At Apps Automotive we believe in car safety. We proudly run car maintenance courses at the St George and Sutherland Community College at 127–129 Sutherland Road, Jannali, NSW, 2226 Australia

Learn the basics of car maintenance. Understand how an engine, transmission and brake system work. Presented by an MVRIC Licensed Mechanic. This course also covers what to look for and what to avoid when buying a second hand vehicle.

Agenda: This course will cover: tyre pressure changing tyres checking oil, water, and other fluids What to do when presented with an instrument warning light Basic servicing and checks.

Find the latest course here!

This varies greatly on the modern engine, the introduction of electronic management components and injection has made most engines very reliable. A tune seems to have no set definition, it is now more replaced with the period at which spark plugs, air cleaner and fuel filter should be replaced, the term tune really has become obsolete. Even spark plugs now come in a variety of types up to platinum spark plugs which do not need replacement for up to 100,000 km. Spark plugs, air cleaner, fuel filter, injectors, and on occasion spark plug leads are all items that will require servicing, this will differ depending on the type of vehicle and the recommended periods for maintenance, once again there is no set firm rule as too many variables exist, discussion with a good reliable mechanic is the only way to establish a set period of maintenance for these items.

Unlike neglecting an oil change, the results of extending a tune are not as drastic, or at least rarer, initially, failure of a spark plug, or lead, or fuel filter, will commonly cause an inconvenience, measured in performance, which in turn then needs to be rectified. Unless management systems or injectors promote lean combustion it is rare for resultant damage. However, some high energy ignition systems can cause expensive coil pack failures if spark plug leads and spark plug resistances start to go above recommended limits. Once again a good mechanic will advise you when it is prudent to replace these items for both reliability, and overall cost savings.

Addition of a reliable fuel system cleaner can also be an advantage in delaying the inevitable proper removal of injectors and clean, Premium fuels also seem to be a better refined fuel, prolonging replacement of filters and servicing injectors, and also can return better fuel consumption readings often offsetting the initial extra cost at the bowser. Other pollution devices not mentioned here and minor adjustments may also be required from time to time, to keep our atmosphere at its optimum, these items should also not be neglected.

Vehicles under new car warranty can also be serviced at Apps Automotive without effecting new car warranty, as usual, detailed service attention is carried out by experienced qualified mechanics at very competitive prices. Older vehicles can benefit from tailored servicing to suit the environment they are operating in. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any servicing or mechanical needs, or just for friendly advice on maintaining your vehicle.

The most neglected part of the suspension is the shock absorbers, they have probably the biggest influence of any of the suspension components on road handling, and braking efficiency, a car which has traveled upwards of 80,000 km, will usually find a vast improvement in handling and braking by replacing the shock absorbers. Although many other components also can contribute to poor handling, after a visual inspection to determine if any other components have failed, a simple test will determine the efficiency of your shock absorbers.

Replacement of all shock absorbers may seem expensive, but as this is also a requirement of registration if the shock absorbers have failed or are leaking, reasonably so, as a reduced braking distance of only 10% (partially worn shocks) can mean the difference in a serious emergency braking situation.

Visual inspection of the friction material is the only positive way to determine pad wear, each vehicle has a minimum specification for both the disc pad thickness and the disc rotor thickness, both these thicknesses should be adhered to as minimums, replacement above the minimum is determined by a judgement as its % against possible distance till next service when brakes will be checked again.

Disc rotors need only be machined if distortion of rotor (out of round) has occurred or grooves in the disc have deteriorated to a degree which promotes excessive pad wear, or promotes an unsafe characteristic such as pulling to one side, in most cases grooved disc surface will only accelerate pad wear by a small %, machining disc rotors will however reduce parent material and in turn promote ability for disc to overheat and return a condition of disc distortion. It is also worthy of note that many European style disc rotors show a heavy degree of disc rotor wear and as such are classed as sacrificial rotors, unfortunately, this means costly replacement of discs on a more regular basis than the traditional disc rotor.

With the deletion of asbestos commonly used in brake friction materials, metal composition such as copper, brass, and aluminium are used, these compositions quite often produce a grinding sensation without actually being worn out. However, it can never be assumed that this is the case and visual inspection of the brakes is the only way to confirm if the brakes are worn.

Engine oil once again may play a major role in deteriorated tappets, many modern engines run hydraulic tappets, relying on oil pressure in a valve lifter to operate quietly and open the engine valves, as oil deteriorates it fouls the tappet, causing failure, this may be corrected by an oil change, once again cleaning the build up of deposits blocking the oil flow.

Many factors need to be addressed, a first assumption that the engine is worn out although commonly is the truth, committing straight to a new engine can be premature. Poor maintenance is the single most common reason for high oil consumption. Engine oil does not wear out, it fails due to outside contaminants, such as carbon and fuel, fuel as it burns, produces carbon which is emitted through the exhaust, but some does end up passing by the pistons into the engine sump and polluting the oil, a mixture of this carbon and some unburnt fuel gradually breaks down the oil thinning it, which in turn makes it more susceptible to burning along with the combustion process.

Just topping up the oil compounds this problem, the main pollutants in the oil have not been removed, so, in turn by adding more oil because it has been burnt, the next mileage period the engine will consume the oil even faster, simply, change the oil and filter, using the lightest grade possible, then monitor oil consumption for next 1,000 km most good oils contain high detergent levels, and a few frequent oil changes will clean the engine as well as give the lubricating protection it needs.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A low kilometer car is often a car a mechanic will avoid purchasing because its oil change periods have been extended. As noted at the beginning of this article, a car that travels less than 10,000 km per year is classed as severe driving. A vehicle which only travels short distances, up to 8 klm at a time, very rarely reaches operation temperatures, under these conditions, engines produce more unburnt fuel, which in turn produces more carbon in the combustion process, a high percentage of this fuel and carbon passes into the engine sump and into the engine oil, over a period of time this will break down the oil, resulting in excessive engine wear.

A comparison could be made that a car doing continual 8 km trips after approximately 1,000 km would exhibit the same wear as a vehicle running constantly at operating temperatures for 5,000 km, Overcoming this potential for advanced wear can only be achieved by more frequent oil changes removing the contaminated oil and replacing with new oil giving the lubrication protection it needs. Service schedules in your manufacturers hand book always have the phrase X amount of kilometers, or X amount of months, whichever comes first, this “whichever comes first” cannot be emphasized enough if you are to give your engine the protection it needs.