Thursday September 4 2014

Which Toyota is practical?

Above is aToyota TownAce van. It is more

Above is aToyota TownAce van. It is more practical than the Toyota Probox, Fielder and G-Touring that a reader inquired about. FILE PHOTO 

By Paul Kaganzi

I am interested in buying a multipurpose cost effective car suitable for an average person, who is partly in the village and partly in town. Of these which is better? Toyota Town ace van, Toyota Corolla van, Toyota Corolla G-touring, Toyota Probox and Toyota Corolla Fielder. Thank you.

By multipurpose I hope you mean passenger and cargo carrying capability. The Toyota TownAce van comes as both a two wheel or four wheel drive passenger or cargo panel van with the 2.0 litre petrol or 2.2 litre diesel engines. Compared to the tough but smaller / lower profile Toyota Corolla G-Touring, Probox and Fielder, Town Ace is bigger, more sturdy with better passenger and loading space.

The Town Ace may have slightly higher running costs (fuel) and maintenance costs (more expensive tyres) due to its bigger size, however depending on the model year it may have a lower purchase price compared to the higher end Probox and Fielder.
Town Ace has a better ground clearance to handle some of the very bad village roads. Your beneficiary can carry the clan as well as his garden harvest to the local market despite any weather or terrain. In town the same vehicle can comfortably do school runs as well as ‘city run abouts’.

My Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 3.0 litre turbo diesel has progressively lost power, smokes a lot and consumes oil. Every now and then I have to top up a litre of engine oil. My mechanic says the turbo charger and injector pump are the trouble causers. I need your opinion.

Loss of power in a diesel engine is often associated with a failure of the fuel system (injector pump or fuel injectors) or the turbo charger, often this is true. In your case the problem is compounded by engine oil loss.
You need a good technician to inspect your Toyota and establish the cause of engine oil loss. In case your engine is burning (consuming) oil that may mean it could have damaged piston rings which allow oil intrusion in the engine combustion chamber.
This prevents total combustion of fuel and will lead to vehicle smoking (combination of black and blue smoke) and loss of engine power. This kind of situation is caused by use of wrong type engine oils (for non-turbo engines) or failure to carry out periodic oil service.

As a result the turbo charger which is lubricated by the same engine oil may also suffer damage which will further reduce the engine performance. Observe the colour of smoke emitted from your car exhaust, blue smoke will be a result of burning engine oil and warrant engine repair.

The failure of injector nozzles due to damage by burnt fuel deposits will lead to fuel waste, loss of engine power and black smoke. Their performance should be checked.

I would like to know if you train people in driving. If so, how can I join?
Ernest Ndawula, Mukono

I am a qualified off-road and on road special skills driver trainer, but my driver training programme is suited for licensed drivers of special purpose vehicles.
What you need is to enrol in a good learner’s driving school and your challenge is how to locate a good one. To find a certified or registered driving school you may need to contact the Uganda Police driver testing centre at Naguru or Ministry of Works. Some driving schools that advertise in the daily newspapers.

You will easily be given a list of recognised driving schools or independent driving instructors as well as their record of performance. You should make an effort to visit their driving schools or meet the driving instructors.

Some of them have their offices in their cars. They should be qualified, licensed and professional in their appearance and approach to driving. You ought to establish that they are willing to take you for the driving test at the end of the training.