The rainy season is now upon us, and actually, it’s a welcome respite from the ultra hot summer we had. The weather is now cooler and perfect for long trips, but this doesn’t mean less care for your car. So, in keeping up with the wet weather, StreettalkPH gives you pointers on how to take care of your vehicle and keep them in tip-top condition. Believe it or not, it takes a little bit more precautions than we usually think.
As all manufacturers state, tires must be rotated every 5,000km. (Simultaneously, with every oil change) This prolongs the tread life of tires as this spreads the wear between 4 tires instead of two. The front tires usually wear out first, as these are the tires that feel the brunt of braking, steering, cornering and weight of the vehicle. This is more evident with Front-wheel drive vehicles, where the front tires also drive the vehicle. The thicker tread pair should be in the front.
WIPERS. Replace wipers once a year. This is to ensure proper wiping of water from the windshield. New rubber prevents leftover streaks and also minimizes wiping noise. This is also to prevent scratch marks on the windshield. Invest in a pair of Wiper stand (a 1.5in tall stand that raises the blades a centimeter from the glass; this prevents the rubber blades from being baked from the heat of the sun and also eliminating debris accumulating on the blades.
WINDSHIELD/DOOR GLASS Make it a point to clean all glass surfaces, from windshield to windows and even side mirrors. As much as possible, do not let rainwater dry overnight as this may leave water stains on the surface. If you cannot clean it yourself, Gasoline Stations offer free windshield cleaning. I recommend applying water repellant solutions, such as Rain-X, to deter water accumulation on the surface. This makes the liquid completely roll down the glass.Also, make sure that your washer fluid reservoir is filled with proper windshield washer fluid. Do not use shampoo/soap with water as this may result in clogged hoses and hardened wiper blades.
UNDERCHASSIS. Have the under side cleaned by reputable gas stations. This is to remove dried mud and sand that accumulated during usage. Using car lifts is the best way to reach the underside of vehicles. Inner fenders, suspension components and underside are where the mud is. This is also a way to prevent corrosion, aside from good rustproofing. Check also for damaged/loose inner fenders.
BODY (EXTERIOR). Have the body waxed once a month during the rainy season. Do not buff as this thins out the paint job; apply a light layer of ordinary wax, and wax off by hand. This minimizes mud and sand from clinging to the sides and hood of the vehicle that may cause scratches on the paint job. Clean the lower fenders with cloth and WD40 or Kerosene to remove dry asphalt and grime without brushing or sanding.
RUBBER MATS: Invest in new rubber mats. Pick those that have grooves and ledges to prevent water from seeping down to the carpet, Wet carpets results in foul smell, and causes water condensation on windows when parked overnight.
HEADLIGHTS/TAIL LIGHTS: Clean the headlights and tail lights as often as possible. You want maximum illumination, especially during heavy downpour. Replace all defective bulbs and cracked lens.
WEATHER STRIPS/RUBBER SEALS: Replacing worn out rubber seals can prevent water from seeping into the door and carpet, minimizes exterior noise and seals in the AC temperature. For newer vehicles, clean the dirt and grime from the rubber seals with soap and water, and more importantly, dry-off the door tabs that hold the seals in place.
Install mudguards. Most vehicles have pre-drilled bolt holes for mudguard installation. For those who do not want permanently installed mudguards, use large paper clips to mount them instead.
AND one final tip:
PLEASE! For the love of God! Do NOT turn on your hazards lights when travelling in heavy downpour. If you want additional visibility, turn on your lights, and use signal lights appropriately. When you feel visibilty is low, stop your car at the roadside and then turn your Hazard Lights. This in turn will tell motorists that there is a parked (or stalled) vehicle on the side of the road.
Let’s be careful out there in the rain!