Struggling with gift ideas for that petrolhead in your life? Here are some potential Xmas stocking fillers:

Motorheads diary is a must have

Looking for a perfect stocking stuffer for that special car fanatic in your life? South Africa’s favourite motoring diary is now available for next year’s calendar. Motorheads 2017, the 11th edition to date, is a unique compilation of interesting, informative, useless and sometimes downright funny information.

Along with this amazing collection of motoring facts you can find useful contacts, read an interesting snippet every day, page through some incredible local motoring history, and even use it as a day to day diary with a page a day for your own appointments, notes and thoughts.

Need a phone number for the Spoornet Museum in Kimberly? No problem.

An email address for the Morris Minor Owners’ Club?

Done.

There’s even a dedicated page for metric to imperial conversions, and another to calculate speeds in each gear based on tyre circumference and engine rpm.

Next year’s Motorheads Diary is priced at R170 and is available from Auto Books, the Aviation Shop, Models for Africa, or from Motorheads directly.

Also available for the first time is the Motorheads Calendar selling for R120, which includes loads of motoring events and dates.

Two cover options are available for the 2017 calendar, or it can be ordered with your own custom cover.

For more information contact the publisher Heide Marie von der Au on 083 455 7684 or email [email protected]

Keep an eye on your battery with smartphone

Around 80% of all battery failures are due to sulphation caused by undercharging, and battery failure is the number one cause for AA call-outs.

Keep your vehicle’s battery healthy with a product called Battery Sense.

Designed in Sweden by CTek and marketed locally by Charging Systems Africa, Battery Sense sells for R1 353 and is a Bluetooth enabled battery monitor which is linked to a smartphone app that tracks the health of your vehicle battery.

The app displays the battery charge percentage and also alerts you when the level falls too low.

When a charge does become necessary, another CTek device, the Comfort Connect Cig-Plug (R324), allows you to charge the battery hassle-free through the 12V cigarette socket, instead of having to get your hands dirty under the bonnet. This easy to fit adaptor is compatible with all CTek chargers up to 10A.

CTek devices are available at Outdoor Warehouse, Autozone or Battery Centre.

How to keep your tyres in proper shape

Car collectors, or anyone with a vehicle that’s only driven for special occasions, will know that tyres don’t like to be stationary for extended periods of time.

Parking in one spot for as little as two weeks can cause rubber to go out of shape with flat spots forming where tread meets ground. But ATS Motorsport has a solution with its new Autoshoes – a set of four rubber drive-on/drive-off parking pads which help a tyre retain its round shape. Autoshoes are priced at R3415 for a set of four and are compatible with almost any tyre size. Visit www.ats-motorsport.co.za for more information.

Pretend you're a real motoring road tester

If it has wheels or a motor someone will want to know exactly how fast it can go, and the best way to assess speed is with a proper satellite-based datalogger. Problem is this equipment can be very expensive.

But now Automotive Technology Specialists (ATS) has bundled a compact Vbox Sport device together with handlebar and windscreen mounts, and an external antenna into a reasonably affordable package priced at R8 630. The Vbox Sport is waterproof and rugged enough for use on anything from a mountain bike to a Dakar race truck and everything in between.

Its 20Hz processor can accurately measure acceleration, top speed, lap times and much more, and either display in real time on an iPhone or iPad, or store data on an SD card for review on a home computer. ATS can be reached on 011-670-8400 or by email at [email protected]

The smell of motorsport – Castrol R oil is back

Forget pine needles, baked ham and chestnuts roasting on an open fire... the smell of freshly combusted Castrol R is by far the best aroma to get petrolheads in the Christmas spirit this year.

For decades this vegetable-based castor oil has perked noses in pit lanes around the world with its unique smell when burnt in two-stroke racing engines – mainly in the classic bike racing scene – and now it’s back after a 20 year absence in South Africa. This new Castrol R40 oil, as it’s now called, is used primarily as a two-stroke fuel mix, but importers Castrol Classic (an independent company) also say it’s safe to use as a petrol additive in any four-stroke engine, just to get that distinctive whiff.

Castrol R40 is available in one-litre bottles at a recommended retail price of R375. For more information call Paul Williams on 011-465-8294, Giovanni Schule on 082-786-3044, or visit the www.castrolclassicsa.co.za website.