Ask the Mechanic: Why is my Prado fuel thirsty, bouncy?

Thursday June 10 2021
By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, I have just bought a Toyota Prado and when I drove it to Mityana and back, I noticed that its fuel consumption is very high and it tends to bounce up and down the road. Mechanics tell me the shock absorbers are okay and we fitted new spark plugs. How can I improve the fuel economy and stop the bounce?


Hello Onzima, you need to investigate and identify the cause of poor fuel economy. Over-inflated tyres can cause a bounce. There are several factors that contribute to poor fuel economy, bad spark plugs being one of them.

Aged or counterfeit spark plugs will not promptly or efficiently burn the air fuel mixture hence leaving unburnt fuel to waste. New spark plugs ought to come from an authorised Toyota parts outlet or reputable independent spark plugs dealer. The counterfeits look like the real ones but do not deliver good spark.

Other factors that will affect fuel economy are bad fuel injectors, a bad oxygen sensor, a dirty air cleaner, leaking vacuum system or faulty engine management system (computer or sensors).

You can improve your car’s fuel economy by fueling with differentiated fuel designed with cleaning additives and friction reducing molecules to enhance fuel economy and performance. Service your engine on time, avoid an aggressive driving style and under inflating your tyres.


Over inflated tyres will cause car handling issues and one of them is a bounce.

Over inflating tyres is filling air beyond the manufacturer recommended limit. Car manufacturers determine recommended tyre pressure and sizes depending on the design of the car and its suspension as well as intended purpose.

Recommended tyre size and pressure is always displayed at the driver door pillar or the fuel filler flap of many models. Do not rely on the service station tyre pressure attendant to decide what he thinks is right for your car, especially if he is generalising.

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