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Top 5 motoring tips for winter


SOUTH Africa has braced itself for its first really cold weather, this year, as we pull out the scarves, beanies and jackets.

Just as we like to stay warm in winter, our vehicles also like to be properly warmed up before heading out into the icy cold. For example, you’d want to do a 100-metre sprint as quickly as you can, so don’t do it to your car.

Here are a few tips for you and your vehicle in cold weather:

  • Allow your car to warm up sufficiently before heading out onto the streets. This will give the oil time to circulate and put less stress on wear and tear;

  • Battery life suffers during the winter months as the cold weather affects a battery’s performance. Check your battery regularly and avoid running electrical systems longer than may be necessary. For example, turning down your heater when the car is warm enough;

  • Check your antifreeze. Particularly when it’s extremely cold, the water in your engine may freeze, preventing coolant from circulating. This will end up destroying your engine, which will be costly to repair;

  • With the first reports of ice on the roads, proper tyre care is crucial. You need to have a minimum of  one millimetre tread depth around the entire circumference of the tyre;

  • Waking up to a frosted windscreen is never fun and pouring hot water from your kettle onto the glass to de-ice it is certainly not a good idea, as this could cause cracks in the glass. Rather heat the windscreen from the inside to demist it.

Giving your car at least ten minutes to warm up before heading out and being more vigilant is crucial when it’s cold as most people tend to pay less attention because they’re focusing on keeping warm.

Put safety before punctuality and allow extra time for your journey in the winter months. Stay safe and keep warm.

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