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What has Honest John been asked this week?

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Buying car A5 v C180 coupe, pcp v hp ?

Hi first of all would like to thank you and your website for its considerable useful info and I am an avid follower of the website and find it very informative especially the Ask honest john section. Thank You!! Looking at purchase of new car seen a couple and quite fancy the A5 copue 1.8 manual TFSI ? would you recommend this as a shrewd purchase ? how does it stand up against the merc c class coupe manual C180 1.6? both petrol do you feel the 1.6 merc would feel under powered? Which would you buy and suggest similar price, age and mileage? Also financing have options of car loan from bank at 5% or have been toying with the idea of PCP or hire purchase what would you recommend and feel is best for me? in particular what are the pros and cons of HP V PCP which is best out of these 2 ? looking to keep car for 2-3 years. Motorpoint do this scheme called boomerang (pcp) and the salesman made it sound like an interesting proposition. Thanks

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Changing Timing Belt at 14k Miles

The local Peugeot dealer has written to my elderly mother-in-law, recommending replacing the timing belt on her seven year old 1.4 petrol 207 which they have serviced from new. The current mileage is around 14K and she does about 2K a year. They are asking £200.Shall I tell her to have it done?

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Rain leak into car.

Pools of water are collectiong behind the driver's seat of my car after it has been parked during heavy rain. It seems to be coming from under the dashboard as sometimes there is water on the front mats. I cannot trace where the water is coming in and it is not evident when driving in rain or during car wash.

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Sat Nav

Hi-I own a Merc E350 Coupe which is now nearly 5 years old. The Sat Nav needs updating, but Mercedes want a small fortune,also the internet available so called updates, are iffy at best. I wish to buy a separate reasonably priced plug in Sat Nav with European coverage, and would be most grateful for your opinion. I am not at all fussed over the Gendarmes having a hissy fit over speed camera warnings installed on my Sat Nav. Many thanks-regards -Iain Chapman.

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Replacement rechargeable battery?

I own a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV new March 30th 2015. The battery life is fading, and has reduced from 32 to less than 20 miles in 4 months. Is this a common problem? Should Mitsubishi replace the batteries? My daily mileage is around 20 and local. For the first month I only used petrol on longer journeys.

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Audi 80 Cabriolet buying advice

I'm considering buying an Audi 80 Cabriolet as a daily driver to replace my current W123. I have read HJ review and there isn't a huge list of troubles listed. I'm not a great lover of depreciation, turbos or electronics in cars. I know that the 80 Cabtiolet doesn't have a turbo. Do electronics control the operation of engine and gearbox and if so are they reliable and/or economically fixable - would you steer me away from or toward auto's or V6's?

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Ford Puma heater problem

I've replaced the HCV on my puma as it was only blowing out hot air. It worked fine once I'd finished (ran for around 5-10 mins, aircon working fine too). Drove it this morning and had the same problem. I've tried bleeding the system but it doesn't seem to be working (no bubbles in radiator, no loss of coolant). The only thing I notice is the coolant level in rad actually fills up a bit and then back down again. Any ideas please?

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Hyundai fuel filter problem

Last week a warning light came on telling me that there was "Water in Fuel Filter" and the car went into limp mode. I asked my local garage to fit a new filter and he has just reported that there was no trace of water and, worryingly, the warning light remains on. The car has done 21000 miles and I have booked it into the Hyundai Main Dealer. Any thoughts on this, please?

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Seven seater advice?

My mother-in-law needs a reliable 7 seater to cart the kids around in. She has just had to scrap her 1993 Pajero and is in the market for a replacement. She will need to take the kids plus enough luggage for a weeks camping holiday, which to my mind rules out Touran sized MPV's. Her budget is £11k. Diesel auto is preferred, and fuel consumption should be sensible. It is also likely to be used for towing occasionally. Any recommendations?

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New car advice

My wife wants to downsize my car a Skoda Superb. What car would you recommend that is £14000-£15000 and has a reasonable cabin size and boot?

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Comparing electric cars range

Electric cars are slowly gaining acceptance, but is there a simple method of comparing range and performance? Looking at each model in turn is very tedious. I drive a Vauxhall Ampera which consistently does 40 miles per charge, with fantastic overtaking acceleration, even in Normal mode, and a top speed of 105mph. In six months and just over 6000 miles, we have only put in 120l of petrol and the lifetime consumption is currently 188mpg. As far as I can see, there is not a better plug-in hybrid, but I would like to compare all the available models easily

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Electric minibus

Do you know of any companies that make electric minibuses? The company I work for is looking to "go green" and I can't seem to find much out there.

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Cost of fixing starter motor?

I have just been quoted, by my local Honda dealer, in excess of £800 to replace a started motor on my wife's Honda Civic 1.7 CDTi. This seems extortionate as the average price on Amazon etc is about £80 for the starter motor. Any thoughts as to why a dealer would charge so much for this what extra benefits do I get from going to a dealer.

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Best second hand 4x4?

I'm looking to buy a second hand 4x4 as I'm going to be starting a self build project soon. My primary requirement is for traditional 4x4 capabilities, handle off road terrain, mud, etc carrying a good load, so large load area is important and ability to two a large trailer. I would like to spend around 10k if possible for a good, reliable car that I will be able to run for a number of years, is this realistic?

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Best small car with upright seats?

Having been a loyal Nissan customer for 14 years, I recently bought a new Micra, but driving it gave me a really bad neck and back after just a couple of days of driving just short distances. I am now looking for a new-ish car that has a similar, upright driving position to the old Micra and a seat that is either flat at the back or has adjustable lumbar support. Most cars now seem to build in lumbar 'support' without the option of turning it off, which is what hurts my back. I don't mind driving a bigger car. Can you offer any suggestions?

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Replacement engine for four year old Volkswagen

I have a four year old Volkswagen people carrier bought brand new and serviced by Volkswagen. Recently it has been losing power and the dealer is charging £1000 to decide whether the engine needs replacing. They have assured me that there will be no goodwill offer from Volkswagen if the engine does need replacing. I feel very strongly about the complacent attitude being adopted by Volkswagen. Do I have any redress as am completely flumoxed by the possible need for a new engine for a four year old car which has a full service history.

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Delay to new Golf delivery

My new vehicle was due to be delivered late July. Delivery has been delayed and will now be mid August. Should I wait to register from 1st September or accept it on arrival? Is there a down side to accepting it immediately? Will it affect future value? Volkswagen has said that it was built after Week 22 and is therefore a 2015-2016 model.

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Rover 75 replacement?

I have owned my Rover 75 diesel automatic from new in 2005 and must start thinking about its replacement. This will need to be 4 door, diesel or petrol with gear or chain camshaft drive and conventional torque converter automatic. My current short list isa Mercedes C-Class and Peugeot 508. Should I be looking at anything else?

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Problem with camshaft magnet faults?

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