Some of this week's Letters to the Editor!

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Drive Right Wrong

In response to your article "Drive Right Buy" so many of the driving schools these days teach you how to pass the RTA driving test. As a late learner (24 and still one more year on those damn green Ps) I shopped around for what I hoped was the best driving school I could find. I still remember the bloke's comment to me the first lesson "By the end of this you're going to hate me; I'm not here to teach you how to pass the test". He taught me a great deal more about driving than I suspect most driving schools do.

After reading that article I'm surprised as to how much I am doing right - specifically the constant monitoring of what's going on around me. One concession that I feel was left out was that if you do leave a three second gap it'll quickly get filled up with cars and it's a constant battle, a heightened awareness of what's going on around you compensates for this a certain amount.

As one of those "young and cool" drivers it does concern me that although statistically we're the worst drivers things like the side street example are not necessarily the fault of a young driver. So often I have seen cars merge into 80km rounds and dawdle their way up to the speed limit causing everyone to jump on the anchors. Certainly the driver going in a straight line should be watching but common sense says that you don't take 20-30seconds to reach the speed limit. Then there is the driver who merges onto a 100 - 110km hour road at 80-90km's an hour, this is just outright stupidity and a very serious accident just waiting to happen.

I think it would be really interesting to get a group of people together who have been driving for 5, 10, 20 and 30 years together and put them through the RTA learners test, the RTA driving test and the new hazard perception test.

Young drivers don't have the experience to get out of every situation; my concern is that older more experienced drivers are just as culpable.

Stephen Morison
Surry Hills, Australia

Yes, older drivers can be dangerous, too. But statistically... GT

Suba rude

It seems Subaru Australia was hurt by AutoSpeed's comments!

David's response seems to assume that readers of AutoSpeed are not objective enough to interpret the good from the bad in AutoSpeed's testing of cars. It would be fair to say that by reading AutoSpeed consistently an intelligent (as I'm sure most AutoSpeed readers are!) individual would pick up the licence used and intuitively grasp the whole story of the 'tell-it like-it-is' style that AutoSpeed delivers.

Lighten up David! For $55,130 the STi seems like a great value compromise.

Phil Barnett,
Sydney, Australia

Silent Power

Hello, I'm writing in response to your 'Pipe Perfection' articles where you install and test a VariFlow butterfly valve [Starts at "Pure Pipe Perfection - Part 1"].

I'm interested in picking half a dozen or more of these up for our MR2 car club here in the US. I'm just wondering if they're still in business, and if they sell to the public. I'll try to call them tomorrow if I can figure out the time zone thing, I just figured you guys might be in more direct contact than I.


Burbank, USA

VariFlow Technology (Australia) tells us it has sold many of its variable back-pressure exhaust valve systems into the US in recent times. Contact: 0409 288 347 - don't forget the international prefix. MK

Modding A CRV

Why are there not more aftermarket mods for Honda CRVs? I understand that as a car they are not a sports car and as a 4WD they are not a 4WD. I think the CRV is built off the Civic platform and considering how many CRVs there are on the road I can't see why they are not being catered for in the aftermarket. As an owner of one I would like to be adding simple mods such as exhaust, extractors as well as adding some other bells and whistles but this seems to not be catered for, any ideas, or reasons on this? I understand that in the strictest sense it isn't a sports car but neither was a Barina, Astra, Laser or Magna for that matter, in my humble opinion.

Adam Metcalfe
Mornington, Australia

Numbers on the road doesn't always equate to desire to modify. Just ask any Toyota Camry driver. But it's not impossible: Check out "Obsessive Compulsive" and see why! Why not do simple mods yourself, with the help of local workshops? Intake and exhaust mods, for instance, have been covered in detail in AutoSpeed. Use our site search function to find the plethora of tech articles to get you on your way! GT

Falcon Flat Spots...

In your article 'Out the exhaust' Part 1, you touched on a problem I seem to be experiencing at the moment. I have a Ford EF II Falcon 1995 6cyl, which I've had extractors and a 2 ½-inch system fitted to. I am experiencing the flat spots and uneven torque you described. My mechanic said it is running lean and has sourced a modified cam and new chip that he says should fix the problem. I have also heard that the problem could be the result of the positioning of the oxygen sensor on the extractors. What do you think?

Daniel Jackson
Canning Vale, Australia

A simple exhaust change will not get a Falcon running lean, but it might open up a hole in low-rev throttle response. Although a cam and a management change may be worthwhile, it shouldn't be 'sold' to you as a 'fix'. You sure your mechanic knows what he's doing? GT

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