mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au December 7, 2020 No Comments

Budgeting Time and Money for your Car

This blog is about giving a bit of guidance & control to car owners.

While your car can give you enjoyment under constant use, it does need periodic maintenance. (Even Hybrids & Electric cars need constant maintenance).

Attitude

This one is a biggie, your car should be looked at as an investment:

  • You want the best reliable parts fitted to your car.
  • You want to use the very best oil & lubrication & filtration components.
  • You want & should demand that your car be constantly in Safety Certificate standards at all times.
  • RELIABILITY.

You see, with a little knowledge goes a long way, BUT only for those who are interested.

If you are trying to get the cheapest service possible or something for next to nothing (Then have a good look at the pretty young girl in the photo- would you like That to be your Daughter – This is what happens if you are cheap or use gimmick servicing)

Time

Always make adequate time for servicing & more time if your car has a fault-(we offer courtesy cars). Thorough repairs can take time.

TIME & PROBLEMS

Some problems require to be replicated. This can take quite a while. Please remember that for the problem to be conquered- it must be exposed, the data has to be recorded- then a solution or repair be carried time.

There is no magic wand, accurate diagnostics take a logical approach until the goal is achieved. Please note a scanner diagnostic machine will not give you the solution to your problem, most of the time a scanner will give you the EFFECT not the CAUSE & in some cases the scanner will give you nothing- here it takes skill- This, my friend, takes years of experience & this I have earned.

Please note, if you have a problem with the running of your car, do not assume a service will automatically fix your problem.

This brings us to a sticky point on who you use.

I would only use: 

  •  A Tyre shop for tyres,
  • A Muffler shop for Mufflers

I would only use a highly specialised well-equipped experienced diagnostic/tuning shop for the running of my car. I would not cross the genres thinking a tyre shop can fix a tune issue.

Generally these workshops do not spend the money on the right equipment to diagnose – their point of sale is to only sell tyres first or mufflers.

Avoid Saturday Morning Repairs

Except for tyres & Mufflers,

Do not make the excuse you have not got the time. Your car is worth it. Make the time through the week.

Here is why you should avoid Saturday Repairs:

Most Mechanics who work on Saturdays have already worked a 40-hour week. They are tired and fatigued. Also spare parts from dealerships are either closed nor deliver, so what does this mean? A recipe for problems, shoddy workmanship & a rushed job.

Is that what you want?

Petrol

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Have petrol in your car!

Budgeting Money

  • 0-7year old cars under 100,000 km: I would budget $25-$30 a week. The biggest out lay should be tyres & brakes around every 25,000 km to every 40,000 km this is what Franchise/ Dealership capped price service focus on Churn `em out take the money & run.
  • 8-12year old cars 100,000 km & over :With these cars I would budget around $50- $75 a Week – providing all the maintenance up to this point has been done. Here we start seeing issues & far more expensive maintenance, e.g. Spark plugs that require intake manifolds to be removed, timing belts, water pumps, In-tank fuel filters & fuel pumps. It’s here I would recommend a new radiator & coolant hoses. Strongly recommend fuel injectors to be removed & serviced.
  • 13 years & over ($75-$125 + a week): At this stage problems can occur such as Engine repairs, burnt out clutches, failed transmissions, axle bearings- repairs to automatic transmission can be very high- expensive items such as Electrical issues, catalytic converters & diesel particulate filters can cost many thousands of dollars which can make the car not worth the repair.

Summary

Please do not hold me to exact time or costing on what I have written, this is only a generic broad spectrum. Different models & different makes have their own characteristics & costing but this is a general costing & also to prepare- do a little research- look at websites, Facebook, Instagram. Get some idea who you are going to deal with & are they capable & have the adequate skills to look after you & fix your car to be running in tip-top condition.

So there you have it- Attitude, Time, Time & problems, Saturday Morning Repairs, Budgeting Money for different aged cars not bad eh!.

Oh, avoid gimmicks, cost-cutting specials- you get what you pay for fixing cars is a life- long discipline there are no shortcuts.

I hope this has helped,

Keep Safe – Manny

At Manny’s Mechanical Repairs you are in good hands, our main services include, Safety CertificatesLogbook ServiceFree Pickup & Delivery, and Car Cooling System Repairs.

We have the latest diagnostic equipment and my work van is fitted out with an industrial air compressor. This enables me to perform heavy duty work and give you – the customer – the best service at any place and at any time.

For Bookings and enquiries, please contact us on 0411 496 621email us at agrade@mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au or visit our site www.mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au.

mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au November 12, 2019 No Comments

What is a Catalytic Converter?

The last two blogs have been about air flow at high engine speed through variable valve timing(  keeping the intake valve on longer @ higher speeds) The other blog was on precise relation & correlation between the valves and crankshaft through a timing belt.

Today I will talk about Catalytic Converters.

In the last 6 moths a number of customers have come into the workshop & Mannys Mechanical with the engine light on. Once scanned the dreaded fault code P0420 Catalyst system below threshold has been recorded. What does this mean? and why is it so expensive to fix?

What is a Catalytic Converter?

In 1986, Australia outlawed anti- knock agent Tetraethyl – Lead made it compulsory for cars to use Unleaded petrol. Also cars were fitted with catalytic converters in the exhaust system. A catalytic converter converts harmful unburnt fuel (hydrocarbons) into a inert gas.

A catalytic converter uses precious metals to react with the incoming exhaust gases in a ceramic monolith with a honeycomb structure.

The catalyst itself is most often a mix of precious metalPlatinum is the most active catalyst and is widely used, but is not suitable for all applications because of unwanted additional reactions and high cost. Palladium and rhodium are two other precious metals used. Rhodium is used as a reduction catalyst, palladium is used as an oxidation catalyst, and platinum is used both for reduction and oxidation. Ceriumironmanganese, and nickel – this list pretty well explains the expensive metals used & hence the cost.

There are a few different catalytic converters – a two way & three way. For catalytic converters to be effective the temperature must be around 426celcius. Which is why they are usually incorporated in the exhaust manifold & this is also the reason why oxygen sensors also have heating elements.

The picture above shows Kamahl holding a brand new Catalytic Converter incorporated with engine pipes to suit a Subaru Outback $2698.00 – yet they sell on Ebay for $400.

Would I buy from Ebay?

Not in your life. You will be lucky to get 4 months before it fails again. Heaps of after- market cheap rubbish do not use the precious metals listed above to last.

What do they mean P0420 Catalyst below threshold?

Generally there are two Oxygen sensors – a pre-catalytic converter & a after catalytic converter. They do a few jobs (Look at KAMAHL holding the cat` you will see one small hole and a extension where the oxygen sensors fit)

  1. They monitor how much oxygen is in the exhaust emissions and they measure is the catalytic converter reaction buy monitoring the change of state (threshold). If  the post cat sensor mirrors the pre-cat sensor, then the catalytic converter is not doing its job the fault code P0420 is registered. This information is monitored & compared through the computer in a term called closed loop.

What Causes the Failure?

There are number of reasons that can cause failure of a Catalytic converters. Vibration is probably the biggest killer. Exhaust systems have engine pulses which travel thousands a time a second these pressure waves can eventually break away the inner supporting structure-excessive over-fuelling through poorly tuned engines, coolant is one of the biggest killers- when a vehicle excessively over heats causing coolant to get in the exhaust system. Age, I am seeing vehicles around the 10 year mark coming in with this problem/fault code.

It’s so expensive to fix should I worry about it?

Well Yeah! When engine and emission lights come on, your vehicle is immediately un-roadworthy & if these hooligan climate activists have their way about climate change (running around half naked chaining themselves to toilet blocks & moving TRUCK WHEELS) will eventually  force Governments to crack down on vehicle emissions.

This could mean you, the car owner & me the automotive repairer will face some serious fines if the repairs are not carried out immediately.

What this does do?

It puts serious stress on. Say single mothers  to get their cars fixed straight away, whether they can afford it or not-..I would love to check  the car emission status on all these screaming activists & see how well kept their cars are- people in green house glass houses should not throw stones!

I hoped this has helped- Manny

Knowledge is power- Power is organized effort!

Call Manny on 0411 496 621 today.

To Serve To Perform To Guide- Bringing Automotive power to the people

At Manny’s Mechanical Repairs you are in good hands, our main services include, Safety CertificatesLogbook ServiceFree Pickup & Delivery, and Car Cooling System Repairs.

We have the latest diagnostic equipment and my work van is fitted out with an industrial air compressor. This enables me to perform heavy duty work and give you – the customer – the best service at any place and at any time.

For Bookings and enquiries, please contact us on 0411 496 621email us at agrade@mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au or visit our site www.mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au.

mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au November 6, 2019 No Comments

What are the VVT or VTEC Letters on your car?

The last blog the topic was on the timing belt & the importance of the correlation of exact timing between the camshaft & crankshaft. In this blog, we explain what are the VVT or VTEC Stickers on your car.

The key to engine power is air flow/air density. The trick is to get as much air molecules compacted into the engine cylinder as possible when the piston goes down the cylinder on the induction stroke.

The pictures below shows a easy pathway for the air to travel (In this great cutaway example). The more air the greater force generated on the piston during power combustion, resulting in more torque at the crankshaft. The amount of air filling the cylinder is known as volumetric efficiency. 

VVT or VTEC Stickers

The intake valve is the gate way for air entering the engine cylinder. This is the V part of the initials in VVT. The valve is controlled by the camshaft either directly on top or by a push rod & lever shown by the different example photos. The camshaft has two important roles:

  1. It lifts the valve off its seat to a specified distance (valve lift or valve curtain area)
  2. It keeps the valve open for a certain time (valve duration)

 So all this thermodynamics is good but the problem is volumetric efficiency described above.

Most car engine revolutions (revs) about 7000rpm the speed of the piston is so fast that there is not enough time for enough air to fill with cylinder in milliseconds, so eventually the engine runs out of air at high rpm resulting in loss of power.

Then in the late Eighties Honda came up with Variable cam shaft profile. This is the other V in the initials. In the late eighties the Honda engines were so good with immortal drivers of Ayrton Senna , Nigel Mansel , Alain Prost, that they kicked butt out of the opposition.

The Variable part allows the camshaft to open the valve longer & even higher at different rev ranges also by being able to control exhaust valves emissions. Technically the intake valve can be opened longer at precise high engine speeds allowing more air to enter the cylinder. The volumetric efficiency as described before can go higher than a 100% normally aspirated, but add a good turbo like Honda did back in the 80`s, they were getting over 1000hp from a 1.5 litre engine with over 160% efficency!

There are many variants of control applied in The Variable Valve Timing (VVT). The most common is oil pressured phasers which are computer pulse width activated via a oil pressured activator. The Hondas use a pin locator and Holden use a special lifter to deactivate cylinders in their AFM vehicles.

VTEC Car Maintenance

If you have a car that has VVTOR VTEC, well then use good quality synthetic oil!

The trend of car manufacturers is to make smaller capacity engines which mean lower emissions but with excellent power output.

What are the VVT or VTEC Letters on your car?

Variable Valve Timing is now nearly in all makes & models.

Manny`s Mechanical  Repairs helps you understand more about your vehicle.

We invest in the best equipment, we go to the best courses, we continually use the best parts, the best oil & use the best skill on your car.

I hope this has helped.

Knowledge is power- Power is organized effort!

Call Manny on 0411 496 621 today.

To Serve To Perform To Guide- Bringing Automotive power to the people

At Manny’s Mechanical Repairs you are in good hands, our main services include, Safety CertificatesLogbook ServiceFree Pickup & Delivery, and Car Cooling System Repairs.

We have the latest diagnostic equipment and my work van is fitted out with an industrial air compressor. This enables me to perform heavy duty work and give you – the customer – the best service at any place and at any time.

For Bookings and enquiries, please contact us on 0411 496 621email us at agrade@mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au or visit our site www.mannysmechanicalrepairs.com.au.