Car Service

Johnsons-Mechanic-Rockhampton
Mechanical Failures

Mechanical Failures

By Nathan Johnson | 1 September 2021

Why did that brand-new part recently installed fail so soon? – Mechanical failures, a question that is always asked when this occurs, and rightly so.   

In essence, nearly all mechanical components fail in their lifetime. Whether that life is a few kilometres or a few hundred thousand kilometres, it will eventually fail.  

I have had the pleasure of working with some very clever Mechanical Engineers in my time, particularly during my tenure in the mining industry. These engineers gave me an insight into Condition Monitoring, and the benefits of looking at oil samples, filtergrams, vibration analysis, and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) reports. 

The consideration in particular which caught my attention is the life of the machine components and how the planners work out when to change them before failure. 

The way it was explained to me was straightforward; it’s ‘The Bathtub Principal.’ 

The life of any component can be very long or very short. It is measured by expecting a new or reconditioned part to fail very early (infant mortality) or at the end of its life (worn out). The probability is relatively high at the start and then becomes very low as the part moves past the infant mortality period and into service life. It then becomes quite high again at the end of life when it becomes worn out. 

When it comes to using quality parts on your vehicle, it is always sound advice to understand the warranty that comes with the components and what the manufacturer will cover when it is time to lodge a claim against a faulty part. Buying your parts from the world wide web is becoming popular, driven by a desire to save on costs. We see a large number of mechanical failures from parts bought this way. My advice is to buy from a reputable company with a warranty that is comprehensive and easily accessible, ensuring the business can be contacted when you need them.  

As the saying goes… poor man pays twice. 

Unbraked Trailers

By Nathan Johnson | 23 March 2021

Are you towing a ticking time bomb?

Imagine this, you have packed up the family and are in the car heading out for the day when on the way, a tyre comes out of nowhere directly towards you unexpectedly. You take evasive action to avoid a collision, and then you see a trailer attached to a car, limping to a halt.

You may find yourself asking, ‘what went wrong there? Why does a wheel and tyre just fall off like that?’

If you live in Queensland and own a box trailer that is unbraked or has an ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) of under 750kgs or 0.75t, there is a good chance that you could have one of these ticking time bombs.

In Queensland, trailers that fit the above description do not require any registration check before transfer between owners. A responsible trailer owner will be aware of this and will ensure their trailer receives routine maintenance. Unfortunately, though, not everyone is aware of this need. A large portion of the population has a box trailer handy and uses it rarely, meaning the preventative maintenance and safety checks are forgotten.

The same can be said for any trailer, boat, camper, bike etc. Infrequent use and are ‘yard ornaments’ for the majority of the year.

Even if your trailer is unbraked, it is the responsibility of the registered operator of the vehicle to ensure the trailer being towed is compliant with the road rules. Regular maintenance checks should occur on all trailers, even the braked ones over 750kgs.

Here are a few things you or your mechanic can check to ensure the safety and reliability of your trailer:

Unbraked under 750kgs

  • Ensure the tyres are still legal for the road; 1.5mm tread across the whole tread section.
  • Wheel bearings are adjusted and not rumbling or noisy.
  • The chassis/frame is not rusted through.
  • Ensure the floor is complete and not able to lose items out through the bottom.
  • Check the wiring and lights, including the number plate light.
  • Check your coupling for unnecessary wear as it may need adjustment.
  • Are your “D” Shackles or Bow Shackles rated for the trailer and have it stamped on them?
  • Ensure safety chains are attached.

Braked trailers over 750kgs

  • Check the brake pad/shoe for adjustment.
  • Check to ensure the brakes work when applied.
  • Check the coupling slides freely if applicable.
  • Ensure the cable for the brakes is not rusted through if cable brakes.
  • Ensure the hydraulic brake fluid is in good condition if hydraulic type.
  • Ensure the electric brakes work when applied.

If you’re not quite sure about any of the above, please contact us to book in, and we can inspect all these items for you and ensure compliance, safety and carry out any necessary repairs.

Log Book Servicing

By Nathan Johnson | 23 February 2019

Log Book Servicing | Dealer or Independent Workshop

A common misunderstanding by consumers is that they must take their vehicle to the dealer for log book servicing to maintain warranty. The answer here is that this is not the case. You will not void your standard warranty by having your vehicles log book service completed by an independent and qualified mechanical workshop.

Independent workshops provide one on one service and will ensure that your logbook service meets and exceeds requirements to maintain your warranty.

If a consumer has been advised they will void their new car warranty by having servicing conducted elsewhere, this is blatant misleading and incorrect information. The consumer always has a choice and to dictate anything that contradicts this works in direct competition to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says, ‘a manufacturer’s warranty is a promise to the consumer that the vehicle will be free from defects for a certain period of time’. While a manufacturer can have certain requirements in its warranty terms such as ensuring any servicing is carried out by qualified staff, according to the manufacturer’s specification, and that appropriate quality parts are used where required, it can’t require you to service your vehicle through an authorised dealer to keep your warranty intact.

Provided you service the vehicle in accordance with any such requirements, the warranty will remain valid. If the manufacturer’s warranty states that the vehicle can only be serviced by an authorised dealer, this needs to be reported to the ACCC as it raises concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act.

Independent workshops often go the extra mile with your vehicle and perform action items above and beyond the vehicle manufacturers recommendations. Tasks such as cooling system pressure testing, spare tyre checks, replacing low value items such as windscreen wipers and in general assessing your vehicle holistically for safety and reliability, ensures you can rest assured knowing you’re in good hands.

Basic oil and filter changes including safety checks start at $149.

With one on one service you can trust, quality and affordable workmanship, online booking options, free pick up and drop off as well as text message service reminders sent by Johnson’s 4WD Repair Shop, the maintenance of your vehicle is made easy and hassle free.

Frequency of Vehicle Servicing

By Nathan Johnson | 13 December 2018

Vehicle servicing on time is critical in ensuring your families safety and your vehicle’s reliability. The frequency of set monthly intervals or kilometers ensures that as well as a service, a safety check can also be conducted with risks and issues identified and rectified quickly by your trusted mechanic. If there are several items that need attention, your mechanic can help you prioritise each item and create an action plan to mitigate the risks of a negative impact. 

To ensure optimum performance of your vehicle and economical viability, common parts that wear and degrade over time need replacing. Some of these items include oil and filters, brake pads, spark plugs, belts and injectors to name a few. Regular servicing also provides added benefits such as fuel efficiency, smoother engine performance and tyre checks to prevent and reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel consumption. 

One of the most common misconceptions in the industry by consumers is that it is one or the other, either time or kilometers. This is simply not true as the two-work hand in hand together. With vehicles that do minimal kilometers, it could take years for kilometers to accrue. Meanwhile, the oil is aging, and the filter is not working as efficiently as possible resulting in extra pressure on the motor when it is driven, as well as missed safety items that need attention either immediately or in the near future.

If your vehicle does the kilometers well and truly before the monthly interval recommended, it is just as critical to do the servicing more frequently and as required per the kilometers. With a high frequency use vehicle, preventative maintenance such as servicing and safety checks is key to ensuring vehicle reliability. Regular servicing makes the difference when it comes to the vehicle running smoothly or breaking down unexpectedly which quite often results in expensive and unexpected repairs. 

Independent workshops often go the extra mile with your vehicle and perform action items above and beyond the vehicle manufacturers recommendations. Tasks such as cooling system pressure testing, spare tyre checks, replacing low value items such as windscreen wipers and in general assessing your vehicle holistically for safety and reliability, ensures you can rest assured knowing you’re in good hands. 

Basic oil and filter changes including safety checks start at $149. 

With one on one service you can trust, quality and affordable workmanship, online booking options, free pick up and drop off as well as text message service reminders sent by Johnson’s 4WD Repair Shop, the maintenance of your vehicle is made easy and hassle free.