As pleasant as the thought of rain is, the truth remains that, sometimes, it can lead to disruption of daily life and vehicular movement; which is why you see a lot of jams on the road and the culprit usually is a stalled vehicle.
We usually put our hands up in the air and say 'Oh! yet another victim' but what if we told you that by preparing yourself, you can actually avoid being in such situations. So we put together an all-encompassing list of tips to help you get your car through the rains. Though some of these car maintenance tips may seem redundant or obvious, it won't hurt or take much time to check them off because at the end of the day, we care!
1. Essential checklist:
a. A car's tyres always need to be in good condition, more so during monsoon. Check for worn-out treads, since they prevent aquaplaning, and if they are deep enough. You can buy a tyre tread depth gauge to monitor the condition of your car's tyres. You can also use a 5 rupee coin to check. Place it in between the treads and see if the coin is half covered with the tread. If it is, you're good to go, if not then it's time to change the tyres.
b. Check the brakes and do this only with the help of an authorised personnel. After the grip from the tyre, you have to rely on brakes to help you with stopping power. See to it that the brake liners are properly lubricated as they can snap in case there's any friction.
c. Check the wiper blades and this is essential as you will depend on them for visibility. It's recommended to replace wiper blades every year and changing them during the monsoon season is a good way to keep tab of when to change them.
d. Wiper washing liquid also plays a pivotal role in keeping the grime off your windshield. Adding two parts of dish washing liquid to the mix will help you keep your windshield spotlessly clean.
c. Get a qualified person to ensure that the chassis water drain holes are not obstructed.
d. Wet roads absorb more light, consequently affecting visibility. Make sure the lights are working. wiping the headlamps with some toothpaste and then cleaning them with water makes the headlamps shinier.
2. Safeguarding the car from the rain:
a. Draping your car in a cover in humid conditions is a sin, for it causes the car's body to rust. In fact, it causes the rust to set in faster and deeper. Park your car in a space with decent ventilation, if you have the means or stilt car parking will work just fine too. Stilt parking helps in case you live close to a low lying area and this will keep the car away from any harm.
b. Clean the tie rod ends, and coil springs.
c. Moisture tends to take a toll on the car. You can use, what is commonly known as, a rust-fighting cocktail (diesel + used engine oil) on the underbody, engine bay, and leaf springs. You can also use it on exposed chrome on the exteriors. Be careful that this mix does not get on your skin, disc brakes, calipers, wheel drums, rubber parts and electricals. Since this mixture tends to attract grime, wash it off using diesel and reapply the concoction every few weeks. Wax polish serves the same purpose equally well.
d. If you spot rust, use a rust-removal powder that is easily available at any accessory shop.
e. Wash the car and pat it dry upon returning from a drive in the rain. Do not always depend on 'the guy' who comes to wash your car for this as the dirt and grime from the road can affect the paint on the body of the car.
P.S: Some petrol pump stations offer services like washing, maintenance, oil sprays, etc. for very nominal charges.
3. Driving tips:
a. Avoid flooded roads, and if you must go through one, do not speed through it at any cost.
b. If your car has been submerged, get a technician to inspect and clean it before starting it. Even if the car starts up, its engine, transmission, brake, and electrical systems are at risk.
c. If you find your car suddenly submerged, unlock the doors and open the windows immediately.
d. If you are unable to open the doors or windows, try to kick out a side or rear window.
e. When venturing out on the road in your car, take care to prevent submersion in standing or rising water.
f. While passing through a water-logged zone, drive slowly and rev the engine to keep water from entering the tail-pipe.
g. Re-starting the car if it stalls while driving through an area clogged with water is, again, a strict no-no! It can lead to hydrostatic lock, which causes damage to the engine. Push the car out of the area and inspect it thoroughly before driving again.
h. Never forget that cornering a car depends on the grip of its tyres and the grip is diminished on slippery roads. Approach corners slowly and stay upright instead of leaning into the corner.
i. Stay off the roads if authorities issue such an advisory.
a. A Rope - It will help if you need to be towed out
b. Tool Kit - This is a must have and though it comes with every car, make sure there is one anyway.
b. A flashlight - You will be glad you decided to keep one in the car if you ever get stuck somewhere in the dark. Yes, everyone has one on their smartphones now but having one comes in handy in case you have to break a window or you run out of juice on your phone.
c. Talking of juice, food, is the next thing on the list. Carry a few small packets of biscuits in the glove box. Helps in case you're stuck in a bad traffic jam
d. A medical kit - While every car has one, you can add to it, in accordance with your needs, for emergency situations.
Also Read: Car Care Tips for Summers