We're now closer to getting relief from the unrelenting heat as monsoon moves from the South to North. While the drop in temperature will make us and our cars happy, the rainwater actually spells trouble. Not just that our already slow-moving traffic slows down even further, but the water that falls from the skies and accumulates in potholes and low areas can wreak havoc on your car. However, just a little precaution can save you from a trip to the workshop. Hence, we've put together some cheap tips and tricks to protect your prized possession.
This is the time of the year when windscreen wipers will work overtime and that is why you need to ensure they are in their best condition. Car manufacturers claim that wipers last for about two-three years, but considering the intense heat our sub-continent faces and then the prolonged monsoon, wear and tear means changing them once a year will be helpful.
If your windscreen wipers leave behind some water on the screen even after two wipes, they need to be replaced. Also, keep the windscreen fluid always topped up. While some soap with water works well on the oily residue on the windscreen, we suggest that designated windscreen fluid works best.
Whether you own an SUV or saloon or hatchback, there will be some water wading involved during your commutes through the city. Get your electricals checked using an amp meter to check for leakage or false earthing on the lines. That should be followed up by a check for exposed wire bits, three times over if you have got some aftermarket electronics installed.
Treads on the tyres help water to expel as you drive over a puddle, ensuring grip. Hence, make sure your tyres have treads on them. Additionally, you might want to deflate them a PSI or two, to increase the contact patch.
If you do have to drive during the rain and aren't really prepared for aquaplaning, and you feel the steering going light. Do Not Brake! Keep the throttle steady and steering inputs to a minimum and you should find grip safely at the other end of the puddle.
If your car has disc brakes on four tyres, keep a check for scratches and rust. But if you’re in the more likely scenario of having two drums in the rear or even worse all four drums, then you might want to have them properly serviced, before and after the monsoon.
In most non-coastal cities like Delhi, there isn’t the kind of humidity that would require an underbody coat (although it’s never too bad) but if you live in Mumbai, Kolkata or Chennai, it probably bests that you get it done ahead of the monsoon to ensure that you don't find early winter rust on the runner (which strangely in most cars is very prone to rust).
Another great practice is to generously grease all joints, to ensure that your doors close with a reassuring thud. Whether you do or don’t go for an underbody paint, monsoons call for a little more than your standard car care. Keeping your car clean also helps prevent rust.