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Monsoon Prep - Things you should know to drive safely this season

The monsoon is here and we need to prepare ourselves for the rainy season by bringing umbrellas out from storage, purchasing raincoats, etc. Don’t forget - we must prepare our cars as well!.While the rains transform the landscape and bring down the temperatures, they also wreak havoc, causing transport disruptions, amongst other things. Well, for those of you who have their own vehicles, this season is when you should keep a sharp eye on them because moisture and machines aren’t friends.

Here are some steps to follow, to make sure your vehicle remains safe this monsoon.

  1. Tyres

This one is a no-brainer. The first thing to check is the inflation and tyre pressure as it tends to lose pressure during the monsoon season.  Having a set of tyres with a good amount of tread is a must. The traction on wet roads is severely compromised due to moisture and this can be made worse by still water. The treads on the tyre are the ones that help in improving the grip on the road.

Today there are so many ways you can check this aspect- one being the tread wear indicators. These help in indicating the time for a replacement. This will ensure safe driving during monsoons, and prolonged tyre life for your car.

  1. Wipers and washers

The first thing that comes to mind when driving in the rains are the wipers. Make sure that the wiper blades are functioning properly at all speeds and also see if they leave behind any smudges or lines on the windscreen. Owning to infrequent use during the summers, the rubber on the blades tends to crack making them ineffective during the rains. A quick check to make sure it is all working well is mandatory, especially during the rainy season.

Keeping the wiper washer fluids topped up with soap water (or even windshield fluid) is equally important to keep them clean. Make sure you keep an eye on the washer reservoir level and top it up as and when it runs low.

  1. Brakes

Brakes, an important aspect of any automobile and properly working brakes are a must no matter what the circumstances or the weather. During rainy season, the wet roads hamper the braking distance of the car. You should test out your brakes at home by starting the engine and letting your car idle for a while and pressing the brake pedal with uniform force – if the pedal continues to sink there might be a leak in the system. Also, if you feel a shudder in the brake pedal in your daily driving it could mean that the pads have worn out and need to be replaced. A well-maintained set of brakes is one of your biggest friends in the rains – particularly so as braking distances are longer on wet roads.

  1. Wiring and Batteries

We all know that water and electrical don’t go hand in hand. You have to make sure that your car’s electrical are in good working condition but also keep in mind to check the condition of the maze of exposed wiring as well. If there is any kind of improper wiring or with the insulation peeling off it can lead to shorting, especially when they come in contact with water, and that can be a safety hazard.

Take a look at your battery as well and make sure it is in working shape and have it replaced if required as during the monsoon season you will need a heavier use of electrical components such as lights, wipers, etc.

  1. Leaks and Rusts

Do a quick check for signs of moisture around the windows, sunroof, doors these will help indicate quickly if your car has any leaks. Considering the climate and the weather conditions in India it’s not uncommon for leaks to occur.  It is best to identify the sources of leaks as soon as possible and have them rectified; the drainage holes can be unclogged after a proper service and cleaning. Rusting too is a major issue and it’s best to have the rusted areas treated or replaced before it spreads. Cars tend to be more prone to rusting in the wet season, given the higher levels of moisture and variations in temperature.

Additionally, while driving in the rain, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Use your AC, and point the vents towards the windshield, if it gets foggy during heavy rains.

2. Drive slow, as stopping distance increases, and remember, brakes are slightly less effective during rains.

3. If you are driving through stagnant water, make sure to keep revving slightly, so water doesn’t enter the exhaust system.

4. A Pre-monsoon service is a quick and easy way to identify and rectify problems.

Most importantly, DON’T miss using your car cover during monsoons. Moisture gets trapped within, which causes rust. Keep your car in a well-ventilated place, and always pat it dry after a spin! Get car insurance online from Chola MS and avoid risks and uncertainties.

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