The monsoons have arrived in India! A time for joy and regeneration. But the rains don’t combine well with our roads and the quality of our driving. Rains bring their own set of challenges for the car and the driver. Not being monsoon-proofed the car will ditch you with a brake-down in the middle of traffic. For the monsoon season cars need extreme care to the following parts like Car body, Tyres, Interior, Exterior, Brakes, Electrical accessories, Wipers, Engine, etc.
1. CAR BODY
Before the rains start, apply a good wax polish to your car. This will protect the paint and help in the beading of water on the car, allowing water to roll off easily. Grease all the door locks and components under the car that can be greased, such as the gear linkages, propeller shaft, etc. Check the condition of the battery, top-up if needed, and apply a coat of petroleum jelly to the terminals.
Also carry a can of anti-moisture spray, as this will help dispel moisture from critical components like spark plugs and coils, in case they come in contact with water. More importantly, this will prevent rusting on exposed metal parts. Spray some WD40 on electrical contact points that are likely to come in contact with water, such as the horn and lights wiring. Also, consider Anti-rust coating/Underbody painting before the monsoon. This is a good practice to keep the rust at bay.
To keep neat and tidy of your interior is very Tricky, Painful, and Expensive during monsoon season. Do not drive with the windows down when it rains as water will seep on to the seats and carpet and damp carpet will develop fungus if not dried quickly. Use a vacuum cleaner and leave the doors and windows open for a while. If too much water has soaked intake the vehicle to the dealership to be dried. If need be, remove the carpet and dry it.
The plastic on door pads also ages faster when it gets wet as does fabric door trim. Rainwater can cause a short circuit when the power window switches are operated. You can use the air conditioner and demister to remove mist from the interior. Use fabric mats with rubber mats underneath to protect the seepage of water into the interior body to prevent rust. Using an umbrella while getting in and out of the car to prevent wet clothes from dampening the seats or seat covers. Keep a wet umbrella in a plastic bag so it does not wet the seats or carpet.
3. TYRE CARE
Caring for your tyres are also important during monsoon. Always use tyre with good thread depth, at least in the front to avoid skidding and lose of control while braking. You have to clean the tyre if it is too dirty after coming from a long drive. It is always advisable to apply some tyre care coating to safeguard your rubber. The car tyres should be in good condition and be prepared for monsoon. Keeping a good spare tyre in the car is always recommended. Carrying a puncture repair kit or a digital tyre inflator is also a good option.
The brakes too need care during monsoon. Prolonged driving in monsoon will cause the muddy water entering into your wheel drum and causing brakes less effective. To avoid this driving with slightly applied brakes are considerable. The disc brakes too affected by the muddy water as it causes less braking effort. The DOT 3 brake fluid (Red in color) may absorb the moisture and will affect your braking system. Using DOT 4 brake fluid (colorless) won’t have any moisture absorbing property so it’s wise to use DOT 4 brake fluid in your car.
5. ELECTRICAL ACCESSORIES
The monsoon Car care includes the caring of electrical accessories of the car and avoids short circuits and other faults related to the electrical system. Check your car’s electrical system meticulously with an auto electrician, which includes the Alternator, Starter motor, Fuses, Relays, and Junction boxes. Do not modify the wiring harness at your own it may cause electrical shorting and the car may catch fire. It will always be useful to keep some extra fuses that will be useful if any electrical emergencies arise. The acid salts that will be deposited in the bare battery terminals will weaken the current flow from the battery to the rest of the electrical gadgets. In order to avoid this, the battery terminals can be greased. Having an extra spare bulb will also be useful if driving at night when it is raining.
6. WINDSHIELD WIPERS
Windshield wipers should be serviceable to meet the monsoon requirements. Without windshield wipers, you will become literally blind and it affects your life at risk. Always check the windshield wipers for any crack, replace the wipers if necessary. The worn windshield wipers will make scratch marks on your windshield and it will affect your visibility. It would be always safe to keep a hammer or other heavy object inside the car so that the windshield can be broken in case if the passenger is trapped inside the car and the car is stuck during a flood.
It is advisable to protect your engine from water entering into it. Never ever drive your vehicle in a flooded road with a chance of water entering into your engine compartment. By doing so you are playing with the engine’s life.
Monsoon is the toughest time for driving cars in India, especially in the city. Even if we follow all rules, regulations, and tips, there is always an element of risk involved in driving and maintenance of vehicles. The above tips should allow you to at least minimize that. But always ensure to use your best judgment at all times, and remember, Better be safe than sorry!
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