Caring for your car through the winter

The last year and a couple of months has had us changing our lives and finding new ways to live our way. Throughout the lockdown, there have been significant changes in the lives of many South Africans.

Now that you are spending less time driving around and more time keeping warm indoors, it is vital that you continue to give your car some winter TLC. Here are some tips to handling your car better during a massive drop in temperature:

  • Check for ‘cold pain points’. Things such as small windscreen cracks could go from a simple pain point to a bigger problem. These minor issues can lead to serious, yet avoidable, problems when the car’s body contracts from the colder temperatures.

    Leaving things like small windscreen chips and cracks to spread not only puts you and your passengers at risk, but also reduces the chance of cost-effective repairs, forcing you to replace the entire windscreen at a much greater cost. By adding MiWay’s MiMotor Combo to your car insurance policy, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that you can quickly get back to living your way when everyday motoring hazards cause damage
  • Keep an eye on your battery. If you notice that your car’s headlights are dim, your car’s battery might be nearing the end of its life. With the harsh cold, your battery is sure to feel the pressure. Be sure to get your battery checked to make sure that it strong enough to get you through the winter. If you are able to, schedule a service to have the check done by a professional. It would also be wise to have your jumper cables ready and waiting should you need the boost.
  • Check the tread on your tyres. We cannot stress this enough: it is very important to keep track of your tyre pressure - not just in winter, but in all seasons! Tyre pressure can drop (and rise) based on the air temperature and your driving speed. Driving around with the incorrect tyre pressure is dangerous and could cause road accidents, beyond just damage to the tyres themselves. Check your tyre pressure regularly – with every fuel top up preferably.
  • Be ready for misty conditions. As the days get darker quicker and the air gets misty (in some areas) in the wintertime, it is very important to have car lights in good working condition! Be sure to give your headlights a good check and make the necessary adjustments or changes to ensure that you are not only able to see your way, but that you are also visible to other road users. Reducing your driving speed in misty conditions will also ensure you drive safely.
  • See clearly without the fog. If the windscreen mists up, use your car’s heater to defog. However, avoid using the heater for long periods; the longer the heater is on, the more likely you’ll have to deal with drowsiness and deescalating fuel Alternatively, if ice has formed, start the wipers and pour room temperature (never hot!) water onto the glass. The wipers will complete the job – if they are in good working condition. When using your heater, keep the temperature low so that the windscreen can warm up slowly.

Knowing that you have assistance on-hand should you have a winter car emergency can make all the difference to your winter driving. Check your insurance policy to make sure your car insurance meets your expectations!

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