6 ways to prepare your car for winter

May 29, 2017

prepare car winterWinter is here and temperatures are likely to drop. Are you starting to get a little bit of frost overnight? If yes, then it’s a sign to prepare your car for the chilly season. Winter usually puts unusual demands on your vehicle’s parts and equipment. It’s important to get your vehicle ready for the winter driving. That’s unless if you live in an area where there’s only a minimal difference between winter and summer weather.

We’re already in winter, but there’s still time for you to ensure your car is ready for this season. It’s important that you make sure your vehicle is capable of dealing with the inclement weather. Chances are higher for your car to break down in the winter. The snow, wind and heavy rain can cause damage to your driving conditions. So it’s clear that winter can be harmful to your car if you don’t prepare it well in advance.

Whether you’re on the highway or parked in the driveway, the winter weather can cause trouble in many ways. Here are a few ways to ensure that your car is ready for the cold season.


Keep an eye on your tyre pressure


Ed Gliss, a test driver and technical expert, said: “It’s important to check your tyre pressure regularly, preferably on a monthly basis.” He continues saying that this especially important during winter because the tyre pressure is likely to drop as the air becomes colder. “An under-inflated tyre will underperform and won’t be good for the consumer,” he said. There are specific styles of tyres designed to help navigate wintry weather better than others. But if you can buy an all-season type of tyre, it’ll be perfect. If you live in an area where temperatures may routinely approach zero, it’s suggested to buy winter tyres. They are built for superior traction and handling on icy roads.


When last did you test your battery?


Maintaining your battery regularly is important. And apart from inspecting and cleaning the terminals to ensure it’s free of any dirt, you should test it regularly to make sure it’s in good working order. Doing that, you’ll also ensure that it’s in optimal operating condition. If your battery is older than three years, then this is important. Your car’s battery capacity is likely to decrease in cold weather. So it might be best to have it examined by a mechanic. It’ll become extremely important to have a well-performing battery in such weather. Another way to protect your battery is to park your car in a garage out of the cold weather. And always make sure you have jumper cables in the back of your car.


Look for any cracks in the windscreen


It’s important to check for any cracks in your windscreen. Also, make sure that the wiper blades are working and in a good condition. And if you have cracks or chips, the extreme winter weather is likely to make it worse. So it’s suggested to repair it as soon as possible. It might also be a good idea to replace your car’s wiper blades to make sure they can handle the different elements. Are your defrosters in working order? Just make sure because it should assist with maintaining visibility.


When last did you wax your car?


A fresh coat of wax is needed before the terrible winter weather starts. It’ll protect your car against damage from salt and dirt on the roads. The road salt can cause extensive damage to your car, so be on the lookout for that. The harsh winter weather is likely to wreak havoc on your car’s paint finish. And not only is worn paint unattractive but it can also reduce your car’s value when you decide to sell it.


Take a look at headlights and brake lights


In many regions, winter is all about hail, fog, heavy snow and extreme rain. And therefore it’s important to have fully functioning headlights and brake lights. It’ll help with your visibility while on the road. It’ll also make sure other drivers can see you. Some cars have plastic headlight covers with a haze on them. It might make your car look more attractive but it’s a bad option during winter. It can have a negative effect on the brightness of your car’s headlights.


Perhaps it’s time for a new car?


If nothing else works and you can’t thoroughly prepare your car for winter, then you should consider buying a new one. And when the hail falls and the rain pours, buying a new car usually is the last thing on people’s mind. But little do they know, purchasing a new vehicle during winter has a lot of benefits. Affordability, being one of them. It doesn’t have to be a brand new car. There are many used Polo’s for sale at affordable prices, so you might want to check that out.


Remember when you’re on the road that safety comes first. So it’s important to prepare your car for winter. And since you’re based in Gauteng, you know how extreme winter is, so you might want to take these tips into consideration.  


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