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Let's get Technical about your Car

While most people have no need to know much beyond the basics of how their car runs, it can be helpful at times to understand the workings of a car and how it all fits together. Honestly, it’s actually very interesting!

Below is just a bit more information to expand your understanding. It also helps you to know when you need to chat to our team!

The Starter Motor has a quick but important role. The starter motor is a part of a starting system consisting of the starter, a starter solenoid and the battery It is an electric motor responsible for kicking your vehicle’s engine into motion. It’s what you hear first after turning the key in the. If not working properly, the car may struggle to start or not start at all. The starter motor connects to the flywheel, or flex plate, and is responsible for turning it. Turning the key in the ignition causes the starter solenoid to trigger the starter’s operation. The flex plate is engaged, which in turn causes the engine to rotate. Once the engine has started, the starter motor disengages as its job is finished.
Indicators that you have an issue with your vehicle’s starter motor include: if you can hear a clicking sound when you turn the ignition and the engine doesn’t fire into life, if it grinds prior to starting, if there is a spinning noise but the engine doesn’t turn over, or if you can turn the engine over but it fails to continue running.

Non-independent suspension

Many rear wheel drive cars have non-independent suspension, usually at the rear. A solid axle connects the wheels on each side. When one wheel is deflected by a bump the other wheel is deflected because of the solid connection between them. This can cause stability and traction problems. Non-independent suspensions are most commonly used in four-wheel drive vehicles and trucks as they can carry heavy loads and are very rugged.

Independent suspension

The independent suspension offers a more comfortable ride and better handling characteristics simply because each wheel reacts separately from the others. When the wheel on one side hits a bump there is no reaction from any other wheel. Suspensions should be checked in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. There are a number of parts that are susceptible to wear particularly spring and suspension arm bushes.

Shock absorbers

The springs help to keep the wheel in contact with the road are assisted by the shock absorber. Once the spring compresses it rebounds and this happens over and over, like oscillations on a screen. The shock absorber dampens this motion.

The shock absorber does not absorb shocks (that’s the job of the springs), it dampens the effect of the oscillating springs. It achieves this by passing hydraulic fluid or gas between chambers.

The shock absorber is a cylindrical chamber with a piston in the middle. The bottom of the shock absorber is attached to the lower suspension arm and the top is fixed to the car’s body.

When the wheel hits a bump the piston moves up in the cylinder and fluid or gas passes through small valves in the piston from the top of the chamber to the bottom.

When the wheel rebounds the piston moves down in the chamber and the fluid or gas moves in the opposite direction.

This in effect dampens the motion of the spring and stabilises the body.

The result is a comfortable ride and the wheels stay in contact with the road. The above components combine in various ways to make up the suspension system and there are two types of systems, the non-independent and independent suspension.
Have A Question You Can Send A Free SMS Text Message or Simply Email Us With Any Problems You Have In Relation To Your Vehicle Suspension Repairs.

The purpose of the exhaust system is to take the exhaust gases away from the engine, clean up the noxious gases, dampen the noise and get the resultant gases into the atmosphere behind the car.
Because of the heat generated by the exhaust gases, it is vital that they are taken away from the engine rapidly. The exhaust components are designed or tuned to ensure this happens. 

Exhaust Manifold
The exhaust manifold connects each individual cylinder with the exhaust pipe.

Exhaust Pipe
The exhaust pipe carries the gases from the manifold, into the catalytic converter and from there to the muffler and eventually out the back of the car.

Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter changes the noxious gases into harmless gases.

The muffler is a metal container with a series of sub-chambers inside, which help to dampen the engine noise. When mufflers are changed the car can sound different because of the make-up of the internal sub-chambers.
If your new muffler is a different type to the old one then it’s most likely that the engine note will change.
It is normal for exhausts with catalytic converters to be coated in a black, sooty deposit.
It is usual to see water dripping from the exhaust pipe when the engine is cold, as water is a by-product of the combustion process.
When diagnosing a lack of power or an overheating problem, it is advisable to ensure that there is no blockage of the exhaust pipe.

Many malfunctions that occur in vehicles can be diagnosed as automotive electrical problems. The source of these problems is usually related to the electricity that is being generated by the battery or alternator. Each of these car problems can typically be separated into one of several categories.
Since the battery is the source of electricity for a vehicle, it is no surprise that it is commonly a cause for many automotive electrical problems. Usually, the issue is a dead battery, caused when the battery can no longer hold a charge. Sometimes a faulty component of the vehicle can cause a dead battery. Other times it can be a result of leaving a component like the headlights or stereo on for an extended period of time. This problem can usually be remedied rather easily with either jump-start or a battery recharge. A car battery can also become damaged or simply too old and in need of a replacement.
Another source of a common automotive electrical problem is the vehicle’s alternator. While a vehicle is running, the alternator is recharging the battery. Once the alternator breaks, the battery is quickly drained and the vehicle loses power. Sometimes the alternator belt can also wear out or become cracked, leading to a similar malfunction where the battery easily becomes discharged.
Sometimes the source of an electrical problem in a vehicle can be a broken electrical wire or a blown fuse. All of the electrical components of a vehicle are attached to one another through the wires of the electrical system. There are also many vehicle fuses in this wiring, which protect sensitive vehicle components from power surges. This is very convenient since it is much less costly to replace a fuse than an expensive auto part.
Some of the most important electrical components are the spark plugs and spark plug wires. When these go bad the engine will no longer properly work. This problem can usually be detected when the car runs rough in idle, accelerates poorly, stalls, or is getting bad fuel mileage. Bad spark plugs and wires can usually be remedied easily with a tune-up.
Another automotive electrical component that can cause car problems when it goes bad in a solenoid. These magnetic coils are used to distribute power to the starter and to provide the power to open automatic door locks. A bad solenoid can easily be confused with a bad starter or a dead battery since any of these can cause the engine to not be able to turn over when starting the car.

It could be said that your car battery is the most important part of your car. Not much works if the battery is not there to kick-start everything into action. When you turn the key (or push a button as with many new cars), this action sends a signal to the battery that starts a chemical reaction inside the battery. The turns into electrical energy that travels to the starter motor to start the car. It also does all those other wonderful things such as power your lights, wind screen wipers, windows and other essential parts of the car.
There are a few things to look out for that will tell you that you need to give us a call.

These include:

  • When you turn the key (or push the button) and the car takes longer than normal to start and is making a grinding noise.
  • Any difficulties with other electricals in your car such as light, radio or electric windows
  • The battery light comes on
  • The check engine light comes on
  • If you have a leaking battery you will notice a bad smell
  • If you see evidence of corrosion on your connectors
  • The car doesn’t start at all

Like all batteries, car batteries do not last forever. Start checking for the signs above as you approach the 3 year mark.
Many new cars today operate with Idle-Stop-Start Systems. While this technology is for reducing pollution and saving you money through reduced fuel usage, it does mean that the car battery is working harder than in cars with traditional systems. This means that it is essential to the well being of your car to have a battery installed that is specifically designed to manage the workload in stop-start vehicles.

Rego Inspections while you wait

The Autodoc Eastwood is an authorised RMS E-Safety check rego inspection station for Pink Slips and Blue Slips.
Booking in for your Car Service at the same time as your Rego check saves you time.  

Free Clutch Checks

Worried about your Clutch? One of our experienced Auto Mechanics can perform a free Clutch Check while you wait. If there are any issues found, we will discuss the best action going forward with you.