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  • Writer's pictureAutominder Team

How it all started at Autominder

Allan has spent over half a century running a vehicle service centre at Kempsey, on the Mid North Coast of NSW, first his father's and then his own. Until recently Kempsey was on the main highway from Sydney to Brisbane and as a good sized service centre with 8 bays a lot of breakdowns were towed in by the emergency repair organisations. It is fair to say Allan has seen just about every type of breakdown possible.

As cars became more reliable with solid state electronics and better materials were used, the amount of breakdowns generally became less and the type changed. But one type of breakdown didn't progress with modern advancements -it stayed constant. That was engine overheating and damage (often catastrophic) due to loss of water (or loss of engine coolant).

Why was this so? Partly because people didn't need to check 'oil and water' as much any more, but the real reason was the sensors in their cars didn't warn them till too late. Often way too late!

The gauges in cars and warning lights relied on temperature sensors, sometimes in the water channels, sometimes just in the engine and sometimes on the outside of the engine. None of these sensors let you know when the water level started dropping! What was need was a water sensor, which let you know when your water level started dropping. A low water alarm or low coolant alarm, which let you know before you damaged your engine. It was quite conceivable with an in water temperature sensor you could lose all your radiator water or radiator coolant overnight and drive many kilometres before any temperature warning. Often people would notice due to the noise, that bucket of bolts rattle, when the cam followers or bearings start rattling themselves to death.

Why do engines lose all their coolant? Or radiator water as many describe car cooling problems. Probably one of the most common reasons - and definitely so for stored classics, tractors, earthmoving equipment or rural cars - is rodent or rat damage. They regularly chew through radiator hoses completely leaving a hole, or chew through enough that they eat the reinforcement causing a bulge or bubble which blows when the system is under pressure as you drive.

There are many more reasons cars lose their coolant or water, generally when under a high load and the system is slightly below par, such as low radiator coolant then causing overheating. A good example of high load for a car is towing a caravan or trailer or hitting traffic with it's reduced airflow after open road driving, the built up heat has no where to go. Having low radiator water or low radiator coolant compounds the problem and can cause overheating.

Of course vehicle cooling systems lose coolant for other reasons, naturally through their radiator cap when warm, through old and damaged hoses, porous block, gaskets, water pumps, etc, etc. The beauty of the Autominder Low Engine Coolant Alarm is it instantly lets you know when the radiator fluid drops below a centimetre or two, so you can pick up the problem with your engine cooling system immediately, well before it does any damage. This low water alarm for your car allows you to stop and refill, check the issue, well before doing thousands of dollars of damage. If you drive a classic this can save you being off the road for months while waiting for rare parts - though replacing overheated motors since covid has become slow in newer cars.

Autominder low coolant alarm has been installed on tens of thousands of cars, earthmoving equipment, tractors, stationary motors, classic cars, tow vehicles, company cars - in facts all sorts of vehicles over the last 30 years to monitor for low radiator coolant. It is particularly handy for when the operator of the vehicle is not mechanically aware or possibly not the owner of the vehicle. The visual and audible warning when you have low radiator coolant is unmissable and means that every operator of the vehicle will respond to the low coolant alarm.

I an ideal world we would always check the radiator fluid level before every drive and in fact every time we started the vehicle, but having to wait for a car to cool at petrol stations or a quick stop at the shops just isn't practical. So let Autominder low coolant alarm monitor your radiator water level or radiator coolant level for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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