Dear Start My Car,


Whereas it might be too soon to celebrate the end of the war, it is still important to acknowledge the success of some battles. In Gauteng, hospitals are under control as Covid cases are reducing. Whilst in Cape Town, they will shortly be dismantling the temporary hospitals that were erected in order to cope with the surge in cases. South Africans are slowly emerging from bunkers in order to rebuild.

The war is not over but are seeing signs that the pandemic will pass.

Before rushing back to life as we knew it, it is worth taking a moment to consider what it is about lockdown that we would like to incorporate into our new lives. Research is indicating that South Africans have finally embraced online trade. We are proud to be one of the sites that you have chosen to place your faith in. We are continuing to strive to do better and we hope that we will do just that.

Please have a look at the site for our offers and specials and please remember to send us your motoring related questions so that we can ask our experts for you.

I thought that you would find the below article interesting and inspiring.

As always, drive safely and adhere to all the social distancing rules.


Be safe and regards,

Baruch 



Recognising female trailblazers in the motor repairs industry


This Women’s Month, we celebrate and recognise the women who have the courage and tenacity to succeed in the male-dominated motor industry – not only those in the boardrooms, but also those on the workshop floors.


The motor industry has long been a male-dominated world, with women traditionally relegated to administrative roles, such as receptionists, personal assistants or bookkeepers. This division of labour entrenched the stereotype that motor mechanics, panel-beating, spray painting and other technical roles are reserved for men. However, just as women have broken into other industries, they are busy breaking into perhaps one of the toughest – the automotive industry.

As a non-life insurer committed to transformation, inclusivity and diversity, MiWay is proud to be one of the companies that have made it possible for trailblazing women like Tselane Halata to occupy a technical and strategic position at the company.
“After 17 years of specialising in motor claims and now as MiWay’s General Manager of Procurement and Motor Assessing, we need more companies in the industry to open doors for women intentionally,” she says. A self-starter, she attributes her success not only to ability and hard work, but a fierce determination to never to give up.

These attributes are shared by two other women who have taken on and succeeded in the world of motor body repairs.

Savanna Govindasamay, who started Springfield Panel and Paint in a 200m2 rented facility, took only seven years to own her own 1000m2 workshop. Together with her 18 employees (50% of whom are women and youth), she is a service provider to Hyundai, Renault, Chevrolet, Peugeot, Opel and Citroën.

“I am very passionate about developing and mentoring women and young people in the community. We have successfully qualified female apprentices and were the first to qualify a female spray painter at the Trade Test Centre,” she says.

Savanna admits that starting her business was not easy, especially in the beginning when she needed a loan to cover salaries. And when the banks turned her down, instead of giving up, she embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign targeting insurance companies and dealerships in the community. It took a lot of determination and positivity because they were not ready to trust a woman panel beater, but her quality, service delivery and turnaround times soon won them over.
Savanna’s determination to succeed was matched by her drive to advancing other women in her community through her WomanOnFire Panel Beaters Co-op. The Co-op gives women an opportunity to market their businesses and build a network. Her advice to other women is: “Be your own strength and have the courage to take that leap.”


Selinah Mtilene, the managing director of Diamond Panel Beaters, took over the running of her husband’s business when it started experiencing difficulties. What started as a towing business turned into a profitable panel-beating enterprise after she realised there was money to be made repairing the vehicles that were towed into her yard. She experienced the Catch-22 many small businesses experience: she did not have the capital to buy the right equipment that was required by both insurance companies and original equipment manufacturers, and being turned down by banks for finance. A rigorous savings plan allowed her to buy the equipment and prove herself both to the community and the industry.


“It’s not easy and succeeding takes time,” she says. “All I can say is to push harder, believe in yourself and do not get distracted or demotivated – one day you will thank yourself for never giving up.”


MiWay’s Halata concludes, “Women must be seen as more than equals. We are strategic partners when it comes to advancing the industry.” Even though she acknowledges that women have to work twice as hard for their voices to be heard, she is quick to caution that women must have the right qualifications and teachable attitude in order to succeed, “Your gender alone is not an automatic passport, you still need to put in the same effort as the opposite gender.”


Diversity is the one thing we have in common and, at MiWay, we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of building an inclusive industry that will enable sustainable growth in South Africa. This has always been an important goal but, as our economy tries to reignite itself, it is now vital that we harness the entrepreneurial flair and smarts that women have to offer.


 MiWay is a licensed non-life insurer & FSP 33970. Ts & Cs apply.


- ABR Automotive Business Review: Buzz (www.abrbuzz.co.za)


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Bike Repair Kit
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Shield Tyre Repair Kit
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Tube Repair Patch
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Vulcanising Cement
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Radial Tire Repair Kit
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SILLY SPARES

This week in ecomm

It has been great for us as South Africans to venture back out to the malls and business parks we were accustomed to frequenting pre the Corona Virus Epidemic.

Sure, it is not the same just yet, but it beats the strict regulations imposed on us during level 5 and even level 4.Unfortunately, for better or for worse, no industry has gone untouched by COVID-19 and we have seen many businesses close and 1000s of jobs lost.

Retail sales this week have seen a global decline of 5.7%, however online purchases continue to grow rapidly and are up by almost 76% year on year (source -RoiRevolution)


Ecomm giants Amazon reported sales of $75.5 billion in the first quarter, up from $59.7 billion the same quarter a year ago.


So, with the ability to visit malls and stores again, why do we still have this rapid online growth?


In my opinion there are a couple of reasons.

Firstly, we are still too afraid. Corona is at its peak in South Africa, as anticipated, and many are still choosing to stay at home and shop from their favourite websites.

Another reason is that the Covid-19 Pandemic has forced many South Africans to shop online for the first time, creating a wave of NEW shoppers who have found that online shopping is, well, pretty damn simple and the ‘way of the future’.


Another big reason (apart from the pure convivence of shopping online,) is the sheer volume of selection and deals out there to choose from. We are spoilt for choice and are regularly enticed into new online stores with many free added benefits, like door to door shipping and discount vouchers for 1st time purchases.


Many big-name brands and businesses have followed suit and have in turn either opened their own online store or made use of some of South Africa’s 3rd party Marketplaces to ensure their piece of the ‘ecomm pie’.


But all said and done, why not shop online? It’s safe, simple, convenient and all the information we need to make an informed purchased can be done at the touch of key or a swipe of the phone.


So, as we wait with bated breath to hear what the President has to say and enjoy the return of our old friends at Eskom, make sure not to be left in the dark and check out this week’s level 3 must haves:

Stay Safe, Stay Connected


This week's top pics

Guess The Part




Workshop Wisdom


Female Trailblazers in the Auto Industry

Jan-Ernst Potgieter is a popular guy in his Silverlakes complex. When he drives past in his Volvo XC60, neighbours’ wave, children smile and dogs wag their tails. Until two weeks ago, that was. That’s when his Volvo began to emit an ear-piercing screech every time, he turns the steering wheel. The neighbours now give him dirty looks, the children cry, and the neighborhood dogs begin to howl.

He reached out to us for help.
Let me begin by saying that there are a variety of sounds a turning wheel can make, which means that some investigation is usually required, and I personally would take the car in to a competent mechanic for an immediate inspection. Sorting the routine noises of road wear from serious suspension or joint problems requires a professional, unfortunately it is not something I can do with a high level of confidence from behind a keyboard without seeing or driving the car.

I immediately replied to Jan-Ernst that he should take his vehicle in as soon as possible, and that waiting too long to see if the noise goes away on its own would most likely leave him stranded on the side of a road with a vehicle that won’t move (unless towed).

Let us look at possible causes of squeaks and squeals when turning your steering wheel.

1. Power Steering System
The power steering system makes light work of controlling of a biggish SUV on winding curves, but it can generate an alarming amount of noise when something goes wrong. The various components which may contribute to the cacophony include: 

1.1 Power Steering Pump
The power steering pump moves fluid throughout the control system to keep pressure levels constant. When it is damaged, usually by the wear and tear of high mileage or unusual driving conditions, it can produce squeals, squeaks and grinding noises. The bearings inside the pump make plenty of high-pitched noises if they dry out as well, but only damaged pumps have this problem.

1.2 Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is vital for the pump to run properly. When it runs low, you might start to hear grinding and whining sounds. Ignoring these noises could burn out the pump and leave you with little to no help steering. Keep the pump reservoir topped off. Power Steering Fluid costs R45 on our website, or R80 if you want to treat your car to premium Castrol ATF Dex II fluid. (Both of these are a pittance compared to the R1865 for our cheapest Power Steering Pump, which you will need if you run out of fluid). Check the fluid level regularly. If it keeps dropping, you most likely have a leak. Regularly changing the power steering fluid also prevents worn and burnt fluid from wearing down the rest of the system.

1.3 Belts
The belts providing power to the pump can also make annoying noises as they wear out. Squealing sounds coming from the engine as you turn mean you need to pull over and examine the belts running the power steering system. If they are worn, frayed at the edges, or visibly cracked, you’re your car to a mechanic to have them replaced immediately. Belts start from as little as R45 on our website.
2. CV Joints
The constant velocity (CV) joint may carry you along for 150 000 kilometers (or more) but waiting to replace it until it suddenly snaps or freezes up is a serious mistake. Any of the four CV joints found in a front wheel drive car can go bad, leading to clicking noises. The joints are silent when you are driving in a straight line; they only begin once the steering wheel is moved off center. Wear in the joint itself allows for excess movement, creating noise and accelerating the breakdown process. If your CV joint boot is damaged and the grease has escaped, the lack of lubrication as well as the ingress of dirt will cause a significant racket, but more importantly, warn of imminent seizure.

Always replace your CV joints at the recommended intervals. Visit our website for our comprehensive range of CV Joints, CV Joint kits, and CV Joint Boots.

3. Shocks & Struts
These two parts work together in unison to keep your car from bouncing all over the road. Rubber tires jump and bounce over uneven road surfaces without the power of the suspension to smooth out the ride. As they wear out, shocks tend to make a noise whenever they are put under stress, but struts often only make an audible sound when you turn the steering wheel.  
Grinding noises during a low-speed turn is a typical symptom of strut issues. Faster curves do not always trigger the same sound. Sway bar links can also start producing these worrying signs of damage, so I would advise taking your vehicle in for a suspension check to determine which part of the suspension is grinding.

Once again, we are here to help you! As proud distributors of the KYB brand (an OEM suspension provider found on 25% of new passenger cars worldwide), you can be sure to find your required shocks and struts on Start My Car.

4. Tie Rods and Ends
Tie rods connect your steering system with the wheels, and they each end with carefully fitted ball joints at the ends. These joints rub against themselves to loosen up with time. Metal rods can always become bent in a collision, or even a pothole, leaving you vulnerable to a loss of control at any point if you do not get it repaired. A rubber boot surrounds these joints, so the thick grease used as a lubricant does not dry up and create friction. Check these boots for cracking and leaking regularly to ensure your tie rod end joints do not fail prematurely due to a tear or scrape on a bumpy road. Be sure to view our recently launched Teknosa range of suspension parts.

5. Wheel Bearings
Sounds emanating from aging wheel bearings often increase or change when you turn in one direction or the other. A loss of lubricant or the introduction of grit from the road can quickly destroy the original wheel bearings.  
Signs of aging bearings include:
• Thumping or growling noises that change with varying speeds and turning angles.
• Alignment changes that damage the tires or make it hard to stay straight on the road.
• Leaking grease around the back of the wheel, which is easiest to spot when a vehicle is on a lift.
• Bad handling that gets worse over time.

Do we sell wheel bearings? Of course, we do! We have bearings, bearing kits, bearing housings and high temperature bearing grease.

6. Brake Discs and Brake Pads
Do not forget about the potential for brake pads or clips to start making noises. I would concede that these noises are more likely when descending windy mountain roads then puttering sedately through your residential complex. The high-speed vibration caused by the friction between the tire and road slowly loosens your brake pads and calipers over time. Below are several reasons why clicking and grinding sounds can occur when you turn:
• Loosened calipers.
• Thin or loose brake pads.
• Hub caps vibrating against a bent wheel.
• Debris stuck between components of the brake drum and pads.
• Loose bolts vibrating against the wheel or hub cap.
• Cracks in the wheel itself, which is also accompanied by vibration from the tires.

It seems trivial to mention it, but brake pads and discs are our bread and butter.

Summary
The simple act of taking a corner involves both the steering and suspension systems of a car. Each system comprises multiple parts. There are there for several components which could be responsible for the racket you hear when turning your steering wheel.

The exact nature of the noise may be indicative of the part at fault. Is it a squeak, squeal, clunk, or hum? Lets briefly have a look at the different types of noises.
• Creaks, clunks, and squeaks: Any of these sounds indicate wear and tear and worn shocks and suspensions. They also indicate dry bushings, ball joints or tie rods. These types of noises are accompanied by poor car maintenance and vibrations.
• Metallic grinding or ringing: These noises are usually from worn brake components.
• Crunching when turning sharply: This noise suggests your CV joint needs replacing.
• Hum: A hum often indicates that the wheel bearing needs to be checked out by your local garage as soon as possible.
• Screeching, squealing, or whining: Most of the time, these problems indicate an issue with your power steering system, from a loose belt to a bad pump or low power steering fluid.

Nonetheless, I would strongly advise taking the vehicle in to a professional for an inspection.


HAPPY CUSTOMERS