8 smart tips to beat sunshine glare

The setting (or rising) sun during "rush" hours can temporarily blind drivers. Make sure you're protected - read our handy guide.

KIA: Now it's the edgy, wedgy Koup

Kia continues to pleasantly surprise the South African car market with its growing product choice. The addition of the sexily sporty, 225km/h, Koup, says DAVE FALL, has just made things even better.

Amarok keeps your trailer in line

2010-10-18 09:00
Many bakkie fans especially value their vehicles for their qualities as tow vehicles - and in this mode the new VW Amarok offers excellent performance.

All versions can tow braked trailers up to 2.8 metric tons (750kg unbraked) with a maximum hitch load of 120km (up to 12%) – this means that it can even handle very heavy horse trailers. The gross weight of the vehicle-trailer combination may reach up to 5.5 metric tons.

An advantage of the factory-installed towing prep package: an extra-large engine cooling system ensures the temperature of the four-cylinder engine always stays in the green zone during trailer towing, even under difficult conditions.

Plug connection

Trailer stabilisation is offered in conjunction with the standard ESP that is on board. This system avoids trailer accidents – preventing them from the outset. Trailer stabilisation is a software extension in the ESP control module that takes much of its information from what is known as the yaw rate sensor.

A trailer that is beginning to sway transmits its pulses to the towing vehicle via the drawbar in a characteristic profile with a pulse amplitude of about 1 Hertz. The ESP control module "asks" if a trailer is actually being towed and this is confirmed by the plug connection at the trailer hitch. The pulses are monitored for a brief additional time and, if they then exceed a defined critical value – generally after about two seconds – the system intervenes.

As in conventional ESP control of the curve driving limit, the control module throttles back the engine and initiates braking in a highly complex process. All four wheels are decelerated in a controlled manner: mildly at the beginning then, if necessary, more vigorously later.

Beneficial technology

To achieve stability, braking begins precisely when the trailer passes through the "neutral" or zero position in its swaying motion. The ESP control module counteracts the transverse forces transmitted to the towing vehicle by applying different amounts of braking force to the front wheels in an alternating sequence.

The ESP system – the base technology for trailer stabilisation – is a highly beneficial technology. This is confirmed by the findings of VW Group-wide accident research analyses which indicate that ESP prevents between 75 and 80% of all skidding accidents.

Driver's lucky escape

2013-09-03 07:42

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