With multiple parts of the country getting continuous showers of rain, the Indian monsoon has well and truly arrived. The gentle showers in the past couple of days have provided a respite from the grueling summer season.
While it is a much-needed relief from the incessant heatwave the country has been facing this summer, the Indian monsoon comes with unavoidable devastation, especially for our cars. Most car owners in India do not have the luxury of indoor parking, and a huge chunk of Indian cars are parked on roads, braving the weather: whether it’s scorching heat or lashing rain.
Exposure to such extreme conditions can be extremely detrimental to your car. Here are a few simple steps using which you can make sure that your cars are safe.
The best way to keep your car’s conditions from deteriorating is to regularly clean and maintain the exterior of the car’s body. In the case of your vehicle, looks do matter! The exterior of the car is the first thing we notice, and it is the first part of your car that comes in contact with the rain. Moisture is a breeding ground for rust, and the monsoon brings with it a lot of humidity.
Make sure you regularly get your car painted as and when necessary. The coat of paint acts as the first protective layer for the actual metal body of the car, and any bits of exposed metal can get rusted and damaged. For additional protection, you can also get your car waxed. Don’t forget the bottom of your car, the surface with the most contact/exposure to dirt and water. Get it professionally polished to avoid corrosion.
Tyres are one of the most often quickly worn-out car parts and the ones that need the most care. The majority of road accidents during the monsoon are caused because the car cannot stop quickly. Always check that your tyres have good enough tread to lower the chances of your car losing control. 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.
Headlights, foglights, taillights- be it anything, play an undeniably crucial role during the rainy season. Visibility is already reduced, and with the fog, it gets increasingly difficult to see ahead of you and navigate. It is advisable to check your lights and keep them in good shape, clean them, ensure they are working correctly, and regularly check to swap out bulbs.
Getting stranded is bad enough as it is, but getting stuck on Indian roads in the rain is even worse. Make sure your car’s battery health is good, and replace or charge it beforehand if you’re running low on battery. The wiring of your car should also be covered appropriately. It should be protected, so it doesn’t come in contact with water. Check under your car’s hood and ensure there aren’t any stray, open, and uncovered wires peeping through.
Windshield wipers will not only be ‘used’ in the next couple of months; they will be working overtime! Properly functioning windshield wipers are the #1 tool that will help you combat the rains, helping keep the rain away and aid visibility. If the wiper blades squeak when used or do not remove water evenly, you can have them changed. Maintaining your wiper blades and regularly cleaning the glass surface is good practice. You should also keep a check on the wiper-washer fluid. Similarly, a maintained AC system would help you not feel stuffy in the humidity and simultaneously help with defogging.
Good brakes can make or ‘break’ a safe driving experience. Since wet roads reduce the friction between the tyres and the roads, getting your car to halt on time can get tricky. Friction is needed for a better grip. Worn-out brakes can lead to an unfortunate incident, which is otherwise easily avoidable with the help of braking performance.
While you should definitely do all that you can to take care of your car, some things should be best left to the experts. It is vital to get your car regularly serviced by professionals. They can spend the time and energy your car needs, and their expertise is crucial for detecting underlying issues the inexperienced eye might miss. After all, prevention is better than cure. Get your car professionally serviced and cleaned so that you don’t find yourself at the pointy end of a situation on the road.
You can make sure that all the above points are checked and tested and still find yourself in a pickle while driving on wet roads. Indian roads are notoriously famous for being difficult to drive on, but the monsoons bring an added element of danger. Limited visibility, slick, wet surfaces, and hidden potholes are just a few of these dangers. In these scenarios, it is best that you compose yourself and keep yourself safe. The rationale of the driver is often the one thing that helps avoid major accidents. It is advisable that you either stop driving and wait out the rain or, if it’s absolutely necessary, go slower. Keep your AC and headlights on, check your equipment thoroughly, watch out for oily roads and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Social distancing is the new normal, even with your cars!
Keep in mind these tips, and your car will thank you. Check out CARS24 for more information on how to best maintain your vehicle, and stay safe!