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ASK THE EXPERTS

Sydney Morning Herald

Friday February 25, 2011

I've just noticed, after giving my car a good wash, that it sustained some hail damage during a storm in late December. It isn't too noticeable; is it worth getting it fixed? The car is a 2005 Hyundai Sonata, the insurance excess is $600 would the difference in resale value be more than this?BenIt's very difficult without seeing the damage. A Drive contributor recently had two cars damaged in the December hail storms; both Commodores, very similar damage but two different insurance companies. One car's damage was quoted at $4500 so the excess was paid. The other was repaired for $500 by a repairer endorsed by the insurer, so no excess paid and no claim needed. So, depending on a number of circumstances, there can be big variations.Typically, people will shy away from buying a vehicle with hail damage unless they know about car repairing and can spot a bargain. If you plan on keeping the car and can live with the damage, you can save yourself some money but if you plan to sell the car it's probably best to have the damage fixed.I've heard from a couple of mechanics that even though most engines will run on E10 unleaded, fuel system components of most cars three or four years old will not cope with E10 long term, and components such as fuel pump seals will fail over time with ongoing use of E10. With the complete phasing out of non-ethanol, standard unleaded fuel in NSW next year, I don't want to run my 13-year-old Falcon on expensive premium unleaded for no benefit but I may be forced to if E10 will cause problems. Can you please shed some light on this?RobAny petrol engine will run on E10 but it has been known to cause issues when used constantly, even in modern vehicles. If your vehicle's manufacturer does not recommend E10, don't use it. If they do, it's important to remember when servicing the vehicle, particularly the fuel system, to use genuine parts to ensure components stay E10 compatible.As for your 13-year-old Falcon, Ford says it's OK to run on E10. Having said that, premium fuel has benefits: you will get more kilometres out of a tank using premium instead of regular unleaded or E10. It's also preventative maintenance as the detergents and additives in premium keep the fuel system and engine cleaner and free from carbon build-up. All this can make premium cheaper in the long run.

© 2011 Sydney Morning Herald

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http://www.mechanics.com.au/mechanics-articles/2011/2/25/ask-the-experts/