I'VE NOTICED that on most super cars the rear rims are somewhat bigger and deeper than the front ones. Can you please explain the reason for this, as it puzzles me.
Magosi Magakwe Germiston
Magosi, the reason, in a word, is traction. Virtually all the super cars have rear wheel drive, and in order to avoid excessive wheel spin when the enormous power that their engines develop is fed to the driving wheels, they need big tyres at the rear.
Bigger tyres give a bigger contact patch on the road, thus providing better traction and allowing more power and torque to be applied before wheel spin sets in. The same size tyres at the front will make the steering too heavy and cause unacceptable understeer. Therefore a narrower rim size is used in the front. One sees the same thing on F1 racing cars.
Having two different tyre sizes on a car is of course not the most practical arrangement, because it means you need to carry two spare tyres, unless you have only one skinny temporary one.
I BOUGHT my first car, a 2003 Toyota Corolla 160 model, on September 29 from a dealer in Durban. Two weeks later I experienced a problem on my way to Empangeni when the engine became noisy and overheated.
I took the car to a dealer in Empangeni and they found a number of engine defects. They suggested that I take the car back to the dealer and raise my dissatisfaction.
On October 21 I took the car back to the Durban dealer and explained everything to him, showing him the list of defects provided by the dealer in Empangeni.
He insisted that there was nothing wrong with the car when it was handed to me, and said they would take the car to "their mechanics", after which I will have to pay half the amount charged for repairs.
I feel I am being cheated since I had possession of the car for only two weeks and there is no way I would have damaged the engine to such an extent.
I left the car with them to do their inspection and they said they would contact me in a few days. What rights do I have, and what steps can I take to prevent them from taking advantage of my ignorance?
I thought long and hard about your best course of action because I know from bitter experience how you feel. If you tangle with a used car dealer you always face an uphill battle.
I recommend that you take the matter to the small claims court. Claims of up to R7000 can be instituted at the SCC. Representation by an attorney or advocate is not allowed, so the dealer will have to face you personally.
Legal assistants and clerks of the SCC will assist you free of charge to formulate your claim.
I think you will get a fair and sympathetic hearing in the SCC. But you have to go prepared. The list of defects provided by the dealer in Empangeni is your most valuable piece of ammunition.
Ask a knowledgeable friend to help you build your argument around that. Be precise and factual in whatever you say.
Never give your opponent a chance to cast doubt on your credibility. Don't exaggerate or embellish, or withhold pertinent facts.
A professional report from an AA test centre, which you can submit as evidence, will give you another strong weapon as it carries a lot of authority.