Simphiwe turns disappointment into her dream job

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Simphiwe Mncube (36) is as comfortable in the automotive industry as she believes she’d be behind the wheel of her dream car, a Jaguar F-Pace. Ironically, it was several bad experiences with her own car repairs  that led her to opening Baleka Motors in 2018, albeit with a master degree but no mechanical experience.

“After numerous disappointments with repairs done to my car I realised I needed to start a business that would speak to, cater for and solve the frustrations women are faced with when it comes to vehicle maintenance,” she explains.

“My partner, Jabu Biyam, and I started doing some research in 2018, which took a couple of months, and we opened for business in September that year. Our mission is to provide shared value for customers and staff, provide quality and reliable services using high quality parts that exceed manufacturers’ recommendations.”

Mncube, who hails from KZN, has always loved cars.

“My brother and I would play a game in the car called ‘name the coming car’. I would look up and learn all the makes and models and always win the game. This is how I developed an appreciation for the various models but didn’t think too much about the mechanical side of things.”

Having previously worked at numerous financial services institutions (insurance companies and banks) and held several leadership roles, Simphiwe is now the full-time head of sales and marketing at Baleka Motors.

The business is not yet a member of the South African Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), but Simphiwe recognises the value the body offers the industry.  I visited the RMI offices a couple of years ago to find out how we can become a fully accredited member of MIWA.  ‘At the moment we are a basic member of the RMI but well on our way to becoming a full MIWA member.”

“I get a mixed bag of reactions when people find out what I do for a living. Some are of course shocked and think I’ve lost it. But I love the industry – mostly because it is still so male-dominated, which mean it gives us women the opportunity to stand out and ultimately change the status quo.”

There are challenges, she admits.

“One of these is a lack of trust from male colleagues and customers. Somehow, they have a hard time accepting information given to them purely because you are a woman. This is understandable though since the industry is male-dominated. I think it will take some years to correct but we’ll get there eventually.”

On opportunities for women in the automotive industry, Mncube is very encouraging.

“It is as fulfilling as any other career, provided that you are passionate about what you do. It is a misconception the industry is only for men. We need to change that narrative by more women entering the industry and more male counterparts encouraging women to take up these jobs.”

Her advice to women wanting to enter the industry is to do research and gain as much knowledge as possible. 

“You will sometimes be judged and doubted because of your gender, which is why knowledge is power and will help you withstand these stereotypes.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions have impacted Baleka Motors, but Mncube keeps a positive mindset by reminding herself why she started the business in the first place.

“I consciously remind myself too that this dream is bigger than me. And, speaking of dreams, I hope to one day expand the business to other areas of the country and even go international one day!”

Five things your mechanic wish you knew

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Many of us understand very little about cars says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), and that’s absolutely fine. Your mechanic doesn’t expect you to know your fan belt from your cambelt – but there are some things they do wish you knew. We asked members of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud Association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), what five things they’d really like their customers to be more aware of.

  • Be aware of your vehicle maintenance schedule: For Francois Greeff, one of the biggest issues is that vehicle owners, especially, don’t understand the need for maintenance – or the costs involved. “Many people don’t grasp that your insurance company will pay for breakages, but not maintenance.” He adds that mechanics can cause more damage to the vehicle if they’re not sure what they’re doing, which is why it’s important to choose a MIWA-accredited workshop and then trust them entirely. Remember that your mechanic knows not to trust Google blogs! A final word, “Any car owner should know how to check the basic fluid levels in their car, and do so regularly.”
  • Take note of lights and instrument cluster messages: Dos-santos Mukuchamano from The Car Experts, says that the habit of disregarding service lights and cluster messages – something many motorists are guilty of – is a big mistake. “There is a very important reason why the manufacturer equipped the vehicle with the reminder,” he insists. He says ignoring the light can lead to exhausted parts doing further damage to other serviceable parts, making for greater expenses later. It’s just as bad to neglect the car when warning lights are showing. Worst case scenario, you’ll end up stuck on the side of the road – but even if things don’t get that bad, you’ll probably pay more than you would have had to because additional problems that may be created. “As a rule of thumb, if the engine or warning lights are flashing, consider it an emergency and stop driving the car immediately,” says Mukuchamano.
  • Never skip a service: Just because your vehicle is running doesn’t mean you can skip a service, warns Ravi Komal from Evergreen Motors. “Regular servicing gives us a chance to pick up minor defects before they become major problems. What’s more, services are all different and focus on different parts.” Komal advises against servicing or repairing your own vehicle, as cars come with technical specifications and require special tools that most people don’t have access to.
  • Cheapest isn’t best: Neville Frost from Landy Centre points out that the cost of servicing a vehicle can vary greatly, so it’s important to understand why these discrepancies exist. For example, a MIWA accredited workshop is guaranteed to be staffed by trained mechanics who have access to all necessary diagnostic tools and adhere to Covid-19 protocols. All MIWA workshops are VAT registered, comply with PAYE and UIF regulations, submit their tax returns and are registered with MIBCO. They also comply with health and safety regulations and the stipulations of the Labour Relations Act. MIWA accredited workshops are required to deliver to a standard of excellence, and offer recourse if this is not the case. “There is no doubt that accreditation makes all the difference to a consumer.”
  • Change your oil:  According to Lance Kettles of Automotive Mechanical Services, using the incorrect oil or a cheaper brand can cause massive problems for your car, leading to sluggishness. “It’s worth paying a bit extra to ensure quality oil, which means greater longevity for your engine. If you are unsure of which brand to select, you can always chat to one of the MIWA workshops for advice,” he says.

ENDS

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PUBLIC RELATIONS. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JACQUI MOLOI ON 071 764 8233 OR JACQUI@FINDLEYPR.CO.ZA.

A woman’s touch for the motor workshop industry

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Once the exclusive domain of men, there is an encouraging new influx of women in the automotive industry who are bringing in a fresh new dynamism and balance into the sector.

One only has to look at the increase in the number of women and women owned or co-owned businesses in the Motor Industry Workshop Association to appreciate the shift in balance.

Andrea Bogner, owner of Bogner Motor City Truck and Car Workshop, says having women in the sector is refreshing and challenging. “I find women have a different touch and deal more emotionally when it comes to serving customers, maintaining them, and offering peace of mind. We are also thorough when it comes to procedures and the manner in which work is performed,” she says. Andrea loves to be different and loves having her workshop. “It is not only a business but I see it as my family. I involve every one of them in the decisions I’m making and ask for their input, feedback and suggestions. We are a team and operate as one. If there’s a goal to be reached, everyone is involved. If there are issues, again I involve everyone so that the best possible solutions are found. And lastly everyone has to take responsibility for their actions.”

And women are not only excelling on the ownership side. A large majority of MIWA member businesses also employee women to engage with customers, handle the administration and human resource functions as well as the ordering of supplies and so on. Many of these businesses start as family-owned businesses so mothers, wives and daughters all get involved.

It is definitely a transforming industry which makes it attractive to anyone who loves technology and commerce and is interested in knowing how beautiful and powerful vehicles and motorcycles are designed, built, maintained and repaired. It is also an industry in which women can do well. 

At a time when unemployment is so rife, this is a sector which is showing encouraging growth and providing some real opportunities.  Eighty percent of accredited RMI business owners, of which MIWA is a proud association, are in fact small to medium size business owners and this is where the growth and employment opportunities that are going to drive the economy will come from. The sector is already peppered with countless vibrant examples.

Take the Glamane twins for example.  Both Dineo and Keneuwe grew up with a dream of opening their own business. But they had no idea what it would be. As fate had it – they got a break to enter the motor industry and today they own, Womech (Women in Mechanics), an independent aftermarket workshop in Secunda which they opened in 2017.  

Their journey started when they received a bursary to do Auto Electrical after completing their N6 of electrical engineering.  A year later, while completing the auto electrical course, they got an apprenticeship at Value Logistics and were offered the positions of auto electrician and diesel mechanic. This was where the idea of opening a workshop in future really started. They took the opportunity to do the apprenticeship and the rest is history. Dineo is currently the CFO and HR manager of Womech while Keneuwe is the CEO as well as the Operations manager. Their advice to young women out there is not to limit themselves and to take whatever opportunities comes their way.

Bridget Finn, HR/Finance Manager at Finn Auto Repairs and Diagnostics, who works with her husband who opened his business 12 years ago says her advice to other women is “Nothing thing should define or limit you. We are capable of doing anything we put our minds to, despite someone’s opinion, traditions and/or history.  Being a woman is a strength not a weakness, however, do not confuse it with arrogance.  Make yourself proud.”

The last word comes from Teresa Spenser-Higgs of D & T Servicing, also the MIWA Border Regional Chairperson.

Teresa loves the honesty of earning a living with your hands saying the  muscles in this industry are as a result of hard work; they’re not crafted in a gym.

“The future of the industry is exciting and it is so encouraging to see young women choosing related fields of study at colleges. There are many opportunities for women – just believe in yourself and don’t let someone else determine your value,” she concludes

ENDS

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR.

MEDIA QUERIES CONTACT JACQUI MOLOI ON  071 7648233 OR JACQUI@FINDLEYPR.CO.ZA.

Feeling cash strapped? Are you in for a minor car service or a major service? Know the difference

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On top of worries of a third wave of coronavirus, job layoffs and a depressed economic climate, probably the last expense you need right now is another car service.

You may be one of the thousands of South African motorists who are reaching your car service mileage marker and it’s time to book your car in for a service. So, are you in for a minor service or a major one?

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says vehicles should be booked in for a service every 10 000 to 15 000 km but not all services will be a major one. “In fact, only every other service is a major one,” he says.

During a minor service, the workshop will generally do an oil and oil filter change. The mechanics will also check all fluids, filters, belts, hoses, brakes and emissions and lubricate the chassis if it has not been factory sealed. “Most workshops will check your tyre pressure and, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, may do a tyre rotation. The service will also include a check of all lights, windscreen washer and coolant levels, brake fluid level and colour, and the power steering fluid level,” explains Ranft.   

“You can, of course, speak to your mechanic about any issues you may be experiencing with your vehicle and ask them to check that specific area. They will be able to let you know if any additional servicing or repairs are required.”

When it comes to a major service, unlike a minor one, a thorough and comprehensive checklist is included in the service. “The mechanic will do a check from head to tail of the vehicle going so far as to inspect the vehicle for dents and scratches and checking the pedals for any squeaks. All components of the vehicle will be checked as well as the actual bodywork of the vehicle. All hinges and latches will be greased, components lubricated, the engine and vehicle washed, and all parts reported on. The timing belt will also be checked depending on mileage or years as per the manufacturer’s instructions.” Ranft adds that if anything major is picked up during the service, the mechanic must provide a quotation for any additional work that needs to be done before the work commences.

He says that if you are unsure if certain items are included in a service, speak to your mechanic. “We highly recommend using a MIWA-accredited workshop so you can be assured of the highest standard of service and accountability. And from 1 July, Consumers will have the choice to service their vehicle at a workshop of their choice thanks to the implementation of the Competition Commission Guidelines. “This finally gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best possible price and service quality,” says Ranft.

The mechanic will be able to clearly indicate what is included in the service and whether a minor or major service is needed. Always remember to mention any problem areas you may be having with your vehicle so the mechanic can give this special attention.”

“Services and keeping a record of your service history are vitally important, not only for your vehicle’s resale value down the line, but also to ensure your vehicle is safe on the road. We read this week that many dealers are saying since drivers are not accumulating the same distances as they did pre-covid, service routines are being thrown out. So whatever you do, don’t miss a service. We need to all be responsible for making our roads a safer place,” concludes Ranft

ENDS

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR.

MEDIA QUERIES CONTACT JACQUI MOLOI ON 0114636372 OR JACQUI@FINDLEYPR.CO.ZA.

Jumpstart your vehicle the right way

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With many of us not using our cars as much as usual or with students having left their cars at university during lockdown, being left stranded with a flat car battery is a real possibility – even if you drive the most modern of cars.

As they say prevention is better than cure. It is good practice to start your car every 5 days or so and let it run for about 5 minutes. Moving the car backwards and forwards a few meters is also good for the tyres and oil seals on the car. It’s important that you are sure of how to correctly jumpstart your vehicle correctly, says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

“While the jumpstarting procedure is relatively standard for all vehicles on the road
today, jump / boost starting can cause serious damage to a vehicle’s electrical systems and or computer if done incorrectly. It’s therefore important to first consult the owner’s manual for any specific boost starting instructions, as well as to ensure that the different locations are identified for the jumpstart terminals in your car.

In many modern cars these terminals are placed at strategic areas of the vehicle due to the battery being fitted in awkward locations.” Once the terminals are located and jumper cables are on hand, he advises lining up the Donor car, as close as possible to the vehicle with the flat battery. Next, before you connect the cables make sure both cars’ handbrakes are up, that the gear selector is in Neutral or Park position, and that both cars ignitions are in the off position and the cars are not touching each other in any way.

“It’s important to remember that over 300 Amps goes through the jumper battery cables at the time of starting the vehicle with the flat battery and the momentary variation in amperage and voltage can seriously damage on board equipment. To prevent this happening, make sure all headlights, indicators, car radios and air conditioners are off and cell phones are unplugged. Also unplug all accessories from cigarette lighters and other power sockets from both cars and again ensure the ignition is in the off position until jumper cables are hooked up,” he explains.

Ranft says it’s good to take some time to familiarise yourself with the Positive (+ RED) and Negative (- BLACK) terminals of both car batteries so you know exactly which one is which. All batteries are clearly marked, so if you can’t find it, it’s probably under caked-on corrosion around the terminals. He suggests wiping off any dust or battery acid corrosion that may have formed over time.

However, he warns that if the battery is cracked and gas or liquid is leaking out, you should not go any further. “If you try to jumpstart the battery with a crack in it, it could explode from the light sparks that occur as the jumper cable connection is made. This is due to gas that is escaping from within the battery from the crack, not to mention acid that could leak from the battery damaging the paint in your car’s engine bay. We recommend you bite the bullet and rather go buy another battery.”

But if all seems well, simply clean off any corrosion around the dead battery terminals and if you have tools, loosen the cables from the battery terminals, clean them off with warm water and Bicarbonate of Soda, sandpaper or file with anything abrasive the inners of the cable terminals and the battery terminals until shiny, replace the cable terminals and retighten them. Corroded posts prevent full power from getting in and out of the vehicle battery through the cable terminals. 

Now you’re ready to connect the car battery jumper cables. Usually the Positive
battery cable is red or orange, and the Negative, or ground cable is black – but
always check and double check yourself before connecting the final jumper cable just to be sure, he stresses.

Remember that the cables must be connected in the correct order for safety
reasons. Do the following:

  • First connect one positive end of the jumper cable to the positive terminal of
    the dead cars battery.
  • Then connect the other positive end of the jumper cable to the positive
    terminal of the good car battery.
  • Next connect the one negative end of the jumper cable to the negative
    terminal of the good battery.
  • Finally, connect the other negative end of the jumper cable to a shiny nut or bolt, preferable directly on the engine of the flat battery vehicle.  You should always connect the negative cable clamp to the vehicle with the dead battery last, and to the engine as recommended, away from the battery to best avoid unnecessary sparks close to the battery that could cause the battery to possibly explode.
  •  Once the two vehicles are hooked up, wait a minute or two before starting the flat vehicle. Once the jumpstarted vehicle is running, leave the two vehicles connected, again for a minute or two while at the same time switching the headlights back on and running the interior fan which will stabilise the electrical system.  You can now safely remove the cables in the reverse order that you connected them.

    “We recommend it is always safer to follow this process by checking the electrical system with an accredited service technician, particularly if you suspect the vehicle battery went flat, not due to it laying idle so long but rather because your vehicle may have something slowly draining power from the vehicle. This could be something like a faulty alarm or tracker system, a glove compartment, boot light or interior light not switching off, or the charging system may need testing to ensure the alternator is charging the battery sufficiently. It may at the end of the day just be time to go and have your battery tested which is common in winter,” Ranft concludes.

ENDS

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PUBLIC RELATIONS

MEDIA QUERIES CONTACT JACQUI MOLOI ON 071 764 8233 OR JACQUI@FINDLEYPR.CO.ZA

Replace or repair? That is the windscreen question

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It’s what many car owners dread, that pinging sound as a stone flicks up off the road or bounces off the back of a truck and hits your windscreen. What starts as a small chip quickly becomes a crack making its way further and further across the windscreen.

So, while windscreens are specifically designed to provide structural support for the vehicle as well as to stand up to the stress of travelling, damage does inevitably occur. Interestingly windscreens are actually made up of two layers of glass with an inner layer of automotive safety film between them. This inner layer, the lamination, serves to hold together the broken outer layers in the event of an accident. That is why windscreens crack when struck by objects, but don’t fall apart and cave in on the driver in most circumstances.

The question is whether the damage calls for a full windscreen replacement or whether a repair will do.

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says a point to remember is that your windscreen is your protective shield. “A crack or chip compromises the efficiency of a windscreen so it may not be the wisest option to go with the cheapest route which could be the wrong one if you were in an accident,” he says.

Technology on vehicles is highly advanced and so is the windscreen which can be equipped with advance systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking. Cars with this technology will require special windscreens which will include re-programming or recalibrating during the replacement process.  

In general, however, most chips and cracks can be repaired. “Four factors are used to assess the damage – the size, type, depth, and location of the damage. This assessment needs to be done by a qualified auto glass repair technician who can then decide whether the windscreen is repairable.”

It is important to note that workshops and vehicle glass centres that specialise in windscreen repairs should be able to repair chips of about 2.5cm diameter and cracks about 7cm long. Traditionally, any crack larger than that would not be repaired, but a complete replacement needed. However, new technologies are making it possible to repair wider chips and longer cracks.”

The type of crack is also important as there are many different types of cracks, some of which can be repaired while others can’t. “In general, chips and cracks that can be covered with a R2 coin can usually be repaired,” says Ranft.

He adds that even good repairs may leave behind some discolouration, mistiness or unevenness so location of the chip or crack is an important consideration. “If the damage is in the driver’s line of sight, a repair could distract the driver. Also, any chip or crack that is at or very near the windscreen’s edge where it meets the metal frame, weakens the windscreen and compromises passenger safety. If the technician can’t see the crack or chip in its entirety, then the repair can’t be done successfully.”

Typically, an average chip or crack will take about 30 to 40 minutes to repair. A windscreen replacement can be done within a few hours. “Depending on how busy the workshop is you may need to book your car in for the day,” he explains. 

Ranft says the key is dealing with a chip or crack as fast as possible. He recommends speaking to your insurer about what is covered and what excess you may need to pay. “Cracks lengthen before you know it. This is exacerbated by sudden changes in internal and external temperature, such as when a vehicle’s heater is switched on during cold winter periods. Dust also settles inside chips which can cause further damage and make repairs difficult. If you don’t act quickly what could have been an inexpensive repair job may turn into an expensive replacement,” he concludes.   

Source: Carwindshields.info

ENDS

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR.

Media queries contact Jacqui Moloi on 071 7648233 or jacqui@findleypr.co.za.

Check for Accreditation

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As the motoring aftermarket opens up from 1 July, the Motor Industry Workshop Association has pledged its support in ensuring the integrity of servicing vehicles under warranty.

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Association (RMI) says MIWA welcome the implementation of the Competition Commission Guidelines. “Maintaining and improving standards within our membership base of just over 2 500 accredited and graded workshops countrywide has been a key priority for a number of years now.”

Ranft says all accredited MIWA workshops have to meet and comply with minimum criteria and set standards. “This is our customer promise so they can always be assured of good workmanship but also recourse should the job not be done to acceptable standards,” he says.  MIWA has been very successful in implementing these high standards across its membership base.

Workshops are run by highly-skilled mechanics, with excellent service-levels, administrative support and quality parts and machinery and that standard is consistent across all of the accredited workshops. “Many MIWA members are highly trained specialists in their field, specialising in a specific brand or in a specific field, for example in the repair of electronic control units, and they will often work hand in hand with an OEM,” Ranft says.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on maintaining this high level and maintaining a zero tolerance to the growing culture of regulatory non-compliance in the motor vehicle repair industry. It is not only creating an uneven playing field for many accredited workshop owners in the sector, but also placing consumers at risk. The key for consumers, particularly with the market opening up, is to ensure you select an accredited workshop.”

He explains that during the accreditation process a workshop undergoes a thorough assessment. Aspects including the health and safety operating procedures are scrutinised as are the premises, equipment, administration, waste removal, staffing and so on. “Even aspects of the business such as parking facilities, lighting, ventilation and uniforms are inspected. The MIWA accreditation and grading process includes a document of proof of compliance to Health and Safety policies that members have to adhere to before they receive their accreditation. It is a rigorous process that we believe is essential to ensure customers know they are dealing with professionals and feel protected,” he says.

The level of staff training is also an important aspect of the accreditation process. “To achieve a MIWA accreditation, workshops have to prove their staff have sufficient training and on-the-job experience as well as specific qualifications to meet the needs of their customers,” Ranft points out.

Accreditation criteria also includes standards for tools and diagnostic equipment required to correctly perform the repairs as well as having insurance, such as defective workmanship insurance in the unlikely event of an incorrect repair, in place. “Workshops have to have guarantees and warrantees in place before accreditation can be achieved.”

Once accredited, a workshop can then enter into the grading process with an independent provider. Just like the hospitality industry, workshops receive a star-rating based on a specific list of criteria. “They are assessed according to criteria like tooling, administration, house-keeping, business premises and occupational health and safety. Added to this, workshops must adhere to seven mandatory fields before they receive their grading.

Ranft says it is an exciting time for the sector and for consumers. “Consumers just need to make informed decisions and do the appropriate due diligence when selecting a workshop. Any of our accredited workshops can stand up to scrutiny and then the consumer has the benefit of saving on the servicing and maintenance of their car,” concludes Ranft.

ENDS

Correct use of anti-freeze critical to prevent vehicle damage

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With Temperatures plummeting across the country, many people may be considering using an antifreeze or coolant product in their vehicle.

“The common assumption is that antifreeze-products are the solution to keeping the water in a vehicle’s radiator and engine from freezing in cold temperatures.  While that is true, it also has the added function of lubricating the moving parts of the cooling system, such as the water pump. The Summer coolant component of the product also reduces the possibility of overheating in hot climates.

Modern engines have many narrow passages through which the coolant must flow to keep your engine cool. Not only does it keep your engine temperature under control, but coolant in these smaller passages also keeps the heat in the engine balanced, as well as reducing corrosion and particle build-up,” says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).

But while using anti-freeze/Summer Coolant products may be the answer to engine freeze, Ranft warns technicians not to be fooled by ‘just any’ anti-freeze products on the market.

“The incorrect application of anti-freeze, or the dilution thereof, can result in serious corrosive damage to various parts of the engine including the water pump, radiator and even the engine-cylinder head,” he warns. There are a variety of formulas of AntiFreeze/Summer coolant and these are formulated to match the cooling system of the specific vehicle. colours of Antifreeze/Summer coolant can be an indication of the type of product, however it is preferable to ensure the specifications listed on the packaging match the requirements for the system.

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has two standards for anti-freeze. The first standard is SANS/SABS 1251, where a product must be diluted with clean water in one of two different ratios – 50/50 (1:1) or 33.3/67.7 (1:2) according to instructions, but preferably 1:1. The second, SANS/SABS 1839, is where a coolant is already diluted with water in a 40/60 ratio and is ready to use. It should not be diluted any further.

“If, for example, a coolant product carrying the SABS 1839 mark is diluted, it can become inefficient which can lead to corrosion, and result in damage to engine components. It’s therefore important to understand what you are putting into the engine before doing so,” says Ranft.

He offers the following tips when looking for and using an effective anti-freeze product:

  • Buy branded coolant products from reliable and reputable outlets and avoid cheaper varieties that are likely to have already been diluted.
  • If you have a hydrometer to check the coolant in the vehicle’s cooling system. Also check for solids (rust particles) floating in the coolant and look out for indications of electrolysis (white surface spots) especially in aluminum radiators.
  • Remember over time, your engine’s coolant can become contaminated as it picks up any residue that may have settled in your cooling system, possibly causing clogged sub systems. Flushing your cooling system can keep that potential buildup at bay and help your coolant to flow freely. Ignoring the buildup for too long can result unnecessary repairs to your vehicle.
  • Another factor when determining if you need to change your coolant as opposed to adding antifreeze or water is coolant condition. While you have the coolant in the hydrometer, check it for color and the presence of debris. If the coolant is clear or has particles floating around in it, it probably needs changing.
  • Coolant should probably be changed once every 2 – 5 years.  Pay attention to the coolant system capacity in your owner’s manual. Proper coolant level is important. Having less in the system than the designed capacity lowers efficiency and can result in overheating.
  • Please remember Antifreeze is poisonous to humans and animals. Always make sure to dispose of antifreeze, or flushed coolant, in the appropriate manner.

“Most anti-freeze products are really cooling system protectors – they do not necessarily protect only against freezing. A characteristic of a good quality coolant is that it will assist in preventing boiling – and these anti-boil characteristics are more important in most parts of South Africa than the anti-freeze characteristics,” concludes Ranft.

Ends

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR.

Media queries contact Jacqui Moloi on 071 7648233 or jacqui@findleypr.co.za.

Lost your key – now what?

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If you have ever lost a car key you will relate to the enormous amount of stress that simple loss causes. In the old days replacing a lost car key used to be simple – you’d take the spare to your local key cutter and for about R250 you could have a copy made. These days, however, it’s a different story.

Not only does the modern car key start your car, it can also unlock the doors remotely and provides extra security thanks to transponder technology. All of this is great news until you lose or damage your keys – and discover you’re up for hefty replacement costs.

Many car owners have no idea how much their keys are worth until they lose one,” says Dewald Ranft, National Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA),  a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI). Most people are shocked when they discover a replacement key could cost thousands of Rands and, if you don’t have a spare, keep you grounded for a day or two.

Ranft says the cost of a single replacement key ranges from R2 000 to R4 500 and the price for keys for an exotic car can even be higher. A new key needs to be ordered, cut and coded which could mean up to a full day or more off the road. “A high price for losing something you have to carry with you on most days,” he says.

While the cost of a single replacement key is high, if you lose all the keys to your car, the costs and time off the road will increase significantly, particularly if the car’s computer has to be reset or completely replaced to match the new replacement keys.

“One could easily be quoted anything from R10 000 to more than R20 000 for work done on various models of cars,” he says

Independent industry experts are of the opinion that increasingly complicated technology used in car accessories, including keys, maybe a sales growth area for businesses selling vehicles, but it can be a high-tech headache for car owners.                                                                                            

Accredited independent aftermarket workshops, like MIWA accredited workshops, offer a legitimate alternative service to cut and recode modern car keys for most car models at a very competitive cost. “An added bonus,” says Ranft, “is that they can, in most cases, assist vehicle owners immediately, which means you avoid the hassle of downtime or being without a vehicle for more than a day.”

Most MIWA accredited workshops have worked with modern car keys since their introduction to the South African market. They have the equipment and parts so there is no risk to the owner. “Many people are simply unaware there’s an alternative should you find yourself ‘keyless’,” he says.  

Ranft says many MIWA shops carry genuine keys and also stock after-market keys which may look different from the original but work as well and cost less. Some workshops even carry diagnostic tools that can help reset the car’s computer if both keys are lost.

So the best advice from MIWA:

  • Don’t ever have just one key? If you’re buying a car, be sure to ask about the keys before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Smart but not strong – It’s a fact – keys wear out developing faults or even breaking. Sometimes a repair is an option and not a total replacement. The two most common problems are water damage and keys that have been dropped.
  • Remember you have options – Either speak to your current dealer to manage the replacement or if you prefer, and once you have checked your warranty won’t be affected if you select an alternate workshop, approach any of our accredited MIWA workshops across the country to replace the missing key.

ENDS

COMPILED ON BEHALF OF MIWA BY CATHY FINDLEY PR.

MEDIA QUERIES CONTACT JACQUI MOLOI ON 071 764 8233 OR JACQUI@FINDLEYPR.CO.ZA