As the rains continue to pour down across the country, your car can face some serious issues with regards to flooding, rusting, and even completely shutting down. Driving in the rains can be quite difficult and that is why most people advise against it. However, if you are forced to drive during the monsoon or have your car parked in the rain, you might need to have some helpful tips at hand to keep your car safe during this monsoon. So, what can you do to keep your car dry and clean? Let’s find out.
Also Read – Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain
Also Read – Preparing Your Car for the Monsoon Season
Quite obviously, the exterior of a car takes on the monsoon weather the most with dirt, debris, and rainfall continuously falling upon it. So, you should always take care of the exterior of the car before anything else. Here’s how:
Keeping it clean – It is probably the simplest advice but it is truly effective. Cleaning your car after driving in the rain helps you get rid of the leaves, twigs, dirt, and other contaminants that could damage your car quickly. You should wipe down your car as soon as you have the time or a quick wash will keep away any dirt or debris. If you have your car parked out in the open, you should clean and wipe your car down every morning to avoid a build-up of leaves and twigs that could damage the paint job on your vehicle.
Don’t use a cover – Although the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your car parked out in the rain is to cover it, you should actually do quite the opposite. Using a cover to protect your car from the rain is a massive mistake. While a cover can keep rain water and dirt off your car successfully, it is known to stick to the clear coat of paint when the sun dries it out. This means that the protective coat can be peeled off when you remove the cover and exposes the paint directly to the natural elements which will cause it to wear and tear quicker and easier.
Clean the boot and bonnet – There are a number of different places where dirt and debris can get stuck easily in your car. Two of those places are under the bonnet and boot. These places usually collect leaves, twigs, dirt, and even moisture without you even noticing. When the dirt collects and blocks the drainage holes, it can lead to water build-up and eventually, rusting. The door jams are another area that collect a lot of moisture and if unattended to, can result in the doors rusting and corroding away quickly.
Protecting the underbody – The underbody of a car is made from metal and is exposed to dirt, water, and other elements continuously which is why it should be protected even more. A combination of used engine oil and diesel is perfect for keeping the underbody of the car rust-free. This mixture also forms a protective layer on the metal and keeps dirt away from any moving parts. While you can use this mixture on other components like the suspension, you should avoid using it on components like the brakes and the engine as it can lead to brake failure and fire hazards respectively.
Protecting the paint – One of the best ways to keep your car looking as good as new, even after a torrential downpour, is to use a protective paint layer. This will keep moisture and rain away from your original paint job. However, a protective paint job can be expensive so you can opt for alternatives such as a ceramic paint protective layer. Another useful product is car wax which can keep rain away from your car or car polish which forms a protective layer between the rain and the paint on your car.
After successfully protecting the exterior of your car, you have to get working on the interiors. During the monsoons, you usually drive with the windows up and this could quickly develop into an excess of moisture inside and could eventually result in a foul odour that comes from mould and mildew growing inside the car. Here are some helpful tips:
Newspapers work wonders – With heavy rains comes a build-up of dirt and mud on the roads. This also means that when you enter your car, you drag in that mud and dirt which gets all over your carpets and floor mats. To keep the carpets clean, you can put down some newspapers which will help absorb the moisture and dirt from your shoes. Newspapers are also cheap to buy – cheaper than replacing your floor mats and carpets.
Keeping it dry – When you decide to drive in the rain, you are most probably going to get some amount of moisture into the car and especially onto the seats. The best way to stop this from happening is to place a large towel on the seat, especially on the backrest and headrest, which is where water tends to collect the most. Once you notice that the newspapers you placed down have absorbed enough water, you can change them out for fresh ones to ensure that your car always stays dry and clean. You should also pay attention to the steering wheel, dashboard, seats, and gear knob and keep them dry as they can get wet and allow mould to grow quickly.
Servicing the air conditioner – You car’s AC is one of the most important components during the monsoon which is why you need to have it serviced before the rains even begin. The air conditioner in your car can help regulate the amount of moisture inside your car and keep it dry and fresh, even when the windows are rolled up. When the inside of the car is kept dry, it stops mildew and mould from growing which can further lead to foul odours and can even leave you sick.
Defogging works – Today, most car comes with automatic defoggers which will ensure that your windshield and windows are always kept clean and clear. If your car does not come with an automatic defogger, you should turn on the blower and have it set to maximum with the setting on Fresh Air mode. By turning the vents directly to the windshield, it will quickly defog the glass and allow you to see the road clearly. Most people opt to wipe the glass with a towel or a cloth which only results in distracting streaks and can lead to dangerous driving conditions. The modern cars also come with a rear defogger which is a lot more helpful for cars fitted with rear windshields as well.
Also Read – How to Stop Condensation in Your Car
Electrical parts – It is common knowledge that water and electrical components cannot be mixed together. So, before you can get into your car and drive through the rain, you have to check for any wires and electrical components that might be loose or open. If you do find any wires that are not protected, you should cover them immediately. You can use electrical tape to protect the wires and plastic covers to keep them hidden from the rain.
SAFETY TIPS FOR THE MONSOON
Now that you have the interior and exterior of your car ready to take on the monsoon weather, you have to pay attention to the most important part of driving in the rain – the driving. Here are some helpful tips that can keep you safe on the road this monsoon:
Check the tyres – Your car tyres are the most important components when driving in the rain. Therefore, they need to be in prime shape to take on the excessive wear and tear that occurs during the monsoons. To check the tread on your tyres, you can visually carry out a test and if they look worn out, you should get new tyres. Another handy test is to insert a Rs. 10 coin into the tread and if you can still see the golden circle, it is best that you get new tyres before driving in the rain. You should also avoid the common advice of changing only the front tyres as this could result in over steer – a dangerous driving situation that not everyone is used to.
Check the spare – We often forget that there is a spare tyre that comes with the car. This spare should be checked every week to see whether it has enough air to change in case of an emergency. If you find that there is a puncture in the spare tyre and is losing air, you have to get it repaired quickly. Find a mechanic or a repair shop or if you have the tools and can repair it yourself, you should do it immediately.
Also Read – What To Do When Your Car has Flooded
Use the center of the road – Indian roads are prone to flooding, even with the slightest of rain. The middle of the roads are designed to be higher than the sides which is why water collects quicker on the sides. When driving in the rain, you should try and stay in the middle of the road which will help keep your vehicle away from floods. However, if you are forced to drive through puddles and water-logged areas, you should always keep the throttle pushed down and keep your foot off the brake. If your car stalls in a flooded area, you need to turn on your hazard lights and refrain from turning on your engine. If the water levels keep rising, you need to get out of the car and push it to higher ground. While driving, you should be aware of your surroundings even more and keep safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Avoid using the hazard lights – The hazard lights are extremely important as they let other vehicles around you know where you are. However, you should avoid using the hazard lights when you drive around normally in the rain. This could become increasingly dangerous for you and the vehicles around you.
Clean the headlamps – Your headlights are probably the most important part when it comes to driving in the rain. They help you see better and avoid any obstacles that might lay in the road ahead. In order to keep your headlamps and reflectors clean and clear during the monsoon, you can use some white toothpaste and a wet cloth. Rub some toothpaste onto the headlamp and coat the entire faded surface. Let it sit for a few minutes and then using a wet cloth, wipe away the toothpaste. This will leave your headlamps absolutely clean.
Change the wipers – Your car’s windshield wipers kick into overdrive as soon as the monsoons come around. This means you need to have them ready and working before the rains come down. If your wipers are cracked or damaged, you need to get some new wipers. You should, however, opt to buy OEM-recommended products rather than cheaper aftermarket options. The fake wiper blades might be cheaper but they often don’t work as well as original equipment. You should also check your windshield washer fluid regularly and ensure that it is topped up and ready to go. You can even add some soap to the washer fluid to help clean away dirt, grime, and other contaminants.
Drive slow – Possibly the best advice you can get when driving in the rain is to drive slow. You have to remember that it takes longer for the tyres to get proper grip on the wet, slick roads and therefore, you need to drive a lower speed and keep your distance from other vehicles in front of you. This will give your car time to react to the brakes and stop before you hit the vehicle in front of you.
Also Read – Tips for Safe Driving in Monsoon Season
As the monsoon season has hit the country already and is only going to get worse, there are many things you should take into consideration before you can get out there and drive through the rain. These above-mentioned monsoon car care tips and driving tips will do just that, and help keep your car looking and performing as good as new.
Also Read – How to Identify Flood Damaged Car
Also Read – Things To Do If You Own A Flood-Affected Car