6 vehicle fleet services tips to avoid unscheduled downtime and loss of productivity

Have you ever wondered how to maximise the efficiency of your vehicle fleet? Fleet vehicles are dominating new sales in Australia. Many businesses need a vehicle fleet, but managing the services has a whole new set of challenges. Let’s take a look at our best tips to make sure your vehicle fleet is up to the highest standard.


1. The Older the Fleet, The Higher The Maintenance Costs


When it comes to vehicle operating expenses, the servicing costs can grow over time. In the first few years, vehicle fleet services are often minimal. As your fleet ages, the servicing costs increase, more parts wear out and need replacing. Vehicle ageing is unavoidable, but you must ask yourself when is best to replace your fleet.


When you shop around for a car, what do you look for? Would you rather buy a 3-year old car with 75,000km on the clock or a 5-year old model with a much higher odometer reading? According to Motorama, servicing costs can increase over twice as much from 75,000km to 90,000km. Large fleet buyers often upgrade their vehicles at the 3-year or 75,000km mark. This means they avoid increased service costs often outside of the manufacturer’s warranty. They also consider how high kilometre usage can have a negative impact on the resale value.


Some businesses may delay replacing their vehicles as a short-term cost saving. However, delaying the replacement of your vehicle fleet can be more expensive in the long run. It can incur planned and unplanned costs with maintenance. It can also face drawbacks for productivity and efficiency for your business.

Fleet Vehicles
Source: smithtowngeneraltire.com

2. How Fleet Maintenance Impacts Productivity and Operation Costs


Vehicles have planned maintenance costs such as rotating your tyres, changing oil filters and brake pads. These are managed when you have your vehicle regularly serviced. However, it is important to also consider unplanned maintenance. For example, an alternator has failed and your battery isn’t getting recharged when your driving around. Or a starter motor has stopped working and you can’t start your car. Unplanned repairs are more likely with age and impact your business.


During vehicle maintenance, your employees will have to find alternative transport or sit around waiting. If your vehicle fleet is ageing, this can become a more common scenario. The maintenance may also get more intricate and lengthy. This will be a further cost to your business and a loss of productivity for your employees.


If your team has to wait around for a replacement vehicle to complete their work, then their job will take longer. You might consider the cost of a spare vehicle or hire one when you need it. If you have a large fleet, a spare vehicle would make sense as it can be utilised more.


A vehicle that is not readily available creates an operational inefficiency. This ultimately hurts the customer’s experience with your business. Your staff may not be able to reach clients, deliveries don’t happen on time or you may not be able to visit work sites. In the long run, this will create a loss of productivity throughout your business if not managed properly.


3. How to Prevent Unscheduled Downtime and Lost Productivity

Some fleet vehicle repairs are unavoidable. Cars can be involved in accidents or natural disasters such as floods and hail. Wear and tear repairs can get expensive. However, there are steps you can take to be prepared for this situation and to avoid unexpected costs. By working with your fleet servicing team, steps can be taken to minimise operational costs and extend the life and availability of your fleet vehicles. Sandgate Auto Electrics is an RACQ approved trusted mechanic with decades of experience. Our fully-licensed and modern workshop is equipped with the latest technology. With minor and platinum services, we can help you as little or as much as you need.

Car industry
Source: asia.nikkei.com

4. Vehicles Built Together Can Fail Together


Cars need regular maintenance to run efficiently. With our own personal vehicles, it can be tempting to wait until there is an issue before we organise a service. However, this is problematic when it comes to fleet vehicles. If your vehicles were purchased the same time from the same batch, wear and tear problems can arise around the same time. This can cause multiple repairs in a short period of time. This can be highly disruptive for your business. By organising regular precautionary maintenance in advance, you can stagger the repairs before they become critical. During regular log book servicing, we check for signs of wear and tear and potential issues. This ensures you have time to prepare and the issues are properly managed.


5. Keep a Step Ahead with Maintenance Reports


Having a record of what servicing has been done, what needs to be done and by when helps. You stay one step ahead of the problem. We can work with all major fleet management systems and provide digital or paper reports for your records.


Fleet Servicing Team
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6. Partner With a Qualified and Experienced Fleet Servicing Team


By working with your workshop professionals and following industry best practices. You can improve compliance and availability for your vehicle fleet. Sandgate Auto Electrics is an approved and trusted auto electrician and mechanic in Brisbane. Our talented team are highly trained and able to solve mechanical or auto electrical problems for almost all brands of vehicles. From a broken tail light right through to heavy vehicle motor repairs, we can help. Our team is qualified and experienced to ensure you get the most from your fleet for your business.


At Sandgate Auto Electrics, we pride ourselves on providing affordable and reliable services. We are located in Sandgate, North Brisbane, and we look after clients from all over the south-east. This includes Brisbane right through to the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.


Our team are  qualified towork with new technology. Modern cars are now built with computer operated functions. We  use the latest computer technology to diagnose and fix engine management systems. This ensures we can carry out all necessary repairs and servicing while your vehicle fleet is in our care. As an RACQ approved repairer, our warranty is nationally recognised. Contact us on (07) 3269 3158 or via our contact page for a free quote or to book a service.

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Car breakdown

Is Your Car Battery Warning Light On? Don’t Panic and Try These 8 Steps

Have you ever been driving along the highway when your car battery warning light comes on? There is no worse feeling when this happens. Especially if you don’t know what’s caused it or how to fix it. This can be a stressful situation for any driver. But our expert team has put together eight tips to help you stay calm and resolve this situation. Take a look at our top tips below.

Find a Safe Place to Pull Over

Although it is easier said than done, the best thing to do in this situation is to stay calm and remain safe. If your car battery warning light comes on, find a safe place to pull over away from traffic and turn your car off. This will keep both you and your car out of harm’s way while you work out what the issue is. By continuing to drive, you may end up stuck in the middle of traffic and cause an accident.

If there is nowhere safe to pull over, it is best to take any potential stressors off of your battery. To do this, switch off all electronic devices. For example, your radio, air conditioning and headlights (if it’s not dark). By doing this, you will reduce the stress and increase the range on your car battery.

Car repair
Source: digitaltrends.com

 See if the Problem Persists

Once you have switched your car off for a little while, try starting it up again to see if the problem persists. It’s normal for your car battery warning light to come on as you start your car and switch off right afterwards. But, if the problem persists, you know there’s a bigger issue. If the battery light comes on again, do not drive it.

Understand the Problem

It’s easier to remain calm if you understand what the potential issue may be with your car. The purpose of the car battery warning light is to show when there is a major issue with the charging system. When this light comes on, the most likely reason will be the alternator. An alternator charges the car battery and powers the electrical system when its engine is running. When the car battery warning light comes on, it’s likely that the alternator is no longer doing its job. This means it is no longer providing charge to the battery or any of the car’s electrical systems. This could be for a few reasons including:

  • The regulator inside the alternator may have failed
  • The serpentine belt that drives the alternator may have dislodged or come off
  • Your battery has failed and is not letting the alternator provide charge

Most issues that cause this light to come on will require professional help. A professional can diagnose the problem and carry out repairs. It is best to rely on a professional as there are risks involved with charging and its electrical system.

Charging Your Car Battery
Source: carfromjapan.com

Charging Your Car Battery

There are a few ways to try and restart your car. By charging your car battery, you may save some money and increase your car battery service life. Although you will have to invest in the right equipment, it is worth it in the long run. Most chargers are user friendly and if you do your research, you will find the right equipment for a good price. Take a look below to see the three main battery charging methods.

Jumpstarting Your Car

Jumpstarting your car is especially useful during an emergency situation. There can be many reasons for why your battery has died. However, a weak or dead battery essentially stops you from successfully starting your car. Jumpstarting your car will get you back on the road so you can find professional help for your car’s issue. Unless your battery has a failed cell or a problem obstructing proper power flow, this is the quick solution for you. All you need for this quick fix is another vehicle with a good battery and a set of jumper cables. Before you jumpstart your car, check your car owner’s manual. This will help you see if you need to follow any specific safety precautions or preparations. It will also tell you if it is possible or safe for you to jumpstart your car.

Fast Battery Charging

A fast battery charger is a fantastic tool for any car battery emergencies. This tool works like a set of powered jumper cables. This means you can jumpstart your car without needing another vehicle. By using this charger, your car battery gets a boost of high current energy to help restore its power. This tool is another way to get you back on the road so you can find professional help for your battery issue. A fast battery charger will recharge a dead battery from anywhere between minutes up to 3 to 4 hours. This all depends on the amperage flow. The first step to using this tool is to make sure it is turned off. Then, similarly to the jumpstart method, connect the charger cables to the correct terminals on the discharged battery. Then simply follow the instructions from your specific fast battery charger model. A brand new fast battery charger can start around $40 depending on the quality, brand and model.

Slow Battery Charging

Slow battery charging does exactly what it sounds like. This charger delivers a slow electric current to your battery for around 12 hours. This technique has some advantages over its faster counterpart. Not only does it restore car battery plates, it helps the battery keep charge for longer. It also prolongs its service life. This system is useful to maintain your battery and increase its service life. This battery charger is ideal for drivers with more than one vehicle. Especially if they’re only driven occasionally or for short trips. By using a slow charge on these vehicles, it will help maintain the batteries. This means you can avoid any car battery warning light emergencies.

Call The Mechanic
Source: adelaide.homegiraffe.com.au

 Contact Your Mechanic

If you are unable to start your car or the problem persists, it’s best to call on a professional. A car mechanic can diagnose and fix the issue at hand. As modern cars are complex systems with plenty of technology, there could be a bigger issue. A mechanic has the tools and experience to dig deeper to identify the cause. and fix it.

Sandgate Auto Electrics has a team of mechanics who can solve any problem with your car battery. We are an RACQ approved auto electrician and mechanic that locals have trusted for over 50 years. We use the latest technology to diagnose and fix any issues at a reasonable price. We are located in Sandgate, North Brisbane, and we look after clients from Brisbane right through to the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. Contact us on (07) 3269 3158 if you have any car battery issues you’d like us to help with. You can also visit our contact page if you’d like a free quote or to book a service.

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