there are no convenient partly-clothed hotties nearby. This visual landmark must be on the right edge of the central rear-view mirror, and then you just tweak the angle of the wing mirror so that this view is only just duplicated on the left edge of the wing mirror. Thus the hotties slightly overlap. And then you do the same on the other side. Sadly, you will no longer be able to see the side of your own car - but trust me, it’s still there. Hasn’t gone anywhere. Still not going to jump out and crash into you. It’s not going to wait for you to let your guard down, and then make some malicious move. Visually, it’s going to feel somewhat strange. For a short while. But the huge advantage here is that nothing can any longer approach you covertly from the four, five, six, seven or eight o’clock positions. Suddenly in terms of threat perception to the rear, it’s all glaringly obvious back there. The difference, as you can see, is only about 20 degrees of outward orientation of the mirrors. But that critical extra arc makes a profound difference to driving safely in traffic and on the highway. With the mirrors adjusted properly, the rear of the yellow Clio is still visible on the edge of the wing mirror, and I can see the front of the car easily to the side. There is no blind spot - and the lateral separation here is one standard lane width. This is geometrically representative of actual driving in marked lanes. Ignorance of this is one thing, but being too dumb to upgrade your driving to a superior method is absurd. Especially when changing the game up is so simple. The Frank Sinatra approach - doing it ‘your way’ - is not the rational option. And, before I let you go, I can hear the whining from here … doubtless from some baby boomer, such abject whiners. I expect some halfwit Shitsvillian elder to tell me he needs to see the side of the car and the kerb in the mirror to park. And he can’t do that if he adjusts the mirrors ‘my’ way. To this special flavour of respected elderly imbecile I would say: Really? If that’s your principal complaint, your reasoned assessment of my advice, your take on a proven advanced driving technique designed to prevent you from crashing at highway speeds, then I am profoundly sorry the education system has failed once again. If you pull out to overtake, and you fail to see a car that you should see while it is overtaking you, claiming it was in your blind spot is something the court will not be interested in entertaining, vis-a-vis defence. The wing mirrors are motorised on statistically every car. So adjust the damn things in and down to park if you must. But put them back to ‘cleanliness next to hotliness, latex overlap in the shower’ mode before pulling off. I know I always do. It’s always good to have a procedure for pulling off.
Views: 27118 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 22746 AutoExpertTV
Tip number one: Achieve more things, every time you go out in the car. Drop the kids at school, meet a friend for coffee, go to the gym, pick up the groceries for dinner, then return home. (Rather than the alternative: making multiple short trips to and from to achieve the same logistic result.) Ultimately you’ll drive less distance, and (happily enough) you save 100 per cent of the fuel you would have used (and cut 100 per cent of emissions) on the kays you don’t clock up. You also save on things like brake and tyre wear, and you reduce engine cold starts. Potentially you might even be able to convince the boss that you should work from home one day a week - 20 per cent saving on emissions from commuting right there. And you’ll miss all that quality time in traffic, I’m sure. A great many people use their cars very inefficiently, in this logistic context. So this is a big tip that can save you heaps if you can bend your driving around it. Number two - also easy to do and a big winner: Accelerate off the mark gently. Isaac Newton once famously said: “F = MA”. In other words, a lot of force is required to achieve a lot of acceleration. And obviously, while it feels quite nice, you need to burn a lot of fuel to get off the line quickly. So accelerate gently and watch your fuel bill plummet. This makes a huge difference. Three: If you do get the opportunity to do some steady-state cruising, aim for a constant speed. Accelerating, slowing down, accelerating - that’s just costing you money. Four: Do not jockey for position in traffic. It’s a complete waste of fuel - mainly because you need to accelerate aggressively and brake late to do this, and (pro tip) it does not get you to your destination any quicker in traffic. The great limiter of A to B travel time in traffic - even in light traffic - is traffic light phasing. I mean, how many times do you get carved up by some Mensa-grade dipshit in traffic, only to pull up next to him and his walnut-sized cerebral cortex at the very next set of lights? Five: Ease off the gas early when the traffic slows ahead. If there’s a red light ahead and a conga line of brake lights heading your way - there’s no point powering up to that, throwing cash out the window and emitting like there’s no tomorrow. Coast to a stop, gently. Lastly, tip number six: Just remember that your right foot is connected to a tap. The tap empties your fuel tank. It pumps noxious chemicals and CO2 into the air you breathe. It also empties your wallet. The harder you open the tap, and the longer you leave it open, the faster those things all happen. It really is that simple. So just take it easy on the tap. No matter whether you are motivated by clean air or more disposable income, it’s fair to say the power to achieve this is not so much in your hands as it is accessible to your right foot. One final extra tip: all this crap armchair experts go on with - take unnecessary items out of your car, pump up the tyres … it’s all a sideshow. Obviously if you’ve got 300 kilos of wet sand in the boot (that’s a trunk, in Retardistan) then that’s going to make a difference. But 20 kilos of blow-up dolls - whatever - it’s a fuel consumption sideshow. And as for pumping up the tyres: Good idea, but mainly for avoiding a blowout and being able to stop in an emergency. If you go from 28 to 34 PSI, I doubt you’d measure the gain in economy - but it might save your life if you check the tyres once a fortnight. Auto stop-start simply does not address the major components of the tailpipe pollution problem. Suck it up, greenies who never studied. That’s all I’ve got for you here - that’s how you can roll back the price of fuel by 25 per cent, contribute to greater national energy security and also make a tremendously precious resource - clean air - far more accessible to everyone who lives where you drive. Thanks for watching.
Views: 18750 AutoExpertTV
Subaru and Toyota have bitten the bullet and offered Arse-trailerian customers a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Finally. And almost everyone has the wrong idea about this. The move means 10 of the top 11 carmakers here in Shitsville now offer five or more years of warranty with their new cars. Subaru bit the bullet on January 1, and Toyota caved in three days later. After telling all and sundry a three-year warranty was beyond adequate … excellent, in fact … Toyota has struck all such commentary from the internal hymn book and now sings an entirely different tune. “It’s not about following the pack … it’s responding to the needs of consumers.” That’s Sean Hanley - a marketing big cheese at the big T Down Under. Isn’t it amazing how malleable the truth is in the corporate world? When nine of the top 11 carmakers have a five-year warranty of better, and then you copy them, you are following the pack. This is a matter of fact. “We’ve moved with our customers’ expectations which are now greater than they’ve ever been, and we will continue to adopt and adapt as the market evolves. Being No 1. is only sustainable long-term if the focus is on keeping your guests happy rather than just chasing sales.” What a load of buzzwords. Who are these “guests”? Please God, let us not refer to customers in this way. Owning a car is not the same thing as staying at the Ritz-Carlton. But there is an element of underlying truth to Mr Hanley’s statement, oddly enough. Customers want the big warranty. Not having one turns customers away. It’s a reason not to buy the car, and therefore, a good thing to eliminate. And this is where car buyers get warranty wrong. They erroneously conflate the term of the warranty with the underlying reliability and durability of the vehicle and the level of support from the dealer and manufacturer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jeep has a five-year warranty. So does Ford, Holden and Volkswagen. And these brands are, in my view, still the worst to do business with. Let’s put it like this: Warranty is about marketing. It’s a reason to buy the car … if you don’t think about it too hard. In fact, however, the warranty you get - especially from an apparently brain-dead carmaker like Nissan - is less than the legal rights you are intrinsically entitled to under Australian Consumer Law. Nissan offers three years/100,000 kilometres. And this is a brain-dead decision by them because it loses them sales. But if you go ahead anyway and buy a Nissan anyway - which I don’t recommend because they are generally below average at everything - and you maintain the car correctly and you don’t abuse it, and if the engine or transmission fails at four or five years, you have a solid consumer law case for a full refund or replacement vehicle - because the failure is serious and constitutes a breach of the legislated ‘acceptable quality’ consumer guarantee. In other words, the warranty they offer cannot be used to limit your consumer law rights. Unfortunately, companies like Holden, Ford, Jeep, Volkswagen, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz seem to act - often - as if compliance with consumer law is optional, regardless of the warranty duration or status. And the regulatory framework allows them to get away with doing this - by making resolving a dispute quite difficult and expensive - even if you have an open-and-shut case. Subaru and Toyota, like Hyundai and Kia, were already going to great lengths in the overwhelming majority of cases, to do the right thing by their customers (‘guests’) - ethically and legally. Even Mazda and Mitsubishi are OK at this - most times. And BMW. Which is, of course, why I recommend those brands. So despite all the reporting about the Big T and Subaru joining ‘Club Five Years’ - nothing has really changed. My strong advice to you is: Don’t let the warranty factor into your decision about which car to buy, or not. Substitute that with the carmaker’s reputation for looking after you when the chips are down.
Views: 48579 AutoExpertTV
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.
Views: 56281 AutoExpertTV
Inline fours and boxer fours have the same sort of firing pulses. There’s a bang every 180 degrees of crank rotation, but the balance situation is profoundly different. Inline fours don’t rock very much, but they have poor secondary balance. (Which is why the high-revving, big displacement ones need balance shafts.) So, they like idling smoothly, but don’t like a rev, inherently. Pretty much the reverse situation with boxer fours. They rock like a bastard in the Z-axis (that’s a ‘zee-axis’ in Trumpistan) because the pistons are offset. But on a more positive note the boxer configuration gives them excellent secondary balance characteristics - so they really do like a rev. When I say they rock, imagine it like this. You’re standing on the bonnet of a Subaru Impreza. (That’s the hood, in Retardistan.) You’re holding a dirty big chrome-vanadium crowbar, and you drive it with Iron Man strength, vertically down, through the mass centroid of the engine. Because this is a parallel universe where that doesn’t catastrophically destroy the engine (because: magic). What you would feel is the crowbar rotating slightly backwards and forwards, like it’s a spindle, and the engine is a top with Tourette’s syndrome. This rotational rocking is because the pairs of cylinders are offset. There’s no getting around it. There’s another problem (challenge, feature, whatever…) The firing pulses are right-right, left-left (or vice versa). The point being that both cylinders on one bank fire, then the other bank fires, repeat. And that means, if you want to have even scavenging of the cylinders, which is kind of essential to evenly refilling them with the next charge of air, you need long header pipes to merge the discharge from the ports from bank to bank. So you need to pair every exhaust pulse with another pulse 360 degrees away, or you don’t get uniform combustion in every cylinder. And that means you need to join exhaust ports across across the width of the banks. OK? It’s a real estate challenge - because space in an engine bay is extremely limited. So why don’t boxers and inline fours sound the same, given there’s the same number of combustion events per rev? Riddle me that. It’s because in older designs they just merged the left bank exhaust into one manifold and the right bank into another, joined them up into a single tailpipe, and they lived with the uneven pulses, the uneven filling of the cylinders and the uneven combustion. And that’s where the typical dak-dak burble/noise comes from. Our friends at Subaru - which incidentally managed to teleport its somewhat niche business into the monolith it is today by building it on just two pillars: boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive, put a magic ‘equal length, even pulsing’ exhaust system into competition in the WRC in the 1990s. That system went into the Liberty (that’s a Restardistani Legacy) in 2003, then Forester in 2005, Impreza in 2007 - and the dak-dak burble receded from memory. WRXs lost it in 2015 - because the exhaust feeds a centrally mounted turbo. But the STI - with its somewhat antique engine - retains the uneven length headers. But it’s probably next for the chop. And of course one of the reasons WRXs that get tweaked heavily in the aftermarket game sound so distinctive is, obviously, they put the burble back with a suitably uneven exhaust. Like, it’s still there, waiting, to burst forth from the closet of conformity, in every factory flat-four Subaru. So, moving to flat sixes - they don’t have this latent dak-dak ability. Essentially a boxer six comprises two inline three-cylinder engines facing away from each other in bed together, lubed and hot, and yet still managing to engage in a form of perverted copulation by virtue of sharing the same crank. The firing pulses are even per bank, so standard exhaust manifolds - one for each bank - are all you need for efficient scavenging. They rev like a bastard, too, because they have rock-bottom secondary imbalances, intrinsically, and they’re on a par with (or slightly better than) inline sixes on most other balance-type criteria. This explains why Porsche is so historically fixated on them. If you want to build an engine gagging to rev its tits off, that’s also wide and low and doesn’t therefore mind riding right out the back, behind the rear axle, I think we’ve found a winner. The big advantage of the boxer is its low height, reducing the centre of mass, and that reduces the roll effects when you’re cornering - without requiring you to slam the car onto the deck. (But you can of course do both if you’re building a race car, so that’s kinda nice.) And the main disadvantages are the cost and complexity of manufacturing - and the inherent width of the engine, from a packaging perspective. Good luck changing the spark plugs - although you could say that about virtually every modern engine. They design them to be assembled, not worked on, that’s for sure.
Views: 72183 AutoExpertTV
Let’s empty out the mail sack, bust 10 inaugural 2017 nuts and reveal this year’s first champion cock of the week. In the immortal words of Adam West: Atomic batteries to power; turbines to speed. I’m John Cadogan, the founder of AutoExpert.com.au - the place where Australian new car buyers get the right advice and save thousands on their next new cars, and my cock and I would like to thank you sincerely. We just cracked 10 million views on YouTube - so high-fives all round there, and thank you for assisting. We appreciate your support. Well, actually I do. He doesn’t contribute that much - mainly just hangs there looking wrinkled. In this episode: * A nut who hates Japanese cars (but can't spell 'Japanese'...) * More uneducated conjecture about water in air in tyres * Is it legal to film and drive? * Why you need to understand radians to calculate power from torque * The composition of air (again for tyres). Spoiler alert: it's 78% nitrogen. PLUS: An epic cock of the week (cod-name 'Biturboism') who is wrong about Volvo being on a roll after being acquired by the Chinese in 2010. On Volvo: I don’t recommend Volvo - especially here in Australia. It’s a dud brand. Biturboism's comment is in response to my recent report on how to choose a new car in 2017. One of my recommendations on doing that - if you’re a mainstream car buyer - is by eliminating dud brands which have no traction, poor reliability and crap support, and Volvo is, sadly, one of those. Volvo spent 11 years from 1999 to 2010 as Ford’s bitch in the prison shower - and you know what that does to a person - before being fire-saled, used and abused, to the Chinese. A company called Geely now owns Volvo. Volvo was such an attractive asset in 2008, as Ford teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in the GFC, that it took Ford two entire years to sell Volvo off. To someone. To anyone. Volvo made a name for itself as a great safety innovator - and those innovations were very impressive. They included laminated glass in 1944, three-point seatbelts in the 1950s, rear-facing child seats in the 1960s, and the brand was a great side impact innovator in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, however, apart from a few minor safety tweaks, there’s been deafening silence from Volvo under the ‘great safety innovations’ rubric, for almost 20 years. Volvo cannot rest on its laurels for that long and still be the great safety innovator. The use-by date has expired on that claim. Volvo essentially ditched safety and strived for sexy under Ford. Biturboism, to your claim that Volvo is on this (quote) “absolute roll after the Chinese bought it”. In 2011 - the first year after Chinese acquisition, Volvo sold 449,000 cars. In 2015, global sales were 508,000 units. That’s annualised growth of three per cent. I don’t know, but I think this is at least one order of magnitude less than “an absolute roll”. The only significant growth has been in China where sales jumped from 47,000 to 82,000. That’s hardly unexpected, now that Volvo is a Chinese ‘home brand’. Sales have not been so rosy in the remainder of the world - very modest gains in Europe and the USA, and a slight drop for the rest of the world. In Australia, Volvo sold just 5272 cars in 2011 - the first full Chinese year of the Volvo. By 2015 these alleged ‘on an absolute roll’ Volvo sales dropped six per cent to 4943, with a consequential drop in market share from 0.5 to 0.4 per cent. These are all official, verifiable figures. Sales climbed to 5878 in 2016, and market share was back at half a per cent for the big V. It’s essentially gone nowhere in six years in this country. Biturboism, you’re the 2017 inaugural [LOOK LEFT] big cock this week because you are absolutely not entitled to an opinion that is unsupportable by facts. Volvo is still nowhere. It’s a sideshow exhibit - at best - everywhere on earth that’s not Gothenburg or the Binjiang district in Hangzhou. It’s a formerly great safety innovator that lost its way, got run down and fire saled and has a reputation for poor reliability and crap support at both dealership and corporate level here in Australia. If you still want to buy one, fine. Be a nut. Happy to help. Hey. Hit me up via the website. (Australia only, sadly.) Or I’ll help you get a good car, alternatively. Volvo’s still a shot duck. But buying one is up to you. I’ll still tell everyone else I respect you in the morning if you do.
Views: 20427 AutoExpertTV
It’s time to get our full propeller-head hats on. What do cruise control and tyres have in common, in the domain of beer-garden engineering? At the risk of sounding like friggin’ Morpheus, there’s a physical property that’s all around us. When we sleep, when we pay our taxes, when we help our landlady carry out her garbage… It saps the energy from you with every step you take - literally. This property aids and abets the second law of thermodynamics - bastard - and if you ever wanted evidence that God does not exist … exhibit A: Second law of thermodynamics. Harbinger of the heat death of the universe. If a God designed that in, like it was a carefully taken decision: He’s a Muppet. Or totally malicious - like a Volkswagen powertrain engineer. If it’s just random chance: OK - let’s all just play the hand the universe dealt us, without making up some crack-smoker in the sky. Do you know the property I’m talking about? You should. It sucks money, indirectly, out of your wallet every time you drive. It prevents your cruise control and your climate control air conditioning from remaining bang-on accurate in the time domain. Anyone? Right. It’s time to get our balls out. Cover me. It’s called ‘hysteresis’. And it's a major cause of parasitic energy loss.
Views: 32612 AutoExpertTV
If we start at the beginning, the first thing you need to know is how much the vehicle weighs, empty. There are two terms for this: kerb weight and tare weight, and they mean - almost - the same thing. And the exact definition depends on which manufacturer you ask. It’s like this: ‘Tare’ means really empty - but with water in the radiator, a token amount of fuel, and all the lubricants on board. ‘Kerb’ means all the fuel on board and - sometimes - 75kg added for the driver. But manufacturers often write their own tickets on kerb weight (in particular) and adopt all kinds of weird policies and practices. Both terms (kerb and tare) mean - essentially - the vehicle is empty. Gross Vehicle Mass is the total allowed weight of the vehicle - all the passengers, all the fluids, all the equipment: everything. But not the weight of any trailer. It’s specified by the manufacturer. The maximum, all-up weight allowed. GVM for short. So, you get your GVM and you subtract your unladen weight (the kerb weight or the tare weight) and that gives you your payload capacity - which is the total weight of people and equipment you can carry without overloading the vehicle. And sometimes it’s not quite as much as you think. It’s pretty easy to overload the vehicle - with a tribe in the back and all the gear for a weekend getaway inside and up on the roof rack. And the bullbar, driving lights, winch - all those accessories subtract from what you can carry. It’s a zero-sum game. Which is why so many people tow a trailer. There are two tow capacities: a basic one for light trailers without brakes. Usually that’s limited to 750kg worth of trailer - all up, meaning the trailer plus the load it’s carrying. In other words, the GVM of the trailer. Trailers have tare weights (empty) and gross weights (loaded) - just like the vehicle itself. Tow capacity is the gross weight of the trailer. The heavier of the two tow capacities is the gross weight of trailers with brakes: car trailers, caravans, horse floats, boats … things like that. Once again, that’s for the trailer plus whatever you put in the trailer - total, all-up weight of whatever you’re towing. The GVM. SUV-type vehicles are often rated in the two-tonne ballpark here. Hardcore off-roaders - at least some of them - like the Grand Cherokee, LandCruiser 200, and utes like the Colorado, BT-50 and Ranger - can stretch as high as three-and-a-half tonnes maximum tow capacity. Of course, it might not be a good idea to load up your vehicle to its maximum payload, and then hook up a trailer that’s right at the upper limit of the tow capacity. You’re talking about driving off into the sunset weighing six-and-a-half tonnes. What’s the point in getting away from it all when you’re taking ‘it all’ with you? It’s also unsafe, potentially, which is why they invented a specification called Gross Combination Mass, or GCM. Let’s look at a Mazda BT-50 4WD ute. It’s got a 3.5-tonne tow capacity and a 3.2-tonne gross vehicle mass. Add them together you get 6.7 tonnes. But the gross combination mass specified by Mazda is six tonnes neat - that’s the maximum weight (all up) of the vehicle, the payload (of people and equipment) and the total weight of the trailer. If you’re hooking up a heavy trailer and packing the vehicle heavily as well, you’ll need to dial down the all-up weight by losing 700kg somewhere - from the trailer or the vehicle, or both.
Views: 55868 AutoExpertTV