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  • Signs That Your Car Needs A Checkup Or Service
    Uploaded 3 months ago

    Signs That Your Car Needs A Checkup Or Service

  • Vehicle Finance Options If You Don't Have A Credit History
    Uploaded 15 hours ago

    Vehicle Finance Options If You Don't Have A Credit History

  • 4 Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery
    Uploaded 1 week ago

    4 Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

  • 7 Key Questions To Ask A Dealer Before Buying
    Uploaded 4 weeks ago

    7 Key Questions To Ask A Dealer Before Buying

  • Bakkies: Brand New vs Used And What To Consider
    Uploaded 4 weeks ago

    Bakkies Brand New vs Used And What To Consider

  • Found A Used Car For Sale? Here's Why Dealerships Beat Private Sales
    Uploaded 1 month ago

    Found A Used Car For Sale? Here's Why Dealerships Beat Private Sales

Uploaded 3 months ago

Signs That Your Car Needs A Checkup Or Service

Signs That Your Car Needs A Checkup Or Service

We all take our cars - and their reliability - for granted, for the most part often forgetting that they are machines that generate tremendous power to get us to where we need to be every day. In spite of most of us owning or driving a car, many people aren't familiar with the warning signs that they should not ignore when it comes to their cars. What might initially appear to be a minor issue that can be ignored 'for now', could result in far more serious and costly damage in the near future. The team in our car repair workshop unpack some of the main indications that your car is in urgent need of a service or needs to get to a car repair workshop immediately. 

Noises While Driving

Turn down your car's sound system every now and then and listen for any abnormal sounds while you're driving. Any scraping or dragging noise could mean your car's wheel bearing is failing while screeching noises indicate that something is wrong with your car's braking system. 

Braking Takes Longer

We often forget how crucially important the braking system of our car is to ensure a safe drive for ourselves and those on the road with us. An appropriately responsive car that brakes in time can mean the difference between avoiding a fender bender or possibly ending up in a life-threatening accident. If you find your brakes seem to take longer to respond or that you have to pump them harder than you used to get the car to slow down or stop, it's best to take it in for an inspection as your brake pads may be worn. 

Smoke From The Bonnet

Smoke is never a good sign, so if you find your car is suddenly producing smoke, your engine may be overheating and continued driving in this state can damage your engine beyond repair. Keep an eye on your dashboard and check if your engine light goes on, and also keep an eye on your car's temperature gauge. If your car is overheating, pull over at the closest safe location and allow it to cool down. Do not open the bonnet immediately after stopping as the heat and smoke could cause you physical harm. If you have road assist, call them to have your car towed to a local service centre.

Check Oil Light Comes On

Oil keeps your entire car's operational system lubricated and prevents overheating, friction and damage to the engine and all moving parts. If your car runs out of oil, get to a gas station and refill your oil immediately. Remember to have your car's oil checked frequently, water and tyre pressure checked when you refill.

Fluid Leaking Under Car

Keep an eye on what goes on under your car when it's been standing parked for a while. If there are puddles of oil or other liquid, it may mean a seal or other component has cracked. Book your car in for an inspection by an automotive professional, who will help determine the problem and offer a solution. 

Difficulty Steering Your Car

If your vehicle seems to be 'fighting' you when you make turns or is veering to the left or right side when you're driving straight, you probably need your wheels alignment checked and may have damage to your axel. If you find your car seems to be uneven and lower on one side than the other, this may also be caused by damage to your axel or components supporting it. 

Fuel Efficiency Is Reduced

If you used to be able to get by comfortably with half a tank a week but lately you seem to need double the amount of petrol to travel the same distance, your car probably needs to be tuned up and serviced. A full service can vastly improve your car's fuel consumption.

Trouble With The Ignition

While it's relatively normal for your car to maybe only take on the second start on a cold winter day, if you find you always need to keep turning the ignition to get the car started, you should book it for a service. Also bear in mind that you should reduce the weight of your keys as much as possible, as the keys in your ignition constantly weigh the unit down and may cause damage to it over time. 

If you have any concerns about your car or just want to ensure it keeps running smoothly, contact us to arrange a service at our car repair shop. We have highly trained automotive specialists and a range of advanced testing equipment to quickly and accurately identify and correct any issues your car may have.

Uploaded 15 hours ago

Vehicle Finance Options If You Don't Have A Credit History

Vehicle Finance Options If You Don't Have A Credit History

Having your own car gives you a great sense of freedom and ability to be in charge of your own life. Being able to own a car, though, can be much easier said than done. Vehicle financing is always an option if you can't afford to buy a car in cash, but there are certain requirements for you to qualify for financing. Aside from proof of income and several other documents to verify your background information, you will also need to have a credit history for the financing provider to check. The reason for this is that they want proof that you are capable of paying back your credit and have a history of paying your instalments on time. 

Not everyone has a credit history, though, especially if you're still young and only just starting out in life. So what are your vehicle finance options in South Africa? Fortunately, you won't necessarily have to wait until you've built up a solid credit history over months or years before you can get behind the wheel of that used car you want to have. Read on to discover what other alternatives may be available to help you drive off into the sunset, so to speak.

  1. Ask A Trusted Person To Take Ownership Of The Finance Plan

Whether it's a parent, other family member, friend or even a trusted employer or mentor, maybe you know of someone who you can entrust a big decision like this to and who are more likely to qualify for financial credit approval. For this to work, you will need to arrange an agreement or set up a contract specifying that you will pay them the monthly instalments that they owe the credit provider on your behalf. If you do decide to go in this direction, be sure that you can definitely afford to pay the instalments and take the arrangement as seriously as you would if it was with a bank or other official financial provider. You wouldn't want to ruin a relationship by leaving them drowning in debt because of you, after all. 

  1. Save Up

If possible, start saving until you have enough money to put down a large upfront deposit on the car you want. If there's a smaller amount left owed after you've provided a cash deposit, you're more likely to get financing or secure a small loan from a friend or small loans provider to pay the rest of the car off. There are several short term credit providers who offer microloans, which are less risky and can be paid off in a shorter period of time. These types of credit providers do charge a much higher interest rate on the amount loaned, so be sure to read the fine print and know exactly how much more you'll end up paying them for the loan.

  1. Rent To Buy

If you can't secure financing or a loan, there is a third option to consider. Leasing or renting to buy is another way of having a car and being able to build up a credit history at the same time. While there are still qualifying criteria to meet in order to lease a car, you may be considered as a likely candidate because you're essentially renting a car, month by month, until you own it. 

Before that happens, it stays the property of the company leasing it to you, which means they will have less risk taking you on as a client than a financial credit provider would have on the long term. Should you not be able to afford the lease, you can end the contract at no huge loss to the company. Be aware that you will have to pay in a percentage of the total remaining amount owed, though. 

We hope these tips will aid you in getting that used car you've been dreaming of, whether through vehicle financing in South Africa, or by alternate means. Good luck and happy driving!

Uploaded 1 week ago

4 Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

4 Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Car Battery

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. 

  1. Keep The Battery Terminals Clean

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. 

  1. Don&rsquot Use Your Car Features When The Engine Is Off

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. 

  1. Drive Regularly And Take Long Trips

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.

  1. Store Your Battery When Not In Use

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.

Uploaded 4 weeks ago

7 Key Questions To Ask A Dealer Before Buying

7 Key Questions To Ask A Dealer Before Buying

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. 

  1. What Is The History Of The 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. 

  1. Are There Any Features Or Functions That Don't Work?

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. 

  1. Is There A Warranty On The Car?

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.  

  1. Does The Car Have A Roadworthiness Certificate?

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. 

  1. Does The Car Have Any Extra Features?

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. 

  1. Would You Be Confident To Drive This Car Across The Country?

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. 

  1. What Are The Service Costs And Resale Value Of This Car?

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.

Uploaded 4 weeks ago

Bakkies Brand New vs Used And What To Consider

Bakkies Brand New vs Used And What To Consider

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. 

If the latest technology is a key factor for you, you'll find the latest in smart technology and user interface control with new bakkies which simply did not exist only 4 or 5 years ago. You could upgrade a used bakkie, but a new one will have everything designed to work perfectly together and provide you the best overall experience in terms of user comfort, voice control and other smart features. 

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.

Uploaded 1 month ago

Found A Used Car For Sale? Here's Why Dealerships Beat Private Sales

Found A Used Car For Sale? Here's Why Dealerships Beat Private Sales

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.