Vehicle safety certificates

As an approved QLD Vehicle Inspection Station, we are able to carry out a Vehicle Safety Check and provide Vehicle Safety Certificates.

Whether you are looking to sell your car, handing it down to your children or moving to QLD from interstate, any transfer of ownership or registration change will require a Vehicle Inspection to issue a current QLD Safety Certificate, formerly called a Roadworthy Certificate.

A current Vehicle Safety Certificate is valid for 2 months or 2,000km, whichever comes first.

Electronic Vehicle Safety Certificate

As a leading approved Vehicle Inspection Station, we have fully embraced QLD Transport’s recent initiative to provide your Vehicle Safety Certificate documents electronically, rather than the older styled multiple pages handed out.

Once we have completed a Vehicle Safety Check, we can email all required documentation directly to you.  Electronic Vehicle Safety Certificates have several benefits, making your life easier and saving you time.  A few examples include –

  • An Electronic Safety Certificate allows you to transfer registration of the vehicle online. This saves you the inconvenience and queuing from a trip to the transport department, something which must be done if dealing with the older style paper safety certificate.
  • The moment you list a vehicle for sale, whether it be online or simply putting a ‘For Sale’ sign up (this includes vague suggestions like ‘Buy Me’ or ‘Interested?’), you must display a current QLD Vehicle Safety Certificate on the vehicle. Failure to do this will result in a large fine if caught.  With an Electronic Vehicle Safety Certificate this is not required.  You simply need to be able to produce your documents if asked (most commonly through email on your smartphone).

If you need a Vehicle Safety Certificate, why not call us at our car repair shop to book an appointment today.

The 7 most common problems we see in our car repair workshop

We fix plenty of problems at our car repair workshop in Browns Plains, and some we see more often than others. So if you are interested in how we spend our time at the Steve Sorensen Car Repair Shop – here are 7 of our most frequently seen problems.

  1. Engine air leaks: With so many sensors on the engine monitoring air flow, pressure and temperature, any air leaks in the intake system can send things haywire – often resulting in computer fault codes indicating problems with particular sensors – with all the experience in our car repair workshop we know to go for the smoke machine to test for leaks before testing sensors for faults.
  2. Spark plugs: Another common problem we see often during a car repair service, spark plugs in the modern vehicle use exotic metals like platinum and iridium, meaning they can last over 100,000km in some models. Unfortunately this means they can go forgotten if not replaced at specified intervals, causing poor fuel economy, rough running and misfiring.
  3. Ignition coils: Along with your spark plugs, these help to keep your engine firing on all cylinders. Ignition coils take the 12 volts supplied by your cars battery, and boost it to up to 40,000 volts to create an electrical spark at the spark plug. With such a hard life these are a common cause of misfiring. We test and replace many ignition coils a week in our car repair workshop.
  4. Exhaust recirculation valves: These are involved in reducing your emissions and redirecting some of your exhaust fumes back into the engine to lower the combustion temperature, reducing the output of nitrogen oxide – a gas that is terrible for the environment. These valves are a ‘necessary evil’ to be able to burn petrol and diesel , whilst still passing emissions testing. Unfortunately, running sooty exhaust gas through the intake means in our car repair shop we are regularly replacing these valves, or repairing the blockages they cause in the intake
  5. Add-ons: The main problem here is with non-professionals installing additions to their cars, such as alarm systems, radios and wireless devices. These can divert power from other areas and cause a wide range of problems.

If you have any of the problems above, why not call us at our car repair shop and ask for a quote?

How to extend the life of your tyres

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical we do lots of major car services at our workshop in Logan Qld and we always check people’s tyres during their services. So you might be surprised to learn that tyres can actually last up to 10 years, although most of our tyres need to be replaced after 6 years.

How long your tyres will actually last before they need to be replaced is another matter, because there are a number of factors involved, not least being your driving style. Whilst most people won’t change the way they drive, it helps if you check your tyres every month, not just for the usual tread depth, but also to look for cracks in the sidewalls caused by underinflating your tyres and also from the harsh Aussie sun.

Hopefully, during the early years of logbook car services, you won’t need to replace your tyres, but we have seen it happen every now and again. Here are some of our best tips for extending the life of your tyres.

  • Check tyre inflation monthly: On average, tyres lose 1 psi every month and the psi can increase or decrease depending on the ambient temperature. So the air in your tyres can vary quite a lot, which is why you need to check them monthly and why we also check them during your major car services.
  • Rotate your tyres: It’s best to rotate your tyres every 10,000km to help extend their life, but if you notice any uneven wearing on your tyres, make sure to rotate them as soon as possible. During your major car service at our workshop in Logan Qld, we can check your tyres and tell you whether you need your tyres rotated or not.
  • Book in for a wheel alignment: If your car isn’t driving true and tends to veer off on one side then your first port of call is a wheel alignment and you may as well have your tyres rotated at the same time.
  • Don’t speed: One of the causes of blow outs in trucks is that they drive at a consistently high speed for hours on end. This is particularly relevant in our hot Aussie summers when the ambient temperature is high, because if your car is overloaded and your tyres have not been well maintained – they can simply blow out.

Why not book in for a major car service or a logbook car service and we will make sure that your tyres are in good shape.

What can you expect from our Logan auto repair shop?

We are very proud of our Logan auto repair centre, which offers plenty of elbow room for our mechanics, and our customers really appreciate our friendly customer service as well. With many positive testimonials from our happy customers, it is clear that we are doing something right!

Why are we the most popular Logan auto repair shop?

There are many reasons why Steve Sorensen Mechanical is the most popular Logan auto repair centre. From our clean and modern auto mechanic shop to our award winning customer service, our upfront and transparent pricing policy and our well-appointed and air-conditioned waiting area, customers keep coming back for all of their services and repairs.

Clean and modern auto mechanic shop

Far too often we hear from our customers about a car repair shop that is so dirty that they were afraid to put a foot anywhere, because the floors were covered in oil and other debris. At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, when moved to new premises in 2007, we made sure that we had a design for our Logan auto repair centre that was easy to keep clean at all times. This provides both our mechanics and our customers with a safe and healthy environment, which is something that we believe is essential to the success of our business.

Award winning customer service

We have won the Quest Business Achievers Awards for outstanding service in the Motor Vehicle Sales and Service category consecutively for 5 years straight. As a family business, we go out of our way to greet all of our customers to make them feel comfortable in our Logan auto repair centre. More often than not when you call us on the phone, you will speak to Robyn, Steve’s wife, who manages the office and takes great pleasure in chatting to our customers.

Transparent pricing policy

All of our costs are upfront and wherever possible, we’ll give you a firm quote for all work. If anything changes and your repairs are going to be more extensive, we always contact you or even invite you down to our car repair shop to show you the problem and get your approval for the work.

Our well-appointed waiting area

With air-conditioning and comfortable seating, you won’t see stacks of old, oil stained magazines and dirty cups in our auto mechanic shop. We make sure that our waiting room is well appointed for all of our customers, so that you can wait in comfort while we service or repair your vehicle.

Contact us today or we look forward to seeing you at our award-winning car repair shop in Logan.

Automotive Cooling Systems – a technical article by Brendan Sorensen – Issue 58 The Automotive Technician

We encourage you to click here to view the PDF article with pictures – Issue 58

The engine cooling system has had its fair share of nips and tucks over the last few decades but the principal behind it is a simple one and stays the same – keeping the engine within a certain temperature range and providing heating for cabin occupants.

Progress in cooling systems, as with most vehicle systems these days, is being pushed by emissions and efficiency. Several tweaks to age-old components have played a part in the modern vehicle being more powerful, using less fuel and having cleaner emissions than their predecessors.

We are a long way from the days of air cooling and now seeing computer-controlled versions of well-established cooling components, including electronically assisted thermostats, pulse-width-modulated fans and electric water pumps to name a few. With these components come new fault codes and new ways to diagnose cooling systems.

Why are there wires going to the thermostat?

Electronically-assisted thermostats have been around for decades now and their operating principle is still very much the same as their earlier, mechanical ancestors. The main drawcards of electrical control over the thermostat are increased power and improved emissions.

In a perfect world the optimum combustion process in a passenger car occurs at about 110°C. With mechanical thermostats a middle ground must be struck and their rated opening temperature can open much lower than 110°C to allow a ‘buffer’ for high-load situations.

Electronically assisted thermostats have the advantage of being able to offer a much higher opening temperature. These thermostats can remain closed as high as 110°C – at this point they will open unassisted as the wax pellet melts, just the same as a regular thermostat. This creates the ideal temperature environment for emissions and efficiency.

The computer uses preset maps and watches several parameters – including engine load, vehicle and engine speed, coolant and intake air temperature – to operate the heating element and quickly open the thermostat further. This offers a rapid increase in cooling and drops the engine below 110°C. The lower temperature is ideal for making power, allowing ignition timing to be advanced closer to optimal without increasing knock. For this reason, the heating element is most often operated under high-load conditions to increase cooling.

The heating element will also be operated, even at low load, if the coolant temperature rises above 113°C to combat overheating.

The graph on this page – a simulated map that controls the thermostat heating element – shows what the computer is thinking (pic 1). The coolant temperature is lowered as vehicle load and speed increases.

Check its pulse!

From belt-driven fans to low/high staged relays, we now commonly see vehicles with pulse-width-modulated cooling fans. Pulse width modulation ticks all the efficiency and NVH (noise, vibrations, harshness) boxes for manufacturers.

The benefits of precise fan-speed control are obvious but often the speed range is not infinite. It is quite common to have preset stages of fan operation, loosely evidenced by only a handful of speeds being available when bi-directionally controlling fans through a scan tool.

Understand that engineers have worked long and hard to perfect these speed stages to provide a balance between effective cooling, energy efficiency and driver comfort. Under certain conditions a 64 per cent duty cycle may be ideal for cooling but 61 per cent may be a better option due to the noise and vibration of a particular fan assembly.

With a 10.61 per cent duty cycle (blue) commanded by the computer, this small cooling fan draws only 300 milliamps (red) (pic 2).

For testing purposes, if no scan tool bi-directional tests are available, the old theory of increasing load to get the fans on high still holds true, so set the a/c to max and turn on as many loads as possible.

With a rise in commanded duty cycle to 38.55 per cent (blue), fan current increases to 814 milliamps (red) (pic 3).

Go with the flow

The theory for going electric with water pumps seems logical – old mechanical-driven pumps, after all, rob precious power and economy.

Critical thinkers might argue that you cannot create or destroy energy, so isn’t this just putting more load on the belt-driven alternator to provide power for an electric pump? Well, there’s a little more to it than that.

Mechanical water pumps are directly linked to engine speed, so often pump more coolant than is needed. Conversely, sometimes more coolant flow would be ideal, such as during engine shut-off after hard driving.

The main benefit of an electric water pump comes from its variable nature. Pulse width modulation allows the computer to tailor fit the coolant flow to your engine’s current situation, and as sparingly as possible. Electrification also provides several side benefits, such as the reduced complexity of belt/chain designs and the ability to remotely mount the pump in unused space.

Expect to see more of these modern water pumps because they are ideal for hybrid and electric vehicles, which don’t have the luxury of a constantly spinning mechanical engine.

Where to from here?

If you think we’ve made progress in cooling systems, grab an iced tea because the future is hot. The latest semi-conductors used in hybrid and electric vehicles produce a heat flux measurement of 400W/cm², comparable to the surface of the sun!

Huge cooling requirements will be demanded from stationary vehicles and SAE J1772 electric-vehicle connector standards allow for up to 240kW of charging power.

The sensitivity of electronics creates the need for very precise and component-specific cooling and this is where glycol-coolant-based cooling systems show their age. Complex systems with handfuls of small passages become hard to bleed and regulate. The various metal components that require cooling create bi-metal corrosion issues.

We are starting to see new solutions. The BMW i3 is an electric vehicle that uses the existing a/c system to cool the battery pack through refrigerant tubes mounted in a cooling plate, which acts a heat sink.

But while the technology is changing the customer complaints will remain the same. When Mrs Jones complains that her feet are cold on morning drives, the keen technician will complement their old-school physical tests and inspection with the interrogation of data from all modules. The poorly trained will quote a pair of slippers.

What’s new in vehicle diagnostics in 2017?

At our car repair workshop in Browns Plains, we’ve found that the technology used for vehicle diagnostics has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years. One of the big improvements is with Bluetooth technology, because now we can perform a major car service in Logan QLD, or any inspection that needs diagnostics, quickly and easily.

With the newer model vehicles having so much computerised technology, both the vehicle owner and the mechanic now have a much better tool to use for vehicle diagnostics. For example, vehicle owners can use their Bluetooth diagnostic scanner to check their vehicle’s emissions and their fuel consumption.

We often use them in our car repair workshop in Logan QLD to clear error codes during a major car service, after first identifying and fixing the problems and we can even prepare a repair report for our own records or for our customers.

Five benefits of using Bluetooth vehicle diagnostics

  1. One size fits all: All new vehicles are required to meet specific standards for their on board diagnostics, commonly referred to as OBD II, making it much easier to identify problems across most makes of vehicles with one diagnostic tool. There was a time, not long ago, when a car repair workshop had to buy a diagnostic tool for each make of vehicle, but no longer!
  2. Increased vehicle efficiency: These diagnostic tools allow for precise control over your vehicle’s fuel and ignition, making it fairly easy to increase your vehicle’s efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.
  3. Reduces repairs: This tool helps your mechanic to pick up problems that you might not have previously noticed, saving you serious money down the track on expensive repairs. Vehicle owners can also use the diagnostic tool at home, reducing the number of trips to the mechanic or booking in their vehicle for a timely major car service in Logan Qld, before the problem exacerbates.
  4. Faster vehicle diagnostics: All the mechanic needs to do is identify the codes shown on the diagnostic tool and it will quickly reveal the source of the problem. This saves you hours of time, because for many issues, the mechanic no longer has to peer into the depths of the engine, trying to locate the cause of the problem.
  5. Cheaper bills: When your mechanic can perform your major car service or repairs much quicker than before, your costs may go down, and everyone’s happy.

Don’t forget to book your vehicle in for a major car service in Logan Qld at our Browns Plains car repair workshop. We can even demonstrate some of our technology to you, so you know you’re in good hands.

Diesel intake manifold carbon cleaning

Like most things, prevention is better than a cure.  That’s why we recommend using our BG Diesel induction cleaning process as maintenance every couple of years to avoid the more drastic intrusive method of removing the intake system when problems start to develop.

Unfortunately, if the intake is left unserviced, there comes a point where even the most powerful of on car cleaners cannot break down extreme buildup and the only option is manual cleaning.

What to do about it?

We recently invested in an ultrasonic cleaning bath to ensure that when items do need to be removed from the engine, particularly intake manifolds, we get a perfectly clean result to ensure the labour spent on removal is worth it.

Take a look at the results we got cleaning a choked up Mitsubishi Pajero 4M41 diesel engine intake system this week, including the upper and lower intake manifold and EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve – the results speak for themselves.

For all your diesel diagnostic issues, ranging from check engine light, poor fuel economy, blowing black and white smoke, hard starting and rough running.

Contact us at Steve Sorensen Mechanical on 3809 2711.

As many manufacturers share the same brand diesel injection systems from companies such as Denso, Bosch, Pierburg and Siemens, we specialise in many diesel vehicles including:

  • Mitsubishi Triton
  • Mitsubishi Pajero
  • Mitsubishi ASX
  • Nissan Navara
  • Nissan Xtrail
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota Hiace
  • Toyota Fortuner
  • Toyota Landcruiser
  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda 3
  • Mazda 6
  • Hyundai i30
  • Holden Colorado
  • Holden Captiva
  • Holden Astra
  • Ford Ranger
  • Ford Territory
  • Ford Everest
  • Ford Focus
  • Isuzu D-Max
  • Isuzu MU-X
  • Volkswagen Golf (VW Golf)
  • Volkswagen Polo (VW Polo)
  • Volkswagen Passat (VW Passat)
  • Subaru Diesel
  • Kia Diesel
  • Audi Diesel
  • BMW Diesel
  • Mini Diesel
  • Mercedes Diesel

Extended service intervals

What are your thoughts on the manufacturers extending service intervals?

I believe, like so many other things in the business of making cars, extended service intervals have primarily been introduced as a marketing tool to sell more cars.  We know the tolerances are smaller, the components more expensive, the emissions ever tightening – the service schedules simply do not reflect this, even taking into account the impressive advancements in lubricants.

Online tools can easily calculate servicing costs of a modern vehicle, and savvy buyers include this into their decision when choosing a vehicle. If I compare two similar cars but one makes me suffer the inconvenience of the dreaded service twice a year rather than once, one has a distinct advantage.

Digging deeper than a car buyer’s weekend research, the dealer’s story starts to unravel:

–          Filled for ‘life’, is this the expected life of the component, the life of the vehicle or the life of the warranty?

–          Some schedules appear to be written by the marketing department rather than engineers, how can a Jeep and a Mazda sharing the same engine recommend such blatantly different service schedules on a whole range of things from engine oil to filters? Often the big ticket items will conveniently require servicing just as the car finishes its capped price servicing period.

–          How can a car built in January have a distinctly different service schedule from an identical model built in February?

–          Ridiculous oddities like a manual transmission car having an external fuel filter but the automatic variant using a no replacement specified in-tank filter.

What issues have you seen due to extended service intervals?

Of course oil sludging is the main culprit, without good advice most customers don’t understand that 15,000km of primarily long distance driving is worlds away from 15,000km of stop start short distance city driving.

Customers start to treat the car as an appliance rather than the sophisticated machine it is. If the oil can go 15,000km, surely you still don’t need to check the tyre pressures right?

Rather than regular low cost maintenance, service items are becoming ludicrously expensive and without good records it’s difficult to know if that new customer who just drived in has had their $350 in-tank fuel filter replaced at the scheduled time.  Has their transmission ever had its $300 synthetic oil change with no fluid level check procedure available? We will just have to wait until it has problems, requiring expensive diagnosis and repair.

What used to be a reasonable expense for regular filter replacements can quickly turn into components further down the line needing replacing – by the time the water in diesel light is on, every further kilometer can be $100.

What’s Involved in a Car Transmission Service?

A car transmission service is an important part of maintaining your vehicle and should be performed every year if possible. This is because the normal wear and tear on your transmission creates millions of tiny abrasive metal particles that fall into your transmission oil and can cause your transmission to fail, if your oil isn’t changed very often.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, a car transmission service is still an important part of keeping your car healthy and safe on the road. This type of service won’t take very long and includes the following:

  • Draining out the old transmission fluid, and removing and cleaning the pan.
  • A thorough inspection of the drained oil for any indications that there are hidden problems in your transmission.
  • Removal and replacement of the transmission filter.
  • The pan is replaced and a new gasket fitted.
  • Your transmission is filled with new, clean oil and tested for leaks.
  • We road test your car to make sure that it is operational, after your car transmission service has been completed.

As you can see, this is a very simple and quick service, but it is one that is often forgotten or ignored by many car owners. If we find during the service that there are a lot of fine metal filings in the oil or that the fluid looks to be contaminated, then we will recommend a transmission flush, as well as a service.

This flush helps to remove any trapped contaminants or metal filings that were not flushed out when the oil was initially drained during the car transmission service. A flush is not always necessary, but it is more likely to be needed if you haven’t had a transmission service for a few years. This is because the new, clean oil is likely to loosen this trapped debris, which then washes around your transmission and often results in huge and costly repair bills.

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, we offer a fast and efficient transmission service to our clients and we guarantee all of our work. So call us on 3809 2711 and book your car transmission service today.

3 Solid Reasons Why Booking Into a Car Repair Workshop is a Good Idea

Owning a car can be an expensive undertaking and having to book into a car repair workshop for every service or problem that occurs, can seriously add up the dollars over the life of your car. So how do you know when it’s OK to tackle problems yourself and when it is much better to look for a qualified mechanic?

To help you out, here are 3 scenarios when it will serve you well to call your local car repair workshop, rather than attempt to troubleshoot or fix problems yourself.

When you don’t have the knowledge or experience

If you struggle to do your own services or you have no idea how to replace an alternator, replace a brake cable or change the spark plugs, it is best if you leave it to the experts. Of course, you can educate yourself and become quite a handy home mechanic, but unless you are passionate about learning DIY mechanics, maybe it’s best if you call your local car repair workshop.

When you don’t have the right tools for the job

You might have a fair amount of knowledge and even know what needs to be done to fix your car’s problems, but if you don’t have the right tools then you will be even more out of pocket. Some speciality tools can cost a fortune, so unless you want to go into business as a mechanic, why spend all of this money when your local car repair workshop already has these tools!

When you don’t have the time yourself

Sometimes having the knowledge and even some of the right tools isn’t enough, because who has the time to spend working on their cars every weekend? Unless rebuilding cars and keeping them in pristine condition floats your boat, then your local mechanic can save you a lot of time and angst by doing all of your services and repairs on their time. This leaves you free to enjoy your weekends with your family, instead of working on the car.

If you want to free up your weekends and leave all of the hard, dirty work to someone else, call us at Steve Sorensen’s Mechanical car repair workshop in Browns Plains and we will have your car up and running in no time at all.

Where can You Book an Auto Pre Purchase Inspection in Logan?

If you are looking for an auto pre purchase inspection in Logan, then you can’t do any better than calling us at Steve Sorensen Mechanical. We have more than 30 years’ experience as top class mechanics and we can inspect any type of vehicle before you lay down your hard earned cash.

Why do you need an auto pre purchase inspection?

Well, the last thing you want to happen is to find the perfect car at the perfect price, but find out pretty quickly that it is a lemon. When you buy a car privately, there is not much to save you if you find out later that it has lots of problems, which will cost you a bucketful of money to fix.

This is why an auto pre purchase inspection by a qualified and highly experienced mechanic is the best strategy, because we can spot a lemon a mile away. This could potentially save you a lot of money and will take away all the worry from purchasing your second hand car.

What do we look for in an auto pre purchase inspection?

We look for anything that is a problem today and could be a problem not far down the road. So we test drive the car to see make sure there are no steering and suspension problems. We also look for issues with the brakes, the transmission and with the indicators and lights as well.

We also make sure that the oil is clean and there is no moisture mixed in with the oil, that the radiator isn’t leaking and that everything appears to be in good order.  These are just some of the issues on our checklist, so that at the end you will have a clear picture of whether or not the vehicle is really worth the money.

Some people think that a Safety Certificate, which is mandatory when you sell a second hand vehicle, is similar to a pre purchase inspection. However this is not so, because it only checks some of the safety features and there can be a lot more wrong with the car than is picked up with a Safety inspection.

Call Steve Sorensen Mechanical on 3809 2711 for your next auto pre purchase inspection in Logan.

How do you Spot a Reliable Mazda Car Service Centre?

Mazda owners don’t need to return to their dealer for services, then can easily book into their local Mazda car service centre for all of their services, even those under warranty. All you need to do is to have your services performed by a qualified mechanic who uses high quality parts that are recommended by Mazda.

Not going to your dealer for your services can save you a lot of time and money, but how do you spot a reliable Mazda car service centre?  

4 Tips on finding a reliable and local Mazda car service centre

1. Check with your friends: Anyone who owns a Mazda will know of the best Mazda mechanics in the area and will be happy to recommend them to you. It is also worthwhile asking around your family, work colleagues and neighbours, as recommendation from people you trust can help you to make your final decision.

2. Look at their websites: If you have the names of a few car service centres already, then check out their websites. Any good mechanic will have a professional website online, so it pays to scout these out. You can also do a search online for a Mazda car service centre in your suburb and this will reveal other mechanics that you might not have considered.

3. Phone the auto shop: Once you have a short list of car service centres in your local area that specialise in Mazda vehicles, it is a good idea to call them on the phone. This will give you a first impression of the way they treat their customers and you can usually judge their professionalism over the phone as well.

4. Visit their centre: One of the best ways to make your final decision is to visit the auto shop so you can meet the mechanics and inspect their centre first hand. You want to see a nice, tidy and clean work area with mechanics who are happy to chat to you, even though they might be busy. This indicates that they are professionals and that they care about their customers.

If you want a professional and highly qualified mechanic to perform your Mazda car service in Logan, then you can’t go wrong calling Steve Sorensen Mechanical on 3809 2711.

Diagnostic work on a surging Great Wall

A small but noticeable surge could be felt while cruising or while applying throttle at a standstill. Idle and wide open throttle were OK.

No fault codes. With the scan tool connected while driving, I could feel a small surge and could see the fuel pressure dropping on average 500psi to 1000psi while steadily cruising on each surge pulse.

Initially this felt and looked very similar to common suction control valve faults. This time, however, graphing the accelerator position sensor 1 and sensor 2 showed sensor 2 graphing logically and steadily but sensor 1 quite erratic and jerky. This correlated with the drop in fuel pressure commanded and hence the surging.

The accelerator pedal position sensor 1 was faulty and causing an erratic signal, mostly only around the cruise pedal position (5 to 15 per cent). This made me think that instead of a hall effect sensor they might be using old style potentiometers and the commonly used area is getting bad contact.

The accelerator pedal assembly was replaced with inbuilt sensors. It was noted that these assemblies are currently on back order, indicating a common problem. Diagnostic time was one hour and fixing another hour.

See the full article here – http://www.tat.net.au/tatarticles/Issue52_aug2016_p11.pdf

 

5 Signs You Need a Car Transmission Service or Repair

There is no question that a good car transmission service is worth its weight in gold, because if you ignore your transmission then you can be up for thousands of dollars in repairs. It is fair to say that replacing your transmission is one of the most expensive repairs you can do and sometimes, it is less costly to just call it a day and buy another car.  

Booking in for a regular car transmission service however, can seriously extend the life of your car, by locating and fixing any small problems that may arise, before they become out of hand.  

To help you keep on top of any potential problems with your transmission, here are five signs that indicate you need to book in for a car transmission service as soon as possible.

1.Noises: If your car is in neutral and it is making grinding, ticking or whining noises then this can indicate big problems with your transmission. Any noises from your gear box in neutral need to be checked immediately.

2.Gears slipping: If your car isn’t changing gear smoothly and instantly then you might see high RPMs above 3500 as the engine struggles to respond or you might just feel that the engine is slow to accelerate when you depress the pedal.

3.Gears don’t engage: If you struggle to get your car into gear then you could have a transmission leak or a worn clutch (in manual cars). This will only become worse very quickly, so you need to book in straight away for a car transmission service and possible repair.

4.Engine light: If you see a red engine light on your dashboard this can mean a host of different problems, one of which could be your transmission fluid leaking. Always have your car professionally checked if you see the engine light lit on your dashboard.

5.Shaking when changing gear: If you start to feel the car shaking or jerking when you change gear, this can indicate that your transmission fluid is low or you have bigger problems.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, so if you have any of the above problems with your transmission, call Steve Sorensen on 3809 2711 and book in for a car transmission service straight away.

5 Reasons Why a Professional Car Repair Service is Better Than DIY

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, we see lots of people who try to avoid paying a car repair service by attempting their own repairs. In the current financial climate this is totally understandable, because every dollar counts.

The problem is that there are areas where we can make savings in our lives and there are areas where we really need to bring in the experts. Repairing your car is one of those times when you can end up spending more than you expected, if you really don’t have the ability to do a professional job yourself.

If you are weighing up the pros and cons of a DIY repair job or paying for a car repair service, then here are five reasons why it pays to go with the experts.

1.Safety: If repairs are not made correctly, you can endanger yourself, your family and everyone else on the road. You might be able to change the oil on your car safely, but can you replace the brake pads or rotors yourself without asking for help?

2.Skills: When you book in for a car repair service at Steve Sorensen Mechanical, you will see that we have the skills and the experience to fix just about everything that can go wrong in your car and this knowledge is at our fingertips. We are also very good at diagnosing tricky or illusive problems that outfox other mechanics.

3.Tools: You don’t have to spend extra money on tools, because whatever tools and equipment we need to repair or perform a diagnostic check on your car we already have in our auto shop.

4.Time: Instead of taking days or weeks to complete a repair job at home, with our car repair service we can have you on the road again in double quick time.

5.Prevention: If we see any other problems that are likely to cost you money if left too long or may compromise the safety of your car, we let you know so you can sort the problem out sooner rather than later.

Instead of trying to do your own repairs, call Steve Sorensen on 3809 2711 and book in for a first class car repair service, saving yourself a lot of time, money and angst.

How Much Does a Ford Service in Brown Plains Cost?

The cost of a Ford service in Browns Plains depends on the type of vehicle and where you have the service performed. Many vehicle owners still believe that they need to return to their dealer for all of their Ford services in Browns Plains, however this is only true if you have an extended warranty and you are in that warranty period.

For new Ford vehicles, you can easily go to your local mechanic for all of your services during your new car warranty period, so long as the mechanic is qualified and that high quality replacement parts are used. If you are concerned about the costs of your Ford service in Browns Plains, then it is generally much cheaper to book into a local mechanic than a dealership, because one of the ways dealerships make their money is with their services.

There are other ways you can keep your service costs down as well, and here are a number of them to keep in mind:

Ask for a written quote: Always ask for a written quote when you are having any work done, even just for a service. The last thing you want is to have an unexpected bill, which you can’t afford to pay.

Make them ask you before performing repairs: Before your service, you can either tell them to call you if any repairs need to be performed and give you a written quote for these repairs or give them a dollar limit, before they need to call you.  

Have regular services: Too many people just forget about maintaining their vehicles on a regular basis, leading to costly repair bills. You can’t really blame the mechanic for finding so much wrong with your vehicle during your Ford service in Browns Plains, when regular services would have picked up these problems much earlier.

Ask around: Ask your friends, relatives and co-workers where they go for a good Ford service in Browns Plains and then check them out yourself. This is one of the best ways to find a good mechanic in your local area, because you can trust the opinions of people you respect and like.

When you are looking for an affordable Ford service in Browns Plains, call us at Steve Sorensen Mechanical and you look forward to a well maintained car and lower repair bills as well.

5 Warning Signs Your Car Needs Brake Repairs

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, we see lots of car owners who bring their vehicles in for brake repairs. The problem is that they have usually left it too late and we not only need to replace their brake pads (or re-machine them if we can), but their rotors need replacing as well.

There are a few easy ways for you to detect warning signs that your brakes need attention, before you get to the stage of costly brake repairs. After all, it doesn’t cost much to have your brake pads replaced, the situation becomes worse however, if you need to replace the rotors as well.  

To help you out and make sure that you avoid extensive brake repairs and catch your brakes at the point where all you need to do is replace or re-machine your brake pads, keep an eye open for the following 5 signs.

1. Brake light on the dashboard: If you see that the brake light has turned red on your dashboard and doesn’t go away, book in straight away for an inspection and hopefully you can limit the costs of your brake repairs.

2. Clicking or screeching noises: When you depress the brake pedal and you hear clicking noises, this means your brakes need to be checked. A screeching noise means you really need your brakes checked and your brake repairs bill is increasing the longer you ignore these sounds.

3. Grinding noises: At this point, you need to open your cheque book, because the rotors most probably need replacing as well and your brake repairs bill has just shot through the roof.

4. Pulling to the side: If your car pulls to the right or left when you press the brake pedal, you might need new brake pads, because they are wearing thin on one side or the other.

5. Vibrations: Another sign that your brake pads are wearing too thin are vibrations through the pedal when it is depressed.  

Brake repairs don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but only if you pay attention to the warning signs and make the right repairs at the right time. Call us on 3809 2711 and book in for your brake repairs today.

Logbook servicing, vehicle repairs and maintenance

Cars have advanced to a point where they can adapt to mask several driveability issues, so a small problem may go unnoticed until it gets worse and can ultimately effect other systems. The best way to avoid large repairs and the need for Car Diagnostics when something goes wrong is to stick to a routine schedule of Logbook Servicing. Performing these Vehicle Mainenance Services, following the Manufacters Logbook Servicing recommendations, means you give your car the best chance to avoid any serious Auto Repairs.

If you do start to notice something playing up, or maybe a warning light on the dash, it is important to come to a Professional Auto Diagnostic Workshop like Steve Sorensen Mechanical. Our expert use of manufacturer software based Scan Tools and oscilloscopes, coupled with years of experience means that we can diagnose your problem fast and correctly, avoiding the replacement of any unnecessary parts that might be common practice at shop who doesn’t value taking the time to diagnose a problem correctly. We are experts in Petrol Fuel Injection Diagnostics, Petrol Direct Injection Diagnostics, Common Rail Direct Injection Diesel Diagnostics, Check Engine Light Diagnostics, SRS Airbag System Diagnostics, ABS Diagnostics and Auto Electrical Diagnostics.

What is a Logbook Car Service?

When you purchase a new car or one that is still within the warranty period, you need to book in for a logbook car service on time, every time. This is because you will violate your new car warranty, if you don’t have the services performed as outlined in your car’s log book.  

The timing and content of these services will have been designated by the car manufacturer and are meant to keep your car running smoothly and pick up any problems that might need repairing under the warranty. Every logbook car service must be performed by a licenced mechanic, but this doesn’t have to be at the dealer, you can easily go to your local, trusted auto shop for your car’s logbook services.  

It pays to remember that if you have also purchased an extended warranty with your new car, you might have to go to your dealer for these services. Whilst you can have all of the logbook car services performed by your local auto shop, when the manufacturer’s warranty ends and the new extended warranty begins, your dealer will most probably add the condition that all services during the dealer warranty period must be performed by their mechanics.  

Make sure to check on this before you decide on purchasing a dealer extended warranty or you could be up for more costly services and a longer trip to the mechanic that you anticipated.

What is involved in a logbook car service?

Some of the services will be minor services and some will be major services. The first service after you have just purchased your new car will usually take place at 1000km and will include a few safety checks, specific to each vehicle, just to make sure that everything is fine, since you have been driving the vehicle around for a while.

The requirements for each service are outlined in your logbook and the qualified mechanic will perform each service as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Any parts that need to be replaced will also be either genuine parts or their equivalent, so you don’t need to worry about voiding your warranty with poor quality parts.

For professional logbook car services by experienced and professional mechanics, call Steve Sorensen Mechanical at Browns Plains on 3809 2711.