23 June, 2017
After so many months of scorching, unforgiving heat, the monsoons are a welcome respite, aren't they? And although long drives through freshly washed green landscapes can be an inviting thought, it's better to make sure that your car is shipshape. The monsoons bring with them the risk of slippery roads, potholes and rough road patches, so take a look at these essential monsoon car care tips.
Spin them wheels: Your tyres go through extra wear and tear during the summer heat. It's always a good idea to give them a thorough pre-monsoon check. Check for worn-out threads or buy a tyre thread depth gauge to check the tyres' tenacity. This helps to prevent aquaplaning or skidding of the tyres on slippery roads. Check the tyre pressure and wheel alignment to avoid dynamic imbalance. Most importantly, keep the jack, wheel wrench and spare tyre handy.
Take a brake: With snarling traffic jams that require frequent changing of gears and braking, it is essential to check that the brake pads, suspension, brake liners and brake calipers are in fine working condition. While you're at it, also check the brake fluid, battery and engine oil.
Avoid flooded roads. However, in case water enters the brake drums, press the brake pedal firmly and accelerate to dry the brake pads. Ensure all seatbelts are in good shape.
Lights will guide you home: Heavy rains bring down visibility significantly, so it's essential that headlamps, fog lamps and blinkers are working properly so that cars ahead of and behind you can gauge the distance.
Wipe your windshield dry: Windshield wipers are crucial to help you wade through blinding sheets of rain. Replace the wiper blades if they are not moving properly. Check that wiper washing liquid is topped up.
Kill that speed: Driving at top speed is never a good idea but it is more dangerous during the monsoons when visibility is low and potholes lurk under sheets of water. Leave early so that you can drive slowly. Pedestrians will thank you for not racing past and splashing their clothes! Maintain sufficient distance from the vehicle in front of you and provide clear indication to other motorists while changing lanes or navigating tricky turns.
Smooth, shiny bod: Your car's body requires extra TLC during the monsoons as rust and corrosion is a risk. Get your car treated with wax polish, anti-corrosion treatment or teflon-coating. Make sure to grease all door hinges. When possible, park in properly ventilated and dry areas to prevent corrosion due to moisture or humidity.
Inside Out: Make sure all electrical parts under the hood are functioning properly. Get a qualified technician to check the tailpipe and ensure that the chassis water drain holes are not obstructed. Check the AC and heater filters to ensure that air is flowing freely; this helps prevent fogging and damp odours. You might want to invest in a good car perfume dispenser.
Prepare for unforeseen eventualities: Keep a tool kit, first-aid kit, flashlight, rope and a mobile power bank at hand in the car. Biscuits, dry food and a bottle of water are also a good idea, especially during heavy traffic jams.
To register for this year's Monsoon Check-up Camp, click here.