The temperatures are dropping around the country, it’s getting tougher to get up in the morning, and that only means one thing – winter has arrived.
Most people are making sure that their wardrobes are stocked with thicker pieces of clothing, but in all the keep-warm hurrah, one possession also needs to be cared for.
Cars get us where we need to be, and just like humans, they are affected by colder conditions. Various components in an older vehicle are directly affected by (mostly) wet conditions and can quickly turn your Monday blue.
With that being said, Gumtree put together a car winter maintenance checklist to keep you safe and ensure that you don’t get stranded on the road this winter:
Winter is not a great time for your car battery, and if it is not in good condition, it will probably fail during these colder months. That is because a vehicle’s engine requires more power to start when it is cold, and at the same time, the colder temperatures make it more difficult for a car battery to provide the power that it usually does. Also, keep your battery clean by removing any acid or dirt build-up, which could cause the battery to self-discharge quicker. Have your battery tested at your local battery centre to be sure it is still strong enough for use during winter.
Winter not only brings with it cold and wet conditions, but the days are usually darker due to constant cloud cover. Not only that but there is the situation of loadshedding, which can cause havoc on traffic. The best thing you can do is make sure both your vehicle’s headlights (and park lights) are shining with a clear view. Some roads are less lit than others, where headlights play a pivotal role in seeing clearly on the road for any objects or potholes.
This is where you don’t want to take any chances. You have to remember that tyres are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road. Worn tyres are hazardous in all conditions and even more so when the weather is less than favourable i.e., rain. The law states that your tyres must have at least a 1mm tread left, and if the tread is level with the indicators on the tyre, it must be replaced as it is considered unroadworthy. A tyre with little to no grip can aquaplane easily and slide under hard braking, which is dangerous for you and your passengers.
Having an unobstructed view of the road at all times is imperative, and this notion rings even more true in wet conditions where visibility can become extremely limited. Exposure to continuous sunlight and collection of debris can affect a wiperblade’s performance, and it should be checked every six months and changed at least once a year. Wiperblades are inexpensive to have fitted and can be done so at most tyre fitment centres in and around your area.
Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local service information close to home.