Thursday March 3 2016

Ask the mechanic: Why does my toyota progres have issues?

If your car has multiple faults, it is a sign

If your car has multiple faults, it is a sign that you need to replace parts such as spark plugs, air filter and replace all leaking parts . FILE PHOTO 

By Paul Kaganzi

Hi Paul, I own a Toyota Progres model 2002. The current mileage is 83,000. I always ensure I service it in time and use good fuel for the car. It’s an automatic and I enjoy driving this car. However, I noticed the following lately:

1. High fuel consumption
2. Irritating noise coming from the engine, especially when I leave the gear at N (neutral) for a while. This has not been the case.
3. The engine goes off quite often and sometimes it starts with difficulty.
4. The steering over time has become hard and requires a lot of energy to use, especially in a corner. This should not be the case since it’s a powered steering. What could be the problem?

Hello Koffie, at 83,000 kms and with the symptoms you describe, you ought to consider getting a service B inspection for your Toyota Progres. Normally, this comes at about 100,000 kms. However, our dusty conditions may require an earlier intervention.
1) High fuel consumption can be caused by worn out spark plugs, a dirty air filter, clogged throttle potentiometer or faulty oxygen sensors. Have them inspected and evaluated with a computor diagnostic tool.
A dirty or clogged throttle potentiometer might explain the engine power loss, juddering or low revs at idling hence the strange noise when idling in neutral (concern no.2) and frequent engine stalling (concern no.3). I would replace the long life fuel filter located in the fuel tank. The above service procedure should be carried out by qualified mechanics to avoid accidental fire or injury.
4) Your steering system should be inspected for leaks along the hydraulic pipes. The mechanic should observe the steering fluid level and quality. Top up or renew the fluid, accordingly.

Hi Paul,
I have a Toyota Vitz hybrid and its ECO light is blinking, and losing power when going uphill. Please let me know what could be the problem and how to fix it.

Hello John, some Toyota vehicles Hybrid or non-Hybrid come fitted with the ECO system.
This feature was developed by Toyota to help the driver know when his or her driving style is most eco-friendly that is to say, most environmentally friendly and economical in fuel consumption terms. The ECO system considers factors such as accelerator use, engine & transmission efficiency, speed, and rate of acceleration.

The green ECO light will display when your driving style and vehicle condition meets the ideal standard. When your driving or car condition doesn’t meet the ECO standards the light goes off. So the ECO light may not explain the poor performance of your Hybrid Vitz.

A hybrid vehicle relies on both an electric battery driven system and the conventional internal combustion fuel burning system.
The high voltage battery system is used frequently during take offs. When you experience sluggish acceleration it may be due to an underpowered or under charged battery.

This sometimes happens for vehicles which are five years older. A computer diagnosis may be a good start to identify any potential battery related or electronic faults.

In case there are no electronic trouble codes found, your mechanic could look out for problems associated with the internal combustion fuel driven engine. A leaking vacuum hose, blocked EGR valve or clogged fuel filter. It may be prudent to check your spark plugs too.

Hi Paul, I drive an automatic Nissan Serena car. I imported it six months ago.
At times, it slows down and does not respond when I accelerate. This has happened for two months now.
It first jerks then makes a heavy sound before slowing down. However, most times, it performs normally.
When I stop and switch off the engine for a while and restart it, it starts functioning normally. Sometimes when I consistently go at its dictated speed, it gains slowly and start functioning normally.

A colleague told me the problem could be with the computer system. What is your opinion on the problem? Where can I get a mechanic who can handle the problem?

Hello Geoffrey, the symptom you describe suggests that your Nissan Serena may be fitted with a Continuously Variable automatic Transmission or CVT. If you check the transmission dipstick, it will have ‘CVT’ inscribed on it.
This type of automatic transmission shifts differently when compared with the conventional automatic transmission.
Gears are shifted in a manner that matches the appropriate ratio for a particular driving situation.

The lowest gears are allocated to setting off, mid-range gears for acceleration and passing, while higher range gears are for fuel-efficient cruising. CVT gearboxes sound and operate differently when compared with conventional automatic gearboxes which shift in steps. In some of the CVT gearboxes when you step hard on the accelerator, the engine races as it would with a slipping clutch or a failing automatic transmission.

This is normal as the CVT adjusts the engine speed to provide optimal power for acceleration and better fuel economy. That said it is important to know that CVT transmissions use special CVT oil. Different manufacturers recommend different grades (viscosity) of CVT oil so consult your user manual or Nissan dealer Motorcare Uganda. They will advise if your gearbox is due for service and the right oil for it. Your Nissan Primera has a Continuously Variable
Transmission or CVT. You can confirm by checking to see whether CVT is the transmission dipstick it will be indicated. The CVT GEARBOX provides more useable power, better fuel economy and a smoother driving experience. CVT gear shifts match the appropriate ratio for a particular driving situation.

Nissan recommends different grades (viscosity) of CVT oil so consult your user manual or Nissan dealer Motorcare Uganda for guidance and supply of the correct CVT oil.

A knowledgeable mechanic will inspect and advise if your gearbox or engines are due for service. A computer diagnosis would be recommended to rule out the possibility of any other engine faults.

Hi Paul, my Mazda Tribute has a problem with starting. Even after it has started and you are driving at 60km/hr the car engine will automatically go off.
What could be the problem and possible solution
Derrick. T.A

Hello Derrick, petrol engines with electronic fuel injection can experience intermittent or frequent hard start and engine stalling due to engine mechanical or electrical causes. A smart mechanic should be able to pin point the cause.
There is a need to confirm that the fuel pump works well and the engine receives sufficient fuel pressure. Fuel pressure tests should be carried out by a well-trained mechanic following recommended safety guidelines and using the right tooling, to avoid an accidental fire.

Once this is ruled out then the spark should be evaluated by confirming that the coils, high tension leads and spark plugs are not worn out or damaged and are delivering sufficient spark to each of the four banks (cylinders) in the Mazda engine. Should the search curve yield no results check the air intake system to confirm that the intake tunnel is not torn or leaking air. A precautionary check of the air filter and throttle potentiometer is in order in case the throttle body valve is clogged with soot and dust and causes engine stalling due to low idling revs.

A computer diagnosis would be a useful way to confirm that there is no engine management system fault caused by a worn out crankshaft or camshaft position sensor. This should catch the problem.

Ask the mechanic
By Paul Kaganzi
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