AuthorAngus Mitchell

Home/Articles Posted by Angus Mitchell

Mercedes Vito W639

Mercedes redesigned the Vito light commercial van and relaunched the rear wheel drive commercial in 2004, a significant improvement on the front wheel drive predecessor. The predominant engine was the OM646 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine which has proved itself reliable and tough. The Mercedes Vito was also offered with a V6 petrol and a V6 diesel engine. The V6 diesel engine is a very powerful offering, however regular servicing at no more than 10,000km intervals is required. Failing to do this and using the correct oil will result in the failure of the DPF – Diesel Particulate Filter, which can cause excessive heat build up in the engine and extremely high oil temperatures causing engine damage which is seriously expensive. The 4 cylinder engine is slightly more forgiving but still requires regular maintenance and oil changes. Servicing for the 4 cylinder diesel engines is slightly more expensive than other vehicles due to the fact that the sump holds 9 litres of oil! However, these 4 cylinder diesels have stood the test of time and are extremely reliable for a modern engine.

The engine can suffer from water pump failure, which needs to be monitored closely. Aside from this high milage examples can require servicing of the fuel injectors and leaking injector seals, which can present with large amounts of soot or sludge weeping under the rocker cover area – known as black death. It pays to check the seals regularly and even replace them as a precaution at the 200,000km mark, as when the seals leak and expensive and time consuming clean up process will occur.

The Mercedes Vito w639 model is a reliable car which will offer many years of service at a reasonable cost, with regular maintenance. The car like ride of the vehicle is popular with all types of owners including trades people, and families which opt for the extra seats.

Continue Reading

VW Golf 6th Generation

Vw introduced a new 1.4 litre engine in the new 2008 6th generation Golf. It was a trend that saw a number of competing manufacturers utilise high output smaller capacity direct injection engines that in turn benefited the consumer from low fuel consumption figures and exceptional economy. Coupled to the new DSG – direct shift gearbox, VW brought technology that was previously used in Formula 1 to road cars. The DSG gearbox allows two gears to be selected together in the gearbox simultaneously with two clutch plates coupled to the flywheel switching between the twin input shafts in the gearbox. Lightening fast gearchanges were now the norm.

The Volkswagen Golf MK6 was offered as a baseline with a 1.4 turbocharged engine and also a 1.4 “CAVD” twin charged engine. The twin charged engine uses a turbocharger and a supercharger to produce extremely high boost levels for a road car, in excess of 1.5 bar, literally just off idle. Extreme boost levels for a road car, were pushed though this little engine which didn’t last long before serious issues became apparent. Whilst this engine performs well, the extreme boost levels caused damage to the engine pistons. It soon became apparent that there was a serious design issue with the pistons, which crack through the piston ring area. Many VW owners, were caught high and dry with seriously expensive engine rebuilds required to solve the problem. Aside from this, the supercharger clutch ran directly from the water pump which was seriously overloaded. Water pumps have been known to fail in as little as 30,000 kms, which are also extremely expensive due to the electronic clutch which is integral with the water pump.

The good news is that as the issue has become more apparent, the aftermarket suppliers have been quick to jump onto the problem to improve the design and offer a solution. There is a new design that Mitchell Automotive are able to offer which overcomes the problem with a much heavier duty steel ring to reinforce where the piston rings sit on the pistons. The pistons can be changed in the car, but still require the cylinder head to be removed and the engine partially stripped. Although it is cheaper to repair the engine in the car, the owner is still going to be out of pocket for a number of thousands of dollars.

Continue Reading

Magneto re-magnetising service now available

I have finally managed to source and purchase a magneto and permanent magnet re-magnetiser. This may look like something out of a Frankenstein movie but I can assure you it is an extremely useful and valuable tool when you are working on vintage cars equipped with magneto ignition. Every other auto electrician had one of these in the 1920’s onwards but the weight of copper windings doomed most to be sold for scrap.

If your historic vehicle has magneto ignition and you have not had the magnets re-magnetised for some years consider marking the position, removing the magneto and bringing it to me to be re-magnetised. The magneto does NOT have to be stripped down and the process does not take long. Drop off one morning and pick up the same day. $50 but phone first. Why should you bother? A better spark, more power, better fuel economy and of course easier starting!

Magneto re-magnetiser

Continue Reading

You get what you pay for when it comes to vehicle servicing…

Don’t be fooled by the discounted service!

This vehicle’s oil filter was very, very close to causing serious engine damage. This is how it was removed from the vehicle – falling apart! The high demands of modern engines mean that the quality of lubricants and parts are critical in maintaining longevity and service life. This oil filter was fitted to a BMW and it is not suitable for use in any car! 

We only use filters that meet or exceed manufacturers specifications – all filters fitted to European vehicles serviced in our workshop are made in Germany – not in China! One thing is for certain, it is not worth the risk – you might save a few dollars in the short term but it will not be good for the long-term health of your engine!

Continue Reading

Special Service Offer

Lube and safety inspection including 5 litres of Elf semi synthetic* oil, oil filter and  labour

for only $143!


Lube and safety inspection including 5 litres of Elf fully synthetic* oil, oil filter and labour

for only $168!

elf 2

And to top it off a free set of wiper blades to the first 3 bookings!

Includes check all levels, lights, suspension, brakes and tyres. Some conditions apply, please call for details.
*bulk oil only, vehicles may require different oils depending on manufacturer specifications. Standard wiper blades only.
Continue Reading

Ducellier switch plates for vintage cars

A run of new Ducellier switch plates is nearing completion for French vintage cars. This aluminium plates are machined from a billet and are designed to take the original embossed brass plate. Switch levers are on their way soon too. These will be produced in lost wax casting taken from an excellent original. For details please contact us!20140508_123131

Continue Reading

Amilcar thrives at Adelaide Motorsport Festival

The Adelaide Motorsport Festival saw over 200 of the best and rarest exotic cars Australia has to offer. Set on a shortened version of the Adelaide parklands F1 circuit, we took our 1925 Amilcar Grand Sport for a burn around this great track.


Sit back and enjoy the video.


Continue Reading