Winter days have been getting extremely colder in South Africa which is not good for your car.

The recent cold snap across SA presents special challenges for South African car owners as freezing temperatures make life difficult.

When dealing with icy weather, Nunben Dixon from Gumtree Autos recommends a basic checklist of ways to winter-proof your vehicle, ensuring that it isn’t damaged and runs in good order.

Photo by Oli Woodman on Unsplash

Here are Dixon’s top tips:

1. Get your battery checked at a dealership and replace it if there’s a concern – flat batteries are the most common cause of vehicles failing to start.

2. Pay special attention to your windscreen wipers and the de-mister – both need to be in good working order in the rain and the cold.

3. Visibility is often poor in winter so make sure all your lights are functioning well.

4. In wet or icy conditions your tyres matter even more than usual and it costs nothing to get the tread checked at a tyre dealership.

5. Parking your car outside in winter potentially exposes it to water or frost damage which can dramatically lower the resale value. Find some cover or, if none is available, don’t park under trees during a storm .

Photo by Oliur on Unsplash

“If you’re thinking of using hot water to de-ice your windscreen in a hurry on those frosty winter mornings, don’t. The sudden change in temperature can cause the glass to crack, and the hot water can damage your car’s paintwork as it runs off your windscreen,” explained Dixon.

He offered a recipe to make your own de-icer spray:

1. Pour ⅘ rubbing alcohol to ⅕ water into a spray bottle.

2. Screw the lid on, and mix.

3. Spray your de-icer directly onto the icy parts of your windscreen, allow it to soak in briefly. You shouldn’t need to wait more than a minute or two and then use your windscreen wipers to remove the ice.

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