Ask the Mechanic

Thursday February 18 2021
By Paul Kaganzi

Which Pajero can I buy?

Hello Paul, I want to buy a Mitsubishi Pajero. Please advise on the best type and model in terms of fuel efficiency and reliability.


Hello Abubaker, the Mitsubishi Pajero is a good sports utility vehicle with impressive attributes on and off the road. If you are looking to buy a used one, there are two popular generations; the 3rd generation (1999 – 2005) and the 4th generation (2006 -2020). Both these have good scores for performance and comfort.

However, I would recommend the 4th generation Pajero since it has an improved monocoque chassis design which makes it safer to manoeuvre around corners and sharp bends during high speed driving. The 4WD, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake force distribution are refined to give them a better performance edge.

Safety is also improved with dual stage front SRS airbags complemented by side impact curtain airbags. When it comes to reliability, choose the 6G72 3.0 litre petrol engine or the 4M40, 2.8 litre turbo diesel engine. Petrol engines are easier and cheaper to maintain while diesel engines give you better fuel economy (KM/Litre) but are more costly to maintain as they age.


Also, avoid the hassle of the sensitive and fuel thirsty 3.5 litre 6G74 V6 petrol engine. The 3.2 litre diesel 4M41 DiD is an efficient engine with excellent performance. However, it can be costly to maintain if you cut corners with regular maintenance and using bad fuel.

My engine coolant hoses get damaged

Hello Paul, what could possibly be wrong with my RVR (1999 model) cooling system. It has so far ruptured three water hoses. The radiator and radiator cap are fine. The radiator fans are working properly and there is  no overheating.



Hello Abbas, engine coolant hoses fail when they crack, tear, swell or burst. The three main causes of coolant hose failure are engine overheating, pressure build up and wear or tear due to age. Your provider seems to have checked most of the causes of overheating and your observation suggests that the car does not over heat.

You should turn your attention to engine pressure buildup and possibly wear and tear due to age. A mechanic should carefully examine the condition of the thermostat and radiator cap. These thermostat and radiator caps are thermistor (heat) actuated valves which regulate water flow around the engine, depending on different temperatures. When they are damaged by corrosion, due to irregular coolant service, they delay or restrict water flow around the engine.

This tends to build pressure in the system which damages the coolant hose internal linings (swell or tear) and subsequently leads to bursting.

Ageing of pipes is another cause, least likely in your case because you seem to have replaced the coolant hoses twice. It is important to buy new hoses as used ones come with mileage (age) and unknown maintenance history.

Why is my car mixing petrol with engine oil?

Hello Paul, I have a double-cabin Mitsubishi L-200 made in 1991, engine model 4J 63. The carburetor runs on petrol but of late, it mixes engine oil and petrol. I went to the garage and the mechanic told me to replace the fuel pump. Although it has since been replaced, the problem persists. What could be the problem?



Hello Zekarias, your complaint about petrol fuel mixing with engine oil was misdiagnosed. The fuel pump is not the cause of that situation. With a carburetor engine like yours,  fuel will mix with engine oil when the engine has a faulty fuel float in the carburetor. The float can get stuck in the open position due to fuel gunk or corrosion, a condition that will flood the combustion chamber with fuel.

This excess unburnt fuel will infiltrate the engine oil sump via the cylinder linings and mix with the oil. To fix this problem, ensure that the carburetor is serviced and the gunk and corrosion cleaned. When engine oil is contaminated with petrol, it loses its protective and performance enhancing features. The problem must be fixed as soon as possible.

Where can I get my Toyota Nadia fixed?

Hello Paul, I have a Toyota Nadia 2002, it keeps on stalling or cut off /engine stops even when fuel is full tank, kindly advise on a good mechanic/garage to offer that service.



Hello James, you need to find a garage that can provide a computer diagnosis. This can help to quickly find engine electrical faults such as a faulty crank shaft sensor.

Stalling can be caused by a faulty fuel supply system, air intake system or ignition system. Look for a professional garage.

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