Engine Check Light

The list of things that can trigger the engine check light is pretty long. With modern day diagnostic/scan tools it is relatively simple to access what the fault is, or at least point you in the right direction as to where to start looking for the issue causing the Engine Check Light to turn on.

Just because an engine check light is on does not always mean an expensive fix. But the longer you leave this problem, the possibility of doing damage to certain components and even the engine is greatly increased. So, if your engine check lights comes on make sure to get it checked before it starts costing you more money.

Cabin Air Filter

We all know that the air outside our car can be a health hazard, especially in traffic. So, we keep the family cocooned and trust that the air in the cabin is safe to breathe. But you could be risking your family’s health more than you think.

The cabin air filter is typically a pleated-paper filter that is placed in the outside-air intake for the vehicle’s passenger compartment. Some of these filters are rectangular and similar in shape to the combustion air filter. Others are uniquely shaped to fit the addition to automobile equipment; this cabin air filter is often overlooked, and can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the vehicle’s air conditioning and heating performance.

Clogged or dirty cabin air filters can significantly reduce airflow from the cabin vents, as well as introduce allergens into the cabin air stream. On your next car service, request that we inspect this filter for you and advise if replacement cabin air filter is needed. Your family’s health could depend on it.

Cooling System Flush

If coolant loses its buffering ingredients it becomes extremely corrosive, literally eating holes in cooling system components. By-products of corrosion damage, plus rust and scale, clog the passageways that conduct the water through the radiator and block off the flow. This may result in an overheated (cooked) engine. The leading cause of radiator failure is corrosion due to lack of cooling system maintenance. The corrosion inhibitors strength in antifreeze is gradually weakened over time, it is recommended that every 2 years you request a cooling system flush with your car service or Wof (Warrant of Fitness).

Transmission Fluid Change

Manual: In a manual transmission, the problem is not so much the fluid degradation, but rather fluid contamination. This contamination occurs over time as the synchronizers, bearings, and gears in the transmission wear out. The resulting metal particles then float around in the lubricant. So, if these contaminants are not drained out, they will shorten the life of your transmission.

Automatic: Because more heat is generated in an automatic transmission, automatic transmission fluid degrades and breaks down with use & heat. As with like in a manual transmission, automatic transmission fluid will also become contaminated with worn bits of the transmission. If these contaminants are not drained out, they will shorten the life of your transmission.

Engine Oil Change

The main function of oil is to reduce wear on moving parts; it also cleans, inhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. In engines, there is some exposure of the oil to products of internal combustion, and microscopic coke particles from black soot accumulate in the oil during operation.

The rubbing of metal engine parts produces some microscopic metallic particles from the wearing of the surfaces. These particles can circulate in the oil and grind against the part surfaces causing wear. The oil filter removes many of the particles and sludge, but eventually, the oil filter can become clogged if used for extremely long periods.

The motor oil and especially the additives also undergo thermal and mechanical degradation, which reduce the viscosity and reserve alkalinity of the oil. At reduced viscosity, the oil is not as capable of lubricating the engine, thus increasing wear and the chance of overheating. Reserve alkalinity is the ability of the oil to resist the formation of acids. Should the reserve alkalinity decline to zero, those acids form and corrode the engine.

We recommend oil checks for every 10,000km on petrol engines and 8,000km on diesel engines. This does change so find out what is recommended by your car manufacture. On a lot of modern day vehicles, they try and push these service intervals out but variants come into play like ambient temperatures, stop-start driving, and hard driving. These variants bring their long service intervals down to times which can be even less than your regular 10,000km car service.

Power Steering Fluid Change

Over a period of time, the various internal power-steering components, as well as the O-ring seals, tend to wear out. When this happens the power steering fluid gets contaminated with debris forcing the power-steering pump to work harder. The power steering pump then must also pump the debris through the fluid and eventually causing a leak in the system & wear components. So come to Takapuna Car Clinic to get this checked.

Brake Fluid Change

Brake fluid is one of the most neglected fluids in vehicles, yet is vitally important for safe driving. The issue is old brake fluid may not be safe if moisture contamination is above 3%.

Many experts have long recommended people to request changing the brake fluid every year or two during a car service or Wof for preventative maintenance. Their rationale is based on the fact that glycol-based brake fluid starts to absorb moisture from the moment it is put in the system. The fluid attracts moisture through microscopic pores in rubber hoses, past seals and exposure to the air. The problem is obviously worse in wet climates where humidity is high. Water contamination increases the danger of brake failure because vapor pockets can form if the fluid gets too hot. Vapor displaces fluid and is compressible, so when the brakes are applied the pedal may go all the way to the floor without applying the brakes. In addition to the safety issue, water-laden brake fluid promotes corrosion and pitting in caliper pistons and bores, wheel cylinders, master cylinders, steel brake lines, and ABS modulators.

For reliable, consistent brake system operation, brake fluid must maintain a constant viscosity under a wide range of temperatures, including extreme cold. This is especially important in systems with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control, and stability control (ESP), as these systems may use a valve with a time-based approach, rather than measuring pressure or volume to control the amount of fluid transferred.

Most automotive professionals agree that glycol-based brake fluid, (DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5.1) should be flushed, or changed, every 1–2 years under non-racing conditions. Many manufacturers also require periodic fluid changes to ensure reliability and safety.