Allautos Advanced Tuning, Mechanic Geebung June 24th, 2017Maurice Donovan
Car Service Statistics
Car Service statistics by a leading technical vehicle data provider Autodata
Show Toyota Hilux was the most common vehicle taken into workshops throughout Australasia during 2016, closely followed by the Nissan Navara D40, with Holden Commodore VE in third place.
But don’t take this out of context. Without measuring this finding against the numbers of each vehicle on the roads, no conclusions about vehicle performance can be reliably reached.
The Commodore was the only saloon car to make it into the top five most serviced vehicles in 2016.
Leading aftermarket data provider Autodata tracks the service numbers each year and lists the top ten most serviced vehicles:
Autodata’s list of the top 10 most serviced vehicles in 2016
- 1. Toyota Hilux (2005-2015)
- 2. Nissan Navara D40 (2005-2015)
- 3. Holden Commodore VE (2006-2010)
- 4. Mitsubishi Triton MN (2009-2015)
- 5. Ford Ranger PJ/PK (2007-2011)
- 6. Toyota Landcruiser 100 Series (1998-2007)
- 7. Holden Commodore VZ (2004-2006)
- 8. Holden Astra TS (1998-2004)
- 9. Holden Captiva CG (2006-2011)
- 10. Nissan Navara D22 (1997-2014)
Highlighting the relevance of context in statistics, Autodata notes thaToyota first began production of their popular utes in 1968. Today, there are more than 880,000 Toyota Hilux utes on Australian and New Zealand roads.
Nissan V35 Skyline P0350.
A customer of mine has a Nissan V35 Skyline with the 3.5-litre GQ35 V6 engine
He came in with the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) on and after a thorough inspection of the secondary ignition we found one of the ignition coils was failing under engine load. A misfire was also noticed on a road test and the faulty coil was replaced. Nissan V35 Skyline P0350 code was set.
The customer asked that the other five coils not be changed because they are reasonably easy to get to and to replace. The car was good for 12 months.
But then the car came back with the same dreaded P0350 fault code (ignition-coil primary/secondary-circuit malfunction). Unlike last time, there was no noticeable misfire when driving and we could not fault the coils on our lab scope. Even the spark looked good and seemed healthy.
Now I could have simply thrown a new set of coils in the car and the problem would have been fixed. However, this was not going to teach me why they all looked good yet we still had the code. Besides, we could have a feedback problem causing the engine control unit (ECU) to log this code or we could even have an ECU issue. I had to be sure why the car was logging the code and, even though I suspected a faulty coil, I was not about to just throw a set of coils at it without good reason.
Sent all of the coils to Rod Maher.
I sent all of the coils to Rod Maher in Grafton, who used his coil bench-tester to stress them out. He found two were leaking in the secondary-coil spark-plug boot. You see, Rod not only stresses out the coils but runs a incandescent test lamp that is earthed to ground – waving the pointed end over the coil boot will bring out any weaknesses the boot may have.
We replaced those two coils. I also checked them on a running engine with a spark tester set to about 35 kilovolts (kV) – using my test lamp the way Rod does – and one of the two was leaking. The other, I found out later, started to break down at 40kV when passing the pointed test lamp past the coil boot.
We cleared the code, road-tested the vehicle and retested for codes. All seemed good. The customer paid for the job and even said how much better the car seemed to drive.
But then, two days later, there was another phone call. The engine light had come back on.
Sure enough, the MIL light was on and we had our dreaded P0350 code again. This time the code would clear but reset as soon as the engine was running. There was no misfiring but it was clear whatever was setting the code was now constant and should make my job easy.
After checking each coil’s primary current and not seeing any evidence there, I retested each coil using the spark kV tester set to 40kV. Every coil passed the running test using a test lamp and did not show any leakage.
The spark plugs were only a year old but we had to rule them out, so a new set went in. There was no change.
Nissan V35 Skyline P0350 code – possible causes
• Faulty ignition-coil primary.
• Faulty secondary ignition-coil primary.
• Open secondary harness or shorted ignition-coil primary.
• Poor electrical connection of secondary circuit.
• Faulty engine-control unit (ECU).
It seemed the only thing left was to check the ECU coil-feedback signal that goes to and from the coil. If the signal was there and all was good we would then have to check the ECU powers and grounds. If they were OK then the problem would have to be the ECU.
Pico scope pattern
I hooked my scope up and checked the three right-hand-bank coils first. All voltage coil feedbacks looked the same and even voltage was going to all coils. When I repeated the test on the left bank, however, one of the feedback voltages was noticeably higher than the other five coils that had been checked.
There were two possible causes for this – it could have been a coil or a voltage leakage in the ECU. So I got out one of the old coils that we’d replaced earlier, swapped it and rechecked the voltage. This time the feedback voltage was normal. The code was cleared and did not return.
Finally, I had the confidence to replace the rest of the coils. Should I have replaced them all at the beginning? Of course I should have. That means I have to ask myself another question – do I give my customers the choice or do I take that away from them by telling them all of their coils will need replacing. In the future I think I’ll be strongly recommending all coils get replaced.
Roller Coaster BMW
VEHICLE IDENT: 2009 BMW X5 E70
This six cylinder diesel rocked up on the back of a tow truck. I started the car and wondered why the customer called a tow truck. His complaint was that the car was blowing so much smoke out of the exhaust it covered the whole street.
After a long idle time and a short drive we were seeing oil smoke coming out of the exhaust. It was so bad that when sitting at the lights I noticed that the guy in the car behind me had his phone out videoing the smoke. I jumped out to plead with him not to dob this car in to the authorities as I was the mechanic looking at fixing the problem. He laughed at me and said it was the funniest thing he had seen – a nice-looking BMW blowing out so much smoke.
TaT’s diesel expert Clinton Brett taught me if you want to rule out the engine PVC and breathing system as being the cause of oil smoke, the easiest way is to remove the oil cap and see if the smoke disappears. So after undoing the oil cap and holding the engine RPMs up until all the oil smoke had disappeared, I left the engine idling for a long period with the oil cap off.
Then I revved up the engine and there was no more oil smoke but after I refitted the oil cap and repeated the process the oil smoke had returned. I repeated the process with the oil cap off and again there was no oil smoke.
I talked with my customer about a direction and an action plan, I made it clear there was no guarantee that this action plan would fix his problem, but it was a necessary direction so we agreed we would replace the positive crankcase ventilation valve and I would use a BG109J oil flush to help clean out the crankcase system and hopefully the car’s breathing system.
Driving around the block to allow the oil flush to work its way around and clean up the crankcase, my technician said the car started to burn more oil than ever and then all of a sudden there was no more oil smoke.
We could not believe it. We then proceeded to change the oil and filter.
I drove the car around all weekend to be sure that the problem was solved.
After showing no sign of oil all weekend, I took it for one more test drive before handing it back to the owner. The smoke had returned, after that long idle period.
I suggested we remove the rocker cover and clean out the car’s breathing system, telling the owner that I could not guarantee this was the problem, but I needed to rule out the obvious.
Removing the rocker cover entails removing the intake manifold, the injectors (always replace injector sealing washes and hold down bolts) and then the rocker cover.
What we found was a gooey, gummy, sticky mess. The intake manifold and EGR valve were also caked up with carbon. It was a big clean-up job.
Then the car would not start. After finding out my technician had not first bled the fuel system using the scan tool, we hooked up to Autologic Assist, one of the most powerful aftermarket scan tools for European cars, especially BMWs.
The scan tool bleeding process is very straightforward and after a number of goes and still only seeing 2 to 4 bars of pressure, we proceeded to check the low pressure side of the vehicle.
This vehicle runs a lift pump in the tank and it has to run at about 4 bar (60psi). There is a low-pressure fuel sensor that transmits a voltage signal to the engine’s digital management engine control unit. The Autologic Assist scan tool parameter IDs (PID) indicated the system pressure between the electric fuel pump and the high-pressure pump was correct. There was more than 4 bar of pressure so there did not appear to be a pressure problem on the low pressure side.
We then used a clear plastic tubing on the low pressure side of the pump, to see if there was any air going into the inlet side of the high pressure pump or any air coming out of the fuel return to tank line. This test verified that there was no air in the low pressure system.
Attention now turned to the Piezo injectors
taking care to cap all openings to prevent dust entering the injector openings or the fuel rail and piping. It was beginning to look like something had entered an injector opening or maybe an injector was distorted when being removed.
All the injector pipes were removed and a small ball bearing placed in each injector feed opening. The injector pipes were then refitted and, when tightened, the opening would be totally sealed by the ball bearing.
The idea was to crank the engine and watch the rail pressure increase. The ball bearings were then removed, one at a time, while rechecking the rail pressure to reveal which injector was leaking. Obviously the injector that loses all line pressure would be the culprit.
The problem was that the Autologic Assist rail pressure PID value did not change – there was still no rail pressure after all the injector feeds were sealed.
Examined next was the flow regulating valve (FRV), the solenoid valve on the back of the high pressure pump. The FRV allows only the required amount of fuel to flow into the high pressure pump from the low pressure side in order to generate the required fuel rail pressure.
The higher the control signal current, the lower the rail pressure generated. This current to the FRV solenoid control is by way of a pulse width modulated duty cycle. Based on the fact that the higher the current the lower the pressure and therefore without current flow the maximum diesel flow would be achieved for the high pressure pump, the solenoid was disconnected.+
Still no joy – when the engine was cranked, there were still only 4 bars of rail pressure.
Now to the digital rail pressure regulating valve (DRV) located at the end of the fuel rail. For this test, the fuel return hose was disconnected. If the DRV was dumping fuel and not allowing the rail pressure to build up pressure it would be seen coming straight out of the return pile which is also at the rear of the rail. When the engine was cranked there was no sign of any fuel coming out of this return line.
Perhaps it was a faulty rail pressure sensor. Everything else was good so it could only be the sensor.
A variable resistor was used to manipulate the voltage to the signal wire. The value was adjusted on the scan tool to match the desired value of about 300 bars – still no start.
We had run out of ideas – time to call for help. At times like this the Autologic Assist team becomes the most powerful tool in the shop. Their scan tool is only part of the diagnostic package. The real strength is their team of OEM-trained technicians.
A help request was logged from the scan tool and we were soon talking with a BMW technician.
He asked that the rail pressure sensor be disconnected and then crank the engine. After a lengthy crank and still no start, the sensor was reconnected, the codes were cleared, and the engine was cranked to see what the rail pressure was doing.
To everyone’s surprise, the engine fired up.
This made no sense.
My logic tells me that on the first engine cranking, the air that would have been trapped in the fuel rail caused a low pressure code and the digital motor electronics module shut the injectors off. Even though the codes were cleared and the rail bled of all possible air, there was still no starting this car. It was only after disconnecting the rail pressure sensor and then cranking the engine that a default value was set, followed by clearing the codes, that the system came to life.
The car was starting, but oil was still burning out of the exhaust when hot. It was obvious that the oil sludge under the rocker cover was just the tip of the iceberg and a mere sample of the state of the whole engine.
The exhaust pipe and the diesel particulate filter (DPF) were removed and it looked like the oil burning issue was in the turbos
This engine employs two turbochargers of different sizes, connected in series. The smaller charger mounted on top is capable of developing its full effect at low revs, allowing turbo-lag to be kept to a minimum. As the revs rise, the second, larger, turbo takes over.
This meant the oil that was being pumped into the turbo to lubricate the turbo spindle had nowhere to return, so it pooled in the turbo and leaked through the turbo and into the exhaust.
The smaller turbo had to be rebuilt, and the larger turbo and all the pressure and return pipes were cleaned out.
It was obvious that when the first oil flush was done, some of the blocked oil in the return pipe was dislodged, giving temporary feedback to the sump. This can explain the lack of oil smoke until days after, when the sludge moved in and totally blocked this oil return, causing the oil to pool again in the turbos and eventually flooding the exhaust with engine oil.
By now, the extent of sludge could not be ignoredand it was obvious that the crank case of this engine would be contaminated.
The sump on these engines is not easy to remove. The front all wheel drive diff shares the same case as the sump and it could be up to a 15 hour job to remove, clean and refit. The oil condition sensor that sits in the bottom of the sump was removed and it was full of sludge.
Twenty litres of a concentrated and specially formulated chemical that would dissolve this type of sludge were tipped into the engine and left for two days. The chemical was drained out and the engine filled with normal oil.
After refitting the turbos, but not the DPF or exhaust, the engine was started and let run for an hour so the bottom of the turbo could be checked for any evidence of oil.
Oil did leak out of the bottom turbo, but it was cleaned up and the engine was run again and no oil came out. More test runs and it seemed the battle had been won.
The oil was dumped from the engine, and a borescope camera showed a very clean sump. After three oil flushes and a chemical clean-out the engine was much cleaner and safer than before.
The customer was advised to bring the car back after 5,000km for another oil flush and filter service.
This story doesn’t end there. The customer took the risk of refitting the DPF, knowing how much oil had been dumped into it, and the car continued to blow oil smoke that we suspect was the residue of oil in the exhaust. The customer was advised to take the car on a long run and eventually he reported no more oil smoke and the car was running better.
This episode confirmed the need for 10,000km service intervals for diesel vehicles.
Ford Mustang 2016
My staff were so excited when four 2016 Ford Mustangs rolled off the back of the tow truck tilt tray and into our workshop. These cars were selected to be exported to Thailand and our job was to remove the fuel from the full tanks so they could be exported.
Sadly, when starting the engine it did not sound or feel V-8. The excitement soon turned to disappointed once the bonnet was opened and we discovered a 4 cly Ecoboost engine sitting there under the hood. How the image and reputation of such a muscle car could be so spoilt by having a 2.3 lt four cylinder engine? This was not the whopping 5lt V8 we all expected to see.
From the outside you can barely pick the difference. Both the four-cylinder and V8 models have dual exhausts and tough looks. The 2.3-litre turbo four-cylinder (233kW/432Nm) has more grunt than the Mustang V8 did 10 years ago (223kW/432Nm).
Advances in automotive industry especially when it comes to the driveline systems are driven by one overriding imperative – to reduce emissions.
One way to lower emissions is to lower fuel consumption, less fuel we burn the less emissions that come out the tail pipe.
One way the Car manufactures can reduce fuel consumption is to simply downsize the engine displacement. But in doing this it is important that they maintain vehicle performance. Downsizing simultaneously reduces friction losses because downsized engines generally have smaller bearings and either fewer cylinders or smaller cylinder bore friction surfaces.
Fuel consumption can be reduced by 2 per cent to 6 per cent with turbocharging and downsizing. Valve-event modulation (VEM) can further reduce fuel consumption and can also cause a slight increase in engine performance, which offers a potential opportunity for engine downsizing. There are many different implementations of VEM, and the costs and benefits depend on the specific engine architecture. Fuel consumption reduction can range from 1 per cent with only intake cam phasing, to about 7 per cent with a continuously variable valve lift and timing set.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have recently
provided updated information regarding consumer rights and servicing cars
As an independent workshop owner, you may sometimes be asked by a customer or vehicle owner if they’ll be
voiding their new car warranty if you service their car.
The answer depends on whether the warranty is offered by the manufacturer or if it’s an aftermarket extended
warranty plan offered by the dealer. The difference is outlined on the opposite pages.
In the case of a manufacturers warranty (and provided you service the vehicle in accordance with any specified
requirements), you can confiidently assure your customer that;
Their manufacturer’s warranty will remain valid and so will their
protection under the Consumer Guarantees Regime.
TO SERVICE OR NOT:
MAINTAINING VEHICLES UNDER WARRANTY
under warranty. This information is consistent with previous guidance that the Australian Consumer Laws (ACL)
gives car owners a guaranteed level of protection for vehicles they buy and that this guarantee applies regardless
of any other warranty offered by a vehicle manufacturer.
Furthermore, there is NO REQUIREMENT under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) for a vehicle to be
serviced by an authorised dealer in order for the consumer guarantees to apply.
PREPARING FOR WINTER Newsleter
Thank you for allowing us to look after your car needs, we really do value you and take pride in giving your car the best professional care possible.
As cars have become more technical our staff continue to strive to keep their knowledge and expertise in the ever-changing automotive industry, current and relevant.
It was Sandy and my decision to align our business with a repeatable brand that would benefit and instill confidence with our customers. By joining the Repco Authorised Service we provide a full range of expert car servicing and repairs and will look after you and your car.
Repco Authorised Service provides you with a Nationwide Warranty for 12 months/20,000 kms on all our work that we performed.
We can provide new car servicing that will not void your new car warranty and we can provide fleet management solutions.
ACCORDING TO MOST dictionaries, “genuine” means true and authentic, or in other words, not a fake or counterfeit. Notice there’s nothing in that definition about who makes the part.
Allautos always looks for value for money for their customers and we only provide quality genuine or well reputable aftermarket parts for our customer’s cars. An article from Practical Motoring caught our eyes and we have high a few of their points, you can click on the below link to visit the full web article.
Then there are a range of companies who produce parts that are not manufacturer approved or supplied, and the usual term for these parts is “aftermarket”. Reputable aftermarket companies absolutely do not want their goods passed off as OEM, and in fact go to great lengths to market their name and products as different to, or better than the OEM equivalent.
There are fake versions of some well-known aftermarket parts too, so you can have genuine aftermarket parts as well as genuine OEM parts. What you definitely want to avoid is counterfeits of any part.
How to avoid fake parts? It’s pretty simple, just use your brain, just like you’d avoid a $25 set of “Ray Ban” sunglasses. If for example the OEM wheels are $400 each from a dealer, then the OEM wheels are not going to be $100 each brand new from Joe’s Car Parts. Logic says those wheels are either stolen or counterfeit. However, aftermarket wheels – not branded, or even resembling the OEM wheels – may well be cheaper than OEM. Simply, if it looks too good to be true then it is. Again, work with a trusted mechanic who will know what’s what.
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In this issue’s Case Study, MD is presented with a vehicle that has an intermittent problem. Most readers know what this is like…you jump in the car and great it plays up. Bring it into our workshop and it starts to run normal, what do we do?
In this instance we are presented with a Japanese imported car, an early 90’s Toyota Aristo with a 2JZ-GTE engine. It had been to various other workshops before it was brought to me by a frustrated customer.
We found access to data information on this import difficult to source, to add to this our scan tools would not communicate with this car. So as usual we started with the basics.
So, now that we have experienced the problem on the test drive, our next step is to carry out a visual and in doing so it was discovered the cam sensor plug is badly broken and the sensor terminals were covered in oil. Not a good recipe as oil attracts moisture and moisture acts as a contactor which no doubt will short out the sensor.
When the customer picked up his car, he could not believe the difference in the way this car drove, and he was ecstatic that we nailed this problem. He had sent his car to numerous workshops in the past without a fix when in reality, all we did was start with the basics! We now have another customer who will recommend us to others!
So, in summary it is always important to cover the basics, and while checking these basics we often notice visual items of concern.
In fact we find a lot of problems can be sorted out and found on our initial visual checks when we are presented with a problem car. Always be mindful we can actually have a mechanical integrity issue in the engine and that’s in, low compression or maybe a cam timing retard problem. So never rule out the basic when dealing with a modern car with a driveablity issue.