Monsoon car care


The monsoons are almost upon us (in some places, the rain has already arrived) and the time has come to make sure your car is prepared for it. Listed here are five pointers that will go a long way in keeping your automobile in prime health even during the deluge.

Your car’s tyres are the only four points of contact your vehicle has with the road, so they’re crucial. With the rains, road surfaces become slippery and traction is the only thing that keeps you from skidding into a ditch. Check your tyres for adequate tread depth and for signs of abnormal wear, cracks and bulges. Replace the tyre if any one of these faults is observed.

Preventive maintenance
If it’s time to replace your car’s fluids, do it now. Lubricate all required points (especially crucial with older cars) liberally, because moisture has a nasty tendency to creep between metal components. Check the brake pads and liners for wear and replace them immediately if they are worn beyond their service tolerances; your brake oil needs to be changed if it’s been two years or 40,000 km, whichever is earlier.

Wipers, headlights, tail lights and indicators
Rain reduces visibility dramatically, and without a good set of wipers and properly functioning lights, you are inviting trouble. Replace your car’s wipers — last year’s wipers have in all likelihood hardened and cracked, even if they seem all right — and check the lights and battery health. All electrical connections should be protected adequately against moisture. Electrical insulation tape might be convenient, but it’s no match for water. Use proper connectors wherever needed and use heat shrunk covers wherever possible.

Moisture plays havoc with paint. Pollution increases the acidity of rain water and this increases the toll on a car’s body surface significantly. You can help stem this damage by treating your car to a sparkle, with a good quality wax polish. Besides improving the vehicle’s appearance, a good polish helps dispel moisture, hence reducing the corrosive effect of water.

Tool kit
You don’t need to bundle your mechanic into the boot every time you set off from your house. Carry some moisture-dispersing aerosol spray, a clean and dry rag, some spare headlight and tail light bulbs, a screw driver, a functional torch and an adjustable wrench. This is besides the usual jack, tommy and wheel spanner that should permanently reside in the boot of every car.