Does my eight-month-old car from the bond already need servicing?
Posted Thursday, October 10 2013 at 01:00
Thanks a lot for your informative research ireflected n your articles. I appreciate. I am requesting for answers as to why when I start the engine of my Prado and also when I am accelerating uphill, the check engine sign appears. My mechanic told me that my fuel filter needs to be changed. I disagree with him because this is a “new car” (eight months from the time I purchased it from the bond). Please advise what would be the problem and solution if any.
Your mechanic may have a point when he recommends a replacement of the Prado fuel filter. Without the benefit of seeing your vehicle mileage (kilometres covered - on the clock) or knowing whether it has a petrol or diesel engine, I can only suggest that it is prudent to eliminate the obvious causes of the check engine light. This fault light is the engine’s distress sign when something is amiss with the engine emission system. The culprit can be any of the following: worn out spark plugs (in the case of a petrol engine), a dirty air filter, a leaking vacuum hose, clogged throttle potentiometer (petrol engine), or reduced fuel delivery pressure due to a bad fuel filter or clogged fuel injectors.
While you may have recently registered your Prado, it has covered some mileage in its past life and ought to be serviced. Consider a computer diagnosis for quick identification of the problem (loss of fuel pressure, ignition coil fault, air intake or air metering fault). If your mileage is above 100,000kms it would be prudent to renew all fluids: Engine oil, transmission fluid, transfer case fluid, differential oil, engine coolant, check or renew brake fluid and steering fluid depending on the condition (dark brown with strong smell is aged). The air filter, fuel filter and oil filter should also be changed if you have not done your first service.
I recently bought a 2000 model Land Rover Freelander 2.5 litre V6 with 90,000 miles on the clock. I have not enjoyed this car since I got it because of persistent overheating and leakage of radiator coolant which boils out of the coolant bottle or leaks from the hose. What could be the cause of my misery?
Your Land Rover Freelander 2.5 cc V6 needs an inspection of the entire engine cooling system having covered 150,000km. Your repair technician should confirm that the water pump runs without noise and does not leak. Check that the thermostat housing does not leak or possibly consider replacing it as a precautionary measure given the high mileage and possibly corrosion damage due to a history of irregular coolant change. Confirm the integrity of the plastic coolant reservoir and its screw cap. Ensure that all vinyl and rubber coolant hoses are not damaged, loose or leaking as this lets vacuum into the cooling matrix and causes vacuum lock. Confirm that the electric engine blower fan switches on promptly and alternates the three speed levels in accordance to temperature change. Lastly, confirm that the bleeding screw at the back of the engine is used to prime the cooling system and relieve it of vacuum after repair work. If you are uncertain about the bleeding procedure do not hesitate to ask about it again.
I have a 1998 Toyota Premio whose oil pressure low sign flashed on the dashboard recently. When I checked the oil level, it was low. I topped up and drove home but the oil pressure sign kept flashing at intervals. This car was serviced recently, some leaking seals were replaced and the oil switch tightened. When I later drove home that same day, the flashing resumed after about 20 minutes. What could be the issue?
If the dip stick shows a full oil level and you have just had an oil and filter service, then low oil level obviously isn’t your problem. The oil pressure may be low because of a worn out oil pump or a blocked oil pickup screen in the engine’s crankcase.
You need to confirm that there is sufficient oil pressure. Another possibility is excessive piston bearing wear, which may explain your recent engine oil top ups. You have to note how frequent you need to top up and what quantities are needed. Should further inspection reveal that there is sufficient oil pressure, then you will need to replace the oil pressure switch (sender unit) which can give you a wrong reading when it fails.
I drive a Toyota Mark II Quallis, 1998 model. I would like you to advise me which Shell oil is suitable for it. Do they have good spark plugs?
Your Toyota Mark II 1998 will run well on the Shell Helix HX5 engine oil. It is sold in yellow plastic cans at all Shell fuel and service stations. Helix HX5 is a good choice for managing sludge and soot particles which are an inevitable result of engine combustion. This oil is formulated with additives which clean the engine, reduce overheating and volatility of oil. HX5 provides better oxidation and viscosity index for a longer service life and oil change interval.
These benefits guarantee the engine’s long life, better performance and improved fuel economy. You can find this engine oil at any Shell fuel station near your neighbourhood. If you provide the correct chassis and engine details of your car the correct spark plugs can be identified and supplied by Toyota Uganda or any of the reputable independent Toyota parts dealers who have Toyota electronic parts catalogues like Mandela on Ben Kiwanuka street, Freeway at Kisekka market, Fontana at 6th street industrial area.