The monsoons present an altogether unfriendly environment to drivers with wet and often slushy roads that are quite hazardous to drive on and heavy rains that lead to low visibility. In such conditions it is of utmost importance that you take every precaution to ensure your car is running as smooth and efficiently as possible. Here are some basic tips that can ease your experience while driving in the rains.
Check your wipers. See that the motor runs smoothly and that the wiper blades are clean and free of any dirt or grime that could have collected during the summer months. Also check that the rubber edge of the blade is not cracked or cut else the blade does not wipe the windscreen adequately often hampering your vision. Check that the washer fluid is topped up and carry newspapers as these facilitate easier and better cleaning of glass.
Check to see all your lights are working optimally including your turn signal indicators and reverse lamps. It not just helps you see clearly but also helps those around you know your location if there is a torrential downpour.
Check your tyres and see that they have sufficient tread. Worn out tread can cause your car to skid on wet roads.
Don't keep your car dirty for too long periods as the dirt that settles down can corrode body parts. If your car body has deep scratches get these areas treated as they can rust more easily.
Check all electrical components and se that your fuses are in order, that you are carrying along spare fuses and the wiring is in order. You don't want your car shorting out on a rainy day. Coat battery terminals with petroleum jelly.
Check your air conditioning system, believe it or not in cities with high humidity levels windshields can fog over and your cars cooling system is often the only thing that can help in such situations.
Check for signs of corrosion and get these checked in the early stages itself with some anti-rust treatment. Underbody silencers are the most prone to rusting.
Accessories such as mud flaps, car covers and floor mats can keep your car a bit cleaner during this season.
Drive cautiously and maintain a good distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
Drive slowly through stagnant water. A most common cause of losing control during monsoons is aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is a phenomenon that occurs when the tread of your tyre is not able to disperse water quickly enough for the tyre to provide sufficient traction. In this case the film of water layer acts like oil offering no traction whatsoever. To avoid this situation ensure the tread on your tyres is adequate, at least 2mm depth and that your tyres are at the correct air pressure.
If you do get caught in flooded areas slip the car into first gear and keep a steady foot on the throttle at high revs. This will help the exhaust gases to keep water from entering the tailpipe. After having crossed the water hazard, pump your brakes a few times to dry them out.
The monsoons are a beautiful time to drive with the clean air, greenery that sprouts from everywhere and cooler environment provided you do so with caution and loads of care.