Car and bike questions? We have the answers

Will the petrol Nissan Terrano be a good choice? Is it a Nissan engine?

Rajesh Majumdar

The Terrano’s petrol engine is actually a Renault engine and not a Nissan. Though the petrol motor is adequately powered and feels quite smooth, the car itself is not generously equipped as it is not available in the higher levels of trim. It’s best to stick to the diesel Terrano which is not only e plusher but will get you a better resale price too.

There is a lot of talk about clean fuels like CNG and LPG nowadays. I want to know the relative emission percentage of a petrol-powered vehicle compared to an LPG-run car. Also, can a diesel car be converted to run on LPG?

Dhiraj Kotai

Whenever a fossil fuel is burnt, emissions and carbon dioxide is produced so no fuel is 100 percent clean. But comparatively, alternative fuels such as CNG and LPG are cleaner than petrol and diesel as they produce lesser emissions (hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide along with lower levels of carbon dioxide (which is said to be responsible for greenhouse effect/global warming). Converting diesel vehicles to run on LPG isn’t possible, reason being that LPG needs a spark plug (like a petrol engine) to ignite and a diesel engine doesn’t have one, as it works on compression ignition (with glow plugs). So you will have to install spark plugs and a relevant CDI (to control the ignition). Even if you manage to install the spark plugs and relevant controlling hardware, you will be unable to use diesel anymore.

I own a three-and-a-half-year old Honda City which has done about 28,000km. The 2+2 year extended warranty is still valid. Last week, during my regular service, I had to get the brake pads replaced. However, I had to pay for the replacement. Are these parts not covered under Honda’s warranty?

Biju Nair

Brake pads are considered consumables since they wear out with regular use and not because of a manufacturing defect, just like tyres and engine oil are also consumables. Since warranty does not cover consumables, Honda will charge you for replacing the same.

I own a Maruti Ritz and recently noticed that the steering has become light. There’s no problem when driving in the city, but on the highway, it feels very different. The ride is not poised as it used to be. Could you please help with this problem?

Balaji Vijayalayan

Did your Ritz come back from a service before you noticed the issue? If that is the case, it might be something that was done during the service. First, ensure that it isn’t a case of bad alignment, so take your car to a reputed wheel-balancing outlet and ensure that all camber and toe values are as they should be, and check weight balancing as well. If everything seems okay, take the car to the authorised service centre and have the dampers, steering knuckle, control arms, tie-rod joints and even the spring inspected. Even a slight misalignment or damage can skew the handling and steering feel of the car, and can be dangerous as well.