Ask the mechanic : What engine checks should I do?

Hi Paul, I have a Toyota Avensis Verso that is almost clocking 200,000km.
I do regular servicing and it is in good condition, I believe. What kind of engine checks or changes should I do at the 200,000km mark? Can you also aise on the costs? Thanks

Dear Henry, each Toyota model has slightly different recommended maintenance intervals and tasks. However, according to Toyota parts and, you need to carry out the following service tasks at 200,000 kilometres or 120,000miles.

I hope by carrying out regular service you have replaced the engine air filter, engine coolant, engine oil and filter, spark plugs and rotated tyres.

In addition you should renew automatic gearbox oil with recommended Toyota TIV ATF, replace the long life fuel filter and clean the strainer at the fuel pump.
You need to inspect the brake system: brake pads, brake linings and drums, brake fluid colour, brake lines or hoses, brake master and slave cylinders for leaks.

Check the steering linkages (tie rods), ball joints, steering column joints for loose play, steering gearbox, drive shaft gaiters for leaking grease. Suspension arm bushes, link bars, shock absorbers and mountings. Differential oil and seals. Exhaust pipe and silencer.

Oil filler cap seal, radiator cap seal, fuel filler cap seal. Radiator and expansion bottle, coolant hoses. Check electricals: lights, switches for convenient features and accessories, wipers, window washers, windows. Check door locks and hinges.

It is important to use genuine Toyota engine service parts and good multigrade engine oil because your engine valve train is very delicate and requires engine oil which travels up the engine promptly (prompt oil pressure build up).
Choice of fuel with detergency (cleaning additives) is useful because it keeps the engine intake valves free of accumulated harmful deposits. This ensures engine protection, good performance and fuel economy.

Hi Paul, thanks for the informative articles in the papers every Thursdays. I own a Toyota Corona but in the mornings the engine starts well but when I engage a gear it doesn’t move.

When I accelerate, instead the engine wants to go off until later when it is somehow warm, then it moves.
I have changed the plugs but the problem has persisted. Kindly aise. The same problem happens when I park it for long hours.

Hello, your Toyota Corona exhibits symptoms of poor engine performance during cold starts. This may be a result of a faulty engine coolant temperature sensor (ECT).

According to your account the performance improves as the engine warms up. Internal combustion engines require a certain degree of heat to run efficiently (with ample power and good fuel economy).

At cold starts, prior to gaining the optimum running temperature, the internal combustion car engine needs an extra supply of air (choking) and cold start enrichment of the air fuel ratio, to increase engine revolutions.
As the engine warms up and can run more efficiently, the cold start enrichment is not necessary. You will notice the engine idling revolutions drop down from about 1,000 rpms to about 800 rpms.

In more modern engines like the one in your Corona, cold start enrichment is by an auto choking system.
The engine computer relies on a signal from the engine coolant temperature sensor to monitor engine temperature and regulate cold start enrichment.

Should the coolant temperature sensor fail, as I believe is the case with your Corona, you will experience poor performance during cold engine starts. Performance only improves when the engine warms up.
My symptomatic remote diagnosis can be confirmed by a computer diagnosis or testing of the ECT sensor by a mechanic.

Ask the mechanic
By Paul Kaganzi
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