Holden Barina Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Holden Barina reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
E10 petrol phase-out
You're correct; it is being phased out in NSW in 2011. It is likely that it will also be phased out in Queensland once legislation is passed by the parliament there, but there's no timing for that yet. In all other states the situation will remain as it is at the moment. The changeover is going to be similar to that which happened when unleaded fuel replaced leaded fuel. BP guarantees its E10 fuel for all vehicles regardless of age; they say they find the additives make no difference to the fuels. Caltex and Shell are likely to follow with similar guarantees.
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Holden Barina 2003: What is the best petrol to use?
The jury is out about E10 at the moment; it is supposed to be satisfactory for modern cars, but there are too many reports like yours that suggest that's not quite right. You could run the Barina on premium unleaded and not have a problem and that's probably the best thing to do if you are concerned about ethanol.
Holden Barina 2009: Static interference issue
I'm told that the analog AM signals being transmitted at the moment are not the best quality, stations are concentrating more on the digital signals and neglecting the analog signals that will disappear, which might explain your problems. We're also told that a reception problem should affect all stations, not just one as you suggest, and our radio expert is at a loss to explain why the interference might be worse when the brakes are applied. Perhaps take it to your local radio specialist and have them check it out for you.
Ford Focus: Can it run on E10?
The Barina will run happily on E10 and I doubt the dealer's advice about the "emission light". Ford, on the other hand, recommends you use the higher octane rating premium fuel, hence the advice not to use E10. Your Focus will run on E10, probably without any trouble, but it will run better on premium unleaded.
Holden Barina 2005: Linkage kit installation?
Yes, any competent mechanic can do it, there’s no need to have a Holden dealer do the work.
Holden Barina 2003: Groaning gearbox
Yes, it is worth checking. It could just be leaking and need new seals, but it really depends on the rate of the leak. If it’s leaking at a rapid rate you should be able to see oil on your driveway, if it’s not it might just be that you need to check it once a week and top it up as needed. If you are worried take it to your dealer, or an auto transmission specialist.
Holden Barina 2006: ABS unnecessary?
The advice you have received from your mechanic is bad; ABS is an important safety system and should be repaired to proper working order as soon as possible. Definitely do not have it disconnected. A regular mechanic should be able to find the fault and repair it, but I would recommend you take it to a Holden dealer, despite your fears about the cost.
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