Heels & Horsepower Magazine

5 Driving Habits That Affect Tyre Wear and Safety

Your driving habits have a significant impact on the health and longevity of your tyres, as well as your safety on the road.

To maintain the health of your tyres and ensure your safety on the road, it’s important to adopt safe driving habits. This includes driving within the recommended speed limit, taking corners carefully and smoothly, avoiding overloading your vehicle, and driving on well-maintained roads as often as you can.

Here are some ways your driving style can affect your tyres:

1. Speeding and Hard Acceleration

The most common driving style that damages your tyres is hard acceleration and driving at high speeds, both of which cause your tyres to wear out faster due to increased heat and friction. High friction produces increased heat, which in turn leads to tyre wear.  Additionally, hard acceleration causes bits of rubber from the tyre to shred and chip off, thereby further increasing wear and tear.  Similarly, speeding increases heat and friction, putting more stress on your tyres. The best thing to do is drive gently to help improve the longevity of your tyres.

2. Hard Braking

Similar to hard acceleration, hard braking can also lead to premature tyre damage. Frequent emergency braking has an adverse effect on the car’s suspension and leads to uneven wear of tyres. Driving in city traffic often includes hard braking, but this can be minimised by maintaining a safe following distance, keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.  

3. Cornering

Taking corners too quickly or aggressively can also cause your tyres to wear unevenly, as the outside edges of the tyres are constantly under stress. This can lead to poor grip and reduced handling, making your vehicle less safe to drive.

4. Overloading

Overloading your vehicle beyond its recommended weight limit causes excessive stress on your tyres. The tyre of a car is designed to carry a particular maximum weight as prescribed by the vehicle manufacturer.  This weight is known as the load rating and is marked on the tyre’s sidewall and in the car owner’s manual.  By overloading your vehicle, you increase pressure on the tyre, weakening its internal structure which not only leads to faster wear and tear, but an increased risk of tyre bursts.

5. Driving On Rough Roads, Debris And Over Curbs

Driving on rough or poorly maintained roads such as potholes and debris causes your tyres to wear out faster, as they are exposed to more friction.  Hitting harshly against a curb can easily cause cracks on the rubber of a tyre and damage the wheel, rim, steering components and suspension.  Remember to drive slowly and carefully in built-up areas and look out for unmarked curbs.

Regular tyre checks and maintenance can help detect any potential issues before they become major problems. By changing your driving habits, you can extend the life of your tyres and enjoy a safer drive.

Generic vs Genuine: What Is The Difference?

An important part of owning a car is keeping it in good running condition, but as we all know, services and car parts aren’t cheap.

Life is becoming increasingly expensive, so it’s understandable that you’d want to find the most affordable ways to get all those important things taken care of – including your car. If you’re on a tight budget, you’d be happy to know that there is an option beyond genuine parts to fit onto your vehicle, and that comes in the form of generic alternatives.

Manufactured and sold at a significantly lower price than what you’d pay for the original parts from the manufacturer, generic parts allow people to maintain their cars on a budget.

But what are the differences really, and is it safe to opt for generic parts?

What Is The Difference Between Genuine and Generic?

In all honesty, there isn’t much of a difference. Generic parts are very much like generic medication: they were designed to be exact replicas of the original.

Generic parts are typically directly reverse-engineered from the original components and look exactly the same. In fact, often, the difference between the two comes down to a brand name or packaging.

Original parts, also called OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacturer, are the exact same parts your car was fitted with when it was originally assembled. Generic parts are very much like generic medication: they were designed to be exact replicas of the original.

Is It Safe To Have Generic Parts Installed?

A lot of car manufacturers and manufacturer-approved service technicians insist that it’s unwise and unsafe to install generic parts in your vehicle if you care about its longevity and your own safety. However, as long as you purchase parts from a reputable retailer or auto parts franchise, the choice to buy a generic part should be quite safe.

One aspect that may differ is that generic car parts may not have the same warranty as original parts – or may not even come with any warranty at all, but this comes as part of the territory as you’re paying less for the part.

Another potential drawback is that the actual materials used to make the part may not be as durable as the OEM version, which means the part could wear down much sooner and have a reduced lifespan than the more expensive OEM part. 

If you’re presented with the option of going for OEM or generic parts, be sure to find out about the reputation of the brand being offered to you. If a trusted car parts franchise sells generic parts and recommends them, you should be quite safe in making the purchase.

Again, just be aware that while the part will cost you significantly less, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” always rings true, so don’t expect the same durability and lifespan when fitting a generic part.  

Here’s What Happens To Your Body After A Car Accident

Often what happens in a car accident isn’t immediately seen, felt, or known. If you’ve been in a car accident, you may walk away and think you feel fine, only to have symptoms occur over the next few days.

After a car accident, you are very likely to feel stiff, sore, and bruised. It is very important that, even if you think you came away from a car accident without a scratch, to still see a doctor and get a medical check-up and evaluation.

If symptoms arise later, you will be glad you did because you will already have a physician’s report of your condition immediately following the car accident. Do not ignore any symptoms as the longer you wait to get treatment, the more reduced your chances become of making a complete recovery.

What To Expect Physically After A Car Accident

Some symptoms after a car accident include a headache, shoulder and neck pain, back pain, abdominal pain, bruising or numbness, and emotional distress.

Headaches could possibly be due to a concussion, brain injury, blood clot, or whiplash. Shoulder or neck pain could indicate whiplash or a spinal injury. Back pain could be a sign of a spinal or ligament injury or whiplash. Abdominal pain could indicate possible internal bleeding. Bruising or numbness could be a sign of a spinal injury or herniated disk. Emotional distress could suggest a possible brain injury, concussion, or PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Common car accident injuries include neck and head trauma, brain injuries, broken bones, back and spinal cord trauma, burns, and skin scrapes.  Even when wearing a seat belt, you can get shaken around regardless of the rate of speed of the accident. 

Impacts From A Head-On Collision

This is one of the worst impacts you could suffer. The speed the car would have been traveling at is also the speed at which your body would be traveling at, and that can allow for a severe impact.

After the collision, deceleration drops rapidly from the car’s travelling speed to the car coming to a complete stop. The effect that deceleration has is the consequence of an enormous energy transfer that is felt by your body as well as the car. This transfer of energy is what can result in injuries.

Seatbelts help, of course, and that is why there is a law that seatbelts should always be worn. A seat belt can prevent your head from crashing into the front windshield or the steering wheel. While a seatbelt can most assuredly save your life, injuries can still be suffered.

Common injuries with seatbelt use include a collapsed lung, broken ribs, broken collar bone, and internal injuries. Still, it is far better than not wearing a seatbelt, which could result in death.

Impacts From A Rear-End Collision

A rear-end collision can also carry a tremendous force. In both scenarios, your head is greatly at risk of some type of physical or mental injury. In a rear-end collision, that transfer of energy propels occupants backwards, which can cause your head to jerk or snap violently, resulting in a variety of head and neck injuries. Potential injuries from a rear-end collision include a concussion, a herniated disc, soft tissue injuries, or a compression fracture.

  • Concussion: A concussion occurs when your head takes a direct hit and induces trauma. Symptoms include blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, headaches, or difficulty concentrating.
  • Herniated Disc: A herniated disc can occur when your vertebrae slips out of place and interferes with your spinal cord.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries are those caused by your head whipping suddenly, back and forth. This motion can cause ligaments, tendons, and muscles to tear.  Whiplash is a soft tissue injury. 
  • Compression Fracture: A compression fracture is serious and can occur in the spine when a bone collapses in it. Numbness in legs and arms is common, along with back pain.

Impacts From A Side Collision

Side impacts from car crashes can cause some of the most dangerous and severe impacts to a body. The energy transfer that is produced from the crash has only a door to help absorb the impact. The chances for a human body to be crushed are much higher in a side impact collision (also known as a T-bone collision). Potential injuries from a side impact crash include:

  • Internal organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries from colliding with a window
  • Spinal and neck injuries due to the force with which the head is whipped about
  • Upper body injuries

Psychological Impacts

What happens in a car accident can leave many people in a state of shock. It is a jolt to your entire system. Anxiety and depression are two other impacts that are not uncommon. Some people even develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) from being involved in a car accident.

Know what to expect physically after a car accident, as well as mentally. Be aware that you may not feel abnormal right away, but symptoms can show up days later. It is extremely important to notify your doctor and get a complete physical check-up.

Stay Cool This Summer With These Air Con Troubleshooting Tips

There’s no denying that South African summers are getting more and more intense every year, which is great news for those who love to swim or braai, but when it comes to comfort in the car, we need our car’s air conditioning system to keep ourselves cool.

If you’re wondering how you can tell what’s going on with your car’s air conditioning system, here are the most common issues you can expect to face and what each one means.

Weak Airflow

There’s nothing more frustrating than expecting a blast of fresh air when you push the air con button, only to be presented with a weak, wishy-washy draft. The most common reason for this could be that a hose has come loose and is therefore not blowing air properly. Other common causes are a build-up of mould blocking airflow or a broken ventilation fan or seal.

A Bad Odour 

Does your air conditioning system emit a foul odour that has you wondering who silently emitted body gas? While there might be a culprit in the car, it is also likely that the air-con system could be responsible for the vile odour. The most common cause is that the filter inside the system has gotten dirty or old and is in dire need of replacement.

Another common reason could be mould developing due to water being unable to drain from the system’s evaporator.

Hot Air

Opened your vents on a hot day, only to be hit by a blast of  with sticky, clammy air? The most common offenders are usually leaking vacuums, seals, rings or hoses. Clogged hoses and tubes can also cause this problem, as can damage to the car’s condenser, evaporator, fan or blower motor. 

Fixing The Problem – And Preventing It From Happening Again

Unfortunately, the placement of a car’s air conditioning system makes it challenging to detect problems from the outside, which is why many people only realise something’s amiss when the air con stops operating as it should. Your best bet is to consult a professional and have your vehicle undergo servicing so that a team can use the appropriate equipment to assess it and detect possible problems.

Once your vehicle is returned to you with its air conditioning system in tip-top shape, you will need to ensure it remains that way until its next scheduled servicing date. Here are a few things you can do to ensure it remains functional until then.

  • Keep your car interior clean and vacuum it regularly. This will prevent any build-up from taking place in your vents due to dust, leaves and debris being left to circulate in the car.
  • Don’t let your air conditioning system stagnate by making sure you use it regularly. Run it for ten minutes at least once a week during colder months when you don’t use it as often so that your hoses and compressors remain supple and less likely to crack.
  • Your air conditioning system doesn’t just keep your car cool – it reduces humidity too. Run it in winter to keep your cabin free from fog. It will also reduce your odds of generating mildew or mould build-up. 

A little bit of attention here and there goes a long way towards ensuring that you enjoy cool air from your air con system during the long hot summer days.  

The Importance of Regular Car Maintenance

In this day and age, time is a very important resource. People seem to get busier and busier every day, cramming more and more into their packed schedules making car maintenance a chore they could do without.  

  1. Increases Safety
    Sticking to your regular car maintenance services increases your safety while on the road and prevents break-downs. Ensuring that your vehicle is serviced accordingly to the manufacturer’s prescription gives you peace of mind as the risk of malfunctions decreases significantly.
  2. Keeps Your Car Performing at its Best
    Along with the increased safety, your car will also perform better than it would if you were inattentive to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance service schedule. Regular maintenance ensures increased engine performance, better fuel efficiency, consistent steering control and prolonged tyre life.
  3. Saves You Money
    Taking care of your vehicle on a consistent basis, prevents larger, more costly issues from arising. Its far cheaper to pay a set amount every few months to keep your car in check than to have to fork out thousands when you have a major breakdown.  
  4. Lowers The Cost of Fuel
    Servicing your car regularly maintains its fuel consumption. But skipping a .When you take good care of your car, it won’t waste any drops of fuel. But if you skip one of the services, your car is likely to burn more fuel, causing its consumption to increase exponentially. As a result, you will quite likely become a regular visitor at your nearest fuel station, which in turn will cost your time and money.
  5. Saves You Time
    By staying on top of your maintenance schedule, you will be preventing larger issues which could keep your car from running. If you get really unlucky and have to deal with a huge auto repair issue, you may not be able to drive your car for days or even weeks.
  6. Keeps Car Value High
    you should stay on top of your car maintenance schedule if you are planning on selling your vehicle at some point. Regular services with an industry recognized workshop helps keep the value of your car high. Should you wish to sell your car, chances are you will get more money for it than you could have hoped for.

How To Pay Off Your Car Loan Quicker

Car loans are sometimes seen in a negative light but they can be incredibly helpful in moving ahead in life.

Many South Africans live in debt and very few have the financial ability to pay cash for big ticket items such as cars.  As a result, many people resort to taking car loans in order to finance their vehicles. 

In itself, a loan is not necessarily a bad thing and does not need to affect your life negatively.  Best of all, it is possible to pay off a car loan quicker than you might think, when you consider the following guidelines:

Pay More Whenever Your Finances Allow

It is advisable to pay more towards your car loan whenever you have extra disposable income which could come from bonuses, tax refunds or profit from the sale of personal goods.  Paying extra will help to decrease your car loan term and interest rates.

Round Up Your Repayment Amount

Believe it or not, repayments are often not rounded up, which gives you the opportunity to round up the amount.  For instance, if your monthly instalment is R9789, pay back R10 000 instead.  The extra amount will make go towards making a huge difference in the long term.

Paying off your car loan is doable, especially when you become disciplined and follow through on informed decisions about your finances. 

Here Are The Electric Vehicles On Sale In South Africa Right Now

Over the past few years, a number of environmentally friendly vehicles have been launched in South Africa and a few more new models are expected in 2023.

Here is a list of the electric vehicles currently available.

BMW iX3 M Sport

  • Power: 210 kW/400 Nm
  • Maximum range: 460 km
  • Starting Price: R1,306,400

MINI Cooper SE

  • Power: 135 kW/270 Nm
  • Maximum range: 217 km
  • Starting Price: R742,102

Volvo XC40 Recharge

  • Power: 170 kW/330 Nm
  • Maximum range: 423 km
  • Starting Price: R1,075,000

Audi e-tron GT

  • Power: 350 kW/630 Nm
  • Maximum range: 488
  • Starting Price: R2,715,000

Audi RS e-tron GT

  • Power: 440kW/830Nm
  • Range: 472km
  • Starting price: R3,359,400

BMW i7

  • Power: 400kW/745 Nm
  • Maximum range: 625 km
  • Starting Price: R2,825,000

Mercedes-Benz EQB

  • Power: 215 kW/520 Nm
  • Maximum range: 423 km
  • Starting Price: R1,379,000

BMW i4 M50

  • Power: 400 kW/795 Nm
  • Maximum range: 465 km
  • Starting Price: R1,637,900

Mercedes-Benz EQC

  • Power: 300 kW/760 Nm
  • Maximum range: 437 km
  • Starting Price: R1,679,000


  • Power: 240 kW/630 Nm
  • Maximum range: 425 km
  • Starting Price: R1,735,000

Audi e-tron 55 

  • Power: 300 kW/664 Nm
  • Maximum range: 440 km
  • Starting Price: R1,745,000

Porsche Taycan

  • Power: 300 kW/345 Nm
  • Maximum range: 431 km
  • Starting Price: R2,179,000

Jaguar I-Pace

  • Power: 294 kW/696 Nm
  • Maximum range: 470 km
  • Starting Price: R2,249,000

Mercedes-Benz EQS

  • Power: 245 kW/565 Nm
  • Maximum range: 782 km
  • Starting Price: R2,620,500

The Vrr-Phaa That Stops The Pha Pha Pha!

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes the world’s first bullet proof Golf, proudly armoured in South Africa.

Armormax has just taken the wraps off its latest project – a VW Golf 8 GTI – armoured to a B4 ballistic level.  This is the first armoured Golf 8 GTI both in South Africa and globally. While it may seem misplaced to have a bullet-proof hatchback offering, the demand for such a vehicle is quite high.

Using the lightest synthetic armour available globally, the armouring conversion adds less than 180 kg to the vehicle ensuring that economy and performance remain largely unaffected.

The armouring package on the Golf 8 GTI includes replacement of all standard glass with Optima ballistic glass, which, from the outside looks no different from that found on a standard vehicle.

All doors, panels, pillars, rear seats and hatch are armoured with lightweight synthetic armour. The same ballistic protection is included in the roof and sunroof, the latter remaining operational just as the front windows are.

A PTT intercom system finishes off the package giving you the safest performance hatchback on the road today.

‘The B4 Golf was a daring project back in 2018 but was met with immense interest and several orders were taken. There was never a question that we would develop the world’s first armouring package for the new model. Its most popular application remains in the private security sector as a chase, rapid response and principal extraction vehicle’ says Michael Broom, Marketing Manager for Armormax.

Pricing – R1 800 000

James Bond stunt driver Mark Higgins enjoys victory at Bowler Defender Challenge

By H&H Admin

Higgins has been at the wheel in the last four James Bond films, including No Time To Die (2021)

Mark Higgins and co-driver Claire Williams won the North Wales leg of the 2022 Defender Bowler Challenge in Dolgellau in a time of 55 minutes and 12 seconds. The duo finished one minute and 41 seconds ahead of their nearest rival.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, a Land Rover Defender 90 with a unique 007 livery made a winning one-off appearance in the Defender Bowler Challenge in Dolgellau, Wales, driven by Bond stunt driver and rally champion Mark Higgins.

The one-off Bowler Defender 90 featured a special 007 60th logo on its roof and sides in a trademark satin black and gold finish, with a host of performance and competition upgrades by the team at Bowler.

Watch here:

Volkswagen launches the new Polo with South Africa’s first NFT brand campaign

By H&H Admin

In celebration of the new Polo with IQ.DRIVE, Volkswagen, the People’s Car brand has launched South Africa’s first NFT (Non-Fungible Token) brand campaign

In celebration of the new Polo with IQ.DRIVE, Volkswagen is taking things to the next level while embracing the future of mobility. The People’s Car brand has launched South Africa’s first NFT (Non-Fungible Token) brand campaign, with a future-focused commercial incorporating Volkswagen’s first collections of NFTs.

“Our new Polo NFT campaign and Mzansiverse commercial is testament to Volkswagen’s eye on the future, not only in the innovation of our vehicles but in embracing the passions of our fans and driving evolution in how we engage with them,” said Bridget Harpur, Head of Marketing for the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand.

Inspired by the virtual realm and gaming trends, the new commercial portrays the innovative new Polo navigating through a futuristic and gamified version of Mzansi – the Mzansiverse – with digital avatar characters to match.

The ad offers fans a window into a future South Africa like they’ve never seen it before. Inspired by the metaverse and powered by the new Polo with IQ.DRIVE, Volkswagen has created a real-meets-virtual world where anything is possible.

Like Volkswagen, the commercial is leading the way as the first brand ad, globally, to incorporate NFTs in the creative. To celebrate the game-changing arrival of the new Polo, Volkswagen has created five unique collections of NFTs and dropped them into the commercial to gamify the fan experience.

With the Polo being locally manufactured and in the spirit of Volkswagen’s continued commitment to ‘Drive Local, Support Local’ the entire campaign, commercial and NFT Collections are all proudly locally created.

Honda Dream Days Cash Back Sale

By H&H Admin

Honda Motor Southern Africa announces the return of Honda Dream Days with an exciting CASH BACK SALE!

From 14-31 March 2022 Honda Dream Days CASH BACK SALE will offer customers great deals on *selected Honda vehicles!

For many years, Honda Dream Days Sales events have been affording customers the opportunity of joining the Honda family by offering great deals on selected Honda vehicles.

Honda Dreams Days has become an important event on Honda’s sales calendar and this year’s event, taking place from 14-31 March 2022 will be offering attractive CASH BACK deals on selected vehicles for a limited period of time.

The Honda Dream Days CASH BACK Sales event also gives customers the opportunity to *structure their cash back deal according to their financial needs.

Honda has a variety of vehicles to offer potential customers depending on their requirements and budget. The Honda Dream Days CASH BACK Sales event will feature deals on a range of Honda vehicles including the versatile WR-V, *FIT and the recently updated Amaze.

The Honda Dream Days event gives customers the opportunity to purchase a high quality, Fuel-Efficient and reliable Honda vehicle at a reduced price. Honda encourages customers to visit their nearest Honda dealership to take advantage of these exciting CASH BACK Sales offers!

“Through Honda Dream Days Events we give new customers the opportunity of joining the Honda brand and family, says Dinesh Govender General Manager of Honda Motor Southern Africa. We understand that customers are looking for value for money in the vehicles they purchase and through Honda Dream Days Sales Events we offer potential customers the opportunity of purchasing a high-quality Honda vehicle at a reduced price!”

To participate in Honda Dream Days, members of the public with an interest in Honda are invited to visit any Honda dealership during business hours and are reminded that the Honda Dream Days CASH BACK sales event is only applicable from 14 – 31 March 2022.

*Terms and conditions apply.Offer excludes FIT Hybrid. While stocks last.

5 Most Annoying Car Features

By Vuyi Mpofu

Not all car features work to make driving easier and can instead be more irritating than helpful

Cars are fitted with numerous features aimed at making travel safe and convenient for both drivers and passengers.  Most of these features serve that purpose but there are a few which work well in principle but fall short in reality. 

Here are the 5 features which annoy me the most.

  1. Inaccurate GPS

Satellite navigation is great for guiding you to your destination – provided it’s up-to-date and is accurate.  Nothing irritates me more than trying to find my way using an ineffective navigation system, particularly when it comes as a standard feature in a freshly minted vehicle.  

Sure, roads change all the time but it is inexcusable that some manufacturers release cars with outdated GPS, leaving motorists to navigate using their phones.

2. Voice-control systems

Voice control systems are a pain in the you-know-what and nothing can be more irritating than a computerized voice parroting your commands inaccurately.  Granted, voice control systems weren’t designed with African languages in mind and unless the system is fitted in a premium ride, they can be exasperating to use.

3. Auto Stop/Start system

Although they have been around for a while, the jury (comprised of everyday motorists), is still not unanimous on the overall effectiveness of auto Stop/Start systems.  While they are great for saving fuel and are environmentally friendly, the general concern of many motorists is the amount of strain exacted on the engine as a result of the constant stopping and starting.

The other concern relates to the increased friction on some components within the engine and ignition system which can take quite a bit of strain when the car is in constant stop-and-go traffic as you consistently engage the brakes under heavy traffic conditions.  At any given time in Johannesburg, congestion on the road could be caused by motorists slowing down to rubberneck an accident site, merging lanes dues to roadworks, a vehicular breakdown, or just plain ol’ bumper-to-bumper traffic; all of which could cause the engine to stop and start hundreds of times.

In my opinion, though, the inclusion of an auto stop/start system in a car results in better fuel efficiency and emissions figures (which is advantageous to manufacturers) than it provides a good driving experience for drivers.

4. Non-adjustable steering wheels

It is difficult to assume a safe seating position when you can’t adjust the steering wheel to suit your posture.  Most steering wheels can be adjusted up and down but I think all steering wheels should come with the option of being pushed inwards towards the dash and outwards towards your chest as well.

A non-adjustable steering wheel is uncomfortable and can make driving dangerous which is why it’s one of my biggest bugbears.

5. Low-quality reverse cameras

Reverse cameras are generally a good idea but some manufacturers fit units that simply do not meet the basic quality standards of a mid-grade mobile phone.  Poor visuals, fuzzy images, and low lighting (even after you’ve made the necessary adjustments) all result in a headache for the driver.  In some instances, it would be better to just look over your shoulder!