Car care and road safety tips during the monsoon season!
While rains are a sight to behold sitting snug in your lazyboy and gorging on hot Samosas, you also need to get around once in a while, to office and elsewhere. So, heading to your car first thing in the morning as you head to work after an all night downpour could result in nasty surprises. To avoid all of this and get home in one piece everyday even as the heavens open up, you might want to consider the following tips that we’re bringing for your benefit, this monsoon season.
First of all, ensure that your car is water proof from the inside with all the seals, gaskets and beadings of doors, windows, boots and sunroofs inspected and replaced as required. Water getting into the car in the rainy season could encourage fungal growth. So, you got to ensure that your car remains as dry as possible as the cabin is the life space of the car. Airing your car whenever the sun is out by opening all doors would be a good idea to dry the interiors as much as possible.
Secondly, it would be a great idea to get your car serviced thoroughly just before the monsoons to ensure that the mechanical components are in top condition. You really don’t want to be stranded with a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere with the rain gods in full attendance. Also, special attention needs to be given to joints and suspension components which will require greasing as the rains can wash away most grease. So, starting out with freshly greased suspension parts might not be a bad idea.
Thirdly, if you live in places where your car will be exposed to plenty of rainfall, a good under body anti corrosive coating would ensure that your car’s under body does not corrode due to the moisture. Ensure that special attention is paid to your car’s electricals with no exposed wires that could short circuit, leaving your car totally stranded. Also, replacing old fuses and getting a brand new spare set would be a good idea. Ensure that your headlights, indicators, hazard lights and wipers are in top shape as these are vital to ensure your car’s visibility in the rains, and hence your personal safety.
MPFI and CRDI Diesel cars are most vulnerable as the ECU sealing need to be checked for adequate water resistance to ensure that they don’t conk off although this is a rare occurrence. A little precaution never hurts, does it? Also, brake pads needs to be changed if they’re worn out a little before the scheduled period as braking in the monsoons gets more frequent. Finally tyres are another vital piece of kit that require visual inspection and replacement if necessary as good grip in wet conditions is extremely crucial for safe motoring.
Now, for some safety tips while driving in the wet. In the wet expect to encounter plenty of traffic jams in the city. So, plan accordingly and leave early as you never know when there might be a traffic snarl due to a broken down vehicle or an accident, both of which get more frequent in the monsoons. Tone down your aggressive driving as grip is at a premium in the monsoon with braking distances increasing and cornering speeds becoming lower during the monsoons. So, sedate driving might be your best bet. Avoid high speeds at all costs.
Also avoid tailgating other vehicles as emergency braking could get very, very tricky with most cars in India, not yet featuring the life saving ABS system. So, wheel lock ups under hard braking and the consequent loss in control are very common and hence, it would be a great idea if you master the technique of pumping the brakes during an emergency braking maneuver.
On roads though, watch out for open manholes, potholes covered with water and hence visible and on the whole avoid water logged roads as there might be many hidden obstacles under the water. Also, driving through water logged roads of more than half a foot deep might result in your engine injesting water and hydrolocking if your car stalls in the middle of the water logged road.
In order to avoid this, what you need to do is, maintain a steady foot on the throttle in the lowest possible gear to keep the engine spinning at the maximum rpm and to avoid stalling. All through the water logged road, you need to ensure that the revs are kept steady and don’t drop. If you do this right, you’d be able to traverse most flooded city roads without too many issues. But this said, try and avoid water logged roads or stretches of a water logged road wherever possible.
Last but not the least, be considerate towards pedestrians and two wheelers while driving in the rains as these folks. These are just a bunch of tips, when followed scruplously, could help you have an incident free monsoon and many miles of happy motoring in the rains. Team ICB wishes you a happy and safe driving experience during the monsoons.