Worried about advice

TOUGH: Driver claims it costs a lot to service a Jeep Cherokee. Cicra 2009. Pic. Unknown.
TOUGH: Driver claims it costs a lot to service a Jeep Cherokee. Cicra 2009. Pic. Unknown.

I own a 2005 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2,8 diesel. I have never had a problem with this vehicle ever since I bought it in 2005.

It is paid up and I am not planning to dispose of it in a hurry and get myself in vehicle debt again. However, my friend who owned an identical vehicle advised me to get rid of this vehicle as soon as possible. She claims that it is very expensive to maintain once it is outside its maintenance plan. She had to pay R14500 for the 80000km service, and she feels it is not worth it to keep this type of vehicle. I am discouraged by her comments. I use this vehicle every day to work as it is the only one I have. It has clocked 77000km. Please advise me. I don't want to buy another car now in view of the current economic situation.

Nomkhosi Shange


Nomkhosi, I don't know the details of what was done to your friend's Cherokee and why it was done, but I find it very hard to imagine how one can justify charging somebody R14500 for an 80000km service.

Unfortunately, it seems that this is the sort of thing that is happening in the motor trade, and therefore her experience and advice should be seriously considered when you decide whether or not to keep your car.

But I also understand that you are reluctant to part with a vehicle that has given you no trouble whatsoever. Your best course of action may be to find a reliable, experienced, well-equipped private mechanic to do the routine servicing of the Cherokee, as and when it becomes necessary.

That way you will avoid the massive bills from the agents, but your car will still be looked after to ensure long-term reliability.

There is a major job waiting for you on the Cherokee, and that is the replacement of the cambelt. It has to be done every 100000km, and this is one job that I would prefer to entrust to the agents, even though it is going to be expensive. (I was quoted R3453 for parts and R2635 for labour when I enquired at a dealer, but you should always get a new quote beforehand because prices change).

Where to find the phantom mechanic who is trustworthy, experienced and professional? They are scarce, but they do exist. Ask around. Try to take along a knowledgeable, streetwise friend along when you go to see him, and ask lots of questions. An honest guy wouldn't mind answering them. Good luck.

Could you please advise me about my car's indicators that now and then flash very fast. The car is a 2005 model Opel Corsa.

I have had this problem before and had to replace the indicator flasher unit in November 2008. This resulted in the problem being solved immediately.

But about two weeks ago it started again. I have checked the bulbs; I took them out while still flashing fast, then screwed them back into the housing. Thereafter the indicators have been flashing normally until this day. Will the problem occur again, and what is causing it ?



Rapidly blinking indicators can be caused by two things: A faulty flasher unit or dirty contacts somewhere in the circuit, often in the globes' housing.

The latest occurrence seems to be due to dirty contacts, judging by the results of your (very clever!) investigation. I suggest you take all the indicator globes out, clean the contacts carefully with very fine emery paper to get them bright and shiny, then spray one of the specially formulated electrical contact cleaners on all contacts before refitting the globes.

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