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How do I stop the knocking in my Subaru’s suspension?

You’ve had previous correspondence about the knocking noise coming from the front-left wheel on a Subaru Liberty 3.6R sedan. I have a 2015 Liberty 2.5 Premium and have exactly the same issue on the same wheel and have been unable to resolve what is causing it.

Ron Dillon, email

You’re not alone but help is at hand …


My 2006 Outback had the same noise and I diagnosed it as the anti-sway bar link, after originally thinking it was coming from the coil springs or shock absorbers. The ball joints in the link were worn in this link and started to knock, metal-on-metal. A simple replacement of these links fixed the problem and there are plenty of aftermarket examples available online for about $50. To confirm this is the issue, you can rock the car or wheel while under the car with your hand on the ball joint.

Mark Poelczer, email

That’s great news from a cluey Subaru owner.


What do you think of advertising new-car warranties of seven or eight years? Most people may know that the new-car warranty is three or five years, and the added term is a dealer warranty, which does not include the coverage of a true new-car warranty. Do you think this is a cover-up by dealers to trap people into buying their vehicles? And should they disclose how the warranties differ?

Norman Warren, email

Extended warranties are a popular upsell by many dealerships but can have traps, including limited coverage and having to continue servicing the vehicle at the selling dealership. In my experience, very few people know — or have explained to them — what they are buying.


I own a Suzuki Swift, which has been a fantastic car. However, I have an issue with the cruise control. In my experience, after setting the cruise speed the cruise control on any given car will gently maintain the selected cruise speed for all conditions and specifically when the car hits an incline. Contrary to this, the Suzuki cruise control will drop down two gears and vigorously accelerate to resume the selected cruise speed. Its unnecessary and potentially dangerous. The service manager states that it is “completely normal operation for the car” but, while I accept this correct, I don’t accept that it should be standard operation for cruise control.

Lem, email

It’s impossible to diagnose without driving the car but the Suzuki has a tiny engine and that makes it harder to maintain a given speed under load. I’ve driven a number of small-capacity cars which had to downshift to hold a preset speed.


About 17 months ago I bought a used Peugeot from a dealer and was informed both verbally and in writing that a “three-year protection plan” was applicable. I was recently informed by Peugeot, however, that the plan was only applicable to the original owner and that I would be liable to pay for any repairs. Where do I stand?

Mark Agnew, email

This sounds like a dealer warranty, with limits on coverage. If you have a written confirmation of the plan then you need to go directly to the top at the dealership to get your answers.


What is all the fuss about space-saver spares? I’ve not had to use my spare tyre for at least 12 or 15 years. Get over it.

Jeff Anderson, email

Lots of people are concerned about spares, particularly country drivers, which is why they are so adamant about carrying full-size spares. Our family has had three flats in the past month, after years without a puncture, so it’s also come into much clearer focus for us.


I bought a Suzuki S-Cross in 2015 and it has been trouble-free. The dealership has ceased operating and I plan to use a local service centre, as long as they use Suzuki parts. It is recommended that the car is serviced every six months but is this really necessary as I have only clocked up 14,025km? Would it affect my five-year extended warranty if I service it only once a year?

Diane Calderbank, email

You need to service it by the book, although not at a Suzuki dealership, to keep the warranty current. Be very careful if you have an extended warranty (see above) — you should check the fine print as to your obligations.


Regarding the horizontally opposed engine design, the aviation industry has been well served by two manufacturers, Continental and Lycoming, in configurations of four, six and eight cylinders. The crankshaft does not require heavy counterweights to offset balance problems, giving an improved power-to-weight ratio, and boxers have proven durable and reliable.

Bill Cummins, email

Subaru, the biggest proponent of the boxer in recent times, has a history in aviation.


Do cars with dual-mode exhaust mufflers meet Australian Design Rule requirements? Judging by the full-throttle roar, and banging and popping on the overrun outside my place, I would suggest not. I have been out driving with two mates who reckon they turn their dual muffler set-ups down in town so the excessive noise doesn’t attract unwanted attention.

Ian Gibson, email

Such exhausts have a decibel limit but the noise measurements are done with the vehicle stationary and not under full load, which is why a quiet car at slow speed can make so much noise at full throttle.


Write to motoring at PO Box 2808, GPO Sydney 2001 or paul.gover@news.com.au.

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