Understanding the Importance of Transmission Fluid
While transmission fluid may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your car’s health, in truth, it is a vital component in the smooth operation of every vehicle. Whether you drive a manual or automatic, the transmission fluid is indispensable in ensuring smooth gear shifts and optimising the longevity of the transmission system.
Serving as both a lubricant and a coolant, car transmission fluid minimises friction between the moving parts inside the transmission and aids in regulating the transmission’s temperature, preventing it from overheating.
A vehicle running on deteriorated transmission fluid can experience sluggish gear shifts, increased wear and even transmission failure.
What is the transmission in a car?
The transmission system in a vehicle serves a pivotal role in directing power from the engine and translating it into movement. By seamlessly shifting between gears, the transmission ensures that the engine operates within an optimal range of speeds, allowing for efficient fuel consumption and power delivery.
The gears, controlled by the transmission, ensure a smooth and responsive driving experience. Because of this, transmission fluid serves as the lifeblood of this intricate system.
Does my transmission fluid need changing?
Over time, as your vehicle faces wear and tear, the transmission fluid will start showing signs that it needs to be changed. Notably, if the fluid takes on a burnt smell or turns from its typical reddish hue to a dark brown or black, it’s an indication that it’s no longer providing the lubrication and cooling the transmission needs.
Additionally, if you experience issues like erratic shifting, slipping gears, unexplained grinding noises or delays in movement after shifting, these might be symptomatic of transmission fluid that needs to be changed. Regularly checking and changing the fluid when these signs appear can prevent more severe transmission problems in the future.
How to check transmission fluid
Checking your transmission fluid is a straightforward task that every vehicle owner should be familiar with. The first thing you should do to check transmission fluid level and quality is make sure your car is on level ground. Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to warm up. This is crucial, as you may not get accurate readings if the engine is off.
With the engine running, carefully open the hood and locate the transmission dipstick. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a lint-free rag, reinsert it fully, and then pull it out again to check the level.
Some modern vehicles have a transmission dipstick which is much harder to access. If you have any trouble, the friendly team at Highfields Mechanical are happy to assist you.
What to do when your car leaks transmission fluid
Discovering a transmission fluid leak can be unsettling, and immediate action by a professional is crucial to prevent further complications. The experienced team at Highfields Mechanical possesses the expertise to accurately diagnose and repair transmission leaks, ensuring your vehicle remains in peak condition.
Trust the Experts at Highfields Mechanical
Understanding your vehicle’s transmission fluid and its crucial role is vital for the longevity and performance of your car. Whether you’re concerned about potential leaks, considering a fluid change, or simply seeking advice, the professional team at Highfields Mechanical is always ready to help.If you’re facing any issues with your vehicle, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team is committed to ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and safely.
Does My Car Need a Logbook Service?
A logbook service involves a qualified mechanic servicing your vehicle in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines. Typically, manufacturers recommend a logbook service every six months or every 10,000 kilometres driven. This regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of your vehicle.
For newer cars, the dealership sets the logbook service schedule, and adhering to it is necessary to maintain the validity of your vehicle’s warranty.
Along with changing and topping up vital fluids, logbook servicing plays a vital role in identifying and addressing minor issues before they escalate into major problems. By adopting a proactive approach to long-term vehicle maintenance, you can significantly prolong your car’s lifespan.
Preserve Your Warranty with Logbook Servicing
Following your car service logbook schedule is not only important for new vehicles, but also for second-hand cars that are still covered by their warranty. By adhering to the recommended schedule provided by manufacturers, you can potentially save substantial amounts of money on future repair costs while safeguarding your car’s warranty.
Increase Resale Value
Well-maintained vehicles are proven to command a higher resale price compared to those that have not been regularly serviced. To provide potential buyers with peace of mind, it is beneficial to provide proof of logbook servicing, showing that your vehicle has been well taken care of.
What Is the Difference Between a General Car Service and Logbook Servicing?
Car services typically encompass a range of important examinations to ensure your vehicle’s safety and performance. The service schedule documented in your car’s logbook is specifically designed to help maintain every component.
The log book service price is typically influenced by several factors, such as your car’s age, make, and model. To determine the recommended date and type of your next car service, you should consult your vehicle’s logbook.
These services are usually scheduled based on the guidelines provided in your car’s logbook. While the specifics of each logbook service may vary depending on your vehicle, they typically require two to four hours to complete. During this time, the mechanic will conduct various checks on your car’s systems to ensure that you are driving away in a safe and dependable vehicle.
Your car’s logbook may also outline another type of service known as a basic, or a regular car service. Generally, these minor services can take up to two hours and usually involve the replacement of essential fluids in your car. Additionally, they may include general safety checks on your car’s brakes, tires, lights, steering, and suspension.
What Does a Logbook Service Include?
While the specific inclusions of a logbook service may differ based on your vehicle’s requirements, they typically include the following checks and repairs:
- Vehicle diagnostics
- Safety checks relevant to your vehicle
- Replacement of crucial car fluids in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
- Replacement of any worn-out parts
- Other general maintenance and services
It is important to note that there is a widespread misconception that car owners must have their vehicles serviced exclusively at the dealership where they made the purchase. However, you are able to choose any qualified logbook service mechanic to perform the task. This includes those in the Bosch Car Service Network.
When it’s time for your scheduled service, Highfields Mechanical is ready to assist you. Our team of skilled and knowledgeable mechanics is dedicated to providing top-notch logbook car services that uphold your vehicle’s warranty. Contact our friendly team at (07) 4696 7116 or conveniently book your next logbook service by filling out our simple online form.
Why Is My Engine Overheating?
Your engine overheating is a huge problem that can cause significant damage to your vehicle if not addressed quickly. Understanding the causes and symptoms of engine damage from overheating and taking preventive measures are essential for every car owner.
By understanding the common reasons for an overheating engine and how to keep your engine cool, you can take steps toward preventing problems down the road.
Common Causes of Engine Overheating
There are several factors that can contribute to an overheating engine. By knowing how to identify and address these issues, you can prevent damage to your engine and whilst maintaining your vehicle’s performance. The most common causes of overheating include:
Low coolant levels
Engine coolant is a vital component of your car’s cooling system, responsible for absorbing and dissipating heat from the engine. A coolant leak or insufficient coolant levels will lead to your engine overheating, as the heat can no longer be efficiently removed.
The radiator plays a crucial role in dissipating heat from the engine coolant. Issues like clogs, leaks or a damaged radiator can impede its function, resulting in an overheating engine.
Malfunctioning water pump
The water pump circulates engine coolant throughout the cooling system. A faulty water pump can lead to poor coolant circulation and eventually cause overheating.
The thermostat regulates coolant flow through the engine. A malfunctioning thermostat may not open properly, restricting coolant flow and leading to problems.
Cooling fan failures
The cooling fan helps to draw heat away from the radiator. If the fan fails, the radiator’s cooling efficiency will decrease, causing engine temperature to rise.
Signs of an Overheating Engine
Knowing the signs of an overheating engine is crucial for early detection and timely intervention. Keep an eye out for these indicators to help prevent engine damage:
High engine temperature gauge readings
An unusually high reading on your engine temperature gauge is the biggest indication of an overheating issue. If the temperature gauge suddenly spikes too hot, safely bring your car to an immediate stop to prevent significant engine damage.
Steam from under the hood
Steam or smoke coming from the engine compartment is a telltale sign of an engine in trouble. As with a spike in the temperature gauge, this should be taken seriously and you should safely pull over and turn the engine off immediately.
Loss of engine power
Overheating can cause the engine to lose power, as the excessive heat may lead to damage or component failure. If your engine’s performance is struggling, it may be time to have a mechanic check whether there is damage from overheating.
How to Prevent Engine Overheating
Proper maintenance can help keep your engine running as it should be and prevent overheating. If you want to maintain the longevity of your vehicle, it is best to do the following:
Regular coolant checks
Inspect your engine coolant levels frequently, as coolant levels will drop slowly over time due to evaporation. You should top up your coolant (with the type recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer) as necessary and check for signs of coolant leaks if the level seems to be dropping rapidly.
Routine radiator inspections
Examine your radiator for visible damage, clogs or leaks. Have your radiator professionally cleaned or repaired as needed to ensure optimal cooling performance.
Timely water pump and thermostat replacements
Over time your water pump and thermostat will begin to wear out and need to be replaced. Your manufacturer will have recommendations around when it is time to replace each component in order to maintain efficient coolant circulation.
Highfields Mechanical – Your Engine Experts
An overheating engine can be a severe and costly issue for any car owner. By understanding the common causes of engine overheating, recognising the symptoms and completing regular maintenance, you can keep your engine in best working order while extending the longevity of your vehicle.
Getting Your Car Ready for Winter
As the weather starts to cool down and foggy mornings get more common across Queensland, it becomes more important to get your car ready for winter.
Whether you are heading south in search of snow, going somewhere rainy, or staying local this winter, having a mechanic check over your car will drastically increase your safety on the road.
The Highfields Mechanical team is here with all the winter driving tips you need to stay safe when faced with the difficult conditions the colder months can present.
Be prepared for different conditions
When it comes to winter driving, Queensland locals generally don’t have to worry about heavy rain, since the wet months have already passed. Instead, thick fog caused by high humidity can present a significant challenge to drivers, especially during early mornings.
When driving through fog, always keep your headlights on, in addition to your fog lights if you have them. It is also worth making sure your windshield wipers are replaced if needed, as you may need them to help defog your windows.
Although Queensland is much warmer than other Australian states during the winter, having your car’s heating system checked over by a professional will help you stay comfortable during crisp mornings and cool nights.
Check your brakes
One of the most important things to remember when getting your car ready for winter is to check your brakes and have them serviced if necessary. Foggy conditions mean that your visibility on the road is significantly decreased, which is why having brakes in good condition is essential.
It is recommended to have a brake service every six months, or once a year at the very least. A few seconds can make all the difference in an emergency, so whether you’re driving around Toowoomba or along the Bruce Highway, quality brakes in good condition can save your life.
Check your tyres
After a long summer of hot and wet conditions, your tyre tread may be wearing thin. You can check the tread of your tyres yourself, or you can bring your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for some basic car servicing and a tyre check-up.
Given that visibility can be reduced on foggy mornings, it is important to make sure your tyres are always in good condition. Regularly checking your tyres for punctures and rips, as well as keeping the pressure at the right levels will make a big difference when it comes to your safety on the road.
Check your lights and battery
The final point on your car checklist for winter is to check that the electrical components of your vehicle are in good condition. This is the biggest reason to book your annual general car service for a month or so before winter arrives, as an auto electrician will be able to diagnose any electrical issues present.
The last thing any driver wants on a foggy morning is to find that their headlights aren’t working due to an electrical fault, or get stuck with a dying car battery. Cold weather can cause the battery to become sluggish, and its ability to supply power to your car can be diminished.
Even after having an auto electrician check your battery’s health, it is always a good idea to check that your headlights and tail lights are working properly before driving in foggy conditions.
Trust us to get your car ready for winter
If you want peace of mind that you’ve done everything right on your winter car maintenance checklist before the cold weather arrives, the team at Highfields Mechanical is here to help. Driving with a recently serviced car during winter can make all the difference to your safety on the road.
What You Need to Know About Electrical Issues in Your Car
From the starter motor to the cooling system, virtually every component of your car relies on electricity. While this technology can enhance your driving experience, making it more enjoyable and secure, an increased number of electrical components also means more chances of auto electrical problems.
The auto electrics in your car are part of a complex system; when something goes wrong with the battery or other components, it can cause a range of issues throughout the vehicle.
The main signs that your car requires an auto repair because of an electrical fault include:
- Dimming or flickering lights
- Inability to switch on the radio
- Central locking malfunctions
- An inconsistent starter motor
A qualified auto electrical mechanic can help to identify the precise cause of these problems and resolve them.
Common Auto Electrical Issues
In most cases, your battery or alternator is the culprit behind electrical issues in your vehicle. Some of the more frequently encountered auto electrical problems include:
A flat battery is the most obvious sign of electrical problems, since when this occurs you will not be able to turn your car on. Flat batteries are usually a result of your car using too much electricity without being recharged by the alternator. Common ways to flatten your car’s battery include accidentally leaving your radio or lights on when the car is switched off. To fix a flat or dead battery, an auto electrician will need to jump start your vehicle to give the battery enough charge to turn on again.
The alternator is a crucial electrical component that charges your car’s battery while you drive. Ideally, your car should be able to start up and run efficiently from the moment you turn on the ignition. However, if your car is struggling to start, it could be a sign that the alternator is not working properly. If you are experiencing trouble starting your car – even with a new car battery – you should get in contact with a mechanic for auto electric repairs.
Battery Not Charging
Older batteries, especially ones that have run flat too many times, are more likely to experience serious charging issues. If you are noticing your battery isn’t charging correctly, or that it’s losing charge faster than expected, the only solution is to replace the battery. Ensuring your vehicle gets a regular auto electrical service is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your battery’s health, as a qualified auto electrician will perform a diagnostic test on your battery and advise you if it needs to be replaced.
Damaged or Loose Wiring
There are some electrical problems that are not caused by your car’s battery or alternator. All it takes is a loose wire or a damaged cable connection to cause the electrical components to malfunction. Over time, the cables that are connected to the battery can become corroded and cause the battery to go flat, which prevents your car from starting. An auto electrician can help identify whether the issues are related to the cables or the battery itself.
Highfields Mechanical is Here to Help
The most effective way to prevent auto electrical issues in your vehicle is to ensure it receives regular maintenance by a trusted auto electrician. It is generally recommended that you schedule an automotive service every six months or 10,000 km. The expert team at Highfields Mechanical is here to help you stay on top of your car’s auto electrical needs.
5 Signs Your Car’s Air Conditioning Needs Repair
On hot days, your car’s air conditioning system is one of the most important features of your vehicle. However, it’s also a system that is prone to the wear and tear that inevitably comes with frequent usage. If your car’s air con fails on a hot day, it can turn a comfortable drive into a sweaty nightmare.
To prevent untimely air con failures, it’s important to have your vehicle regularly checked, serviced, and repaired as necessary. Knowing when your vehicle is in need of a car air con service can be challenging, but there are ways to determine you’re due for an aircon regas. Here are four of the most common signs of a damaged air conditioning system that let you know you should book an appointment with a qualified mechanic.
One of the most obvious signs of an air conditioning system in need of a service is weak airflow from the cabin vents. This weak airflow may mean the air is having trouble reaching your air vents. This is often caused by a buildup of mould or mildew in the evaporator core, or a broken ventilation fan. However, it can also be caused by other issues such as an opened core case seal, house seal, or evaporator core case seal, as well as a loose blower house – all of which can make the car aircon blower weak.
There are several different issues that can impact the amount of air reaching the cabin of your car. If you regularly notice a weak airflow, it’s important to get your air conditioning checked by an expert who can properly diagnose and fix the problem before it becomes a larger issue.
Car Air Con Noise
If you’re constantly hearing a strange rattling noise when you turn your car’s air conditioning on, or if you hear the car aircon making hissing noise, it’s likely there is an issue with a component within the system. It’s impossible to know exactly what is causing the rattles in your air vents without getting the air conditioner serviced by a qualified mechanic. A rattling noise is often a sign of a broken fan belt or condenser. However, it could also be a result of debris or a crucial component has come loose. If you do hear an unusual noise, it’s best to get it checked as soon as possible as it can indicate a more serious issue.
If your air conditioning smells like sweaty clothes, this can be a sign that your cabin air filter is damaged. This filter should be regularly cleaned, or replaced as necessary, to prevent long-term damage to the air conditioning system. By properly maintaining the cabin air filter, you’ll not only keep the air inside your car clean and fresh, but you’ll also save money by reducing fuel consumption.
Another common cause of unpleasant odours is a mouldy evaporator case or air vent. This is particularly concerning, since some people are allergic to moulds. To prevent this problem, it’s important to regularly have your car’s evaporator case and air vent cleaned. You should pay attention to any strange odours in your car, since certain smells can indicate problems that require immediate attention in order to keep you safe on the roads.
Only Warm Air
Sometimes when your air conditioning system isn’t functioning, the vents initially blow cold air that turns warm over time. This can be caused by a number of underlying issues, including a clogged expansion valve that restricts flow from the refrigerant into the evaporator. It can also indicate a damaged compressor, or a blown fuse – all of which are problems you should get checked right away. When your air con blows hot air, a straightforward repair by a mechanic can restore the system to its full efficiency. This means a more comfortable and safer driving experience for you and your passengers during those hot summer months.
Australia’s Auto Air Con Experts
At Highfields Mechanical, our experienced team specialises in car air conditioning maintenance and repair. We are fully equipped with the latest temperature control tools and diagnostic equipment, and always ensure any repairs or servicing will comply with your vehicle manufacturer requirements.
When you next need a car air con repair, Highfields Mechanical can get you back on the road with cool air to keep you comfortable. Give us a call today on (07) 4646 1780 or fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch.
When should I get my brakes serviced?
The brakes on your car are arguably the most important safety feature, ensuring that you and your family have stopping control in an emergency situation. Common car brake issues can be dangerous for this reason, and it’s vital that you look after your brakes with regular servicing.
How to know you need a brake service
There are many signs you should be on the lookout for when driving your car that will let you know when it’s time to have your brakes examined. They include:
Dashboard warning lights
The clearest signal that you’re in need of a brake service will come from your car itself. A warning light will appear on your dashboard as soon as your car detects that there is an issue with the braking system. This will usually present in most models of car as a circle with a ‘!’ in the centre, and the word ‘BRAKE!’ written nearby (usually below or above).
This can indicate a range of issues, from simply needing a mechanic to top up your brake fluid, or something more serious that needs fixing. Whatever the problem ends up being, it is considered unsafe to drive a car that is showing this brake warning, and it should be taken to a mechanic as quickly as possible.
Concerning noises while braking
By paying attention to the noises your car makes as you’re driving and braking, you may catch problems early. Listen carefully when you apply pressure to the brake pedal for anything out of the ordinary. This could be the common squeaky brakes that you may have experienced before, something more concerning like a squealing or screeching noise, or even a grinding, crunching sound coming from your brake disc.
As soon as you consistently hear something that’s out of the ordinary, get in touch with a mechanic so they can diagnose and fix the problem.
Brake response issues
Your brakes may also suffer when it comes to their actual performance. If you’ve noticed that your vehicle isn’t stopping as reliably as it used to, this can be a sign of a serious issue. A delay of less than a second in an emergency situation can be the difference between an accident and a near-miss.
You might also experience a difference in how your brake pedal feels when applying pressure. If it is taking more pressure to push the pedal down, or it’s feeling more slack or ‘spongy’ under foot, then something is wrong and you’ll need to organise a brake check as soon as possible.
Shuddering when you brake
Similar to the pressure that you’ll feel from your brake pedal, it’s important to take note of any concerning shaking or vibrating coming from the pedal. This can often travel up the steering column and into the steering wheel, resulting in your wheel shaking while you brake. If you notice this, it’s vital that you seek a brake service immediately.
Another obvious sign to look out for is if you notice a sharp burning smell after you’ve applied your brakes or returned from a drive. Smells from your car are reasons for real concern, but can often be missed by drivers because they don’t make it into the cabin or can only be noticed once the car is parked. If you’ve noticed any other issues with the brake, make sure to assess whether there’s a concerning smell alongside it, and immediately ask a mechanic to take a look as well.
Even if you aren’t noticing any of these signs from your car, brake servicing is recommended every six months. This will ensure that your mechanic catches any potential problems early and may prevent a costly brake repair later on.
Your local brake service experts
The team at Highfields Mechanical are experts at all things brake servicing, and will make sure that your car is safe for you and your family, and that your brakes will look after you when you need them most. To book in for a brake service, or any of our car services, get in touch on (07) 4646 1780, or fill out our online contact form.
Do electric cars need servicing?
Electric vehicles (EV) are becoming more common with each passing day, as internal combustion engines (ICE) become less standard and electric cars gradually become more popular. But for many people, how they actually work and how they need to be maintained is still a bit of a mystery.
The expert mechanics at Highfields Mechanical are here to help answer any questions you might have about electric vehicle servicing and what you need to know about maintaining an electric car.
What needs servicing in an electric car?
One question you might have is: do electric cars need mechanics at all? It can be easy to think your electric car would only need an auto electrician, but in reality, electric vehicles do need a professional mechanic, just like the car you grew up with.
Your specially-trained electric vehicle mechanic will be able to perform all of the necessary checks and maintenance that your car needs to keep running smoothly. But what exactly makes an electric car service different from a standard service?
What’s different from a regular service?
The main and most obvious difference between maintenance on EV and ICE vehicles is that EVs don’t have an engine that needs to be serviced regularly. The electric motor itself is a fully enclosed unit that doesn’t require any internal maintenance like a traditional car might. In fact, most of these motors are expected to last between 15–20 years without needing to be replaced or even opened.
This means that there’s no need to swap out all of the small consumable parts that make up an internal combustion engine, such as the various belts, fans, spark plugs and filters that are part of a traditional mechanic’s checklist during a routine service. There are also no emissions-related systems like the muffler, exhaust pipes or catalytic converters – with an EV, they simply aren’t needed.
What’s the same as a regular service?
There are still quite a few components in an EV that would be familiar to a traditional mechanic and require the same or similar type of servicing. Most of these fall under the category of ‘auxiliary’ items that do something other than moving the car. They include:
- Monitoring safety systems, such as the traction control and airbags
- Checking the health of the 12V battery that runs the cars internal systems
- Inspecting and replacing windshield wipers and fluid as required
- Assessing the general condition and air pressure of the tyres
All of these are relatively standard operations that are no different in an EV but are still important to the safety and comfort of driving your car.
How to look after your electric car
As a driver, it’s also vital that you understand how best to maintain your EV so that you’re not putting any unnecessary stress on the car and to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. There are a few simple things to keep in mind as you drive.
More than anything, you need to make sure that you’re looking after your battery. As batteries age, they’re able to hold less and less of a charge, meaning your vehicle will be unable to reach the same range as when it was new. The trick to EV battery maintenance is to keep it as close to 80% charged as often as you can; it’s actually bad for the battery’s health in the long term to be consistently charging it to full, due to its complex chemical makeup.
It’s also important that you regularly inspect your vehicle’s tyres – EVs are much heavier than traditional cars that are a similar size, as the batteries contribute a surprising amount of weight. This means that your EV will be harder on the tyres, and they may wear out sooner than you were expecting.
The best thing you can do to maintain your EV’s health is to find a qualified EV mechanic that will look after it properly and bring it in for its service at least once every 12 months, or every 10,000km (the same as a traditional car servicing schedule).
The electric car mechanic you can trust
If you have any questions about what it’s like to own an EV or how different they are to service, get in touch with the expert team at Highfields Mechanical today. Our staff have the right training to make sure that your electric vehicle is performing safely and at its best.
How to Prepare Your Car for Summer
When summer arrives, the last thing any driver wants is to find out their car isn’t prepared for Australia’s scorching heat. Protecting yourself from the most intense summer temperatures is about more than preparing for a hot steering wheel or seatbelts. A bit of car maintenance before December arrives can make all the difference between a comfortable drive and breaking down in the heat.
Summer car tips
Right before summer is a great time to have your annual car service, ensuring everything is perfect and ready for the warmer months ahead. Whether your vehicle needs its engine diagnostics checked or could use a car battery replacement, a car general service will get your vehicle working at its best again.
Beyond regular maintenance, the most effective ways to protect your vehicle from the summer heat include ensuring your air conditioner is working properly, keeping the coolant topped up and making use of a sunshade.
Get an air conditioner repair or service
Given that you aren’t likely to use your car’s air conditioner throughout winter, it can be easy to forget how crucial it is when spring and summer arrive. Many drivers underestimate the importance of a regas to keep their car’s air conditioning system running well and may find themselves with sub-optimal cooling when it is needed most.
Depending on how frequently you use your air conditioning, it is recommended that you get a car air conditioning service completed every one to two years. This will include a regas and a check of the vents, filter and refrigerant hose.
Fill up the coolant
One of the more common issues faced by drivers in the summer is their car overheating unexpectedly. This generally occurs when there is not enough coolant, resulting in an urgent warning on the dashboard. If your engine is overheating, you need to stop driving immediately.
In an emergency, you can use water instead of coolant, but it won’t be as effective at keeping your engine safe. It is essential to fill up your coolant as soon as possible to prevent major damage to your vehicle.
By keeping your coolant at the right levels, your cooling systems will be able to regulate the engine’s temperature, which keeps your vehicle working and you safe on the road.
Make use of a sunshade
There are multiple benefits to using a sunshade to protect your car during the summer. Sunshades are best known for keeping the worst of the heat away, especially when it comes to the parts of your car that will become the hottest, such as the seatbelts, the steering wheel and the dash.
However, another important benefit of a sunshade is that it protects the interior of your vehicle by reflecting UV rays. The increased UV exposure found in Australia can have a devastating impact on the materials within your car, especially if there is any leather present. If your car is not parked under cover on a hot day, it is best to be using a sunshade as often as possible.
Getting your vehicle ready for summer will make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort on the road. If you need a car service or some repairs to prepare for the summer heat, the team at Highfields Mechanical is here to help. Simply give our friendly team a call on (07) 4646 1780 or complete our contact form to hear back from us shortly, so you can be driving comfortably no matter the temperature outside.
Everything you need to know about engine oil
Everything you need to know about engine oil
Engine oil is one of the most important liquids in your car. It is vital for smooth, everyday operation and the longevity of your engine. Its basic function is to protect the metal components of your engine from the extreme friction and heat that is produced when the machine is in operation.
It accomplishes this by lubricating the metal and ensuring these components never actually touch while the engine is running. This keeps the components from warping and becoming damaged by the heat-stress, allowing the engine to operate over long periods of time (as long as the oil is maintained properly).
How often does engine oil need to be changed?
Over time, oil can become polluted with the dirt and grime that may be present within your engine. These particles thicken the oil, reducing its effectiveness as a lubricant. This will also put more strain on your engine, making it more difficult to move heat away from vulnerable components.
With no extra dirt present, even the best engine oil will eventually deteriorate from the amount of heat it is exposed to. It will begin to break down on a chemical level, become less capable of transferring extra heat, and will make your car more susceptible to wear and tear.
The general rule is that you should change your oil roughly every 7,000–15,000kms, but this will vary depending on how modern your car is and what driving conditions you regularly subject it to.
Your car will benefit most from you regularly checking your oil (about once a month), keeping track of how much your engine is consuming, and topping it up as required.
To check your oil, make sure your car has been turned off for at least five minutes (allowing the oil to settle) then unscrew the oil cap and wipe the dipstick clean. Insert the dipstick back into the engine and remove it again to check where the oil levels are. Your dipstick will have an indicator mark on it, showing you how close to full the oil is.
Types of car engine oil
Depending on your car, you will require a specific oil that is designed to help your engine run smoothly. In general, there are three different types of engine oil that your vehicle might use. Consult your vehicle’s manual or speak with a professional mechanic if you aren’t sure which oil is right for your vehicle.
Mineral oil is the oldest type of engine oil. Nowadays, it is most commonly only used for older or vintage cars. This oil is generally viewed as inferior to the more modern options, due to its lower heat resistance. This means the oil must be replaced more frequently, closer to every 5,000kms on average.
The most common type of engine oil, it is more than likely this is the oil that has been designed for your vehicle. It has been carefully engineered to be highly heat-resistant, resulting in the best possible performance for your car.
Semi-synthetic oils are a mixture of synthetic and mineral oils, designed as a middle-ground between the two types. It provides better protection and performance for your engine than mineral oil alone, while being more affordable than a fully synthetic option.
Can you mix engine oils?
All engine oils are designed to be used by themselves, and will be far more efficient if used to the manufacturer’s specifications. That being said, if it is an emergency situation then mixing oils will be far less damaging to your vehicle’s engine than using too little oil, or no oil at all.
Trust the oil experts
If you have any more questions about your car’s oil, or are curious about how to change engine oil for yourself, the expert mechanics at Highfields Mechanical are here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our professional team on (07) 4646 1780, or fill out our online contact form.