We have had huge problems with my vehicle of recent. I’ve had this Toyota Prado for over 4 years and it was almost 20 years old when I got it. Vehicles are really expensive here as they are taxed nearly 100% when they are imported, and they are expensive to ship into Uganda. We are spending quite a bit on repairs for it because a vehicle this old that has driven the horrible roads this long just doesn’t hold up very well.
First, we had the timing belt break! This is a huge problem with diesel engines. It destroyed the whole top half of the engine and was almost $1,000 to get repaired. I was stranded on the side of the road when it broke! Vicki’s vehicle had a broken radiator at the time, so we were completely out of vehicles, so I had no choice but to get a mechanic to fix it!
Last month, I broke a spring driving out to the farm, so we had to get both back springs replaced. I also need to replace my ball joints, brakes and tires. I have needed tires for quite a long time. I had limped along for some time and even bought two used tires when my tires were beyond repair. I had two used tires that were in poor condition, then I hit a piece of metal on the farm road that destroyed another tire. The 4th tire is in pretty bad shape as well. It was no longer safe to drive the vehicle. All of these repairs are around another $1,000.
Vicki had to get a new radiator put in her truck last month as well. She doesn’t have as many issues with her vehicle as I do, but most of her driving is in town. I use my truck to go to the farm and make trips to the capital city, Kampala, so mine gets more wear and tear on it.
Today, the oil pump went out on my truck causing the oil to not pump to the engine breaking the crank shaft. I’m not sure how much this one is going to cost, but they had to load it on a tow truck to take it to the garage.
The problem is that we have horrible roads in Uganda. The roads in town are almost worse than the roads to the farm as they are full of potholes. We are also driving vehicles that are around 25 years old on these roads. Our costs of maintaining these vehicles is quite high! We will eventually need to replace one of them. Uganda passed a law late last year that outlaws importing of vehicles that are more than 15 years old. This means that importing vehicles is more expensive now.
We would appreciate any help you could offer on these repair costs or contributing toward a replacement vehicle. Thank you!