Juliet McGuire

It’s freezing! Just imagine how your car feels

Is anyone else freezing their backside off? Gee whiz, it has been cold the past couple of days here in Cape Town. I do adore winter though…cozy pjs (not sexy), red wine (although…hangover), fire places (to toast the bum), and overall hibernation (with no guilt).

Your poor car, however, can take a bit of a beating. So the nice peeps over at Datsun put together a guide on how to ‘winter-proof’ your car. Not just for those down in rainy Cape Town, but also for you poor souls up in Joburg who have the freezing mornings but summer afternoons (it’s weird).

Here we go:

Tyres

Driving with worn tyres becomes even more dangerous in wet conditions and / or when there is ice on the road, so keep an even closer eye on the tread on the tyres this time of year. In addition, make sure that they are inflated to the correct pressure as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, otherwise your car’s road handling might be impacted. While you are checking tyres, remember to also check their balancing and don’t forget the spare wheel and tools.

Lights

In winter, many of us find ourselves leaving home before sunrise and returning after sunset, so it’s important to make sure that your car’s headlights are in good working condition. To make yourself visible to other road users, it is a good idea to always drive with the headlights on.

Windscreens and wipers

On winter mornings, you may find a layer of frost on your windscreen. It is important to clear this before you start driving, however don’t use warm water as this might crack the glass. It is also important to regularly check the condition of your wiper blades – all year round, but especially in winter – and to replace them when needed.

Heater

You don’t want to get stuck in a traffic jam without a working heater in winter so make sure yours is in tip-top condition.

Emergencies

You never know what’s in store and so you should have a first aid kit in your car at all times. In winter, though, it’s worth including some extra items such as a torch, a blanket, a bag of sand (for if you get stuck in snow or slush), an ice scraper and brush, a spade, extra coolant and non-perishable snacks. Remember to programme emergency numbers on your speed dial.

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