Every car owner has faced a problem during the days of heavy rainfall, while it is important to get your car serviced regularly, it is not possible to turn up to a garage every day after a heavy shower.
For this reason and many more, it is crucial to know a few tips and tricks to keep your car shielded from water and corrosion.
1. Windshield Cleaning
Starting with the very basic, but often overlooked point; always remember to give your windshield and other mirrors a good clean. If you are taking out your car after a night of rain, you may have noticed dirt and dust on the glass and this is because the water dries out in the morning and leaves the mineral deposits behind, which transform into the dirt. Now if you drive with a dirty windshield and mirrors, it will hamper your judgement and give you an unclear view of what is ahead, give the windshield, back mirror, and side mirrors a thorough cleaning to avoid an unfortunate incident.
During a heavy downpour, your lights are the one that guides you through the path. They improve visibility not just for you, but also for the incoming traffic. And so, you should always pay extra attention to the lights before driving your car in the rainy season. Make sure your lights are working properly and efficiently. A good way to check your car lights is to turn them all which includes the fog lights, headlights, hazard light, taillights, indicators, etc.
3. Windshield Wipers
It is very easy to replace the windshield wipers and you can do so by buying replacements from a spare shop dealer. Additionally, make sure you have the washer fluid topped up as it can evaporate over time and leave behind a sticky residue which hampers the efficient working of the wipers.
When the roads are wet and slippery, it takes extra strength from your brake and tyres to bring the car to an accurate halt. A worn down and the old tyre will do you no good, and it will become increasingly difficult to stop them at the right moment. Before the clouds start pouring down, it is a smart move to check the tyres. The grooves on the tyres are specially designed to direct the water away from the contact patch of rubber that glues your car to the road. If the car tyres are worn out, it will have difficulty in keeping the water away.
Driving in the rain requires additional power from the battery, and hence it is important to have a look at it before stepping into the downpour. Cold and wet weather can stress the battery, whereas humidity can cause corrosion and drain it overnight. Look out for the signs like dimming light, issues in starting the car as they are indicative of a stressed- and worn-out battery.
It is different when you are driving on a wet road when compared to a dry one, you would need to press your brakes much before you would do otherwise. The water leads to a reduction in the friction between the tyres and the brakes. When your brakes are worn out, it becomes even more difficult to stop at the correct time when the roads are wet. For the safety of your car and the ones inside it, it is crucial to check your brakes.
7. Check for Leaks
Every car is fitted with rubber seals which help to keep the water out of the car. But it may happen that over time, the rubber loses its grip and is unable to shield the car as much. This leads to water dripping inside the car and you don’t want that, inspect the rubbers on the sunroof, windows, windshields, door sills, etc to make sure there is no moisture building up and you’re as protected inside the car as you would be in your house.
8. Air conditioner
You always keep the windows and sunroof shut while driving through the rain. This means there is no way for the air to enter and leave the car, and you keep inhaling the same air. To avoid this, make sure your air conditioner is in good condition. It will help to bring in the fresh air from the outside and circulate if you are not stuck in a closed environment. Additionally, AC also helps in defogging the windshields and windows which helps to have better visibility.
9. Inspecting under the Carriage
The underbody of your car needs care and maintenance during the rainy season. The standing water, splashing puddles, moisture, and dirt and grime mixture can lead to the effectiveness of your brake system. The water may even seep into any cracked or loose CV joints, washing away lubrication, and doing more damage. You should also regularly clean under the carriage, making sure there are no rust forming, or leaves and dirt stuck, which might be hindering the performance.
If you don’t have a deep knowledge of the car or do not pay heed to the above-mentioned points, don’t worry. You can always get a pre-rain season car service where professional mechanics will look into the car and replace/service any parts that would give you trouble later on. You can also opt for cleaning services, a major service, or just an interim one. It all depends on when was the last time you had your car serviced.
Nelson Xavier Ssenyange
Germax Auto Spares & Garage @GermaxASGarage
Every Tuesday, get answers to your questions about cars and auto maintenance. Send us an email at [email protected] or use the hashtag #NPAskTheMechanic to submit your question.