How Your Car’s Starting System Works

Hi there, Briohny here from Accelerate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning on the Sunshine Coast. We don’t usually think much about how our car starts up every morning until the day it doesn’t. In today’s video, we’re going to look at your car’s starting system. We’ll also cover how the different components work together to get you up and running every day. Lastly we will give you some examples of common starting faults and how to identify them. 

Battery

We’ll start with the backbone of your vehicle’s electrical system, the battery.

Essentially, your battery is there to store power for your starting system. Your battery supplies power to the ignition and starting system. It also delivers extra power when the electrical load exceeds the supply of the alternator.

Alternator

The alternator, on the other hand, is your car’s electrical charger. Most people think that their car’s electrical energy comes from their battery, when in fact it’s the alternator that keeps everything powered up. The alternator takes mechanical energy of the car and turns it into electrical energy.

The various components of the alternator are contained in an aluminium housing and generate current for recharging your vehicle’s battery. It’s also responsible for powering the electrical engine components like your ignition coils, fans, lights and parts of the fuel injection system. It also keeps all the creature comforts in your car running, like your air con and radio.

Starter Motor

When it’s time to get your vehicle up and running this is where the starter motor comes in. The starter motor is usually located on the back of the engine or the front of the transmission, depending on your vehicle. In contrast to the alternator, the starter motor uses electrical energy of the car and turns it into mechanical energy.

This energy is used to trigger the ignition, starting the crankshaft to turn, which gets your vehicle up and running. If there’s a problem when any of these three main components of your starting system, chances are you won’t be getting very far.

Common Starting Faults

Some common signs that there is an issue with your starting system are:

  • The engine cranks but doesn’t start, it’s usually an ignition system or immobiliser.
  • You turn the key, and nothing happens, it can be a battery or starter motor.
  • If it takes a long time to crank over, it’s generally a battery or starter motor.
  • If the battery light is lit up on the dash, it’s generally alternator.
  • If the car loses power while you’re driving, or your radio or AC stops, it’s usually your alternator.
  • If you notice any of the signs we’ve mentioned, it’s best to take your vehicle into an auto electrician as soon as possible.

We have a great video that shows examples of these common faults. You can watch it here. 

Here at Accelerate Auto Electrics, we offer a free start and charge test which can identify which component of your car’s starting system is in need of repair or replacement.

If you have any questions about your car’s starting system or you want to find out why your car won’t start, give us a call on 1300 227 353, contact us online or comment below.

Why Isn’t My AC Working? Common Causes of Car Air Conditioning Failure

Why Isn’t My AC Working? Common Causes of Car Air Conditioning Failure

When it comes to what causes car air conditioning failure, there are countless possible options. However, there are some issues that we see more regularly than others. In this post, we go over some of the most common causes of car air conditioning failure. We’ll also cover how to possibly prevent them from occurring in the first place. 

Now just a reminder, AC systems vary from car to car and every car has a different history.  So these suggestions may not apply to everyone’s situation. If your car’s air conditioning system isn’t working as well as it used to, it is best to get your vehicle inspected by a licenced technician. 

Refrigerant Leaks

The most common cause of air conditioning faults is a leak in the AC system. The air conditioning system in your car is designed to be a completely sealed unit. So if the system is low on gas there is a leak or fault somewhere in the system. This is very common in older cars. Over time hoses, seals, valves and other components such as the condenser and evaporator can break down and develop leaks. 

When your AC system is low on gas it may present as uneven temperatures across the vents, there may be a hissing noise or the air from the vents may not be as cold as usual. 

A leaking seal in the system can be difficult to detect which is why we recommend getting your AC system serviced regularly. As part of the service, we pressure test the system and inspect thoroughly for leaks. We also use a UV dye in all our AC services to make identifying any leaks easier at future inspections. 

Video: What We Do During An AC Service 

Blocked Filters

If you notice a bad smell or reduction in airflow in your AC system, it could be a sign of a blocked cabin filter (also known as a pollen filter). Over time the pollen filter can become clogged with dust, leaves, twigs and residue from exhaust fumes. When the filter is blocked it can put unnecessary strain on your AC blower motor and evaporator. Left clogged or blocked, it could potentially cause costly problems to your vehicle’s AC system. 

We inspect the cabin filter as part of our standard AC service. In most cases, we recommend replacing the cabin filter every couple of years, depending on how you use your vehicle. 

Thermostat/Thermistor Fault

Uneven temperatures in the cabin can possibly be the result of a faulty thermostat or thermistor. Usually, this is repaired by replacing the faulty component. If you have an older vehicle with a manual AC system, uneven temperatures may also be caused by a faulty control switch, temperature sensor or pressure switch. If you suspect your thermostat may be faulty, we suggest getting your AC system tested by an auto electrician. 

Compressor Fault

If there are some irregular noises coming from your vehicle when your AC is turned on this may be due to a compressor fault. If the system is low on gas or lubricant as a result of a refrigerant leak, this can affect the functionality of the AC compressor. If you suspect there may be an issue with your compressor it is best to get your AC system checked by a professional and licenced technician. 

Video: How Your Car’s AC System Works 

Electrical Fault

As cars become more advanced, more systems in the vehicle are controlled electronically. The AC system in your vehicle is no exception. Modern AC systems now incorporate more electronic components to improve performance, efficiency and passenger comfort. This has, in turn, increased the scope of many AC diagnosis and repairs. An Air Conditioning system may be perfectly fine mechanically, but an electrical fault may prevent it from functioning properly. If your AC system stops working suddenly it may be caused by an electrical issue. 

Diagnosing AC System Faults 

Unfortunately, AC issues are not always a cut and dry diagnosis. A car’s Air Conditioning System is made up of over 100 different components. This makes it very difficult to diagnose issues with 100% certainty. If your AC system is not performing as it should be, your best bet is to get your car inspected by a qualified auto-electrician as soon as possible. 

At Accelerate Auto Electrics we specialise in all types of vehicle air conditioning systems so we can repair just about every type of system you can think of. All of our technicians are fully qualified Auto Electricians and licenced with ARCTick. With over 40 years of combined experience, our team has the knowledge and training to diagnose and repair all types of vehicle AC systems. 

If you have any other concerns, issues or questions about your car’s AC, our technicians are on hand. Feel free to give the team a call on (07) 5479 6622 or contact us online here. 

200 Series Toyota Landcruiser Dual Battery System Options

Hi, Andrew here from Accelerate Auto, Electrics and Air Conditioning. I just had a look down in my workshop and realised we’ve got five 200 Series Toyota Landcruisers getting fit outs today.

It’s actually not that uncommon for us at the moment. So I thought that we’d do a quick video, we’d do a runaround, and then this afternoon, we’ll show you what we’ve been busy doing today.

200 Series Toyota Landcruiser Dual Battery System – Install #1

This is one of the ones that we’ve finished today. This one’s had pretty much one of the most common jobs we do to these 200’s.

What we’ve done today is we’ve installed a second battery using a genuine second Toyota tray. This is actually the version that only came out with one battery, if you know. So we’ve used the genuine second tray in the other side.

And we generally end up installing some kind of light bar or spot lights.

We’ve done a few of them. I’ll show you them later, but this has got the Titan Light Bar on it. We’ve installed that today.

We’ve installed the REDARC BCDC1240. We’ll show you some close ups of that mounted behind the grill to help its cooling.

We’ve installed an RACQ Deep Cycle Battery on this one. The reason why is the customer’s a tourer, and obviously with RACQ, nationwide warranty, no better battery for a tourer out there. Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but will definitely do its job, and anywhere you are in Australia, you won’t have an issue.

We’ve also installed Anderson Plug that we’ll show you down the rear, and various outlets in the back.

As I said before, we’ve used the factory Toyota tray. We do this ’cause one thing that’s very important with these systems is to use at least 105 amp hour battery.

There are other systems around where they fit a smaller battery up in the back corner. You just do not get the fridge run time that everybody’s looking for. With 105, you’ll get at least two to three days, and it’s really what you need in a system.

So whenever you’re looking at any different 200 Series dual-battery system, always ensure that you’re gonna get at least 100 or 105 amp hour battery, and then it’s very important with them. We have a lot of customers who are disappointed with the performance when they use a smaller battery.

Okay, so here we are down the back of the car. The main reason why we installed this dual-battery system is so the customer can run his fridge and charge various things at the back here. So the reason why we’ve got four outlets is we’ve got a cigarette socket, and Engel and a USB socket, and a volt meter to top it off.

Okay, so one other thing we’ve done on this vehicle is they come out with a factory cigarette lighter that’s obviously wired to ignition.

We’ve replaced that cigarette lighter with a dual-USB port that’s actually wired to the auxiliary battery permanent power, so that means you can charge your iPads and so on with the ignition switched off, or anybody in the back has constant power to running any sort of devices like that while you’re travelling.

We’ve also run an Anderson Plug. The reason why I’m showing you this one is we actually use the Trailer Vision Anderson cover. It’s really neat. We don’t see many people using these, but we think it’s pretty much a necessity on the back of such a good-looking car.

200 Series Toyota Landcruiser Dual Battery System – Install #2

I’m gonna show you yet another 200 Series Toyota Landcruiser Dual Battery System fit out we’ve done today.

This one, we’ve used the Supercharge All Rounder 105 amp hour battery.  So again, that’ll give you two to three days running with your fridge in the rear. We’ve also fitted some King Spotlights.

Always a challenge, but they’re going on quite well. And this one, we’ve used the REDARC 1225 BCDC in the front. And that’s really most of it.

We’ll show you some close ups of what we’ve done in the bonnet.

Okay, and here we are down the back of the vehicle. Now, it seems to be our standard, but we keep having our customers want to do it this way and see it this way, and we keep doing it.

So what we end up doing is cigarette socket, Engel socket and then dual USB socket with a volt meter, as well. Seems to work quite well. Give customers all the options.

One thing we do a bit differently is we run a couple of separate feeds down here. You’ll find sometimes it’s easy just to run one feed and loop it all up.

What that means is if you have a problem in one circuit, everything goes, so you’ll notice up the front, there was a couple of different fuses. And that fuses this all individually.

Okay, and another touch that we’ve added to it, even though we fitted the Kings Spotlights, we actually have fitted a factory looking switch, rather than using the one supplied with the kit.

We used this and it makes it a much more professional install and actually fits in with the other switches quite well.

If you want any more information on 200 Series Toyota Landcruiser dual battery systems, light bar installations, or you have any questions in general that need to be answered, feel free to comment below, contact us online or give us a call on 1300-227-353.

8 Must-See Natural Attractions on the Sunshine Coast

8 Must-See Natural Attractions on the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is home to a huge range of natural attractions. From waterfalls, mountain ranges, rainforests, waterways and beaches, there is something for everyone to appreciate during their visit to the area.
We‘ve put together our top 8 natural attractions on the Sunshine Coast that we think are a must see for anyone spending a bit of time here in our little slice of paradise. 

BUDERIM FALLS

It’s hard to believe this little pocket of natural wonder exists so close to town but tucked away behind the township of Buderim you’ll find this spectacular spot. A short 20-minute walk through the winding rainforest takes you down to the stunning waterfalls and multiple swimming holes. If you’re short on time, this spot is perfect for a quick visit.

EWAN MADDOCK DAM

A popular recreation destination, Ewan Maddock Dam is worth checking out on your way up the coast. Whether you enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing, hiking, mountain bike riding or horse riding, there are heaps of tracks and facilities to enjoy.

GARDENERS FALLS

Just a few minutes drive from Maleny township, Gardners Falls is a local favourite for cooling off on a hot summer’s day. A short 800m walk from the carpark on Obi Lane, this gem of a spot is well worth the detour on your journey through the hinterland.

GLASS HOUSE MOUNTAINS

As one of our local icons, no trip to the Sunshine Coast is complete without checking out the Glass House Mountains. Admire from afar on your journey up to Maleny or take a closer look by exploring the surrounding areas and national parks in Beerwah and Beerburrum. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even climb/hike sections of Mount Ngungun, Mount Beerwah & Mount Tibrogargan.

KONDALILLA FALLS

Another must see in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Just a few minutes outside of Montville this spot is a well-known favourite among locals. It’s a 4.7km round trip to get to the based of the falls and back (with 300 stairs). If you can‘t make the full circuit its worth the hike to the Rock Pools (2.4km). Your hard work is greatly rewarded with a picturesque swimming hole and stunning views out through the valley waiting for you at the pools.

MOUNT COOLUM

If you’re feeling fit and looking for spectacular views of the coast you definitely want to tackle the hike up to the summit of Mount Coolum. The steep 1.6km track is not for everyone but if you are up to it, the view at the top is worth it. It is a very popular place for locals , so it can get pretty busy at peak times.

NOOSA NATIONAL PARK

In the centre of the Noosa region lies this stunning National Park. Featuring spectacular coastal views from various lookouts and five walks to choose from, this park is worth spending a bit of time exploring. This park is also a wildlife sanctuary so keep your eyes peeled for snoozing koalas and plenty of native birdlife.

NOOSA EVERGLADES

Located between Noosa North Shore and Rainbow Beach this little-known spot is one for the nature lovers. The 60km stretch of river and lake system is one of only two Everglade environments identified on the planet making it especially unique. Best experienced by kayak or private tour, the Noosa Everglades is worth slowing down to take your time through this pristine natural environment.

How Your Car’s Air Conditioning System Works

It’s your saving grace in the heat of Summer, but have you ever wondered how your car’s air conditioning system works? Your car’s air conditioning system is made up of hundreds of components including hoses, valves, sensors, switches, pumps, filters, fans, that’s really just to name a few.

Today we’re going to run through the major components of your vehicle’s air conditioning system and show you how they work together to keep your car cool.

Here is how your car’s air conditioning system works… 

So, let’s begin with the hardest working component of the system the AC compressor. The compressor is the workhorse of the car air conditioning system. When the air con system is turned on, the compressor pumps refrigerant vapour under high pressure to the condenser.

So, next down the line is the condenser, this one here. It’s a device used to change the high-pressure refrigerant vapour to a liquid. The vapour is condensed to a liquid because of the high pressure that is driving it in and this generates heat. The heat is then in turn removed from the condenser by air flowing through the condenser on the outside.

After the condenser, the liquid refrigerant moves into a receiver dryer. The receiver dryer acts as a filter for the liquid refrigerant. It removes any moisture and other contaminants that may have leaked into the refrigerant. The pressurised refrigerant flows from the receiver-drier to the expansion valve or TX valve. The expansion valve removes pressure from the liquid refrigerant so that it can expand and become refrigerant vapour in the evaporator.

As cold, low-pressure refrigerant is passed through into the evaporator, it vaporises and absorbs heat from the air in the passenger compartment. The blower fan inside the passenger compartment pushes air over the outside of the evaporator so cold air is circulated inside the car.

And now we’re basically back to where we started with the compressor. At this point, the compressor draws in the low-pressure refrigerant vapour to start another refrigeration cycle. The refrigeration cycle then runs continuously and is regulated by the setting of the expansion valve.

Another important component of your air conditioning system is the cabin filter, also known as a pollen filter. This filters the air that is blowing into the cab of the vehicle. Often when there are bad smells or poor air flow coming from your air conditioning, it is because of a blocked or dirty cabin filter.

Finding Faults 

As we mentioned at the start of the video, the air conditioning system is made up of hundreds of components which can make it difficult to diagnose a fault. Especially if we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for. This is why we always include a UV dye as part of our standard air conditioning service. This ensures that if there ever is a leak in your AC system, we are able to identify where it is and repair or replace the part as needed.

If your Car’s AC system isn’t working as well as it used to, we have another video on checks that you can do at home that you can learn more about here. 

Remember, when dealing with your car’s AC system here in Australia, the industry’s governed by ARCTick and all technicians should be licenced. 

If you have any questions about your car air conditioning system, you can give us a call on 1300 227 353, comment below or drop us an email to [email protected].