What are the signs of bad suspension springs?

Is your vehicle bouncing around more when you’re driving or is there a clunking sound when you go over speed hump? These could be signs that your suspension springs need replacing. While many people know that suspension springs absorb impact when driving over bumps and rough terrain ensuring a smooth and safe ride, most people do not realize the importance of suspension springs to the vehicle’s overall safety. Worn out springs can reduce the stability of the car, reduce driver control and lead to wear and tear on other critical components so it’s essential that you can recognize the warning signs of worn out springs.

Vehicle bottoming out

One of the best indicators of worn out springs is if the vehicle bottoms out while driving over dips or negotiating obstacles on the road. The spring insulators allow the suspension to control the amount that the vehicle’s front or rear end moves up and down. If your car bottoms out, you will notice a hard hit which can cause significant damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle and other parts on the car including transmission, steering and drive shaft.

car service perth

Excessive road noise

The spring insulators absorb vibration in the road and by doing so, help control road noise. If you begin to notice noise from the road is louder than normal from the front or rear end of your vehicle, it’s a good indication that the spring insulators aren’t performing at their peak. Often excessive road noise means the damage has already been done and the spring insulators will need replacing so contact a licensed mechanic immediately.

Vehicle leaning to one side

Suspension springs help to keep the car balanced on all sides. When a spring is worn out or is showing signs of wear and tear, one of the noticeable side effects will be that one side of the car will appear to be higher than the other. If you notice that the left or right side of your vehicle appears higher or lower than the other side, contact a certified mechanic to inspect the problem. Other aspects of the vehicle may be affected such as steering and braking so it’s crucial the problem is rectified quickly.

Tyre damage

It’s important to examine your tyres for wear and tear on a frequent basis, however most people typically don’t perform this check regularly as they simply forget or don’t know what to look for. If your tyres seem to be wearing more on the inside or outside this is a common side effect of a suspension alignment issue and one of the main offenders of misaligned suspension is a spring that is either wearing out or needs to be replaced.

Vehicle bouncing

One of the main jobs of the springs is to keep the car from bouncing around, especially when you strike potholes or road bumps. When the suspension spring starts to wear out, they compresses quite easily meaning the vehicle’s suspension will move up and down and feel like it is  ‘bouncing’ more frequently. If you notice that your vehicle is bouncing more in normal driving conditions it’s a good indication that you may need replacement springs.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or simply need advice, contact the experienced and friendly staff at AME Automotive to diagnose and repair the problem, your safety is our number one priority.

 

Why do we need to service our cars?

We all know that servicing and maintenance is one of the duties of being a responsible car owner, but do we actually know what can happen if regular check-ups aren’t performed by a licensed automotive mechanic? We spend thousands of dollars choosing the perfect car for our needs but when it comes to maintaining it so many of us try to save a dollar skipping regular services, using inferior parts and products or even worse, performing a do-it-yourself job watching online tutorials. Cars, like people, need regular tune-ups by qualified professionals and here’s why:

Keep your family safe

A regular car service can help to identify possible issues before they become an expensive reality. Just because a car feels fine to drive, doesn’t mean there isn’t any underlying issues caused by normal wear and tear. Your automotive mechanic in Perth will carry out essential checks to critical components of your car such as brakes & clutch repairs, exhaust, transmission and suspension. All of these mechanisms can quite easily let you down and have disastrous consequences if not regularly checked and maintained. Servicing is the best way to ensure you and your passengers get home safely.

car service perth

Maintain the value of your car

We know that cars don’t necessarily hold their value the same as other assets might, but the best way to ensure you get a top price if you choose to sell or upgrade is to ensure the service history is completely up-to-date. The used vehicle market is unbelievably competitive so an easy way to have the edge over the competition is to make sure you don’t skip any scheduled services. If you are thinking of selling, or if you’re just behind with servicing, a great way to get a car into its peak condition is with a car service package. Car service packages can include full electronic tune, a full safety check, brake inspection and added extras such as a complete interior and exterior clean. Perfect for giving any car a little bit of love.

Save money in the long run

Quite simply, regular servicing will save you money. It may not seem like it at the time, but scheduled maintenance will not only identify issues before they become costly it will also save you money at the fuel pump. A regularly service will lead to a smoother running motor improving fuel efficiency and reliability.

For a top quality car service or car service package in Perth contact the friendly staff at AME Automotive.

 

5 CAR CARE ESSENTIALS FOR NEW DRIVERS

There’s more to good car care than just taking your vehicle in for a 6-monthly service. How you look after your car in between services will make a big difference for your daily enjoyment of driving, your car’s long terms health, and how much you need to pay when service time rolls around.

Here are five essential ways to treat your car right, from everyday conscientiousness to DIY maintenance jobs.

1. Petrol Station Multi-Tasking

Putting petrol in your car is unavoidable, so utilise this time to carry out some car care. Here is the ABC of multitasking at a petrol station.

a. Clean Your Windshields

A dirty windscreen looks nasty and it also interferes with visibility while driving. The spray and wipe function of your windscreen wipers can only do so much to help, especially after a long drive. So, if you’re filling up and you notice your front or rear windshield is particularly dirty, give it a proper clean. Almost all petrol stations will have squeegees and cleaning fluid you can use for free.

First, soak the whole windshield in the cleaning fluid with the spongy part of the squeegee. Then, use the other side to clean the glass from the centre out to each edge and then from top to bottom. Don’t forget to give your headlights some love if they’re looking dirty.

b. Check Your Tyre Pressure

Underinflated or overinflated tyres are problematic. Either way, your car won’t handle or stops as well and your tread will wear unevenly. Underinflated tyres, in particular, also increase your risk of a blow-out, as the extra friction can overheat your tyres.

Every time you fill your tank (or every other time, at least) you should check your tyre pressure and add air if needed. Whether you check the tyre pressure at home or at the petrol station will depend on how far you need to drive to get there. Driving around will affect tyre pressure, so an accurate pressure reading requires that your tyres be ‘cold’ or close to it.

If there is a petrol station within a 1.5-kilometre radius of your home, use their equipment. If it’s further, check your tyre pressure before you go and fill up. If you’ve been driving around and want to check your pressure, let the tyres rest for four hours before you do. Once you’re ready, here’s what you do:

  • Make sure you know the recommended PSI for your tyres. You can find this out from your driver’s manual or from the handy panel on the inside of your driver’s side door.
  • If you’re at home, you’ll need a tyre pressure gauge and an air pump with pressure reading. At the servo, these will be one unit.
  • Check the tyre pressure before you put any air in to avoid accidentally overinflating.
  • If the pressure is too low, just fill it to the right level. Most petrol stations have digital systems that allow you to input the pressure you want, but some places (and most portable air pumps) have analogue meters that require a little more care.

c. Check and Top up Oil Level

Oil is as important to your car as sap is to trees, water is to fish, or beer is to Fridays. Without enough oil, the moving parts in your car’s engine won’t be lubricated properly. If oil levels get too low, your car will simply stop working. Make filling up your oil the last thing you do at the petrol station as your car needs 5-10 minutes to cool down before you can get an accurate oil level measurement. Once your car has cooled down, all you need to do is:

  • Open the hood and find your engine’s dipstick. It’s usually located within easy reaching distance and features a picture of an oil can or simply the word ‘oil’.
  • Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with paper towel or a rag.
  • Push the dipstick all the way back down then remove it again, being careful to keep it vertical so the oil doesn’t run up toward the handle.
  • The oil level should sit somewhere in between the two lines representing ‘empty’ and ‘full’ on the dipstick. If it is on or below the bottom line, top the oil up.
  • Never put in too much oil, just under a litre at most; too much oil isn’t good either.

It’s normal for a little bit of oil to be lost as you drive your car, but it shouldn’t be too much. You should only need to top up your oil every 1,600 kilometres or so. If you’re doing it more regularly, you probably have a leak and should get your engine checked by a professional.

2. Car Maintenance You Can Do at Home

A lot of maintenance tasks and repairs now require specialised tools and training. But, there are certain car fundamentals that haven’t changed and that means there is still value in caring for your vehicle yourself. Here are three things that every driver should try for themselves.

a. Fresh Oil for Your Car

Oil is the lifeblood of your car and, over time, it gets dirty and needs to be changed. Consult your user manual to find out how often you’ll need to change your oil. Most cars can travel about 8,000 kilometres between changes, but some don’t need fresh oil until after almost 20,000 kilometres! You may need to get this job done by a mechanic to meet warranty conditions, but if not you can do it at home. Here’s how:

  • Drain the oil – first, run your car for 2-3 minutes to warm the oil. Then kill the engine and find your oil drain plug (you’ll probably need to jack your car up). Wearing rubber gloves, use a socket wrench to loosen the drain plug and then unscrew it by hand and let the oil drain into a pan. Bear in mind you’ll need a way to dispose of or store this oil.
  • Next, change the oil filter. Simply unscrew the old one, lubricate the rim of the new filter, and screw it in place.
  • Once the oil has finished draining, you’ll be ready to refill your car with new oil. Give the area around the drain hole a wipe and replace the plug, tightening it with your socket wrench. Now use a funnel to slowly pour fresh oil into the engine. You’ll need to do a little research to make sure you have the right oil type and know how much to put in. Once you’re done, run the engine for 30-60 seconds, let it cool off, and then check the level. Add more oil if necessary and repeat this process until the dipstick shows ‘full’. Drive around the block a few times, let the engine cool off, and then check a final time. If the oil level is still right, you’re all done!

b. Let Your Car Breathe

Changing your car’s air filter regularly will increase fuel efficiency, lengthen your engine’s lifespan, and reduce your car’s emission of pollutants. Your car needs to breathe to function and the cleaner the air it gets the better it works. You should change your air filter once a year or every 20,000 kilometres, whichever one comes first. Here’s what you do:

  • Open your car’s hood and find the black air filter box – if you can’t locate it, check your owner’s manual.
  • Unclip the metal clasps holding the box down, open it, and pull out the old air filter.
  • Place your new air filter in the box, making sure it fits snugly and clasp the box shut again. That’s it – just make sure you have the right air filter for your car’s make and model.

c. Keep Your Wheels Rotated

Playing musical chairs with your tyres will equalise their wear patterns, making for longer lasting, safer, and more fuel-efficient tyres. This is a job you can do yourself with a few tools. So, check the ideal rotation schedule for your car in your owner’s manual and then get started:

  • With your car in park and the handbrake on, loosen the lug nuts on your wheels about a quarter turn.
  • Jack the car up, either one wheel at a time or using four jack stands to lift the whole vehicle.
  • Remove the tyres and rotate them, partially tightening the lugs as you go; exactly how this works will depend on a few factors:
    • For tyres with directional tread, simply switch the front left wheel for the rear left wheel, and do the same for the right.
    • For non-directional tyres and front-wheel drive, switch the front right tyre for the back right tyre, and the front left tyre for the back left tyre. Then move the rear wheels straight forward. For rear-wheel drive, move the rear tyres forward diagonally and the front wheels straight back.
  • Lower your car, tighten up the lugs fully and evenly, and you’re done.

3. Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Most cars spend a lot of their lives outside. That means they are incessantly bombarded by UV radiation, dirty city rain, pollution, dead bugs, leaf litter, salinity, and bird poop. All these factors and more have a corrosive effect on your car’s paint and if they get through that they will affect the metal underneath.

Regularly washing your car won’t just make it look better when you’re cruising down the main, it will also help to keep your car in better condition. Over time, cleaning will save you money on repainting and repairs and help your car retain more of its resale value.

How Often Should You Clean?

The time between cleans will depend largely on where you live and what the climate is like. If you live near the coast – especially if it’s an urban area with air pollution – the high salinity levels mean you should wash your car two or three times a month. The same goes for busy urban centres where pollution, grime, and general city-borne pollution will accumulate on your car. If you live inland in low-pollution areas, cleaning once a month should do the trick.

If you decide to skip the car wash and clean yourself, here are a few tips:

  • Clean your car in the shade, inside the garage, or on a cool day. The sun’s heat may evaporate soapy water too quickly, leaving spots.
  • Take a little extra time to get tricky areas spotless after you’ve finished your general clean.
  • Choose your cleaning products carefully.
  • Help your car to shine and give it extra protection by using a good quality car wax.

4. Your Car Is Not a Bin, Don’t Treat It Like One

Too many people use their car like a rubbish bin, leading to mountains of fast food wrappers, fountains of old receipts, and a general build-up of dirt, mud and other debris.

This isn’t just embarrassing; it’s also not good for your mental health and concentration. Studies have shown that excessive clutter and mess can reduce attention span and concentration, make switching between tasks more difficult. Clutter can also impair your information processing ability and make you feel unhappy in general.

Try to get out of bad habits like eating and drinking in your car or leaving things on the floor. To complement these efforts, you should also put aside a time each week to clean the inside of your car, because it’s inevitable your good habits will falter now and then. Clear out rubbish, vacuum the floors, and wipe down your dash and other areas.

5. Find a Trusted Expert for Your Car

You should also take the time to choose a good mechanic or service centre to take care of your car’s repairs and regular servicing. Don’t just go with whoever is closest or cheapest; instead look for true car professionals with these qualities:

  • Great customer service skills – look at their online reviews, testimonials, and service guarantees.
  • Straightforward communication skills – mechanics who communicate exclusively in jargon are bad news.
  • Good diagnostic skills.
  • A great work ethic.
  • Up-to-date technology in-house and a policy of ongoing professional development for their team.
  • Reputable certifications, affiliations, and industry endorsements are always a good sign.

It’s also a good idea to learn more about how your car works and educate yourself on the average cost of various services and parts. This will empower you to choose a fair and honest mechanic or team to take care of your car.

THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR WHEEL ALIGNMENT AND TYRE BALANCING

Keeping your car steady on the road ensures you get to your destination safely. Motorist often associated tyre problems with a puncture or wearing out. Little do they know that improperly balanced tyres and wheels are just a bad for your car.

Identifying Balance and Alignment Problems

Just like engine problems or leaks from your radiator, uneven wheels will give you a sign. A common sign of needing a wheel alignment is when your car starts to veer to one side of the road. Other signs to look out for include:

  • Steering wheel logo is off-centre
  • Vibrations or shaking in steering
  • Loose steering
  • Uneven tyre wear

If you notice any of these problems with your vehicle, call your local wheel alignment specialist or mechanics in canning vale right away. They’ll diagnose the issue and align your tyres.

Benefits of a Wheel Alignment

Having your wheels aligned not only offers a much smoother drive, it ensures you are driving within road safety standards. Frequent wheel alignments also:

  • Improves fuel efficiency – when your wheels are misaligned, your engine is forced to work harder. Even wheels reduce the stress on the engine.
  • Increase the life of your tyres – uneven tyres wear out quicker and can be costly. A wheel alignment decreases the likelihood of uneven wear and keeps your tyre tread in good condition.
  • Fewer mechanical repairs – a wheel alignment helps to prevent any unnecessary damage to your car. The more frequently you align your wheels, the less you’ll spend on mechanical repairs.

Benefits of a Tyre Balance

People often get confused between a wheel alignment and a tyre balance. Some people think that they are the same thing.

In reality, a wheel alignment keeps your steering wheel and tyres in a straight-ahead position. A tyre balance involves rotating your tyres from front to back and vice versa.

The benefits of a tyre balance include:

  • Better traction on the road
  • Eliminating vibrations
  • Even tyre wear and tear
  • Smoother driving
  • Fuel efficiency

Tyre balancing is just as important as a wheel alignment. Make a booking today with AME Automotive in cannivg vale, perh tyres specialist to get your tyres balanced.

How Often Should I Have Tyres Aligned and Balanced?

Driving on harsh surfaces and driving long distances cause a great deal of damage to your tyres. As a good rule of thumb, it is best to get your wheels aligned every 6,000-10,000kms or every 6 months. This ensures your car is at a constant level while driving.

Tyre balancing is dependent on the type of car you have and how often you drive. It is recommended that your tyres are balanced every 8,000-10,000kms or every 6 months. As a precaution, it is best to speak to your tyre specialist first.

AME Automotive is your local car service expert in Canning Vale. Whether you need a wheel alignment, tyre balancing or new car tyres, we offer a range of products and services. Our mechanics are affordable and reliable, and we have 30 years of servicing experience under our belts. With AME Automotive in canning vale, servisnig perth locals you can be certain your car is in safe hands. Contact us today and we’ll help you with your car’s needs.

DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

Christmas is the best time of year. As the family gathers for a big feast, children play with their brand-new toys, with laughter and joy. Sadly, some families don’t get to enjoy those precious moments at Christmas.

The holiday period is one of the deadliest times on the roads. This makes it even more important to drive safely and ensure that every aspect of your car is in fine condition.

Your Holiday Checklist

December usually sees the temperature rise and people rush around for last minute Christmas shopping. Before you go away for your family holiday, it is important to ensure that your vehicle is in good driving condition. There are many things you can do to keep you and your family safe.

Book in a Service

This should be high on any holiday maker’s to do list. Before you begin to pack, book your car in for a service. As leading Canning Vale car service specialists, our perth mechanics offers a range of vehcile service options. We offer a comprehensive 12-months warranty or 20,00km – whichever comes first. We can also look at your car whenever you think it needs attention.

Check Your Tyres

Worn out tyres will put you at risk of a serious accident. On a hot summer day, travelling at high speeds with bald tyres is extremely dangerous.

At least 2-3 weeks before you head off, ensure your tyre tread is in good driving condition. If they are, the day before the trip is the best time to inflate your tyres. Under-inflated tyres are hazardous to drive with. Don’t risk it; ensure your tyres are in good condition before your next holiday. We have a great range of car tyres in Perth, including 4×4 tyres, Kumho performance tyres and commercial vehicle tyres.

Top up You Air-Conditioner

There is nothing worse than driving in stifling heat, especially if you are travelling with young children. Air conditioning systems can suffer from leaks and breakdowns. As a car repair specialist, we will inspect your air conditioning for any damage and top up the refrigerant gas in your AC.

Steering and Suspension

Your car’s steering and suspension must be in good working order to keep it steady on the road. Our local canning vale, perth mechanics will test the vehicle for suspension wear and tear. This includes:

  • Ball joints
  • Shock absorbers
  • Springs

We ensure that nothing will interfere with the suspension or the steering components of your car.

Fuel Injection Clean

Your car’s fuel system is prone to dirt and pollutant build-up. Having your car’s fuel system cleaned improves the transient throttle response. It also improves fuel efficiency and allows for cleaner exhaust emissions.
Our business is based on professional service and honest advice. As a family, owned team, we want our customers to be safe this Christmas period. For a reliable car service in Canning Vale, perth get in touch with your local AME Automotive today. Our staff will happily assist you with all your enquiries.

Call Us Now (08) 9455 3225 We will beat any quoted price by 10%