Monsoon season is upon India and while it provides another reason to enjoy a drive, be sure your car is properly taken care of before it negotiates rain and wet road conditions.
Monsoon has advanced at a swift pace across India and this year has seen its fastest journey here since 2013. Timely and adequate rainfall augers well for the rural sector and is a boon for the economy which is currently under stress due to factors emerging from Covid-19. And while the pandemic itself may have forced people indoors, the need to keep vehicles parked outside in perfect condition for the monsoon is as important now as ever.
Vehicles require some degree of attention to be ready for the rains, regardless of which part of the country they are at. With most cars only now hitting the roads with lockdown restrictions being eased, the need to check the vehicles to keep them functioning smoothly through the course of monsoon months is vital.
Here are some quick and easy tips to take care of your car through the rains:
The first is the most obvious but is also the most essential. After enduring the summer sun and dust, the rubber on wipers tend to erode and cause streaks on the windshields when deployed. In extreme cases, these streaks can greatly hamper visibility while also not serving the purpose of wiping off rainwater.
Wipers only cost only a few hundred rupees depending on the vehicle make and model and must be replaced even if only slightly damaged. Also refill the washer compartment, preferably with windshield water fluid.
Meet service deadlines
Another obvious but mandatory option is to get the vehicle to a workstation if a service is due. Many many choose to put off getting their car serviced to a later date because they want to avoid a visit to the workstation in Covid-19 times or because they feel the car has been parked during lockdown.
This could be a big error in judgement on their part as even stationary vehicles require checks, especially if the last service date was considerably back in time.
Power that battery
It is advisable to having the car battery checked, especially if it is more than two years old. After all, it is hardly romantic to be stuck in deep rainwater in a car that has no juice left.
This is also why a visit to the service center is important as the condition of the battery can be looked into, among other checks.
Light her up
Ensure that all lights - head lights, tail lights, DRLs, emergency lights and fog lights - are functioning and there is no crack in the outer casings.
In times of heavy rainfall, visibility can drop and all of these lights play a crucial role in ensuring not just your safety but safety of other motorists and pedestrians.
Take on the tyres
While old and weathered tyres must be replaced regardless of any season, the need for this before monsoon months is even more critical. Slippery conditions are known to make vehicles with old tyres lose traction which often causes accidents.
A thumb rule to check the condition of existing tyres is to check the treads. While at it, get the car looked at for any possible need for wheel balancing and wheel alignment as well.
Stop and mean it
Brakes are as critical to safety as any other component in a car and deserve a special look-in before monsoon months. A simple test to check the condition is to feel for any exceptional feedback from the brakes which could signal a fault. Also, if the brakes are sliding in more than normal while applying the usual pressure, this too could be a potential cause for concern and needs a check.
Apart from these measures, be sure to carry a spare tyre in the vehicle at all times. In case of tubeless tyres, it is also good to have an air-pressure filling machine in the car which can make use of power from the car's power socket. Check for any signs of rust or damaged paintwork and get these repaired. It is also advisable to keep air conditioning system in 'Fresh Air Intake' mode during rainy months while a de-fogging liquid can be applied to all windows.