How to deal with Monsoon – A guide to vehicle care

vehicle_careMonsoon has set in. So has the menace of delayed starts and frequent breakdowns. So how do you tackle this nagging problem? Here are a few tips you can follow to keep these issues at a minimum.

  • Check your car’s condition – Check brakes, steering system, tyre pressures, tyre tread depth and defroster operation regularly to be ready to deal with a downpour.
  • Check your battery – Check it often, especially in monsoon and add distilled water if necessary. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.
  • Every car should have a good emergency kit – Breakdowns can be stressful. Taking a few steps in advance can save you time, emergency service costs and a headache. Have an emergency kit ready for different situations. The kit should meet your individual needs and be equipped with items ranging from spares, torch, fuses, tyre inflators, to safety kits and other items to attract or provide help.
  • Make sure that your wipers are in good condition and functioning properly – If the blades are brittle or damaged, replace them before the rains begin.
  • Drive carefully – Pay attention to your speedometer. High speed is an absolutely no no. Because at high speeds, the rains create a fine sheet of water between the tyre and the road surface, which causes loss of control.
  • Keep the headlights on – While driving in rain, switch the headlights on at a low beam. It will increase your visibility and allow other drivers to notice you from a distance.
  • Avoid excessive use of brakes – Brake smoothly. If you push the brake pedal to the limit, the car will probably slip. It is preferable to come to a lower speed before coming to a complete halt.
  • Drive cautiously and maintain a good distance from the vehicle ahead of you – Do not follow large buses or trucks too closely. The spray from their rear wheels will block vision. It also takes longer for a vehicle to stop on wet/ slippery surfaces.
  • Avoid deep pools of water – You never know what is under water. Besides if you drive into a pool at full speed there is a possibility of serious damage of the bumper or radiator. Moreover, a wave of water may hit the engine, causing the engine to stop.
  • Always be alert for stop signs and things blocking the road – Never drive through flooded and unfamiliar places, turn around and look for another route.
  • Drive slowly through water – Where water has flooded on the road, drive very slowly. Do not drive through moving water if you cannot see the ground through it. Stop the car before entering the flooded area and check the water level ahead. Generally, if the water is deeper than the bottom of your doors or the bottom third of your wheels, do not drive through it.
  • When stuck in mud or slush, shift 1st or 2nd gear and accelerate slowly – Don’t spin the wheels. The vehicle could get embedded deeper in the sludge.
  • Downshifting into lower gear rapidly while driving on slippery surfaces is dangerous -The sudden change in tyre speed could cause the tyres to skid. This could lead to loss of vehicle control and an accident. Ensure caution while downshifting on slippery surfaces.