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What has Honest John been asked this week?

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Petrol or diesel Hyundai Tucson

I'm thinking of buying a new Hyundai Tucson automatic. However, reading your general advice you recommend petrol rather than diesel and torque converter over dsg/dct. The Tucson only comes with diesel torque converter or petrol dct! Which would you recommend and why? I am to keep the car a long time, 7-10 years if possible.

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Buying new car old year model

Have been looking to buy a new masda for the last 5 weeks and following negotiation agreed and signed paperwork and paid in full yesterday.When I studied the paperwork more closely at home it seems that the car may have been manufactured in 2013.Had I known that,I would never had agreed as I think that has been sitting around too long.From the start I was interested in a new car.No mention was ever made of an older car!I feel I have been duped!Any advice would be appreciated and thankyou for your time.

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Buying a classic car from dealer

I am going to purchase a classic car from a dealer who offers a service to sell clients cars on commission / fixed fee basis etc The car cost £45k - how do i ensure my payment is paid to the person who owns the car. - hence avoiding any issues ownership proof of purchase . I have seen prog where the dealer does not pass the money to the owner and hence the person who has paid the money has to hand the car back to the owner as the car salesman goes awol . Thank you - i enjoy your motoring section in the Telegraph Gregory gadd

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smoking exhaust on start-up

I want to ask a question and can you find out what is happening or not happening with my Alfa Romeo Mito NV12CCJ About a week ago I was driving and smoke was coming out the exhaust which looked light blue in colour. It went away after a slight rev of the engine. But I was driving to work this morning 01/01/2016 and it happened again and went away after a slight Rev of the engine then it returned again about 5 minutes later then away again.

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Buying a BMW X1 tyre choice & diesel v petrol

I am thinking of buying BMX X1. I do about 12,000 miles pa with a lot of journeys around 10 miles and am wondering if I should go for petrol rather than diesel. Also the model I am considering has 18" run flats. Will I get less road noise by specifying standard tyres?

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Buying a Congestion Charge exempt car

From July 2016 my daughter needs to replace her Toyota Auris hybrid with a vehicle that is exempt from the latest Congestion Charge. She lives in Wandsworth and drives to Bricklayers Arms in Southwark, her place of work being just inside the CC zone. I am not keen on an electric-only car and, having had excellent service from her Auris,and, in the absence of any information from Toyota about an Auris plug-in hybrid, we are looking at a Prius plug-in, either new or used. We would welcome your comments and suggestions.

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Mondeo Mk 4 TDCI - Temperature Gauge Faulty

Hi My 09 tdci Mondeo MK4 has a strange temperature gauge issue. Sometimes it will appear ok (it never goes past halfway) but most other times not really. Usually it will warm up fairly slowly and only get up to halfway when at speed (60+), slowly dropping down to 1/4 or just below when encountering towns/traffic and driving at a lower speed, but occasionally it does spend most of the journey at halfway, but will never stay there. The car drives without fault apart from this minor issue and both heater and aircon work fine - there seems to be no noticeable effect if I have heat/aircon on or not. It has relatively newish coolant (usually at the right level or thereabouts). I guess it could be a trial and error job - possibly a faulty sensor/connection, thermostat (less likely) or the instrumnet panel itself. Any thoughts? Thanks, semi-baffled.

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Rover 25 SRS light

My 86 years old mum has a 2005 Rover 25 1.4 Impression with 22500 miles and in great condition. However, the SRS light stays on all the time and the handbook says it is a technical issue with either airbags or seat belt pre-tensioners. Is there a known fault for cars of 10 years old? How much do you think the car is worth and would it be worth fixing as it really is a good runner and has been maintained regardless of cost so far but maybe the time has come to part company with it? Many thanks,

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Is it best to buy a car with a low mileage and older - or a newer car with average mileage?

My dilemma is, should I buy a Cayman with 18,000 miles on the clock that is a 2009 model or a 2011 model with 40,000 miles on the clock?

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Heater not working after waterpump replacement

Hi, have a Peugeot 207cc which is almost six years old. A few months ago overheating light came on dash and temperature gauge shot straight up, I let the car cool down and added water, took it to Peugeot who fitted new water pump. Now when I put the heater on its luke warm and temperature gauge stays on cold, heater smells like sweaty socks. Checked anti freeze and it was on minimum so I topped it up and called Peugeot who can't get it in till next week and will charge £90 just to look at it. Any ideas what it could be and whether it's ok to drive till I can get it in.

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(2015) Honda Civic stops working when moving off at the traffic lights

I bought my Honda civic brand new from the Bushy dealership in Watford, love it to bits, I have previously owned a 2007 2.2 I-Dtec from new for nearly 10yrs always serviced by main dealer no issues at all. But as of yesterday my newer 2015 Civic 1.6iDTEC just stopped completely from working when moving away from the traffic lights ( I couldn't even use the hazard lights at all)then to start again after 5 minutes of waiting! I informed Honda Bushy of the problem, but the earliest they could look at it is the following Wednesday!! same problem happened to me today again, so I called up Honda and they said that Wednesday is the earliest they can look at it and they have no courtesy car for me to use to go to work in. What can I do as I don't want to use the car in case it stops some were even more dangerous, like on a motorway.

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Boot leaks in Mercedes SL

I have a 4year old Mercedes SL350, which has done 16,000 miles. It has developed a leak into the boot. I am told by the local Mercedes independant specialist that "They leak when they leave the factory !- and No thanks I don't want to get involved." I'm told by the local Mercedes dealer that the used car warranty doesn't cover this, because they've tried before as it's a common fault. To complicate things, Mercedes also put the central locking mechanism in a sump in the boot. There's more to this story, which has already cost me £1160,and not been solved, but before I write to Mercedes, I'd like to know if others have experienced this fault and what they've done about it.

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Short term investment with good resale potential

I recently posed a question regarding a short term lease (3/4 months) for my wife (we need an auto as she dislocated her knee recently). Having researched this following your advice, an auto 5 door fiesta will cost roughly £350/mth. I'm thinking that the cost to buy and sell privately would probably cost less than leasing for 3/4 months. What would you suggest would be the easiest car to sell on? Criteria is it needs to be 5 doors, relatively easy to get in and out of, petrol (for short runs), auto box. Thanks!

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BMW Warranty Support BMW 530D GT

In March 2015 I bought an approved used 2011 530D GT. It has, since then, needed a new window regulator, headlight control module and is booked in for a new headlamp (full of water..). All 4 alloy wheels have been replaced due to corrosion around the center caps. Now, for the third time in 2 months, it is sitting on my drive at a drunk angle... The rear offside suspension has 'sat down'. The first time it did this, I called the dealership. They were not surprised to hear it was a 5 GT, and told me to start it up and bring it in. When the engine ran, the air pump brought the suspension back up and off I went. 'No fault found Sir - £72 for diagnostics please'.... When I asked what to do if it re-occurred, they told me to use BMW assist. It did, so I did, 2 weeks later. Same suspension point. Different dealer, who once again found no fault and wanted £72 (and I understand that, not a dealers responsibility to work for free). After 3 weeks, BMW UK covered the cost when I made it clear I did not consider myself liable. So, Boxing Day, my wife carefully asks me if I want to look at my car....?? Yep, offside rear has sat down again. This time I do not use BMW assist for recovery, I wait 4 days for their customer service people to be in. 'Please send someone to look at the car, as it sits now, so they can see this fault (again..) before the engine and air pump are started again'. I am now lost. They will recover the car, but they cannot force a technician to come and view it. Diagnostics are not covered under warranty. I have tried to be 'fair and reasonable', I waited 4 days over xmas with no car, I followed BMW's own advice to use Assist. But if this is an intermittent fault, how can I show it to them if turning on the engine gets rid of it for a few weeks?? Your thoughts, and any advice, would be much appreciated. Thanks for the column and your video reviews, much appreciated. RG

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Boxster or F-Type?

I'm planning to trade in my 2006 Boxster (40k, FSH) in the new year and am undecided between a 981 Boxster or F-type convertible. My budget is around £30k plus the trade-in, so I'm looking at manufacturer approved used. My annual mileage is only about 3k. Insurance and tax on either are roughly the same. The car will be garaged and used purely for leisure. Which would you go for?

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Mercedes Benz E class cam chain problems

I have a Mercedes Benz E 200 estate 2010 October model which has done 89000 miles. It has been fully serviced by a registered Mercedes Benz dealer. The cam chain has broken requiring a new engine at a cost of £11000. Mercedes have offered to pay half the cost. At most the car is worth £7750. They have offered me £6000 part exchange against another car but having had one of the 2001 model rust buckets I am not tempted! Will the fact that the vehicle has a reconditioned engine affect the resale value? Are you aware of the cam chain in these cars being a major issue? We know the owners of two others one of whom has had the same problem.

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Fault free VAG motors?

I was never a fan of the VAG group (VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda)and, on top of that, your site is full of examples about unreliable motors they produce; however lately I find myself in a difficult position: you see, I'm looking to buy a second hand estate or MVP with 4x4 and in this niche market, the cars of the above group represent maybe more than 70% of the available vehicles. Can you name any reliable engine(s) used by VAG group in their vehicles during the last 10 years?

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VW Golf, rear brake discs


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