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Browsing: Technical

Have you ever tried to make sense of which motor oil is best for your vehicle’s engine? If you want to make a good choice, you could begin by learning about base oils − the starting point of finished lubricants. The base oils used in engine oils can provide varying levels of performance. However, one first needs to understand the terms fully-synthetic, synthetic technology and semi-synthetic, and how these are factors in our choice of motor oil. It is a complicated subject, so let’s begin by saying that it is far easier to simply abide by the recommendation of the

Words Freddi Stafford Advancements in technology have changed our lives forever, but how much thought have you given to this when it comes to your 4×4 and the quality of lubricants it uses, every time you sendyour vehicle in to be serviced? It’s far more important than you think. Do you remember when we could take a pair of socks out of our drawer and place either one on either foot, without concern for our comfort? Now Falke mark their socks left and right, callingthem asymmetrical, and stating that they fit your left and right foot exclusively, complementing the unique

In Part One of this article we investigated the different types of automotive batteries, and figured out the ideal combination of batteries to support both your vehicle’s operating demands and your need to keep something frosty in the fridge. This instalment will look at the supporting systems needed to make a dual-battery system work, the best way to charge those batteries, strategies to conserve whatever battery power you have, and revisit alternative charging techniques. Get connected Our last discussion about battery cycling shows you’ll need a deep-cycle battery to power the fridge and a few campsite lights, in addition to

Words & Images Eugene Beetge I have always had a thing for Landys. Since childhood. As they say, it is a Landy thing. Ironically, I also love Cruisers but, for various reasons, including the feel of the Landy, have always stuck with Defenders. Since 2000, I have had 4 Defenders and a Disco. My wife currently drives a Defender 110 Puma, and I have my High-Capacity bakkie, the camper The origin We have a large family. Apart from my wife, Alida, and I, we have four gorgeous kids (Marnus, Eugenie, Ruben and Carissa). Still smallish. Before the kids came, my

Words Martin Pretorius We might describe our offroaders as either petrol- or diesel powered, but that isn’t the whole truth: in reality, just about every passenger vehicle ever made is also powered by electricity. But, before you mutter that you don’t drive a hybrid, you need to remember that almost every engine does, to some extent, depend on a steady supply of power from the battery and the charging system. We’re not even talking about electronically-controlled engines here, for even the most primitive diesel engine needs glow plugs to start, and old-school petrol engines need 12 volt on their ignition

Words Martin Pretorius The ageing ML500 almost didn’t make it to the family’s picnic spot, falling foul of a muddy incline about halfway up the access path. Recent rain and poor drainage had turned the fairly good dirt road into a slushy mess, in which neither German engineering nor fancy electronics couldcreate motion without friction, and all its power went to waste in a spray of mud and lots of old-school V8 exhaust roar. Fortunately, a hero with a Hilux came around with a tow rope and swiftly pulled the mud-splattered SUV to level ground, proving that it’s unwise to

Words and Images Martin Pretorius No matter how lightly you’ve touched the accelerator pedal of your off-roader, it has never achieved the respectable fuel consumption figures claimed in the owner’s manual. It has actually never managed to come close to those numbers – not even when it was new. And, while it’s easy to assume that the manufacturer misled you by adding a glow to the official figures, or that there’s something wrong with your vehicle, the blame actually lies neither with your right foot, nor with your vehicle, nor with the manufacturer. No, the problem really lies with the

Words Michael Harber Most people get mud terrain tyres simply because they look good!” I had heard this comment from more than a few of my 4×4 friends while out on a trail, and I tended to agree. As 4×4 trails have become a hobby of mine in the past couple of years, I have slowly been kitting out my Pajero to be better suited to such an activity. First, I fitted underbody protection, rocksliders and a front bumper, and purchased all the recommended basic recovery gear. After having saved up a little more, I then fitted a suspension kit

Words by Angus Boswell, images by Colin Mileman It is pretty difficult to quantify the abilities of a tyre to the public. The more scientifically-minded might be interested in details of composition and construction, and how these affect grip, handling and longevity. Others are swayed by tests: relative braking distances, times around a track, ultimate grip levels at speed. But, for most, they are round, black things that hold the car to the road − what’s important is how long they last, and how much they cost to replace. So, it is refreshing to get to grips with an off-road

Words by Martin Pretorius Long gone are the days when camping in the wilderness implied a large dose of “roughing it”. Back then, you would cook with fire, refrigerate with gas, read by dim, battery-powered fluorescent lights, and forget about a TV or sound system. That was until our quest for home comforts ushered in the era of the inverter, which allows you to watch rugby on your portable DSTV receiver, or to power a microwave oven. Until the battery runs down, at least. Inverters, with all the luxuries they bring, are particularly ravenous and capable of draining their host

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