Car Repairs

Female driver causes havoc trying to park at Crossing Shopping Centre at Nelspruit

Vehicle that caused the damage

Earlier today witnesses were present when a lady caused havoc trying to park at Crossing Shopping Centre in Nelspruit. She managed to cause damage to 2 other vehicles and even the plants in the vicinity were not spared.

This raises serious concern as to how some road users have managed to become licensed drivers! A proper investigation as to how the driver obtained the drivers license may help to save many other drivers from significant vehicle damage…or more important – from physical harm!

Vegetation getting in the way of an attempt at parking

Also view: Parking and Car Insurance


Alexander Forbes advises motorists to take care when purchasing a used vehicle

Johannesburg, May, 2013 – Alexander Forbes Insurance (AFI) is advising purchasers of used vehicles to take special care not to pay an inflated price when purchasing and highlights the importance of insuring for the correct values.

They recommend checking the Trans-Union Auto Dealers’ Guide, to assist in determining a fair price of a used vehicle before purchasing.

Generally the insurance industry will use this guide to decide a settlement value on write off and to adjust vehicle values on policy anniversary date. Your insurer will be able to advise what the Auto Dealer Guide says for your vehicle.

AFI MD, Gari Dombo suggests the following tips before purchasing and valuing a vehicle to avoid any nasty surprises in terms of later claims:
· Don’t make your purchase decision based on a cursory review or the aesthetic appeal of the vehicle only. Research the vehicle thoroughly; be aware of the mileage, accident history and roadworthiness of the vehicle.
· Ask about all features in the vehicle as this can affect its value.
· Test drive the vehicle and ask a mechanic or car guru to examine the vehicle
When you contact your insurer to insure the vehicle be sure that you give accurate details of the make model and year of first registration, and the mileage. Also be sure to give details of the after-market accessories and their values that you wish to insure.

Most insurers use retail replacement value when determining a settlement value for vehicles. Some insurers will use the average between trade and retail value, as the basis of settlement. Check your policy to see what your basis of settlement is so you can take that into account when setting your vehicle sum insured.

According to Alexander Forbes policies, a vehicle is written off if the cost of repair exceeds 70% of the retail value of the vehicle or 70% of the sum insured if that is less. In the case of hijacking or vehicle theft, the vehicle owner will be paid out as if the vehicle was written off.

“A car is often the second most expensive purchase a person makes, so correctly valuing your vehicle is especially important in the event of a write-off, hijacking and theft claims,” concludes Dombo.

Steering wheel glitch cause of worldwide recall of 841,000 vehicles for Nissan

Nissan Motor Co Ltd will recall about 841,000 vehicles worldwide including the Micracompact car, also known as the March, as a result of a steering wheel glitch, Japan’s No.2 automaker said on Thursday.

Nissan is recalling certain models of the Micra compact car produced in Britain and Japan between 2002 and 2006, as well as the Cube, produced in Japan around the same period.

It is pulling back vehicles in Japan, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

The bolt used in the steering wheel of these cars may not have been properly tightened and at worst the steering wheel may not function, Nissan said in a statement filed to the Japanese transport ministry.

No accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported, Nissan spokeswoman Noriko Yoneyama said.

Nissan will fix the glitch by either tightening the bolts or replacing the steering wheel with a new one.

The repair will take about 40 minutes, Yoneyama said. She declined to say how much the recall will cost Nissan


Also view:

Alarming number of vehicle owners not responding to vehicle recalls


BMW recalls 6000 of its E46 cars in South Africa for airbag problem

BMW is recalling about 6000 of its E46 cars in South Africa because of an airbag problem that prompted five other major automakers to recall a total of 3.4-million vehicles.

The affected vehicles were made during 2002/03.

A BMW SA spokesperson said customers would be contacted within the next month as a precautionary measure.


The Detroit News reported that the recall, originated in the US and blamed on an airbag made a decade earlier, is the latest in a series of high-profile airbag recalls in recent years. In April 2013 Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and General Motors said they would recall 3.4-million vehicles worldwide because airbags could catch fire or send metal fragments into occupants.

Motoring website’s senior analyst Michelle Krebs said the recall showed the effect of automakers using common parts. “This recall is an example of the downsides of using ‘super suppliers’ for important vehicle components.”

Also view:

Alarming number of vehicle owners not responding to vehicle recalls


You simply cannot go without car insurance considering these dangers on our roads!

The Arrive Alive website received the following request for assistance:

Could you please forward this email to someone who is a Road Safety Professional who could assist me by expressing an opinion regarding the safety of the public based on the photos below.

We requested more info on specifics with regards to location and are pleased to confirm that these threats have since been repaired. The visitor provided confirmation as follows:

“This road situation in Cape Town has since been repaired, however the lack of urgency ( ten days ) and the attitude of the officials at the top that this was reported to is what is of concern to me.

That is why I need to get an opinion on what the potential danger of such situations can be, before I take the officials to task and I also need to be sure that I’m not making a mountain out of a mole hill and that these situations in the pictures could cause serious damage and/or cause road collisions that may have resulted in serious injury and possibly loss of life.”

Please assist other road users by providing information via the Arrive Alive website

Report for Hazardous road conditions

Automotive Business Control Instruments Shows Profit Turnaround and New Products

Photo by Denese Lups/ Phototalk


  • Eliminated exposure to the OEM business
  • Repositioned the business as an automotive aftermarket business
  • Operating profit from continuing operations R29,65-million – up from R17,93-million
  • Profit after tax from continuing operations R19,92-million – up from R9,12-million
  • Earnings per share from continuing operations 14,48 cents– up from 6,63 cents
  • Resumption of dividends


For the year to December 2012, Control Instruments increased revenue to R566,37-million up from R535,80-million in 2011.  Gross profit increased 13,24% to R171,35-million (2011 – R151,32-million) and net profit after tax increased from R9,12-million to R19,92-million.

Improved expense control resulted in a 65,37% increase in operating profit up from R17,93-million to R29,65-million. Earnings per share from continuing operations improved to 14,48 cents compared with 6,63 cents (restated) in the previous financial year. Headline earnings per share from continuing operations increased from 8,2 cents (restated) to 16,20 cents.

Control Instruments CEO Sean Rogers said the group has completed its repositioning and restructuring into a fully-focused automotive aftermarket business. “The satisfactory results  produced by the continuing operations positively confirms the decision taken to focus on this sector, servicing the South African and sub-Saharan Africa markets,” he said.

Mr Rogers said the Group is now a focused automotive aftermarket business with a clear vision. “We will be the leading supplier of choice for branded automotive parts in sub-Saharan Africa.”

“Rigorous cost management, effective selling strategies, focused service delivery and the expansion into sub-Saharan Africa will remain core to all management activities going forward.”

“Whilst the automotive aftermarket remains highly competitive and consumer debt levels are increasing due to the pressures being placed on disposable incomes from higher food, fuel and electricity prices, we are confident that the marketing strategies we have deployed will  create a receptive market for the three major brands; Gabriel, Echlin and Textar,” he said.

The Group eliminated its exposure to the original equipment manufacturing (“OEM”) businesses when, following the closure of the two OEM businesses based in the UK and the US towards the end of 2011, it disposed of Pi Shurlok,  based in Pietermaritzburg, in November 2012.

The OEM business has accordingly been reflected as a discontinued operation in the results.  The financial impact of exiting this business has been excluded from the financial highlights. The net loss relating to the write-off of the investment, Group commitments and trading losses for the year ended 31 December 2012 was R53,34-million.



As part of its strategy to secure new brands, CI-Automotive has concluded a strategic partnership with a German manufacturer TMD to market and distribute the Textar brand in sub-Saharan Africa. TMD is a global leader in the manufacture of brake friction products supplying an extensive range of aftermarket friction brands into the global independent aftermarket.

Textar offers a comprehensive range of brake pads, brake discs, callipers, brake shoes, brake linings and braking components for the automotive aftermarket. The Textar brand will be launched at the end of the first quarter of 2013.

CI-Automotive also introduced a range of lighting products under a newly secured North American brand, VisionX.  The VisionX product range catering for off-highway equipment lighting and specialised lighting systems for the mining, military, construction and industrial markets will complement our other North American lighting brand, Trucklite. Investment in the expansion of the existing product ranges to meet the demands of the increasingly diverse vehicle parc in South Africa will continue.


The improvement in the operating margin to 5,23% in the 2012 financial year up from 3,35% in the previous year, while still not aligned with medium-term expectations, met the Group’s short-term target. There are a number of ongoing initiatives aimed at improving the operating margin.


The results produced by the continuing operations during 2012 were achieved on the back of an increased focus on the development of the Group’s brands.

Each brand is being activated through a bespoke marketing strategy developed to achieve either a “push” or a “pull” effect in the distribution channel, a key component of which is the focus on owning the relationship at each level in the channel. This investment resulted in marketing and selling costs increasing by R11,8-million to R66,95-million.

Particularly satisfying this year was the introduction of a number of new and innovative marketing concepts into the distribution channel. These included the introduction of a programme which allows the consumer to purchase a five year extended warranty for the Gabriel product range; the successful rollout of the Gabriel shock tester, designed and developed over the course of the past two years, for fitment centres.

This included the introduction of a mobile shock tester for use in promotional call-to-action campaigns and a  successful micro-marketing programme which allowed the brand ambassadors to tailor campaigns to suit the requirements of the retailers and workshops.

Control Instruments Automotive, the Group’s automotive aftermarket business’ value proposition focuses on bringing to its customers a premium branded product, recognisable by the consumer, supported by the requisite level of technical service and back-up together with application and installation training expected from a premium branded.  This differentiates and strengthens the position of the brands in an ever increasingly competitive market.


The threat of imports from globally competitive and low-cost manufacturing countries remains the driving force behind the initiatives on which we have embarked to improve our global competitiveness. The manufacturing operations are engaged in projects which are aimed at improving manufacturing efficiencies and reducing the material input costs over the next twenty four months.


A number of programmes are being undertaken to extract value from and improve on the efficiencies in the supply chain. Focus is being placed on internal logistics, on-shelf availability, improved in-fill rates, prompt and accurate order completion, supplier quality management and best cost pricing.


A final dividend of 1,5 cents per share for the full year ended 31 December 2012 has been declared.

Control Instruments Group Limited

(Incorporated in the Republic of South Africa)

Registration number: 1964/003987/06

Share code: CNL • ISIN: ZAE000001665

(“Control Instruments” or “the Group”)

Servicing your luxury vehicle Africa Style!!

How important is it to have your vehicle effectively maintained and repaired? A regular visitor to the Arrive Alive website emailed a few photos of some uniquely South African vehicle repairs! Vehicle maintenance is not something to be neglected – to quote from the Arrive Alive website:

“Effective and proper maintenance will provide many benefits to the vehicle owner, including:

  • Saving fuel and money – mechanical systems of the vehicle will affect fuel efficiency 
  • Reducing long-term maintenance costs 
  • Minimize harmful exhaust emissions and protect the environment
  • Increase reliability of your vehicle and limit the risk of vehicle breakdown
  • Increase the resale value of your vehicle”

On effective vehicle maintenance and repair view:

Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

Vehicle maintenance and safety guide to roadworthiness of vehicles

Fortuner 2.5 D-4d – The Automatic Choice

More and more people are seeing the value of driving an automatic. No more lumbering around, depressing the clutch and tiring yourself out before you even reach your destination. Tagging onto this momentum, Toyota has added an ‘entry-level’ auto to its ubiquitous Fortuner line-up. The new 2.5 D-4D auto slots in just above the 2.5 D-4D manual, which is the most affordable entry point for Fortuner ownership.

At the heart of the Fortuner 2.5 D-4D VNT Auto, lies a very sophisticated power plant that is able to deliver maximum performance from a frugal four-cylinder engine. Maximum power is an ample 106 kW and the torque figure is on par with the 3.0 D-4D, a meaty 343Nm. The four-speed auto is the same one used in the other diesel engine in the range, offering smooth power transfer from low down the rev range. Maximum torque is available from a very accessible 1600 rpm and peak power is reached at only 3400 rpm.

Fortuner has taken the local market by storm since its introduction in 2006, racking up sales to take top spot in the SUV segment. In fact it is the best-selling privately bought vehicle in the country according to NAAMSA statistics. It underwent a fairly radical cosmetic rework in 2011 that made it even more of a good-looking vehicle. However, great value-for money and legendary off-road ability remain the pillars of the Fortuner range. Add seven-seater versatility, a generous 80 litre fuel tank for when the journey ahead is long, and a five-year 90 000km service plan to the equation and you have an unbeatable, go-anywhere family package.

The addition of the automatic transmission is sure to make the 2.5 D-4D even more popular and give even more consumers the opportunity to enjoy the lifestyle that they’ve always wanted.

The new Fortuner 2.5 D-4D Raised Body Auto retails for R350 400 (incl. VAT).

South African owners affected by recall of Jaguar XF sedans

Jaguar is recalling 4195 XF sedans in the US to fix a potential fuel leak problem, according to US safety regulators.

According to Lesley Sutton, media affairs manager for Jaguar Land Rover SA, South African customers could be affected. As a precautionary measure the automaker will be conducting a recall on 5.0 petrol-engined XF models in the country.

Jaguar is recalling its 5.0 XF models built from 2010 to 2012, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


The affected vehicles could have a fuel tank outlet which could crack, resulting in a leak and possible vehicle fire.

Jaguar has received three field reports and 17 warranty claims worldwide, but no reports of accidents, fires or injuries related to the issue, reports the NHTSA.

Customers have reported fuel odour, the “check engine” light activating and fuel on the ground. Jaguar technicians found cracks in the affected areas.

Sutton said: “The recall will potentially affect South African customers. Jaguar is voluntarily conducting a safety recall to replace a fuel tank seal in certain Jaguar XF 5.0 litre petrol engine derivative vehicles.

“Customers with vehicles that are potentially affected by this issue will receive a letter inviting them to contact a Jaguar authorised dealership for the work to be carried out.”


Also view:

Alarming number of vehicle owners not responding to vehicle recalls

BMW recall affects 11,780 vehicles in South Africa

recallYesterday we revealed that BMW has announced a worldwide recall in a post titled BMW recalls 1.3 million cars worldwide to check battery cable covers. But how does this affect South African vehicle owners?

We would like to share a media release found on Moneyweb via I-Net Bridge:

BMW SA says it is recalling 11,780 cars in SA as part of the group’s worldwide measure to carry out repairs.

The models in question include all 5 and 6 Series models built from March 2003 to September 2010, which means all previous generation BMW 5 Series Sedans, BMW M5 Sedans and BMW M5 Touring models, the luxury car manufacturer said in a statement.

All previous generation BMW 6 Series Coupes, Convertibles and BMW M6 Coupes and BMW M6 Convertibles are included in the recall as well.

“Vehicle owners will be notified in writing, requesting them to bring the vehicle to their respective dealership where the repair will be done at no cost to the customer. This repair should not take longer than 30 minutes,” said BMWSA spokesperson, Guy Kilfoil.

In certain cases, the battery cable cover inside the boot of these vehicles may be incorrectly mounted. This could result in an electrical system malfunction, the vehicle failing to start and, in very rare circumstances, the charring of the cables or fire.

BMW said it was not aware of any accidents or injury to persons as a result of this fault, which was brought to light by its internal quality control measures.

Also view:
Alarming number of vehicle owners not responding to vehicle recalls

Also view on vehicle recalls, insurance and road safety the following:

Alarming number of vehicle owners not responding to vehicle recalls