FAQ 4,

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Question Australia-3-1 Overheating and trouble with Toyota dealership
username=Elizabeth H
VehicleType=Toyota Camry
DistanceTravelled=approx. 60000

Subject=Camry overheating
comment=My 1993 Toyota Camry overheated a couple of weeks ago.  I had it
towed to the dealership where the radiator and thermostat were replaced.
Now I cannot drive more than 1/2 mile without its starting to overheat
again.  If I’m driving, the needle stays at about the middle of the gauge.
If I am stopped at a light or have the a/c on, the needle starts rising
quickly, almost reaching the red zone.  (I either turn off the air or the
traffic light has changed and I can drive again before it gets to the red.)
I would appreciate your letting me know what you think is causing the
overheating, given that it’s just been to the dealership and I’m looking at
another tow.  Is it OK to drive to the dealership as long as I turn it off
and let it cool down when it starts to heat up or will that cause damage?
Thank you.
So for taking so long Liz I’m getting alot of questions these days.
1, Don’t drive the vehicle all as it may create more damage
2, For some reason I’m getting alot of people paying the highest price to
get there vehicle repaired only to find the same thing repeating
You must inform the Toyota dealership what has happened and get them to
arrange a tow at there cost
3, It may only be a thermo fan not reconnected but if you drive it might
cause damage to the headgasket and the Toyota dealership may
use this activity against you.
Toyota what a feeling
Let me know how go get on
Question Australia-3-2 Headgasket Repeat Problems – Toyota  –  What a feeling
VehicleType=Toyota tarago

Subject=Head gaskets
comment=Dear Sir, LubeMobile replaced my cylinder head in late 1998. After
13,000ks my head gasket started to leak & they replaced it saying it was
faulty. Now 16,000ks later it’s done the same thing again. The car has
serviced regulary and has not had any overheating problems. I have been
using good quality oil for older engines and a good quality coolent. The
engine block and head show no signs of corrosion. The leak occured between
the water jacket and the rear cylinder. They used a mono-torque ACL Gasket
which they have sent back to ACL. This was over a week ago and my engine (
3y ) is still sitting in pieces, despite e-mails to LubeMobile and ACL I
have had no answers from them. Have you any idea’s, and do you get any
complaints regarding LubeMobiles service.
Yours Sincerely
Kim in all fairness LubeMobile is a company that supply mechanic’s
To answer your question you are the first to inform me of a problem but the
problem is not with LubeMobile
If the headgasket, and or cylinder head has become faulty, this is not the
fault of LubeMobile but the fault of either
and head reco company and or the head gasket maker ACL
I completely understand how you must feel but a mechanic can’t be to blame
for the failure of automotive parts
They must be upset also that this is a repeat problem, let me also add I
cannot even recommend any company because every time I do
I’m getting negative feedback so Kim you are not on your own here its a
problem on the increase
Who have you spoken to about this head gasket problem (Darren)
I have spoken to and e-mailed ‘Mr Paul Sayer from
LubeMobiles Head Office’ as well as ‘Mr Richard Seduikis’ the manager in
Melbourne. I have also contacted ‘Mr Wayne Ryan’ in the ACL Gasket
manufacturing company in QLD.
I have received no reply at all from ACL and my last few e-mails to
Lubemobile have not been replied to. Also when the mechanic took my
apart he took my cylinder head with him when he left, I have asked that they
return the head ‘without having the evidence of where the Gasket problem
occured’ to me. As yet this has not been done, so I don’t even have a
whole engine.

from an extremely frustrated
Kim T
Thanks for your prompt reply Darren,
I would like to know who should be responsible for repairing the car,
I only dealt with LubeMobile, they supplied the reco head and the gasket, surely
it’s their responsibility to take the matter up with their suppliers.
This would depend on the warranty you have on the invoice, also it maybe the
case of several parties could be partly to blame
the aim is for you to get your Toyota on the road
Question 3-3 Brake Caliper Size
username=Peter O’Neill
VehicleType=1969 Mustang Fastback
DistanceTravelled=”Many” not a suitable answer

Subject=Brake Caliper size
comment=Hi Darren,
I am doing up a 1969 Mustang Fastback and I want to do a brake upgrade.  It
is fitted with factory discs on the front.  I have sourced a set of
performance calipers (wilwood Dynalite) for it.  I also want to fit DBA
Longlife rotors to it (cross drilled and slotted).  The discs for this
particular car are 24mm wide.  The calipers I have sourced are 31.8mm wide.
Are these two parts compatible, or are the calipers too big or small for
those discs?
I hope you can help me out with my enquiry.
Peter.  Brisbane, Qld, Oz.
Answer -This Answer was directed to DBA
Peter I have made several attempts to make contact with Phillip Joseph at
DBA but until now he has not supplied any information
that I can help you with but I will try again because this is a question for
DBA E-mailed  there Answer
Dear Peter & Lucas,
Please note, I have not received or been informed of any of your enquiries by either email or via other communication.
I am always willing to help any enquiry.
We manufacture many discs for our customers throughout Australia & overseas ( Baer Racing, AEM, etc ).
Re: 1969 Mustang upgrade:
We do not recommend a specific disc.
You have not mentioned any Diameter… 330mm ???
This diameter is popular 330mm x 32mm ???
Off-set = hat ???
If you could supply a dimensional drawing,
diameter, thickness, off-set, center hole etc
Please take note, we cannot suggest or recommend upgrade, due to legal reasons.
No warranty can apply to our product, except for Government laws re: manufacturing liability.
We gaurantee our discs against any fault in manufacture, not for any use other than standard replacement.
I am happy to discuss further, however I would appreciate if you could telephone me, its quicker and I can answer specific details.
Kind Regards
Phillip Joseph DBA
02 – 9748 0211 Bus.
Question 3-4 Mitsubishi Mirage with poor fuel consumption
username=James P
VehicleType=1996 Mitsubishi Mirage

Subject=Excessive Fuel Consumption
comment=Dear Virtual Mechanic,
I have just bought a 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage with Automatic transmission.  I
am having trouble with excessive fuel consumption.  The specifications for
the car are that it should get 5.2L/100km on the highway and 7.6L/100km in
the City.  I have tested it on the highway and I am only getting 7.0L/100km!
Very bad!  The car is in excellent condition, mechanically, however the
Automatic transmission may need a service. What do you think the problem is?
Are you or the driver a lead foot
Well, no.  That’s not exactly the answer I was looking for.  Can you please
have a bit more of a think about it and then get back to me.  I want a
serious answer please.  If you don’t have any idea, please say so.
Regards, James.
James I’m sorry I have no idea or perhaps are getting too many questions to
answer its a free service
but I cannot help all the people all the time
The Obvious question is who is servicing the car and are they changing the
air cleaner
Air may look ok but may still cause an excessive fuel consumption
Drivers like to blame anything but there bad habits
Example I renewed a set of disc pads for a customer, he comes back after 1
month and says they need to be changed again
He is not happy I ask him are you a lead foot answer NO I saw him on the
road driving his car and sure enough
he was showing to be an aggressive brake driver but he wanted to blame me
the bad mechanic for selling a set of disc pads that didn’t last
Sure you might think well it also depends on the rotor thickness, etc etc
So to answer your question the EFI will use according to what the foot
dictates, factors like correct servicing and driver history all have alot to
do with fuel consumption
Finally the only way is to measure the problem on a dyno and scope this way
you can see what the engine is doing and how the engine is coping
Dear Darren,
Thankyou very much for your reply.  I am sorry I was a bit rude in my last
email, I am having a bad day at work.  Thanks for your help.  I have just
changed the air cleaner and it was very dirty!  But I have another question;
How does the air filter affect the fuel economy in an EFI engine?  Doesn’t
the fuel enter the manifold in precise metered amounts from the injector,
hence the air should not affect it?  I don’t understand why it would affect
it, and how much it would affect it.
The EFI is not smart enough to realize if the air cleaner is blocked, all
the EFI can do is what it is programmed to do.
Modify the mixture to keep or maintain smooth running
If the air cleaner is offering any resistance and all air must flow via the
air cleaner then the EFI will consume more fuel
remember that your car may also be required to be driven in the high country
where the air is thinner therefore Mr Car maker has factored all possible
scenarios to keep or maintain Max power the trade off is “A dirty air
cleaner adds value to John Howard’s back pocket as we can pay more taxes by
purchasing more fuel”.
Dear Darren,
Thanks very much for your reply.  It has helped me to understand how it all
works a little better.  Thanks for your help.
Cheers, James.
Question 3-5 Toyota – Harmonic Balancer Spare Part not available
VehicleType=Toyota Camry LE 1998
DistanceTravelled=70,000 kms
State=Pasig Manila


I have a Toyota Camry 98 (70,000 kms) with a 2.2 L    4 cyl engine.
The crankshaft pulley  separated so I brought it to a Toyota dealer and
was there for for a week.  They said that the part (No. 1340874041 ) is not
yet available and doesn’t know when the part is gonna arrive.  I finally
decided to pull out the unit and went to a Toyota parts dealer but got the
same answer.
Can I just have it welded and balanced?  Is this the right thing to do or
would it cause more damage in the long run?
And how do I loosen the screw that holds the crankshaft pulley: clockwise
or counter-clockwise?
I’d really appreciate your reply on this. Thank you.

The crankshaft pulley is also known as the Harmonic balancer, and it has a
purpose and that is to balance the vibration of the internal combustion
engine, from idle to full throttle all engines require a harmonic balancer
As far as Toyota not having the parts in stock, this is something very
annoying perhaps they should offer a parts service agreement.
A company that cannot provide a harmonic balancer, then perhaps this is
something to be remembered when you go shopping for another feeling.
Question 3-6 HONDA – Do I get a low mile engine or not ???
VehicleType=Honda Prelude 2.1
VehicleAge=11 years (1991)
DistanceTravelled=90,000 miles
Country=am Cdn in USA

Subject=??worth replacing blown engine
I am delighted to find your site and am writing with sore butt from kicking
myself hard for not checking my oil recently.  Rod broke yesterday producing
hole in bottom of engine(Ouch!) I have murdered my car. I can get used
engine imported fr Japan with 40-50k miles for US$2K installed.  Do you
think is worth it? BTW I paid US$3,500 for the car at 80,000miles; it is 5
speed standard and in amazing shape – virtually new.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUT, I appreciate that you offer this.
I have had the experience of using the imported engine’s and they can be a
pain in the trunk, because for some reason some items are different
this is really a question for you
If you intend to keep this beautiful looking vehicle for a long time then
find a good shop to overhaul the engine
If you intend to get rid of the vehicle in the short term then get the
supposed low mile engine
The items to watch out for on a jap motor are slightly different ignitions
systems and timing belts not to mention a different type of alternator
and or sump
Question 3-7 1 of many whom just don’t understand how to fill a simple form out
1992 Toyota Previa Van
130,000 miles, Automatic Transmission
Front Wheele Drive
Yes, we have information on Road Safety
USA, Florida
SUBJECT:  Spark Plug Replacement; 1992 Toyota Previa Van

We have a 1992 Toyota Previa Van, 4 clyinder, with 130,000 miles, that we are attempting to change the Spark Plugs.  I can get the two rear plugs removed, but there is not enough clearance between the firewall and the engine to pull the spark plug wires off the two foward plugs.  How do I replace the two front spark plug wires with such little clearance?

Thank You,

Ray Desvousges
Fill the form out and wait for our reply how hard is that…………………………..
Question 3-8 Hyundai Lantra Spark plug leads @ 24,000
username=Aviva Goldman
VehicleType=Hyundai Lantra

Subject=spark plug leads
comment=Is it reasonable that the all spark plug leads are wearing out on my
1999 Lantra which has only done 24,000. I had one replaced (not under
warranty) because car was “missing” and Hyundai wanted to replace all 4 at
great expense to me. Car is now driving okay.

Please forgive me for say the following about Hyundai.
It does not surprise me that the leads required replacement at  only
24,000Kms and I agree this is wrong but you only get what you pay for,
now this is where I also do not understand how such a cheap purchase price
can command a very high service cost and most Hyundai owners
get a shock when its time for servicing to see an expensive invoice
To answer your specific question it is normal practise to renew all leads at
one time to eliminate any possibility for the other leads to fail
However I believe Hyundai should wave the charge given that the vehicle has
only travelled 24,000kms
The big question in my mind is how can the RACV rate a Hyundai car of the
year when they are acting for there members
Someone said to me once money talks all languages.

I hope this helps

PS RACV are you still acting for YOUR members ????????…………..
Question 3-9 Mitsubushi Express 4WD
VehicleType=Mitsubishi Express 4WD


Subject=Is this a good vehicle to drive around Oz?
comment=Greetings virtual mechanic
I’m about to buy a Mitsubishi 4WD next week in which to drive around Oz (I
want a camper van that takes me to remote places, but I don’t want a truck).
Trouble is, I’ve been told it’s not a good idea to get a van (Mitsubishi or
Toyota Hiace) because the parts are hard to find in remote places.
Considering we won’t be in a rush to get from town to town, and we won’t
mind spending an extra, say, $100 on the delivery parts, do you still think
it’s a bad idea?

Yours gratefully
Good question but next time if you send it more than once I’ll let your
tyres down

You just may find better mechanic’s in the bush like I did, in Catherine NT.
I’d consider the Mitsu because I have one and have taken it everywhere (Only
on sealed roads) in Australia
Mitsubishi made a huge mistake when they made the L300 Van, because its one
of the most reliable vans made
As far as getting parts, I’d be real careful who I’d listen too, as you know
there is an expert on every corner.

The only thing I decided to do is keep on the sealed roads because some
corrugated roads can do alot of damage to the suspension
Question 3-10 unable to fill a simple form out for a free service
Hello, i have recently purchased a 1995 vw golf with 82000 miles on it.  Just the other day, i started the car and the idle raced up to 20 which I thought was fine seeing that it did drop after about 10 seconds.  however the idle appears to be looping from normal to 15-20 back down to normal idle.  this does not happen all the time, but i sense this still may be detrimental to the automobile. ANY SUGGESTIONS
Fill the form out ……………………………………………..
Question 3-11 Car Manuals
username=dawn woolley
VehicleType=Mitsubishi Sigma Sedan G.J. 1982

Subject=car manual
comment=Dear Sir/Madam,
I’m looking for a car manual for a friend of the model car as above. Do you
know where I might find an old manual? Dawn
Go here
Question 3-12 VR Commodore Sticking Throttle
VehicleType=VR Commodore

Subject=High reving
comment=I have a 1993 VR Commodore V6. My main problem with it at the moment
is the high revs. More often than not the engine revs high – as opposed to
idling normally (500rpm) it will idle at 2000 rpm. It does this when it
feels like it. When driving the car it is always “pushing forward”
especially when sitting at traffic lights, and at lower speeds (60Kmh) When
declerating from higher speeds (80Kmh to 110Kmh) It “pulses” and rocks the
car forwards unless i put my foot on the accelerator. It is like it is
hunting, without actually hunting. If i put the car in nuetral(while driving
or stationary) the “hunting” stops. But the revs go up to 2000rpm.
It seems to me that there is a fuel blockage or something up with the
injectors . I have just recently had the knock sensor replaced due to a
problem with stalling. (Which it has solved) but this particular problem
seems to be getting more frequent. I did a test today with it when it was
“playing up”. I pulled away from the kerb without touching the accelerator.
Within 1 km i was up to 60kmh!!!! After that i had to accelerate to get to
the 80km speed limit….After about an hour of driving (high speed
80-110kmh) it stopped doing it and went back to normal, for another half an
hour of driving. After not driving it for about 2 hrs it was then back to
high reving as soon as i started it. On a cold start it either revs high or
revs normally and it is the same for hot starts. I should mention also that
i have had the transmission replaced 5 times over the last 9 yrs.(I bought
it new) This was due to it slipping and the last time the trans completely
lost the plot. It still slips but it is ok most of the time. Could the high
reving be somehow related to this?
Any help would be much appreciated,
Could be a damaged inner cable but it should not be driven as it may cause
an accident in the wet
Question 3-13 Transfer Case
VehicleType=1994 Chevy Blazer
Country=United States
State=New York

comment=My Blazer spits out transmission fluid from the overflow tube on hot
days.  My husband and I thought it was comming from the transmission and
found out it was from the transfer case instead.  How do we correct this
problem without taking it to a garage and spending a fortune.  My husband
has done all of our mechanical work on all of our vehicles from the 1965
chevy  Malibu to the 1998 chevy s10,  granted the 1965 is much easier and
less complicated.  Any help from you will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Judy.  oopps I forgot to add it is 4 wheel drive.
Sorry not sure
Question 3-14 Head Gasket
username=Dan Roth
VehicleType=Ford Probe
Subject=Head Gasket Sealants
comment=I have a 95 Ford Probe with a 2.0L engine.  The water pump failed
and the engine overheated.  Two of the four cylinders get coolant into them
and of course it is difficult to start the engine.  I tried “Blue Devil”
sealant to seal the possible blown head gasket.  It worked for 3 days then
leaked again.  Do you know of any sealant that works well?
Dan Roth, Pennsylvania, USA
I think get it repaired
Question 3-15 Toyota Vienta V6 (Toyota say no to LPG) can I fit gas ?…….
VehicleType=Toyota Vienta V6

Subject=LPG conversion for Toyotas
Question: can Toyota engines (particularly Vienta V6) take LPG conversion?

Background: I have a Vienta V6.  The need to increase travel has me
thinking of LPG,  but have come across conflicting
1)  Some say any modern engine that can take unleaded petrol can take LPG.
Others, say LPG needs specially hardened valves
& seats etc, as LPG is even drier & burns hotter than unleaded petrol.
And ‘ordinary’
Toyota engines are thus not LPG compatible.

2)  I called up Toyota – the official stance is “LPG not recommended”.
Yet, I also found out (friend in oil industry) that almost all taxis in
Japan run on LPG.  And most taxis are Toyotas!  Unless, of course, there
is actually a different engine for taxis.  I am unable to find this out,
as I can’t read Jap websites.

Have you come across any problems with valve seat recession?
Any info gratefully received
This is a very good question because my answer will change from year to
I had to ring my friend at RL Walker, Noble Park 9791 2549 where Rod
installs LPG to almost any and every vehicle
he also has alot to do with taxis.
This is the following answer
The Toyota is able to be fitted with LPG but the reason why Toyota may say
no is because you will require engine work in the long term.
Its to do with the valves, even tho they are hydraulic they require shims to
prevent any premature wear.
Using gas may require the vales and seats to be check more closely at
service intervals
If your Mr private and travelling about 25,000 kms per year then it “may”
take several years before major work is required.

The taxis in Japan may only operate for X amount of Kms before they are
change over or repaired.
For some reason Toyota may not be interested in running vehicles on gas this
is there right but at a cost to many.

I want to offer another idea, and that is Mitsubishi Magna is bringing out a
factory fitted LPG vehicle this to me is a much better idea because
they seem to listen to there customer needs and are able to make the effort
to change.

Chris I hope this has helped you I know changing the feeling to a Mitsubishi
Magna is at a cost but your pocket will benefit in the long term.


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