Is My Alternator Faulty?

Is My Alternator Faulty?

What Is An Alternator?

Alternators are commonly used in ‘newer’ vehicles. Their function is to charge the battery and get power to the electrical system when your engine is turned on.
The alternator earns its name from the term ‘alternating current’ or AC.
Nearly all alternators are seated using brackets which bolt on to a specific point on the engine.

Is My Alternator Faulty?

You may be experiencing slow start ups, flickering headlights or a warning light on your instrument panel, but is it the alternator?

Milner’s have put together a quick test to help you out.

The Multimeter test.

For this test you will need a multi-meter / multi-tester / voltmeter. These can be purchased online or at your local motor factors, you may even have change left from a tenner.
With the engine switched off, connect the meter to the battery terminals RED positive & BLACK negative. (Do not connect these to the cable clamps)

The meter should read a minimum of 12.3 volts or if you have a good condition battery, it should read at least 12.6 volts.
If your meter is showing below this reading it could be a result of one of the following reasons:

  • The battery is discharged. (Recharge your battery)
  • The battery is low on distilled water. (The water should be 5mm above the plates. DO NOT fill the battery full to the top).
  • The battery has a high internal resistance. (Sulphide plates)

Multi-meter test

IF your battery is in good condition.

Start your engine and rev to 2000 RPM. This will draw power on the battery and cause the voltage regulator to start the alternator working. Let the engine idle and the reading should be:

  • A minimum of 13 volts.
  • Revving the engine will fluctuate the voltage between 13 to 14.5 volts, which indicates the alternator is in good shape.
  • If the voltage when revving the engine stays the same or decreases, then your alternator is more than likely faulty.
  • To test the regulator, repeat the process with the lights, radio and A/C (if fitted) switched ON.
    Rev the engine again to a constant 2000 RPM. The meter reading should read above 13 volts and no more than 14.8 volts. IF the meter reads above 14.8 volts, the alternator is probably over-charging.

If you are unsure on the above, take your vehicle to your local garage and get them to do the test for you.

 

(The above information is a guide only. It is down to the operator to gain the correct voltage tolerances for the vehicle on test. The above tests are for a standard 12 volt negative earth system. A good working battery will show 12.6 volts and a minimum of 12.3 volts.)

Nissan Navara Sagging Rear Suspension Issues.

Nissan Navara Rear Suspension Issues

 

Nissan Navara Rear Suspension Issues.

The model in question is the Navara NP300 2015 onward.

The vehicle itself gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars by AutoExpress, reporting  ”Small bumps are ironed out far more effectively and the floating feeling over sudden undulations is much better suppressed.”
However, while it brings some benefits when unladen, it has been criticised for struggling to cope with anything approaching its claimed load weight of 1 tonne. Further more Nissan state the NP300 has a 3.5 tonne towing capacity.

Despite the claimed stats, opinions from owners are coming in that their Nissan’s are ”struggling” with loads well under the claimed payload. Unmanageable steering and sagging springs are just a few to mention.
Vehicles that are used for work or tow large trailers are proving that the standard rear suspension is much too soft.

Here at Milner’s we developed a kit to abolish the NP300’s flaws / poor rear suspension characteristics.

The Milner kit will restore the vehicle to a more usable ride height when loaded/towing without compromising comfort when empty.

Kit Comprises of:
2 x Upgraded Coil Springs
2 x Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers

(The shock absorbers must be used to overcome the effects of the stronger spring.)

Nissan Navara NP300 Suspension Upgrade Kit

Head on over to www.milneroffroad.com to get your kit.

Comment below with you thoughts or experiences.

11 Awesome Modified 4×4’s From Around The World

toyota tundra

Who doesn’t love awesome modified 4×4’s? We most certainly do, and so we’ve put together a list of 11 awesome modified 4×4’s from around the world. Check out how these off-road enthusiasts are upping their 4×4 game.

1. Toyota Land Cruiser 76 Series

modified 4x4's - - toyota land cruiser 76 series
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/309481805634736390/

2. Land Rover Defender

modified 4x4's - land rover defender
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/289145238550094091/

3. Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40

modified 4x4's - toyota land cruiser fj40
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/751678994028681166/

4. Nissan Navara

modified 4x4's - Nissan Navara
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/561050066050718015/

5. Toyota Tundra

modified 4x4's - toyota tundra
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/579275570792846100/

6. Ford F-150

modified 4x4's - ford f-150
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/30610472449665242/

7. Mitsubishi Pajero

modified 4x4's - Mitsubishi pajero
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/464996730256463059/

8. Toyota Tacoma

modified 4x4's - Toyota Tacoma
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/399835273151661454/

9. Nissan Pathfinder

modified 4x4's - Nissan Pathfinder
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/501799583466794109/

10. Toyota Hilux

modified 4x4's - Toyota Hilux
Image source: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/824581012993696945/

11. Milner LRM-1

milner lrm-1
Of course we had to include our own creation too!

Which one is your favourite? Let us know your thoughts on these modified 4×4’s from around the world in the comments below, and be sure to share some photos of your own awesome 4×4 mods too.

How Often Should I Change My Gearbox Filter And Oil?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY GEARBOX FILTER

How Often Should I Change My Gearbox Filter And Oil?

Why Do I Have A Gearbox Filter?

Well as you rack up more miles in your vehicle, the auto gearbox is working very hard under the heat from your daily journeys. Your gearbox oil may become contaminated with worn bits of the internal gears. If these impurities are not drained out, they will shorten the life of your gearbox.
To prevent this from happening you should change your gearbox filter regularly, as this is your savior keeping you from expensive gearbox problems.
The filter removes the impurities floating around within the oil, whilst the oil not only acts as a lubricant but also as a coolant.

How Often Should I Change My Gearbox Oil And Filter?

Milner’s number one technical guy advises, personally he likes to change ALL the oils and filters when he purchases a new vehicle. Not only because it gives him peace of mind, but how can you really be sure when they were last done?

Below are ‘typical’ suggestions on changes.

Automatic:  The typical service interval is 60,000 to 100,000 miles. However Milner’s would recommend that you change annually, just like you would with your engine oil and filters.

Manual: Many manufacturers recommend that manual transmission fluid be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Although if you check your owners manual, it will advise your vehicles recommendation.

Typically the colour of the fluid could indicate you that it requires changing.
If you do a lot of driving under high-stress conditions, you should check the transmission level more often and have a garage check the condition of the fluid. Transmission fluid often is red but can come in other colors, and as it deteriorates it tends to turn darker and sometimes smells burnt.

 

How Easy Is It To Change My Gearbox Oil And Filter?

When asking the question to one of our Milner Race engineers, he quickly replied with ”An absolute nightmare!” However he quickly retracted that statement and said it depends what vehicle it is on.

If you are fortunate to have a drain plug on your sump pan, it should be relatively easy and mess free. However if you are less fortunate – you will most definitely need a catch pan that is wider than your gearbox assembly.

Simple Steps To Changing Gearbox Fluid And Gasket:

  1. Place catch pan under drain whole or under the gearbox assembly.
  2. Unscrew drain bolt or remove gearbox pan, to start drainage.
  3. Remove the old gasket and filter.
  4. Inspect the gearbox pan. Make sure that the magnet (inside the casing) is clear of any small metal shavings, any large shavings may indicate more serious gear wear.
  5. Fit the new filter and gasket and bolt the pan back onto the vehicle.
  6. Ensure you have the correct replacement fluid, this can be found in your owners manual under their recommendations. Also check the amount that your vehicle requires.
  7. Pour in the correct amount of fluid.
  8. Start your vehicle and let it run for a few minutes and check the fluid level.
  9. Dispose of your used fluid correctly. Here is a handy link: http://www.oilbankline.org.uk/

So when you are giving your vehicle a service, don’t forget to change the gearbox oil and filter as well.

Head on over to our website to get your filter and oil –> Milner Off Road

Vehicle Recall Checker – Is Your 4×4 Being Recalled?

vehicle recall checker

Sometimes when a car is released to the world, something can go overlooked and major problems can arise.

In the event of this happening, a recall usually happens, meaning that the driver has to send their car back to the manufacturer for work.

This has been in the news a fair amount over the last few years, with millions of cars recalled for everything from faulty airbags to electrics causing fires.

If your car has been recalled, it is extremely important to ensure that you return it swiftly so that the work can be done. So, there is a Government recall checker tool that allows users to quickly and easily see if their vehicle is part of an outstanding safety recall simply by entering a few details about their vehicle..

Many drivers are friends and fans of Milner Off Road thanks to the wide range of 4×4 parts that we supply, and therefore we want to ensure that everyone keeps their vehicle running as safely and smoothly as possible.

Click the image below to find out if your car has been recalled.vehicle recall checker

Has your vehicle ever been recalled by the manufacturer? What was it for and was it easy to resolve? Share your story with us in the comments below.

How to Improve Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency Throughout the Winter

milner snow

No matter what make or model of vehicle you drive, the conditions throughout the winter will certainly affect the way you drive and the way you care for your set of wheels. As the cold and ice begin to set in, you might make adjustments such as changing your 4×4 tyres to winter-specific ones, or you might just carry on as normal but with the heating seeing much more usage.

Regardless though, the state of the road with its reduced grip and the greater periods of darkness will place more of a strain on your vehicle’s electrical appliances. Being forced to use your heater, fog lights, etc, is estimated to reduce the performance of trucks by around 10%, with cars also being impacted in a similar manner.

To counter this seasonal annoyance, there are luckily a number of ways to reduce the amount of fuel that you’re burning through. For instance, when it comes to setting off on a journey with a vehicle that’s been exposed to the cold, don’t just get in and drive off immediately. If you can wait a few minutes for the internal parts of the engine to heat up and reach a more optimal operating temperature, then you can reduce the strain on it and subsequently the amount of fuel required to get things up and running.

Secondly whilst you might want to drive faster if only to get out of the cold quicker, going as fast as legally allowed isn’t always the best course of action from an efficiency perspective. Whilst it is true that higher gears tend to consume less petrol, going too fast can lead to far more fuel being used than if you drove just a tad slower whilst in transit. The technical aspect of this revolves around the number of revs being produced, and avoiding heavy braking or acceleration will also yield a positive contribution in this regard. That’s not to mention the attention you should pay to speed limits, and even if the signs permit you to do a certain limit, do you really need to do so when there may be hidden dangers present?

Maintenance of your vehicle is another key avenue for exploration and whilst something you should always be on top of, this becomes even more crucial when driving in potentially treacherous conditions. Everything from tyre pressure to dust clogging up your air filters can reduce the performance of various instruments, in turn creating a needless expense on fuel on the driver’s behalf. Whilst different types of vehicle will have their own specific things to watch out for, the common consensus is to pay special attention to the tyres, oil, windows, brakes, interior, and fluids.

Indeed, tyre inflation is a point also worth considering as the pressure to which your tyres are kept impacts mainly on handling, but also on fuel consumption. Estimates are that for every one PSI away from the recommended level, tyres can worsen fuel mileage by .3%.

Fortunately though checking the PSI level of your tyres is easily done via checking the owner’s handbook which should come with the vehicle, or in many cases marked somewhere on the vehicle for easy consultation. Any petrol station will have the facilities to top up with air if needed, at a minimal fee.

Another possible approach for drivers to take is to reduce the weight your vehicle is carrying, and this is a tip for all year round-not just winter. Removing non-essential parts such as excess seats will mean the engine has less weight to propel forward and subsequently requires less fuel to move around. Take care though to not go overboard in this regard as some removable items such as spare tyres are items that are certainly better to have with you, even if they do make you slightly heavier.

If you have the financial capability to do so as well, there are a number of gadgets that can make your life behind the wheel a cheaper and more comfortable experience. Sat Nav’s and other GPS devices are far less costly than they once were, and apps such as Google Maps come completely free with smartphones and can be used to plot the quickest route in real-time. There are a number of other more expensive gizmos that can be purchased to help provide a better breakdown of your driving habits and what you can improve on, but the free options are more than sufficient for most people.

It’s also worth mentioning that no matter how meticulous you might be preparing your vehicle and making all the necessary purchases, there will be occasions when the weather is so bad that driving just simply isn’t worth the risk. There isn’t a product around that can 100% mitigate the dangers posed by ice or blizzards, so unless there is a dire emergency that happens to be occurring, staying at home and not using any fuel at all is likely to be your best bet.

Ultimately though no matter how meticulous you are with the way you drive or how you care for your vehicle, the rigours of nature mean that you will almost certainly spend more on fuel over the coming months than throughout the rest of the year. However, using the above tips you should be able to mitigate your losses and prevent such a vital expense from spiralling out of control and leaving you increasingly out of pocket.

Lastly, whilst making savings here and there is always enjoyable, vehicle ownership carries with it a responsibility to both yourself and fellow road users to maintain it to a level that does not threaten anyone’s safety. Being reluctant to adjust your tyres, for example, increases the odds of even the best driver being undone by a hidden patch of ice, and it only takes a single moment for everything to go wrong. Saving money is less important than safety so minimise some costs where you can, whilst spending on the real essentials that all drivers will require when the cold weather rolls in.

See our wide range of 4×4 parts and accessories at our main website https://www.milneroffroad.com for a great selection of products to help you prepare your 4×4 for winter driving, including snow recovery tracks.

Want more like this? Check out our other post – Winter Driving Safety Tips which features a cool, helpful infographic too.

Watch Out For These Common 4×4 Mistakes

common driving mistakes

Common Driving Mistakes Made In 4×4’s

Off-road driving can be a fun and exciting experience provided it is done with the right technique and carried out within certain guidelines. But if these instructions are avoided then it can turn into an expensive adventure. People often tend to take shortcuts, but sometimes those shortcuts and ingrained methods can make your 4×4 life more difficult in the long run.

Here are the five biggest mistakes people make when going for off-road rides:

Not Being Fully Prepared

Off-road adventures require a lot of heads-up and it takes real preparation to tackle the really rough tracks – not just simply rushing out without packing more than a few drinks. Even if you are confident in your abilities and have done it many times before, carrying a basic kit in case of emergencies is always a good idea.

It might also be useful to carry a recovery kit as well, which can help in any condition. The more you prepare yourself, the more you will be able to enjoy your 4×4 ride without being stranded and on a desperate lookout for help.

Over-packing

It is always advisable to carry necessary items such as extra clothes, food, a sufficient amount of water and a lot more. But that doesn’t mean you should bring everything and the kitchen sink just for a quick jaunt.

Make sure your 4×4 isn’t overloaded and is below the legal weight limit that can be supported safely by a vehicle. Bringing every piece of equipment and overdoing it is not required for every trip and may create the risk of losing the vehicle’s balance if you’ve got all your gear loaded on the roof or piled on the back.

Unstable conditions in off-road driving could cause your car to handle differently and put you in an unexpected and possibly dangerous situation. Apart from all the stuff you pack, make sure your recovery gear is the last thing that is being packed so that it can be easily found whenever needed.

See the European adventure packing guide from The Savvy Backpacker for more help on ideas of what to pack.

Going Too Solid

Speed is not always the key to brilliant driving, as you don’t want to go hurtling into a situation from where you can’t get out. Sometimes you need to go slow on the throttle, like when you are on the beach and have to move through ruts that are trying to push your car towards the surf.

The old cliché “slow and steady wins the race” can be literal when it comes to manoeuvring past obstacles, instead of getting stranded and charging in too forcefully. Try to plan your approach, get out and walk ahead of an obstacle rather than just stamping down on the accelerator once you find yourself in a bit of trouble, which will inevitably make it worse.

Selecting Low Quality Gear

It’s important to select quality recovery gear when heading out on an expedition. You should always ensure that you choose high quality essentials such as snatch strap or a winch for whenever you get stuck. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive or gold-plated items, but you must ensure that your gear is good quality and in working order.

Spending a little bit more to buy something once would be better rather than skimping on the cost and having to buy it over and over again, especially if it’s going to leave you stranded.

Going Alone

Going on an adventure on your own is not always a good idea unless you have enough experience. If you go on an off-road trip alone and unfortunately get stuck, there might be fewer chances of getting help, especially at places which do not have signals or signboards. This could leave you stranded for some time.

So, make sure you are heading out in groups so that you have a rescue vehicle in case something goes wrong. With a group or team your ability to tackle these situations increases.

Not Knowing Your Car

Before you start your ride and go off-road, you need to know what your vehicle is capable of and what it isn’t. Also, you should check whether your 4×4 has enough storage and seating capacity according so that you and other members can sit comfortably.

Properly assessing the vehicle will give you an idea of any changes that may need to be made.

Not Selecting The Right Driving Mode

Many 4-wheel drive vehicles have multiple terrain modes that should be decided based on the type of track you will be driving on. You have to select the required mode before heading towards the obstacle. Don’t try to ride the vehicle in normal mode and switch to the right mode only when you’re stuck.

Once you get stuck, switching to the correct mode will not get you out instantly. You need to make sure that you select the desired driving mode from the beginning of your journey so that you don’t face any issues.

Tyre Pressure

Tyres are the most important part of your vehicle while off-roading. You need to check air pressure and general 4×4 tyre condition before going on an adventurous ride. If you choose sandy surface for off-roading, make sure you lower your tyre pressure so that the contact area increases and the pressure is distributed over a larger surface area.

To prevent yourself from getting bogged down this step is extremely crucial. Make sure you revert back to the required tyre pressure when you are done with off-roading else it could result in a tyre blow out.

Not Maintaining Momentum

During off-roading, you have to balance your vehicle’s speed from being too slow and having constant momentum because any sudden acceleration could create issues. Possessing adequate momentum will keep things safely moving.

Having stable momentum and gradual throttle input will prevent you from getting stuck in a deep rut and also help you get out of any sticky situations.

See this guide from Lotsa Fresh Air for more tips on driving on dirt roads.

While preparing yourself for any off road adventure, you need to pay keen attention to all of the mistakes listed above, and work to avoid making them. Making the correct checks and avoiding these mistakes will help you a lot when it comes to tackling any obstacles you may face when off roading, and help make your trip enjoyable and memorable.

Heading out on any 4×4 expeditions in the near future? Or maybe just want to give your vehicle from TLC? Make sure you check out our best ever range of 4×4 parts for sale.

Nissan Navara Based SUV On The Way

2018 nissan navara suv

Nissan has spoken recently to the Australian media at the 2017 Tokyo motor show, Ashwani Gupta – the person behind the recently created light commercial vehicle division of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance – has dropped a big hint the new Nissan Navara-based SUV will appear in 2018 at the Beijing motor show in April.

“Nissan is extremely competent on frame-based vehicles, frame-based trucks, and frame-based SUVs, and we are going to cover each and every segment of the frame. Now when? I think you’ll have to wait a little bit longer, please wait a little bit longer to Beijing Motor Show”, Gupta said.

This is no doubt a move from Nissan to combat the ever-growing SUV forecourt. A name hasn’t been revealed for this new SUV as of yet, however, murmurs on the internet suggest it could be called the Nissan X-Terra, joining the Xterra range. and could potentially serve as the replacement for the old Nissan Pathfinder.

We are awaiting more news for this new Nissan to drop and we have reached out to Nissan themselves asking for more information so we can give you – the Milner family more information regarding this vehicle. As you can see from the image below, the new Nissan SUV looks almost identical to the NP300 Navara.

2018 nissan navara suv

What do you think of this new addition to the Nissan family? Please let us know in the comments below.

Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal?

Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal

Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal? – Here Are Some Quick And Easy Steps To Follow.

Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal? It seems like a daunting task that may turn out to be expensive.
Never fear, here are a few things that you can check. They are really quick and easy – even if you’re not even that car savvy.

Because your tyres play such a vital role, there are some very important and specific legal requirements relating to their condition and maintenance:

  • Tyres must be inflated correctly to the vehicle manufacturer’s and the tyre manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Tyres must be free from defects which may put anyone in danger, they must also be fit for purpose.

Checking The Pressure Of Your Tyres.

First of all, tyre pressure guides can be found in a few places on your vehicle.
Most commonly it can be located on your ‘B’ pillar either on the driver’s side.
If there is no sticker on the door, you can usually find the specifications in the owner’s manual or in your fuel cap.
The correct psi is determined by the manufacturer of your vehicle and is different depending on the make and model of each vehicle.

You may need to work out your psi by doing a simple conversion from ‘bar’. The bar is most commonly displayed on the vehicles tyre pressure indicator.
Here is a simple conversion chart for you.

Bar To Psi Conversion Chart

When you locate the pressure guide on your vehicle, you will find that pressure varies depending on the weight of the load within your vehicle.  When you travel alone, the pressure needs to be different from when your vehicle is loaded with family and their luggage, hence the different recommendations.

Example:
In this picture, you can see A and B.
A recommends up to 3 passengers, and B recommends max load or towing.Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal?

In this next picture, we can see that your vehicles required ‘bar’ is different depending on weight in your vehicle. How many passengers you are carrying, how much luggage do they have?
Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal?

Now That Your Tyre Pressure Is Correct:

Are your tyres actually legal to be on the roads?
How much will I be fined if they are illegal?

Well, the penalty for illegal tyres is a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per illegal tyre. Therefore you could be faced with a £10,000 bill and 12 points if all four tyres were found to be illegal. Ouch!

Here are Milner’s quick tips to keep you from that hefty fine, or even worse – an accident!

Tread Depth and Legal Tyre Limits.

The minimum legal limit for tread depth on your tyres is 1.6mm.
On most tyres, you can find wear indicators.
There should be an arrow on the side of the tyre wall pointing to where the raised marker within the treads will be, like below.

Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal?Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal?

Alternatively, you can buy yourself a tyre depth gauge online, or in most local motor factors.
I found quite a few on eBay all reasonably priced, for the bargain price of £3.88 you can have yourself a VOSA approved gauge:

VOSA Tyre gauge

The legal limit for minimum tread depth on your tyres in the UK is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.

Here is a horrendous example of illegal front tyres that we changed for a customer. This could have caused disastrous consequences:
Are Your Tyres Safe And Legal?

As you can see the tread is barely there and you can see the cord within the tyre.
Did you know that at a tread depth of only at 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes an extra two car lengths (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.

Defects:

It isn’t just tyre pressure and lack of tread that can cause an accident.
Common defects can be:

  • Lumps or egg type bulges.
  • Tears in the tyre wall, potentially caused by potholes.
  • Tears across the tyre tread.
  • Tyre cord being visible.

Hopefully, after reading this, you will be a bit more aware of tyres and tyre safety.
Safe journeys everyone.

Don’t forget Milner’s can get most makes and sizes of 4×4 tyres for a wide range of vehicles. With amazing prices like ours, why not give us a call for a quote today?
Telephone us on 01629 734411 or pop us an email to [email protected]

4x4-tyres