Thursday March 10 2016

Ask the mechanic: Should I buy a Mitsubishi IO or a Noah field tourer?

The Noah Field Tourer would be a better option

The Noah Field Tourer would be a better option because its spare parts are readily available and it has a low fuel consumption. File Photo 

By Paul Kaganzi

Hi Paul, Thank you for your priceless advice. What is the economic difference between Mitsubishi IO and Noah Field Tourer? Joseph.

Hello Joseph, the economics influencing your consideration of the Mitsubishi IO and Noah Field Tourer should be hinged on four factors: purchasing, maintenance, running costs and the resale value. The Mitsubishi cost ranges between Shs22m and Shs25m while the Toyota Noah Tourer is between Shs18m and Shs20m. The Mitsubishi IO maintenance cost is higher than the Toyota because its parts can only be found with a handful of dealers at a premium price while Toyota maintenance parts are more readily available. If well maintained the Mitsubishi IO has better fuel economy because of its fuel efficient gasoline direct injection (GDi) fuel delivery system. The Mitsubishi IO also has a better coefficient of drag (COD) or dynamic resistance against pressure on the road which makes it more economical to drive on the road. On the other hand a poorly maintained Mitsubishi IO doubles its repair and down time costs, coupled with the pricey and hard to find parts will erode the value of its lower running cost. When the curtain falls down and its time to part ways with the Mitsubishi IO it has a paltry Shs4m resale value while the more popular Noah Field Tourer will fetch Shs8m.

Hi Paul, Thank you for the wonderful advice. I want to buy a used car from our local bonds but am undecided between a Toyota Voltz 1.8 Petrol and Toyota Noah 2.2 Diesel. I wanted to have better ground clearance than usual sedans, good fuel economy, good carriage and maintenance as well as other pros. Please provide me with advice on this. Abd

Hello Abd, your car buying needs seem to be passenger space, ground clearance, good fuel economy and ease of maintenance. The Toyota Voltz is a five seater estate station wagon while the eight seater Toyota Noah van carries three more passengers more comfortably.
The Noah has a higher ground clearance and better fuel economy because it has a more fuel efficient diesel engine which gives an average of 15 km/ litre on the highway while the Voltz gives 12km/ litre. The diesel engine on the Noah costs more to service while the Voltz is cheaper to service. Noah’s parts are easier to find on the market and the better fuel economy makes up for the slightly higher maintenance cost. I advise that you go for the Noah.

Hi Paul, I have a Jeep Liberty 3.7l, sometimes when you start it, the engine shows signs of misfire and it is not smooth when driving and after driving for a long distance, I found out that I have to keep topping the water in the radiator reservoir. What could the problem? Bilba.

Hello Bilba, an internal combustion engine misfire is usually caused by any of the factors that affect the supply of spark, fuel and clean air. You need a good mechanic to inspect the ignition system. Check and confirm the condition of the spark plugs, high tension leads and coils. Should he draw a blank, he should evaluate the fuel pressure and decide whether the Jeep needs a fuel filter or fuel pump replacement. The air cleaner element should also be clean and the throttle potentiometer butter fly valve should not be restricted by accumulated soot. Coolant loss should be detected at the leaking point or where it leaves a pool. In your Jeep’s case, you don’t seem to have found the leaking point. Confirm that there is no coolant leaking gaskets or damaged hoses. The radiator, thermostat and engine block (housing) should be carefully examined for leaking coolant due to corrosion damage. In case you can’t find a leaking point confirm that the leakage is not internal that is to say, due to a damaged cylinder head gasket. In which case you will also need to confirm that the engine oil has not got traces of coolant. But this should be after you get indications of internal coolant leakage.

Hi Paul, Thank you for the good work. I have a problem with my RAV4 SXA11 with a manual transmission. These days, the engine oil reduces before the next service is due. I have no other problem with the car as it runs normally. The engine oil level light on the dash board is okay and does not show. However, whenever I go for service, the oil level is very low. What could be the problem? The car has covered 120,000 kilometers. My mechanic thinks it is the piston rings but it does not smoke, has not shown any loss of power and performance and there is no leakage Mbabazi, Kabale.

Hello Mbabazi, normally the low oil warning light on your Toyota RAV4 should switch on to alert you in the event that your oil level is dangerously low. Occasionally this light will not display even if your engine oil level is actually low due to a faulty oil pressure switch. This switch can be tested by a car electrician and easily replaced. The main cause of engine oil loss or drop in the level is leakage. An old engine like the one in your RAV4 can develop internal or external leaks especially when the oil change service is not regularly done or the quality of engine oil used does not have sufficient sealing or anti wear properties. Internal engine oil leaks often happen when engine piston rings or valve seals are damaged. This allows oil intrusion into the combustion chamber where it is burnt. The extent of this sort of damage will determine how much black smoke with traces of oil will be emitted with the engine exhaust. External engine oil leaks are easier to detect when engine oil seals or gaskets leak. The most notorious are the valve (top) cover and spark plug seals, these tend to leave traces of engine oil on the engine block or spark plugs. The engine oil pan or sump gasket, bolow the engine. The failure of distributor or camshaft seals, front or rear crank shaft seals will also leave traces of engine oil near the distributor or crankshaft at the front or rear of the engine. These need to be inspected carefully. Occasionally a failure of the engine blow by ventilation system can cause minor oil leaks as the Positive crankcase ventilator (PCV) valve fails to separate oil from the engine gases. The PCV valve usually fails due to accumulation of engine oil sludge and deposits which block it. Should the above checks not yield results check your engine coolant for traces of coolant mixed with engine oil. When the oil cooler in the radiator is damaged it can lead to a cross flow of oil into the cooling system or vice versa. This will also cause a drop of the engine oil level.

Ask the mechanic: By Paul Kaganzi
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