A list of things to check on your car before taking it for a spin in the monsoon rains

The onset of monsoon is a welcome relief after a scorching summer. However, for vehicle owners, the rains can also be a nightmare as water and a car’s internal parts don’t go well together. If proper precautions are not taken, driving a faulty vehicle in the rain could also spell disaster for not just the occupants but the car as well.

Tyres

Make sure you have tyres with a good amount of tread. During the rains, it is difficult for tyres to gain traction on wet roads as the channels in the tyres are the only things that allow them to displace water.

Brakes

Maintain your brakes by regularly replacing brake fluids and brake pads. They are inexpensive, but crucial for safety. To perform a quick brake fluid check, keep your car running at idle and hold down on the brake pedal at a steady pressure. If the pedal continues to sink, it is a sign of a brake-fluid leak.

Electricals

Water can have disastrous effects on the electricals of your car. Hence, all the electrical systems must be well-insulated.

Lights

Do ensure that you have a perfectly working set of lights. Replacing the bulbs is inexpensive and is easy to do yourself.

Windshield treatment

A clear windscreen for unhindered visibility is crucial. When it starts to rain, dirt gets smeared on the windshield and can obscure your vision. A windshield repellent doesn’t allow water droplets to stay on for long and also protects the glass from flying debris.

Visibility

Having a fresh set of wiper blades is crucial as visibility is significantly improved. The rubber blades on a
car’s wipers could wear out as they aren’t used throughout the year and hence, replacing worn-out wiper-blades becomes important.

Leaks

Windshield leaks are common during monsoons, and are commonly seen on replaced windshields. Check the borders carefully for broken rubber seals.

A faulty sunroof leak is often due to the drain lines clogging or a punctured drain pipe. Aftermarket accessories like roof racks also tend to rust around the mounting holes and can be cause of seepage in the cabin.

Body damage

If your car has minor scratches or the paint is flaking or peeling off, do get it repaired at the earliest.

Must-haves

Do keep a monsoon kit in your car for emergencies. A basic one should have a torch, extra fuses, headlamp and tail-lamp bulbs, a small tool kit, tyre inflator and an extra set of wiper blades.

Driving in the rains

Keep the tank full: Before you set off, check your fuel levels. Make sure to fill-up in advance and don’t let the tank go below half, as being stranded in traffic with the AC and lights on consumes more fuel than otherwise.

Drive at safe distance:

Keep a safe distance between cars as it takes longer to slow down a car on a wet road.

Use low beam: Always have your fog lights on or preferably switch on the low beam.

Beware of water-logged areas: Be careful while driving through water as you might not be able to judge the depth.

Check brakes regularly: Test your brakes after the car has been through water. Drive at a slow pace for a while and let the discs/drums clear away the water and debris collected.

Check visibility: Keep all mirrors and rain-splattered windows clear as these could make it hard for you to see pedestrians and two-wheelers around you.

Call for assistance: If your engine cuts off after driving through water, do not attempt to restart it. Call for assistance and have an expert examine it or you could destroy your motor.

A faulty sunroof leak is often due to the drain lines clogging or a punctured drain pipe


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