Namibian Roads are beautiful, but deadly! From the Southern to the Northern borders, from the West to the East of Namibia, tarred roads span the entire stretches of our beautiful land. With the good roads however, comes the horrific curse of road accidents. On a regular basis scores of productive youths’ lives are cut short or maimed in road accidents. After one horrific accident where 14 young people were killed, our President, His Excellency Hage Geingob, likened our roads to “theaters of horror”. Such is the situation on our roads.
We know there are many causes of road accidents. Wangara would like to take part in the elimination of accidents on Namibian roads. We have dedicated Saturdays at Wangara to be days where Namibian women can come and be taught how to take care of their vehicles. As safe vehicle can save you and your family from accidents. We also believe that if we teach the mothers, wives and daughters of Namibia how to care for themselves while on the roads, the same teachings will be passed on to the rest of the community.
In our small way, therefore, we will teach the Namibian woman to do the following:
Check tyres every two months. When there is no sufficient depth, uneven wear, cracks, flat spots or manufacturer’s defect on the tyres, ask Wangara technician’s recommendation. If the tyre cannot be repaired, please replace them. Replacing the tyres can save your family.
Always check the tyre pressure especially when going on long trips. Rotate your tyres as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Ask Wangara technicians everything you would like to know about the safety of your vehicle or issues related to your vehicle. We endeavor to respond to all your questions.
Oil is the blood of the engine. It lubricates the moving parts, pulls heat away from the engine and prevents corrosion. Oil should be checked every month or two and should be honey-coloured. Have Wangara Tyre and Fitment Center to check your oil and change it whenever needed.
If the oil is black, it is healthy but still should be changed. If it is sludgy and black, it is unhealthy oil and the engine should be flushed. If the oil is milky like a latte, it is mixed with coolant, which is like cancer for the vehicle. If combined with smoke from the exhaust, there is a blown gasket or a cracked engine, which has to be overhauled or replaced. See our Wangara experts for more details.
The coolant is how the car sweats heat from the engine. It regulates heat by raising the boiling point of the water and in cooler climates it prevents freezing. It comes in bright red, green and blue. When checking your coolant, it should be a bright colour, not muddy. In newer vehicles, manufacturers are not including a dipstick or fluid inlet. Monitor the dashboard for warnings.
After being given the chance to take a tyre on and off, jump-start a dead battery and learn what goes into an emergency survival kit (see sidebar), you will be one step closer to having a safe vehicle. Safe vehicle saves your family.
Vehicle problem warnings come from things we see, smell, feel or hear.
Dashboard lights: As a driver, always look at the dashboard for any warnings or alerts. Orange alerts are warnings, while red ones means you should have the item checked right away. Take these warnings with all seriousness. Check the vehicle manual to know what the symbols mean. Problems can include a dead battery, low brake fluid, low oil pressure, or an overheating engine (stop, do not open the bonnet, call roadside assistance.
Oil Leaks: If you notice oil leak at your usual parking spot, take a closer look at your vehicle. It may indicate leaking oil, coolant, automatic transmission fluid, power steering fluid or brake fluid.
Smoke: If there is bluish-white smoke from the exhaust, this indicates burning oil and something wrong with the engine. If the smoke is white and coming from the engine, this is overheating. If it is white and coming from the exhaust, this is steam and it means there is coolant in the engine. For any these issues, stop and call a tow truck immediately. If there is black smoke coming from the exhaust, the engine is not properly combusting. In this case, if the car is driveable, go to a garage.
Car Sounds: Groaning around the wheels can be a wheel-bearing problem. Whining can be a problem with the driveshaft or power steering. Knocking or pinging is an engine malfunction. Squeaking or clunking is the suspension. Squealing from the engine bay is the belt or alternator. Grinding is the brakes. Hissing is an air-vacuum leak in the vents or window seals or an air-vacuum leak from the engine. Humming is the tyres.
Vehicle Handling: Vibration in the steering wheel or pulling to the sides while driving can indicate a problem with the tyres and should be evaluated by a Wangara technician.