Getting your car frequently serviced is important, and our teams of experts at Imperial car service & maintenance workshops around the country are always ready and able to quickly identify problem areas and correct any issues so you can get back on the road in no time.
Aside from routine maintenance by mechanical experts, there are several aspects of maintenance that you can - and should - take care of yourself in between those service periods.
Today we're focusing on the liquids your car requires and how to properly check and maintain liquid levels in your vehicle.
Aside from the most obvious liquid you need to keep your eye on, petrol, there are other liquids that help to keep your vehicle's parts lubricated and functioning properly, aid in cooling the engine, and assist in performing all the vital functions that keep your car operating as it should. Many of these liquids not only need to be topped up but sometimes entirely replaced in order to keep your car running smoothly.
As the name indicates, brake fluid is used by your braking system to ensure that your vehicle slows down and comes to a stop when you pump the brakes. Brake fluid is typically silicone-based, which maintains a more constant pressure level, allowing you to have a solid feel when pressing on the brake pedal. If brake fluid is no longer in optimal condition, you'll begin to experience sluggish pressure on the brake pedal and it will take longer for your car to come to a complete stop. The reason for this is that brake fluid is susceptible to moisture in the air, and over time, with a lot of braking, heat is generated by the braking system and water begins to transfer into the brake fluid. If this continues over a period of time, the efficacy of the brake fluid will degrade to a point where your car's ability to stop in time will be compromised quite heavily. Typically a car needs new brake fluid every two years, however this can vary. If you notice changes to the resistance level of your brake pedal or how quickly your car slows down and stops, get your brake fluid checked.
The most important liquid in your car is the engine oil. It lubricates all moving parts and helps in preventing degradation and rusting of components while ensuring your vehicle remains cool during all the heat-generating processes it undergoes while running. Modern engine oils now also contain special cleaning agents that prevent blockages of oil flow, helping your car to not only run smoother but also last longer. Check on your engine oil frequently by monitoring the dip stick and ensuring the oil is above the markings or dots on the stick - also remember to do your oil check when your car has been standing for a while, as checking it right after driving won't give you an accurate assessment. Engine oil varies in viscosity, so it's important to check your car's owner manual to find out what type of oil you need to use.
Massive amounts of heat are generated by your engine while it's running, and this heat needs to be dispersed in order to prevent your engine from overheating and failing entirely. Engine coolant absorbs all the heat from the engine and transfers it to the radiator, ensuring that your car's engine stays at a constant and safe temperature. To check your coolant levels, simply remove the radiator cap, or, with some models, look at the translucent gauge. Very important don't check your coolant levels right after driving as extreme heat builds up and opening the container at this time can cause serious injury or burns. Ideally, wait until first thing in the morning when your car has been standing for a while. Coolant levels should be checked about twice a year, ideally right before summer and right before winter.
The transmission fluid in your car keeps the gears moving smoothly. To check your transmission fluid, follow the same steps as when you check your engine oil, except do this check while your car is running. If you find the transmission fluid is low, immediately contact a mechanic or service centre. The fluid should be red in colour and not smell burnt - if you find the colour is brown or smells, it's time to replace the fluid.
If any of these fluids appear to be low or in need of replacement, contact Imperial car service & maintenance for swift and professional assistance.
Lockdown has left most of us in hermit mode at home, with our cars gathering dust for weeks on end. There have been several big changes in our day-to-day lives and our habitual daily commute to and from work, school, and everywhere in between has become not much more than a distant memory of what seems like an alternate lifetime. Now that we're in level three and things are slowly returning to some semblance of normality, it's time to wipe down the steering wheels and get back to driving. While driving a car is much like riding a bike in terms of muscle memory, you may have become a bit sluggish and possibly more nervous to drive after such a long time. To give you a refresher and keep you away from needing a car repair workshop anytime soon, here are a few key steps to ensure safe driving.
Before You Drive, Check And Check Again
Remember the old checks they had you do during your driving test before you even start driving? Well, they're always valid and important, so go through the routine of the outside check and inside check. The outside check includes checking all your tyres to ensure they're all properly inflated and that there are no obstructions around them or under the vehicle. Check that your windscreen wipers and all lights are still working. Once you get into the driver's seat, it&rsquos time for the inside check. Adjust your seat to a comfortable position, adjust your rearview mirror and side mirrors so that you can see everything clearly, and ensure that any bags or items you have been safely put away.
Common Sense Driving Tips
These are fairly obvious, but here's a reminder, regardless. Don't drive after you've had a few drinks, especially with the zero-tolerance law changes being enforced. Do not use your phone or look at it while driving - if you have to make a call or check where you're going, use voice control instead. Remain vigilant and observe cars and pedestrians around you, as they may not be paying attention themselves. Keep to the speed limit and remember to increase the distance between you and cars in front of you when it's raining, foggy, or if weather conditions are quite extreme and affect car stability on the roads.
In addition to this, get your tank filled up and have your oil and tyre pressure checked as soon as you leave the house, to ensure that those key basics are all good. We hope these reminders will help keep you on the road and away from car repair workshops. Safe driving!
We all do our best to avoid getting into fender benders or more serious car accidents, but unfortunately sometimes we end up in these situations anyway. Being prepared for such a situation by knowing what to do will help you cope better and take the right steps immediately. From the moment of the accident until your car gets to a car service and repair shop and you are safely back at home, there are a few very important steps that will help you cope at the moment and avoid extra distress later on. Remember the following tips.
Don't Leave Or Disrupt The Scene
It's illegal to leave the scene of an accident until the police have arrived and filed a report of the incident, so stay put and keep clear of traffic while you wait. Put your car's hazard lights on if they still work and put a reflective triangle up to warn oncoming traffic.
Call The Police
If someone hasn't already, contact emergency services and the police immediately.
If you're able to, take as many photographs as you can of the scene, your car, and any other vehicles involved in the accident. You will need these as evidence to claim from the insurance and to defend your case, should you be under suspicion of causing the accident.
Collect All The Important Information
While in a state of distress, it's easy to forget what to do and only realise much later that you've forgotten some key steps. Unfortunately, neglecting to do this can end up costing a lot of effort and possibly even money later on. Get the name, contact details, address, vehicle registration number, and make of car of the other people in the accident and share your own information with them.
Contact Your Insurance Roadside Assist
If you are insured and your insurer offers you free roadside assist services, contact them immediately to have the car towed. It's very important that you insist on using them when other towing trucks arrive on the scene, as they can be quite insistent on removing your vehicle themselves. The risk in allowing this is that you haven't typically gone through the full details of the arrangement and might end up struggling to get your car back from them at a later stage without paying them an undisclosed amount. Unfortunately, there are opportunistic businesses who like to prey on people in distress, so remain very alert and aware of who you allow to access your car in any way.
We hope these key tips will help you cope better in a possible future accident. Don't forget, we have specialised car service and repair workshops all around the country if you need a reliable and guaranteed quality of work done on your car.
While we mostly expect used cars on the market to at least be a few years old, in recent years there's been an increase in practically new cars being sold on the second-hand car market. A struggling economy, a huge increase in debt due to credit accounts becoming easier to obtain, and loss of income are just a few possible reasons why a fairly new car would find its way to a used car lot. Not only is it a great find to come across a practically new car at a reduced price, but often these vehicles can be picked up at highly discounted prices if you know where to look. If you're on the lookout for the best used car for sale and want to save as much as possible, here are a few places where you might strike gold.
Bank Repossessed Cars
Anyone who takes out a car loan with a bank has the responsibility of paying off their monthly installments to completion. Until then, the car is technically the property of the bank and if anything happens where the customer can't make those monthly payments, the car gets repossessed. Repo cars then go onto a large auction that occurs a few times a year, where they are sold off to the highest bidder, with starting bids being surprisingly low. The reason for this is that generally the bank just wants to reclaim the money owed to them by the customer, so as long as the car is sold for enough to cover the remaining debt, they don't mind how much it goes for. To get in on the action, enquiring about the next repo car auction and planning ahead could present you with a fantastic bargain.
Emigrating Families Or Individuals
Sometimes you might run into some luck with friends or contacts who are moving abroad and selling everything they own before heading off. Often these sales can be negotiated at a better price because they're urgently looking to wrap up getting everything sold in time, so keep an eye and ear out if you know of anyone who is planning on moving soon and put in an offer on the car so that you'll have first preference when they do sell it.
Social Media And Classifieds Websites
The web can be a great resource for finding rare gems, including fairly new cars at good prices if the owner decides to make a private sale. Again, however, in case of private sales, always make sure that you have the car checked out beforehand and that it has all the required paperwork. We also urge our readers to never supply a cash deposit on a vehicle that they haven't actually seen and checked up on first, as there are unfortunately many scammers looking to make a quick bit of cash and disappear.
Lastly, bear in mind that even if a car is practically brand new, it doesn&rsquo='t guarantee that it&rsquos still in mint condition. Some drivers are just reckless with how they handle the car, change gears, accelerate and brake, which means the car might have already suffered excessive wear and tear or damage in the short time that it's been owned.
So if you do find a great car at a great price, just be sure that it is actually in the condition you expect it to be. While you're searching for the best used car for sale, remember that Imperial Select stocks a large inventory of new and pre-owned cars, all of which were quality tested and prepared before being put on sale. See our website for current stock and remember that we update it on a daily basis.
Let's face it buying a new, better car is exciting. It's often a sign of success and that your life is improving, so you should be proud. Getting caught up in all the initial excitement does mean people often forget to look at some long-term responsibilities though. Having to pay for car services, parts and, if anything goes wrong, possibly large scale repairs, is a reality any responsible car owner could face and should plan for. Another aspect to keep in mind is that, if you're moving up from a small hatchback to a crossover, double cab bakkie or an SUV, your costs to maintain the vehicle are going to automatically be higher than what your current zippy little car has been costing you. Calculating and planning for the service costs and parts for a car before you get it will save you a lot of hassle and stress in the coming years, not to mention the size of the dent in your bank account when you visit a car repair workshop. Here is a list of average costs per class category that you can expect to pay for the car you have or want to get.
While they are the most affordable cars to buy, they'll also be the cheapest to maintain. Costs for a standard service for cars such as the Datsun Go, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Honda Brio range between R2 000 and R4 500, according to the most recent Kinsey Report. If you had to replace the entire parts basket of these vehicles, the costs range between R63 000 and R92 000.
Sedans And Family Cars
These range from models like Toyota Corolla, Nissan Almera, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra. Starting service costs for parts are R4 500 to R7 300. A complete parts basket, including body panels, lights, shock absorbers and all other components, range vastly. For example, a Toyota Corolla will set you back just over R65 000, while the Honda Civic totals a whopping R310 000.
This very popular class includes the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, VOLVO XC40 and KIA Sportage, among others. Again, prices differ hugely between different brands, with the cheapest service cost being the Nissan X-Trail at R3 800. The most expensive parts cost for a standard service for the Mitsubishi Pajero comes in at R7 500.
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect when you buy your next car, you can find out even more details by searching for sales figures, parts costs and service costs online for the model you have in mind, so that you don't get a scare when you visit a car repair workshop.
If you've got your heart set on a KIA model and have decided it's time to finally take that leap and buy one, you're bound to set out on a search journey of proportions not much less tedious than house shopping. Cars are, generally speaking, considered to be the second biggest financial investment you'll ever make, so it&rsquos completely warranted that you take your time to do research and hunt for the best possible option for your available budget. KIA is very popular and is a much sought-after car brand in South Africa and the brand's very modern innovations along with their striking design style have made all of their models desirable to the masses. To help you with your search and to hopefully make the entire process easier and more efficient for you, we've compiled a list of tips when searching online for a used KIA for sale.
Google Is Your Friend
For instant and comprehensive details on where your desired KIA car is available, do a search through Google and remember that putting more specific details in your search query will narrow down the results to the most appropriate to what you're looking for. For example, if you don't just want any available KIA Rio but have your heart set on a specific year, variant and colour, use all of this information in your searches. Bear in mind that the more specific you are, the fewer results you&rsquore likely to have, so if you're flexible in terms of attributes, make your search more general to get a larger selection of options.
Scout Dealer Websites
These days any and all dealerships have an online platform where they display and sell their vehicles. Browsing their websites will save you a huge deal of time as you won&rsquot need to travel to every brick and mortar dealership to enquire and view a car. Most websites also have a filter option which is very useful if you want to cut through several pages of results to search through. Filter your search by make, model, year, mileage and price, among others and remember that these websites update almost daily, so keep checking them often.
Don't Forget Social Platforms And Reputable Websites
While the majority of cars can be found on dealer websites, you might also strike it lucky by searching trustworthy classified sites and by also giving Facebook Marketplace a look. Many dealers expand their marketing by also advertising on these platforms and if you're willing to look at buying from a private seller and not deal with a dealership, which we don't actually advise, these are your best bets. Just remember that private sales do come with a great deal of risk and no guarantees to protect your interest, so if you do go this route, do not pay for or sign anything until you have met the seller in person and looked at the car yourself. There are three other very important things to do if you buy privately. Firstly, always ask for all paperwork to verify that the car is roadworthy, has all its documentation and licences, as well as a paper trail indicating its history. Secondly, have the car inspected by a professional before you make any final decisions. Whether it&rsquos a mechanic you trust or a motoring authority like the AA, rather take the time and pay the small extra cost to be sure that you're making the right decision. Thirdly, if you want to be absolutely certain that you won't get scammed or run into trouble with the sale, have a lawyer draft up an agreement that both you and the seller need to sign, indicating the terms of the sale. That way, both you as a buyer and the seller know what to expect and can fall back on the contract if anything goes wrong.
Set Up Automatic Notifications
Many reputable auto dealer websites give you the option to request to be notified as soon as they receive stock of the particular vehicle you&rsquore looking for. Sign up for these and you will save a great deal of time when it comes to scouring several websites every day. You can also set up an RSS feed on your computer if you'd like to have quick access to any new additions online.
Get Directly In Touch With Dealerships
Vehicle stock typically goes through a quality control process and several checks before they're placed online to be sold. You can contact your local dealerships and ask them to notify you the moment new stock arrives so that you'll have the first preference and a better chance of buying the car before too many other people are made aware of it through ad placements and websites. Another tip to keep in mind is that there is a national online inventory of all cars available for sale in the country, and all dealers have access to this list. That means they can search and track down something very specific for you even if they don't have it in their stock inventory, and arrange for a sale transfer if you're eager to buy the vehicle. Also remember that most reputable used car dealerships offer the option to have the car delivered to you, wherever you are in the country, so don't let the fact that you're in a different province deter you from scouting nationwide. Delivery typically doesn't cost too much extra and some dealers would even be happy to arrange for delivery free of charge if you negotiate with them.
We hope these tips will help speed up and simplify your search for that perfect used KIA for sale and remember that Imperial Select offers a range of carefully checked and quality assured second hand KIA models for sale, so check out our website or enquire for more information.