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Blogs and Tips

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What is Service?

Posted on 10 August, 2017 at 4:50 Comments comments (0)

I've been around the Automotive Industry all my life, i know all the tricks of the gift of the gab, i never use them, ask any of my customers and they will tell you the final bill is exactly what i say it will be, vehicles wear as they get older, we all do as well. To reduce the wear then you need to have it serviced as well, you can pretty much count on a breakdown if you don't service correctly.

If you have ever collected your car after a service with a list a mile long, chances are, if you have serviced correctly, it's a list of items that over it's natural mechanical life, the findings are wear and tear items, the list is probably actual wear, the 'Trick' is to bring it back and get these repairs carried out, they elaborate  on the seriousness of getting all the repairs done, this keeps you paying.

A big workshop with all the trimmings is a testamony of good upsell, facts are that if there is so much wrong with the car, then why try and patch it? Mechanical nature is to wear and eventually fail, this is a fact, if your car has multipul problems, it's time to get rid of it, but get a second opinion as the the extent of the wear.

Its trade practice to report mechanical findings, in fact it's duty of care, i do all the time, but what makes me different is i won't keep you coming back, i don't want you to come back with a problem, i want you to enjoy your vehicle and drop it off for a service, or i come to you, whatever suits you. I know vehicles and every car built these days has a use by date, when it's out of warranty, it's past it's use by date, but it's not over, you can enjoy your vehicles performance peak if you just service it correctly and choose a mechanic that has these facts in mind.

I started this business based on honesty, i won't burn you at the checkout and only advise on safety issues or service related issues, now i don't have to pay for advertising as my customers trust me and pass me onto their freinds and relatives, this is good honest customer relations and this is my focus to provide a service without the upsell and without the hype.

Check out my testamonies and satisfied customers. That's Good Oil - Great Service!

Servicing your car

Posted on 1 August, 2017 at 5:25 Comments comments (0)

Servicing your car shouldn't be taken lightly, there are many grades of oils available and choosing the wrong oil can be very costly, even leading to engine seizure.

First up - Safety, ensure the car is parked on level ground, jacked up with two stands positioned each side of the chassis, do not place a stand on the body, chock the rear wheels ensure the parkbrake is on and the ignition key off, don't listen to your radio when working on the car as it usually means you need to turn the key, this makes the wires inside the firewall live, if you must have music, then turn yours on in your man cave, this serves another purpose as you don't have to listen to the misses and kids and the next door whipper snipper and lawn mower!

Second - Check the oil level, if it's down there is a reason, have a look for leaks, if it's blowing smoke this could be a reason, a warning sign things are not wearing too well, check turbo intake lines as well as they can trap oil inside the vent tubes, this is a major cause of oil loss in diesels, look at the oil and if possible run a flush through it. the way i do mine is i run a flush, nulon engine flush is good, then drain overnight, i drian it when it's hot as oil thins as it gets hotter and gets all of the waste oil out.

You won't want to wait overnight, but if not give it a good hour to drip dry as you don't want used engine flush in their either. 

Next - Replace the drain washer on the bung, never re-use the bung washer/gasket or oring always replace with new. Now when you go to tighten, don't be a hero and swing off that spanner, overtightened bungs can be costly to repair, all you need is around 20nm of torque.

Next - Find where the genius mechanical engineer put the oil filter, at times i wonder if these overpaid keyboard mechanics are on drugs or their computer screens are unside down as some of these access points to get to the oil filter are a joke, why don't they get mechanics to design engines? It's always why? why? why? If you get frustrated, go have a beer. I don't though, i'm writing this for the backyarder!

Next - Choosing the correct oil. On some cars the grade of oil are written on the oil cap, if not refer to your manual, if no manual then google it. the correct grade and viscosity of oil are the most important factor of the health of your engine. When oil is pumped out of the ground, before it's refined, it goes through tests to determine it's lubrication properties or what type of lubrication principles it has, then it's refined to specs of viscosity, which basically means how fast the oil will flow. Oil galleries and bearings in the newer cars of today are very narrow, so a thin hi temp oil will be needed, other engines have musch larger galleries, so a thicker oil is needed to maximise flow. Do not think that putting a thicker oil in a high KM engine will bring it back to life, it won't, if it has poor compression it has poor compression, you can use lucas oil treatment which i feel is the best and this will only increase oil pressure for a while, 5000 km. Put the whole bottle in fellas and it will not like it, it will turn to sludge and smother the engine, it's stuff it, stick to the book and don't be scared to use a high quality oil such as Penrite, $15 more? Big deal! Use a cheap and nasty brand of oil and you shouldn't be on this website, you should be at moron.com.

Jack the car up, remove the stands and let it down, gently.

top up about 5mm over the full mark on the dipstick, but before that screw the new oil filter up to when it stops, then 3/4 a turn, lube the oring first! Don't swing off that oil filter wrench too much there hero, it has to come off one day!

Next - Start the engine, let it run for a bit, look at the oil light on the dash and wait for it to go out, stop the engine and check the oil level. top up as required........... Your done.

Now you can go tell the misses the beast is serviced, also make sure you look really buggered and want to sit down in front of the footy game.........opps i mean national geographic channel and sip on a beer..........Anything has to be better than mowing the lawn hey?

It's not over yet, one more tip about reading your sump oil.

When you drain your oil, don't throw it out straight away, it's got it's own signs to tell you how your engine is performing Get a strong flashlight and shine it on the sump oil, if there is fine metal in the oil it will show up like glitter, if so you know there is something happening in the engine, some kind of premature wear. Inspect the colour of the oil as well, if it's burnt and very black (excluding diesels) this could mean blockages might be present, or been many km's over the schedule. No oil is better than 10 000 K.M. 

Hope you like my tips for this week........................... Good oil - Great Service!

EBay is ok

Posted on 18 July, 2017 at 1:00 Comments comments (0)

I don't use gimmicks or sales pitches but i do agree that what spare parts suppliers charge for an item is far far more what you will pay compaired to EBay. I encourage my customers to use EBay when purchasing spare parts, but be warned, some of the stuff on there is cheap but also nasty and can be more trouble than it's worth. I use Ebay sometimes and always give the option to my customers, not everyone has an extra few hundred to support local business, why should you? Do they support you? I have a select few companies that i use that sometimes match Ebay, but good quality, if i fit a part to your car i don't want to come back in 12 months and replace it again, it's a good way to save, but if you don't know what to look out for and what quailty to buy, then don't attempt to purchase as the part will be cheap, but nasty as well, sure it will work fine to start with but it will most likely prematureily wear out, i'm not saying don't use Ebay, i am saying let me choose the part for you or let me use my suppliers down south to save you money, all you need to do is be prepared to wait an extra 2-3 days and i will save you heaps. How's that for Great Service?

Diesel & Petrol Injection on car Service

Posted on 18 July, 2017 at 0:30 Comments comments (0)

Australia seems to get the less quality when it comes to fuels, our 'Premium Fuels' are other countries standard fuel/gas benzine diesel etc, we get the bottom of the barrel at a cheaper rate but still not as a good grade to run even some of our imports, Mercedies Benz for example built after 2011 will not run right on anything less than Premium Fuel. This leads to clogged injectors, bad spray patterns coming from the injector, smoke and poor performance, and on top of that bad fuel economy. Other mechanics would want to remove the pump and injectors and overhaul but 90% of the time the symptoms are due to dirty fuel injectors/ filters and sludge deposits that build up until it clogs the fuel system and makes the fuel system unserviceable, leading to costly unesessary repairs. This is the case in most Petrol and Diesel engines, but to avoid these problems you should consider On car Injection Service around every 20k, depending where you live as some outback fuels are even worse than city fuels, For $140.00 + Fuel Filter i come to you and Service your fuel system using only good quality Liquid Moly chemicals, fuel additives only do a small percentage of cleaning, i guarantee that your Diesel or Petrol fuel system will purr after having my Service done. This is NOT a Wynns chemical flush that most Mechanics use, Liquid Moly are the leaders in chemical injection chemicals and even though it's twice as expensive as Wynns, you will notice the difference twice as much. No call out fee's for this Service just the $140.00 plus the cost of the filter depending on make and model. 

That's Good Oil - Great Service!

Check up

Posted on 28 June, 2017 at 4:25 Comments comments (0)

It makes sense to get a check up done on your car, if your services are out of date or, in a lot of cases únknown' then give your car a check up. It doesn't cost much around $110.00, includes saftey/fluids check, computer scan and free quotes if anything needed. 35 years of sound Automotive advice. I don't upsell, only advise on matters that are (needed) not what is wanted to make my wallet fatter that a lot of 'free safety checks' are disguised as. You know, go get a free safety check and come out with a list a mile long, most of which isn't needed right now but rather not at all. I don't do business that way, i would rather give you an excellent service/repair the first time, and then you will call again. Not so long ago the old slang word smash and grab was used by a lot of mechanical firms, they upsell something shocking, if you get a big list from a free check get a second opinion, come back to reality, nothing is free. What you pay for is what you get. I use only the best parts and oils, i want you to not see your car as A to B but a pleasure to drive and in most cases you will notice a difference in economy and performance. Get your car checked by a 5 star Mechanic with 35 years experience on not just Petrol but Diesels also including machinery.

Spare Parts = Repco Cairns North

Posted on 8 June, 2017 at 23:15 Comments comments (0)

I've been through the mill with parts suppliers, parts wrong, not ordered when asked, too expensive and not even informed if parts have arrived. This effects you the customer.

I don't go for the cheapest part, i go for quality without the dealership price tag, i wouldn't put anything on or into your car that i wouldn't put in my own car, and my car is 100% spot on.

I've been through 3 Spare parts suppliers in Cairns, and will never go back to them, i needed a professional team with Australia wide Warranty and i needed the same quality service that i give to my customers. 

The team at Repco North was the answer!.......... Good people, totally professional a good atmosphere and they deliver what they say!

You can't go wrong with Repco North, Sheridan street North Cairns just before the airport turn off going North bound.

Repco parts are covered Australia wide................. Makes sense to use Repco North!

phone (07) 4032 3162

Brake Pad Change

Posted on 6 June, 2017 at 21:25 Comments comments (0)

My motto is a car can break down, in fact it's within any Mechanical nature for it to eventually fail but brakes MUST STOP. 

When you go to change the pads on your car there are also a few things to observe. 

1. Check the condition of the disc, if there are groves in the disc or if you experience vibration through the brake pedal when you brake then you should consider a disc machine. If you have a 4wd or a fixed disc, then you can get what we call an on car disc machine, but most cars these days cars are fitted with a floater disc, easy to take off and send for machining, glazed disc's or if the surface is too smooth, you can rough up the surface before installing new pads, most mechanics will get the disc machined even if it's not any of the above, i feel this is an unesessary repair and an added cost to the customer, you would be looking at $40 per disc, so it adds up to the final bill, i only get the disc's machined if they need machining. You should also bear in mind that when you machine a disc, it takes the life off the disc and can heat up more than usual as the disc is thinner, the disc should also be measured (thickness) before considering a disc machine, if the disc is too thin, it will not be able to be machined and then you will have to install new disc's. The size or min thickness are written somewhere on the disc.

2. Another point to consider is to remove the caliper slides, clean and lube them with every pad changed.

3. After the car has the new disc pads fitted, leave the wheels raised and gently pump the brake pedal with the engine off until the pedal becomes hard. Then go to the wheels that have the new pads fitted and spin the wheel by hand, if the brakes are not tight and releasing ok, then put the car back on the ground.

4. The most important part of a pad replacement is to do the bedding in. Bedding in is a term used to get the surface of the pad true to the disc. You do this by driving the vehicle around 20KPH, lightly touching the brake pedal, do this 50 Meters at a time for about 400 meters, you will notice that before you bed in the brakes, the pedal will seem a little spongy, do not be concerned about this, the pedal is spongy untill the pad has bedded in and will be that way for 100 to 200 K.M. the pedal height should come up a bit and after you have finished the bedding in process the pedal should be back to what you are used to. The braking distance should not be affected by new pads, it should stop in the required time, if it doesn't come back up, don't try and fix it yourself, take it to a professional to find the cause and repair.

Note: If you are not confident to change the pads yourself, DO NOT ATTEMPT to do the job, call a professional to do it, for an hours labour is a small price to pay for your safety!!!

Note : If you use a cheap pad, then expect it to squeal and the bedding in process will take longer. I use a bendex Pad or a Repco chamfered pad, i have found the $20 extra to buy good quality pads makes all the difference to your stopping power, why would you buy a cheap noisy pad to save a couple of bucks, remember cars will brake down, but BRAKES MUST STOP!!!

Warranties explained in plain english

Posted on 29 May, 2017 at 20:40 Comments comments (0)

When you get your car repaired, even serviced you have a warranty on that part or filter that has been replaced.In most cases you will get a 12 month or 20 000 k.m. warranty as that's what the maker of part puts on it. When you hear the terminology of 12/20 warranty, this is what it means, 12 months or 20 000 k.m. (which ever occurs first). Oil filters have a warranty of 6 months, even the oil has a warranty for the service life of the oil and if it fails it's lubrication purposes, then you still have a claim. What people do not realise is that as a consumer, you have the same consumer rights as purchasing anything that you may buy. If a mechanic voids a warranty, he/she has to have a substantial reason to void the warranty. This could include

1  Another mechanical part that has caused the warranted part to fail

2. Incorrect fitting of the warranted part.

3. Incorrect Servicing or late Services.

4. Wrong grade of oils, fluids or coolant used.

5. The part was fitted by an unqualified person.

6. The part was fitted to substitute the managment of some other part.

In some cases more warranty will be given to a better quality part, an OEX alternator for example will give you a 12/20 warranty when the same alternator but a different brand such as Bosch will give you an extra 12 months or 40k warranty. What you pay for is what you get.

Be careful though, some mechanics will give you a 12/20 warranty on the part, but not the labour. I give the same warranty on workmanship as i do the part. You won't have to re-pay for the labour or anything else.

Beware the buyer. Some parts makers claim they put a 12 month warranty on the part, however, if your part fails in the warranted timeframe, it's not uncommon that they will make you pay for the new part while the failed part is sent for warranty claim, where it's tested and then determined if you will recieve a refund.

I believe this is unfair, so i make a note of what companies do this, and most companies apply this method of warranty. I do not deal with these companies, i find a parts supplier that will replace the part, and although it still has to go through the process of diagnoses and testing, my customers do not pay the extra, i replace the part at no cost to the customer, except where the customer insists the part is faulty and i disaggree that something else, other than the part fitted is responsible for the fault.

Another warranty to avoid is a used car yard or dealership warranty that voids your warranty even if you go one K.M. or one day over the service intervals. The clauses and conditions these rip offs give you with the warranty in most cases only cover a part, not labour, not supplies and not oils and fluids, so you will always end up paying, other dealerships sell you a warranty that is only covered if you service or repair with them, so they are selling you a warranty at the point of sale, that's not worth the paper it's printed on for around 2k, but only if you agree to service at a rate far above the average mechanical business would. It's a rip off and they operate just below the legal line to keep the warranty valid to sell. I can name only 1 warranty that has been honoured by one of these used car warranties when it was obvious the piston failed, they payed for the piston, but the customer was left with the labour, oils etc.............. It's a rip off, don't buy one, instead put that 2k back in your account, get a full service, plugs, filters all oils changed and start your service scedule all over again, this way your car is up to date with services, keep your scedule and you shouldn't have any problems with your new possession.

This is sound advice from a mechanic that's been in the game for 36 years, when you go to buy a car ask if there is any (Manufactor's) warranty still left on the vehicle and only buy a warranty if it's a manufactors warranty which will fall under (extended manufactors warranty), if they say you get a warranty, then ask them to be more specific about the warranty, if they say you have to service with them in order to keep the warranty, then you know it's just a gimmick they sell you with the car you want. Honesty is what i stand by when it comes to protecting your rights as a consumer, Don't fall for it and don't be vunerable to these salespersons tricks to upsell. Just buy the car, if you want tint, paint protection, fabric protection etc, then you can save a heap of money if you get it done later on away from the car yard.

That's Good Oil - Great Service!

Workshop Vs Mobile compare savings

Posted on 17 May, 2017 at 21:30 Comments comments (0)

One of my customers owns a commodore vy 3.8, the water pump failed and she showed me an invoice of a workshop based mechanic to fit the new water pump. I won't name the workshop but i will give you a run down of her invoice.

1. Tow Truck                           $120.00

2. Water Pump                       $   78.00

3. Coolant                               $   65.00

4. Labour @ $95.00 x 1.5 = $ 142.50

5. Shop Supplies                   $    15.00

 Total includes GST               $ 420.50

Another customer of mine with the same vehicle, this is my invoice

1. Call out fee                         $ 44.00

2. Water Pump                        $ 65.00

3. Coolant                                $ 57.00

4. Labour @ $88.00 x 1.5 = $ 132.00

Total includes GST              $298.00

Same 12 month 20k warranty............................... So how do i do this? I don't have the overheads of a workshop so the money i save i pass onto my customer...... In this case my customer saved $122.50.

Need i say more?                                                        Good Oil - Great Service!

Dealer used car warranties BEWARE

Posted on 10 May, 2017 at 17:05 Comments comments (0)

Ok, so you cannot afford a new car, most people can't so they visit the local dealer to buy a second hand car. It can be exciting and being caught up in the sale can cost you money, and in most cases will cost you a lot more than the advertised price. The unseen extras that they sell you are totally unessessary and in my opinion one of the biggest rip offs out there. I'm not just talking about paint and fabric protection or overpriced window tinting. I'm talking about used car warranties that cost between $800 and $2200. There are more clauses than you can poke a stick at in these used car warranties, they always state that if they have a warranty concern that you must service and take the vehicle back to them, when 99% of the time it's just a gimmick to get you car into the dealership workshop, deny you warranty, then charge and overcharge to repair the vehicle. Q.V.W.N or Queensland Vehicle Warranty Network were one of the biggest rips, they have now changed their name to National Warranty, but still the same clauses and conditions and added clauses so if you do have a claim, it won't be honoured. I've had customers with these warranties and i tell them plainly, they are not worth the paper they are printed on. I've been in the industry for 36 years and i know all the tricks, i have tried to get a claim from these companies and only once did they pay in all my years with dealing with them, the one time they did pay was for a piston in an engine that failed, but get this..... they would not pay anything else but the piston and when i recieved the piston it was a cheap chinese piston that i didn't want to use. Don't be sucked in when you go buy a second hand car, don't fall for fabric protection, they don't clean the fabric, they spray tinned scotchguard over the dirty fabric, and use liquid wax or silicone over the paint and call it paint protection, all for considerable prices, and window tint? If you shop around you can get the same tint they use at a fraction of the price. If you are after a good warranty always insist on a manufacturer's warranty, some 2nd hand cars still qualify for a factory warranty or manufacturer's warranty, depending on the brand of the vehicle, if they decline to give you a warranty or even an extended warranty, then listen to the reasons they give you and weigh up the cost's, maybe you should buy a newer car that quaifies for a warranty other than a dealership or used car warranty. Don't be caught up in the hype of buying a used car and get an independent mechanical report on the vehicle before you commit to buy it.


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