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Auto Electrical Car Tips

Car Warning Light Symbols | Complete Repair Guide

Our vehicles are equipped with warning lights to alert us of potential issues within the vehicle. These warning lights are a direct connection to the computer. When the computer detects an issue with one of the vehicle’s systems, it will illuminate the warning light, to prompt you to check it out for possible repair. Sometimes the issue may not exactly be what is illuminated, but may be a system connected to it. The computer mainly looks at the relays and sometimes, this is misread. This is why it is a good idea to have the vehicle diagnosed with a computer and an automotive electrician, so they can find the exact problem and then repair it.

All the warning lights are in the dashboard right in front of the driver. Here are different warning lights and what they represent:

  • ABS light – This signals there may be serious issues with the ABS and brakes, and this needs attention immediately.
  • Air bag light – This indicates there may be a malfunction with the air bag, it may not inflate properly or may engage without warning.
  • Battery / charge light – This indicates the battery does not have enough charge. It could be loose cable connections, or a low battery.
  • Brake light – could be an issue with the brakes such as pads wearing out or low.
  • Engine light – This may be different reasons from anything electrical to emissions, to a sensor. It is wise to have a diagnostics run if the engine light illuminates and then take care of the issue.
  • Coolant light – This is indicative of three possibilities, either the coolant level is low, or there is containments in the fluid, or a failed circuit which happens sometimes when a sensor is going out.
  • Door light – 99% of the time this means a door is ajar.
  • Fuel light – This means the fuel level is low. When this warning illuminates, it is time to go right then to fill up with fuel.
  • Oil light – This means there is either low oil pressure, low oil level or the oil sensor is on the fritz.
  • Park brake light – This means the parking brake is set.
  • Seat belt light – This means the driver or one of the passengers do not have their seat belt on.

Always pay attention to the warning lights in the vehicle dash. Have the issues at least looked at by someone like a qualified





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LED Car Lights | Vehicle Lighting | Super Bright LEDs

Light emitting diode or LED lights are excellent light sources for vehicles. LED lighting is more popular these days than in years past, because people are discovering how long lasting LED lights are. They may be a bit more expensive than regular light bulbs, but because they conserve energy, emit a brighter light, and last longer, it makes the investment in LED light bulbs worth the price. Now LED lights are used more and more on vehicles too because of their great energy saving and illumination properties. With LED lights, you get a brighter, longer lasting bulb from one that is much smaller than normal light bulbs.

LED lights are used in many different applications including vehicles for the brake lights, reverse lights, and the turn signals plus the driving lights, parking lights, headlights and the lights within the interior. These specialized lights make up part of the vehicle electrical system. When there is an issue with the lighting system, a qualified auto electrician should be who diagnoses and repairs them. Service providers like ACE Mechanics employ qualified auto electricians because they know how important it is for the vehicles on the road to day to have the most qualified people to work on them.

LED lights are composed of arsenide and aluminium. The materials are purposefully impure to help the semiconductor to conduct electricity from the free electrons of the impurities. Different kinds of impurities create different colours. These tiny lights punch more of a brightness, which makes them so appealing to the automotive industry, who tries to use less intrusive materials to make vehicles streamlined. LED lights last a long time; sometimes people will trade their vehicle before they ever have to replace the LED lights.

LED lights are also cool burning, so they are cased within plastic without worry of melting or catching the plastic on fire. The bulbs are heartier than regular bulbs making them perfect for use on vehicles. Even though the cost per bulb is higher than the price of fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, when you average out the amount of electricity they use plus the fact they rarely if ever burn out, you will see they are actually less expensive in the long run to use.

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LED Car Specialty Brake/Tail Light

The brakes lights are among the most important lights on the vehicle. Grant it, most of the lights are vital, but the brake lights serve as a warning to the drivers following behind you. If you do not have brake lights, the driver behind you may not know to slow their vehicle when you slow and stop and a rear-end collision may occur because of the absent of working lights. Not to mention, having no brake lights is illegal, that is all brake lights need to function properly to comply with roadworthy laws. Therefore, it is very vital to make sure the lights work right, no matter what. If you have an issue with the brake lights, you need to have them looked at as soon as possible by an auto electrician.

Newer cars have brake lights that connect to a circuit board. This keeps the bulbs working individually, so if one bulb goes out, then the others will continue working. The brake lights actually serve two purposes. One purpose is to illuminate when the lights are on, for night driving. This low intensity light shows that the car is in motion and the lights will be on in the front as well. When the brake pedal is applied, the brake light brightens in intensity, serving to alert the driver behind you; the car is slowing down or stopping.

Some vehicles have brake lights in the middle position (normally above in the rear window or on the rear spoiler). This brake light may be even brighter than the ones near the signal lights, and they serve to get more attention to vehicles behind. The third brake light comes on at the same time as the other two, so there are triple warning lights, which will help to get the other driver’s attention faster. Brake light bulbs need to be replaced as soon as they go out. There are several ways of checking for this.

Some vehicles now use LED lights which are usually smaller bulbs, generally last longer, and will save energy.  There are usually multiple LED lights used in conjunction and if one does not operate the others will still function.

The brake light may share a lens with the signal lights, and if this is the case, the bulb with two elements is the brake light bulb. Otherwise, the brake light is behind a red lens and the turn signal is behind a yellow lens or sometimes clear external lens. The third brake light, if there is one, is usually in the middle away from the signal lights. If there are any issues with brake lights, call on Canberra Auto Electrical to send out an auto electrician to help take care of the vehicle’s lights. They are experienced and capable of replacing brake lights as well as any of the lights on the vehicle or anything with the electrical system.

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How Electric Brakes Work

Electric brakes work off an electric motor that powers them. The system is backwards from a regular electrical motor. A regular motor works the shaft with electricity forcing it to turn.

The way an electric motor works is by the electricity moving through the wires in effort to move a centralized shaft by way of an attached magnet. The magnet helps the shaft to turn, giving it torque, when they turn off, the torque, or turning stops. If the magnet changes orientation, the magnetic fields of electric wires will work or not work according to the orientation. Unless you are an expert at how this works and you try to break into the system to repair it you may mess it up more. Only qualified electricians should attend to the inner workings of electrical motors.

The electric brake is a big part of the electrical system; it is not something you want to go out, if it ever did, always call a qualified auto electrician to repair it.

When the electricity stops flowing, the shaft that turns the wheels are forced to spin the opposite way. This is what helps the vehicle to brake. The faster the vehicle travels, the more revolutions goes with each minute, the more force it makes for braking with the vehicle. This actually helps to preserve brake pads, and because it produces electricity, it helps to build up the battery charge. Ironically the effectiveness of electric brakes goes down at slower speeds, because the magnet in the center is spinning at a slower speed. This is why it is important to have friction brakes to help vehicles completely stop when needed.

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Truths about Engine Oil Heating

Why do I need to heat the engine oil? We have an engine heater so I don’t need to heat the oil.

Heating an engine before use is great but it’s like only putting one shoe on! Only half the job is done! Sure any oil that is in the pan will get some heat transfer from the heated cooling system, but the oil inside a dry sump tank is still cold. What happens when you start the engine is that the oil pump tries to suck the cold oil from the tank into the engine. When oil is cold the viscosity is very thick. On a racing engine with tight clearances this could be catastrophic! It can cause bearing failure, valve train failure and excessive wear on the cylinder walls. Any failure will cost money! The thick viscosity of the cold oil may not allow it to flow through the tight orifices of an oil system meaning that the oil cannot lubricate the entire engine properly. Additionally, due to the high oil pump pressures it may get the oil to the top of the engine but when the oil tries to drain back unpressurised it takes an extended amount of time creating unwanted oil pooling in the cylinder head.

By heating the oil in the dry sump oil tank prior to engine starting will allow the oil pump to flow the oil throughout the engine as designed for optimum performance.

Should I only heat the oil at the start of the night?

Not always. Have you seen cars start a feature race and blow smoke for the first few laps? This can be caused by the oil losing temperature from the last race. The oil viscosity increases and is pumped to the top of the engine but is still too thick to drain back to the pan. All the oil is “stuck” at the top of the engine and finds a way to leak out the valve cover and drips onto the hot headers.

It is best to keep your oil warm throughout the nights racing. Oil heating all night is common in the Spring and Autumn months of the racing season but may be required in summer if the ambient temperature drops in the evening.

P1 Australia’s oil tank heat mats quickly allow you to heat the oil inside the dry sump tank to optimum temperature.

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How Does a Fuel Injector Work? Increase Your Gas Mileage.

Increase Your Gas Mileage.


It’s a good question and one that deserves an appropriate answer.

For those people who remember carburetors in older cars or who still use them, there is a fondness for the old-style engineering.

However, fuel injection has given us the means to increase fuel efficiency and meet the constantly changing standards issued by governments.

There were a variety of reasons for ending their use in modern automobiles.


How Does a Fuel Injector Work?

First, the carburetor was simply unable to keep up with the increased standards for fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.

Unfortunately, these new carburetors became too complex for many cars to use and eventually needed to be replaced. Fuel-injection had been used in some high-performance cars.

The single-point fuel injector was first used by automakers since it was easy to simply bolt into place where the carburetor would have been.

Although a great advancement, automakers soon realized the need for multi-point fuel injectors that would individually deliver fuel to each cylinder.

In doing so, the multiple injectors could more easily control the amount of fuel use while delivering that fuel as a fine vapor or mist. 

The oxygen sensor in the exhaust system monitors the amount of oxygen leaving the cylinders. It allows the car’s computer to adjust the richness of the fuel mixture.

The engine control unit (ECU) maintains control of the amount of fuel released by the fuel injectors. As you apply pressure to the accelerator pedal, an air throttle opens to allow air inside the engine. The ECU “sees” this opening and measures how much air enters the engine. Then, it uses this information to determine how much fuel to release through the injectors. A small electromagnet inside each injector causes a plunger to move. Opening the end of the injector to allow a small amount of fuel to enter the cylinder valve directly.

The amount of fuel needed determines how long the plunger remains open. Each cylinder has its own fuel injector and on occasion one or more injectors may need replacement as they age.

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What to do if your car has a flat battery? Common Reasons for a Flat Battery

A “flat battery” is one that has lost its electrical energy and has left you stranded in a parking lot or along the side of the road. There are many things that may contribute to this problem, but the seven most common are:

  1. The battery has reached the end of its useful life. 

    Most batteries will survive five or more years of service in the average car. There are few signs that the battery is about to fail until it suddenly does not start the car or the car stalls. Recharge may help, but replacement may be necessary.

  2. The battery is faulty or defective. 

    Some new batteries are defective due to a manufacturing error. Some brands of batteries are believed to have up to a 7% defective rate within the first year of usage.

  3. You have left the headlights on. 

    Although many cars have headlights that automatically turn off after a few minutes, there are still many on the road today that will not. Be certain your headlights are off as you walk away from your car.

  4. The interior lights did not turn off. 

    As with the headlights, many cars will automatically turn off the interior lights, even if a door is left ajar. Make sure the interior lights go off before walking away. It could save your battery.

  5. The electrical load on the battery is too great. 

    Usage of multiple electrical accessories while the car is parked and the engine is off could run down the battery. If you plan to park for awhile, leave the engine running or turn off high-drain electrical accessories such as interior lights and other devices.

  6. Temperature extremes can affect the life of your battery. 

    Whether the environment your car is operating in is very cold or hot, the ability of your battery to operate at maximum capacity can be affected. Lengthy exposure to temperature extremes will almost always have an effect on the longevity of any car battery.

  7. The alternator is not functioning. 

    This small device is found near the engine and charges the battery while the engine is running. Alternators will commonly last for several years, but at some point will fail. An indicator light on the dashboard of most cars can let a driver know when there is insufficient charge flowing back to the battery. Have your alternator and battery inspected immediately after the first signs of battery failure.
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