How To Jump Start Your Battery

5 Top Reasons Why Your Battery Is Getting Drained

You want to go grocery shopping to prepare for a family luncheon and you try to start your car only to find that it won’t start. The dashboard if flashing on not coming on and the car simply won’t start. You the realize that your battery seems to be flat. You ask yourself, how did this happen?

Your cars’ battery is one of the most important piece of equipment in your vehicle. Its main function is to power the starter to crank the motor and send electricity to the spark plugs, to ignite the fuel. The battery also powers your radio, lights, computer box and other components in the car.  It is easy to tell if your car will not start because of the battery. You will experience flickering lights, a clicking sound and in some instances a central locking not working.

We have identified the the top 5 most common reasons for battery drain:

1. Parasitic Drain (usually caused by your tracker device)

In our experience, we have found that after market devices such as trackers tend to be the culprit when it comes to parasitic drain. If you experience abnormal battery drain over night, ask yourself if there are any after market electronic devices added to the car that draw power directly from the battery.

2. Human Error

As humans we do make mistakes, hey, it happens. sometimes we forget our lights on to our despair. Try to be vigilant and make sure your all lights are off and doors are closed properly. Luckily modern cars tend to sound an alarm if the head lights are left on.

3. Bad Charging

Your battery needs to be constantly charged to keep 12v of battery power at all times. The drain on the battery happens even when the car is running as some components connect directly to the battery to draw power. If there is charging system mulfunction, the battery can go flat even while driving. This is usually caused by loose fan/drive belts and/or failing tensioner hence the alternator is not fully charging the battery.

4. Broken Alternator

The alternator acts as a charger for the car battery. If it is unable to charge the battery, the battery will drain and this will cause the car not to start.

5. Long Term Parking

We are now mostly working from home and do not drive as much as we used to. Even the drives have shortened significantly and therefore the battery does not get enough charge. While the car is parked for extended periods, your battery continues to power the clock, alarm, tracker etc and over time, these small components (in terms of battery drain) can drain all the current from the battery. Try remove the positive terminal from the battery if you are going to park the car for a long time and if that is  not possible, try start the car everyday for 5 -10 minutes to charge the battery, Older batteries tend to susceptible to accelerated battery drain.

If you are still unsure, check your vehicle Owner’s Manual or book an inspection today. We understand that your car plays an important part of your daily life, transporting you and your loved ones. Michanic is dedicated to providing the most convenient services for our customers, so if you have any other questions or concerns regarding your car, feel free to talk to our customer service team via email at [email protected]or by phone on 087 803 9000.

Click here to get an instant online quote for Battery Drain Inspection!

 

 

 

How To Ensure That Your Car Is Ready For Use After An Extended Time Being Parked!

How To Ensure That Your Car Is Ready For Use After An Extended Time Being Parked!

With the lockdown in South Africa due to the COVID-19  pandemic, most cars are parked.  When the time comes, here are a few tips that will ensure your cars health when we get back to our normal lives again:

 

Keep your vehicle undercover (if you can)

Although garages and covered parking ports are better than open parking, as your vehicle will be exposed to sun damage, dust, raindrops, bird droppings, and other debris. So if you parked in an open parking, it is advisable to get a waterproof car cover while your car is parked for an extended amount of time.

Periodically washing and cleaning out your vehicle: Clean the interiors before parking the car

This might be stating the obvious, but we’re going to tell you anyway. People tend to leave trash in cars, including chocolate or biscuit wrappers (with crumbs inside), old newspapers, and water bottles and so on. All of this could rot or, worse, attract rodents that can damage floor mats, seat covers and even wiring. So, clean the interior thoroughly and spray a little freshener. But don’t use too much as even as it will stink in the closed confines over a long period!

Keep Critters and Creepy crawly‘s Out

If your car is parked in a garage it will typically keep your car dry and safe from the elements. Unfortunately, those are also two things that make a garaged car attractive to rodents like rats and mice, and cockroaches.

But even if you are parked under sheltered parking, they still get into your car and engine! Try to cover any gaps where rodents and other insects could enter, such as the exhaust pipe or an air intake. Placing a ball of steel wool in your exhaust pipe is a good hindrance!

Next, spread mothballs or cotton swabs dipped in peppermint oil along the perimeter of the vehicle. The smell drives mice away. If you want to take a more proactive approach, lay down a few mousetraps. Just make sure someone can check the garage periodically in case there are some casualties.

Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with a smell much worse than mothballs when you take the car out of storage 🙂

Keep It Charged or Disconnect one of your battery terminals

Unless disconnected, the battery in a parked car will eventually lose its charge.

We advise that if you do not know what to do at least take some time to start your vehicle and let it run for about 15 minutes at least every 5-7 days, to ensure that the battery stays charged. If this seems like too much, you can explore a full proof low-tech solution of disconnecting the negative (usually black) battery cable. You’ll likely lose the stereo pre-sets, time and other settings. You really wan’t to avoid having to jump start your car or worse, having to buy a new battery! Yikes!

Top Up Your Fuel Tank

We may need our vehicle to get essential items from time to time therefore having petrol is a good idea. Having petrol in your car is also a good idea. A full tank will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out.

Keep the tires properly inflated

When you do go for your essential trips, pass by your local garage and check the tyre pressure and make sure the tyres are at the correct pressure. Proper inflation helps prevent cracking of the sidewalls and flat spots. Check the valves and valve caps for leaks and that the valve caps fit properly.

Maintain Insurance while Parked

You might be tempted to cancel your insurance when your vehicle is stationary, but unforeseen circumstances happen, like hail storms, or someone backing into your vehicle while you are “safely in your parking bay”!

In these cash strapped times, that might initially save money, but there is a chance that the insurance company will raise your premiums due to the gap in coverage, which could cost you more in the long run.

This can vary based on where you live and who your provider is, so contact your insurance company to see what options are available to you.

Before getting back to action, make sure you have all your bases covered

Here’s a checklist of what to do when you’re ready to drive your vehicle regularly again:

  • Check under the bonnet for any evidence of rodents. Look for chewed belts, hoses, wires or nests. If you covered the muffler (like the steel wool) or air intake, remove that material before you start the car.
  • Make sure to change your air and oil filters, to ensure that no sludge or other contaminants affect your engine performance!
  • inspect your windscreen wiper blades. The rubber should not be brittle or show cracks.
  • Check the tire pressure and inflate the tires to the recommended specs.
  • Check the brake and brake disk! Rust may have accumulated on the brake disks! In most cases, it should go away after you drive the vehicle for a short time. But to be safe, if it doesn’t make sure you book an appointment with us and we will check them out of you!
  • Check fluids to make sure there have been no leaks and that they are at the recommended levels.
  • If the battery cable has been disconnected, make sure that you reconnect it and that the battery terminals are clean.
  • Wash your vehicle to remove any dirt that may have accumulated.

Michanic! #StaySafe #StayHome!

Covid-19 Stay Safe

 

We understand that your car plays an important part of your daily life, transporting you and your loved ones. Michanic is dedicated to providing the most convenient services for our customers, so if you have any other questions or concerns regarding your car, feel free to talk to our customer service team through email at [email protected]or by phone on 087 803 9000.

Click here to get a quote for your next service.

Is my Fan Belt the problem? Symptoms of Bad or Failing Fan Belt

As part of our CAR CARE SAFETY series, we will be sharing some quick Information and DIY articles to help you get on the road quickly and keep you and your family safe while you are on holiday!

You are driving along and suddenly you hear a squealing noise from the from of the vehicle! Or the power steering and AC stops working or the engine overheats! What could it be??

All the above issues could be a result of fan belt failure. The fan belt can also be referred to as a serpentine belt, drive belt or v-belt.

It is critical to engine operating as it provides power to the drive accessories, such as the alternator, power steering, cooling system water pump and air conditioning.

The fan belt should be replaced every 80 000 km (or as specified in your Owners Manual). Should you hear or see any of the issues below, its advisable to immediately stop your car for your safety and not damage your engine any further.

  • It is a good idea to visually inspect your fan belt from time to time, to check for physical damage such as cracks and wear from heat and friction it’s subjected to on a daily basis. Check for cracks, chunks missing, abrasions, rib separation, uneven rib wear, and damaged ribs.
  • Oil on the belt will also lead to cracking and wear of the belt. If you notice any of these, it is time to  get a  replace qualified mechanic to replace the belt.
  • If you hear squealing noise from the front of the vehicle, it could be due to slippage or misalignment of the fan belt. To alleviate this issues a qualified mechanic will need to diagnose and replace the belt.
  •  The belt tensioner keeps the proper spinning of the belts’ in the car’s engine.  If you notice rust forming or bleeding between the belt tensioner are and base, it is a sign that the tensioner needs to be immediately replaced. This often arises from the excess wear in the internal components of the tensioner, which will affect the performance of the drive accessories!
  • Since the fan belt provides power to the drive accessories, its failure can cause, most critically, the alternator and power steering to stop functioning. This is dangerous as the car will loose electrical power and correct steering control. Find safe place to stop the car as soon as possible. The air conditioning and water pump can also fail, which will result in the engine not being cooled correctly.

We hope this series keeps you safe this holiday season! If you need assistance just click here and a mechanic will come to you.

Car Wont Start inspection

My car wont start. What do i Do now?

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting dressed up and smelling nice, then getting into your car to go to work or meet u with friends and family and the car will not start. This happened to me once. My car was fine the one day and the next, it just would not start. There are many things that can lead to a car not starting. A skilled mechanic can identify the problem within a few minutes or it can take up to an hour trying to figure out what is wrong, as it was in my case. In my case, it was initially the battery that packed up after my car was parked for month without being driven. All i thought i needed was a battery and i will be on my way, but boy was i wrong. Before i can go into detail of all the possible causes of a car not starting, i found out that you need to make sure you buy the correct battery for your car or else it can make your starter pack up. And that happened to me and yep, as you may guess it was quite costly. So, when you car wont start, there can be a few causes which i will outline below. Flat Battery This is probably the most common cause of car not starting issues. This one is easy to identify, the dashboard light will either fade or will not illuminate at all. If these are the symptoms, it will be a good idea to get a new battery, and in most times the car start on the first crank. Alternator The alternator for those who do not know, is a device that helps run your electrics in your car while it is running and also, one of its main function is to recharge the battery. In most instances when your alternator is/has packed up, a battery light will illuminate on your dashboard informing you that there may be a problem with the charging system. If your battery is relatively new and you see that light come on, the alternator is the possible culprit. Your car will run with power from the battery and once that has been completely withdrawn, your car will not start. This will need an alternator replacement. Starter Motor The job of the stater motor is to crank the engine. Now, you probably ask yourself, how will i know it’s the starter. Well a process of elimination will have at this point excluded the alternator and the battery. The starter motor will display symptom of a weak crank sound, and when this motor is initiated too many times, the crank sound will start to fade and sometimes even burn out the starter completely. If you crank sound is weak and goes hlihee heee heee hee he ee ee, then the cause could be a starter that has packed up. Fuel Fuel is a very important element in the starting of the car. When a car wont start, but it cranks fine and healthy, the battery light is not on and the lights are not fading, the possible cause is that the fuel is not getting to the engine to initiate combustion which turns the engine. This could be as simple as purchasing petrol and pouring in into the tank, or could be as expensive as a damaged fuel pump. The mechanic will usually test if the pump is working by monitoring fuel flow into the engine from a pipe that is responsible for delivering the fuel to the engine. If no fuel comes out, one needs to first check if they have fuel in the tank and if there is fuel, then it can be potentially be the petrol pump or in some instance a filter that is blocked. I hope this help you gain a little bit of knowledge and also save you some money and head aches. PS: It is always good to check with a mechanic to help you get to the root cause of the problem.

How To Jump Start Your Battery

How To Jump Start Your Battery

You’ve tried to start your car, but nothing happens and all you hear is a clicking noise. This usually means your battery is low on a charge and needs to be jump started. Jumper cables consist of a red and a black cable with clips on each end of the leads. The red cable must be connected to the positive terminals (+), and the black cable to the negative terminals (-).

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to jump start your battery:

  1. Find a car that’s running and a set of jumper cables – most garages have a set if you don’t.
  2. Check which side the batteries are located and park the healthy car with it’s battery close to your battery.
  3. Make sure both cars are turned off and all lights and electronics are switched off.
  4. Attach one side of black cable to the negative terminal (-) of the good battery.
  5. Attach on side of the red cable to the positive terminal (+) of the good battery.
  6. Ensuring that the clips don’t touch each other, attach the other end of the black cable to negative terminal (-) of your battery followed by other end of the red cable to your positive terminal (+).
  7. Start the car with the good battery and let it run for about 5 minutes.
  8. Try starting your car, once started remove the cables in reverse order of the above.
  9. Success! Now take the car that had a dead battery for a drive, to let the alternator recharge the battery.

If a battery jump start didn’t work, your alternator or battery may need replacing

Why is my battery dead?

A car’s battery loses charge when parked. A car that stands for a long period of time will almost certainly have a dead battery and just needs to be jump started. However, car batteries also age and need to be replaced very few years. They usually start giving up during winter when its cold. Check how old your battery is and consider replacing it. If you need a trusted mechanic to come and inspect your car, book online now with Michanic.

 

We understand that your car plays an important part of your daily life, transporting you and your loved ones. Michanic is dedicated to providing the most convenient services for our customers, so if you have any other questions or concerns regarding your car, feel free to talk to our customer service team through email at [email protected]or by phone on 087 803 9000.

Click here to get a quote for your next service.

5 Reasons Why Your Car Won't Start

5 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

It can be really frustrating when your car will not start. We use our cars for driving our kids to school, getting essentials and groceries, driving to work and  even more. So when your car won’t start all of a sudden, it can be stressful.

There are a many possible reasons why your car won’t start. Here are the 5 most common reasons.

 

1. Broken ignition switch

If you know your battery is working properly, but your car doesn’t crank on the first few tries, this might mean that you may have a problem with the ignition switch. You can try to narrow down the cause of your issue by turning on your headlights. This is because your car’s battery controls your headlights and dashboard, and if it’s the case that your light are able turn on and your engine is not able to start, then it could be that the ignition switch has gone bad.

 

2. Faulty starter

A faulty starter is another common reason your car won’t start. The starter’s role is to set the turn (crank) the engine when you turn or press on the ignition switch. The starter only works to turn the engine and once the car is running, it has done its job and goes to sleep. If the starter breaks, the engine will not crank properly or may not even crank at all when you try to start the car. If you hear a clicking noise when you try to start your vehicle, that could be a sign that the stater may be broken and that may be the reason why your car isn’t starting.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Very noisy when trying to start on your car.
  • Hearing a loud clicking noise when turning the key, but the engine does not want to start.
  • Car is not starting when turning or pressing the ignition key/button.

3. Dead battery

A dead battery is the most common reason why a car will not start. The battery provides all the electrical power to the entire car and electrical components (e.g. lights, radio, etc.). The alternator, charges the battery while the car is running. If for some reason the battery is not charged sufficiently, you will not be able to start the car or use any electrical components.

Some common symptoms includes

  • Lights, Radio etc not working.
  • Battery light is on. (If this light illuminates while driving, it may mean that the alternator is not charging the battery)

Your battery can die for a variety of reasons:

  • You left your headlights on
  • You have a loose wire
  • The battery water evaporated.
  • The battery’s lifespan has expired
  • Car has been parked for a very longtime

One way you can test to see if the battery is the problem by jump-starting your car. If the jump start works, you’re most likely dealing with a dying battery or an alternator issue. Consider replacing the battery or alternator, cleaning the connections, or have a mechanic come do it for you.

4. Clogged fuel filter

If your fuel filter is clogged, the petrol will not be able to get to the engine. Without fuel in the engine, the car will not be able to start as it needs fuel as part of the starting process.

5. Empty petrol tank

It might sound silly, however this happens more often than you can imagine. The solution here is simple… get more petrol or diesel

Hopefully you never experience the scenario where your car doesn’t start, but if your car isn’t starting and you need some assistance, one of our master mobile mechanics will come to you to inspect and diagnose the problem. If our mechanic can’t fix it on the spot, we will provide a cost and parts breakdown in real time and have your car back on the road asap.

We understand that your car plays an important part of your daily life, transporting you and your loved ones. Michanic is dedicated to providing the most convenient services for our customers, so if you have any other questions or concerns regarding your car, feel free to talk to our customer service team through email at [email protected]or by phone on 087 803 9000.

Click here to get a quote for your Car Not Starting Inspection

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