Having your car serviced by Sutherland Shire Auto Centre every six months will extend the life of your vehicle and ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently. And, with every intermediate, major or diesel service you get.Six Months Roadside Assistance with our compliments!
- Flat Battery – Jump Start
- Battery replacement Service (Battery at members Cost)
- Emergency Fuel (Fuel at members cost)
- Towing/Roadside – 25kms metro/country (round trip) – more than NRMA!
- Flat Tyre – (replaced with members serviceable spare)
- Lockouts – cover up to $70.00 including gst
- Emergency accommodation up to $100.00 per night up to two nights (conditions apply)
For more information contact us on 9542 2260
Some information that we at Sutherland Shire Auto Centre have found helpful after being called to assist at breakdowns and failed starts. It has been modified slightly, but comes from Jonathan Hawley of Sunday Life.
Ten things you should do before calling for help when your car breaks down.
If there is ever a time when help is needed, it’s when the car won’t start. Car manufacturers strive to make their products as reliable as any appliance with an on/off switch but things do go wrong. Every morning, vans from roadside’ assistance organisations launch into the suburbs to right the wrongs of mechanical gremlins.
What they often find are problems that any car owner can rectify easily with a little thought or knowledge. There are courses available in basic mechanical maintenance which are helpful but not too technical.
If your immediate reaction to a lifeless motor is to call for assistance, have a go at the following basic checklist instead.
However, if you’re not at all confident with anything mechanical, don’t start fiddling with things, that’s what the experts at Sutherland Shire Auto Centre are for!
1. Check the fuel gauge. Roadside service operators report an amazing number of motorists complaining of their car coughing, spluttering and then stopping, only to find it has run out of fuel.
2. Never driven a car with automatic transmission? Try putting the selector in Park (P) or Neutral (N) before calling for help. It won’t start in gear!
3. Is there a safety device fitted on the vehicle? If you can’t coax your hire car into life, it may be because the manufacturer has fitted a safety device to prevent it being started while in gear. Hyundai’s with manual transmissions, for example, remain dead when the ignition key is turned unless the clutch pedal is depressed – even if the transmission is in neutral. Some automatics have a similar feature; the driver has to press on the brake pedal.
4. Have you got the right key? This sounds unlikely but roadside assistance operators regularly report cases of mistaken identity as a reason for emergency calls. Not the wrong car but the wrong key. In a two Commodore family, for instance, the key may fit the ignition but won’t start it.
5. Is your remote flat? Modern electronics have led to remote engine immobilisers, which prevent your car from being stolen. Problem is, when they go on the blink you can crank the starter motor (or maybe not even get that far) and the only sound you’ll hear are your own four-letter words. You should get a spare remote with the car. If you own a handbag, keep it there; never ever keep it in the glove box. Some cars have a special key and switch to turn the alarm or immobiliser off, check the owner’s manual.
6. Locked the keys in the car? Many calls to roadside assistance are from people who have locked their keys inside the car. If you have an older car with accessible locking buttons, try using a piece of fibre glass packing tape, folded in two and slipped past the door rubbers. With a bit of fiddling, you can easily loop the door lock and pull it open. You may want to fix the tape in a hidden spot behind the bumper bar for emergencies or (more risky) even a spare key in the same spot. Most new cars, however, have locks designed to be tamper proof and only the experts (which unfortunately includes expert thieves) can gain access.
7. If you’ve checked all these problems and there’s nothing happening when you turn the key, chances are the battery is flat. There should be a reason for this, so look for doors ajar, headlights left on or similar clues. If you have jumper leads and another car handy, try jump starting (see point nine), or roadside assist will do the same thing. If your battery is more than five years old, chances are it can’t be saved. Call us on 9542 2260
8. If you can hear the starter motor turning over but the engine fails to join the party, it just may be that the battery is having difficulty providing enough charge. If the terminals are cemented into place by a build up of white or blue gunk, remove it by pouring hot or boiling water over the terminals. The gunk will dissolve, which will assist conductivity no end. Be careful though – call us if in doubt
9. If you are confident the battery is flat but can be rescued try jump starting from another car. There are plenty of safety precautions to look out for, so bone up on the procedure in advance, check the owner’s handbook. One jumper lead joins both cars’ positive battery terminals and the other goes from the healthy car’s negative terminal to a fixed metal point on the sick car’s engine. If the starting procedure works, run the sick engine for at least half an hour to allow for recharging.
10. Don’t blame the car. While some of us subscribe to the Basil Fawlty school of thought that cars are vicious and deserve to be punished, in reality they are a bunch of cunningly assembled mechanical parts, one of which will inevitably fail with time.
Remember – Most new vehicle manufacturer’s warranties will be voided unless your vehicle is serviced every 6 months or 10000 km. Maintaining your warranty’s coverage is getting your servicing done to the manufacturer’s specifications.