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What has Honest John been asked this week?

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Medium Size Automatic

Hello After 224000 miles my trusty 2002 VW Golf TDI auto is due for replacement. As much as I love the build quality of the VW Golf, I hesitate to go straight for another VW auto (possibly a 1.4 petrol) because of the bad press surrounding the DSG gearbox. My budget is around £7,000.00...I've been looking at 5 year(ish) Astra & Focus 1.6 petrol automatics. I know that this is a well worn subject, but would very much appreciate your thoughts on those automatic gearbox's (and indeed the cars)...or point me in the direction of an alternative? Thank you

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Ford Fiesta Ecoboost heavy clutch

The clutch pedal of my Ford Fiesta Ecoboost 1.0 feels heavy. I tried a friends Renault Captur and it's clutch was much light. Is this a problem with Fiesta Ecoboost? I believe the clutch was heavy when I bought this new car (2014) but now feel it is becoming very uncomfortable and some time painful. Please recommend Fiesta-sized automatic cars.

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Is now the time to choose petrol if buying a used car?

I have been a convert to diesel for 10 years on account of economy and torque. I am about to buy either a BMW 320i Touring or a BMW 118i. The reviews consistently place the diesel version as the best in both ranges and I know you sing the praises of ten 320d. Petrol engines are getting more economical, the Volkswagen scandal has focused attention on NOx and cities are talking about banning or penalty charging diesels. My current mileage is low as I live in Jersey right now but may move back to the UK next year. My instinct is telling me to buy petrol this time, but everyone says the diesels are the best engines and I like the torque. Do your think my misgivings about the future of diesel are valid? Do you think the petrol engines 'do the business' ?

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Automatic gearbox issue after auction purchase

I bought a Ford Kuga car at auction. A major car franchise who put the car in for sale knew the car needed brand new automatic gearbox and they were advised by TrustFord 2 weeks prior to my purchase. They didn't tell auction house and now I'm left with at least £3500 of a bill to pay. The car won't even drive. Have I got a case?

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In view of the Volkswagen scandal could I claim for the DPF?

Last year I had to have the DPF replaced at a cost of around £900. In light of the Volkswagen scandal, is it likely I will be able to claim this back? After receiving a letter confirming my vehicle is affected, I read that the 1.6 CR engine will need new fuel injectors and a hardware tweek. The way I see it is that the DPF is there to reduce emissions and if they are in breech of the laws, then I may not have had to have this replaced. What are you views?

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Buying a used Lexus IS - good idea?

I found a Lexus IS 250 auto 2005 reg with 128000 miles at 3800 GBP. I 've read only good things about this model but still want to ask you if there is anything in particular to look at and if the mileage is not to high for a petrol engine or the automatic gearbox?

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Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi CVT problem

I had my automatic gearbox on my Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi, Registered 11/2006, replaced in May 2014, as it was making a very loud noise which was diagnosed as needing a new gearbox. It has now failed again after only 14,000 miles. My dealership 'mended' it saying that it was the turbo pipe leaking, and also that it needed a major service. I got the car back, and after 326 miles the gearbox has failed again. The dealership are currently stripping the gearbox down to diagnose the problem, but they have been in touch with Ford who have said that they are not prepared to assist as the gearbox is now over twelve months old. Surely the original gearbox should have lasted longer than the 65000 miles it did, and the replacement gearbox should not have failed again after only 14000 miles and 14 months?

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Original equipment manufacturer dealer-fitted accessories

I am considering buying a new car and ordering some dealer-fit original manufacturer accessories - roof box and carrier base (roof rack), door visors, wheel arch extensions, splash guards (mud flaps), door-side protectors etc. The dealer tells me I don't have to inform my insurer as they are manufacturer's parts and fitted by the dealer (plus the roof-box and carrier are 'removable'), however I have also heard that you should inform your insurer about every 'extra' fitted to your car. Who is correct and, if you must inform your insurer, does this mean everything and where do you stop?

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SUV buying advice?

I'm looking for a car on the motability scheme but not sure which would be the best one out of the ones I have listed. It needs to have easy access as have had a hip replacement and other mobility issues,or indeed any other model which you could suggest which is on the scheme

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Volkswagen emissions scandal - has it been over dramatised?

You seem to think that the emissions scandal is all a bit of a storm in a tea-cup. Why is this? I have an A4 Allroad on a PCP deal and I was wondering the same thing as the Tiguan driver who asked you if he could reject the car. Your answer was "don't be ridiculous". I was just wondering if you think it has all been over-dramatised? I was wondering the same thing about the guaranteed future value of the car.

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Volvo cars reliability

I recently took my car for its fourth annual service at TMS Volvo at 46000 miles when, during the service, a gearbox fluid leak was identified. I paid for the service and a replacement of rear brake discs and pads at a cost of around £640 and the car was subsequently rebooked for investigation of the oil leak. The car was booked in today at TMS and they have called to inform me that the gearbox control cylinder was leaking and that while investigating they also noted that the clutch was worn and they would recommend the replacement of the clutch at the same time. The total cost of this new work, with a significant discount from TMS Volvo still comes out at £900. I am somewhat taken aback at the amount required to spend on a Volvo that is a little over 4 years old and with low mileage. The reason we opted to buy a low mileage second hand Volvo was with the expectation of buying a robust car with a reputation for reliability, and have continued to service the car at Volvo service intervals at TMS Volvo for the past two years at quite significant expense. I did not expect to be having to spend so much money at this stage in the cars life, with the amount spent in a 5 week period adding up to circa £1500. I understand that TMS have spoken to Volvo about goodwill contribution given the age and mileage of the vehicle, but they are not prepared to make a significant contribution to the cost of the gearbox repair. Is such significant expenditure for such a low mileage XC60 exceptional or would you expect such a failure at this stage of the cars life?

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Electric handbrake problems with a Renault Scenic

Can you tell me please do you need to match the code's up when buying a second hand, hand brake motor with cables?

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White oily sludge in breather pipes - what is it?

have a Corsa 1.2 from 2009 and have recently found white oily gunk in the breather pipes from the rocker cover to the air filter pipe that connects to the carb and the other one goes to the back of the engine. The car is serviced regularly and its only done thirty four thousand miles from new, what could this be caused by any answers please

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Spark plugs for a Vectra?

Can you explain the difference between these Bosch spark plugs, FLR8LDCU+, FLR8LDCU+9, FGR8KQE0 and FR91X. I have a Vectra C 2005 with a 3.2 V6 engine. Are all these plugs suitable? One of them has a silver centre electrode I think its FR91X, is that better for increased performance acceleration than the others that have nickel yttrium, some have 4 ground electrodes.

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DRLs on a Volvo V70

I would like to attach third party DRL lights to my V70. The automatic wiring loombs you can buy seem an easy option along with dimming options. I have a small problem of the battery being in the boot and makes the running of cables difficult. Can anyone recommend if there is a live feed I can use under the bonnet to save me running the live from the rear of the car. The automatic wiring loombe I have seen measures the voltage increase on the battery when the engine runs and switches the lights on.

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Best model of a Mazda CX-5?

What's your opinion on the Mazda CX-5 andwhat size wheels are the best - 17 or 19 inch?

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Grating sound when turning the steering wheel?

There is a grating sound when turning the steering wheel but only mainly when the car is first started and also there's a water slushing sound which seem to be coming from around the glove-box area

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Buying new small family car?

I am looking at buying a new car either the A3 or Mazda 3 which would you recommend overall has a package eg. reliability, Longevity , comfort, Appearance and resale value , running costs?

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