It happens once a year (or every few thousand kilometres) like clockwork. You get the notification or reminder that your car's due for a service, and if past years are any indicator, you know it's going to cost you plenty. Before you drop your vehicle off with a heavy heart and a lighter wallet, you should know that it doesn't have to be this way. If you've been seeing a particular mechanic for all these years, they might not have thought to mention a few things you could do to keep your servicing and maintenance costs on the low side.
Thankfully, the team at Imperial Select is more than willing to divulge a few of these secrets with you, because we want to keep your car functional. Keep reading to learn how you can shrink the bill at your next Imperial Select vehicle maintenance service appointment.
Secret No. 1 - They Know Your Secrets
Thinking about fudging the truth about where that mysterious noise or smell is coming from when you know it started happening after slamming your brakes one too many times? Instead of pretending like you don't know what happened, rather come clean and be honest. Remember that your car service provider isn't your insurance company. This means they're less concerned about how something happened and more concerned with why it happened and how it can be fixed. Rather be truthful so they can get to the heart of the problem.
Secret No. 2 - You Should Take Their Warnings Seriously
The people who service your car want to keep it in good condition, and this is more challenging and complicated when there's a serious problem under your hood. For this reason, if you're advised to fix something urgently, do it sooner rather than later. You might think they're trying to squeeze more money out of you, but you'll pay more if you ignore their warnings. Nobody wants to end up having to tow their car after it breaks down at the side of the road at midnight.
Secret No. 3 - For Them, Cleaner Is Better
While you don't have to take your car in, without having it valeted, that doesn't mean you shouldn't make an effort. Wouldn't you rather get your car back sooner? Make an effort to remove old fast-food wrappers, receipts, jackets, and books from your car. Remember that it's not the job of the person fixing your car to babysit your belongings. Give them a clean and empty vehicle to work with, and you make the job easier for them to do - meaning you get your car back that much quicker.
Secret No. 4 - They Want You To Ask
We often put off asking mechanics questions about what they're doing to our cars and why. There's the assumption they're either lying to us about what they've been doing or that they're trying to confuse us with complicated technical jargon. In reality, no good mechanic will begrudge explaining to you what they've undertaken during your car's service. This is because they know a knowledgeable customer is one that will be less likely to balk at pricing and requests for parts if they see the value of it and understand what it's for.
Secret No 5. - They Make Less Money Off You Than You Think
It's a common assumption that every car service comes with a hefty price tag that's been padded for extra profits. While some other mechanics might do this, it's less likely to occur with an Imperial Select mechanic. We see hundreds of cars brought in every day, and being able to successfully service them all without making mistakes or wasting time means we have to do our jobs honestly. This means what we charge you is what you get and that you can trust us with your vehicle.
Are you feeling more confident about your upcoming vehicle maintenance service? With Imperial Select, you'll have less to worry about than ever. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for just about any vehicle make and model.
Having your car suddenly die on you is never a pleasant experience, even less so when you end up stuck on the side of a highway or nowhere near immediate help or a reliable car repair workshop. Just as with all parts of your car, car batteries have a life span, and sometimes you won&rsquot realise that it&rsquos on the verge of dying on you until it actually does. Typically car batteries last around two to five years, depending on how well you take care of them and how you drive and use your car. These factors can help you extend the life of your car battery.
We&rsquove compiled four tips to help you get the most out of your car battery and push back the date for a new one just a bit more.
Just as how you should routinely check your oil, water, and tire pressure, take the time to clean the terminals of your car battery. Dirt, dust, and grime tend to collect around the connecting points and can reduce the efficiency of your battery, or even cause it to lose charge entirely. Batteries also produce a white, powdery residue after a while, which can also affect its performance. To clean the terminals, simply wipe them down with a damp cloth, or, if there&rsquos a lot of build-up, mix a homemade cleaning solution to clear the grime. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with some water until it forms a thick paste, then apply it to your terminals and scrub them with a toothbrush. Be sure to remove all the cables before you do this, and ensure the terminals are dry before you reattach the cables when you&rsquore done.
Making use of features such as the sound system or headlights while your car is turned off will siphon a lot of power from your car battery without it having means to recharge. This can often result in a car that won&rsquot start if you&rsquove left your lights or radio on for too long without starting the engine every now and then. The limited usage also degrades the quality of the battery over time, so try to limit how often you do this.
If you&rsquove ever needed a reason for a road trip, aside from the fun of getting away for a bit and exploring your province, long drives are necessary and very good for car batteries. If your daily routine consists of only traveling short distances every day with little to no longer trips, you&rsquoll find that your car battery won&rsquot last as long as that of cars which are driven over longer periods of time. Plan for a break over the weekend now and then, and take your car out for a good run.
If your car is going to be standing parked for more than a week without being driven, it&rsquos best to disconnect your battery to avoid it draining during that period of time. Get yourself a car battery charger and routinely charge the battery or trickle-charge it to ensure it stays in top form, especially after having stood unused for a while.
We hope these tips will guide you in enjoying a much longer battery life for your car. And if you&rsquove got any questions, stop by one of our car repair workshops and chat with our team about other ways to extend the life of your car battery.
So, you've been searching through used vehicles for a while, scouring all over, and finally come across one that you love and just have to buy before someone else swipes it from your hands and the future that you've already begun to daydream about with it.
Before you buy that used car and buyer's excitement and impulsivity takes over, remember that you are looking at a car that isn't fresh off the factory floor and does have some history before it showed up on the dealer's lot where you're viewing it. Just as with a new car, where you should do ample research before making your purchase, there are quite a few aspects you should be clear about before making any final decision that may end up costing you time, effort and money not too far down the line. Consider it a buyer's confidence checklist, if you will. Here are a few of the questions you should ask the dealer or salesperson before you sign the papers and take ownership of that used car.
Any used car has a history, and you deserve to know as much as possible about it, to be clear on what responsibility or potential risk you're taking over. Ask the dealer for any information they may have on the previous owner of the vehicle and if it had been in any accidents or required any major repairs. Service history, location of where the vehicle was stored (undercover or out in the street, as this can affect the quality of the bodywork and parts) as well as how many previous owners it has had will also give you a better idea of how much the car may have gone through until this current point in time.
As is typical with used vehicles, there will be a bit of wear and tear, as well as the occasional small feature that may no longer work but didn't warrant repairs or issues that weren't covered during a service. The dealership inspects any car very thoroughly before they accept to buy it from an owner, so the salesperson should be able to tell you if there are aspects you should be aware of upfront.
If the car is still reasonably new - up to about 3 years - it might still have an original warrantee period remaining. This also applies to a service plan period, so ask your dealer if either of these are still applicable to the vehicle. If not, one reassuring benefit you'll have when buying from a dealership is that you'll have peace of mind in knowing you can return your car within the first 30 days to 6 months, as stipulated by the Consumer Protection Act.
There are several required documents that need to be present when a car is sold. Typically dealerships take cars for a full inspection and roadworthiness testing to ensure that they're selling a safe and legally viable vehicle. Be sure to ask your dealer for the certificate as proof that the car has, in fact, been checked over.
You may just find that the previous owner added upgrades to the vehicle or requested premium specifications upon purchase, so ask your dealer if there are any extras you may not have been aware of.
Dealers tend to display a great deal of confidence in the cars they're selling and constantly reassure potential buyers of the excellent condition of the vehicle, but asking them a question like this will reveal a great deal as you'll be catching them off guard. If they suddenly don't show as much confidence, be aware of the possibility that they may know more about the car than they're willing to let on.
While some dealers don't know offhand what another brand's parts and services may cost, a dealer that is well-versed in a variety of models or one that specialises in the brand you're looking at should be able to tell you what you can expect to spend on the vehicle in coming years. Secondary to that, find out how rapidly the car depreciates and what the resale value looks like with each passing year. This will give you a fairly confident idea of what a future with this car will hold.
Whatever car you're interested in and whatever your budget range, our vast selection of used cars at Imperial Select are constantly being updated, and our friendly sales team are always on hand to assist you with getting your dream car, whether it is a new one or a used car in Johannesburg.
In South Africa, bakkies are consistently the best-selling vehicles on the market, with high sales demand for both new and used models across the country. There are ample brands, models and variations available to choose from but if you're looking at buying a bakkie such as a used Nissan for sale, you'll need to consider whether you should go for a brand new model or whether a used car in Johannesburg is a better option according to your needs and budget. Unless you have the cash to spend and absolutely must have that new model (and new price tag), it's worth doing a bit of research on what your options are. Here are a few things to bear in mind
Mileage And Age Aren't The Biggest Factors
A rare benefit that's applicable across the board with bakkies is that their resale value barely depreciates over the years, unlike how it does with other vehicles. Even if a bakkie has racked up 100 000kms on the clock, it will still have many years and kilometres of unfailing service ahead of it. Designed to be rugged and durable under the most extreme conditions, a used bakkie will have far greater tenacity than a used car with the same mileage or production year. Unlike when considering a new or used car, this means you shouldn't let mileage be the main concern when deciding whether you should go the new or used route. Instead, look at the physical condition of the bakkie as there may be a need to patch up the bodywork, paint or even interior features.
Consider Your Purpose For A Bakkie
People own bakkies for a variety of reasons, from living in rural areas to frequently going on adventure drives, or regularly needing to transport items. It's also a popular family vehicle as it is versatile, provides safety and, thanks to their typically elevated cabin, ensure a much better view of the road and surroundings. When looking at potential options, make a list of what you're going to need the bakkie for, how often you'll be using it, as well as features you need it to have. Bakkies are generally quite similar in terms of features and most models will feature airbags, ABS and stability control as standard, so you won't be lacking in features if you opt for an older bakkie. You may need to have features such as Bluetooth installed if it is a slightly older model, but the cost of upgrading the technology is likely a fraction of the alternative price of buying a new model with those features.
Benefits Of A New Bakkie
As we mentioned, you won't lose out on performance, durability or features if you buy a used bakkie, but there are some benefits to purchasing a new one which an older bakkie may not offer.
Firstly, regular testing and improvements being made to vehicle engines mean that each new model delivers better performance and improved fuel consumption than the last. With a new bakkie you'll probably find there are some clear improvements, compared to an older model.
Secondly, a new bakkie comes with a warranty and the option to add a service plan to your purchase, which will give you complete peace of mind and less maintenance costs for the first few years of ownership.
And Finally&hellipWhatever You Decide
Two factors to keep in mind whether you buy new or used bakkie, are insurance costs and fuel consumption. An older bakkie will cost less to insure but may be heavier on petrol, while a new model will essentially be the opposite. There are a range of power classes for bakkies, which is why it's important to determine what you'll be needing a bakkie for. If you aren't going to be dealing with rough terrain or very heavy-duty work, you won't need to buy too powerful a model as it will consume a lot more petrol than a model with less power.
Whatever your choice, we have a range of used Nissans for sale on our website, so remember to keep checking in if you're looking for a specific model.
Let's face it our economic climate is pretty harsh on all of our pockets at the moment, but certain necessities - like having your own transport - are crucial to living in South Africa. If you're currently scouting the market and have concluded that a used car for sale is the best solution for your needs and budget, then we've got some valuable advice.
Several private sellers are getting rid of their cars and, while it's tempting to dive in headlong when you come across what seems to be the best used cars for sale at a really great price, being cautious and extremely thorough before making any decisions would be wise. Used car dealers like Imperial Select offer a wide range of great second-hand cars for sale from various manufacturers, but what makes it better to buy from a dealership than a private seller?
Buy An Experience, Not Just A Car
Firstly, and probably most importantly, when you buy from a dealership, you're purchasing peace of mind. Dealership vehicles are all thoroughly checked and tuned up before they hit the sales floor, to ensure that you, the buyer, get a car that not only looks good and runs well now but will continue to do so on the long term. When you buy from a private seller, you only have their word to go by, in terms of the condition of the car, as well as its service and repairs history. Unfortunately, there are many chancers out there, looking to make a sale who are quite okay with embellishing the truth or entirely fabricating information to get you to buy their car.
A Dealership Has Your Back
Secondly, dealership-sold vehicles come with reassurance that if anything should go wrong, beyond reasonable standards - such as breakdowns mere days or weeks after buying the car or discovering rust or other damage you didn't initially notice - you will have the option to return to them and deal with the situation. Most used cars from dealerships come with a conditional warranty as well, one that covers you in case of unexpected car trouble.
Private sellers, on the other hand, can be likened to taking a chance and hoping for the best. Very often, buyers have had the misfortune of purchasing a used car from a private seller, only to have car trouble a day or week later with no recourse or ability to get hold of the seller. Since there is typically no protection for you as a buyer when it comes to private sales, the seller can dismiss any liability for the vehicle the moment you buy it.
You're Paying For Convenience
Thirdly, there are loads of administrative tasks and potential red tape nightmares that you avoid entirely when you buy from a dealership as opposed to a private seller. In order for you to register any new or used car in your name, you'll need the VIN number and other documentation for the vehicle, which the current owner would need to supply you with before making the sale.
However, sometimes people buy a second-hand car from a private owner without this knowledge and end up with months of struggles to get the car registered without the necessary documentation. These documents also verify that the seller is, in fact, the owner of the car or has rights to sell it, which eliminates any worries about you buying a stolen car.
If you buy from a dealership, on the other hand, all of this admin will already have been taken care of by the dealer. Before any reputable dealer takes over a car from a private seller, the owner of that car will have to supply them with all the necessary documentation, or there won't be a sale. This makes taking over the vehicle much simpler and more effortless for you when you buy it from the dealer. You also have a proper, connected phone number to call should anything go wrong with the car after you've driven off the lot, and also the reassurance that someone is likely to pick up the phone when you do.
Buying a car is a big and important decision and one that can either mean stress-free driving for the next few years or a nightmare of repairs and servicing just to get it working half decently. Our used cars at Imperial Select are all selected, checked and serviced before being sold, so if you're looking for the best used cars for sale, check out our website.
If you've opted for a service plan when you bought your new car, or still have a few thousand kilometres left before your service plan expires, you'll have peace of mind knowing that you won't have to deal with anything that exceeds the average car service cost.
Eventually, however, your service plan runs out, or perhaps you've never had one, and you're left having to budget for the upcoming service for your car. Forking out cash or having to swipe your credit card for a car service tends to leave a bit of a dent in your budget planning, not to mention a little bit of a bitter taste in your mouth.
Makes sense then to learn a few hacks that you can employ in between your services to help put a return dent in that inevitable mechanic's bill. Over and above that, the advice we've presented below is also just car owner good habits that we should all be aware of and employ.
Read on and enjoy a few hacks that we've put together that will help you to reduce the grand total of your service cost.
Smart Hack #1 - Change Your Car's Oil And Oil Filter Regularly
We all know that keeping your car filled up with oil is crucial to ensure it runs correctly, but occasionally you need to completely replace the oil and filter if you want to get the best performance out of your vehicle. Old oil and a clogged oil filter in our cars results in higher petrol consumption rates and also causes your car's gaskets to burn out or blow. Over and above this, an unclean oil system can also cause damage to your car's engine over time, especially if you travel far and often. If you're not scheduled for service for a while, take the time to drain your oil tank and replace it with new oil and a new filter - it's a fairly simple task, and you're sure to feel the difference in your driving experience and also find the mechanic less likely to be giving you bad (and that means expensive) news.
Smart Hack #2 - Check Your Car's Tyre Pressure Frequently
Underinflated cars on a tyre are one of the most common issues we see in cars that come through our car repair workshop, and also one of the easiest to take care of on your own. Sixty seconds at an air pump each time you fill up is all it takes.
Despite this, many South Africans still drive around every day with underinflated tyres unaware of the damage and wear and tear that this is causing to the tyres' tread, not to mention the extra fuel that the car is using because it puts more strain on the engine to get and keep them going at the speed they desire. Make a habit of it to check your car's tyres whenever you're filling up, or do so at least once a month. You'll be able to determine the correct inflation level for your car by checking your owner's manual or the sticker on the inside of the driver door, and you'll find that petrol and replacement tyre costs in your budget drop immediately.
Smart Hack #3 - Do Your Research About A Car Before Purchasing
While this might be too late in most cases, if you're ever in the market for another car, take the time to research what it will cost you to maintain and service it. Certain manufacturers have local factories where they produce parts, which will reduce the cost of the overall service quite significantly. Some more luxurious brands of vehicles can be very costly to maintain after their service plan has expired, so bear this in mind if you're planning on keeping the car for an extended period of time.
Smart Hack #4 - Change Your Air Filter
Just as with your oil filter, a clogged air filter can significantly affect your car's fuel consumption. Air filters are generally not too expensive and replacing them is quite simple - check your owner's manual or look online for helpful videos to guide you through the process.
Smart Hack #5 - Scout Around For Service Centres Or Mechanics
If you have to pay cash for your service, you'll want to find the most affordable, reliable service supplier available. Some service centres offer discounts throughout the year while finding a good mechanic who is honest and reliable can set you up for total peace of mind with your car for years to come.
The point here is to find someone you like and trust and can build a relationship with over many years of driving. At Imperial Select, for example, many of our customers are long-time users of our services because we have built up a reputation of being honest and reliable and never cheating the customer on cost or expectation.
Smart Hack #6 - Don't Wait Too Long For Your Next Service
If you are due for a service based on your mileage covered, try to arrange for it as soon as possible. The designated large service milestones are set in place because certain parts are known to be worn down by that juncture in time, and if you leave it any longer than that, it can begin to cause further, more extensive damage to your car - which means you'll have to pay even more to get it back to running smoothly.
If you're looking for a reputable, reliable service centre for your car's next service and are expecting to pay not a cent more than the average car service cost for it, Imperial Select has expert teams of mechanics at our service centres around the country. Give us a call to arrange your next service!