Monsoon, a long awaited season after the hot and sweaty summers. Monsoon, the season of love, romance and long drives. Though we know, with rain comes a lot of mess, muddy water and humidity. In fact, often they can literally spill water on your plans. But if you are a fun-loving-adventure-junky type of a person living in Mumbai, Pune or Bangalore, you are already in love with this season.
Now for that love and romance, you need to take care of it yourself, while for the long drives, we got you covered. Here in this article, you will get to know how to pamper your favourite ride for this season which along with all that oxytocin and vasopressin (read love hormones) brings rust, wire sorting, water-logging, long traffic jams, slippery roads and what not. Here you go, read and be prepared.
First Thing First- Prepare Your Car For The Worst! We don’t want to scare you, but trust us, that’s the best practice.
A pre-monsoon servicing is actually the most essential thing to do. Further, you also need to keep check on the following things.
1) Tyres: Tyres must be in good shape with enough tread depth. The tread pattern on your tyres is the single most important thing in the rains that can keep you safely on the roads. Water on the tarmac gets expelled from under the tyres through the treads and prevents aquaplaning. Make sure your treads are deep enough by simply using a coin and checking if the depth is within safe limits – usually 3-5mm. Replace cracked tyres, check air pressure and make sure the wheels are properly balanced and aligned.
2) Wiper Blades: Wipers have to be of good quality. Between two monsoons, wiper blades become hard and get coated with traffic film from oily fumes and dust from road. The windscreen itself may be oily due to traffic film. The later two can be cleaned with soap solution. Lastly, check whether the wash wipe system is in working order. Do not forget to put two teaspoonful of liquid detergent in washer fluid. Once you are convinced that the wash wipe system is okay, do have a working trial.
3) Headlamps: The lights which seem okay in scanner may be inadequate in monsoon because wet roads absorb light and visibility suffers to a great extent. Lighting must be checked for brightness and correct pattern. Always use good quality bulbs. If inherently the lights are bad, do have auxiliary lights fitted – yellow lights give a better contrast. Fog lights cover only the kerbs and not distant objects.
4) Mud Flaps: Please be sensible and always use proper mud flaps. No one likes driving behind a car that is spraying a lot of muddy water and, more importantly, that can be quite dangerous as well. Make sure you fit mud flaps on all four wheels before you start off. After all, driving safely also means driving responsibly.
5) Brakes: Another very important part of the car which needs to checked. If the brakes have become less effective get the brake pads replaced before the monsoons begin.
6) Rust And Corrosion Protection: Your car’s metal frame protects the internal components from moisture. So keep it clean and scratch-free to avoid corrosion. Remember, water corrodes metal.
7) Car Paint Protection: Do get a wax coating done just before the rains hit, to protect your cars’ paint from the rain. Alternate wet and dry spells can cause the paint to fade and peel.
Now That Your Car Is Ready From Exterior, Let’s Move Inside.
1) Use Fabric Floor & Rubber Mats: Wet footwear can dampen the carpet. Protect the carpet with rubber mats and fabric mats over them. Fabric mats absorb water easily and keeps the carpet dry. They also do prevent mud from slipping on to the carpet. Rubber mats prevent the carpet from getting wet in case the fabric ones get soaked. Remove the fabric and rubber mats and let them dry outside so that they do not stink up the insides. Dust them off them before reuse.
2) Use Old Seat Covers: There’s no point in spoiling those expensive leather covers. And once the rainy season is over, you can remove old mats and covers.
3) Fix Loose Electric Wires: If you find any weak connection, it is your responsibility to patch them up. Make sure all the fuses are working fine and remember to carry some extra fuses. Check whether all the lights of your car are working and do remember to keep them on while driving.
4) Keep These Things In Your Car And Thanks Us Later: Keep drinking water and edibles inside cause you don’t know for how long you may get struck in traffic jams. Also keep a tow rope, a shovel, an umbrella, a flashlight and a first-aid medical kit.
Now The Most Important part: Driving Through Water
- It is advisable not to drive through more than six – eight inches of water. However if you must, drive slowly and rev the engine to keep water from entering the tail-pipe.
- 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.
- Do not re-start the car if it stalls while driving through an area clogged with water. 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.
- 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.
So ride safe and enjoy the season.