Thursday May 29 2014

Which car is called Logo?

By Paul Kaganzi

All searches were bringing me to logo as a symbol of Hondo but not a car model. Could this be a new model or some error on the part of the manufacturer? I would also like to know how reliable this car could be so please do help me.
Felix Odongo

The car is called ‘Honda Logo’ and it was built by Honda between 1996-2001 as a stop gap entry into the super mini car market segment before the superior Honda Jazz (Fit) was introduced. Honda was learning to make cars smaller than its legendary Civic. Its rivals are the VW Lupo, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 206, Toyota Corsa and Vitz.
The Honda Logo comes with only the 1.3 litre petrol engine with eight valves and a SOHC (Single Overhead Camshaft) valve train. It has a three or five speed automatic transmission or the optional CVT (Continuous Velocity Transmission).
That makes it low on fuel consumption and a good “runaround town” car for groceries shopping, small family school drop and home-office trips. However, if you are in a hurry or planning to carry your whole clan and all their luggage you will be disappointed.
The Logo’s small engine struggles to keep up with highway traffic, overtaking is also a challenge. The CVT transmission makes it even slower. The Logo is well priced between Shs12-15m depending on the year of manufacture. Logo’s interior is thoughtfully designed with ample elbow room, good visibility and generously equipped with air conditioning, power steering and windows.

The Logo however has restricted or limited headroom and rear passenger legroom. You cannot give a lift to well-endowed basket ballers.

Loading space is also limited. The Logo’s looks are for the early 1990s, flat, square and utilitarian (practical). It is not a head turner, a far cry from its replacement Jazz or Fit.

Reliability of the Logo is questionable if you buy it at a mileage beyond 100,000km when it is due for suspension parts overhaul, fuel filter and timing belt change or CVT gearbox service.

The genuine parts involved will be a challenge to get in Kampala, however there are a handful of dealers beginning to show up with Honda parts in a trickle. When it is time to part ways, you will struggle to sale the Logo because of the parts availability and CVT reliability issues.

I drive a Toyota Corolla locally known as Kikumi but whenever I park it for about one or two hours, and I step on the accelerator it is very hard like a stone and even when I am on a highway or on a slippery place, when I put in neutral and try to step on the accelerator I find it hard.

At times, I look down thinking that I have stepped on the floor panel instead of the accelerator. What should I do because my mechanic has failed to find a solution?
Julius Ninsiima

There are a couple of factors that could be the reason why your Toyota’s accelerator pedal intermittently becomes hard. Unlike the newer generation of Toyota models which have electronic accelerator systems (fly by wire), your Toyota Corolla AE100 combines the older mechanical accelerator system with an electro mechanical throttle valve.

To find the cause of the accelerator pedal fault, one needs to understand the role of the accelerator pedal and how it works.The accelerator pedal is connected by the accelerator cable to the throttle valve using a pulley like system.
The throttle valve controls how much air goes into the Toyota Corolla engine. Whenever you step on the accelerator pedal, you open the engine throttle valve to let in air. The engine computer (ECU) uses the throttle position sensor to monitor the throttle valve opening in order to increase or reduce the fuel delivered.

In this role, the ECU is aided by other sensors like the oxygen sensor and the intake air temperature sensor (mass air flow sensor in newer Toyota cars).

When your accelerator pedal feels hard the cause will be one of these: a malfunctioning accelerator cable which gets stuck when its housing or wire cable are damaged. For mechanics this is usually the first suspect.

A faulty or damaged throttle valve which gets stuck during operation or is restricted by carbon deposit build up will make your accelerator pedal hard. The other less obvious reason is the malfunctioning of the engine ignition system.
This could be due to a dirty fuel filter or failure of the fuel pump, bad spark plugs, dirty air filter or damaged ignition cables. When any of these fail you will step on the accelerator until it hits the floor, without any response.
To some people the pedal hitting the floor without response feels hard. Your mechanic has to check all components mentioned and the cause of your plight will be found.