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.


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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.

What Does a Minor Car Service Include?

A minor car service doesn’t cost much money, but it is a necessary part of maintaining your vehicle and keeping everyone safe. Regular services are also a good way to pick up any problems early, before they end up costing you a lot of money to fix at your auto service centre.

Some people think that they can skip the minor car services and just have the major ones, but that doesn’t work, because by the time your major service is due, your car is already in trouble (because your skipped the minor services).  

You really do need to book your car into your local auto service centre for regular services and to show the importance of them, let’s take a look at what one of these minor services involves.

  • Your engine oil is drained and replaced with new, clean oil so that your car runs more efficiently.
  • The oil filter is also replaced, so that your engine runs more smoothly.
  • All of the fluids are flushed and changed – these include the clutch, transmission, power steering, brake and coolant fluids.
  • Your battery is tested to make sure that it holds its charge and is unlikely to need replacing before your next service.
  • Your car is given a full safety inspection, to pick up anything that needs replacing or fixing, either now or in the near future.
  • A drive test is performed, to make sure that nothing has been missed that could endanger you, your family or anyone else on the road.
  • All of the remaining filters (air, fuel and pollen) are inspected to make sure that they don’t need to be replaced.
  • The gear box oil, transfer case and diff oil are checked as well.
  • Your wiper blades are inspected to make sure that they don’t need to be replaced.

As you can see, a minor car service covers a lot of territory and helps to make sure that your car is always safe. It also helps to prevent unexpected problems occurring out of the blue, which might cost you a lot of money if they were simply ignored and left too long before being repaired.

So make sure to book your car into your local auto service centre for regular services and avoid costly repair jobs in the future.

How do turbo cars give better fuel economy?

Fuel savings with turbos come two fold –

Firstly a 1.6 litre turbo engine is physically smaller and lighter than a similarly powered 3.0 litre non turbo (naturally aspirated engine). This means fuel savings from weight and due to smaller and less internal engine components, causing less drag as they move around together.

For the second benefit, it is important to understand how an engine and turbo works. Your engine in simple terms, be it diesel or petrol, is an oil burner. It burns fuel to make power to turn the wheels. Despite uncountable technological breakthroughs, this is still a very inefficient way of producing energy. The energy extracted from your fuel breaks down to this – Approximately 35% to power (useful work), 35% wasted through the exhaust, 30% wasted as heat which gets transferred through the coolant and oil. Diesel power efficiency is slightly higher, hence why diesels can get better fuel economy.

Turbos are powered by the normally wasted energy that flows out of the exhaust pipe. A turbo is essentially two fans joined by a common shaft. One fan lies in the exhaust stream, the other in the intake. The flowing exhaust spins the fan (called the turbine), which powers the corresponding fan in the intake (the compressor). This creates boost pressure, allowing more air to be forced into the engine. In basic terms if you run 14psi of boost into a 1.6 litre engine, it can now flow as much air, and with the correct fuelling, produce as much power as a 3.2 litre non turbo engine, but with less weight and better efficiency as discussed earlier. Turbo fuel saving efficiencies can be in the range of 8-10%, but be warned, put the foot down and these little engines will show you just how much power they have, and that they can burn just as much fuel as the big boys when at full throttle.

We are well trained and have plenty of experience with turbo systems at Steve Sorensen Mechanical. We can take care of any Browns Plains turbo problems, including –

Standard waste gate turbo

Waste gate solenoid problems

Variable geometry turbo

Boost leak finding

Misfires under boost

Diesel turbo systems

Turbo replacement

The Best Car Repair Shop in Brisbane

If you’re looking for the best car repair shop in Brisbane, then check out Steve Sorenson Mechanical in Browns Plains. Steve offers a complete auto repair service for any model vehicle and he has been in the industry for years and years, so he really knows his cars.

He offers top quality work at a very reasonable price and has built a solid reputation on his hard work and his unquestioned knowledge of what makes a car tick. One of his strengths is the ability to diagnose what is wrong with your vehicle, even when other mechanics have been stumped. He is the Jedi of car mechanics!

Complete auto repair services are offered by Steve Sorensen Mechanical. Steve and his highly experienced team of mechanics offer the following services for your vehicle in his car repair shop:

General servicing

You can book in for a minor or a major service at Steve’s car repair shop, and on the phone or in store they will walk through your logbooks scheduled service recommendations, whether it be for a 20,000km or 150,000km service, giving you a quote that follows the manuafacturers schedule to the letter, but at a much more reasonable price. The minor service includes a road test, changing the oil filter and engine oil, a full safety inspection with any recommendations quoted and discussed with you, topping up all fluids, a computerised battery, starter and charging system health check and a clean and adjustment of your brakes. The major service includes all of that, as well as new spark plugs, and a check of the engines state of tune. If any additional items are scheduled at your specified manufacturers logbook service, be it an air filter or brake fluid flush etc. this will be quoted and discussed with you before being carried out.

 Logbook servicing

You don’t need to worry if your car is still under warranty, because Steve will service your vehicle using parts and lubricants that meet or even exceed OEM standards. This means that your service is performed by an expert, your logbook is completed and you maintain your new car warranty.

Repairs and maintenance

Steve offers a complete auto repair service, including brake and clutch repairs, automatic transmission repairs and servicing, repairs to cooling systems, timing belt replacements, steering and suspension repairs, electronic vehicle diagnostics and safety certificates.

Pre-purchase inspections

When you are ready to buy a second hand vehicle, you want Steve by your side giving the vehicle a once over. His experience will definitely save you money and stop you from buying a lemon.

So for a complete auto repair service, visit Steve’s car repair shop in Browns Plains and you will not be disappointed.

3 Tips to Help You Choose Between Car Repair Workshops.

When you are looking for a car repair workshop, you want to find the best mechanic that is available. You also want them to be reasonably priced and to not take too long in repairing your vehicle. This is just as important for auto electrical repairs, as it is for mechanical repairs.

So here are 3 tips to help you choose between different car repair workshops.

Tip 1 – Check out their website

This is the first step in choosing between car repair workshops, because you can see exactly the services they offer and whether they perform an auto electrical repair, if this is what you need. Their website will also give you an idea of their professionalism and how they interact and communicate with their customers.  

Tip 2 – Talk to them on the phone

A phone call is a very quick and easy way to get a better feel for the car repair workshop. Talking to them over the phone will give you more of an idea about how they treat their customers and if you can talk to the mechanic, you will also start to have a feel for their experience and knowledge. Sometimes you can only talk to a receptionist, but most good workshops will let you have a chat to their mechanic, because they need to know if they can help you out or if you need to go somewhere else for more experienced help, for example you might need a specialist auto electrical repair shop.   

Tip 3 – Visit their car repair workshop

Once you are fairly happy with the car repair workshop, it is a good idea to just drive by and drop in for a chat. This way you can talk face-to-face with the mechanics, making sure that you feel comfortable with them. This also gives you a clear idea of how they treat their customers and whether they can explain a complicated problem in terms that you can understand – which is important to many people.  

So if you are looking for a vehicle repair workshop, these 3 tips should have you back on the road in no time at all.

DIY Car Repair vs Hiring a Car Mechanic

Lots of people repair their own cars and they are very good at it, but there are times when you need an expert. That’s why car owners in Logan go to Steve Sorensen Mechanical, because when you need an expert, the mechanics at their Logan auto repair shop are the best.

So let’s take a look at the times when it is OK to repair your own car and when you really need to call a Browns Plains mechanic.  

Regular Logan car services and minor repairs

If you are mechanically minded, then performing your own minor service oil change and filter replacements can be easy for you and there is nothing wrong in doing this yourself. The only proviso is that when you have a Logan car service performed by expert mechanics, they can easily pick up any other problems at the same time, before they start to become bigger problems and cost you a lot more money in repair bills than a few simple services.

You can even perform your own minor repairs if you are handy enough, but always keep in mind that the job needs to be performed correctly, so you prevent any safety issues in the future.

Major repairs need a Logan auto repair expert

When it comes to major repairs, then it is always best to call in a Browns Plains mechanic to make sure that the repairs are performed correctly. Inadequate repairs can end up costing you a lot more than the original price of the repairs if you had gone to a Logan auto repair centre in the first instance and in a worst case scenario can result in collisions and injuries.

Safety is a big factor in DIY repairs and in most cases, major repairs are best left to the experts who can easily identify the problem and fix it up in no time. Modern cars have evolved tremendously over the past 10 to 20 years, leaving the technology of pre-2000 model cars that you may be familiar with in the dust. Voltages and amperage on certain systems in even the most basic car, are high enough to easily be fatal if not treated with respect and knowledge of what you are doing…this is well before we even start talking about the realms of hybrid and full electric cars, which pump through more electricity than an average household.

So make sure you know when it is best to DIY or to call in the experts at your local Logan car service shop and look forward to a safe driving future.

How Much do Vehicle Repairs and Servicing Cost?

If you ask a 1000 people what they think is the cost of vehicle repairs and servicing, you will most probably receive 1000 different answers, because everyone has different levels of service expectations and everyone charges different prices. So instead of expecting an answer in dollars, it is much better to take a look at the actual real world benefits of regular vehicle repairs and servicing.

Regular vehicle repairs and servicing prolongs the life of your car

If you don’t bother having regular car mechanics services then your car will age quicker than normal and can end up costing you a lot of money in repairs. Most importantly, the oil change done every service, delays internal wear in your engine, and prevents the formation of sludge deposits, which can eventually block passages and starve vital internal engine components, destroying your engine. Oil leaks, brittle hoses and worn brake pads are a few examples of problems that can be easily picked up when you have your car serviced regularly. Fixing these problems before they become worse, can save you a lot of costly repair bills down the track

Vehicle repairs and servicing saves you money

The same is true when you avoid repairing your car, because the longer you leave the problem, the more expensive it will be to fix. So when you notice that your car has an issue, maybe blowing black smoke from the exhaust, the brakes are squishy or the transmission is noisy, if you make the necessary repairs – you will avoid a small problem progressing and effecting more expensive components and keep your car in tip-top shape for many years to come.

Regular services and repairs keep everyone safe

Safety should be everyone’s concern and a well maintained car keeps yourself, your family and everyone else on the road safe. The cost of regular car mechanics services and repairs when needed, are a small price to pay for the safety of your family. So be sure to keep your vehicle in good shape at all times and you will have peace of mind and save yourself some money as well.

In the end, if you have a great car which has had regular vehicle repairs and servicing, when the time comes to sell, you can expect an equally good price, compared to other cars which have not been so well maintained. So if you live in south east QLD, check out Steve Sorensen Mechanical for great repairs and services at a very competitive price.

Why is Steve Sorensen Mechanical Top Toyota Car Service Centre in Browns Plains?

When you are looking for a Toyota car service centre, you can’t go past Steve Sorensen Mechanical for a top Toyota service in Browns Plains. Steve Sorensen has been in the mechanical business for years and together with his team of 4 qualified mechanics, they share a vast amount of knowledge on all makes and models, especially Toyotas.  One of our mechanic’s actually spent a large amount of his career in a multiple Toyota dealerships around Australia.

So let’s break this down and take a closer look at why Steve Sorensen Mechanical is such a great Toyota car service centre.

Loads of experience

The owner, Steve Sorensen has been in the business for decades and really understands cars.  In our workshop we have all of the latest diagnostic equipment, our workshop is clean and tidy and there is lots of parking available. So if you want a Toyota service in Browns Plains from someone who is experienced, honest and hardworking, then you need to book in with Steve Sorensen Mechanical.  

Very friendly and open with customers

Everyone who works here is really friendly and happy to see you. They make you feel welcome as soon as they meet you, they are happy to explain everything to you and they listen to you as well. So many mechanics just prattle off on their own, not really listening to their clients, so it is good to know that the mechanics in this Toyota car service centre pay attention to what you want and answer all of your questions in full.

Lots of testimonials on their website

Just about every mechanical shop should have a website and if they are any good, they will also have lots of customer testimonials on their website. This is one of the best ways for a business to advertise themselves as it really gives new potential customers a lot of confidence in their work. People who give testimonials are usually very honest, sometimes brutally honest, so having access to this type of affirmation is like gold when you are looking for a reliable mechanic.

So if you are in the market for a Toyota service in Browns Plains, give the guys at Steve Sorensen Mechanical a call and you will be back on the road in no time.

Three Things to Look for in a Car Mechanics Service Provider

Most car owners need to outsource their maintenance and repairs to a car mechanics service centre. That’s because we either don’t know enough about cars to perform a major service ourselves or we are just too busy. So when you are in the market for a vehicle repairs and servicing provider, how do you know if they are reliable and experienced?

Well, there are lots of ways you can do this, but here are three of the simplest and fastest ways to obtain a first impression of a car service and repairs centre.

Clean and tidy work area

If their work area is nice and tidy with all of the essentials stacked away fairly neatly, then that gives you a good first impression, because it reflects their work ethics. If their work area is absolutely filthy with used oil cans and rags around the place and you are afraid to touch anything because of the dirt – then it’s best to move on to the next vehicle repairs and servicing centre on your list. You can’t expect them to be squeaky clean, but a dirt laden work area doesn’t give you much faith in the quality of their work.

Client testimonials on their website

Any car mechanics service provider worth their salt should have a website, which you can check for client testimonials. This is because one of the best ways for a business to increase their client base is to include testimonials on their website, so if they don’t have any available at all, this will raise a red flag – it will make you wonder why they don’t have any testimonials from happy customers.  

Written quotes

Make sure that the vehicle repairs and servicing centre are happy to give you a written quote for the work. You should always do this and never let anyone commence work on your car until you have a quote in writing. This will protect you from having to deal with a blown-out bill, because the mechanic went ahead with work that you hadn’t sanctioned. So always ask them if they give written quotes and make sure that you receive one before work starts.

With these three tips you should have no problem finding the right car mechanics service centre for your vehicle.

Why are car batteries more prone to failure in the cold?

CCA – CCA is critical for cranking the engine over fast enough for it to start. It’s a scientifically tested, rated number of amps a battery can support for 30 seconds at a temperature of 17.8 degrees Celius until the battery voltage drops to unusable levels. A 12V battery with a rating of 600 CCA means the battery will provide 600 amps for 30 seconds at 0 degrees before the voltage falls to 7.20 V (six cells).

RC – RC helps to powers your vehicle’s electrical system if the alternator fails or the engine is turned off. It’s similar to the battery life bar you have on your phone for it’s battery and is rating of how many minutes the battery can supply ample power without falling below the minimum voltage needed to run your vehicle. In general for both CCA and RC, the higher the number the better. Batteries are sensitive items, and they do not like being discharged all the way down to it’s lower depths of RC, it will shorten the life of the battery even though your alternator will be doing it’s best to recharge it again once the engine starts.  If you drain the battery regularly, such as in a boat or 4wd that will use electrical load for fridges etc. then it is advisable to get a deep cycle battery, a different type of battery that reacts better to getting down into these deep dishcharge states.  

If you live in a cold climate, the CCA rating is an important consideration in choosing a battery as at those low cold morning temperatures the battery will be stressed harder. If you live in a high heat climate, you don’t need as much CCA. The final consideration is how much CCA for which engine – this generally follows a logical curve of how big your engine is and how much compression it has. So a Nissan 3.0 litre diesel engine will require a much larger battery than a Mitsubishi 1.5 litre petrol engine to get it turning over fast enough to run.

We electronically test your battery every service to determine it’s usuable life and it’s associated components that affect it’s life – documenting the lowest that voltage drops to when cranking the starter and what voltage the alternator is charging the battery at – the starter and alternator serviceability have a large influence on battery life, as a weak starter or corroded cable to the starter, requiring the battery to work harder than normal, will certainly shorten the batteries life. 

Generally we recommend a new battery when it’s CCA rating has dropped below a certain percentage of it’s maximum value and voltage drops to below 10 volts while cranking the vehicle over – providing the starter and alternator are in good condition. Several variables are taking into account for this, such as – Are we coming into winter? How many electrical accessories is the customer likely to run with the engine off?

If a battery is found to be weak during our computerised test done at every vehicle service, we stock a large range of top quality batteries covering a range of vehicles, so we can take care of Browns Plains battery sales for the majority of vehicles. Car sounding a little sluggish when cranking? Drop in for a free computerised battery test and we will give you a printed out health state of that battery, starter and alternator system. 

What to expect from a top Ford service in Browns Plains

When you are looking for a Ford service centre or even a mechanic offering services to other makes like Nissan, Toyota or Hyundai in Browns Plains, there are certain things you expect from a first rate auto mechanic service. It doesn’t matter whether they are a dealership or the local mechanic shop down the road, you have certain expectations that the work will be reliable and the cost will be reasonable.

So, no matter what ar make you have, what other expectations should you have from a top Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Holden, Mazda or Hyundai service centre in Browns Plains?

1.    Top quality work: You should always expect top quality work, wherever you take your car, and the quality you receive comes down to both experience and work ethics. So ask the mechanic a few leading questions about your vehicle and how often they service or repair the same make and model. Also, by chatting with you they will naturally drop hints about their work ethics, which you will easily pickup and will help you to formulate a first impression of their suitability.

2.    Service with a smile: We all have good and bad days, so take the time to chat with the mechanic about any repairs you need or about your auto mechanic service –  and regardless of the day he or she is having, they should make you feel at ease and comfortable in their presence. They should also explain difficult topics easily to you, demonstrating their understanding of the subject and also being astute enough to realise that you need a simple explanation of complicated repairs.

3.    Written quotes: Always ask for a written quote for the work, which should be willingly supplied to you. Also, make sure to include an upper limit in costs on the quote, above which the service centre or mechanic must contact you, so you won’t be left with a bill far in excess of what you expected.

Once you feel comfortable with the service centre, then go ahead and give them a trial run and book in for an auto mechanic service. If everything goes well with the service, then you can put their number on speed dial, in case you need an unexpected mechanical repair job in the future.

Why do manufacturers recommend flushing brake fluid every 2 years?

Brake fluid is hygroscopic (bluntly, it means it absorbs water). As the fluid absorbs moisture in the air we breathe, mainly through rubber brake hoses and seals, it lowers the boiling point of the fluid.

To put it simply, using the brakes creates tremendous heat and if the brake fluid happens to boil your pedal will more than likely drop to the floor. Every service we send an electronic pulse through the fluid to test it, advising you if it is time to have the brake fluid flushed and changed.

The cost of flushing and replacing brake fluid may be quite minimal on many vehicles, but the cost of not doing so can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Without maintenance, you may end up with rusted brake lines or brake calipers, and other problems with brake parts. This is why it’s vital to inspect and test the brake fluid for moisture content every two years. If you live somewhere with high humidity, you could potentially push this timeframe out to 3 or 4 years, but obviously the more frequently, the better.

Another important note is that winter weather can bring with it salt and other contaminants, which can get into the brake fluid. So vehicle owners in these colder areas (especially where it snows) should pay particular attention to checking their brake fluid.

Ultimately, brake fluid is as critical to stopping your car as engine oil is to keeping your car running. It’s of paramount importance that it’s checked on regular basis by a knowledgeable car expert, or preferably a qualified mechanic.

What are the Benefits of a Pre-Purchase Inspection for Your Vehicle?

Pre-purchase inspections are designed to give you peace of mind, before you spend your hard earned cash on a used vehicle. Not everyone is mechanically minded and so most people rely on the honesty of the seller, whether that is a dealer or a private individual.

This problem exists because unfortunately, not everyone is honest and many people will sell you a vehicle without disclosing any of the problems they know exist. The last thing you want is to buy a lemon of a car that ends up costing you an arm and a leg – just imagine the cost of an automatic transmission repair!

A pre-purchase inspection saves you money on costly repairs

So the obvious benefit of a pre-purchase inspection is that can save you a lot of money and angst when buying a used car, because you won’t be buying a car with unknown problems. It’s all fair and good if the seller clearly states that there are certain issues with the vehicle and they have set the price accordingly, but there can also be far more hidden problems than initially stated by the seller.  

If you know the vehicle needs repairs and the costs involved, then you can decide if this particular car is worth the overall costs of purchase price + repairs bill. Of course if you are not aware of any existing problems, then the overall cost of the car can sky rocket rapidly.

A pre-purchase inspection helps you negotiate a better deal

If the seller has not fully informed you of all problems with the vehicle, but after a pre-purchase inspection you have found a list of issues, then this gives you some serious room to negotiate with the seller.

You need to put a value to the car, which includes the repair bill and then negotiate the price down to that dollar value. If the seller won’t budge then you can walk away knowing that you have not lost your money on costly repairs, such as an automatic transmission repair or even worse.

So before you sign on the dotted line and pay over the odds for a used car, be sure to hedge your bets and take advantage of a pre-purchase inspection of the vehicle.

Capped Price Servicing – What does it mean?

There are 3 major marketing variants used by the major manufacturers:

CAPPED PRICE SERVICING – Offered by all the mainstream manufacturers, this is simply a quoted service price, exactly the same as we do for you. So every service costs a different amount depending what work is scheduled, but you are given the price up front. We do this but without the marketing buzzwords, so call us and we are confident we can offer a better price than the dealer for your logbook servicing.

PRE-PAID OR LIFETIME FIXED PRICE SERVICING – A set service price of let’s say $260 per service is offered by the dealer for the ‘life’ of the vehicle. These offers will either essentially overcharge you for the smaller services to make up for the large service due at let’s say 100,000km where several more expensive items are due for replacement or deem the ‘life’ of the vehicle over before any major service items are scheduled (ie. around 100,000km).

FREE SERVICING – Servicing costs are built into the price of purchasing the car, similar to a $1000 cashback promotion etc. Almost always these free services will only apply for 1 to 3 years where hardly any items are actually replaced on the vehicle except the oil and oil filter, so the servicing costs would be quite low.

Does a Vehicle Maintenance Service by My Local Mechanic Void The Warranty?

When you buy a new vehicle, the dealer will most probably recommend that you have all of your auto services performed by their dealership. This is because car dealerships make a lot of money from their vehicle maintenance services and repairs.

The problem is that in most cases, items like pre purchase inspections and vehicle maintenance services will cost you much more in a dealership than at an independent mechanical shop. Dealerships however, allow you to think that you will void your warranty if you do not use their services.

In part this is true, but only if you don’t go to a reputable mechanic and follow certain conditions laid down by the Federal Government. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have clearly stated that your warranty will not be voided if you go to an independent mechanic for your vehicle maintenance services – if the following three conditions are met:

  1. The person who performs the service on your car must be a qualified mechanic. Unless you are also a mechanic, if you perform your own services, then you will void your warranty. Otherwise, a qualified mechanic is legally allowed to perform vehicle maintenance services on your car without voiding the warranty.

  2. You need to have all of the services performed to the manufacturer’s specifications. This means that all of your vehicle maintenance services must be performed at the stated times and intervals or else your warranty will be void.

  3. You need to use the appropriate parts for your vehicle. This is simply common sense, but some people are under the belief that you have to use genuine parts, but this is not a condition of the warranty. The parts must just be fit for the purpose – they must be designed to do the job and meet or exceed the manufacture’s standards.

So next time you buy a new car, make sure that you have a pre purchase inspection and then if you decide to buy, don’t be hoodwinked into paying out much more than you need to the dealership. Check out your local auto mechanic shops and find a reliable mechanic to perform all your services and save yourself a lot of your hard earned money.