1991 Toyota LiteAce KM36 1.5 petrol


Durable, but high fuel consumption


The radiator needs to be refilled after a long journey especially when driving uphill.

The engine noise can be so deafening when driving at high speed (80 km/h and above).

The engine also knocks when the speed reaches 70 km/h and above.

Warm starting needs at least two cracking.

High fuel consumption consuming almost RM50+ for 300+ km (petrol priced at RM1.90/liter) probably because of the weight of the car.

Engine lacks power especially when going uphill or when the van is full of passengers.

Because of the location of the battery and the radiator reservoir, it is very 'difficult' to check them.

When the van is delivered to me new, the alignment is much to be desired.

General Comments:

I have been using this van for the past 15 years without major problems except those mentioned above.

I have sent it for 'repair' complaining about the lack of power and the difficulty of starting warmed engine and the annoying knocking. The mechanics could not do anything about it and assured me that the symptoms are 'normal'.

With luck, I managed to adjust the fuel and air ratio myself by listening (tuning by ear!) the engine 'noise', now the knocking is gone, engine noise is significantly reduced and engine power is slightly better than before, but fuel consumption is still high especially when the petrol price has increased to RM1.90/liter.

Regarding the 'leaking' radiator, I discovered that the 'ring' of the radiator 'head' (connected to the engine) where the cap is screwed on is uneven. To minimize coolant lost, I add in a piece of self-made rubber washer or ring using old and used tyre tube. It did the trick. I am still looking for a 'second hand' radiator head to fix the problem permanently.

I can say I am a self-proclaimed mechanic and proud to be able to solve the problems myself. In return, the van gives me a long 15 years of good service. I am thinking of getting a 2000 cc diesel engine to lower the fuel consumption. Any good advice anyone?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th June, 2006

4th Jul 2006, 23:41

Regarding hot water in the radiator, I managed to solve by making sure both cooling fans of the aircon (electric motors) are in working condition. The engine radiator fan uses a direct fan from the engine.

My LiteAce is 10 years old. Bought new in May 1996. I only use filtered water for the radiator. Now there are no problems.

Already done 176000 KM. Fuel C is about 25sen per km. Highway and city driving using regular petrol. RM 1.88/liter Mobil. So no problem with power when ascending hills after I change to new clutch assemblies.

Aji Puzi 0133654038. Thinking of trade in, but new LiteAce 1.5 petrol model I saw in Bangladesh is not yet in our local market.

Avanza is too small for my family of 7, Innova is too long for my garage. The LiteAce just fits, if it comes with 2 sliding doors, it's splendid.

So wait and see.