There’s no denying that winter is here. The days are shorter, darker and chillier. And just like you’re reaching for your warmer layers, your car needs some additional assistance to keep it going during these months, especially if you’re going on a winter roadtrip. You expect your car to be there for you when you need it. But you need to care for it to ensure it runs at its best and, importantly, safely. So, whether you’re driving a brand new car, an old beater or have recently purchased a used car somewhere in Gauteng, you need to ensure it’s prepped and ready for winter driving.
Check the oil
A simple piece of advice, but one that’s worth following. If your oil level is too low or sludgy, your engine won’t run at the optimum level. Top it up or drain it and replace as necessary. You’ll benefit from a well-running engine all winter long.
Refill the radiator fluid
It’s important to keep this fluid topped up no matter the weather. But it’s especially important in winter. You need to use antifreeze to ensure this liquid does not turn to ice. Keep some already mixed in your boot and you can top this up whenever necessary.
Check the tyres
In winter, the roads will be slippery. Make sure you have a good amount of tread on your tyres – at least 3mm. If you’re expecting to face ice or snow, you might need to invest in a set of snow tyres or chains.
Replace the washer fluid
There’s not much worse than driving along the road through a rainstorm while you’re unable to see through your smeared windscreen. Ensure this never happens by keeping your washer fluid is always topped up.
Clean the exterior
A buildup of dust and grime on your car can lead to corrosion and rust from forming. Ensure this doesn’t happen by cleaning your car regularly.
Clear rubbish from the interior
Just like you want to keep the exterior clean, you also want to clean the inside of your car. Clear out all the rubbish, wipe down the inside of the windows and dust off the dashboard. This will stop a build up of dirt and grime, making your winter driving that much more comfortable.
Pack an emergency kit
Breaking down in the middle of nowhere or being stuck in a massive traffic jam is always going to be unpleasant. But do that in the winter months and you’ll be wishing you’d packed some supplies. A warm blanket, bottle of water, some snacks, a first aid kit and even a book to read will surely come in handy.
Park your car smartly
If you want to be sure to drive your car easily in the winter months, it’s important that you park it smartly each night. The ideal plan is to park it under cover. But that’s not always possible. So be sure to park it next to your house or a tall hedge. That’ll help protect it from the harsh elements and reduce the amount of ice scraping you’ll have to do.
Driving your car in the winter months might seem like more trouble than it’s worth. But that’s a recipe for disaster. Be sure to take it out regularly, indulging for a long drive every week or so. That way, you’ll avoid the problems that are usually associated with a car standing for a long period of time in the winter months like a flat battery or seized brakes.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) June 13, 2017