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to both keep your cool this Summer

Beat the heat with these summer driving checks

get ready for summer and check your coolant temperature sensor is sending accurate data

A failing Coolant Sensor can damage fuel economy and create black exhaust smoke

Check your coolant Temperature Sensor to ensure it's operating correctly for optimal fuel economy.
A Coolant temperature sensors (also known as a temperature gauge or switch) is critical in helping the engines computer management system (EMS or ECM) calculate and perform optimal timing and fuel delivery adjustments for when your engine is cold, warm and hot.

A bad sensor may send false readings to the EMS causing the engine to run rich (too much fuel). A common sign of a rich running engine can result in black smoke from the exhaust. The overdose of fuel that can't be efficiently burnt within the combustion chamber is passed directly into the exhaust creating the black smoke when it is burnt up, this black smoke generally has a strong fuel scent.

False readings can also produce the opposite effect and signal the EMS to run lean (not enough fuel) causing engine overheating, misfire or pinging.

A faulty temperature sensor can also cause the Check engine light to illuminate, though this can be caused by a variety of other reasons.

If your Check engine light comes on, it's best to get your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your engines thermostat is opening and closing

Whether it's stuck open or closed a failing Thermostat effects your engines ability to regulate coolant

Check your Thermostat to ensure it's both opening and closing at the right times.
A cars Thermostat is quite an ingenious little device that controls the flow of coolant from the engine into the radiator.

More precisely it stops any flow of the engine coolant out of the engine until the engine has reach optimal operational temperature. It then opens allowing the higher temperature coolant to leave the engine while the water pump ensures the engines coolant is replaced with the lower temperature coolant from the radiator.

If your Thermostat is failing or stuck then your temperature gauge is likely getting confused as well.

If a Thermostat is stuck in the open position the coolant will be flowing through the engine while it is warming up so your temperature gauge will be in the lower region for longer than usual

If it's stuck in the closed position then after your engine has reach optimal temperature it will continue to overheat as the high temperature coolant cannot leave the engine to be replaced with cooler coolant from the radiator.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your radiator cap

Inspect your Radiator cap for leaks and check for collapsing hoses or overflowing coolant reservoir

Check your Radiator cap and look for visible signs of leaking coolant from under it.
A radiator cap isn't simply a bottle cap for your radiator, It actually works as a two way valve regulating and controlling the internal pressure for your radiator.

It's main job is to increase the boiling point temperature of coolant significantly to protect it from turning into a vapour while it moves through the radiator.

Radiators operate at specific pressure ratings and that pressure is often stamped into the radiator cap as well as noted in the vehicle operational manual.

If changing your radiator cap it is crucial you replace with the correct cap of the same pressure rating to maintain optimal cooling system performance and to avoid the risk of any damage.

The most common signs of a failing Radiator cap are collapsing hoses, low coolant levels, coolant leaks, overflowing coolant reservoir and an over heating engine.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your water pump

A failing Water pump may weep fluid, make grinding/knocking sounds or overheat engine at idle

Check your Water pump is functioning correctly to avoid a breakdown or cooking your engine.
A cars Water pump is not an overly complicated part. It's a belt driven pump that simply pushes coolant out of the radiator and into the engine while the Thermostat is in the open position.

While your engine is running the belt moves across the water pumps pulley turning the internal vanes to create suction to pull the coolant from the radiator into the engine block and through the cylinder heads back to the radiator again, then the process repeats.

Obvious signs of a worn or failing water pump include coolant leaking, dribbling from the water pumps weep hole (this hole is just few millimetres diameter) which is generally sealed by a gasket. If the gasket is eroding or the pump is experiencing bearing failure and coolant is weeping out at idle, then it's time to replace your Water pump or risk your engine critically overheating and causing costly or irreparable damage.

Other signs of a worn water pump include a grinding or knocking noise and the engine overheating at low speed or idle.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your radiator hoses

Inspect your Radiator hoses for signs of cracking, bulging and general deterioration

Check your Radiator and Cooling hoses for cracks, kinks, misshape or obvious signs of age.
Hoses operate under harsh environments to perform the critical function of freely moving coolant between your engines cooling system component.

Due to the harsh environments in which they operate all engine coolant hoses have a lifespan.

Premature deterioration can be caused by a range of factors from general engine cleanliness (contamination from oil and grease), Electrochemical degradation (ECD), Ozone damage, Heat damage and Abrasion damage from hoses rubbing against hose covers.

Aside from external signs such as cracks and leaks if your hoses feel softer or more spongy nearer the connectors than the middle of the hose or there's apparent bulges or swelling, then it's time to change them.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your AC or serpentine belts

If your AC or Serpentine Belt is cracked, slipping or squealing, then it's time for change

Check your Air Con or Serpentine belt for signs of wear, cracking, slipping or tension loss.
A vehicles air conditioning belt is likely the simplest component (and often one of the cheapest) of your entire AC system.

It simply connects the AC compressor clutch to the engines crankshaft.

A serpentine belt on the other hand connects across several engine components which can include the Alternator, Idler pulley, Power steering pump, Water pump and the AC compressor.

For engines with a functioning AC system, once the AC clutch is engaged cool air should be created. If the AC unit clutch is engaging but the air isn't cooling then it's time for a wider diagnosis starting with the belt, fuses, relays, refrigerant levels and overall pressure.

Some tell tale signs that your AC or serpentine belt should be replaced are obvious visual cracks in the belt, your AC isn't blowing at a consistent temperature (belt tension) or the car squeals (slipping belt) when you turn on the AC.

If the car squeals when the AC is on and off, this could be another belt that requires changing. Such as the power steering belt or alternator belt.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your wiper blades

Wiper blades should be smooth, flexible and free from gouges, cracking and hardening

Check your Wiper blades and washer level to be ready for whatever the summer weather or the road throws at you.
The only thing between your eyes and rest of the world is your windscreen and keeping it clear is the primary job of your wipers.

For wipers to operate efficiently the rubbers should appear smooth and be free from splits and cracks.

Wipers that drag or jump across your windscreen often leave areas smeared or even completely untouched reducing vision and overall road safety.

Worn wipers are also prone to creating a range of very annoying (and distracting) groans and squeaks which are often enough of a reason to change them!

Wipers can't keep your windscreen clean on their own, adding a quality windscreen washer cleaning solution to your spray tank will help them to remove dirt, dust, road spray and bugs more effectively then just water alone.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

get ready for summer and check your coolant level

The Coolant reservoir should be at the maximum line when the engine is warm, or minimum when cold

Check your coolant level and drain and replenish at the correct scheduled intervals.
You probably know that coolant (also known as antifreeze) is that coloured stuff that goes in your radiator, right?

Well you mightn't know what a chemical marvel it actually is and how it works! The chemistry of coolant isn't about the liquid staying cool it's actually about it absorbing heat from the engine and then letting the heat dissipate again in the radiator. In hunting or fishing terms It's a chemical 'catch and release'. The chemistry of coolant is generally a 50/50 mix of ethylene glycol (or propylene glycol which is less toxic) and distilled water, it is inert and protects cooling system from corrosion.

It is important to change your coolant at schedule intervals (see you vehicle manual) as it will degrade over time and the rust inhibitors contained in the coolant will be used up.

Over time your engine will experience some level of corrosion, even with the coolants rust inhibitors, it's just the nature of harsh internal environment of a combustion engine.

Draining your used coolant and refilling with new will help remove the dirt and rust particles that can clog up your cooling system and cause problems all year round.

If you are topping up your coolant it is critical to use the same coloured coolant (to what is currently being used) as the chemistry is not compatible.

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Note: If in doubt always check with a professional.

More ways to help you keep your cool

get ready for summer, tint your windows yourself and save

Keep your cool with our range of quality DIY Window Films and Tinting tools

DIY Tint your car windows to help keep you cool and protect your skin and car interior from UV damage.
Did you know that Tinting your cars windows will keep you cooler in summer as well as keep you warmer in winter? It's a win all year round!

Window Tints can block out 70% to 90% of damaging UV rays not only keeping you cooler but also protecting your skin and your interior from cracking and fading.

Window tinting can also improve glass safety during storm or accident damage as the shattered pieces of glass generally stay attached to the film rather than spreading through the vehicle.

DIY Window Tinting is a little bit fiddly but also pretty easy and you can save hundreds of dollars.

Before you purchase your roll of DIY tint film make sure you check the legal requirements of how dark you can go in your State. Although Most States seem to allow a maximum legal Black of 35% VLT on front side windows, some States may allow a darker tint on rear side windows.

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Note: If your vehicle has factory glass tinting, then that must be considered as part of the overall VLT % compliance if you decide to tint over it.

keep your cool in the heat and don't get involved in road rage

A bit of courtesy on the roads can get you a long way so keep your cool

Don't drive angry, instead keep your cool, stay calm and resist creating or reacting road rage.
Hot weather makes most of us all that little bit more irritable so it's important to keep as balanced as possible once you get behind the wheel.

It's an unfortunate fact that 'road rage' incidents and an increase in general aggressive behaviour is being regularly experienced on Australian roads.

The best ways to avoid driving aggressively or to keep aggressive motorists at bay is to drive both defensively and courteously at the same time. A little bit of common sense also goes a long way and adopting a 'passive and courteous' attitude and driving style will help keep your stress levels down, and likely other motorists as well.

We all want to get where we are going as efficiently and safely as possible, and we can all make mistakes, so we need to allow for the unexpected as much as we can.

So the next time you feel your stress levels rising, remember the principles of cause and effect - you often get back what you put out.

So it's best just to keep your cool.

Quality Cooling, Suspension, Braking, Steering, Driveline and Engine Parts at low everyday prices.

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