April, as it turns out, isn't a month for Sunday drives or taking road trips to enjoy the perfect weather we experience in South Africa around this time of year. The COVID-19 lockdown has left everyone staying put at home for weeks on end, and while we adapt to this sudden change in routines, our cars have gone from being our crucial daily companions to now barely being used. It shouldn't mean that they should be completely ignored, however. With all the extra free time on your hands during lockdown, it's a good idea to set aside a day to spend some quality time with your car by giving it some TLC and inspecting it a bit more closely than usual. We've covered some key tips on how to keep your car in good condition while it's not being used in a previous post, and today we'll go through a few extra maintenance and inspection tasks you can do at home to keep your car in top condition.
Check the levels of all your car's essential fluids, including oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, battery water levels as well as washer fluid.
2. Air Pressure And Tyre Condition
If you have a tyre gauge, check your tyre pressure once a week to ensure they are all properly inflated. Check for any obstructions, air bubbles or cuts in your tyres and make note of any irregularities that need to be inspected by a professional after lockdown. Inspect the tread on all four tyres and if you find that some tyres are more worn than others, set a reminder to have your tyres rotated to improve your driving experience.
4. Component Condition Check
Carefully go through your car's pipes, valves, seals and other components and ensure that they are all securely connected and that there are no leaks or cracked parts.
All Those Important Extras
This is also a great time to take a closer look at the finer details and take note of faults or irregularities that you may not have noticed before. We tend to be so busy that things that seem quite obvious in retrospect are overlooked, like that slightly annoying noise your car has been making for months or the door that just won't lock or unlock effortless. You know, all those things that annoy you at the moment but you keep forgetting or putting off having it checked out. Take some time to go through the functions and parts of your car that you frequently use but don't really take notice of. Examples of this include the following
1. Air conditioner and fan
Turn on your air conditioner and check if it's still cooling your cabin as it should - if the air isn't quite as crisp as it should be, you're probably running out of coolant. Check all air vents to confirm that they push air through smoothly and that none of the ducts have become clogged.
Over time, your car's handbrake cable stretches, reducing the effectiveness of the brake and slowing your car instead of completely keeping it immobile. If you have an inclined area at home or, if you go out for a shopping run, apply the handbrake and wait a few seconds to confirm that it still manages to keep your car in place.
3. Spare Key
Most modern car keys have a remote central locking feature, which means it uses a battery. If your spare key has been stored away for a long period of time without being used, you should check if the battery still has charge. After all, imagine suddenly needing your spare key in an emergency and finding that it doesn't work.
4. Emergency Breakdown Kit
Making sure that you're well prepared is always a good idea and what better time than during the lockdown to double-check that your car has everything you may need if you break down or have an emergency on the road? Double-check that all items are still functioning and usable or whether they need to be replaced.
6. License Plates
Arriving home or at work and discovering your car is missing a license plate is not only inconvenient but will also cost you time and effort to replace.
Another often-overlooked aspect is checking that your license plates are still securely attached.
We hope these tips will help guide you through inspecting your car in ways you may not have thought of. A bit of precautionary effort like this could possibly even aid in detecting problems before they worsen and become costly to repair. If you do come across problems, book your vehicle into  the best Car repair workshop today.
The current national lockdown has stirred up a great deal of uncertainty about how our everyday lives will be impacted and if there will be exceptions made in light of how limited our access to normal services are at present. One concern raised by car owners is if their warranties and service plans will be affected and what to do if they were supposed to take their car in for servicing in April, especially if their warranty is about to expire.
Government-mandated closure of all non-essential services means that no car dealerships or service centres are allowed to be open or operate during lockdown, which leaves thousands of clients forced to wait for the restrictions to be lifted to have their cars tended to. If you're worried about forfeiting your service or your warranty running out before you get a chance to go for your last service, we have some good news.
Enjoy A Grace Period
All major automotive brands have confirmed that they will be accommodating their clients during this time by making exceptions to the standard terms of the warranty. While leniency terms and stipulations vary between car manufacturers, they have all offered a grace period to clients, which generally extends to up to two months after lockdown has ceased. This means that you will be able to call and book a service once dealerships and service centres reopen, even if your car's warranty has expired during lockdown. Clients are reassured that there will be no changes in the cover of their warranty during this period and that terms of warranty will remain as specified in the initial agreement.
Consult Your Manufacturer's Website
We advise you to consult your manufacturer's website for further information and to confirm precise time frames available to have your car serviced once you are permitted to do so. Also, bear in mind that because of the downtime during national lockdown, a backlog in service requests should be expected and we kindly remind you to be patient and understanding if the date of service you secure is later than the normal timeframe.
For more information on the arrangements made by main manufacturers, please read here. If your warranty and service plan is still intact, contact us at Imperial Select to book an appointment at our car repair workshop.
With unprecedented changes in our day-to-day lives thanks to the COVID-19 threat, driving around is barely on the radar for South Africans. Your car may not be used as often but you should bear in mind that checking on it and following some steps to maintain it during lockdown will ensure that you don't end up stuck with a car that no longer starts or runs properly once you're able to get back on the road again. Theft also remains a concern which we have to be aware of during this time, which is why we've compiled a list of tips to keep your car in good condition as well as safe from harm during lockdown.
1. Remove The Battery
If you're not going to be driving for several days, disconnect your car battery and store it in a cool, dry space. Be sure that the battery is fully charged and check the battery water levels to ensure it will be ready to go when you drive your car again. Applying petroleum jelly to the terminals and wiring will also help to prevent rust damage while the car is standing idle.
2. Keep Your Car Covered And Packed In Close Proximity
If you can't park your car in a garage or covered parking bay, get a car cover to keep it from suffering damage from the elements and sunlight. Be sure to park as close as possible to your residence so you're able to keep a watchful eye on it and be able to hear the alarm if the car is disturbed by an unwanted criminal.
3. Fill Up The Tank To Keep The Car Safely Protected Against Moisture Or Rust
If you can, fill your car up before parking it in the garage as low petrol levels can cause moisture to build up and result in rust developing.
4. Use Wheel Blocks Instead Of Your Handbrake To Ensure Safe Parking Without Damaging The Handbrake
Leaving the handbrake of your car engaged for long periods of time can cause damage to the brake pads or result in them sticking to the disks. Keep the pressure off your car's braking system by placing wheel blocks behind your tires instead.
5. Make Use Of A Steering Wheel Lock
Yes, it's an old-fashioned solution that we've hardly seen since the 80s and 90s, but it can be an effective deterrent if your car is standing unattended for a long period of time. Put your cool factor on the back burner and give yourself some peace of mind by attaching a steering wheel lock.
Remember to not only keep your car safe but yourself as well. Follow hygiene protocols and stay home during this lockdown period. If you're still concerned about the safety of your car during this worrisome time, contact us for more tips and safety suggestions. In addition, for more information on car security or used cars for sale at Imperial Select, contact us today.
With the current coronavirus pandemic affecting the global population, we all have to take extra care when we travel as well as maintain stringent hygiene habits to keep the spread of the virus at a minimum. While South Africans are urged to remain home during the lockdown period, there are understandably times when you need to make a grocery run to stock up on essential supplies. Advice about sanitising your hands through regularly washing or using hand sanitiser is the main focal point, but have you considered that your car may be overlooked during your cleaning and disinfecting regimen?
If you're travelling between home and shops, we have a few pointers to ensure you travel safely and stay healthy.
An Interior Clean
We don't realise it but our cars tend to be one of the dirtiest environments we expose ourselves to, mostly because car hygiene is overlooked and people usually only clean it when it desperately needs a wash and vacuum now and then. But now, constantly disinfecting the steering wheel, window switches, handbrake and other areas including your hands is imperative to ensure the virus doesn't follow you from the shops into your car and stay there. Also, car keys travel with you everywhere and are constantly collecting and transferring bacteria in your environment and from your hands and pockets, which means you shouldn't overlook giving them a proper clean whenever you use them.
Washing your seats, dashboard, side panels and every other surface with an antibacterial solution or detergent is the next step. Be sure not to miss any parts and take extra care to clean and disinfect the following areas
An Exterior Clean
Start your cleaning process by washing the exterior of your car as it's in constant contact with the elements and probably other people who brush past it when walking through the shopping mall's parking lot. Vacuum the interior and remove trash and other items that have collected over time - keep the contents in your car to a minimum to reduce possible transference and prevent the breeding of germs. Now for the crucial part washing and disinfecting.
We urge you to maintain good vehicle hygiene, be vigilant and to keep safe during this crucial period in our history. For more tips on ways to keep your car clean and COVID-19 free, contact us today and then once your car is in tip-top shape, book it in for a service at the best Car repair workshop.
With the current COVID-19 lockdown keeping South Africans at home, one upside is that we're all saving a fair bit on our usual monthly petrol costs. While this is a welcome reprieve for most, your normal income may be affected by the crisis, resulting in tight budgets and far more careful spending for many local citizens. If you're fortunate enough to not suffer a great loss during this time and can afford to get by, we suggest investing the money you would have spent on petrol during this time on keeping your beloved car secure and in good shape. Here are a few tips on how to do just that
Pay Your Insurance Premium With It
While most local car insurance companies have offered their clients discounts and alternatives to assist in reducing their expenses while they're not driving during lockdown, the responsibility of maintaining your insurance policy still remains. We advise making use of any reductions in premiums offered by your insurer and paying the remainder of your instalment with the cash saved on petrol costs during this time.
Save Up For Your Next Service
If you're no longer covered by a service plan, paying upfront cash for your car service tends to be a prospect that you know will tighten your budget for a month or two. Plan ahead by setting aside the cash you would have spent on petrol during lockdown to help pay for your next service.
Save Up For New Tyres
An expense that isn't covered by any service or maintenance plan, forking out for a new set of tyres is usually a painful blow to your bank account. Allocate what you would usually spend on petrol to a savings account so that you will have a much easier time swiping your card the next time your car needs a new of tyres.
Splurge On A Full Valet
Once the lockdown period is over and you&rsquore free to hit the road again, your car will surely be looking a bit worse for wear after spending weeks parked at home. Give it a fresh and sparkling makeover by taking it for full valet service and you'll be driving around feeling like you've just got a new set of wheels to enjoy your reinstated freedom.
We hope you are keeping yourself, your loved ones and your car safe during this lockdown period and wish you the best for the remainder of it. For more ways to make the most of your petrol savings, speak to one of our experts who'll guide you in the best way possible. Then once you've saved up, you can even look at purchasing that second car. Check out  our used cars for sale.