Honest John Technical Q&A Part 7

Jun 6, 2019

Honest John Technical Q&A Part 7

Q) Why is my Toyota Yaris using so much oil?

I have noticed that my 2010 Toyota Yaris 1.33 goes through a lot of oil. I have used genuine parts as per the last service with no help. There are no obvious signs of leaks. I was considering using a different oil brand and perhaps an additive. What are your suggestions to resolve this issue?

A) Oil consumption was a bit of a problem with the 1.33 engine in the Yaris, probably caused by a worn or broken piston oil ring, though could also be valve stem oil seals. I recommend having the engine oil pressure tested.

Q) My new Volkswagen Amarok keeps making a strange grinding noise when engaging drive - what could be the cause?

I have just taken delivery of a brand new Volkswagen Amarok with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. On a number of occasions now the vehicle has made a nasty grinding noise when engaging drive (like not using the clutch on a manual). I have also had the grinding noise after engaging drive and as I release the footbrake and the car starts to move forwards - it momentarily starts to stop like the rock you get applying a Land Rover parking brake and then it drives fine after that. I have also had a banging noise when the vehicle changes up and down the gearbox. I have also experienced issues with reverse, having to really rev the engine to get any rearward motion. This is the third Amarok I've had, the others have been faultless. Any ideas please?

A) This reads like the Hill Hold Assist system sticking. This system is designed to prevent the vehicle from rolling forwards or backwards when you release the handbrake. It can sometimes be slow to disengage on new vehicles. It should loosen as the Amarok gets some mileage under its belt.

Q) Are bull bars illegal? I want to fit a front bar because people are forever bumping my car on our street.

Can you clarify the rules on bull bars? I am thinking about fitting a set to my car, but am unsure if this is legal or not?

A) Bull bars are not illegal in the UK, although they must comply with safety standards before they can be sold or fitted. The Department for Transport doesn’t recommend fitting them unless it has been shown that they don’t pose an additional risk of injury to other road users. A lower front 'nudge bar' guard would probably do the trick.

Q) How often should flexible brake hoses be replaced?

What is a reasonable point at which to replace flexible brake hoses? I have a low mileage 1998 MGF in excellent condition and with a well-documented service history. While it has had brake fluid changes, there is no record of hoses being changed. The hoses look ok but, at 21 years old, are they past their best?

A) If they're rubber hoses, then they'll need replacing when they start to perish and crack, balloon or leak, or when you start to experience problems with braking that could be caused by collapsed hoses (such as spongy brakes). If they're stainless steel they tend to last a while longer.

Q) Why does the DPF light keep coming on in my car?

I have a Skoda Yeti 1.9 TDI I bought six months ago. In that time the diesel particulate filter light has come on three occasions - it is true that I do not cover many miles, but is it reasonable for it to come on this often or is surgery needed?

a) If you repeatedly drive short distances at low revs then you simply fill the DPF up with soot and give it no chance to passively regenerate. The best thing to do is always use Super diesel and always drive at around 2000rpm from start-up because that puts less soot into the DPF and helps the engine heat up faster.

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