Image showing the basic operating principles of EGR valves.

How do EGR Valves Work?

Although all exhaust gas recirculation valves perform the same function, which is to allow some exhaust gas to enter the engine as an emissions control measure, there are several types of EGR valves in common use today, with major differences between the design, and methods of operation and control between the main types of EGR valves.

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A crankshaft being ground by an engine reconditioner

Can damaged crankshafts be repaired?

It is certainly possible for competent engine repairers/rebuilders to repair even severely damaged crankshafts because all crankshafts are designed with a "remanufacturing margin". In practice, this margin allows for the journals to be ground to up to a millimetre smaller than what their diameters were when the crankshaft was new.

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Example of severe damage to camshaft lobes as a result of poor lubrication

How and Why do Camshafts Fail?

Llthough camshafts can, and very often do, suffer various kinds of damage, the fact is that camshafts very rarely, if ever, fail because of causes that involve camshafts themselves.

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A mechanic using a refrigerant recovery machine on a car air conditioning system

How to test a cars air-conditioning system

In this article we explain the tests that the average car owner can do to test their car air conditioning system.

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A crankshaft with connecting rods and pistons attached

What is a crankshaft, and how does it work?

Among the many components that make a vehicle engine run, crankshafts are perhaps the first among equals. So, if you have ever wondered what crankshafts do, how they work, and why they fail, this guide will answer all the questions about the crankshaft in your car’s engine you have ever wanted to ask. Before we get to specifics, though, let us answer this question-

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How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in the Northern Territory

All vehicles, including trailers, in the Northern Territory, must be inspected for their state of roadworthiness before you can register it for the first time, or renew an existing registration. Note that depending on the vehicle type and its predominant use, some vehicles may only require an inspection once it is 5 years old and then again only when it is 10 years old.

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Example of an intake and exhaust camshaft in a typical DOHC camshaft setup.

What are camshafts and why are they needed?

Although camshafts are easy to locate in most engines, as in this example of two overhead camshafts, the operation, function, and properties of camshafts are often unclear, if not somewhat mysterious to many car owners who are not professional mechanics, or mechanically inclined. 

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How to Get a Safety Certificate in Queensland

Queensland changed the term “roadworthy certificate” to “safety certificate” in 1999, so from a regulatory perspective, the term “safety certificate” carries the same meaning that the term “roadworthy certificate” did before 1999. Essentially, a safety inspection in Queensland involves checking a vehicle to verify that it conforms to the minimum legally mandated safety standards that apply in the state.

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Frustrated customer questions invoice from car mechanic dealership

Are capped priced car servicing plans worth it?

While knowing how much a dealer service centre can charge you for a particular service in advance might sound appealing, the negative aspects of capped price car servicing plans can often outweigh their claimed benefits. Learn how you can avoid paying more for car servicing under such a plan than you were led to believe you would.

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Camshaft removal in progress

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Camshaft?

Camshaft replacement costs vary so much and for such a wide variety of reasons that it is impossible to provide even a broad range of price estimates that will apply to all or even most situations. For example, while one's location in the country is one of the major factors that influence labour costs, many other factors affect camshaft repair or replacement costs.

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Technician cutting a DPF from an exhaust system with an angle grinder

Can I Replace My Own Diesel Particulate Filter?

As a general rule, diesel particulate filters are welded into exhaust systems, meaning that removing a DPF from a vehicle often requires the removal of large parts of the exhaust system from the vehicle to permit cutting the DPF from the exhaust system without damaging the vehicle.

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A car engine showing the drive belt and pulleys

What is the difference between a timing belt and a drive belt?

Drive belts are also known as “serpentine” belts, after the serpentine route they follow around several pulleys. In practice though, this image shows the single biggest difference between drive belts and timing belts.

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A refrigerant bottle and car airconditioner service gauges in an engine bay

Can any gas be used in a car air-conditioning system?

Air conditioning systems in cars do not have spare capacity. This means that they are just efficient enough to provide just enough cold air to keep the inside of a car cool. Moreover, just how efficient an air con system is, depends entirely on the refrigerant in the system. Find out if any gas can be used in a car air-conditioning system.

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Example of diesel exhaust smoke containing high concentrations of disel soot particles

What Is a Diesel Particulate Filter, and Why is it Needed?

As its name suggests, a diesel particulate filter is a component in the exhaust after-treatment systems on diesel vehicles that filter out diesel soot particles from the gaseous components of diesel exhaust gas.

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A caltex branded service station

Does using your car air-conditioning use more fuel

The short answer is yes, car air conditioning systems do affect cars’ fuel consumption. However, the actual increase in fuel consumption depends greatly on several factors. These include the following

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Applying lubricant to brake pad to eliminate brake noise

Why are some brake pads noisy?

Brake noises caused by brake pads can take many forms; with squealing, screeching, growling, or rumbling sounds being the most common. Regardless of the actual sound, though, brake noises are always annoying, but there are effective ways of silencing noisy brakes. Here is what you should know about brake noise-

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How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in Tasmania

All privately owned passenger vehicles in Tasmania have to undergo periodic roadworthy inspections, with the period between inspections depending on the age of the vehicle. In addition, inspections of a private passenger vehicle may be required in the following circumstances-

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Image shown an example of a colapsed hydraulic engine mount.

What are the Symptoms of Failed or Defective Engine Mounts?

The most common signs and symptoms of failed, defective, or damaged engine mounts are largely similar across all vehicle makes and models, although the severity of some symptoms may vary depending on both the vehicle, and the nature of the mount failure.

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What is a Rocker Cover Gasket?

This image shows just one example of a rocker cover gasket, of which there are hundreds of designs, shapes, and constructions, each of which is specific to a particular engine or application. Before we get to the specifics of this example though, we need to discuss rocker covers, and what they do.

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A leaking evaporator from a car air-conditioning system

Does a car warranty cover the air conditioning system?

All car manufacturers’ warranties include the air conditioning system. However, warranties differ somewhat in what they cover. Warranties also differ in what they do not cover, and for how long they cover different parts and components.Warranties also require that all required air con service and repairs have been performed according to the car service schedule.

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How Do I Test a PCV Valve?

Although the internet abounds with articles that describe in some detail how one can test suspect PCV valves, the simple fact is that there are no reliable methods to test PCV valves in general or to test the calibration settings of any given PCV valve to ensure that it (still) works as expected on the engine it was designed for, in particular.

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african american man contemplating while leaning against a red car

What are the different types of car servicing?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between a log book, basic, minor or major service was? Let's decipher what these all mean and identify which one is right for you and your vehicle.

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The armature found inside a starter motor laying on the ground

How and why do starter motors fail?

While car starter motors are robust and reliable, there are several reasons why starters fail. Perhaps the most important reason is the fact that starters are not service items, meaning that they are expected to work until they fail.Nonetheless, and although starters come in different sizes, designs, and capacities, most starters  fail in similar ways, and largely for the same reasons.  Lets take a look at some of those reasons.

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How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in South Australia

At present, only public passenger transport vehicles like buses and taxis, as well as road trains and prime movers towing two trailers (b-doubles) require regular roadworthy inspections and certifications. All other vehicles are only subject to mandatory/statutory inspections and certifications under the following conditions-

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Example of the effects of a failed PCV valve

What Happens if a PCV Valve Fails?

The effects or symptoms of a failed or failing PCV valve can be serious, such as in this example of carbon build-up in an engine caused by defective PCV valve, but in some cases, there may be no noticeable symptoms or even drivability issues present.

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a person holding a credit card with a car in the background

How much does a car air conditioning regas cost?

Just re-gassing or recharging an air con system with refrigerant gas can cost as little as $120 or so. However, a simple car air conditioning regas service seldom fixes a system that does not work properly.

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Image shows a customer paying for an engine mount replacement.

How Much Does an Engine Mount Replacement Cost?

Many factors influence engine mount replacement costs, and although the cost of the affected mount is an important consideration, the most pertinent factor involves the amount of labour required to remove and install some types of engine mounts.

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Example of a car repair bill

How Much Does a Brake Pad Replacement Cost?

Although a simple brake pad replacement on the front wheels of most light vehicles should not take longer than about an hour (at most) several variable factors could influence the final cost of even a simple brake pad replacement.

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A man holding a starter motor with a car in the background

How much does it cost to replace a starter motor?

Starter motor prices vary greatly between brands as well as different vehicles. Additionally, so can the cost of their replacement. Lets take a look at some examples as well as the things you need to consider.

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Image showing various typs of engine moiunts.

Are there Different Types of Engine Mounts?

Although engine mounts come in a huge range of shapes, sizes, and configurations, all engine mounts fall into one of three broad categories, based on both their construction and the material(s) used as damping mechanisms.

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Example of brake pads being tested

What are Brake Pads, and How do they Work?

As the term "brake pads" suggest, brake pads are essentially pads of friction material that are bonded onto steel backing plates to provide structural strength to the pads of friction material that conform to specific performance standards set by vehicle manufacturers to satisfy the specific requirements of modern ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist) systems that depend on the ABS system to work.

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What is a Roadworthy Certificate?

If you are a first-time buyer of a light vehicle, it could be difficult and confusing to navigate your way around the legal requirements to have your vehicle declared safe to operate on the public roads of all states and territories in Australia.

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A dismantled car alternator on a cardboard sheet

How and why do alternators fail?

Many alternators outlive the cars they are fitted to. However, in the real world, they can, and do fail for a variety of reasons.

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Example of brake pad failure caused by severe overheating

Why do Brake Pads Fail?

High-quality brake pads seldom fail, but even OEM or OEM-equivalent brake pads can suffer induced failures. Put differently, this means that when high-quality brake pads fail, the cause(s) of the failure seldom involve defects in the brake pads themselves.

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One example of a modern computer-controlled exhaust gas recirculation valve.

What is an Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve?

As their name suggests, exhaust recirculation valves aka EGR valves, are today mostly computer-controlled valves that allow for some exhaust gas to be re-circulated into the air intake systems of vehicles that are equipped with EGR systems.

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Can I Replace my own Rocker Cover Gasket?

Although it might sometimes seem like an impossible task, it is certainly possible even for relatively inexperienced non-professional mechanics and car enthusiasts to replace rocker cover gaskets on a DIY basis with nothing more than a basic set of tools.

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young woman in black leather jacket hugging new car

Can you lose your new car warranty if you don't go back to the dealer for servicing?

When you bought your new car recently, you may have heard the dealer say that the vehicle’s warranty will be voided if you don’t have it serviced at the dealership. Well, the truth is that no matter how much the dealer wants this to be true, there is more to the story.

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an engine crankshaft snapped in two peices

How much does it cost to repair a crankshaft?

A simple repair on a crankshaft for a four-cylinder engine that only involves polishing all the journals can cost as little as $100, depending on your location. However, a major repair on that same crankshaft that involves welding, grinding, stress relieving, balancing, and testing for cracks can cost anything between several hundred dollars and a thousand dollars or more, depending on both your location and the vehicle's make and model.

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A damaged engine crankshaft

How important is proper lubrication for crankshafts?

Put simply, the importance of proper lubrication being available to the crankshaft in any engine under all operating conditions cannot be overstated. However, in practical terms, there is a big difference between "proper lubrication", and a "sufficient quantity" of oil being delivered to the crankshaft- even if the oil pressure is within OEM specified values.

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Example of new and used PCV valves

How Often Should I Replace My PCV Valve?

PCV valves are not "service parts" in the sense that they have to be replaced at prescribed intervals because, in theory, most PCV valves should outlast the engines they are fitted to. However, the practice is somewhat different, because many factors affect both the longevity and effectiveness of PCV valves.

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Technician removing a DPF core in attempt to repair the DPF

Can a Diesel Particulate Filter Be Repaired?

Although equipment and procedures exist to clean out the large DPF devices that work on heavy trucks, construction machinery, and large marine engines, there are no reliable ways to clean out the smaller DPF devices that work on light vehicles.

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A damaged car engine timing belt

When should a timing belt be replaced

Although modern timing belts are designed to last for a really long time, all timing belts are service items that must be replaced at fixed time or mileage intervals. However, timing belt replacement intervals vary greatly between vehicle brands and even between models from the same manufacturer.

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How to Get a Vehicle Inspection in Western Australia

With only a few exceptions, all light vehicles that are rated as Passenger Transport Vehicles must undergo annual inspections for those vehicles to both remain safe to operate on public roads and to retain their status as Passenger Transport Vehicles.

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A smart car alternator fitted to an engine

How does an alternator work?

Although a car alternator might look like it's complicated, it is, in fact, a relatively simple device. Moreover, all work in the same way, and all largely contain the same parts. Lets take take a look inside.

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An engine crankshaft on a workbench

Are there different types of crankshafts?

Apart from a few specialized applications that do not use metal bearing inserts, but roller bearings to reduce friction, the only meaningful difference between mass-produced crankshafts intended for use on standard vehicles of all types and weight classes involves the way they are made. Let us look at the three main crankshaft-manufacturing processes in turn-

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A timing chain fitted to an engine

Do all cars have timing belts?

This image shows a timing chain fitted to an engine, instead of a timing belt. This begs the question of why some cars have timing chains, as opposed to timing belts. Let us look at timing belt vs timing chain issues-

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Can I Replace my Own PCV Valve?

It is certainly possible to replace the PCV valve on many engines on a DIY basis, and the procedure is no more complicated than disconnecting the hose leading from the valve to the intake system, removing the old valve from the valve cover, and pushing the new valve into position. Of course, you also need to reconnect the hose using a new hose clamp.

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Vehicle broken down as the result of a DPF failure

What Are the Symptoms of a Defective Diesel Particulate Filter?

Although failed (and failing) DPFs can and do cause serious symptoms like no-start conditions and others that can include the immobilization of an affected vehicle, most DPFs fail progressively over extended periods, and therefore, symptoms appear gradually- in fact, sudden failures of DPF’s are relatively rare.

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Why do Engines Need PCV Valves?

Although some newer engines do not have PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valves, all engines need a mechanism to relieve the pressure that results from combustion gases leaking into the crankcase past the piston rings, as well as the pressure in the crankcase caused by the evaporation of some volatile ingredients of the engine oil.

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Image showing an example of an engine mount that incorporates a weight bias.

Why do Some Engine Mounts have Metal Weights Attached to Them?

Not all mounts have metal weights, but the reason why some do involves a series of complex relationships between vibration and harmonics, as well as between more mundane things like economies of scale and the need to reduce or limit production costs.

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How and Why do Rocker Cover Gaskets Fail?

Of course, this does not mean that modern engine design principles have eliminated oil leaks- far from it, but with a few exceptions, oil leaks through rocker cover gaskets on modern engines are usually traceable to incorrect installation of parts during repair procedures that may not originally have involved oil leaks. Let us look at how this relates to rocker cover gaskets, starting with-

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A climate control knob on a vehicle dashboard

How does car air-conditioning work?

How often do you think about how your car's air conditioning system works? Do you just switch the air conditioner on and trust that it will work? If it does not work, do you just visit the nearest car air conditioning service centre and ask them to regas the air conditioning system?

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A mechanic carrying out an air conditioning regas on a car

Can I fix my own car air-conditioning system?

While some simple repairs might be possible on a DIY basis, we do not recommend that you attempt your own service and repairs. Here are some very good reasons why we say that-

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Smog over an Asian city caused by a combination of vehicle exhaust and industrial pollutants.

Why do Modern Cars Need Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valves?

It is important to note that while vehicle exhaust is a significant ingredient in urban smog, this kind of pollution is now mainly caused by industrial pollutants that are sometimes emitted by industries located long distances from urban centres.

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an evaporator core from a car air conditioner system

How and why do car air conditioning systems fail?

Modern car air conditioning systems can last for many years if they are checked, used, and serviced regularly. However, these systems can and do fail for reasons that do not always involve a lack of regular service. Let us look at these reasons first-

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An engine crankshaft fitted to an engine

How often should I have my cars crankshaft inspected for damage?

This is not an easy question to answer because it is rarely, if ever, cost-effective or practical to disassemble an engine just to see if one or more bearing journals might be damaged. Thus, from a cost perspective, it helps to remember that if an engine had been serviced and maintained to OEM standards over its life, or even for most of its life, the crankshaft would almost certainly be in good to excellent condition, and free of meaningful damage of any kind.

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Exposed view of a typical DOHC valve train

How do Camshafts Work, Exactly?

The short answer to this question is that the lobes on camshafts act on the engine valves via one of several methods to regulate the opening and closing of the valves. However, a slightly longer answer involves the design of any particular valve train, which consists of one or more camshafts and all the parts that are required to regulate the opening and closing of the valves, such as cam flowers, hydraulic valve lifters, rocker arms, and pushrods.

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How Important is a Rocker Cover Gasket?

Apart from preventing engine oil from leaking out of the joint between the rocker cover and the cylinder head, rocker cover gaskets are also critical components in the vacuum systems of many modern engines. Here is why-

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How to know if a timing belt is bad

The problem with timing belts is that they are not visible. To inspect a timing belt, you may need to remove several unrelated engine components just so you can remove the covers that protect the timing belt.

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A dirty car air filter

Does a car’s air filter affect air conditioning

One of the most unpleasant aspects of car air conditioning systems is that they can sometimes make people sick. Here is how it happens

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A timing belt fitted to an engine

Can you replace your own timing belt?

While it is possible to replace a timing belt on a DIY basis, we do NOT recommend this procedure for non-professional mechanics. Here is why

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a damaged crankshaft from an engine

How do I know my crankshaft is damaged or defective?

Many people might see the discolouration on these two adjacent big-end bearing journals as just that, a bit of discolouration, but the fact is that this crankshaft is severely damaged as a result of poor lubrication, and is, therefore, unsuitable for re-use in its current condition.

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A brand new car air conditioning compressor

What is a variable displacement air-conditioning compressor?

The word "displacement" refers to the amount of refrigerant gas the compressor moves or displaces in one revolution. This volume is measured in cubic centimetres, and it varies between air conditioning systems.

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A timing belt, tensioner and idler pulley sitting on a wooden surface

What is a timing belt, and what does it do?

You may have heard that car engines need three things to run: fuel, an ignition source, and sufficient cylinder compression. However, for an engine to work efficiently, it needs one more thing. This is the triple requirement that fuel, an ignition source, and sufficient cylinder compression are all available at the right moment.

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How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in the Australian Capital Territory

Registering a vehicle in the Australian Capital Territory requires that all vehicles be inspected and issued with a roadworthy certificate, aka a Certificate of Inspection, before the registration can be completed under the following conditions

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A car engine timing belt with coloured arrows showing the various parts

Why is using only OEM or OEM-equivalent timing belts important?

This image shows some details of how a new, OEM or OEM-equivalent timing belt is required to fit on a driven sprocket. Let us look at what the arrows mean in this picture-

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A car alternator fitted to an engine

What is an alternator, and what does it do?

Few car owners care about the alternators in their cars much if the vehicle’s battery can start the engine. However, if the alternator fails, two things usually happen. The battery light comes on, and the car will only run until the battery’s stored energy runs out. Therefore, alternators are critically important components in the electrical systems of all cars.

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How Much Does a Rocker Cover Gasket Replacement Cost?

Given that rocker cover gaskets typically have very long service lives and are therefore not service items, the cost of replacing a rocker cover gasket is usually based purely on the amount of time it would take to replace the gasket, plus the cost of the gasket itself. Note, though, that the cost of a rocker cover gasket could be a significant factor in the final cost if you drive a high-end sports car.

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Close-up view of two camshaft lobes

What Are Cam Lobe Profiles?

This image shows a close-up view of two adjacent lobes on a camshaft, and at a glance, it might appear as if these two lobes are no different from the lobes on any other camshaft based on the fact that ultimately, all lobes on all camshafts open and close the engine valves in all four-stroke engines.

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A car timing belt with coloured arrows

What is a timing belt tensioner?

In its simplest form, a timing belt tensioner is a device that is used to both adjust a timing belt’s tension, and to maintain that tension. In this example, the tensioner is indicated by the red arrow, while the yellow arrow indicates the pensioner’s locking bolt.

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Customer paying with a credit card on an EFTPOS terminal

How much should car servicing cost?

How much should car servicing cost? We explain the requirements for different vehicles and provide a handy tool for you to get the exact answer you're looking for.

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Example of unevenly worn brake pads

Why do Brake Pads Wear Unevenly?

In fully functional brake systems, the inboard and outboard brake pads usually wear down at about the same rate, but there are several reasons why one brake pad on one wheel can wear faster than the other pad on the same wheel. Read on to learn why this happens.

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Image shows an engine mount repalcement procedure in progress.

Can I Replace my own Engine Mounts?

While it may be possible to replace some engine mounts on a DIY basis if you have the required skills, tools, equipment, and time, we do not recommend that non-professional mechanics attempt the replacement of all engine mounts.

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How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in New South Wales

Most light vehicles in New South Wales have to undergo regular inspections and certifications to remain legal in terms of current roadworthy regulations. However, unlike other jurisdictions, the regulations in NSW make provision for two distinctly different kinds of inspections, each of which serves a particular purpose. Let us look at these inspections in some detail, starting with the

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How are Light Vehicles Tested for Roadworthy Certificates?

Although vehicle inspections for the purposes of issuing roadworthy certificates are based on the current version of the Light Vehicle Standards Rules, these Rules are not a set of laws in themselves.

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two gloved hands holding a broken car engine timing belt

How and why do timing belts fail?

Although modern timing belts are marvels of engineering, they are not indestructible. In fact, even relatively new timing belts can, and do, fail in different ways for a variety of reasons. Let us look at a few examples

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How to Get a Roadworthy Certificate in Victoria

Most vehicles in Victoria must undergo a roadworthiness inspection to ensure that vehicles are safe enough to be operated on public roads, as well as to make it possible to-

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A typical car battery

How are car batteries rated?

Most car batteries are known as “LSI” batteries (Lights, Starting, Ignition) and comprise a wide range of technologies, chemistries, and constructions to meet different power demands on different types of vehicles. Lets uncover some of the acronyms used in relation to battery ratings.

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A person using a multimeter connected to a car battery to check the alternator performance

How to test an alternator

The tests that a motorist can meaningfully and safely do on an alternator are limited, particularly with the technology in today's vehicles. In this example, a digital multimeter is connected to the battery terminals while the engine is running. The reading shown here reflects an acceptable charging voltage.

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Car owner paying for a professional DPF replacement

How Much Does a Diesel Particulate Filter Replacement Cost?

The total cost(s) of replacing a DPF on light vehicles vary greatly. In fact, costs vary so much that it is impossible to provide even a range of possible costs that will be a true reflection of the actual costs involved in all situations under all possible conditions.

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An old alternator and new alternator sitting side by side

How much does it cost to replace an alternator?

Alternator prices vary greatly between brands as well as the vehicles they fit. Additionally, so can the cost of their replacement. Lets take a look at the important things you need to consider when getting your alternator replaced.

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Failed EGR valve.

How and Why Do Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valves Fail?

Given that EGR valves exist solely to control the flow of mostly untreated exhaust gas into engines, it is hardly surprising that EGR valves fail on almost all applications as often as they do.

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Detail of teh core of a typical disel particulate filter

How Does a Diesel Particulate Filter Work?

In its simplest form, a DPF is just a metal canister that encloses a porous core, the porosity being required to allow soot-laden diesel exhaust to flow through the core, which captures and retains the soot until it can be oxidised, or burned off in a regeneration event when the soot load reaches a predefined level.

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Image shows an example of astress fracture in an engine mount.

Why do Engine Mounts Fail?

Although engine mounts on modern vehicles typically have service lives of up to ten years, failures like stress fractures can occur for a variety of reasons that include long use, overloading, or chemical attack by oil.

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an assortment of car parts against a grey background

Should you supply your own parts to your mechanic?

Maintaining a modern vehicle can take a big bite out of your disposable income, particularly so when your vehicle breaks down unexpectedly. This can happen to almost anyone at almost any time, and while you might want to supply your own parts to reduce costs, doing so is not a particularly good idea.

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a man looking at a clipboard with eftpos machines in the foreground

How much does it cost to replace a timing belt?

The problem with timing belt replacement costs is that there is no single price, or even a price range, that applies to all cars. The only thing that is about equal is the timing belt price.

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Customer paying a workshop for an EGR valve replacement.

How Much does an Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve Replacement Cost?

The cost of replacing an EGR valve varies greatly between different vehicle makes and models, with the cost of EGR valve replacements on high-end European vehicles typically being higher than on American or Asian-made vehicles.

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grey car having a wheel alignment at mechanic shop

Everything you need to know about Wheel Alignment

Have you ever wondered why the tyres on your car are wearing out so fast? It might seem like they don't make tyres to last as long as they used to, so if you have to replace your tyres yet again, you might have a wheel alignment problem. In this guide, we explain what wheel alignment is, why it is important, and how regular wheel alignment services can save you a ton of money over the life of your car.

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A woman in a hot car cooling her forehead with a water bottle

Are modern car air-conditioning systems different to older vehicles?

In practice, all car air conditioning systems create cool air in exactly the same way. All systems compress a refrigerant gas before allowing it to evaporate. Thus, from that standpoint, there is little, if any difference between different car air conditioning systems.

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An example of timing marks that are used to establish proper camshaft phasing

What is Camshaft Phasing, and Why Does it Matter?

For any camshaft to regulate the valves on any engine effectively and correctly, all camshafts need to be indexed to various reference points to establish the correct timing of the valves, and the image above shows one of several methods of establishing and maintaining the proper phasing or indexing of an intake and exhaust camshaft with respect to each other.

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Example of an illuminated DPF malfunction indicator lamp

Why Do Diesel Particulate Filters Fail?

Most DPF filter failures occur as a result of DPF regeneration process either not initiating, or running to completion, regardless of whether the regeneration process is active or passive.

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An engine bearing cap with a failed bearing

What causes crankshaft main bearings to fail?

Since main bearings are not subjected to the shock loads that result from combustion events in the cylinders to the same degree that big-end bearings are, main bearings do not fail catastrophically as often as big-end bearings do.

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What are Engine Mounts, and How do They Work?

Engine mounts are complex components whose function is to both hold a vehicle's engine and transmission in place in a vehicle and to prevent the engine from transmitting its vibrations and movements to the passenger cabin via the vehicle’s structure.

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Immobilsed car as the result of a failed EGR valve.

What are the Symptoms of a Failed Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve?

Defective EGR valves can cause serious drivability issues on some vehicles, but for the most part, the symptoms that come with EGR valve failures depend on the nature of the failure.

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How Much Does it Cost to Replace a PCV Valve?

Except for heated PCV valves, the vast majority of PCV valves and their associated hoses should not cost much more than about $120 or so- even if you source these parts from a dealership.

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A picture of car starter motors on a benchtop

How does a starter motor work?

While starter motors can appear to be complicated in their internal workings, we don't have to consider all of the internal starter motor parts to understand how they operate. Lets take a look inside.

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What are the Most Common Reasons Light Vehicles Fail Roadworthy Inspections?

Although a vehicle examiner considered your vehicle safe to drive and issued you with a roadworthy or safety certificate, your vehicle may still have defects and shortcomings in systems and components that generally do not affect your safety or the safety of other road users.

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What is a PCV valve?

The abbreviation “PCV” stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation, which is a process that uses the engine vacuum system to “suck” waste gases and other substances from the engine’s crankcase through a special valve, known as the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve.

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A person soldering an internal component of a dismantled starter motor

How to know if a starter motor is faulty

Unfortunately, there are no easy ways to test a starter while it is still mounted in a vehicle. The problem is that some of the symptoms of a defective starter motor can be caused by faults and defects in parts other than the starter which we discuss in this article.

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How Does a PCV Valve Work?

In its simplest form, a PCV valve consists of a body that encloses a moveable valve and a small spring. When the engine is not running the springs holds the valve in the closed position, but when the engine starts and creates a vacuum in the intake system, the vacuum overcomes the spring tension, thereby opening the valve, which allows the engine vacuum to “suck” waste gases from the engine.

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