Posted at 11:45am
A trend or a rare event?
Q: “Our 2015 Tiguan with 140,000 km on the clock just let us down. In the fall of 2021 we had to have the engine decarbonized (never had this problem in 50 years of driving) and now the drive belt has snapped and the engine has had a major breakdown, we were told by a dealer. We need to replace the engine. Cost: $10,000. Due to the age of the vehicle, it is recommended that it be scrapped. After some research, these issues led to class action lawsuits in the United States. Even a mechanic at a Volkswagen dealership told me it wasn’t uncommon. What’s in Canada? — Michael V.
A: First of all, you will understand that it is impossible for me to diagnose remotely. However, the phenomenon of carbon deposits leading to engine decarbonization (or decalcification, as the case may be) is nothing new or unusual and is generally related to the quality of gasoline sold in North America. There are relatively easy ways to check the engine’s coking rate. According to the manufacturer’s service manual, Volkswagen recommends inspection intervals and replacement every 150,000 km for changing the timing belt. As for the dispute, there have been several settlements in Canadian territory and one of them (Tiguan 2014-2018) concerns your vehicle. The Quebec Supreme Court approved the settlement on April 23, 2020. We encourage you to contact your retailer.
Q: After speaking to you, I have leased an Outlander plug-in hybrid for four years. My lease expires in nine months. I had planned to switch to a pure electric car but am considering buying my Outlander due to the delays, especially as you have already written that from an environmental point of view it is better to keep the car we already have. Is the Outlander a reliable vehicle after the warranty? – Lyne D.
A: In fact, it’s better to keep it. In addition, a recent study (2022) by the European NGO Transport & Environment recalls that the production of a new vehicle today generates around 6.7 tons of CO2 if it is equipped with a petrol engine. With the production of batteries, the balance sheet for an electric car increases by 4.6 tons. The Outlander is a dependable vehicle, and when the base warranty expires, the powertrain warranty extends for an additional five years (or 100,000 miles).
Accelerate the transition
Q: “I have a 2018 Honda CR-V with 60,000 km that is leased out next year. The redemption value is $14,500. I am toying with the idea of buying back my vehicle in order to resell it for a profit. I am now looking at the possibility of ordering a 2023 Chevrolet Equinox EV and think that by switching next year I could qualify for funding for both the purchase of an EV and the installation of a terminal. Also, I now save on the cost of gas and the cost of the mechanics of gas-powered vehicles. Is this justification valid? Should I consider another electric vehicle? I don’t need a vehicle as big as the CR-V. – Carole C.
A: Unless you need a vehicle as large as your current CR-V, the Equinox EV won’t be much more compact. Sticking with the Chevrolet brand, you might want to take a look at the Bolt EUV. That means your argument holds. First step, you should place an order. Then buy your current vehicle. Finally, synchronize the sale of your CR-V with the arrival of your future electric vehicle.
Know how to wait
Q: “I have an 11 year old Mazda 3 Sport that will probably need repairs soon. With two children, I would like to switch to a more spacious vehicle. I really like the Subaru Outback and Crosstrek, but also the Mazda CX-5 or CX-30. The reason also dictates that I consider the Toyota Corolla Cross. I’m considering switching to a hybrid vehicle, but I’m hesitant about delivery times. We also hear that certain safety elements are not present when the vehicle is delivered. Since we keep our vehicles for a long time, I find this disadvantageous in the long run. Having recently had some extra cash, I could now buy a new vehicle, so I find it kind of silly to lease and pay interest. However, a three-year lease would give me time to monitor the reliability of the hybrid versions of the vehicles under consideration, and I would have more choices. What to do ? Buy or rent? —Anne J
A: Your current vehicle might still have some under the hood, you know. The key to its longevity is – we cannot repeat it often enough – regular and preventive maintenance. Is there an emergency? nope ? So why not book a hybrid or even an electric vehicle? When making your selection, it should be noted that next year the Crosstrek will be completely redesigned and, for the time being, the outback will come to life only with petrol engines. The same goes for the Mazdas. Their idea of a Corolla Cross (a non-plug-in hybrid version is expected in the fall) isn’t bad either. You might also consider the upcoming CX-50 Hybrid (fairly similar in size to the coveted CX-5).