Latest News

COVID-19 Update

We hope you are staying safe, keeping well, and learning to navigate this new and unpredictable landscape as best you can.

Just a quick note to let you know that we will be continuing to operate as normal unless advised otherwise. We are business-as-usual after 48 years of trading in our local community and we are here to help. Our brilliant team is here to make your life as easy as possible so if you need something please just ask.

Although it’s business as usual, we’re taking extra precautions across all our workshops so you, our staff and our local community stay safe.

  • As much as we like and respect you, we’re avoiding the good old handshake and occasional hug until further notice!
  • We are operating a pick-up and drop-off service from your own home so you can remain safely isolated. If you are interested in this service, please reach out to us.
  • We can arrange a contactless key exchange before your service if you’d like, where you leave your keys in a safe, lockable area for us to collect and then we’ll let you know once we’ve collected the keys and your vehicle or caravan. We’ll return the keys and your vehicle to the collection point once complete.
  • We’re sanitising all touchpoints on all vehicles once we’ve completed work – door handles, steering wheels, bonnet latches, keys and all areas and surface that our techs have been working around for continued safety for all involved.
  • We’re maintaining social distancing at all times, between staff and customers. If you need to show us something in the car, we’ll be 1.5m away from you at a minimum, which as we all know can be difficult, but your safety is paramount.

We have also set up a drop off zone on our block at 100 Connaught street so any vehicle can be dropped off there with no physical contact with the team. Once the vehicle has been dropped off, call our office and we will have one of our friendly team members retrieve the work order and vehicle. When collecting your vehicle, we can offer the same service, with all transactions done electronically. Your service photos and invoices will be sent electronically. We have many clients working with us through video chat as they require it, to go through their work orders before picking up or drop off. If you’d like to communicate over video chat, let us know and we can provide you with the details.

We want to provide you with as much flexibility as possible during these uncertain times. That’s why all our invoices can be securely paid online with STRIPE Payment Services, at the push of a button. Our services can also be paid for with AfterPay or Zip Pay to make life a little easier during these hard times.

These are trying times for all. We hope these additional services will provide some relief and comfort for you. Please contact us if we can help you in any way.

Stay safe and best wishes from all of us at McArthur Industries.

Read more...

Top 10 Most Reliable Asian Car Brands

Buying a car is a sizable investment. Besides the upfront cost of the vehicle, you also need to factor in fuel and insurance. As well as maintenance, services, and repairs costs.

The last thing you want after handing over your hard earned money on a vehicle is to be stuck with a lemon.

Which is why it’s important to choose a car brand which is known for being reliable.

Consumer Reports’ Most Reliable Car Brands in 2019

Consumer Reports’ conducts an annual survey with its subscribers. To determine which car manufacturers are the most reliable. As well as which have the most problems. The results are based on 17 different potential problem areas. Data has been collected dating back to 2000 from over 500, 000 vehicles. The depth of the survey means the long-term results are reliable and trustworthy.

It’s no surprise that Asian manufacturers again dominated the list. 7 from the top 10 most reliable car manufacturers coming from Japan or South Korea.

Lexus led the way, with Audi, BMW, and Mini representing the European manufacturers in the top 10.

With Asian cars being voted reliable and durable year after year, let’s take a look at the 10 most reliable Asian car brands.

Which brand of vehicle is the most reliable?

Asian car manufacturers have a long history as being the most reliable vehicles on the market. Often taking out the top spots for the most reliable cars.

No surprise at the top of the list is Lexus, with Toyota taking out the second place. It means Lexus and Toyota have been the number 1 and 2 most reliable Asian car brands for seven straight years. This makes them hands down the most reliable car manufacturer not only in Asia but in the world.

Kia is the first brand represented outside of Japan. They are based in South Korea. Hyundai and Genesis also are South Korean brands on the list.

Surprisingly, right at the bottom of the list, the least reliable car brands were found to be Tesla, Cadillac and Volvo.

Top 10 Most Reliable Asian Car Brands in Australia

1. Lexus Manufactured in: Japan (Luxury vehicle division of Toyota)

Source: https://thenewswheel.com/behind-the-badge-origins-lexus-name-logo/

2. Toyota Manufactured in: Japan2. Toyota Manufactured in: Japan

Source: http://www.westernslopeauto.com/blog/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-toyota-logo/

3. Mazda Manufactured in: Japan3. Mazda Manufactured in: Japan

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/car-logos-2011-5

4. Subaru Manufactured in: Japan4. Subaru Manufactured in: Japan
5. Kia Manufactured in: South Korea
6. Infiniti Manufactured in: Japan (Luxury Vehicle division of Nissan)
7. Hyundai Manufactured in: South Korea
8. Genesis Manufactured in: South Korea (Luxury Vehicle Division of Hyundai)
9. Acura Manufactured in: Japan (Luxury Division of Honda)
10. Nissan Manufactured in: Japan

Cheapest Car Brands to Repair

Now that we’ve taken a look at the most reliable Asian car brand let’s also take a look at the least expensive brands to repair.

CarMD annually publishes the average repair cost for check engine problems.

The data is used by ranking in-use vehicles and brands. It is based on how frequently the check engine light problems occur. They also then check the average cost of repairs for each brand and vehicle. The price includes labour and parts.

The study was conducted in the US, and all prices have been converted to the AU$ equivalent.

Let’s take a look at the 2018 results for the cheapest Asian car brand repairs, with 5 Asian brands making the top 10.

Lowest average repair cost

Mazda came in well ahead of the second-placed Kia, being almost $50 cheaper.

  • Mazda US $286 (AU $403)
  • Kia US $320 (AU $451)
  • Hyundai US $328 (AU $463)
  • Honda US $427 (AU $602)
  • Toyota US $462 (AU $652)

The non-Asian brands rounding out the top 10 included Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Chevrolet and Volkswagen.

Asian Car With The Lowest Average Repair Cost

According to CarMD, the car with the lowest repair cost is the 2017 Hyundai Tucson.

Source: https://www.amazon.com/Hyundai-2017-Tucson/dp/B01FRM1TGE

The average cost of repair is just US $66.67 (AU$ 94). This means that if you do encounter any problems, they will usually be very cheap to fix.

Best Vehicles By Category

Let’s take a look at the vehicle in each category over the past year which had the fewest repair incidents. As well as the lowest average cost for repairs

Fewest Repair Incidents

Compact: 2016 Honda Civic

Source: https://www.cresthonda.com/used/Honda/2016-Honda-Civic-e89a73b20a0e0ae9234442412d530d3c.htm

Minivan: 2017 Toyota Sienna

Source: https://www.cars.com/research/toyota-sienna-2017/

Midsize: 2017 Honda Accord

Source: https://www.cars.com/research/honda-accord-2017/

Full-sized SUV: 2017 GMC Acadia (Non-Asian vehicle)

Wagon: 2017 Subaru Crosstrek

Source: https://wwwb.autotrader.ca/research/subaru/crosstrek/2017/

Ute: 2017 Ford F-150 (Non-Asian vehicle)

Lowest Average Cost For Repairs

Once again, Asian cars have dominated the best vehicles. With 9 from the top 12 vehicles being an Asian car brand. Only Utes and full-size SUVs had better vehicles in their category.

For compact, minivan, midsize vehicles Asian car brands provide the most reliable and affordable option. With the fewest repair incidents as well as the lowest average cost for repairs.

Which Asian car brand is the best?

Mazda seems to be one of the best Asian car brands for both reliability and repair cost. Kia is also another great option. It is the fifth most reliable option on the list. But it has the second cheapest average repair cost. Making it a good balance of reliable and affordable to maintain.

Toyota has manufactured the most reliable Asian car brands for 7 straight years with Lexus/Toyota. Its repair costs are significantly more expensive than Mazda. They cost on average 38% more to repair than Mazda.

Toyota is also the brand which is least likely to display a check engine light. It’s true that repair costs are higher. But, drivers are less likely to experience any problems which need any repairs.

Acura and Hyundai were the second and third Asian car brands least likely to have a check engine light.

Honda was just outside of the top 10 most reliable Asian car brands. But it also has rather expensive average repair costs. This makes it a brand which is not recommended for reliability and affordability.

Toyota represents the best value for price, reliability, maintenance, and affordability.

Who makes the most reliable cars?

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle, then choosing an Asian car brand is a smart choice. Manufacturers such as Toyota, Lexus, Mazda and Kia are consistently at the top of every survey result. Making them the best choice for reliability, and costs of repairs for over half a decade.

Is it time to service your Asian car brand? Looking for a reliable and affordable RACQ approved auto electrician? Sandgate Auto Electrics are here to help. Speak to our friendly team today for a free quote or to book a service. Call (07) 3269 3158 or contact us online.

 

Read more...
4x4 Mods

5 Things to Know About 4×4 Diesel Exhaust Systems

When it comes to 4×4 vehicles, we here at Sandgate Auto Electrics have seen it all. We have many clients who are curious about ways to upgrade and modify their vehicles to get the most out of them on the road while staving off any potential problems.

Standard 4×4 exhaust systems are often very restrictive to the performance of your vehicle. This is why we receive so many queries about upgrading; there is much to gain by installing a high-quality performance exhaust system. While increasing power, you will also experience greater fuel economy.

The main things people are looking for from their diesel exhaust systems are efficiency, increased torque and pulling power. You can delve a lot deeper into potential upgrades, however, so we decided to put together this piece based around the five things you should know about 4×4 diesel exhaust systems.

superiorengineering.com.au

1. It would help if you had a snorkel

As we all know, our 4×4 vehicles can be put through the wringer, so we need to do our best to take care of their components to ensure they survive whatever hell we are going to drag them through! One of the best things you can do for your engine is making sure there are no issues with air flow. Stale air can cause problems, especially if your 4×4 is a diesel.

Stale air leads to a build-up of residue from burnt fuel and oils, and this can result in engine problems while chewing up your fuel. To make sure this doesn’t become a problem, you need a snorkel. The snorkel helps clean air to flow into the engine and out of the car. A high-quality snorkel pulls the clean air from the roofline into the engine. To really ensure this process does the trick, an aftermarket large diameter exhaust will help get this air back out.

All of this means the engine doesn’t have to work as hard which leads to better fuel economy and longer engine life.

2. Noise doesn’t equal performance

There is this strange misconception that the louder your aftermarket exhaust is, the better it performs. This is not the case however, loud exhausts are just for show and in some case can actually be bad for your vehicle. Good quality exhaust systems don’t necessarily make things louder, rather change the tone of the sound that your exhaust makes.

The reason for this is the larger diameter of the exhaust system creating a deeper sound. When you combine one of these large exhausts with a high flow muffler and catalytic converters, you will be looking at a setup that provides optimal performance and better fuel economy, and when you are taking long trips across the country, this will be of far more benefit than something that sounds like a beast.

3. Size matters

Let’s say for example you were to increase the size of your diesel exhaust system to add 3” diameters from the turbo, right back to the end of the car, you would be avoiding unwanted turbo back pressure and improving the efficiency of your engine. When back pressure is decreased, you get higher power, reduced turbo lag, and improved fuel economy. You should also notice a lower exhaust gas temperature. You will likely notice the benefits of this most when the engine needs to work a lot harder, often while towing or driving up steep inclines.

Factory mufflers often limit pressure from the engine, something you will notice, or more specifically hear, when towing. The increased diameter of a good quality system removes this problem.

4x4africa.co.za

4. You can often DIY the installation (if you know a bit about it)

Most exhausts come with everything you need to install them, including such a catalytic converter, vortex muffler, and ceramic coated dump pipe. They will often use the factory mounts of your vehicle, but if you are slightly unsure, it’s best to let the professionals at Sandgate Auto Electrics handle the installation for you.

We must stress, while there is plenty of instruction on how to DIY an installation online, and all of the parts are given, there is still a level of expertise that is expected and if in any doubt, for your own safety, let the job be handled by a professional.

5. There will be different options for materials

Most exhausts are mandrel bent but price is often a good representation of quality, and if you are upgrading, you don’t want to install something that won’t perform. For example, mild steel, press-bent pipe is more cost-efficient for manufacturers to build than larger diameter mandrel bent stainless steel. You can’t go wrong with a quality Australian made system in one of the following options:

  • Full aluminised mild steel for predominantly bitumen driving.
  • Aluminised mild steel exhaust system for coastal trips.
  • Full grade stainless steel system for off-road and beach use and best for towing.

Stainless Steel provides longevity and corrosion prevention and is a great option considering the corrosive environments in which you will likely be driving.

Sandgate Auto Electrics are experts in diesel exhaust systems

The experts in diesel exhaust systems, or any other exhausts, are unquestionably the helpful staff at Sandgate Auto Electrics. We are 4×4 experts and have seen a range of makes and models come through our doors in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, South East Queensland and surrounding areas. We have after all been doing this since 1973!

A lot has changed in that time and we make it our mission to keep updated on the latest accessories and technological developments in the 4×4 world. We consider ourselves experts in a large range of vehicles and accessories including motorbikes, marine and RV’s and we can handle the most technical of diagnostics solving any problem small or large.

For repair, service or advice for any problem our facilities and equipment, are the highest standard around. Speak to us today about modifications, repairs, upgrades or anything else you may be considering for your 4×4. Let our knowledge and expertise be at your disposal and be well-prepared for whatever trek you are planning next!

Read more...

Car Exhaust System Parts Names, Performance & Sound

Car exhaust systems are an essential part and component of every modern automobile. Although few people have an understanding of the exhaust system parts which make up a system. Or exactly what their purpose is.

Exhaust systems are crucial for a vehicle to operate correctly. Beyond that, they can also be customised. You can upgrade the stock car exhaust system which came with your vehicle. What are the benefits of customising an exhaust? You can achieve greater performance, as well as specific exhaust sounds.

By the end of this guide, you will be confident with the components of car exhaust systems. As well as how to find the right parts for your needs, even if you know nothing about car exhaust systems.

Let’s take a look at the car exhaust system parts names, as well as how to improve performance and sound.

Car Exhaust System Parts

The car exhaust system is one of the most important parts of any vehicle on the road today. The exhaust system guides waste gases which come from the engine, away from passengers and interior of the vehicle.

The exhaust system has another important purpose. To control any pollutants from the vehicle from reaching the air.

The main car exhaust system parts names of most exhaust systems include:

Exhaust Manifold

Source: autoanything.com

Exhaust manifolds are situated on the vehicle’s engine. Their purpose is to collect any exhaust gases from the cylinders of the engine. Next, they direct these gases through the rest of the exhaust system. An exhaust manifold is crucial for making sure that no toxic gases can reach passengers inside the vehicle.

Oxygen Sensor

Source: amazon.com

Oxygen sensors can be found on both sides of a catalytic converter. They are used to measure how much oxygen is in the exhaust system. Once an oxygen sensor has the measurement, it then will increase or decrease the amount of fuel in the combustion process. By doing this, it allows for the best mixture of fuel to air.

Catalytic Converter

Source: amazon.com

A catalytic converter is located between the exhaust manifold and muffler. Its purpose is to turn harmful pollutants (such as nitrogen, unburned hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide) into less harmful pollutants (like carbon dioxide and water).

For any modern vehicles which had a catalytic converter factory fitted to their vehicle, it is required by law to have one at all times. A car will fail a roadworthy inspection without one.

Many vehicle owners had never heard of a catalytic converter. That is until there was a problem with a check engine light on the dashboard. Or their vehicle failed emissions or smog test.
So what exactly is a catalytic converter, and what does it do?

What is a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter works in the background of your exhaust system, without making a sound. Its purpose is eliminating any toxic gases or unburned fuel in the exhaust. It also prevents them from being sent out into the environment.

A catalytic converter is vital for reducing greenhouse gases and vehicle emissions.

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

Source: autoanything.com

A DPF functions to remove any soot or particulate matter from the exhaust gas of a Diesel engine. All diesel vehicles need a DPF to be installed to be able to meet modern emission requirements.

Car Exhaust Muffler

Source: carid.com

A muffler is also widely known as a silencer. It is situated near the end of an exhaust system. The function of a muffler is to reduce any noise which is caused by the fuel combustion process. It also guides the fumes outside of the exhaust system. This can be done by using perforated tubes. The tubes create different sound waves which cancel each other out.

Exhaust Pipes

Source: carid.com

Each component listed above has one thing in common. They are all linked together by exhaust pipes.

What is the purpose of exhaust pipes? It is to direct all the gas through the various parts of the car exhaust system. Then to finally guide it to exit from the tailpipes at the end.

Car Exhaust System Parts Names

It can often be confusing to know what they are, what they look like, and what they do.

Let’s take a look in detail at a comprehensive list of all the other exhaust system parts names which you may hear.

Headers

Source: holley.com

There are different headers available. To know which one is right for you:

  • Short headers with a small diameter produce more torque at low to mid-range engine speeds
  • Long tube headers with a set of large diameters will give you more power at higher RPMs (Revolutions per minute).

EGR Valve

Source: aa1car.com

An Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve is found in internal combustion engines. It is a nitrogen oxide emissions reduction technique. It is used for both petrol and Diesel engines.

The way an EGR valve works is to recirculate part of an engine’s exhaust gas and send it back into the engine cylinders.

Exhaust Resonator

Source: rvupgradestore.com

An exhaust resonator is another part of the car exhaust system. Its purpose is to ‘resonate’. What that means is that it acts as an echo chamber for the exhaust system of your vehicle. It prepares the loud noise which comes from the engine and allows the muffler to silence it.

But, an exhaust resonator doesn’t only reduce sound. It changes it.

Difference Between an Exhaust Resonator and a Muffler

While an exhaust resonator may look just like a smaller muffler, it has an entirely different purpose. Resonators are designed to be added to an exhaust system as an extra to tune the exhaust sound further. They are not intended to replace a muffler in your exhaust system. Adding a resonator helps to dampen the exhaust sound further. It also reduces the ’exhaust drone’.

An exhaust drone usually occurs when driving at high speeds. Some car exhaust systems have a background buzzing noise, which you can hear even inside the passenger compartment.

Being exposed to this buzzing sound can cause headaches for drivers. There are also other effects such as nausea.

Adding an exhaust resonator eliminates this dreadful buzzing noise. It also lets the driver focus on driving undistracted.

Exhaust Tips

Source: yonaka.com

At the end of the exhaust system, there is usually an exhaust pipe connected to the outlet of the silencer. But, you can also add exhaust tips separately. Not only do they improve your vehicle’s look and sound, but they may also increase performance.

Uppipe

Source: fastwrx.com

An uppipe is a pipe between the header and the turbo.

What does an uppipe do? It takes the exhaust gases from the engine to the turbo.

Downpipe

Source: cjponyparts.com

A downpipe is part of the exhaust system. It connects the catalytic converter to the turbo exit. Adding a downpipe can add between 10 to 20 horsepower. It may not seem like much, but it makes a noticeable difference in increasing performance.

A downpipe takes any unneeded exhaust gases through the rest of your exhaust system.

Uppipe Vs. Downpipe

Source: photobucket.com

In the above image, the red flow shows the flow from the engine cylinder exhaust manifold.

A downpipe would then be connected where the red arrow is at “Exhaust gas discharge”.

Test Pipe

Source: maperformance.com

A test pipe is a straight pipe with welded flanges. It is used to replace a catalytic converter directly. But, it doesn’t correctly filter emissions, and it won’t allow your vehicle to pass a roadworthy.

Using a test pipe instead of a catalytic converter may cause certain vehicles to run poorly also.

Exhaust Wrap

Source: ptpturboblankets.com

Exhaust wrap is used for your headers. It’s designed to do more than make them look good! It will also provide a reduction in exhaust temperature. Which results in more horsepower.

The wrap keeps the exhaust heat in the headers. Instead of letting it dissipate to other parts of the engine. This leads to improved engine efficiency and more horsepower.

Different Types Of Exhaust Systems

Technology continues to advance. With new kinds of vehicles being designed and developed each year. Exhaust systems also are improved and enhanced with each new vehicle.

There are now several different kinds of exhaust systems available.

Let’s take a look at each and the difference between them.

Single Exit Exhaust

Source: ebay.com

Features a single exhaust pipe. The pipe exits from the passenger side rear.

Purpose: For smaller vehicle engines which produce less gas and pressure.

Use: It’s inexpensive cost makes it best suited for small passenger vehicles.

Dual Side Exhaust

Source: silveradosierra.com

Two exhaust pipes side by side. They exit at the vehicle rear.

Purpose: Like a single exit exhaust system, except it has two pipes.

Use: Passenger vehicles who want to achieve a ‘sports car’ sound.

Dual Rear Exhaust

Source: exhaustnukumuka.blogspot.com

Two exhaust pipes which are separate. They exit one on either side of the vehicle rear.

Purpose: Two straight pipes which improve the amount of gases which are removed.

Use: Cars with a powerful engine. Also, people who want their engine to sound like it is powerful.

Opposite Dual Exhaust System

Source: helixsf.com

Two separate exhaust pipes. They exit out the back by bending around the rear tyres.

Purpose: By having a bent exhaust pipe, it allows for better filtering. The exit point also reduces the amount of build up.

Use: Primarily large vehicles, as well as trucks which are required to tow.

High-Performance Exhaust

Source: rippmods.com

Customised high-end aftermarket exhaust system.

Purpose: The system is custom designed and built. There are many factors such as the time, installer, and cost.

Use: Anyone who wants their vehicle to achieve maximum performance

With so many exhaust system styles to choose from, it’s important to understand the purpose and use of each one. You can then select the right exhaust system to suit your needs.

Best Car Exhaust System Brands

Right now there are more car exhaust systems available than ever before. It can be difficult to know where to start, or to find the right system for your needs.

Finding a great car exhaust system begins with looking for high-quality exhaust brands.

When it comes to performance parts for your exhaust, it’s the one area you don’t want to skimp on. You can’t cut corners when it comes to quality exhaust systems.

But how can you find the right brand for your vehicle? It depends on the type of performance you need, as well as your budget.

The brand you choose will likely make the biggest difference. Each brand has a distinct sound, quality, performance, and customer service experience.

Let’s take a look at the most popular and high-quality brand name car exhaust systems.

MagnaFlow

Source: magnaflow.com

MagnaFlow is one of the most popular and leading brands of exhausts and mufflers. They’ve been around for longer than most other companies. Magnaflow performance parts have a solid reputation for delivering more horsepower.

With the slogan “Quality. Power. Sound.”, MagnaFlow sure lives up to expectations. They stand behind their stainless steel exhaust systems and offer a lifetime warranty.

Each MagnaFlow system is Dyno tested and proven. This means you will get the most horsepower possible.

Flowmaster

Source: fourwheeler.com

Flowmaster is another leading brand of performance exhaust systems. They also offer exhaust kits and mufflers. As well as stainless steel mufflers, racing mufflers, tips, exhaust accessories and more.

Flowmaster exhaust systems and mufflers all feature a distinctive and classic ‘Flowmaster sound’. They are available in aggressive, moderate and mild tones depending on your taste.

Borla

Source: aftermarketnews.com

Borla are pioneers and industry leaders. Their design and manufacturing of stainless steel performance exhaust systems help set them apart.

It’s been over three decades since they began manufacturing exhaust systems, with high-end clients such as Ferrari and Rolls-Royce. Borla has now brought their high quality to the performance vehicles of today. They now make exhaust systems for off-road, street, and racing.

Corsa

Source: walmart.com

Corsa Performance uses advanced engineering and innovation. Which keeps them at the forefront of superior exhaust design. By utilising RSC technology, Corsa enhances the driving experience. They also deliver noticeable performance gains as well as powerful sound. All this without having to sacrifice a smooth cruising experience.

Corsa’s systems are the most advanced engineered car exhaust systems in the entire world. Every exhaust system has been carefully tailored. This means that it can deliver the specific needs for both vehicle and owner.

Cherry Bomb

Source: Cherry Bomb Facebook Page

Cherry Bomb first starting making mufflers over 45 years ago. After releasing the classic glasspack muffler, not even they realised how popular it would become. It’s still one of the most popular sound reduction products today. As well as a household name amongst any gear head.

The Glasspack range has now expanded to a few different products. But the classic sound remains the same.

Walker

Source: exhaustsystemsguide.com

Walker exhaust systems are the perfect system for the best emission control available. Walker has designed their systems to be as environmentally friendly as possible. They have a range of catalytic converters and mufflers available.

Their mufflers have sophisticated pipe routing. Utilising tuning technology they provide favourable OE-style sound and a better flow.

The all-aluminised construction offers a high-quality look, which lasts for a long time.

Change The Sound of Your Vehicle

One of the biggest benefits of adding an aftermarket exhaust is how it changes the sound of your vehicle.

A performance exhaust system can transform your vehicle into a booming, snarling machine.

Best of all, you no longer need to crank up the volume of your engine. By using a Flowmaster muffler, you can tame the resonance of your exhaust. The result is a more subtle, and controlled sound.

Even the more mild mufflers and exhaust systems have been well tuned. This lets them provide serious performance gains. You can now feel the power of your vehicle’s boosted horsepower – all without having to wake up your neighbours.

Sound Change Results

A performance exhaust system has many benefits besides a better sound. It also eliminates any restrictions. As well as provides better engine rummaging, and gives more space for the flow of waste gas.

That sounds great, but what does it mean for the performance of your vehicle? Let’s take a look.

  • A huge increase in power gains of up to 25 horsepower.
  • Aggressive and rumbling sounding exhaust.
  • A gain of up to 60 ft pounds of extra torque.
  • An improvement in fuel efficiency – usually a gain between 1-2%.

Adding performance headers offers even further benefits to your car exhaust system.

Getting That Sweet Exhaust Sound On A Budget

The quickest and easiest way to change the sound of your exhaust is by adding a new muffler. Adding a new custom exhaust system will help you to increase your vehicle’s performance. As well as give a great sound to your vehicle. But, if you’re on a budget, it’s also quite a bit more expensive.

Are you looking to achieve that deep roar sound you’ve been after? Well, the most cost-effective way to achieve it is by adding a new muffler.

You deserve a superb sounding car, without breaking the bank. It’s time to kick that stock muffler to the curb and upgrade today!

Best Performance Mufflers

Let’s take a look at some of the best performance mufflers currently on the market.

Flowmaster Super 44 Muffler

Source: holley.com

The Flowmaster Super 44 muffler brings a rich and powerful tone. It is a high performing, deep and most aggressive sounding muffler. It’s two chamber design enhances power and torque.

It is available in both 409S Stainless Steel and 16-gauge aluminised steel.

Using the advanced Delta Flow Technology design, the Super 44 muffler is fully MIG-welded. This allows it to provide the highest durability possible.

For a deep, aggressive, and high-performance exhaust note, the Super 44 can’t be beaten.

Flowmaster Super 10 Muffler

Source: holley.com

The Super 10 Muffler is the most aggressive muffler Flowmaster has ever built. It has an extremely aggressive interior and exterior. This means the sound is more suited to racing vehicles over street driven vehicles. The Super 10 series utilises the same Delta Flow performance technology used in the Super 40 series muffler.

Its compact size means it will easily fit anywhere. The Super 10 series is available in 409S Stainless Steel.

Thrush Turbo Muffler

Source: thrushexhaust.com

The Thrush Turbo muffler is another widely popular performance boosting muffler. Its Tri-Flow technology gives it that classic Thrush sound.

Thrush use 100% aluminised coated shell and aluminised construction. Which means it is long lasting, and for the ultimate flexibility, it is reversible.

Cherry Bomb Glasspack Muffler

Source: summitracing.com

The Cherry Bomb Glasspack muffler is the original high-performance straight-through design muffler. Its design maximises horsepower. It also provides the classic and iconic bark and rumble sounds which are sweet music to the ear.

Cherry Bomb uses distinctive red paint for their mufflers. Which makes it instantly recognisable amongst motorhead enthusiasts.

The Glasspack offers flexibility with installation. It has a reversible design and a compact round body size.

Car Exhaust Muffler: How To Get The Sound You Want

Trying to get the right sound out of your exhaust may seem like solving a great mystery. But, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. Ask yourself, what is your exhaust sound preference? Do you like a mild sound?  How about a moderate sound? Or do you want the most aggressive sounding exhaust you can get? Maybe you prefer a quiet exhaust with no sound?

Perhaps the sound comes down to what model vehicle you are driving and where. Wanting an aggressive tone is much more likely for that 1971 Ford XY Falcon you’ve lovingly restored. For your Toyota Corolla, you most likely want a more subtle tone while running errands with the kids.

Whatever harmonic tone you are seeking, or car you are driving, there is a muffler for your perfect sound.

Mufflers and sound enhancements are growing in popularity each year. Helping you to personalise your ride to suit your personality and lifestyle.

History of Mufflers

Mufflers aren’t some new great invention. The engine muffler was registered as a patent way back in the US in 1897.

The first mufflers in the early 1900s featured a ‘straight through’ design. This design is still widely used and popular today, over a hundred years later.

The first mufflers were effectively made of a pipe with holes. This was then wrapped in a substance like steel wool. Then the pipe passed through an outer shell.

The biggest change came to the design when companies stopped using steel wool. Instead, they switched to using fibreglass packing material.

While the name may imply so, a muffler doesn’t just focus on ‘muffling’ the exhaust sound. Let’s find out more.

What Does a Muffler Do?

There are three main types of mufflers to select from. A chambered muffler, a straight through muffler, also called a ‘Glasspack’. As well as the less common turbo muffler. Let’s look at the differences between them.

Chambered Muffler

Source: onallcylinders.com

With a chambered muffler, the engine generates sound waves. At the end of the exhaust stroke, they then enter the muffler. The sound waves bounce around the chambers of the muffler.

While this happens, they experience   which disrupts some of the sound waves. But, the sound waves which aren’t disrupted by friction than bounce off a chamber wall. This forms an exact opposite sound wave.

The two opposite sound waves then cancel each other out. This cancellation results in reducing vehicle noise even further.

Straight-Through Muffler

Source: amazon.com

The sound waves in a straight-through muffler pass through a straight pipe. This way the material surrounding the tubes absorbs some of the waves. These mufflers work very similarly to the first mufflers of the 1900s.

Turbo Style Muffler

Source: dynomax.com

A turbo style muffler is less common than a chambered or straight-through muffler. It works by forcing exhaust gases into an S-shaped pattern. The gases are then stripped away and deadened by the material of the muffler.

Each type of muffler has a different sound. Depending on the best one for you comes down to the kind of vehicle you drive. As well as your personal preference for sound.

As an example, glass packs are more commonly used with vintage muscle cars. Rather than on a Holden Commodore.

Chambered mufflers also have a distinct sound. This depends on how many chambers they have, as well as the chamber configuration. Both of these factors determine which sound waves are muted and which ones escape that  you can hear.

How Backpressure Affects Sound

Another factor you should consider when finding the right muffler and exhaust system is backpressure.

Each hole, twist and turn which the exhaust gases need to travel through in the muffler slows it down. It also restricts the migration of gas towards the tailpipe.

From this restriction, increased pressure occurs. The pressure then forces the engine to work harder to be able to get rid of the gas. This causes a reduction in power.

But, having less pressure means there will be more power. This means more sound too.

The best way to research is to listen to the different sounds from as many mufflers as possible. This will give you an idea of what you like.

A great place to start is with this sound testing video. It demonstrates 8 of the best Flowmaster mufflers. They range from mild to window shaking aggressive.

After you’ve chosen your favourite, you can always change the sound later if your tastes change. Or for peace of mind if you get too many noise complaints from the neighbours.

For more information about backpressure, this YouTube video explains it in more detail.

How To Get The Sound You Want

As muffler design continues to improve, you can now pick out exactly what sound you like, as well as how loud it is.

After the catalytic converters, there is a bolt-on exhaust system for modern vehicles. This makes installing a new exhaust system to match your particular car easier than ever.

A lot of manufacturers have started offering custom outlets. Meaning you can pick one which matches the exterior of your vehicle

Mufflers are one of the most popular options to tweak. But besides the muffler what else can you change? You can also upgrade headers, catalytic converters and tailpipes. Letting you achieve that exhaust sound which is music to your ears.

How To Buy The Best Exhaust System For Your Ride

With so many car exhaust system parts names to pick from, trying to find the right setup for your ride can be hard.

We understand! When making a decision, it’s important to consider the following factors.

Your Vehicle

Each make and model of vehicle and engine has different requirements. Just like every car exhaust system is tailored for specific applications. Be sure that the exhaust system you are set on, is best suited for your particular vehicle.

An approved and reliable auto electrician will be able to help you find the right setup for your vehicle.

Exhaust Sound

Each muffler and exhaust system has its own distinctive and unique sound. Whether you want to add a mild and pleasing rumble just a bit louder than the stock sound of your vehicle. Or go all the way to an aggressive growl, anything is possible.

No matter what sound you are after, there is an exhaust system or muffler to make that sound a reality!

Exhaust Style

Your exhaust system also lets you express yourself with a unique style. If you fancy a hot-rod inspired finish, then add a chrome exhaust tip. Or would you rather have double exhaust tips or a dual-exit Catback exhaust?

Your Budget

The most important thing, like with any auto accessory, is your budget. By defining your budget you can find a system to suit your needs. Whether you are looking for the best bang for your buck. Or a performance first exhaust system at any cost.

Are you looking to upgrade your vehicle with a performance exhaust system? Do you have any further questions? Sandgate Auto Electrics is an approved auto electrician & auto mechanic. We specialise in car exhaust systems. Our friendly team are standing by to help answer any questions or provide a free quote. Call (07) 3269 3158 or contact us online.

Read more...

Car exhaust system – Important things you need to know

A car exhaust system may seem highly complicated at first. After all, there is a lot more to it than just a tailpipe and muffler.

This guide takes you through the most important things you need to know about car exhaust systems and will give you expert knowledge by the end of it.

How Car Exhaust Systems Work

Each time your car runs, inside the engine there are thousands of small explosions happening. Each explosion produces power. It does this when it pushes against the pistons of the engine.

A side effect of the explosions is that, besides producing power, they produce leftover gas too.

The gas contains chemicals which are potentially dangerous. They include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons.

To stop the gases from entering the cabin and causing people to inhale them, they have to be directed away from the engine compartment. This is the primary function of a car exhaust system.

But modern vehicles have been designed for exhaust systems to do more. If exhaust gases go directly into the atmosphere, it causes them to affect more people. Not to mention, the non-stop engine explosions also produce noise pollution.

The car exhaust systems of today, have been designed to take care of all these problems.

For an in-depth demonstration of how a car exhaust system works, be sure to watch this YouTube video from Automotive Basics.

Functions of a Car Exhaust System

A car exhaust system has three essential functions. They include:

  • To direct all exhaust fumes from the engine to behind the vehicle
  • To reduce emissions by decreasing the number of toxic chemicals in the fumes
  • To reduce the noise caused by the explosions which occur during the fuel combustion process.

A car exhaust system consists of many chambers and pipes. It begins at the engine and goes all the way to the tailpipe at the back of the vehicle.

Most vehicles have four-cylinder engines with a single exhaust. High performance and ‘sporty’ cars like a V8 generally will have twin exhausts.

Car Exhaust System Parts

Most people assume a car exhaust system is only the length of the tailpipe. It’s an easy mistake to make, as this is the only part of the exhaust which is visible (the part right at the very end).

But actually, an exhaust system is made up of six different parts. The average length of an exhaust system is a large 3 meters.

Exhaust System Parts Names

The exhaust system parts names are as follows:

  1. Exhaust Manifold
  2. Oxygen Sensor
  3. Catalytic Converter
  4. Diesel Particulate Filter
  5. Exhaust Pipe
  6. Muffler

Each part has a very different purpose, and for an exhaust system to work correctly, all six parts must be functioning correctly.

Exhaust Components

Now that we know the exhaust system parts names let’s take a look at each exhaust component in more detail. As well as common problems associated with each part.

Exhaust Manifold

An exhaust manifold is critical. Its purpose is to get exhaust gases from the engine cylinders. Exhaust manifolds will correctly direct the gases throughout the rest of the exhaust system. It makes sure that that toxic gases from the exhaust do not go inside the vehicle and poison the driver and passengers.

What Is An Exhaust Manifold?

Exhaust manifolds are positioned on a vehicle’s engine, and for most vehicles, it is usually where the exhaust starts.  

It’s made of cast iron metal and used to connect the engine with the other parts of the exhaust system.

The manifold has individual tubes on one side. The tubes connect to each engine cylinder. They then merge into the exhaust manifold and come out the other side as a single tube.

Did you know that engines have intake manifolds too? But they go the other way. From the engine, there is a single starting point for fresh air. This is then split into each separate tube. Then the tubes will split off the manifold. They then take air to each cylinder individually for combustion.

Oxygen Sensor

Oxygen sensors are typically positioned on either side of the catalytic converter. They measure how much oxygen is in the exhaust system, and in the waste gases. Ideally, there would be none.

 

What Does An Oxygen Sensor Do?

An oxygen sensor helps to fine-tune the intake process and is often located in the exhaust manifold.

 

Based on the oxygen levels, a sensor then either adds or reduces fuel in the combustion process. This allows the exhaust to have the right fuel to air mixture.

 

The engine should use the exact amount of oxygen required to burn the fuel completely. This would mean that no oxygen or fuel would be leftover.

 

The Engine Control Unit (ECU) of a modern fuel-injected car, analyses the exhaust sensor oxygen reading. Then the ECU can help make sure that the best mix of air to fuel is in the engine cylinder. It does this by changing the amount of fuel being injected.

Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters are found between the silencer and the manifold. Their role is converting pollutants found in exhaust flames into pollutants which are less harmful to both people and the environment.

If your vehicle originally had a catalytic converter fitted, then it is required by law to have one. If it is removed, your car will fail a roadworthy inspection. All modern cars have a catalytic converter.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

Car manufacturers are now required by law since 1986 to fit all new passenger vehicles with a catalytic converter. But what exactly is a catalytic converter?

It transforms exhaust gases which may be harmful into environmentally friendly elements. In simple terms, it gets rid of anything nasty from the exhaust gas.

The catalytic converter turns the pollutants from exhaust gases into nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide. Its purpose is to make sure that whatever comes out of the exhaust pipe won’t harm the environment.

This is a crucial part of the car exhaust system, and it helps to reduce pollution.

Diesel Particulate Filter

Diesel Particulate Filter is often referred to as DPF. For Diesel engines, it removes soot or particulate matter. To meet emission standards, all diesel vehicles are required to have a DPF fitted.

Muffler

A muffler is also known as a silencer, and it is located near the rear of an exhaust system. A muffler reduces any noise which comes from the fuel combustion process, as well as fumes from the exhaust system.

The way it does this is by using perforated tubes. They create opposing sound waves, and the sound waves cancel each other out.

What Does a Car Exhaust Muffler Do?

There are more things than waste gases which pass through your exhaust system. Sound waves also do. Excessive noise from the exhaust isn’t only an annoyance to your neighbours. They are also a public health issue and have been linked to causing major heart problems.

Mufflers use a few different strategies to reduce noise. Mufflers direct sound waves through chambers or tubes which are inside the muffler. This leads to most of the sound waves cancelling each other out. It’s also possible that inside the muffler, there are materials which help to absorb sound.

A muffler is also known as a silencer, and it is located near the rear of an exhaust system. A muffler reduces any noise which comes from the fuel combustion process, as well as fumes from the exhaust system.

The way it does this is by using perforated tubes. They create opposing sound waves, and the sound waves cancel each other out.

What Does a Car Exhaust Muffler Do?

There are more things than waste gases which pass through your exhaust system. Sound waves also do. Excessive noise from the exhaust isn’t only an annoyance to your neighbours. They are also a public health issue and have been linked to causing major heart problems.

Mufflers use a few different strategies to reduce noise. Mufflers direct sound waves through chambers or tubes which are inside the muffler. This leads to most of the sound waves cancelling each other out. It’s also possible that inside the muffler, there are materials which help to absorb sound.

Exhaust Pipes

Each of the exhaust components mentioned above have one thing in common. They are linked by exhaust pipes. The function is to direct gas through all the parts of the car exhaust system, before the gas exits from the tailpipes at the end of the exhaust.

What Is An Exhaust Resonator?

There are some mufflers which have been designed to tune the engine to sound a certain way, much to the appeal of their drivers.  A famous example is the in-your-face roar of a V8 engine. Its distinct sound comes from the design of the muffler.

Some cars also have separate exhaust resonators, to take exhaust noise to the next level. These resonators are in the exhaust system, toward the front of the muffler.

Keep in mind that an exhaust resonator isn’t designed to reduce the volume of the exhaust. Instead, it cancels out and removes any ‘annoying’ frequencies, while keeping the ‘good’ ones for drivers to enjoy at full volume.

What Are Exhaust Tips?

Exhaust tips are hardware which is at the end of the exhaust system. It is connected to the muffler’s outlet. Usually, it is a straight pipe for many cars. It’s also possible to add separate exhaust tips. They will improve the sound, look and even the performance of your car.

What Is A Dual Exhaust?

Now that we’ve covered exhaust tips, what is the difference between them and dual exhaust?  Many ‘sporty’ vehicles have dual exhaust tips. They are part of a single exhaust system.

The extra tips only provide a benefit between the short distance of the actual exhaust outlets and the muffler.

But, what about a dual exhaust system? Instead of one exhaust system, it will have two independent exhaust systems.

In a standard V8 or V6 dual exhaust system, each bank of cylinders will have its own exhaust system. This leads to the engine not having to push gases from all eight or six cylinders through one exhaust pipe and into a single muffler.

Because of this, the engine wastes less power. Which means there is more power available to increase performance.

What Is A Cat-Back Exhaust?

‘Cat-Back Exhaust’ is a term regularly used by car-loving enthusiasts. But what exactly does it mean? It’s not used to describe a particular type of exhaust system, but more to refer to where you are making changes in your system.

A cat-back exhaust means that all the parts of the exhaust system behind your catalytic converter have been upgraded. In other words, from the ‘cat’ back.

What Are Headers?

Headers are an alternative to a ‘traditional’ exhaust manifold. Something which hot-rod enthusiasts are likely familiar with. Headers will also collect any exhaust gases from each cylinder, into one tube. But, tubes for headers are a lot longer than they would be for an exhaust manifest. This increases performance by reducing the pressure needed to force any exhaust gas through the system.

Is a Turbocharger Part of the Exhaust System?

The simple answer is ‘kind of.’ A turbocharger can be thought of as a single fan.This fan has a dual set of blades. The blades are like two small wheels, which are separated by an extremely short axle.

One of the sets of blades is combined into the flow of exhaust gas which comes from the engine. These blades spin faster as the exhaust gas increases.

As the set of blades is connected to the other set of fan blades, it causes them to spin as well. But, the second set of fan blades forms part of the intake system, which sucks in more fresh air. This allows the engine cylinders to create more power.

Benefits of a Healthy Exhaust System

Having a healthy exhaust system provides many benefits, such as:

  • To maintain energy performance and fuel efficiency
  • helps to keep the engine noise at a minimum
  • Turns any dangerous chemicals from exhaust fumes into non-harmful ones.

 

Car Exhaust System Diagram

A car exhaust system goes well beyond just a muffler and a tailpipe. It is instead a very complex system, which almost runs the length of your vehicle.

The following diagram shows how a typical car exhaust system looks.  

Picture Of Car Exhaust System

 

This picture shows where each car exhaust system parts name is underneath a vehicle.

Common Problems with the Exhaust System

The exhaust system is bound to run into some common problems over time.

You can usually tell if there is a problem with your exhaust system, as there are some clear warning signs which include:

  • The exhaust drags on the ground or rattles
  • There are louder than usual exhaust sounds
  • There is an unusual smell coming from the exhaust

Rust Damage

The most frequent way an exhaust is damaged or has wear and tear is due to rust, which can cause many different problems. If the rust problem is severe, it may even lead to structural damage or cause a complete exhaust failure.

In the most extreme cases, an exhaust pipe can be so damaged or corroded that it will come loose, and drag on the road as you drive.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should take your vehicle to the closest auto mechanic ASAP. If your vehicle is not safe to drive, then call the RACQ for roadside assistance.

Be careful not to inhale any fumes from the exhaust, as these may be highly toxic.

Rattling

What about if you hear a rattling sound under your vehicle?  This usually means that there is something which has come loose. Generally, it is a bracket, piece of the exhaust pipe, or a heat shield.

If this is the case, then you should have your exhaust system serviced ASAP. Missing brackets or loose exhaust parts can end up damaging other more expensive pieces by adding extra stress to the structure of the exhaust system.

To DIY fix this kind of damage, there is a variety of exhaust mounting kits available.

Exhaust Fact: Going on many short journeys in your vehicle can lead to accelerated exhaust erosion. After you go on a short drive, the water vapour cools. Then it turns back into a liquid. This causes a higher chance than usual of rust formation in your exhaust.

Exhaust Manifold Common Problems

Exhaust manifolds are easily prone to damage from a few different ways.

  • Firstly, exposure to cycles of extreme pressure, and heat. This leads to the exhaust manifold being so worn out, that it can no longer withstand the heat. When this happens, cracks start to form on the manifold. Over time, these cracks can then turn into small holes which is enough to cause a total failure.
  • Secondly, the exhaust system hangers or mountings may break. This leads to the exhaust manifold experiencing extra pressure, which it has not been designed to withhold.

Oxygen Sensor Common Problems

Over time, as oxygen sensors become worn, they will give less accurate measurements.

Luckily, any modern vehicle has an alert on the dashboard to notify you anytime a sensor malfunctions.

It’s wise to replace faulty oxygen sensors as soon as you notice a problem. They are vital for fuel economy, and if not working correctly, can lead to a considerable amount of money due to extra petrol costs.

Catalytic Converter Common Problems

Catalytic converters can become choked or blocked. You will be able to tell if your catalytic converter is blocked due to the following:

– a noticeable lack of power with your car

– noticing heat from the floor of your car

– a sulphur smell (commonly likened to the smell of rotten eggs).

 

Diesel Particulate Filter Common Problems

Over time, DPF’s can become clogged. In severe cases, they may need replacing. DPF’s go through a regeneration process. This tries to clear out any soot. But, for the process to be successful, it requires specific driving conditions. If conditions aren’t ideal, then there is a possibility it may become clogged beyond what the engine management can clean, although this is rare.

The most common cause of clogged DPF problems is by driving a diesel vehicle a short distance without the engine having time to heat up properly. To stop this, additives can be added to your fuel.

Otherwise, you can take your vehicle for a long drive on a freeway. You will need to hold the engine at a higher RPM than usual (by using a lower gear than you usually would, while still driving at the speed limit).

Doing this can help for the DPF to begin the cleaning and regeneration cycle.

What if the DPF is already blocked?

Then you can use Diesel Particulate Filter Cleaner. Add the contents of an entire bottle to a full tank of diesel. The formula is highly concentrated and effective. It has been designed to be used when your vehicle’s dashboard displays the amber DPF warning light.

Muffler Common Problems

The vehicle will sound louder or noticeably different if the silencer is damaged. You can work out if the muffler is damaged by inspecting it. Does it have holes or rust? If you find any rust, it may mean there is a bigger problem within the muffler.

Be careful you don’t touch the exhaust pipe while it is still hot. Let it cool down first.

Exhaust Pipes Common Problems:

Rust is the main problem for exhaust pipes, which can lead to erosion or exhaust damage. The linked exhaust pipes can become very rusted, that leads to small holes forming.

Car Exhaust System Repair

If you are looking for the loudest car exhaust system for your car, there are many different options to consider.

As you come cruising around the corner, that unmistakable rumbling tone sings it’s sweet song.

If you want the loudest car exhaust system, there are four different things you can do to make it louder.

The first thing which affects an exhaust is the engine and its size. The greater the volume of the engine, the greater the exhaust output will be.

Although, you probably don’t want to replace your engine to make your exhaust louder. Let’s take a look at the other options.

They are:

  • Muffler type and construction
  • Exhaust system piping
  • Exhaust-tip style

By directly altering or replacing any of the above, it will affect the sound of your exhaust, and lead to the loudest car exhaust system for your vehicle.

For best results, and the loudest car exhaust system, it’s recommended to buy an exhaust kit.

Exhaust Kits

Are you are looking for an exhaust kit for your car? Here are the industry leading performance exhaust system kits.

Flowmaster Exhaust Systems

Flowmasters bring the noise! Each kit is vehicle specific and specially designed to fit the year, make and model of your car to deliver the best performance.

There are five different exhaust kit systems – designed to fit your choice of sound. The kits range from mild, moderate, aggressive through to very aggressive tones.

The Flowmaster kits are available in either aluminised or Stainless Steel construction.

Choose from the following:

  • Outlaw Series – the most aggressive and race-oriented system
  • American Thunder – chambered muffler system with an aggressive tone
  • Flow by Flowmaster – straight-through muffler system with an aggressive tone
  • dbX Series – the best choice for Sports Compact, Euro and Import cars
  • Force II – features a mild chambered muffled tone

Flowmaster’s kits are U-Fit, meaning they have been designed for both professional installers and DIY builders alike.

The kits are designed to work with Flowmaster mufflers, and the universal pipes work with any application

Visit Flowmasters for more information.

Other recommended brands include:

Magnaflow Exhaust Systems

Magnaflow exhaust systems deliver the sound you want, as well as all the power you need. Featuring quality construction, as well as an exact fit for your make and model car. If you want an exhaust system which boosts horsepower and mileage, then Magnaflow is the choice for you.

For more information, visit the Magnaflow website.

Borla Exhaust Systems

Borla provides a sparkling stainless steel performance exhaust system. Highly efficient, without a restrictive design allows it to improve sound, and increase the horsepower and torque. Borla is perfect for quicker acceleration, allowing you to reach max speeds in no time.

For more information visits the Borla website.

Performance Exhaust

Do you want to add a performance exhaust to your car? Great, but before you do any modifications, you should first call your insurance company.

Make sure that they update your policy to note a modified exhaust. Otherwise, if the unfortunate were to happen, and you were in an accident, your insurer could reject your claim due to a modification.

Also, some modifications to a standard exhaust may be illegal for some vehicles or in some states and attract hefty fines. So it’s best to check before you hand over your hard earned cash on the muffler, or pipes of your dreams.

Generally, a “sports” system will be much noisier than a standard exhaust. Will you be driving it in a built-up residential area? This may draw complaints from neighbours.

If you find yourself driving a lot on unsealed roads, then a modification which is highly recommended is a skid plate. It is either welded or attached by a U-bolt clamp to the bottom of the car exhaust muffler. This goes a long way to preventing any damage to the front and bottom of the exhaust.

Add Extra Power

If you are looking to boost the performance of your car, the best place to start is the car exhaust system.

By adding extractors, you can boost the power of your engine, without breaking the bank. You’ll be surprised at the difference they make.

There are extractors available for many different vehicles.

Besides extra power, they also offer the following benefits:

  • Provide increased towing power
  • Makes your engine run cooler
  • Provides improved fuel economy

Car Exhaust Systems Regular Checks

Not everyone is aware that car exhaust systems need regular checks to identify if there are any problems.

Luckily, it’s very easy to be able to tell when your exhaust needs to be repaired.

It will make a louder noise than what you are used to. That’s it!

But, you should be aware that warning signs of a worn or damaged exhaust system are not always so clear.

It’s strongly suggested to regularly have your car’s exhaust system checked by an expert. That way, any problems can be detected and fixed before it gets to the stage of a rumbling exhaust.

Not only does a problem with your exhaust affect the performance of your car. But, it also leads to poor fuel efficiency, meaning you will pay more in the long run if it goes undetected than having it regularly serviced.

Do you have any further questions about car exhaust systems? Are you looking for a new car exhaust system, or need an exhaust service or repair?  

 

Sandgate Auto Electrics are an RACQ approved auto electrician & auto mechanic you can trust. Contact our friendly support team today for a free quote on (07) 3269 3158 or contact us online.

Read more...
Car exhaust

10 Reasons to Check out the Cat Back Exhaust Systems

Deciding to purchase a performance exhaust system for your car is no easy task. There are loads of options, all offering different benefits, and the amount of research you do can quickly turn to frustration when you realise the minuscule differences between the many options.

 

Luckily, the team at Sandgate Auto Electrics understand these systems and their differences very well, and that is why our clients look to us for knowledge and expertise that can save them many hours on internet forums.  

 

In this article, we are going to focus on cat back exhaust systems, and the main ten reasons that we have discovered as to why they are worth a look. If we know our car lovers, finding the right exhaust system for a car or truck is about getting more power without spending a fortune, and cat back exhaust systems tick a lot of boxes.

 

When it comes to a new exhaust system, there are usually two reasons you may be considering the change – sound, and performance. Most car lovers associate the sound of a car with its exhaust, so it makes sense you may want to tweak this a little! Considering the different classifications of exhaust systems and how far they extend to the front of your vehicle, cat back exhaust systems start just behind the catalytic converter (it’s how they got their name)

 

They are the popular choice when it comes to aftermarket exhaust systems as they offer reliable performance and sound without having to buy a new catalytic converter. They are also well-suited to those who like to handle their own installation! Let’s look at the top ten reasons why a cat back exhaust system may be right for you.

Reason 1: They look great

The cat back is the section of the exhaust that runs from the outlet of the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. Exhaust systems that include this often feature a large pipe running from the converter to the muffler, with mandrel-bent turns and glasspacks for reduced back pressure.

 

All of the design elements are more for show than functionality, with the system tuned in such a way that the lower sounds are more prevalent than in other exhausts, which is immediately one of the noticeable differences.

Reason 2: Increased power

The design of these systems often sees an increase in horsepower compared to the factory design of a vehicle. Why? Because stock models try to minimise materials and maximise space, with horsepower as a lower priority. This is why stock exhaust systems are relatively ineffective. Aftermarket custom cat back exhaust systems increase the efficiency of an exhaust system because of the mandrel-bent turns and reduction in back pressure.

Reason 3: Easy installation

You will be able to find a cat back exhaust system for just about every make and model of a vehicle, and they are easy to install, making them great for people who love a bit of DIY.

 

They directly bolt on to where the original exhaust sits and do not require any further modification. Cat back exhaust systems come with exhaust pipes, muffler and exhaust tips, so you have everything you need to replace the exhaust.

Reason 4: Price

Cat back exhaust systems are a great way to enhance the performance and look of your vehicle without having to take out a small loan. An average exhaust will start at around $300 and can go up to anywhere around $3000.

 

The difference in price is often due to the materials used (which we will discuss in detail a little bit later) as well as the level of customisation you opt for (also touched on further down). The main point here is, they don’t have to break the bank.

Reason 5: Wider pipes are better for your vehicle

The wider pipes of a cat back exhaust system mean that your vehicle is able to breathe better. It is important to note, however, that going too large may cause a dip in performance when gases pile up and exit the system slower resulting in torque, rpm, and horsepower loss.

 

Once you know which system is the best match for your year, make and model you can assess the maximum pipe diameter which will maximise the performance for your particular engine. The team at Sandgate Auto Electrics can easily get you this information once you let us know your vehicle details.

Reason 6: Choose your muffler

There is a range of muffler types you can choose from with a cat back exhaust system with most people opting for a glasspack or straight-through muffler. Both of these options are designed to work well within the system to reduce back pressure.

 

 The difference, besides looks, is sound output, for example:

  1. A straight-through or flow-through, muffler features perforated baffles with packing material that absorbs a significant amount of sound while still providing a loud output
  2. Glasspack mufflers are like resonators and do not have any sound-absorbing packing material resulting in a louder and higher pitched noise

Reason 7: Save on fuel

Depending on your make and model, cat back exhaust systems can lead to an increase in fuel economy. The engine doesn’t have to work as hard pushing exhaust gases through the piping which reduces its load and leads to higher efficiency and MPG.

 

It is important to note that the fuel saving will be more noticeable when traveling at freeway speeds than city driving, but if you spend a lot of your day on the road, you’ll likely notice the difference.

Reason 8: You’ll be a lot louder

Your neighbours may disagree that this is a benefit, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, and depending on your muffler choice, your vehicle will have a lot more grunt. This may well be the area you need to do the most research into and the sound quality, and type, can range drastically per system.

Reason 9: Choose your steel

When it comes to picking a cat back exhaust system, you will likely be choosing between stainless or aluminized steel. The majority of the performance systems are made from stainless steel which is favoured as they won’t oxidize and corrode over time like traditional steel can.

 

If you are looking to save a little money but still get most of the benefits of a cat back exhaust system, however, aluminized steel may be the way to go. Made from traditional steel that’s been coated on all sides with aluminum-silicon alloy, these systems are very strong thanks to the metallurgical bond which still provides a level of corrosion resistance. While the aluminum coating reflects heat well, the steel can corrode if the aluminum layer is chipped or scraped off. Most cat-back systems will come in either an aluminized or stainless steel version.

Reason 10: Split and custom designs

If you are looking for something a little more unique, you can opt for a split rear or custom cat back exhaust system design. The split models feature an exhaust pipe that, as the name suggests, splits into two side-by-side pipes at the end, often with polished muffler and exhaust tips to really make a visual impact.

 

It should be noted that a split system will often provide an aggressive noise increase, and some designs will split the two pipes to opposite sides of the vehicle.

 

Custom setups, especially for vehicles that do a lot of off-roading are also available. If you have modified your 4×4 with lifted, lowered, or air type suspension systems, you can opt for a specially designed cat-back system with more pipe curvature before the rear axle. This is necessary for off-roading as it allows a higher degree of wheel travel and greater clearance for reduced-height springs and airbag suspensions. The custom exhaust systems available let you pick from a selection of pipework that allows you to adjust the exhaust to suit your noise preference.

Speak to Sandgate Auto Electrics about a cat back exhaust system today!

If the above ten reasons to consider a cat back exhaust system have you thinking it may be right for your car then Sandgate Auto Electrics are the people to call.

 

The team at Sandgate Auto Electrics are well-versed in all things automotive which has led to them becoming the go-to for car lovers in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, South East Queensland. As a family owned and run company, who are local residents themselves, we have gotten to know their loyal clientele and love helping them with the repairs and modifications.

 

From their humble beginnings to becoming one of the most well-known companies in Brisbane and Australia we are experts in the fast developing future of new age vehicles and accessories.

 

From motorbikes to marine to RVís to the most technical of diagnostics, the team at Sandgate Auto Electrics & Air Conditioning have the technicians to solve any problem small or large. Speak to the team today about cat back exhaust systems, or any other vehicle considerations you may be pondering, and let us guide you to the vehicle of your dreams!

Read more...

Why Redback Exhaust Systems Are a Hot Product?

In 2012, the Redback Extreme Duty Project set out to improve the durability of the bolt-on 4WD exhaust system. The result is the Redback Exhaust System, a re-engineering of the original system which takes into account aftermarket accessories like long range fuel tanks, side steps, and other accessories. By installing these accessories before development, fitment issues have become a thing of the past.

 

When choosing a new muffler, the sound of high performance can vary, but the ideal muffler will offer the right noise to back up your vehicle’s performance and appearance. The muffler is all about noise reduction, and once internal combustion takes place, the engine expels exhaust gasses in the form of high-pressure pulses that create powerful sound waves. How much of the sound you, and your neighbours hear is up to you and your chosen muffler.

red back exhaust

The pros of a Redback Exhaust System

The Redback Exhaust System uses 10mm-thick, four-bolt flange plates with tube-to-tube connections, so you have the most robust system and low-risk of gasket failure.

The system also includes straight-through performance mufflers that feature an internally reinforced bulkhead meaning that no matter how intense your off-road journey gets, the system can handle it.  

The muffler has a pressed tube support bracket on the body through to the pipework which strengthens the weld points making them near unbreakable, thanks to the doubled-wrapped hanger mount. The goal here, which the Redback Exhaust System achieves, is something more stringent than any terrain your 4WD can handle.

redback exhaust system

The oxygen sensor

Redback Exhaust Systems feature an oxygen sensor and an NPT bung making the installation of tuning equipment and an EGT probe much simpler and more effective. A comprehensive installation kit comes with every system and includes:

  • OEM gaskets
  • Rubber isolators
  • Custom Australian-made gaskets
  • German-made Wurth hardware
  • A service kit
  • A stainless 304 exhaust tip

You also have kit options of Pipe Only, First Flange Back, Muffler Only or Cat/Muffler, all modular meaning that bolt-on part replacement is no issue.  

The main features

  • Modular components: Interchangeable muffler components along with the choice between the straight, pipe, round resonator or large muffler, all of which can be swapped after the exhaust has been fitted with ease.

The options are:

  1. Turbo back with large muffler best for highway driving

           Back Pressure: 4kPa  Noise Level: 87dB

 

     2. Turbo back no muffler best for shorter trips with no towing

          Back Pressure: 4kPa  Noise Level: 97dB

  • 4 bolt/10mm flanges: the 10mm thick, 4-bolt laser cut flange plate with a though-pipe connection between joins to prevent leakage

  • Internal bulkhead mufflers: A heavy duty muffler reinforced with custom tooling, pressed tube support brackets and internal muffler body bulkheads to prevent damage from external elements

  • Redback hangers and brackets: Double Wrapped Hangers are custom tooled and modeled on O.E specs to provide strength and support

  • Mandrel bent tube: Australian made, mandrel bent aluminised steel which is thick, strong and durable

  • Fitting Kit: A comprehensive fitting kit, custom tooled, reinforced fire ringed gaskets available when you register your purchase
car exhaust

Exhaust system options

When purchasing an exhaust system it is essential to know there are more options than just loud and less loud. Buying a custom system is best decided by size, not only of the exhaust system but of your vehicle, engines and performance needs.

Before purchasing a new system, familiarise yourself with the following elements of muffler design and their purpose:

Megaflow

The megaflow design provides maximum flow while absorbing a significant amount of sound. Therefore classed as an absorption muffler, they are best for high-performance applications. The void within the muffler is glass-packed with a fibreglass material to soak up the sound creating a minimal impact on exhaust gas flow, increasing the performance of your vehicle. So if you have a high-performance vehicle, this system offers the best flow for the most power with a small amount of noise.

Chambered

Chambered mufflers are designed to maintain gas flow with a deflection method that means the sound is deflected against itself, cancelling itself out. The sound waves collide with each other, but also create a deeper exhaust note due to less packing inside the muffler. This makes the chambered muffler better for everyday performance with a mid-range compromise between sound and performance.

Triple Flow

Also known as Tri-Flow or Turbo flow, this design reduces the noise of the exhaust system, while also restricting exhaust gas flow. This design creates a greater distance between the sound waves meaning it will be much quieter than other muffler options and is most common in standard vehicles.

Resonators

This design uses the absorption method but can add additional sound control depending on where it is placed on your vehicle. If for example, your vehicle is too loud, the resonator removes the drone controlling the tone where your muffler controls the volume.

redback performance exhaust

About Redback Performance Exhausts

Redback Performance Exhausts are Australian made and produced and have been for over 20 years. Their goal is to increase the performance of a vehicle as well as improving the exhaust note and fuel economy. They offer a range of products from exhaust tips to mufflers.

Resonator

Speak to Sandgate Auto Electrics for more information

If you are interested in a Redback Exhaust System or any other information about exhausts Sandgate Auto Electrics can help. We have been servicing all kinds of vehicles in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, South East Queensland and surrounding areas since 1973.

 

Experts in vehicles and accessories from motorbikes to marine and RV’s we can handle the most technical of diagnostics solving any problem small or large. We are passionate about the development of sophisticated vehicles and electronics, and our staff are experts with modern training in the repair, service or advice giving for any problem.

 

Our facilities, equipment, and staff offer the highest standard so speak to us today about modifications, repairs, upgrades or anything else auto-related. We love to chat about this stuff so let our knowledge and expertise be of benefit to you in achieving the optimal result for whatever your plans may be.

Read more...

Power Window Repairs | 5 Step Investigation, Kits and Costs

Trying to repair power windows can be rather tricky. But, luckily with some patience and using the correct tools, you can ensure your windows are back on track in no time.

 

Broken power windows can be a real annoyance, especially if they get stuck during the scorching summer heat or chilly winter in the middle of a storm.

 

Troubleshooting and fixing your power window problem can be done by following these steps, in a few hours.

 

Power windows in modern cars are generally very reliable systems, but that doesn’t mean they won’t ever fail. If you ever find yourself in that situation, it’s rather straightforward to diagnose and repair the problem, if you are handy with tools.

Power Window Mechanism Repair

 

You can find the power window mechanisms inside your car door. They let you open and close your car windows. The majority of modern cars have electric windows. These windows are opened and closed by using a switch.

 

Over time, the mechanisms and motors can become worn out, or damaged.

 

There are some factors which will put stress on the window mechanism. Stickers, and car window tinting, effectively increases the window thickness and add extra resistance to opening and closing a window. Likewise, operating an electric window during frosty conditions will also do the same, when the window is frozen shut.

 

A common power window mechanism is pretty simple. It features a basic regulator mechanism, which is similar to hand-cranked window mechanisms.

 

There are different varieties such as sector, rack, and cable drive. To troubleshoot you will need to remove the door panel.

 

Troubleshooting Power Windows Problems

 

There are a number of different steps to take when troubleshooting power window problems, they include:

 

Check All The Windows

 

Is it only one which isn’t working, or is it all of them?

If all of the windows won’t budge, then you should first check the fuse.

Power windows are high-current devices. The fuse for the windows is sized only just to be able to open all four windows at the same time.

The age of the fuse and some sticky window problems can be enough to blow a fuse.

 

How can you check if it’s the fuse? Turn your car key, but don’t start it.

 

A Blown Fuse

 

If the fuse is blown: when you push a window button, nothing will happen. There won’t be noise from the motor, and the window glass won’t shake.

 

If it’s a fuse problem,  you will need to locate the fuse box. If there are no labels on the box, then consult your owner’s manual to find out which fuse is guilty of causing the problem.

 

Don’t just remove fuses one by one to locate the blown one. Doing so can lead to causing problems with other parts of your vehicle, such as resetting the engine management computer or resetting your car radio back to its default settings.

 

The Fuse Is Ok

 

If the fuse isn’t blown: you will be able to hear the motor. Or, is the glass trying to move? If so, then it’s not a fuse problem, it’s a mechanical problem.

 

Is it all of the windows which won’t move? Or just one?

If it’s one, then you’ll need to investigate inside the door panel.

But, if it’s all four doors, then there might be an easier way to troubleshoot, by looking under the dash.

A Blown Fuse
Source: audiworld.com

Electrical Problem

 

  • So if you’ve done the initial check, and found it’s not as simple as you have blown a fuse, then it’s more likely to be an electrical fault.
  • You will need to find the schematic for the electrical system of your car. If you don’t have a physical copy, you can search the website of your car’s manufacturer to find it.
  • You’ll also need a voltmeter or a 12v test light.
  • Next, you’ll need to start at the fuse panel, and trace the wiring all the way to the switch, then from the switch to the motor.
  • Check at regular intervals with the voltmeter or test light to make sure there are 12 volts.

 

You will discover somewhere a loose or corroded connector. This will stop the voltage from flowing to the motor.

 

Perhaps the switch itself may be faulty, instead of the wiring.

To test if it is a problem with the driver’s door switch, try using the switch on the passenger side door, as well as the switch in both of the rear doors.

 

If the door switches work, then it’s most likely a fault with the switch on the driver’s door. Otherwise, it could be a fault in the intervening wiring.

 

Next, carefully back probe the window switches, to see if any electrical faults in the switches, wiring or connectors can be isolated.

 

Here is a video which demonstrates how to check for an electrical problem and to see if your motor is working.

Electrical Problem

Open The Switch Panel

 

To be able to test the wires connecting the switches, you will need to access the inside of the switch panel. Each vehicle has a different way to access it.

 

For some vehicles, you can easily pry open the panel with just your fingers. Then you can back probe the connectors.  However, for other vehicles, you may need to remove the switch panel.

 

Remove The Door Panel

 

Door panels are securely fastened using a variety of fasteners. First, remove all of the handles and door pulls. The outside of the panel is held in place using delicate plastic studs. These studs are made for one use once only. Carefully pry them up, making sure not to break them.

 

After removing the door panel, next, you need to take off the weather sheeting carefully. You will need to replace this later on and to do so; you may need fresh contact cement.

 

Be Careful: Make sure that you don’t activate the power window while you have your fingers  in the gears while you are inspecting it.

 

Cable and reel window regulators are uncomplicated mechanisms. However, you need to take care to make sure that you have correctly routed the cable. Otherwise, it may cause a jam.

 

You can watch this instructional video for step-by-step instructions on how to remove a door panel.

Remove The Door Panel

Proof Of An Electrical Problem

 

To be completely sure that it is an electrical problem, you can run a jumper wire directly from the battery positive terminal and connect it with the positive side of the motor. Does it come to life?

 

You should be mindful that some window regulator systems will constantly supply 12v. They will also switch the ground side of the circuit. Check the schematic of your vehicle.

 

Most vehicles will also be able to lock and deactivate the rear windows. Check to make sure this has not been activated, if it’s only a problem with the back windows.

 

It’s also possible, in some rare occasions, that there may be a problem with the motor, and it will need to be replaced.

 

If not, tracing the wires will lead you right to the problem.

 

Loose fasteners can also lead to severe misalignment which can jam gear-type regulators.

 

The following video has more detailed information on how to troubleshoot car power window problems.

Proof Of An Electrical Problem

Gaskets

All power windows also use gaskets and seals as a way to keep the wind, rain, and noise out of the vehicle. If you find your window won’t open or close properly or has a slow spot, then you should check the gaskets. If there is a problem with the gasket being torn or misplaced, it can stop the power windows from working properly.

 

The good news is that you may be able to replace a torn or loose gasket.

 

Loose Gasket

 

For a loose gasket, you need to get some weatherstrip adhesive glue from any auto store. Just clean off the old adhesive glue. The best way to do this is with lacquer thinner. Then re-glue the gasket.

 

Make sure the window is closed, and let the glue dry overnight.

Be very careful to make sure that you don’t glue the window to the gasket.

 

Torn Gasket

 

For a torn gasket, it may be possible to fix the tear by using super glue. You can trim a corner of the gasket which is loose by using a razor blade.

 

Replace A Gasket

 

It is easy to replace a gasket or a seal with a new part.

Replace A Gasket

This video shows you how to replace a gasket/car window seal in just a few steps.

Power Window Regulator Repair Cost

Power Window Regulator Repair Cost
Source: searcyautoglass.com

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, and what exactly is the problem, the cost of a new window regulator is generally in the range of $300 to $450. Although sometimes, it can be a bit more expensive.

 

Generally, window regulators are built to last for the lifetime of the car, but occasionally unexpected failures can occur.

 

Usually, windows which move the most frequently will require replacement first. It is most common for the driver’s side power window needing to be replaced before the other windows.

 

Power Window Repair Kit

 

If you want to repair your power windows DIY yourself, you can buy a power window repair kit which includes everything you need to repair your power window:

 

There are kits available for different vehicle makes and models.

Power Window Repair Kit
Source: joyce318.en.ec21.com

Power Window Repair Parts

 

If there is only one part you need to replace for your power window repair, you don’t need to buy an entire kit.

 

Power window repair parts are available as both genuine parts as well as quality aftermarket solutions.

 

Save money by buying individual:

 

  • Electric window mechanisms
  • Power window switches
  • Motor and regulator assemblies
  • Power window motors

 

They are available for all makes of vehicles including European, Japanese, American and Korean vehicles, ranging from small passenger vehicles to commercial vans, and trucks.

 

Power Window Repair Shops

Power Window Repair Shops
Source: pasadenacertified.com

There are many power window repair shops located around Australia. So whether you are in your hometown or the middle of an epic cross country adventure, you always have peace of mind that if you experience a power window problem, that there is a repair shop nearby.

 

Power window repair shops can offer repairs on-site, or come to your home or office, for ultimate convenience.

 

They can repair most models and offer a quick turnaround time, to have your power windows working again ASAP.  

 

Sandgate Auto Electrics are experienced power windows repair experts. If you are looking for a professional power window repairer, contact us today for a free quote or to book a service. Call (07) 3269 3158.

Read more...
Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Brake Controller

Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Brake Controller

When it comes to the safety of your family and vehicle, you want an electric brake controller you can trust. Redarc manufactures Australia’s most popular and trustworthy electric brake controller, the Tow-Pro.

 

The Tow-Pro Elite Brake Controller (Model EBRH-ACCV2) is widely considered the best brake controller currently on the market. It is designed for most common uses for trailer braking.

 

It is easy to install and operate, and also uses very little dash space.

 

What sets the Tow-Pro Elite apart is that it provides two different types of brake modes at just the turn of a dial:

  • ‘Proportional Mode’ (inertia sensing) which is for normal highway conditions.
  • ‘User Controlled Mode’ which is for harsher off-road conditions

 

Redarc Brake Controller Features

 

The Redarc Tow-Pro Elite brake controller offers many features, which include:

  • Automatic braking mode (inertia sensing)
  • Active Calibration – continuously monitors the direction which you travel. It can calibrate without a trailer attached, and mount in any position.
  • User controlled braking mode
  • A Dash mounted control knob (which meets AD21 safety standards)
  • Suitable for both 12v and 24v systems
  • Can operate both electric and electric/hydraulic brakes
  • Approved for and compliant with the Dexter Sway Control System and AL-KO ESC
  • You can install the main unit out of sight, maintaining a factory finished look
  • Australian Made and Designed
  • An unrivalled level of towing safety

 

How To Use The Redarc Brake Controller

 

Do you plan to cruise down the freeway or head off the beaten track? It’s essential to be able to control your vehicle while you are towing your rig.

 

An electric brake controller helps to make sure you don’t end up in a tough or dangerous situation due to caravan swaying which may put you or your rig at risk.

Watch the official Redarc video for more information on how to use the Redarc Brake controller.

How to Use the Tow-Pro Electric Trailer Brake Controller
Souce: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zONTFbrWDpY

Fitting The Redarc Brake Controller

 

The Tow-Pro Elite should be fitted on the inside of your vehicle’s cabin. You can use M4 screws, or any other secure method using the provided mounting points.

 

A huge benefit of the Tow-Pro Elite is that you can mount it in any orientation. You need to ensure that the main unit is secure and is in a fixed location. Also, ensure that it can’t move or change it’s orientation after the installation is complete.

 

If the unit does change its orientation, then this will impact the system calibration.

Fitting The Redarc Brake Controller
Source: redarc.com.au

A warning: It’s essential to fit the Tow-Pro in a fixed location. Otherwise, it will result in inaccurate braking force measurements. These measurements will cause incorrect trailer braking.

 

You also need to make sure to install the Tow-Pro inside the cabin of your vehicle.

 

If you leave it outside, environmental conditions such as any of the following may cause damage to the unit’s circuitry:

 

  • Engine heat
  • Salt spray
  • Humidity
  • Submersion in water

 

If the unit gets damaged, it may lead to erratic trailer braking.

 

Redarc Brake Controller Calibration

 

The Redarc Tow-Pro Elite features Active Calibration which allows it to calibrate itself as soon as you begin driving. This means you do not need to calibrate the unit initially when you install it. It can even calibrate without having a trailer attached.

 

The following video demonstrates how active calibration works on the Tow-Pro Elite.

How Active Calibration Works on the Tow-Pro Elite
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH4_56lRnn0
  • The active calibration works while you are driving with the trailer connected.
  • The LED indicator flashes blue and green.
  • It calibrates while you brake
  • Every single time you brake, the unit measures and records the direction you travel.
  • As the unit calibrates, the blue flash gets longer, until it has determined your direction of travel.

 

While driving, the LED will remain a solid blue colour, and when you apply the brake, it will turn red.

Source: youtube.com/watch?v=b06BxqyBFWc

For more information, be sure to watch Redarc Electronics Active Calibration Guide.

Redarc brake controller manual

Redarc brake controller manual
Source: youtube.com/watch?v=AH4_56lRnn0

It’s recommended to read the Redarc brake controller manual when you first buy the Tow-Pro Elite. The manual provides easy to follow step-by-step instructions. It also is a quick reference for any future problems.

 

The Redarc Brake Controller manual is available on the Redarc website as a PDF.

 

How To Wire The Redarc Brake Controller

If you are handy with tools, then you can wire and install the brake controller yourself, by following the wiring diagram and installation instruction video.


Redarc Brake Controller Wiring Diagram

 

The wiring diagrams for both 12v and 24v input are below.

Redarc Brake Controller Wiring Diagram
Redarc Brake Controller Wiring Diagram

The wiring diagrams are available in the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite manual on page 7.

 

Redarc Brake Controller Installation

 

Do you want to install the Redarc Tow-Pro elite brake controller DIY? For instructions, watch the following video. It uses a Nissan Patrol Y62 to demonstrate, but you can follow along with any vehicle.

ITS NOT THAT HARD How To Install Redarc Tow Pro Elite to Nissan Patrol Y62
Source: youtube.com/watch?v=-bSpCmBAoL8

Redarc Brake Controller Lights

 

The Redarc Tow-Pro Elite uses different colour lights to display the normal operation of the unit.


If you adjust the remote head control knob or press the manual override, then the LEDs will glow at full brightness. But, after you release the knob, the LED brightness will be reduced.

 

This design allows the lights not to be as invasive and affect the vision of a driver at night.

 

Redarc Brake Controller Flashing

 

The Redarc brake controller uses colour and flashing lights to show the mode and fault condition based on different LED indicator sequences.

 

There are two different modes which are indicated with different colours and flash sequences. They are Mode1 and Fault condition.

 

The regular modes are as below:

Redarc Brake Controller Flashing
Source: Page 15 Manual redarc.com.au

Fault Codes

 

What if there is a problem with the vehicle and trailer brake wiring? Well, you can rest assured that the Tow-Pro’s advanced diagnostics will detect the problem. They will also send a colour coded flash pattern on the LED.

 

It’s quite common for a fault to be nothing more than a dirty trailer socket causing a poor connection. But, you should not ignore a fault indicator warning!


While it may only be a minor problem and not seem important. If left unattended over time, wiring faults can lead to the deterioration or even loss of braking for your trailer.

 

For the full list of Fault Codes refer to the official Redarc guide. It includes the possible faults, as well as their flash patterns and the cause of the fault. It also suggests a course of action.

 

If there is an intermittent fault, it will also be detected and indicated. It will remain until you have cleared the warning. Most fault codes can be easily cleared. Just unplug the trailer for about 1 minute, then reconnect it.

 

Redarc Brake Controller Problems

 

There are some common Redarc brake controller problems. They usually are a result of installation mistakes. Luckily, you can easily avoid/fix them.

 

The most common brake controller problems include:

 

  • Brake signal pickup
  • Unsecured or loose mounting
  • Power supplied via a relay
  • The dashboard is too thick
  • Having inadequate wiring or connectors

 

For more information about these possible problems, check out the Redarc guide to 5 common brake controller installation mistakes and how to avoid them.

 

Redarc Brake Controller Maintenance

 

It’s crucial to make sure that your Redarc brake controller is functioning correctly. As well as that is has been installed properly.

 

If there is a fault, or incorrect installation it may lead to erratic behaviour with your vehicle or trailer. This can potentially lead to an accident.

 

Are you handy with tools? If not, then it is essential that you have a qualified auto-electrician install and maintain your braking system.

 

Every time you attach your trailer, you should check the brakes at low speeds.

 

After Installation Check (To Be Performed by a Qualified Auto-Electrician)

– Test the installation and vehicle wiring

The best way to test your vehicle is to connect a test light to the brake output. Then push the manual override. Next, have someone check the test lamp and the vehicle brake lights have both lit up.

 

Before Trip Check

Before you leave on each trip, spend a few minutes to make sure your brake controller is working correctly.

 

Each time you connect your caravan, you should check the following:

  • Make sure the correct brake lights are being displayed for both your vehicle and trailer
  • Check the setting and operation of the electric brake controller
  • Check the trailer brakes work correctly
  • Make sure that the breakaway system is working correctly, and the battery for the breakaway has been charged (if applicable)
  • Check that the safety chains, tow hitch, and weight distribution systems have been correctly set up.

 

Professional Installation and Servicing

 

You should have a qualified technician check your trailer system to make sure it is working correctly. It’s recommended to have it checked at the beginning of each holiday season.

 

It will also give you peace of mind that the towing systems are safe while you have your family on board.

 

Sandgate Auto Electrics are approved and trusted auto electricians and mechanics. We have extensive experience installing and servicing the Redarc Tow-Pro Elite Brake Controller.


For an obligation free quote, contact us today on (07) 3269 3158 or email mail@sandgateautoelectrics.com.au.

Read more...
Ultimate Reversing Cameras Guide

Ultimate Reversing Cameras Guide

Adding a reversing camera to your vehicle makes a lot of sense. They don’t just make it easier to park. They can also help prevent a fatal accident from occurring.

 

This Ultimate reversing cameras guide discusses everything you need to know about finding the right reversing camera for your needs.

 

Why should you get a reversing camera?

 

Accidents caused by reversing are happening more than they should be. Not only can they cause an expensive repair bill for your vehicle, sometimes, they have tragic consequences.

 

In Australia, up to 20% of all accidents happen during reversing. It’s horrifying to think that each week, one child is run over while in their driveway.

 

A lot of these accidents could have been prevented. Driver alertness will always be the best way to avoid accidents. But reverse camera installations have been effective in decreasing the number of reversing accidents.

 

How Do Reversing Cameras Work?

 

Reversing Cameras consist of two parts. They are:

  • A monitor in the cabin of the vehicle
  • A rear-facing camera

 

When you put your car into reverse gear, it automatically activates the reversing system. This lets the driver see what is behind their vehicle before they start reversing.

 

There are many different kinds of cameras and monitors available. They cover every type of vehicle, and there is a reversing camera system to suit every budget.

 

Reverse camera installation diagram

 

The following reverse camera installation diagram demonstrates how the camera works.

Reverse camera installation diagram
Source: chartandmapshop.com.au

Next, we will discuss the different types of reversing cameras

 

Types of Reversing Cameras

 

There is a huge selection of reverse camera systems options available. They range from DIY wireless kits to professionally installed systems for both private and commercial use

 

Reversing cameras are broken up into two different parts. Monitor/display options, and camera options.

 

Monitor/Display Options

 

There are many different monitor and display options available for reversing cameras. Here we discuss the different options, which type of user they are recommended for, as well as the pros and cons of each kind.

 

Wireless Reverse Camera Kits

Wireless Reverse Camera Kits
Source: alibaba.com

Wireless reverse kits are a popular choice and are easy to get set up and running in no time. But, due to them requiring wireless signals to work, there is a chance there may be interference with the signal making them not the best choice. If your main reversing concern is for safety, then a wireless kit may not be a good option for you.

 

The wireless reverse camera kits come with a camera and a screen. There are two different types of screens: dash-mount or rear-view mirror. The Kit also includes a wireless transmitter.

 

The way it works is by the transmitter sending a signal to the screen, like the way that cordless phones work.

 

The camera/transmitter is usually wired into the reversing lights. This gives it power and lets it activate the reversing camera system anytime the vehicle is put into reverse.

 

Most Wireless reversing camera kits will need DIY installation skills, so if you’re not handy with tools, this may not be the best option for you.

 

Recommended For:

  • Anyone who is on a tight budget. Are you willing to put up with reduced image quality as well as some occasional signal dropouts?
  • Anyone who has DIY auto electrical skills

 

Pros:

  • Kits can be purchased cheaply, and provide the best bang for your buck
  • A simpler installation process. They don’t need a wired screen/camera connection

 

Cons:

  • Can have exposed signal and power cables in the car interior, which is untidy
  • In situations where there is a lot of metal between the signal, such as in trucks, caravans, or vans, it may not work
  • Can experience dropouts and interference
  • May lose connection over time. This is due to frequency drifting
  • Reliability and durability of no-name brands are poor

 

Rear View Mirror Systems

Rear View Mirror Systems
Source: rostra.com

A rear view mirror system (also known as a Reverse camera mirror) is the most popular type of reversing camera system. It replaces the existing rear view mirror in your vehicle, with one that has a LCD screen integrated. When you select the reverse gear, the screen appears.

 

This type of mirror needs power. It is provided by a cable which is concealed in a professionally installed system. But, for cheaper DIY systems, a cable is connected to the cigarette lighter.

 

Are you after a factory-fitted appearance? Then it’s best that you go with a system which has been professionally installed. That is unless you know your way around auto electronics.

 

Recommended For: Drivers with a car or a 4WD who wish to add a reversing camera to their vehicle. While still maintaining that factory finish interior look.

 

Pros:

  • Keeps your dashboard clutter free
  • The screen is next to the mirror, which is where you are already used to looking when reversing.
  • For easy installation, these systems have vehicle-specific mounting
  • Has a factory fitted finish for professional installations

 

Cons:

  • The screen size is not as big as in-dash systems
  • DIY kits use messy cables to power the mirror
  • Cheaper brands use glass which has a tinted blue or grey finish
In-Dash Systems
Source: rostra.com

Many modern vehicles now come fitted with in-dash screens as a standard feature. A reversing camera system can also use this screen as a monitor. This leads to a factory-fitted look. It also gets rid of  messy cables and needs no major modifications.

 

An In-Dash system has a vehicle-specific interface. It has been designed to plug directly into the existing screen. It also includes a camera that is rear mounted to the vehicle.

 

There are also Aftermarket In-Dash systems which only require a double-DIN dash space. They are installed by replacing the existing car stereo.

 

Recommended For:

  • Anyone who already has an existing In-Dash system and wants to use it as a reversing camera monitor
  • Anyone who wants to replace their double-DIN stereo with an In-Dash screen

 

Pros:

  • Largest screen size available
  • Integrates seamlessly with the existing vehicle screen
  • No external power is required
  • There are no visible cables

 

Cons:

  • The driver needs to look down to see the screen
  • Not every vehicle has an existing screen, or the required double-DIN space to install one

 

Dash/Window Mount Systems

Dash/Window Mount Systems
Source: thewirecutter.com

Screens can be mounted directly inside a car, 4WD, or a commercial vehicle. They are available in a range of different sizes. Usually, they are LCD screens. For the best image in all different lighting conditions, it’s recommended to get a TFT screen type.

 

Dash/Window Mount Systems can be mounted on the dash. They can also be attached to the roof or windshield, giving you a lot of flexibility.

 

For buses and trucks, they can be permanently mounted. They are positioned where a rear-view mirror is usually attached.

 

Having a Dash/Window Mount system installed professionally will make sure that all cables are concealed. As well as ensuring that no holes or modifications need to be made to your vehicle.

 

Recommended For:

 

Anyone who drives a large and commercial vehicle who needs a bigger screen for increased rear visibility

 

Pros

  • Biggest possible screen size
  • The screen can be mounted in different positions to provide the best visibility
  • In commercial vehicles which have no rear visibility, it can be mounted in the place of a rear view mirror.

 

Cons

  • Can look rather ‘bulky’
  • Takes up space on the dash
  • If the screen isn’t mounted high, the driver will be required to look down
  • Not every vehicle has enough space to install a system

 

Multi-Function Systems

Multi-Function Systems
Source: india.com

Since you are already going to be installing a reversing camera screen, why not treat yourself to extra features too?

 

A lot of reversing camera systems now also offers GPS navigation, DVD players, and Bluetooth hands-free.

 

These systems can be dash-mount, in-dash, or rear view camera systems. There is a large range available, so whatever features you are after in addition to a reverse camera, there is a model which suits your needs.

 

Recommended For:

  • Anyone who wants additional features included with their reversing camera

 

Pros

  • Can have extra features while only needing to install one product
  • Is cheaper than adding multiple individual products
  • Reduces the clutter inside your vehicle

 

Cons

  • Some all-in-one units compromise quality to include extra features
  • If one part of the unit fails, you may need to replace the entire unit

 

Camera Options

 

There are now more camera options available than ever before, and they keep getting smaller and more discrete.

 

Mini Butterfly Camera

 

This is the most popular reversing camera, it is small, and works with all monitors/displays.

Mini Butterfly Camera
Source: winpartners.en.made-in-china.com

Recommended For:

  • Cars, light commercial vehicles, and Utes.

 

Pros:

  • The smaller size lets the camera be concealed. It also provides a neater finish inside your vehicle.
  • It is flexible and can be installed in different places in your vehicle. Such as under the lid of the boot, or under a ute tray
  • Is easily adjusted to provide the best viewing angle

 

Cons:

  • The smaller form factor doesn’t include infrared technology

 

Bumper Camera

Bumper Camera
Source: cubbycam.com

Bumper cameras are installed flush in the bumper. Yet, they need you to drill a hole and for the camera to be recessed

 

Recommended for: Cars, vans, or Utes which have plastic bumpers

 

Pros:

  • Infrared technology is possible
  • The camera appears neat and tidy when flush-fitted

 

Cons:

  • You can’t adjust the angle of view
  • The driver can’t view the bumper bar in the camera to use for reference
  • You may need to remove the bumper bar
  • Need to drill a hole in the bumper bar

 

Number Plate Camera

 

This camera uses existing screws and holes to attach to your vehicle’s number plate.

Number Plate Camera
Source: aliexpress.com

Recommended For:

  • Drivers with a tight budget, or anyone who loves to DIY
  • Where you can’t mount another camera anywhere else

 

Pros:

It can be fitted to any vehicle due to its universal design

It is perfect for DIY

 

Cons:

Does not look very visually pleasing

 

Heavy Duty Camera

Heavy Duty Camera
Source: ryda.com.au

Heavy duty cameras have been designed to withstand the most extreme environments or conditions. This makes them the perfect choice where only a robust camera solution will do.

 

Recommended For:

  • Industrial or commercial vehicles

 

Pros:

  • Has a universal design to easily fit any vehicle
  • Heavy-duty construction makes it durable
  • Due to its size, it is equipped with infrared technology
  • Some models include microphones which can transmit audio directly to the vehicle

 

Cons:

  • Is very big and bulky

 

Benefits of Reversing Cameras

 

A lot of drivers are often not aware that there is a ‘blind zone’ which exists behind their vehicle. This is the case for every vehicle.

 

Objects below a certain height cannot be seen in the rear view mirror.

 

Even in a vehicle such as a sedan, the blind zone can be as far as 15 meters behind your vehicle.

 

How do you know how far the blind spot extends for your car, 4WD or Ute?

 

RACV test hundreds of vehicles visibility. They then published a Reversing Visibility Index. How did your vehicle perform?

Benefits of Reversing Cameras
Source: Youtube.com

The blind zone is frequently the reason for many collisions with poles, walls, or other stationary objects. Sadly, it’s also a cause of collisions with small children. sometimes with tragic consequences.

 

Installing a reversing camera significantly reduces these risks from occurring when reversing. But, they are not a complete replacement for driver alertness.

 

Another benefit of reversing cameras is when parking. Up to 20% of all vehicle accidents happen when reversing, according to the NRMA.

 

A rear-view camera is vital for showing hidden objects. It is a wise investment to make, and it pays for itself by preventing expensive repairs from a collision.

 

Reverse Camera Installation

 

There are two main options for reverse camera installation. Either you can choose to have one professionally installed. Otherwise, you can choose the DIY method.

 

DIY Reverse Camera Installation

 

There are now more DIY options available than ever before.

 

Usually, wireless kits don’t need any wiring between the camera and monitor. Instead, they use RF transmitters to send a signal. But, despite the name, the camera will still need to be wired directly to the car’s electrics. This is necessary for it to receive power, and to activate automatically. The way this is done is by wiring to the reverse light assembly.

 

The camera is often mounted discretely above the number plate. If you have a larger vehicle, it will need to be mounted above the rear windows or doors.

 

Where the camera is positioned is very important to make sure it provides a clear field of view.

 

The monitor also requires power as well. Whether it’s a rear view mirror type or a dash-mounted monitor, there are a few options available:

  • Wiring the monitor into the car’s electrics, which is under the dash
  • Having a cable dangle and connect to the cigarette lighter

The following video demonstrates how to DIY install a car reversing camera system.

 

But what if you don’t have a good understanding of car auto electrics? You may find it to be a confusing and frustrating process. Trying to get the camera installed without causing any damage can be rather tricky. If you aren’t confident in your skills, then it’s probably a good idea to have an auto electrician install it for you.

 

Professional Reverse Camera Installation

 

The option which provides the best value is to and have a high-quality reversing camera professionally installed. For only a little bit higher price it will be more reliable. It will also helps maintain your factory fitted interior. This will help to increase your vehicle’s resale value. Replacement mirror systems come in vehicle-specific mountings which fit perfectly to your vehicle.

 

A professional can also install a camera into the existing in-dash monitor of your vehicle. Or they can instead install a rear vision mirror replacement which includes an integrated LCD screen.

 

Most customers value convenience, which is why the majority of companies offer a mobile fleet service. They will come to your home or workplace at a time convenient for you, to make the whole process easy.

 

Reverse Camera Brands

The main reverse camera brands include Parkmate, Polaris, Pioneer, and Gator.

Unsure which is the best brand for you? Let’s take a look at each.

 

Parkmate reverse camera

 

Parkmate makes a range of high-quality reverse cameras. They are one of the most reputable and popular Australian brands available.

 

The most popular Parkmate reverse camera include:

 

CD5JN High Definition Colour CCD Camera is the best high-quality camera on the market. It adds extra visibility in low light conditions. Recommended for: vehicles with a lip number plate area

Parkmate reverse camera
Source: parkmate.com.au

CD51EN Hi Res Colour Mini CCD Camera is a high-resolution mini camera. When you need flexibility, this camera can be mounted and adjusted anywhere on your vehicle.

CD51EN Hi Res Colour Mini CCD Camera
Source: parkmate.com.au

CDD44GN Mini Colour HD Digital Camera is a high definition camera you can mount anywhere. It can be installed on the lip area near the boot handle, or the bottom of the boot lid and adjusted to any angle.

CDD44GN Mini Colour HD Digital Camera
Source: parkmate.com.au

Polaris reverse camera kits

Polaris reverse camera kits
Source: polarisgps.com.au

Polaris is another popular brand of reverse cameras. They have a range of reverse camera kits available, which are specially designed for:

 

– Regular vehicles (including Sedan, SUV, Ute, 4WD, or a van)

– Motorhomes

– Caravans

– Heavy-duty vehicles

– Super heavy vehicles.

 

Selecting the right Polaris reverse camera is easy.

Step 1. Select the type to match your vehicle

Step 2. Choose between either a 5” or 6.2” models. The only difference is the screen size.

 

Pioneer reverse camera

Pioneer manufacture the ND-BC8 Universal Rear View Camera which has been designed to work with other Pioneer products. It features improved visibility as well as a built in power supply for easy installation and mounting.

Pioneer reverse camera
Source: pioneerelectronics.com

Gator reverse camera

Gator makes the universal and portable Butterfly Loop Camera which can easily be mounted inside any vehicle almost anywhere.

 

An added bonus is that it has built in parking gridlines. These lines make reverse parking a whole lot easier, and it’s wide camera view removes any blind spots.

Gator also make a huge range of make specific cameras including for Honda, Audi, Ford, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen. To find the best camera for your vehicle, visit the Gator website.

Gator reverse camera
Source: gatordriverassist.com

Reversing Sensors

Reversing Sensors
Source: adverts.ie

Another more cost-affordable option to consider is reversing sensors. They can either be used on their own or with a reversing camera. Sensors are a good way to prevent you from reversing into an object behind you.

 

The way they work is by attaching some sensors to your vehicle, in different positions.

 

The sensors will then detect any objects within an area of the exterior of your vehicle. They can work up to 2.5 meters.

 

The systems have buzzers which need to be installed in the boot of the car. They make a beep sound when you are reversing, and they sense an object in their zone. The buzzer makes different beeps depending on how close or far away an object is.

 

Reversing sensors are available in wireless or wired versions, like reversing cameras are.

 

Which Reversing Camera Is Best For Me?

 

Reversing cameras are now essential for providing extra safety for many Australian drivers. Luckily, they are now more affordable than ever. Which makes it the perfect time to buy a reversing camera for your vehicle today.

 

How do you decide between a professionally installed reversing camera or a DIY wireless reversing camera?

 

It comes down to two factors:

  • Your Budget – if you have a limited budget then the DIY reversing camera is the best option.
  • DIY Skills – Do you have good DIY skills or a friend or family member who does? If so, then the self-installing reverse cameras are a good option. Otherwise, it’s probably best to go for the professional option.

Sandgate Auto Electrics are reliable auto electricians and auto mechanics who you can trust. We believe it’s worth having your reversing camera installed right. This will make sure that you have a reliable and depending reversing system which won’t fail. You will also maintain that ‘factory-fitted’ look which will add value to your vehicle when it comes time to sell.

 

For more information on reversing cameras feel free to contact us on 07 3269 3158 or by email: mail@sandgateautoelectrics.com.au.

Read more...