With winter swiftly approaching, not only is it getting colder, it’s getting darker too. The long summer days will join us again in spring, but for now it is important to note how seasonal changes will affect your driving behaviour and vehicle performance. 

Although the South African Weather Service has predicted that maximum temperatures for large parts of South Africa will be higher than last year, the organization has also predicted that minimum temperatures will, conversely, be colder than usual too.

MATRIX offers some tips to ensure your travels are safe this winter. It’s time for your vehicle’s annual check-up:

  • Antifreeze contains anti-rust additives and greatly lowers the freezing point of the vehicle’s coolant; ensuring that your vehicle operates within a normal temperature range, regardless of the weather conditions.
  • Battery health; longer evenings mean late sunrises and early sunsets, in turn – increased use of vehicle headlights. Flat car batteries are either due to an electrical problem (such as leaving the car light’s on) or an unserviceable battery that needs replacing. Don’t get stuck in the cold, have your battery checked and ensure that is in good working order.
  • Check your windscreen and wipers: the drop in temperatures may cause a chip in a windscreen to crack presenting a danger to you and other motorists. Do not clear frost with warm water, this will cause the windscreen to crack, rather use an old credit card or the air conditioner will work just as well.
  • Tyres should be in overall good condition; this refers to both the tread and walls of the tyre. Maintaining the correct air pressure in your tyres will ensure they last longer and provide the best traction on the road. With frost and ice likely to appear on our roads, driver caution and well maintained tyres are essential.
  • While it is very important to remember to turn your lights off, it is just as important to ‘lead with lights’, day or night. Driving with your headlights on not only increases your visibility, but also alerts other road users to your presence. Check that all your vehicle lights are in good working order, it may also be a good idea to keep a spare set of globes in your car – just for in case.

MATRIX Roadside Assistance will not only assist you with any of the adverse circumstances mentioned above, always remaining right by your side.