Ask the Mechanic: Which is better between a corolla fielder and hybrid corolla fielder

What you need to know:

The hybrid technology is available in all car models such as the Corolla Fielder. This technology offers some real and perceived benefits


Hello Paul, I currently spend Shs50,000 on petrol per day, which I find rather high. In order to reduce these fuel costs, I intend to purchase either a Toyota fielder 1500cc or a Toyota fielder hybrid 1500cc. My mechanic is against any of these cars saying I will not save any money since the repair/ maintenance costs will outweigh the fuel savings. What is your expert opinion?

Tonny Kirumira.

Hello Tonny, as you grapple with the current fuel prices and cost of travel, you may need to consider a few issues as you weigh the decision to buy either a hybrid or non-hybrid Toyota Corolla Fielder; both with petrol 1500cc engines. Your mechanic may be making a good case. A hybrid car uses two engines; one with an electric motor and another with a fossil fuelled (petrol or diesel) conventional engine. The electric motor engine powers the car at lower speeds while the petrol or diesel engine drives the car at higher speeds.

The hybrid technology is available in all car models such as the Corolla Fielder. This technology offers some real and perceived benefits. Peak torque power needs can be met by the electric motor and battery as you drive along. The Hybrid car technology is eco friendlier as it leaves a smaller carbon footprint. You will use less petrol with the Hybrid Corolla Fielder, which has a fuel economy of 30-33 km/litre compared with the non-Hybrid Corolla Fielder’s 18 km/litre. However, there are challenges with this technology.

The hybrid Corolla Fielder has a higher initial ownership cost. A used 2014 Corolla Fielder will cost between Shs15 and Shs20m, which is pricier than the non-hybrid Corolla Fielder. This is due to the expensive fuel saving technology such as battery, inverter and motor. You may not recoup this investment in the hybrid Corolla Fielder as there are no tax incentives or credits to help offset or lessen the burden of this initial outlay.

Higher hybrid Fielder long term maintenance costs may kick in sooner than expected and outweigh the perceived lower running costs anticipated due to fuel saving. The used Corolla Fielder hybrid batteries may have expired by the time you buy the car, while the inverter may also fail due to age.

These components are not repairable and cost almost the value of the used Corolla Fielder and have to be ordered from abroad. Used hybrid parts have no guarantee, are not readily available and cost a fortune.

Hybrid cars have lower power and less torque and will struggle to tow or carry full passenger and cargo loads compared to the non-hybrid petrol engine powered Fielder. This is because the combined power output and torque of the gasoline and electric motor engine on a hybrid car (7hp /115nm) is smaller than what you find on the non-hybrid single engine Corolla Fielder (109hp/141nm).

This makes the hybrid Corolla Fielder more suitable for city commuting instead of highway acceleration and overtaking.  These challenges give the hybrid Corolla Fielder a poor resale value due to maintenance challenges.

Should you opt for the petrol driven non-hybrid Corolla Fielder, you can save fuel by using fuels that take you even further. Avoid aggressive driving and harsh braking and ensure your tyre treads are okay and correctly inflated, which helps your car to run more efficiently. Use momentum to drive downhill and switch off the engine when caught in stationary traffic jam.


Hello Paul, I own a Toyota G Touring with automatic gear transmission. When I shift the level to D or R, it delays loading by one or two minutes. The transmission fluid level is okay. What could be the cause?               Augustine Kigonya

Hello Augustine, delay of automatic transmission shifts between gears is usually caused by low Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) levels, dirty or aged ATF (due to delayed service), dirty or clogged automatic transmission filter or faulty gear solenoids and clutch packs, also due to delayed service of the ATF and gearbox filter.

For your Toyota G Touring, the ATF level seems to be fine as you suggest. Can you get a mechanic to run diagnostics of the gearbox computer to rule out damaged electrical solenoids? If none are faulty, proceed to verify the ATF condition by examining a sample of ATF drawn from the gearbox.  The transmission pan should be removed after draining all oil, to check the filter for presence of gear clutch debris to rule out mechanical damage.

If no debris is found, replace gearbox filter with a new one and service ATF with Toyota TIV or any good fully synthetic Dexron III or the superior Dexron VI ATF.


Hello Paul, I hope you are doing fine. I saw a picture of a car with the yellow number plate in front and the white number plate on the rear. Are car number plates allowed to be interchanged like this? Michael Male

Hello Michael, the background colour and position of vehicle registration plates is deliberately designed to ensure visibility of the registration details while maintaining safety of traffic on coming or following. This is an international traffic and road safety requirement.  The yellow reflective background on a vehicle’s number plates is designed to provide easy visibility of the registration details for traffic following behind.

The rear registration plate’s yellow background creates a strong contrast with the black wording while avoiding glare from a reflection of light from the headlights of the car following. The front registration plates have a white background which is easily visible to oncoming traffic without causing glare.


Hello Paul, the speedometer reading of my 1995 Toyota Corolla car does not function. My mechanic thinks the problem is caused by the sensor, which he suspects to be faulty. Is he right?


Hello Jimmy, the common causes of speedometer failure for your Toyota Corolla generation are: a faulty speed sensor; broken speedometer gear; damaged wiring or circuit and rarely a faulty engine control unit.

Your mechanic is looking in the right direction. Should he find the speed sensor okay, he can inspect any of the other potential trouble causers I have mentioned.

Send sms: mycar (space) your comments and questions to 6933 or email them to: [email protected]