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Some of this week's Letters to AutoSpeed!

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Loves the Freshness...

I liked the "Fresh Out of Japan" article - any chance of more articles like these (apart from Part 2!)? Thanks.

Samuel Quadflieg

This series is proving very popular - we'll certainly try to create some more stories along similar lines.

New VY Wagon

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It was interesting to read the article on the VY Wagon. I did notice that some of the equipment details were wrong though - ABS and dual airbags are standard on all VY Commodores. Point taken on the lack of T/C on the Executive wagon. Unfortunately, I think you will find that T/C (when available) is usually inactive when running on LPG.


We checked and you're right - ABS and dual front airbags are standard, but side airbags (as fitted to the test car) are an option.

Blastin' Benz

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Great Site - very good technical articles. I have a 1999 Mercedes C280 with Bosch ME 2.0 or 2.8 ECU control. The mass air sensor is a film type. My question is, from your experience, is it okay to remove the front plastic and metal screens on the MAS? The car seems to have more power at high revs with the screens gone and good drivability under all conditions. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

Jeff Short

We've removed the wire mesh screens from two of our cars (Audi S4 and Holden Commodore VL Turbo) and have experienced no problems. As you say, performance is improved and response is sharpened. It is, however, a good idea to check air-fuel ratios and ignition timing after the screens have been removed - chances are everything will remain fine.

Wet Weather Grip

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I read with great interest your recent story "The Slippery Stakes - Wet Road Tyre Grip." It reminded me of a time when I was out at Calder in Melbourne's West in my '76 Lancia Beta Coupe; it started to rain, and my brand new Bridgestone RE71s had so much more grip than the regular street tyres, all of a sudden I seemed to become competitive (I was still at less than the ragged edge.... it was my pride and joy at the time.)

Now, with more years and living in a climate with good winter snow, I wonder what changes would be affected with temperature variations and tread depth variations. Hopefully we'll see that out of SAE at some point in the future.

I would encourage you to consider submitting this to the NRMA "OpenRoad" /RACV magazine (maybe a good plug for AutoSpeed). Keep up the great work. I look forward to your issue every week - and I'm still not through all the archives...

Stephen Garran

Measure Me Up

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You guys are doing a great job as usual. Just wondering if you can include engine measurements with the Japanese engines article? Thanks.


We'll certainly look into grabbing the measurements of some locally available engines in the near future - stay posted!

Kia Gear?

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for a job well done on your site. I like your site very much - it's very informative for automotive enthusiasts like me. Also, I find your online shop very useful and convenient and have purchased many items from you; I greatly recommend your site to all my friends.

Currently, I intend to improve the performance of my other car - it's a Kia Spectra 1.6 (Malaysian version comes with a 1.6 instead of 1.8-litre engine). My first project shall be CAI (cold air induction). I noticed that you carry BMC filters range of products; I've been reading on the BMC website regarding their Cold Dynamic Airbox system and I find them very attractive. I would certainly like to have one of these for my Kia, however I didn't find these available through your shop. Do you intend to carry these products? Also, I noticed on your BMC filters page your K&N product number cross-reference drop down list does not work.

Apart from these minor issues, your site is great! Again, thankyou for bringing us this great site.

Deric Wan

It seems - at present - BMC don't make a filter to suit Kia, but a K&N pod filter can be made to fit. Measure the amount under-bonnet of space there is for a filter in addition to the diameter of the filter mounting pipe and send the details to the AutoSpeed shop - we should have something to help your car breathe easy!

Smart Holden?

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Just correcting you on your Holden Ute test. You claimed that the ute was the only car you'd seen that allows the driver to change all the little settings like light timings, horn beeps and door unlocks. You have been able to do this on Toyota Camrys and Corollas for years now (at least back to 1998) and can probably do this on all other Toyotas - I've never driven others so wouldn't know. In the 1998 Corolla I have, you put the remote control into a holder in the glove box that lets you program other remotes to your car and also lets you program the doors. In our '99 Camry you turn the key between 0 and II three times and the security light comes on, then you can change horn beeps, door unlocks and headlight timings.

Would love to see you review a Lexus GS please!


We're not sure if Lexus will be too keen on handing us a GS300 after our test of the IS300!

Self-Shifting Evo?!

Just want to know if you have any articles on the automatic version of the 4G63 engines that is presently used in the current Evolution series. Was this the same engine that was used in earlier Galant models? I'm looking for more information on this as I'm driving an Evo VII GT-A right now mated to an automatic transmission.

Weicher Yeung

We haven't driven a GT-A Evo 7, but we can tell you the 4G63 DOHC turbo engine has been fitted to numerous Mitsubishi models, all the way back to the '89 - '92 Galant VR4. In Evolution GT-A spec, the engine is detuned from 'proper' Evo outputs to produce 200kW at 6500 rpm and 343Nm at 3500 rpm. According to the Mitsubishi Japan website, the current Galant VR-4 - even in auto guise - makes an extra 6kW.

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