I would like to know which car to buy between Audi A4 2.0 or 1.8cc 2012 and the Volkswagen Passat 2010. I would like to know the durability and practicability of the two cars. Which is more fuel efficient? Which car can go for 400km to and fro without requiring service? Gidion Asiimwe.

Gidion, I would buy the Passat. The Audi A4 B8 (2012) and VW Passat B6 (2010) share the same lineage because they both come from the same house but exit using different doors and badges, like sibling rivals. The difference between these two cars is both on top and under the hood. Audi A4 looks better with the sharper and sportier looks while Passat has a family appeal with its homely looks.
Their 1.8 litre fuel stratified injection (FSI) petrol engines produce a close average fuel economy result of 15 km/litre. However, the VW Passat accelerates two seconds faster than the Audi A4 from 0-100 KPH (8.5s). This is because the Passat’s more powerful 1.8 litre FSI CDAA engine mates well with its 7 speed auto gearbox (in contrast with Audi’s slower CVT gearbox).
VW produces 40 more horse power (160hp) and 20 more Nm of torque (250Nm). The Passat is also about 22 kgs lighter although Audi has a bigger trunk. Both cars ought to have an engine oil change every 5000 kms with fully synthetic 05W30 engine oil. VW parts also tend to be less pricy and easier to find in Uganda.

Which family car should I go for?

I love your articles and answers given in the Daily Monitor every Thursday. I need some guidance on which car to buy. I am saving money for my first car. I need one which does not guzzle too much fuel, is family size but not an Ipsum or Noah/Super custom. What can I go for and what could be the approximate prices in bonds? Josephine Amooti
Josephine, buying a car can be a daunting experience.

However, you can be guided by the cost of the car, your specific car or transport needs, available car and their technical condition, and availability of after sales support, in terms of spare parts and repair skills set. You have a need for family transport and a keen eye for fuel economy, so you need to strike a fair balance between passenger load and fuel economy. A big car with passengers and a small engine will be a guzzler.
If you have a family of five ,then you need a saloon car or five-seater station wagon or medium sports utility vehicle. A small fuel efficient engine between 2.0 -2.5 litres of petrol or diesel will carry the five-seater easily. To sit six to eight adults and children comfortably, you have to consider an omnibus or luxury multipurpose vehicle. The Toyota Hiace 2004 and the Alphard or Nissan Elgannd with 2.4 litre petrol engines would serve you well.

Mitsubishi shows ‘check engine’ sign

I have a problem with my Mitsubishi IO. It shows check engine sign when I accelerate. Gershom.
Gershom, the ‘check engine’ light displays to warn of a faulty emission system. A mechanic ought to check fuel filtre, fuel pump, spark plugs, ignition coils or throttle potentiometer. A computer diagnosis is highly recommended and will quickly reveal the exact cause.

My Toyota Prado fails to start

I drive a Toyota Prado TX. Lately, it has had an on-and-off start problem. When I attempt to start it there is a clicking sound but the engine does not start. My mechanic says that the battery is okay. Yesterday, all attempts to start the car were futile. What can we check? Ivan Mukobe.
Ivan, you may have an electrical circuit failure with your Prado’s starting system.

Ordinarily, when you turn the key in the ignition, it feeds a small electric current to a starter solenoid which in turn actuates a push rod to complete a bigger current from the battery to the starter motor. The starter motor, which is attached to the engine flywheel, turns the engine fast enough to deliver air, fuel and spark to start the car.
This system relies on a working battery, starter motor, solenoid and switch. It is critical that the connecting points of the circuit are firm with no breakage. A good diagnostic routine test by a professional car electrician will test the circuit by checking for loose circuit contacts, broken circuits or corroded contact points and battery terminals. Proceed to test the starter motor or switch if the circuit is okay. The car electrician should find the problem.