Uber and Bolt Maintenenace

THE UBER/BOLT (Taxify) DRIVER’S CAR MAINTENANCE GUIDE

If you drive a Uber/Bolt (Taxify), you rack up a lot of kilometers, which means extra wear and tear. A car in the garage is not making you any money, so keeping up with the maintenance is extremely important. If you’re doing Uber or BOLT (Taxify), driver/owner, here are tips on how to stay on the road and earn the most cash.

First off, if you drive your own vehicle for a living, you likely want to follow the severe service car maintenance schedule. You might be thinking, “Hey, I’m only taking two people to the airport. I never tow, so it’s not severe service.” Actually, it is. The average driver in the South Africa racks up around 30 000 Kilometers per year, but driving full time for a UBER/BOLT (Taxify) service can bring that annual total to 90 000 Kilometers. A lot of those kilometers are spent carrying passengers through stop-and-go traffic in the summer heat nor winter colds. That’s work more in line with a taxi or police car. Let’s use some tricks of the trade from those services.

ENGINE PROTECTION

Oil: While you probably know how often to change your oil in a regular daily driver, an UBER/BOLT(Taxify) car needs a more frequent oil change schedule. You’re looking at lots of idling, stop and go, long periods with the engine on, and a lot more kilometers in general, so you want to use a high-quality oil. Depending on the kilometers you cover, you may be looking at changing the oil as often as every two weeks. While that may seem excessive, it is excellent preventative maintenance.

Filters Change out the oil filter with your oil change, and take a look at the engine air filter, too. These two are key to preventing engine damage. Also change your cabin air filter more often. The usual schedule is once a year, but aim for twice a year to keep your vehicle smelling fresh.

SUSPENSION & BRAKES, TIRES

Brakes Most drivers only change their brake pads every two to four years. With full-time UBER/BOLT (Taxify) work, however, you’re probably looking at every six months and sometimes every three months. Get the highest-rated pads you can afford, and save money by swapping them out and replacing the brakes yourself.

Suspension Shocks and struts are wear items that need replacing, usually only around three times in the average lifespan of a car. If you are a full-time driver, you are looking at annual replacement. No skipping out on this one, as shocks and struts are critical components of the suspension that determine ride quality. No one wants to ride in a vehicle with an overly harsh or bouncing suspension, so get these replaced on time. In addition to shocks and struts, you will probably have to replace the vehicle’s springs around 170 000 Kilometers. In South Africa, there are a lot of potholes, this means that, you’ll probably need to replace the tie rods early and get to know a reliable place for an alignment.

Tires Get a super-affordable tire pressure gauge and check your tire pressure daily before starting your shift. Why daily? Tire pressure affects everything from the ride quality and tire wear to petrol mileage, so it’s an easy and quick way to save more and earn more. Rather than going out of your way to a petrol station with free air, use your own portable pump. Keep tire rotation on your calendar, too, for longest tire life. A good rule of thumb is to do so during every oil change.

We hope this information keep you on the road so that you can make maximum cash. 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.

5 things your car does not need

5 Things Your Car May Not Need

Tune-up – The tune-up has been obsolete for decades. On late model vehicles with computerized engine controls, there is nothing to “tune” or manually adjust. Major engine functions such as idle speed, the fuel mixture and spark timing are all controlled electronically by the powertrain control module. In spite of this, many people still call changing their spark plugs and air filter a tune-up, when in fact what they are actually doing is scheduled preventive maintenance. Platinum and iridium spark plugs typically last upwards of 100,000 km’s, and air filters can often go several years or 30,000 km’s or more depending on driving conditions and dust exposure.

 

Chassis Lubrication – Some trucks may have grease fittings on the ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints. The same goes for some heavy-duty aftermarket replacement ball joints, tie rod ends and U-joints. But on most late model cars and light trucks, the original equipment steering, suspension and drivetrain joints are all sealed for life and do not require any lubrication or service.

 

Fuel Filter – Replacing the fuel filter every few years or 30,000 to 50,000 km’s may be recommended for preventive maintenance, but many motorists have never had a fuel filter replaced! Unless you get dirt or rust in your fuel tank, the fuel filter should last for years or tens of thousands of kilometers. Many late model cars and light trucks no longer even have a recommended fuel filter replacement interval. Instead, they have a “lifetime” fuel filter located inside the fuel tank as part of the fuel pump assembly. Unless your vehicle is experiencing a fuel delivery problem, therefore, there is no need to replace the filter.

 

Wheel Alignment – Accurate wheel alignment is essential to minimize tire wear and to keep your vehicle traveling straight. If your vehicle has been experiencing unusual tire wear, your wheels may need to be aligned. But if the tires are wearing normally and your car steers straight with no pulling toward either side, there should be no need to have the wheels aligned. Most tire stores recommend a wheel alignment check when you buy new tires. But if your old tires do not show abnormal wear and they lasted at least 60,000 miles, chances are your wheels are still in alignment. Once set, wheel alignment should not change unless steering or suspension parts are worn or damaged.

 

Engine Flush – An engine flush circulates a cleaning chemical through the engine to remove sludge, varnish and other contaminants. If you have neglected regular oil changes and your engine is full of sludge, this would be a recommended service. However, if you have changed your oil regularly, and your engine shows no signs of abnormal deposit formation, there should be no need to have your engine flushed.

Don’t Be Overcharged for Car Repairs

 

Why Repair Costs Are So High

The labor rate in most dealerships and repair shops today ranges from R 700 to over R 1000 per hour. Why so high? Because it’s expensive to run an auto repair business and because Car Care Click mechanics are mobile, we are able to reduce the prices significantly. In addition to the normal overhead such as the cost of the building and property, taxes, utilities, insurance, employee benefits, and so on, repair facilities have to spend thousands of rands every year on equipment, scan tool updates, information access and other costs that are necessary to repair today’s cars.

Consequently, when a shop quotes what seems like a very high price to change a relatively simple part, it may seem like they are attempting to take advantage of the situation and are overcharging for the repair. Maybe they are tying to rip you off, or maybe they are not. We can’t say because every situation is different.

5 Warning Lights You Should Never Ignore!

Oil Warning Light Flat tyre Warning Light Temperature Warning Light Brakes Warning Light Battery Warning Light

If any of the above warning lights come on while you are driving, DO NOT IGNORE THEM! Immediate action may be necessary to prevent damage to your vehicle, a breakdown or an accident.

OIL PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT

Oil Warning LightThe oil pressure warning light comes on if your engine has lost oil pressure or oil pressure is too low for safe engine operation. You should pull over to the side of the road, shut the engine off and check the oil level on the engine dipstick.

Possible Causes: Low oil level (due to oil consumption or leaks), oil viscosity too thin, worn oil pump, excessive engine bearing clearances or defective oil pressure sending unit.

If you engine is also making ticking, clattering or rapping noises, it is not getting sufficient oil. If you attempt to drive the engine in this condition, you will probably damage it – if it hasn’t already suffered major internal damage.

TEMPERATURE WARNING LIGHT

Temperature Warning Light The temperature warning light will come on if your engine is overheating. Do NOT continue driving if your engine is overheating as this can cause expensive engine damage (piston scuffing, valve stem galling, failed head gasket, cracks or distortion in cylinder head). Stop driving, pull over and shut your engine off. Open the hood and check the radiator and heater hoses, radiator and engine for coolant leaks. Note the level of the coolant in the coolant reservoir.

CAUTION: DO NOT open the coolant reservoir or radiator cap until the engine has cooled off for at least 30 minutes. Steam pressure inside the cooling system can blow out and burn you!

If the coolant level is low, add coolant (a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and clean distilled water) after the engine has cooled down.

Possible Causes: Low coolant level (due to coolant leak or bad head gasket), stuck thermostat, bad water pump, broken serpentine belt, defective radiator cooling fan, clogged or dirty radiator, exhaust restriction (plugged catalytic converter).

CHARGING SYSTEM WARNING LIGHT

Battery Warning LightThe “GEN” or “ALT” warning light, or an icon of a battery will illuminate if the charging voltage in your vehicle is low. You do not have to stop immediately, but you may only have 20 to 30 minutes of driving time before your battery goes dead and your engine stops running (or even less time if you are driving at night with your headlights on).

Possible Causes: Broken or slipping serpentine belt or V-belt, bad alternator, charging control fault, or loose or corroded battery cables.

Open the hood to see if the drive belt that turns the alternator is intact and is turning the alternator while the engine is idling. If the belt is not the problem, chances are the charging system has a problem that will have to be diagnosed and repaired. Better find a repair shop soon!

BRAKE WARNING LIGHT

Brake Warning LightThe Brake Warning light will come on if the parking brake has not been fully released, but it may also come on if the brake fluid level is low or there has been a loss of hydraulic pressure in one of your car’s brake circuits. Loss of fluid or brake pressure means the brakes may not be able to stop your car when you step on the pedal.

Carefully apply the brakes to see if they are working. If they are, pull over to the side of the road, open the hood and check the fluid level in the brake master cylinder. If the fluid level is low, the brake system should be inspected for leaks. If there are leaks, your brake system is unsafe to drive.

If the brake pedal is low or goes to the floor, pumping the pedal may apply enough pressure to stop your car. If that fails, apply your parking brake to slow your vehicle. Also, take your foot off the accelerator and shift to neutral, or downshift and use engine braking to slow your vehicle if you have a manual transmission. If all that fails, aim for something soft like a bush or open field.

Possible Causes: Loss of brake fluid due to leaks (master cylinder, calipers, wheel cylinders, brake lines or hoses), failure of the pressure differential switch that activates the brake light, parking brake pedal or handle not fully releasing, defective parking brake switch.

WARNING: If the brake pedal feels soft, is low, goes to the floor, or you have to pump the pedal to get your vehicle to stop, your vehicle is unsafe to drive. You should have it towed to a repair facility for repairs.

LOW TIRE WARNING LIGHT

Tire Warning LightThe Low Tire Pressure Warning Light will come on if any tire on your vehicle is 25 percent or more underinflated. Driving on a low tire can be dangerous because it increases the risk of a tire blowout. A low tire can also cause uneven braking, uneven traction, uneven and rapid tire wear, increased rolling resistance and fuel consumption.

Find a petrol station with an air pump, and check the inflation pressure in each tire with an accurate gauge (not the gauge on the pump, which is often very inaccurate!). Add air as needed to inflate your tires to the recommended pressure (see your owners manual or the tire inflation decal in teh door jam or glove box). For most passenger cars, the recommended pressure is typically 32 to 34 PSI.

Possible Causes: Loss of air pressure due to a leak (such as a nail or small puncture in a tire, or a bad valve stem), loss of air pressure due to seepage (1 to 2 PSI per month loss is normal for many tires), or inaccurate or failing TPMS sensor in tire.

Checking your tires regularly (at least once a month or before any long road trip) is recommended. Check the tires when they are COLD and BEFORE you drive your vehicle as driving creates friction and heats up the tires (causing an increase in air pressure).

5 Tips For Extending Your Car’s Lifespan

Everyone has that one friend whose 1998 Honda Civic still runs like it’s brand new. But how do they do it? And how can you? By following these 5 tips, you’ll spend less on repairs, and get the longest life from your car.

1. Consistent oil changes

Infrequent oil changes are the number one cause of engine wear and tear, causing unnecessary friction within the engine. Most vehicles should get an oil change every 5000 to 8000 km, but every car is different. Check your owner’s manual to find your car’s schedule or shoot us a message in our chat and we’ll help you out.

2. Don’t ignore small problems

Every car will have signs of aging – your steering might feel off, or you may hear a noise when you turn on the AC. But these small issues can turn into expensive, major repairs if gone unchecked and can be avoided through regular inspections.

3. Monitor your air filter

Your car’s gas mileage and performance can be drastically reduced if not replaced when necessary. Although many mechanics “upsell” air filters, they can be important to replace when at the end of their lifespan, which is typically 30,000 to 50,000km. Air filters may last longer if you don’t drive on unpaved roads.

4. Keep your fluids topped up

Besides oil, your car uses transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant. Your car will perform worse, and can even be damaged, without proper fluids. Car Care Click mechanics can change each of these fluids for you, or even top them off while doing another repair.

5. Watch your tire pressure

Low tire pressure can adversely impact your gas mileage and handling. Recommended tire pressure can be found on the label inside your driver’s side door. Your tire pressure should be within 5 PSI of this measurement.

We’re certain that by implementing these tips, your vehicle will last longer. If you need any minor repair, oil change, or even a car won’t start inspection, you can book a Car Care Click mechanic.

DIY: How to check your Engine Oil Level

Did you know that most experts reckon you should check your engine oil at least once per month, when was the last time you checked yours? Engine oil is super important as it acts as a lubricant which prevents the different parts of the car damaging each other as they move around the engine. How to check your engine oil level in 4 simple steps:

  1. Turn off the engine – you’ll need to make sure that the engine is cool so you don’t burn yourself. Ensure that it has been off for at least 10 minutes and is cool before you check the oil. You’ll also need to make sure that your car is parked on a level surface.
  2. Locate the dipstick – pop open the bonnet, and look for the dipstick. The dipstick is a long rod which goes deep into your engine to check the oil level, and usually has a brightly coloured handle.
  3. Clean the dipstick – you’ll need to wipe any oil off the dipstick with a clean cloth or rag.
  4. Check the oil level – to do this put the dipstick back into the tube, and ensure the end reaches the bottom, then pull the dipstick back out again. There will be an upper and lower mark on the dipstick, the oil level should be between these two marks. If it’s below or on the lower mark, you’ll want to top up your oil.

Some cars have a digital oil check function in their cars and no longer use dip sticks. Different cars access the oil levels from the dash in different ways. If your car does not have a dip stick, check your car manual to see how this is done.  Want to see us take care of this for you? We’d be happy to help- you can book a minor service which ensures that your engine oil level is okay among many other checks