In most parts of India, the monsoon season is just about getting started or is about to start. Rain in India can be quite devastating if it continues for a lengthy period or is accompanied with high-speed winds. But, while we can find shelter from the rain by staying indoors, your car might not be that fortunate. Most car owners in India do not have garages to hide their cars away and are forced to let them be exposed to the elements. If you find yourself worrying about your brand new car (or old car) and how it’s going to hold up against the monsoon season, here are some handy tips to keep your car safe.
Also Read – What to Do If Your Car Has Flood Damage
Make Sure Your Tyres Are Good
One of the most underestimated components of a car is its tyres, especially the tread of the tyres. The majority of road accidents during the monsoon are caused because the car could not stop quickly. This is because the tread on the tyres were either extremely dull or completely worn down. Tyre treads help disperse the oil and other fluids that mix with the rain and can cause the car to lose traction. Always check that your tyres have good enough tread to take on the type of rain happening outside. You can stick a coin into the tread to see how deep it is or your tyres might already come with a tread-wear indicator that lets you know when it’s time to get new tyres.
Also Read – How to Drive in the Rain – Tips & Tricks
Check The Battery And Wiring
One of the most important things to do when preparing your car for the monsoon is to check the battery. Because driving in heavy rains requires extra battery power, you should always have your battery checked for power and see if it is capable enough to handle the drive. If it is running low on power, either replace it with a fresh battery or have it charged before you head out. Another important check to do is for the wiring inside the car. Electricity is something that should not ever be mixed with water which is why your wiring should always be covered, insulated, or protected at all times. Pop the hood of your car and check all the wires and electrical components to make sure that there are no exposed wires or connections.
Also Read – Top 10 Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain
Test The Lights
Visibility is extremely important when it comes to driving in the rain – not only for you but also for other drivers on the road. You should be able to see what’s in front of you and other vehicles should be able to see you. In a heavy and constant downpour, it becomes very hard to see a few meters in any direction which is why your lights should be working properly. To check your lights, turn them all on including the headlights, fog lights, taillights, and indicators. If you notice that the lights keep getting dimmer or start flickering, you might have to change out a few of the bulbs. This could also be a problem with the battery. Also, if you find that the lenses of your headlights, taillights, and fog lights are foggy and covered in moisture, it is best to clean them before you take your car out for a drive.
Also Read – How to Remove Fog from Car Glass During Summer?
Test The Brakes
If you have ever driven on a wet road, you would know that the time it takes for a car to come to a complete stop is significantly higher when to compared to a dry road. This is because the friction between the tyres and the road is reduced and therefore you will need to slow down and brake earlier than you normally would while also maintaining a safe distance between vehicles. Brakes are very important in this situation. If your brakes are worn out, that stopping time is even further extended and can even result in brake failure on wet and slippery roads. If you want to check your brakes at home, you can do so by starting and letting your car sit idle for some time. Then, press the brake pedal gently while slowly increasing the force. If you find that the pedal is juddering, it means that the brake pads have worn out and you will need new ones. There could also be a leak in the car’s brake system if you see that the pedal keeps sinking without any resistance. However, when it comes to crucial components like the brakes, you should always approach a professional for advice and maintenance.
Preparing The Windshield Wipers
When you drive in the rain, the windshield wipers come into action – and for good reason. They help keep rain away from the windshield and keep the glass clean enough to see through. However, since the wipers are mostly used during the monsoons, the rubber on them can crack and become ineffective during the summer months. The best thing you can do to keep the wipers working properly is to use them regularly to clean the windshield. Another thing to check is the wiper-washer fluid. Over time, this liquid can evaporate and leave behind residue that could block the opening of the wiper spray. Use the washer fluid when wiping the windshield to keep away any dirt or sticky substance. Also, keep an eye on the reservoir levels and keep them filled whenever you find it low.
Check For Leaks And Rusting
Cars are fitted with rubber seals to help make them water-resistant but the weather in India is such that those rubber seals lose their potency after a few years. This can lead to leaks during the monsoon which is something you don’t want when you’re trying to avoid the rain by sitting inside a car. Some of the common places to find leaks are the sunroof, the windshields, and the windows. If you do find a leak, it is best to get a professional to rectify it immediately. You can also check for leaks by seeing if your door sills, windows, carpets, or sunroof has any sign of moisture build-up. Drainage holes, on the other hand, are deliberately designed into the car to drive any water out of the car. However, with the amount of dirt and dust on Indian roads, these holes can get clogged over time and lead to water build-up. This in turn can lead to rusting in the area around the drainage holes. If you find any signs of rust on your car, you should treat it immediately as rust tends to spread quicker in the monsoon season.
Body Work And Paint Job
Have you ever wondered why new cars are always painted with a plethora of different colours? Yes, one reason is to attract buyers, but more importantly, paint acts like a raincoat for your car. Exposed metal is prone to rust and damage, especially during the monsoons. So, it is best to cover up an exposed area or an area where the paint has peeled off with a fresh layer of paint. This will stop the rain from making contact with the metal body and prevent it from rusting. While most people pay special attention to the top half of their cars, the bottom is often forgotten about. The underside of the car is the part that comes in contact with the majority of dirt, water, grime, and other contaminants. All this leads to corrosion of the chassis over time which can be dangerous for your car as well as you. It is best to have a professional apply a coat of polish to the underside after the car has been washed thoroughly which acts like a protective layer.
Get Your Car Serviced
Most people don’t have the expertise or time to look for and treat any of these above-mentioned problems in their cars. This is where a pre-monsoon service comes in handy. Trusting your car to a professional servicing company will save you the time and effort needed to get your car prepared for the monsoon. Most of these companies also offer professional cleaning (inside and outside) and professional polishing to keep your car looking brand new while also building a protective layer around the vehicle.
Also Read – Car Care Tips For Monsoon
Keeping Spares Ready
Like most weather in India, the monsoons are very unpredictable and can leave you stranded at the drop of a hat. It could be pouring down one minute, which forces you to cancel any plans you might have, only to stop completely with bright sunshine the next minute. So, it is always helpful to be prepared. Always have spares for some of the most important components in your car. Tyres are the most common spare parts to carry but along with that, try and carry spares for the car’s fuses and windshield wiper blades. These components are prone to get damaged first so having them on hand will surely be helpful. Also, it will be extremely helpful if you can carry extra towels, umbrellas, rain coats, and even spare clothes for times when you get caught in the rain.
Service The Air Conditioning
During the monsoon season, no one drives with their windows rolled down which is why ensuring that the AC is in proper working condition is important. The AC sucks in fresh air from outside and replaces the air inside the car so that you don’t have to breathe circulated air. It also helps in defogging your windshield and windows to help you drive safer. Make sure that the filters in the AC are cleaned before the monsoon kicks in so that you don’t have to worry about foul smelling air getting pulled into the vehicle.
There you have it – 10 tips to help you prepare your car for the approaching monsoon and help you drive safer on the wet and slippery roads. If you have used any of these tips before and are looking for newer ones, now is the time to use them. With the monsoon creeping up faster than we might think, it is best to stay prepared now.