Honest John Technical Q&A Part 5

Mar 1, 2019

Honest John Technical Q&A Part 5

Q) My Honda i-Shift is jammed in gear - what is the likely cause?

My Honda Civic 2007 i-Shift is stuck in-gear. What is the likely cause?

A) Failed actuator: This is why we constantly tell people not to buy i-Shifts or any other automated manuals. A member of Federation of Automatic Transmission Engineers (FedAuto) may be able to help.

Q) Will we see the same problems with petrol particulate filters as we have done with DPFs?

With the fitting of particulate filters to petrol cars are we likely to see the same issues with regard to short journeys and stopping the engine during regeneration?

A) It's nearly six months since they became compulsory on new petrol-engined cars and so far the only issues we have heard about have been with the Ford Focus.

Q) Why is my car so noisy?

My one-year-old Volkswagen T-Roc makes a loud whining noise when reversing. The noise is intermittent and particularly noticeable when the car is cold. It seems to come from the brakes, possibly the rear brakes. My local dealer assures me that everything is fine, but I'm worried.

A) Is the noise from the electromechanical rear brakes not releasing or is it from the transmission? If it's from the brakes, then do as I do, and fully release them manually using the switch rather than expect them to disengage when they are rusted up after a night sitting on cold, damp and salty condensation.

Q) How often should I clean my car's air con?

My local garage recommends air con cleaning out every two years, is this really necessary?

A) If he means the ventilation trunking, you can do that yourself. Get the car to temperature, switch the heating to max, select the ventilation you normally use, then get out of the car and stand beside it for 15 minutes while the heat kills off all of the bacteria in the trunking.

Q) Is a hybrid any good for towing?

I am currently driving a BMW 320d and am due to change. I cannot afford the new model 3 Series, however I could afford a pre-registered current model. I have also considered a C-Class Mercedes, the petrol/diesel hybrids in particular. The current 3 Series hybrid is apparently not homologated for towbar fitment. Should I consider either of the Mercs or stick with a 3 Series diesel?

A) Hybrid cars are generally not good for towing. The Toyota Prius is Type Approved to tow, but only a low weight - 750kg I think. There has been reported trouble with the charge control units on 3 Series hybrids and Countryman PHEVs. (That's the gizmo that controls the amount of charge being introduced to the hybrid battery while it's being re-charged.)

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