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 Maintenance Services, following the Manufacters Logbook Car Service 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 Logbook Car Service, 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.

Benefits of Hiring a Mechanic Against Doing it Yourself

Car owners come in two different categories, those that try and perform all of their own services and repairs themselves and those that look for the nearest Logan auto repair shop. The first group of car owners might be able to do most of their own services and repairs, but more often than not there comes a time when you need to call in the experts anyway.

The second group of people, either recognise that they don’t have the skills to do these jobs themselves or simply don’t have the time to fit them into their busy lives. This is where a Logan auto repair shop comes in, because you don’t have to worry about keeping your car in good order yourself, you can just enjoy your car and know that someone else is on the job for you.

If you are on the fence about booking your car in at your Logan auto repair shop, here are two serious reasons why you might be better off picking up the phone.  

New car warranties: If you have a new car, then you need all of your services and repairs to be performed by a licensed mechanic or you will void your warranty. You can use your local Logan auto repair shop for this work and not bother returning to the dealer, that’s fine, but you must have all of the warranty services performed and signed off by a proper mechanic.

Voiding your insurance: There are lots of reasons why your car insurance might decide to not pay out on a claim. Some of these reasons can include the fact that the wrong parts were used on your car and if you fitted them yourself and didn’t go to your Logan auto repair shop, then the insurance company can refuse to pay, saying that the wrong parts contributed to the accident. This may never happen, but it is always better to be safe than sorry where your car is concerned.

We all know that lots of people do their own services and repairs, but we don’t often think of the consequences if something goes wrong. So when you need a service or there is a problem with your car, consider the benefits of booking into your local Logan auto repair shop and make the right choice for your family.

4 Tips To Prevent Being Taken for a Ride By an Automobile Mechanic

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, we know that many of our customers have previously been overcharged or have paid for repairs by unscrupulous automobile mechanics that were later found to be unnecessary. These situations are unfortunate and give all mechanics a bad name, so it is essential that you find yourself an honest and reliable automobile mechanic as soon as possible.

To this end, here are 4 tips to help you find a good automobile mechanic in your area.

1. Ask around for recommendations: When someone you trust recommends an Auto Mechanic Service, you are usually safe. So ask around your network of friends, work colleagues and relatives and try to find a reliable mechanic using this strategy first, then check their websites online. Make sure that their website looks professional with lots of pertinent information, as this shows that the mechanic cares about his customers.

2. Ask about their warranty: Before you book your car in for a service or repairs, make sure to ask about the warranty they offer for their work and parts. Normally these warranties last for one year, but if the mechanic is vague about their warranties or only provides a very short warranty, you have a clear signal to look elsewhere.

3. Ask to see any replaced parts: One easy way for automobile mechanics to make money is to say that a part needs replacing, charge for the part and labour, and then not replace the part. To avoid this happening to you, ask to actually view the part that needs to be replaced on the car (if this is possible), even take a photo of it with your phone and then ask to see the part when it has been replaced. If you can recognise the part that was originally on your car, then you know that it has been replaced (and is not a part from another car).

4. Keep your receipts: Always keep all of your service and repair receipts safe. These are vital in case you need to return to the Auto Mechanic Service and query a bill or a repair and are also a good history when you decide to sell the car.

If you are searching for a reliable, honest and experienced Auto Mechanic Service in the Logan area, check out Steve Sorensen Mechanical for a great deal.

We Reduce Auto Electrical Repair Costs by Using the Latest Diagnostic Tools

Auto electrical repair costs can be quite expensive and one of the reasons for this is the length of time it can take to actually diagnose the fault, particularly if it is a tricky problem.   

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, we have many years in the trade and have built a solid reputation for being able to diagnose electrical problems that other mechanics have failed to locate. Even so, we know that an auto electrical repair bill can be costly for our customers, so one of the ways we reduce your costs is to access the high tech, computer on-board diagnostics (OBD) system.

Most modern vehicles have an OBD, but it still takes a lot of skill to understand this system and to actually diagnose the problem, before your mechanic can move on to finding a solution. The main purpose of an OBD is to monitor your vehicle’s emissions and to record information that helps in diagnosing any problems that might require an auto electrical repair.

3 Ways Your OBD Can Help Reduce Your Auto Service Repair Bill

1. Early detection of problems: If there is a problem in your vehicle’s electrical circuits, the OBD will pick this up very quickly. This means that you won’t be driving around unaware of a problem that can end up causing serious damage and costing you a lot of money if ignored.  

2. Data on the cause of the fault: When a fault is detected, the mechanic can access data that reveals the conditions in your vehicle that led up to the fault occurring. This means that the fault can be found quicker in a car with an OBD, reducing your overall auto electrical repair costs.

3. Real time sensor readings: Your mechanic can access real time readings, such as torque, speed and RPM helping to optimise your vehicle’s efficiency and saving you money on fuel, as well as increasing the performance of your vehicle.

With a comprehensive scan of your vehicle’s electrical systems, your auto electrical repair bills will be kept to a minimum, leaving you more money to enjoy driving, rather than fixing your car.

Is a Mazda Car Service More Expensive Than a Toyota Car Service?

The cost of a service, whether that is a Mazda car service or any other make, simply depends on the type of the service and the cost of the parts that need to be replaced. The fact that you need a Mazda car service doesn’t necessarily mean that is any more expensive than a Toyota service for example, not unless the parts are more costly.

Service costs depend mainly on the price of parts

It is fair to say that when you decide to purchase a car that you should take into consideration the cost of parts, not just the parts used in a service, but the cost of the parts you might need replaced over time as well. As you most probably are already aware, European car parts cost more than locally made car parts, so you are always going to pay more for parts if you purchase a European car.

Also, the parts for some makes of cars do cost more than others, simply because the car costs more to buy in the first place and the parts are high precision or high performance parts. So for example, if you compare the cost of a Mazda car service to a top of the line Range Rover or a Porsche, you can expect to pay more for your service for the luxury vehicles.

The more parts that need to be replaced during the service, the greater the price differential. So an equivalent 10,000 km Mazda car service will generally cost less than the same service on a Porsche. When you move into the realm of repairs, of course your costs will sky rocket, depending on the cost of the parts that are required for luxury cars.

If you are concerned about the difference in price between a Mazda car service and a Toyota, then there is not much in it and you should decide on your purchase based on your needs, rather than any disparities in service costs.

An additional factor you need to consider when you are thinking about costs is that different dealerships and auto shops will charge different fees. So it always pays to shop around and find the best price for your Mazda car service, not forgetting that the experience and reputation of the mechanic should be considered as well in these costs.

Do I need to go to my car dealership for my logbook car service?

When you buy a new car or one that is still within its warranty period, you need to make sure that you keep up to date with all of the logbook car services. This is because if you miss a logbook car service and anything goes wrong with your car requiring you to make a claim against the dealership, they may well refuse to fix your car, because you missed one of the services.

This means that you need to decide whether or not to take your car back to the dealership for a logbook car service or find an auto shop closer to home, who also might be cheaper. Some people think that they have to return to the dealership for all of their services when the car is still under warranty. This is not true, as by law you can take your car to any auto shop for your logbook car service, so long as they adhere to two important provisions.

The mechanic must be qualified to do the logbook car service

When you book your car in for a logbook service, the person who works on your car must be a qualified mechanic or an apprentice, who is supervised by a qualified mechanic. This is to prevent someone servicing your car who doesn’t know what they are doing or even if they do know how to service your car, they could make a mistake or miss something important.

The mechanic must use equivalent parts

You also need to make sure that the qualified mechanic uses equivalent parts, if any need to be replaced on the car during the logbook car service. This is because the manufacturer and dealership have issued a warranty, based on the fact that parts of a specific quality are used in the car. If low quality parts are used, then problems can arise that might cause you to make a claim, which will be refused because the problem was due to the low quality parts.

It always pays to keep up with your logbook car services, but it also pays to check out your local auto shop, because they are local and they might well be cheaper than the dealership.

Why Does The Engine Oil Need to be Replaced in Your Car?

It will come as no surprise to your automobile mechanic, that most of us don’t give any more thought to our engine oil, than the mandatory dip stick checks and top ups we do every now and again. When we book into our local auto service centre we just accept that our engine oil and filter will be replaced and unless we see the tell-tale signs of leaking oil on our driveways, that is the end of our thoughts on engine oils and filters.

However, when you think about it – why do we really need our engine oil changed and how often should we do this? So here are 3 reasons why you should regularly book your vehicle in with your local automobile mechanic for a service that includes changing your engine oil and filters.

1. Reduced viscosity over time: Oil is a lubricant, which protects the internal workings of your engine from wearing against each other. Over time, oil loses this viscosity, particularly in the high temperatures of combustion engines and if not replaced with new oil, your engine will eventually cease up and stop working.

2. Additives become depleted: Engine oil contains additives that increase the efficiency of your engine, which if not replaced lose their effectiveness and your engine’s performance decreases.

3.Saturated with contaminants: Many of the by-products of combustion will end up suspended in the engine’s oil, which is one reason why your nice new clear oil turns black over time. As the oil becomes saturated with these contaminants, its efficiency reduces and the performance of your vehicle suffers.

If you don’t book into your local auto service centre regularly and you don’t change your oil for years, eventually your engine will start to cost you more and more in fuel and repairs. Engines run well on clean oil and poorly on dirty, old contaminated oil.

So it simply makes sense to have regular services by your automobile mechanic and keep your car in tip top shape. The regularity of these services is different, depending on the make and age of your vehicle, so always check in with your local auto service centre and set up a realistic schedule for your services.

Do Spark Plugs Need to be Replaced Every Time I Book Into an Auto Mechanic Shop?

Whether or not your spark plugs are checked and replaced by the mechanic, depends on the auto mechanical services you require and the reason for booking your car into the auto mechanic shop. So when you book your vehicle into an auto mechanic shop, if you have noticed a drop in performance, it is worthwhile having them checked.

This is because your spark plugs actually help to start your engine and without this spark your engine won’t start. So one of the reasons why your car might not start in the morning, could be that the spark plugs need to be replaced.  

So next time you book your vehicle in for any auto mechanical services, ask them how often your spark plugs should be checked, as this depends on your car and its age, and the distances you drive, as well as the type of spark plugs that are fitted in your vehicle.

Higher quality spark plugs will take more of a beating and last a lot longer than a cheaper quality spark plug. All spark plugs will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, but the stronger and more durable the spark plugs, the longer they will last. So when you have your spark plugs replaced at the auto mechanic shop, always ask for a higher quality product, as it will pay off in the end.

 

So next time you book into your local auto mechanic shop, here are 2 important benefits of asking them to replace your spark plugs:

Increased performance: The spark plugs initiate the combustion process in your car, because they ignite the air and fuel mixture within the cylinders, but this is a continual process. So if your spark plugs are not firing properly, your overall performance will be down and you might even see a lot of misfiring as you accelerate.

Increased fuel economy: Spark plugs that misfire all the time reduce the efficiency of your engine and cause your car to use more fuel. You can actually reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 30% if you don’t replace your old spark plugs.

Keeping up to date with your auto mechanical services is important, but if your car is having problems with cold starts or is misfiring, make sure you have your spark plugs inspected.

Where Can I Find a Top Browns Plains Auto Shop?

Without a doubt, the best Browns Plains auto shop is Steve Sorensen Mechanical. The owner, Steve Sorensen, has more than 30 years’ experience as an A grade mechanic and has run his own business for more than 20 years.

As a mechanic in Browns Plains, Steve is extremely proud of his work and of the workmanship of his employees. Their customer service is first class and their awesome reputation is supported by the many testimonials on their website.  

Any mechanic who is too afraid to include honest testimonials on their website is someone you should stay away from, so making a point of looking for these testimonials and reading them is a very effective way to find an honest and trustworthy auto shop.

What services does Steve Sorensen Mechanical offer?

If you are looking for a car service in Browns Plains, then you can do no better than to head directly to Steve Sorensen Mechanical. They offer minor and major services, as well as transmission services and logbook services and they only use the best parts – either genuine parts or those that are considered to be equivalent.

At their Browns Plains auto shop, the guys at Steve Sorensen Mechanical are also very experienced in repairs to just about every make of car on the market. So if you drive a Toyota, Ford, Nissan or any other type car, don’t hesitate to drop into their Browns Plains car service centre and have a chat to them about your vehicle.  

They are experienced in repairing brakes, clutches, radiators, steering and suspensions and have the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment available in their Browns Plains auto shop.  

These guys also perform road safety inspections and issue road safety certificates, which are needed if you are selling or registering a car. Don’t forget the pre-purchase inspections, which are vital if you are ready to buy a second hand car, potentially saving you from buying a lemon and costing you a lot of money!

So if you are in the market for a Browns Plains mechanic, one who is experienced, honest and reliable – you can do no better than calling Steve Sorensen Mechanical and booking your car in today.

3 Things to Look for in an Automobile Mechanic

If you have booked your car into a new automotive repair centre, one you haven’t been to before, you might be a little apprehensive. Most probably not sure how reliable and honest they are and you don’t want to be overcharged or talked into repairs that you don’t need.

For example, whilst it is important to have a regular automatic transmission service on your car, if the automobile mechanic suddenly tries to tell you that you need a new transmission, which can cost thousands of dollars – can you believe them?

Well there is no truth-sense you can use to determine if a mechanic is being honest or not, but you can use your in-built common sense to help you find a reliable automobile mechanic.

To this end, here are 3 tips that will help you find an experienced and honest mechanic.

A clean automotive repair centre

One of the easiest ways to check out an auto service centre is to visit their workshop. So don’t just ring up and book your car in with them, go to the workshop instead. This gives you the opportunity to look around and determine whether they keep their office and workshop clean and tidy. Of course, a mechanic’s workshop won’t be pristine, but if it looks like a movie set from Armageddon, then that is a red flag for a shop that doesn’t really care very much about their work.

 

Clear, thoughtful advice

If you have a tricky problem with your car, an honest mechanic will have a clear discussion with you about your options and the likely costs. They won’t use scare tactics to talk you into paying for expensive repairs, particularly if they cost more than the value of your car! So when you visit the automotive repair centre have a chat with the mechanic and decide whether you are happy with their advice.

Warranties on workmanship

Any auto shop should give you a written warranty on their workmanship, so if your mechanic doesn’t do that – then go elsewhere. You don’t need to waste your money on dodgy repairs.  

So if your car needs an automatic transmission service or any other type of repairs, call Steve Sorensen Mechanical – the most honest and reliable auto shop in Browns Plains.

What’s Involved in Major Car Services?

At Steve Sorensen Mechanical, we perform major car services for all types of vehicles, so if you are looking for a major car service in Logan QLD, then give us a call for a high quality service at very reasonable prices.

Most of us realise that when you own a car, you need to have it serviced at some time or another, but not many of us know what is actually involved in servicing your car, particularly when it is a major service. So let’s take a look at what is included in one of our major car services. 

Times have certainly changed in the automotive service industry. To an extent, the old typical lingo of minor and major service are a thing of the past. A major service used to be performed much more often, back when ignition systems used fast wearing ignition points and nickel spark plugs that required regular replacement. Modern cars use as few moving, wearing parts as possible, so ignition points are replaced by magnetic sensors and even the humble spark plug is often coated with platinum or iridium on its tip and lasts regularly for up to 100,000 to 150,000km. So a more proper way of looking at servicing is to follow the manufacturers logbook, which delegates specific different parts to be replaced at different intervals, but for the sake of old times, most people refer to a major service as where ignition components are replaced, most often the iridium or platinum spark plugs.

At our auto service repair shop a major car service in Logan Qld includes:

  • Changing the engine oil and replacing it with new clean oil that is appropriate for your vehicle.
  • Replacing the engine oil filter
  • Fitting your car with new spark plugs
  • We conduct a computer global diagnostic scan and check the tune (or in the industry referred to as fuel trim) of your car and advise as necessary.
  • Inspect the brakes, and clean and adjust them.
  • Check, top up or advise on replacement of all vehicle fluids, including the automatic or manual transmission, diff oils,tranfer case oil, power steering fluid, coolant and brake fluid
  • Perform a full safety check of the vehicle, all the way from bulbs to suspension components, several tell tale signs that only a seasoned mechanic can recognise means we can advise on items that need attention or replacement before they become a major problem.
  • Electronically test your battery, starter and charging system
  • Clean the engines throttle body, a common reason for rough idle complaints.

 

The last thing you want is to be faced with costly repair bills in the future, because you ignored the warning signs or simply didn’t have your car serviced – which may have picked up any potential problems. So call us at Steve Sorensen Mechanical and book your car in for one of our major car services before it is too late.

Why is a Logbook Car Service Important?

If your car is under warranty, then you need to maintain your logbook servicing and keep a record of these in your logbook. There are a number of very good reasons why a logbook car service is necessary for new cars and all of them relate to saving you some serious money during the time you own the vehicle.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways logbook servicing can put more money in your pocket.

You want to make a claim against the warranty

If something happens, whether it is your fault or not and you want to claim the repairs under your warranty, then if you cannot prove that you have had the appropriate services, then the dealer can refuse to pay for the repairs and void your warranty.  During the couple years of new car ownership, the most important aspect of vehicle servicing is replacing the engines oil and filter, particularly because a new engine will experience its most prominent wear in its early life, due to microscopic machining ‘burrs’ being worn away as the engine goes about its job, rotating at several thousand times per minute. Maintaining your servicing schedule, which can legally be done at a competant independant mechanic such as Steve Sorensen Mechanical, ensures you will not fall victim to the most common dealership knockback for items such as engine oil leaks, which happen far more often in new engines than you would think, simply because you had not taken the car for its regularly servicing to maintain warranty.

Contrary to what some believe, I strongly recommend taking your car to a local independent mechanic for servicing during the warranty period, which when carried out in a professional manner as we do, will maintain your new car warranty. The reasoning for this is , on countless occassions I have had customers have the first couple of services at the dealership, coming to us for their next service, whilst still under warranty, only for us to find several problems which have obviously been there when the dealer saw it, but the dealer didn’t mention so they did not have to fix it under warranty. These problems are fixed under warranty, so offer us no financial gain, but we truly have the best interest of the car owner in mind, since under warranty the problem is not the car owners , or ours, it is the dealers responsibility to uphold their warranty

So you not only need your logbook servicing performed at the intervals outlined in your logbook, but they must also be performed by a qualified mechanic. On top of this, any parts that are replaced during the service need to be either genuine parts or of an equal quality.  

Why else, even out of warranty, is car servicing key to the reliability of the car and will save you money in the long run? 

You want to achieve the best price when you re-sell your car

When you sell your vehicle, you will get the best price if your car has been well maintained. The best way to prove this to a potential buyer is to show them your logbook.

This is because every time you have a logbook car service, your logbook is completed and stamped by the mechanic and this proves to the buyer that you have maintained your car.   

You want to cut down repair costs on your car

As with all vehicles, whether they are under warranty or not – regular services will extend the life of your car and cut down on repairs in the future. Out of the hundred of repair scenarios on a car I assure you that maintenance, is much cheaper than repair if a component eventually fails, often so in a catastrophic way on technologically sophisticated modern cars. So logbook servicing keeps your car in tiptop shape, because it actually forces you to have your car serviced by a qualified mechanic at specific intervals.

So if you make sure that you have each and every logbook car service performed on time, you will save yourself some serious money in the future.

Exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) and Ultasonic Diesel Intake Cleaning

I want to take a quick moment to talk about one particular achilles heal and possible cause of driveability issues in the modern diesel engine, Exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR), specifically in diesel vehicles (although it does effect petrol engines, although to a lesser extent).

With the advent of clean diesels, one of the larger changes has been the massive increase of EGR levels running through the engine. EGR takes some exhaust gas, runs it back through your intake manifold via a metering valve (the EGR valve) at different quantities varying on throttle position and load on the engine. Why would we want this dirty exhaust gas going back through the engine, that seems silly.

The exhaust gas is mixed with fresh intake air to lower the temperature in the combustion chamber. Even though the exhaust gas is hotter than fresh air, it contains hardly any oxygen, as that has already been burnt and cannot be burned again. So less oxygen means less explosion, which means less heat and pressure. But why? Over certain heat and pressure levels in the combustion chamber comes the massive increase of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) gases. These nasty gasses are high on the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) hitlist. They are a massive problem with internal combustion engines and will in the future contribute to the breathing problems of many humans. They are responsible for many environmental misfortunes such as smog and acid rain.

Unfortunately, these hot exhaust gases mix with ‘blow-by’ oil, created from pressurised gas passing past the piston and also being routed back through the intake to avoid pressurising the engine’s crankcase. This creates a hard tar like carbon substance to build on the walls of your intake manifold, valves and associated components, eventually starving your engine for air, causing poor fuel economy and all matter of driveablilty issues – usually first indicated by black smoke on acceleration or surging.  A quick google image search of diesel intake carbon will quickly open your eyes to the horrors of intake carbon, much like seen below.

BEFORE

1 2

 

 

 

AFTER ULTRASONIC CLEANING

7

What can we do about it?

The best bang for you buck, and safest method of cleaning involves manually removing the intake manifold and physically cleaning it in our ultrasonic tank.  This is the only way to gaurantee a perfect ‘as new’ clean, as many on-car cleaning methods struggle to break down large deposits, and can create imbalance between cylinders. The result with on-car cleaning can be that all the intake ports do not get cleaned to the same extent, so one cylinder can now be overfuelled while another is underfuelled.  Off-car ultrasonic cleaning guarantees balanced cylinder airflow, which is important as each cylinder is fuelled via the single mass air flow sensor near the air filter, balanced cylinder air flow is very important.

Call us today to talk about how we can maintain and restore your diesel fuel efficiency and driveability.

What Does an Auto Electric Repair Service Do?

Many car owners don’t know when they need a mechanic or when they need an auto electrical repair shop. There is nothing wrong with this, it just makes it easier to know the difference when something goes wrong with your car or you need some extra work performed.

Of course, some auto mechanical services can do both auto electrician repairs, as well as the regular mechanics servicing and repairs, but there are distinct differences between the two types of jobs.  With more and more technology on vehicles however, the lines between a mechanic and and auto electrician become blurred – what once was a general mechanic now relies on voltage, amps, ohms law etc. to carry out even basic tasks on vehicles.

So if you are concerned as to whether you need a mechanic or a specialist auto electrician, let’s take a look at a few of the things we do at Steve Sorensen Mechanical that you may not of expected. 

As a modern technologically savvy mechanical workshop we can:  

  • Perform electronic vehicle diagnostics, using multimeters, oscilloscopes and both OBD and dealer specific software scantools, to locate the source of your electrical problem, be it all the way from a check engine light to a failed window motor.
  • Perform diagnostics to locate problems in a whole range of modules such as ABS, SRS airbag systems and electronic steering.
  • Diagnose and replace faulty alternators, starter motors and batteries.
  • Perform testing and repairs on electronic fuel injection and ignition systems.
  • Diagnose and repair fuel system components such as electronic fuel pumps.
  • There are too many items on the car to list, but armed with the knowlege of electrical circuits, we can apply our skills to a whole range of electrical problems on a car.

When is it better to see an auto electrician? As a mechanical workshop, although within our capabilities, it can be a better option to visit a specialist auto electrician for many installations and custom jobs such as:

  • Install and fix accessories such as radios, CB radios, lights and anti-theft systems.
  • Installing new sound systems, as well as rear vision cameras and sensors.

There are many more issues that an auto electrical mechanic can locate and fix in your vehicle, all you need to do is to ask your local repair shop whether or not they can do both mechanical work and electronic repairs and installations. It can be a real inconvenience when your repair shop can’t offer both services, because that means you need to take your vehicle to two different workshops.  We pride ourselves on being up to date on the latest technologies at Steve Sorensen Mechanical to be able to cater to a wider range of your automotive needs

However, if your mechanic doesn’t offer both services, they should know a reliable auto electrical workshop in the local area who they can call on for additional work or who they can refer you to, which will fix your problem.

So if you want an experienced auto mechanic shop that can perform electronic vehicle diagnostics as well, give Steve Sorensen Mechanical a call in Browns Plains for honest work at a reasonable price.

3 Things to Look for Before Choosing a Car Repair Workshop

As a car owner you already know that you are going to need a car repair shop at some time or another in the future. First of all you are going to need regular services to keep your car safe and in good shape and without a doubt, something will go wrong at one time or another and so you are going to need a complete auto repair shop as well.

So it is a good idea to find a local car repair workshop that you like and trust, and one that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg every time you book your car in for some work.

Instead of just picking a workshop out of the air, here are 3 things to look for that will help you find a suitable complete auto repair shop in your area.

Ask around your network for references

When your family, friends or work mates recommend something to you, you take their opinion seriously don’t you? That’s because you trust their opinion and know that they are not out to make money on a referral. So ask around your network and collect a few ideas – as this is a great way to start your search.

Search online and check out their website

When you have a few references – go online and check out their websites, because this will give you more of an idea about them. Look for a professional site that is well put together and appears as if they have taken the time to think about the information their customers need. Someone who has just thrown a site together with little thought, doesn’t give you a lot of confidence in their work ethics.  Read some online reviews to see how other customers have felt about the service offered to them.

Visit the car repair shop and talk to them

Once you have decided on 2 or 3 car repair shops, it always pays to pop along and have a chat with them. When you do this, you will get a feeling for them and know which one you are more comfortable with and which one seems to know what he or she is talking about. Having a clean workshop and being friendly with their customers is a great selling point and is something you don’t know until you visit their shop.

If you use these 3 tips, you are sure to find a suitable car repair workshop in your local area.

How Frequently Do I Need a Nissan Car Service?

If you are wondering how often you should have a Nissan car service, then this depends on many factors, the first of which is whether you have a new or second hand car. With a new car you must adhere to the recommended service intervals in your log book or else your warranty will be voided.

With a second hand car, it is best to chat to the guys at your Nissan Service Centre and ask them about a servicing schedule. If you still want more information on the frequency of servicing for your car, then here are a few general guidelines that should help:

Nissan servicing can depend on the number of kilometres you drive

Did you know that the fewer kilometres you drive, the less services you need? For example, if your total kms are sitting around 60,000, your logbook might say that your next service is due at 75,000kms or at 6 months.  If you drive 5,000kms each year, then if you go by the kms – you won’t have another service for 3 years!

So for people who don’t do much driving each year, it is sensible to go by the time frames, rather than the kms driven. On the other hand for people who drive a lot each year, you need to book a Nissan servicing appointment when you reach the stated kms, not the time intervals.

Low kilometre driving

People that don’t do a lot of kilometres each year tend to drive for short distances, so the engine never really has the chance to burn off all the by-products of combustion, which can clog your oil. This reduces your car’s efficiency, increases your running costs and in the long term, your repair bills. So you need a Nissan car service based on the time interval.

High kilometre driving

Driving lots of kms means that your car simply needs more servicing to keep it in tip top shape and running smoothly, so this means that you need to book in for a Nissan car service based on the kilometres driven, not the time interval.   

Hopefully, you now understand how to schedule your services, so you can book into your Nissan service centre at the right times, based on your driving habits.

How Much Does a Trip to a Toyota Service Centre Cost?

If you want to know how much a trip to the Toyota Service Centre will cost, well the answer depends on which service centre you go to and the reason why you are going. Obviously a minor service will cost a lot less than a full brake refit, but one thing is certain – your costs will be cheaper in the long run, if you keep your car in good condition at all times.

It is important that you do everything you can to avoid paying for costly repairs and one way to do this is to make sure that you have a regular Toyota car service, so that any problems are picked up before they can escalate into a catastrophe of epic proportions.  

The solution to paying through the nose for costly repairs is to find a reliable and friendly Toyota service centre, who can do all of your regular maintenance and keep your car running smoothly. So here are 3 tips to help you find the right Toyota auto centre for your car.

1. Avoid the big dealerships: Why pay over the odds for a Toyota car service at a dealership, when you can go to a local mechanic’s auto shop and pay much less? There is no problem with voiding a new car warranty when you go elsewhere, so long as the mechanic uses approved parts on your vehicle. So shop local, support the small businesses and keep some of your hard earned money in your pocket.

2. Search online: It always pays to shop around and with the internet you can search all of the local Toyota service centres from the comfort of your lounge room. So go online and find two or three auto shops close to your home or work and then read their client testimonials.

3. Contact the service centres: It is always best to visit an auto shop so you can get a feel for them, their experience and how they present themselves to the public. A clean, well presented Toyota service centre with friendly service gives you confidence that they will do a good job at a good price.

As you can see, the best way to keep your Toyota car service costs down is to find a reliable local auto shop with a good reputation in the community.

What Does a Major Car Service Involve?

Let’s face it, most of us dread having to book our vehicle in for a major car service because of the time involved and the money it is going to cost. So we keep postponing the inevitable and think that we will make the call next month or next payday.

The problem with this approach is that we can end up requiring a major car repair service instead of a major car service, which will cost us a lot more than the service. The answer is clearly that we need to keep up with our services to prevent something even more expensive happening with our car.

So what does a major car service actually include? Because your car doesn’t look any different after you have just spent a couple of hundred dollars on it! Well there are quite a few things that need to be changed, flushed or inspected when you book in for a major service.

  • Engine oil: Your old, black dirty oil is replaced with new, clean oil, which makes your engine run more efficiently and smoothly.
  • Filters: The oil, air, fuel and pollen filters are all replaced, making your car run more effectively.
  • Spark plugs: Your spark plugs are replaced to maximise your fuel economy.
  • Brakes: Your brakes are inspected, cleaned and adjusted if necessary.
  • Flush and change: The transmission, clutch, brake, power steering and coolant fluids are all flushed and replaced, increasing the efficiency of your car.  
  • Road test: All major car services include a road test, to pick up any problems that can’t be detected easily just by inspecting the engine and which might need to be fixed now or at a later date.
  • Safety inspection: A full safety inspection is performed so that you can have complete confidence in your car.
  • Battery test: This makes sure that your battery is still charging correctly and that it shouldn’t need replacing any time soon.
  • Checks: On top of all this, the gear box, transfer case and diff oil are all checked, as are the wiper blades and all of your bulbs.

As you can see, major car services prevent you from spending money on a major car repair service, so it really pays to make the effort and book your car into your local mechanic’s shop for regular services.