Dont blame it on the rain

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | Updated: Jun 30 2012, 08:26am hrs
Although the news from the monsoon front isnt really encouraging, rains will come, and rainfall means extra care for your caron the road and off it. And a little attention can keep your car problems at bay. Here are a few tips that can keep your car monsoon-ready.

What they ride on: Tyres are the only contact your car has with the ground, and these need most attention in this season, since worn-out tyres mean compromising safety. Check the tyre tread, if it is less than 2mm in depth, consider re-treading or replacing. A new tyre for, say, Maruti Alto, will cost R2,000. Driving through water means a drop in braking efficiency, so get your brake oil and brake shoes checked.

Go to the bottom: If you did not go in for anti-rust treatment for the cars bottom while buying it, ensure you get it done before the onset of the rains. It costs R2,000 onwards and pays in the long run.

Move towards the top: Teflon coating for the cars body paint ensures the paint remains new for at least a few years. Remember, a combination of sun and rain is what damages your car paint the most. It costs roughly R3,000 onwards for a small car such as the Alto.

Go to the front: Windshield wipers are a must in the rainy season and if the wiper blades make a screeching sound when you wipe the screen, changing them is not an option but a necessary exercise. Also do keep some discarded newspapers handythey are good at removing all kinds of stains from the glass. If your car has a sunroof, get it checked before the onset of the monsoon. There is nothing more irritating, and damaging for the cars interior, than driving with a leaking sunroof.

Move from front to back: Rains are a time when you will require the lamps the most (although it is suggested you always drive with the headlamps on), so ensure all lamps are in a working condition, especially the rear ones because they help other drivers see you better. Theres no need to change the full front headlamp or rear-lamp assembly, since a full assembly might cost upwards of R3,000. Your mechanic can be the best judge if there is something wrong with the lights and, sometimes, simply replacing bulbs is enough.

Get inside: Check under the floor carpet, and see for any leakages. If you find any, get them fixed. It is also a good idea to have the electrical equipment of the car checked.

Under the bonnet: Dont neglect the engine. Especially the alternator belt (serpentine belt). If there is too much play when you press it, get it checked. Similarly, get the timing belt checked too. Also ensure that after every drive through the rain you get the engine washed if you see too much muck and grime.

Behind the wheel: Drive at responsible speeds (the cars dynamics change altogether in the rain), stick to your lane, use headlamps and ensure the safety of yours as well as others on the road.

Drive safe, enjoy the rain!