Car maintenance becomes a pain in the neck when it pours cats and dogs. From waterlogged streets to damp clothes, car has many seasonal foes. You can tide over most of these problems by paying attention to details.
Many auto makers organise pre-monsoon checkup camps for their customers’ cars. It is always a good idea to get your car checked at an authorised camp. Your car will be benefited by the well-trained staff and genuine spare parts. Leave your car at the care of unskilled mechanics and be sure to face a plethora of problems.
Watch that tyre
Always keep in mind that the tyres are the crucial links between your car and the road. That explains the need for a through check of the tyres before the monsoon sets in. Worn out tires will not ensure you the grip you need on wet roads. You can check the wear and tear on the tyre by looking at the indicators provided by almost all tire makers. It is a good idea to change old tyres before the rain.
Many of us tend to replace only one or two tyres at one go. This is a bad practice. It can lead to further wear and tear and affect the quality of driving. You have to use the tires as prescribed in the car’s user’s manual.
Make sure that the tyres are aligned properly to make them last longer. The right pressure inside the tires is essential to ensure the right grip.
Fight the moisture
No matter how hard you try, it is difficult to keep your car dry during monsoon. Small patches of dampness can lead to big problems. You could try small solutions like replacing rubber mats with fabric mats. Keep a portable vacuum cleaner handy to keep the interiors nice and clean. Otherwise you will be left with a stinking car.
It is equally important to disinfect the A/C system of the car. This will help you remove bacteria and do away with the stink. You have to stick to the same specification for the A/C as recommended by the car makers. If you are clueless about the right settings to use, consult a representative of the brand you use.
Subject the electrical parts to detailed checks to make sure that there are no problems related to the leak of water.
Wipe it off
The windshield is right in front of your eyes but you seldom pay attention to it. Most drivers keep on using the wiper blades way beyond their intended time. Such overuse diminishes visibility in the time of rain. Wiper blades have to be changed at the end of their life, especially before the rainy season.
In a rainy country such as India, it is a good idea to use a branded rain repellent. This has to be applied before you take the vehicle out of the garage.
There are people who enjoy a drive in the rain and those who wait for the downpour to end. No matter which category you belong to, be prepared for the rain. Wherever you go to during the monsoon, be aware of the conditions of that place. Also check the availability of places to park and their safety.
Worst case scenario
A driver’s worst nightmare is getting stuck in the rain. The only solution in such a situation seems to tow the car away. Not always. There are better ways out.
Switch off the engine immediately if you suspect that the water has seeped into the engine. If you do not think that there is something seriously wrong, wait for sometime before starting the engine.
If you think there is no point waiting, call up a 24/7 helpline for road service. Always keep the emergency numbers handy. Most of the car makers have offered mobile apps to help customers seek emergency services without hassles. Make good use of them.
(Information courtesy: Sanjeev Agarwal, vice president-after sales, Nissan Motor India)