For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 19th 2014
4 CAR CLINIC I insist, the Prius is not what it is made out to be It isn’t the last word in fuel efficiency it was intended to be. Some European car models offer better economy without resorting to battery assistance Hi Baraza, I have read a number of your articles but not BEHIND THE WHEEL baraza jm come across any on the Toyota Prius. Would you kindly review it; my apologies if you have already done so because I must have missed it. Regards. Freda Hi Freda, I have not done a full review per se, but I have mentioned the Prius several times before, and nothing I wrote was encouraging. The Prius is what we call a smugness generator, a car people buy so that they can look down on others. Someone tried it on me and it did not end well. The problem is that the Prius is not what it is made out to be. Toyota intended it to be the last word in fuel efficiency but it isn’t. Some European models offer better economy without resorting to battery assistance, especially the sub 1500cc diesel-powered hatchbacks. Toyota’s own superminis (the likes of the Yaris and the Aygo) also offer better returns on the mpg scale at a lower price. The world’s leading motor journalist also says research shows that total assembly of this vehicle in the long run does more damage to the environment than a Land Rover Discovery would in its entire fuel-guzzling lifespan, courtesy of the mining, shipping, factory processing and manufacture of its batteries, which, incidentally, are supposed to be its party piece. He further demonstrated that, driven at full speed, the Prius burns more fuel than an E92 BMW M3 moving at the same speed. The BMW is a sports car, a very fast one, with a 4000cc V8 engine and 414hp. Meanwhile, the Prius has a 1500cc unit supplemented by an electric motor, making a combined horsepower figure I am unaware of and not interested in knowing. One last shot: when running on batteries, the lack of engine noise makes it a whisper-mobile, so no one will hear you coming and you should, therefore, expect to slay a substantial number of unwitting, non-motorised street-users as a result. How many children will you kill in this manner before you convince yourself that the Prius is, in fact, a car made for Hollywood stars to assuage their guilty consciences that they are doing the world some good? HNY Baraza, I have had a Starlet EP82 year 92 model for six years now. Mid last year, the temp gauge went close to the half mark and it would require water after covering about 500 kms.; initially, it would go for months. The car has no thermostat and the mechanic suggested a cylinder head gasket overhaul, which I declined, so we ended up changing the radiator cap but it still needs refilling after covering the same kms though the good thing is that the temp gauge never goes beyond the quarter mark. I recently hinted to my mechanic that for the last two years the engine has lost power; no change even after replacing the clutch and pressure plate. He suggested we replace the piston rings and crankshaft cone bearings to improve compression. Is he right? What could be the cause? I service it every 7,000 kms with Shell Helix HX5 15W-40, it has no oil leaks so no top-ups, and the car is very economical: 17.519kms/litre on the highway. Regards. Kamwago Your mechanic might be on to something. The head gasket might need replacement. This would explain the two symptoms you mention: 1. Power loss: this could be due to compression leakage, hence the (latter) suggestion that you get new rings. But the case of worn out rings is almost always accompanied by oil consumption, which you say is absent. Compression leakage could also occur via the head gasket, so this is a more likely situation. 2. Loss of coolant: coolant could be leaking into the cylinders. Either that, or the cooling system has a leak somewhere. I think you might need to check your cylinder head gasket after all. I do not know of any turbo motorcycles. Which model is this you own? I have a colleague who specialises in two-wheeled transport who might be able to shed some light on your machine, if it is what you say it is (I really doubt if your bike is turbocharged). I have covered the topic of turbo charging so many times that I rarely delve into it any more. Hi Baraza, I own a manual Nissan B15. Recently, it began switching off on its own on the road and also when idling. I took it to a mechanic and he replaced the old plugs and it went off DAILY NATION Wednesday February 19, 2014 Hi, You promised to tackle small engines that have turbo, especially motorcycles i.e (125cc). I own one but I don’t see much difference between it and other 125s; is it okay?
February 18th 2014
February 20th 2014