Regular Car Servicing
in Barmera Auto Workshop
With holiday season coming soon, Riverland Auto Repairs encourage you to get your car booked in for servicing early and beat the rush.
Service your car regularly!
Co-owner Con Tsorotiotis says it gets hectic around that time of year so booking is a great idea to ensure your car gets attended to and gives you peace of mind on the road. During the sizzling summer the hoses and belts under the hood can deteriorate quickly and should be inspected. Batteries, brakes and suspension also commonly suffer from the extensive heat and need regular check-up at your local car service.
"Get those parts inspected to make sure nothing has occurred during the challenging weather," advises Con. Brakes are known to warp under intense heat, causing vibrations to your vehicle, and batteries are known to cook with high engine temperatures. To ensure your vehicle is ready for the drive, Con recommends a full service and safety check to ensure a worry-free holiday.
Car companies advise regular maintenance and service to keep your car in top condition. But what happens if you ignore the advice and don’t service your car regularly? The results are not pretty.
Engine oil runs through channels in your car’s engine to combat the enormous friction (and the resulting high temperatures) created in the combustion process. Oil also lubricates the hundreds of internal components in your engine, reducing wear and tear. But in its journey around the engine, oil attracts a range of pollutants, including petrol, soot and condensation. If it isn’t changed regularly, the contaminants in the oil will cause it to thicken and when it does that, it becomes less effective. The oil stops flowing properly and when you switch off the engine, it will sit in the hotter parts of the engine and literally bake on to components. It works a little like your barbecue. If you leave oil on the hot plate, it burns and goes hard and gluggy. When oil is thin and an engine is turned off the oil immediately flows back to the sump, where it belongs. The effects of all this on your engine’s performance may take a while to show up, but eventually the engine will run hotter, there will be more friction and ultimately there will be more wear and tear on components.
Brake fluid is the same as power steering fluid and coolant, but will actually pick up more contaminants, particularly condensation. And unlike other fluids, which will affect only your car’s performance, contaminated brake fluid is a safety issue. It will affect your car’s braking performance dramatically and you will find that your brakes fade a lot quicker than normal during repeated applications. Most manufacturers will tell you to change your brake fluid every two years to be safe. Tell-tale signs include a ‘soft’ or ‘long’ brake pedal that travels almost to the floor on application. You may also notice that your stopping distances will be longer despite the same pressure being applied to the brake.
Power steering fluid
Power steering fluid is a lot like oil in that it absorbs particles that ultimately affect its performance. Power steering fluid that is past its use-by date will become very hot and less effective, causing wear in the steering rack and power steering pump. If your car makes a whirring sound and shudders when you turn the wheel at low speed or if the wheel becomes harder to turn, your power steering fluid may need replacing. Power steering fluid should also be bright coloured or clear. If it looks brown or black, it needs changing.
Most coolants have a lifespan in much the same way a bottle of milk has a use-by date. Depending on the coolant, this could be anywhere between three and five years. Coolant is a mixture of water and other additives, including lubricants and anti- freeze/anti-boil chemicals. Apart from keeping your engine cool, coolant lubricates your water pump and thermostat and any other moving parts inside the cooling system. Coolant also has anticorrosive properties when it is fresh. But as it becomes older, it acts more like water, which is corrosive. The coolant will start to attack cylinder heads, blocks, water pumps and radiators and the heater core, which operates your heater. Your coolant should always be either a bright green, red or orange. If yours looks like mud or rusty water – or even clear water, it is time for a change. Equally, if the fluid in your radiator has an oily film on it, this could point to more serious problems, ranging from a blown head gasket, a cracked cylinder head or block or internal damage to the radiator (on an automatic).