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Flat batteries are usually the main cause of vehicles not starting. It general terms when the battery in your vehicle is flat and you turn the key nothing much will happen. You may hear a slight click or click click sound as the engine starter motor tries to do its job but doesn't have enough voltage to do so. Even in this state you may find that the vehicle horn, radio and other functions will still work as they only require a small amount of electrical charge to operate.
Vehicle batteries generally go flat because of the age of the battery itself or an item in the vehicle has been left on for a long period of time, eg: the radio.
Vehicle batteries can be easily tested to determine their ability to handle electrical load. A simple test will advise wether the battery needs replacing or charging.
It is possible that your engine will crank (turn over) when you turn the key, but still not start.
There are several possibilities that may cause this symptom and may include, fuel blockages, air in the fuel system, fuel pump failure, no spark or engine management issues.
In most cases these issues will require diagnosis as to the exact cause of the failure but is usually easy to determine.
Immobilisers in modern vehicles will not allow the engine to start if the system does not recognise the correct key is being used.
Sometimes it is possible that your key will lose it's ability to communicate with your vehicle and will not allow it to start. If you have a spare key it is worth trying to start the vehicle with the spare, otherwise the vehicle will generally need to be towed to a service centre and a new key programmed.
Most modern automatic vehicles are equipped with a safety switch built into the transmission shift mechanism. This safety switch will not let the vehicle start if the transmission lever is not in the "Park" or "Neutral" position.
This will actually give similar symptoms as a flat battery, turn the key and nothing happens.
It is worth checking the transmission lever is in the correct position.
The Starter Motor is a small electric motor that engages and starts the engine when you turn the key. Starter motors can quite often stop working without any warning and when this happens you may hear nothing more than a click when you turn the key.
Starter motors can also make a dry graunch sound when you turn the key in your vehicle. This is generally a good indication that the starter motor needs replacing.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Good brake performance is essential for the safety of your family, yourself and other road users. It is certainly noticeable on any vehicle when the brakes are not working very well and can be quite concerning when you place your foot on the brake pedal and not much happens.
It is essential that brakes are kept in the best possible working order and it is the responsibility of every vehicle owner to ensure this is the case.
Brake shudder is quite common on most vehicles with worn brake components and is usually an indication the brake rotors have become warped and are no longer running true.
Brake shudder can generally be felt in two ways:
Front brake shudder is normally felt through the brake pedal as a pulsating effect and coincides with the steering wheel shaking as you apply the brake. This usually occurs at higher speeds and especially after extended periods of braking.
To rectify front brake shudder we recommend replacing the front brake rotors and front brake pads with new components.
Rear brake shudder is normally felt through the brake pedal as a pulsating effect and coincides with a vibration through the floor or seat as you apply the brake. This usually occurs at higher speeds and especially after extended periods of braking.
To rectify rear brake shudder we recommend replacing the rear brake rotors and rear brake pads with new components.
A spongy feel on the brake pedal or long travel of the brake pedal will normally mean that air or moisture has made its way into the brake fluid lines or that the brake components need adjustment.
Air in the brake fluid lines will, in most cases, mean that one or more of the braking system components on your vehicle are leaking fluid and as a result air has been able to enter the system. Air is a major enemy of braking systems as it does not allow the brake components to operate as designed. generally, repairing the failed components, replacing the brake fluid and bleeding air from the system is the only option with this kind of failure.
Brake fluid life is another common cause of a spongy brake pedal. Most manufacturers recommend that brake fluid is replaced every two years. Brake fluid, over time, will lose its efficiency as small particles of dirt and moisture enter the system. We also recommend replacing brake fluid every two years.
A grinding noise from your vehicle when applying the brakes is normally an indication that one or more of your brake components are badly worn.
This is generally described as "metal on metal" and means that the braking material on your brake pads has worn out and the metal backing on these components is now making contact with the brake rotors.
Some vehicles have a "squeal tab" attached to the brake pads. These omit a high pitch squeal when you apply the brake pedal and are designed as a warning to the vehicle owner that their brake components are wearing.
Brake squeak ( as opposed to squeal - refer above) is normally caused by a build up of road grime, dirt or brake dust in and around the brake components. This can normally be rectified by having the brake components cleaned. Brake squeak can also be caused by glazed (shiny) brake rotors and can quite easily be rectified.
Some braking systems will squeak when cold (first use of the day) but will stop squeaking as they are used more. This is quite normal and can be due to the kind of brake pad material a manufacturer uses.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Tyres are a very important part of your vehicle. Basically the tyres on your vehicle are all that sticks your vehicle to the road.
Shake through the steering wheel while driving the vehicle (not braking) is normally due to your tyres being out of balance. This is quite easily rectified with a wheel balance.
Worn or loose front wheel bearings can also cause a shake in the steering wheel. It is worth having your wheel bearings checked and adjusted or in some cases replaced.
Wobble through the vehicle at low speed will normally indicate that your tyres are probably unevenly worn or are out of round. We suggest having your tyres checked for any signs of abnormal wear.
Vehicle vibrates while you are driving can be caused by anything within the vehicle driveline (engine, transmission, axles etc). It may mean worn, loose or damaged components and can also be caused by the engine itself not running correctly. Diagnosis of the cause of the vibration will be necessary.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Engine misfiring is generally the main cause of a lack of power in vehicles. This can quite often occur when an engine component is no longer functioning as it should causing a loss of engine power.
Most engine misfires are caused by the failure of engine spark plugs or spark plug leads. This is normally quite noticeable when accelerating up a hill or when overtaking. When misfiring, the engine will normally vibrate or give a "bump" or two and a loss of power will be evident.
Misfires can also be caused by fuel system component failure or electrical system faults.
Brake components binding or stuck on can also give the feeling that the vehicle will not go. Binding brake components will cause excessive drag on the vehicle which means the engine must work harder and give the feeling of less power.
Transmission or clutch slipping will also give the feeling that the vehicle will not go. When a transmission or clutch does slip however you may notice that the engine revs quite high but the vehicle does not seem to move. In the case of an automatic transmission it can be caused by a lack of fluid in the transmission but quite often means an internal failure.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Steam from the exhaust of a vehicle is quite normal, especially during winter. It is caused by condensation building up inside your vehicle exhaust system, while driving your exhaust system heats up, evaporates the condensation and produces steam from the exhaust system. This steam should disappear after a few km's of driving.
Blue smoke from the exhaust system of your vehicle indicates that the engine is burning engine oil. This is normally due to components within the engine being worn and repairs may vary from minor to major depending on the worn components. Diagnosis of the cause of the smoke would be necessary.
Black smoke from the exhaust system of your vehicle will normally indicate an issue with the fuel system. This, in most cases, is caused by the engine using too much fuel and could be an indication of failing fuel injectors. Diagnosis would be necessary to determine the exact cause.
White smoke is uncommon in most modern vehicles but does indicate an issue with the engine air intake. The air intake or the air filter may be blocked and not allowing enough air flow into the engine.
Smoke from the engine bay may indicate that fluid or oil is leaking from the engine onto the exhaust system. It is very important to have this addressed immediately as not rectifying this issue may lead to an engine or vehicle fire.
Smoke inside the vehicle will quite often be caused by an electrical component failure and can be quite alarming. If you experience any smoke inside a vehicle it is important to pull over as quickly and safely as possible, switch off the vehicle, remove yourself and any passengers to safety and seek help.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Air Conditioning systems in most vehicles have a condensation drain tube that runs from inside your vehicle to the engine bay area. They are designed to take excess condensation or water from around your air conditioning evaporator (under the dash) and drain it to outside of the vehicle. This drains under the engine bay near the left hand front wheel and appears as a clear drip or pool of water. The more overcast the day, the more your drain tube will drip when the air conditioning is on.
Wet carpet can occur and usually appears on the front passenger floor. This can generally mean one of two things. The air conditioning drain tube mentioned above is blocked, This allows excess moisture to collect in you air conditioning evaporator until it eventually leaks onto the carpet. This can generally be rectified by having the drain tube cleaned.
Wet carpet can also occur when the heater core (under the dash) starts to leak. A leaking heater core will generally drip water inside the vehicle and usually means the heater core will need replacing. This is an expensive repair as it normally means remove the whole dash from the vehicle to access the heater core.
Oil leaks can appear under a vehicle from the front, middle or rear of a vehicle and it is usually necessary to hoist a vehicle to determine the exact source of the leak. In general terms the colour or smell of the oil can usually give a clue to its source. Engine oil is black or dark brown in colour and quite thin in feel, Transmission and power steering fluid is normally red in colour and quite thin in feel whereas gearbox and differential oil can be brown, thick and has a very strong smell.
It is important to have oil leaks checked quickly as it means that a component on your vehicle is losing fluid and if not attended to early, that component may fail.
Coolant leaks under vehicles are an indication that a engine cooling system component has failed or is starting to fail. It is extremely important to keep the engine cooling system in good working order as an unattended leak may cause major engine failure due to overheating.
Coolant leaks may be as simple as a leaking hose or loose clamp but may also be a major component such as a radiator or water pump that has failed.
Engine coolant is generally green in colour, has slight oily feel and when leaking, has a peppery smell. The smell is especially noticeable when the coolant is hot.
Water leaks inside the vehicle can normally be traced to a body, door or windscreen seal that is no longer performing as it should.
Fuel leaks of any kind must be treated seriously as even a small leak can quickly escalate into a major fire if it comes into contact with heat, sparks or flame. If your vehicle is leaking fuel, please stop the vehicle, ensure that yourself and all passengers are moved away to a safe place and dial 000 for assistance.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Flat tyre or tyres can easily cause the steering on your vehicle to become heavy and the vehicle difficult to drive. It is necessary to ensure that all the tyres on your vehicle are inflated to the correct pressure to maintain good steering performance.
If a tyre on your vehicle regularly loses pressure it is worth having it checked for a puncture or leaking valve.
Loss of fluid in a power steering system will ultimately lead to extremely heavy steering in most vehicles. A power steering system that has lost most or all of its fluid can not function properly meaning that more effort to steer the vehicle is required from the driver.
Heavy steering and a whirring sound from the engine bay will generally mean your power steering system is low on fluid
Broken belt. Most power steering systems have a hydraulic pump that is driven by a belt from the engine. If the belt is broken or slipping then the power steering pump will not function and power steering will be lost. It is important to ensure drive belts are maintained, tensioned or replaced when necessary.
Steering components like any mechanical item do eventually wear out and are not capable of performing the task they were designed to do. Worn steering components will certainly reduce the effectiveness of your steering system and should be replaced.
Correct wheel alignment will make the vehicle easier to steer and promote good tyre wear. If you feel that your vehicle is steering or pulling to the left or right when driving then it is worth having the wheel alignment checked to rectify any issue.
Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Shock absorbers are an important parts of any vehicle and must be in good working order. Shock absorbers are designed to soak up the bumps, keep the tyres in contact with the road and the vehicle stable when cornering.
Worn shock absorbers do not soak up the bumps as designed and will allow the vehicle to bounce when cornering or hitting bumps. It is recommended that worn shock absorbers are replaced as soon as practical.
Springs are designed to work with the shock absorbers on your vehicle and are there to support the weight of the vehicle and keep the vehicle stable when driving. A broken or sagged spring can not operate as designed and a change in the way a vehicle handles will be noticeable.
Stabaliser bars are part of the suspension system on your vehicle and are designed to reduce body roll when cornering. Worn stabiliser bar components will certainly change the way your vehicle handles, especially when cornering. It is important to replace worn stabiliser bar components.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Interior components on most modern vehicles are made of plastic and are generally held together by clips and screws. Interior squeaks are generally caused when a clip or screw has come loose and this allows the plastic components to rub together.
Squeaks from the engine area of your vehicle can normally be traced to one or more of the fan belts or the fan belt pulley bearings being worn out. It is advised to have these components replaced quickly as it indicates a failure is not far away.
Squeaks when driving your vehicle could be coming from anywhere on your vehicle as any components that moves could eventually squeak. Some main causes may include wheel bearings, suspension bushes, loose body work, noisy brakes or even loose hub caps. It is advised to have squeaks when driving investigated quickly as it may be a major component beginning to fail.
Rumbling noises from a vehicle when driving may also indicate that wheel bearings, axle or diff bearings on your vehicle need replacing. These are of major importance and should be attended to quickly.
A rumbling sound can also be caused by tyres that have worn unevenly. This is generally know as feathering and is caused by poor wheel alignment.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Front wheel drive vehicles have driveshafts running to each front wheel from the transmission. Each of these driveshafts have swivel joints called CV joints which allow your suspension and steering to work. When these CV joints wear out they will make a clack clack sound when turning and may even cause vibration while driving in a straight line. These CV joints are an important part of any front wheel drive vehicle and must be replaced when worn.
Clacking or flapping noises from the engine bay of your vehicle may be a loose or broken belt, a broken fan blade or an engine pulley failure. These need investigating quickly as your engine relies on these components to function properly.
Clacking or flapping while you are driving your vehicle could also be loose body work, under trays or may be something caught under you car.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Brake Squeal. Some vehicles have a "squeal tab" attached to the brake pads. These omit a high pitch squeal when you apply the brake pedal and are designed as a warning to the vehicle owner that their brake components are wearing. It is advised to have your brakes checked quickly.
Brake squeak( as opposed to squeal - refer above) is normally caused by a build up of road grime, dirt or brake dust in and around the brake components. This can normal be rectified by having the brake components cleaned. Brake squeak can also be caused by glazed (shiny) brake rotors and can quite easily be rectified.
A squeal from the engine bay when turning, accelerating or when turning the air conditioner on may indicate that one or more of your engine belts are loose or the belt pulley bearings have failed. This will require having the engine belts tensioned or the bearings and belts replaced to stop the noise.
High pitch squeals while driving may also indicate wheel or axle bearing failure. This is normally a constant squeal noise and can be a good indication that your wheel bearings need replacing as soon as possible.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Warning. Engine cooling systems have extremely hot coolant and steam circulating through them after an engine has been running. Please do not attempt to inspect, top up or repair any engine cooling components until the system has cooled down. Failing to allow the system to cool could result in severe burns to yourself or others.
Overheating vehicles can be generally traced to and engine cooling component failure. The engine cooling system on most vehicles is a complex system and generally includes hoses, radiator, coolant reservoir, water pump and thermostat. All the cooling system components must work properly for the system to run as efficiently as possible
Coolant loss will ultimately cause an engine to over heat, so it is vital that cooling system leaks are repaired as soon as practical. Coolant leaks can be due to failed hoses, hose clamps, gaskets, seals or radiator failure.
Water pumps are an integral part of any engine cooling system. It is the water pump, driven by a belt attached to the engine, that circulates the coolant through the engine, hoses and the radiator to keep the engine cool. Failure of the water pump itself or a broken water pump belt will lead to the engine overheating.
Radiators are designed to cool the engine coolant down as it is circulated inside the radiator tubes. If the radiator becomes blocked internally or air flow through the radiator is restricted then the cooling function of the radiator is reduced and the engine will overheat.
Thermostats are an important part of all engine cooling systems and are designed to regulate the flow of coolant through the engine. The thermostat opens and closes depending on the temperature of the engine coolant at the time. A thermostat that is not operating correctly may stay closed, this does not allow enough coolant to circulate through the engine and the engine overheats. A thermostat must function correctly for the engine cooling system to operate efficiently
Fans or Thermo fans are designed to draw cool air through the fins of the radiator and generally only operate when the engine temperature increases. If a fan or thermo fan fails to operate when required the engine will overheat.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Air conditioning systems are standard equipment on most modern vehicles and are designed to keep the vehicle occupants as comfortable as possible while driving.
Air conditioning systems use a refrigerant gas contained within the compressor, hoses, evaporator (under the dash) and the condenser (front of the car)
Refrigerant is pump around the system via the compressor to the condenser where it is cooled down and sent to the evaporator in the dash of your car. Air is directed past the cold evaporator giving you cold air inside your vehicle.
Because the system relies on refrigerant gas to operate, more often than not it is the loss of refrigerant in the system that causes the air conditioning to stop working. The refrigerant can escape through o'ring seals or hose joints that become brittle over time.
To have the system operational again it is necessary to identify the source of the leak, repair and regas the system.
Other components do occasionally fail within the system and these may include the compressor, TX valve, hoses or condenser.
Heating works in a similar way except the engine water pump pushes hot water into a heater core under your dash. Air is drawn passed the hot heater core giving you warm air in the vehicle.
The flow of hot water into the heater core is controlled by a valve in the engine bay. This valve will open or close the flow of water to the heater core depending on the temperature setting you have chosen inside the vehicle.
In most cases, heater failure is due to the heater valve not operating correctly.
Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
Warning lights appearing in your dash are there to warn the driver of an issue that the vehicle has detected. In general terms, if a warning light is red in colour then it should be attended to immediately, if it is amber in colour it is ok to continue to drive your vehicle with caution but please have it checked as soon as possible.
Check Engine warning coming up on your dash is a warning from the engine management system that it has recognised a fault or possible fault. This warning can appear for many different reasons and quite often will disappear just as quickly. As a driver it is almost impossible to determine why the warning has appeared and it will be necessary for you to visit your repairer. Your repairer can check the engine management system with a laptop or similar and it will advise them of the fault that was detected.
Check Engine warning coming up with no other symptoms. Have your vehicle checked as soon as practical
Check Engine warning with a noticeable lack of power. This can also be known as "limp home mode" because the vehicle will reduce the available power because it has recognised a serious fault. The reduced power is so that you can slowly make it to a repairer for inspection.
Check Engine with high engine temperature. The vehicle has recognised the engine is overheating and is warning of an issue. Pull over when safe to do so and seek assistance.
SRS warning. The supplementary restraint system or SRS is made up of seat belts and air bags and is obviously designed to keep you safe in case of an accident. If the SRS warning appears in your instrument cluster it means that a potential fault has been detected with the SRS system and it may not function correctly. As the SRS system is extremely important in keeping you safe it is recommended that the fault be repaired as soon as possible.
Battery warning lamp coming on in your dash is a indication that the battery is no longer being charged by the alternator. This could be due to a broken alternator drive belt or an internal fault inside the alternator itself.
Brake or Brake Fail warnings are not to be messed with. Pull over as gently as possible and do not drive the vehicle until the braking system has been inspected and repaired.Note: this is general advice only and we recommend you seek advice from your repairer should you experience anything abnormal with your vehicle.
At Mitech Automotive we firmly believe it's your car.
You may have had the vehicle for days, weeks or many years. You drive it, probably every day, you know it's habits, it's noises, the way it drives, how much fuel it uses and how the brakes feel.
Nobody knows your car better than you do, so It makes perfect sense then, that when something is wrong, or doesn't feel right with your car, you will know it almost immediately.
At Mitech Automotive we are therefore committed to hearing what you have to say about your car. Whether it creaks, squeaks, rattles, leaks or bangs, it is up to us to understand your concerns and use our knowledge and ability to rectify the concern.
We are committed to diagnosing your concerns as quickly as possible, while providing reasonable repair and pricing options that suit your budget. Not every concern of failure in relation to your vehicle can be fixed quickly or cheaply, but we will work with you ensure satisfaction wherever we can.
Mitech Automotive has very understanding and experienced staff who will listen to you, diagnose the problem and advise you of associated costs before we proceed with the repair. We will always advise you of your options and recommend what we believe to be the best course of action.
The choice to proceed with repairs is yours. You may feel unhappy with our quote and that’s quite ok as you are more than welcome to seek as many quotes or opinions as you wish
After all, It's Your Car.
Servicing is an important part of owning a motor vehicle and should be carried out a regular intervals
How often?. There are many different theories on how often you should service your vehicle and most manufacturers have recommendations for their vehicles.
Manufacturers do vary a little but if you read the fine print in most service manuals, they do state that the vehicle be serviced every six months or ??????? Km's whichever comes first.
The every six months clause is not a bad guideline to follow but we also understand that vehicle owners in country areas do not do many km's in six months. We recommend that a vehicle log book service is done at least once a year with a simple vehicle inspection in-between.
The log book service is important to ensure necessary componentry such as oil filters, fuel filters, air filters, engine coolant, spark plugs, brake fluid and the like get replaced when they are due along with the normal vehicle inspection.
A basic vehicle inspection in between the log book services allows our technicians the chance to inspect your vehicle for any evident faults, leaks or abnormal wear. This is important to ensure minor faults are identified and repaired before they become major issues.
Price variations from one vehicle service to another are quite normal as vehicle components need replacing at different times.
A basic vehicle log book service may simply be an engine oil and filter change combined with a vehicle inspection.
The next log book service may require the engine oil, oil filter, air filter & fuel filter to be replaced. Having to replace additional items means more components and more labour time to perform the service, this in turn will mean the service cost will be higher than the last visit.
It is important that any repairer clearly explains what needs to be done prior to any repair and at the end of the repair. We believe this is necessary so you have a clear understanding of exactly what was done.
Our technicians will also recommend any items that require attention now or in the future.