Rainy season

How to take care of your car during the rainy season

Cars are susceptible to damage when exposed to moisture just like any machine. As such, the rainy season comes with an array of challenges for car owners. From leaking roofs to dim headlights, these challenges are not only inconveniencing but also dangerous. Driving in the rain with a faulty vehicle can lead to serious accidents or further damage to your car. Therefore, it’s necessary for car owners to ensure that their cars are ready for the rainy season to prevent damage and increase the car’s longevity. Here are some tips on how to take care of your car during the rainy season.

  1. Wax your car

Contrary to popular opinion, the rain isn’t a good way to wash your car. Rainwater is acidic which, when left on the car, eats away the exposed areas leading to peeling paint and rust.  is not a good look on your car. Washing with plain water can neutralize the acidity but to completely avoid any damage, waxing does the trick. Waxing protects your car from the natural elements by preventing the elements from hitting the car’s paint directly. It’s best to get your car waxed during the hot weather so that it holds well.

  1. Brake regularly on waterlogged roads

Faulty brakes are a huge liability on the road. During the rainy season, the brakes are usually affected the most since water seeps in, making it difficult to brake effectively. To dry the brakes, push the brakes a few times to generate heat. You should also ensure that the brake oil level is correct so they function properly. If the brakes are still not working properly, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic.

  1. Check your tyre tread depth

Your car’s tires are the only contact point with the road which makes it crucial to ensure they’re in pristine condition for the rainy season. Luckily, it’s easy to tell whether a car’s tyres are in good condition. By checking the tread depth, you can determine whether your tyres can channel water efficiently and maintain traction on the road. The legal minimum tread depth in Kenya is 1.6 mm but it’s recommended to change your tires when it reaches 3 mm. You also need to check the tire pressure to ensure they have enough air.

  1. Maintain good air circulation

It can be difficult to completely protect your car from leaks. However, you can ensure that the interior of your car stays dry and mold-free by maintaining good air circulation. You can either remove the damp items to dry and keep the doors, hood and boot open for a while or you can turn on the air conditioner and dehumidifier to remove moisture from the car’s interior.

  1. Maintain the windshield wipers

The windshield wipers don’t get a lot of use during other weather conditions. This could mean that they could have issues that you won’t be aware of until the rainy season. Faulty windshield wipers become brittle and can damage the windshield if they’re not replaced. Make sure that you inspect them regularly and replace them every year depending on how frequently you use them.

  1. Test your headlights and taillights 

Headlights and taillights are important components of the vehicle during the rainy season. They help you to see the road clearly and show other drivers your location in poor visibility conditions. Therefore, you need to check whether your headlights and taillights are working properly before driving in the rain. Turn on all the lights including the indicators and if you notice that they’re flickering or getting dimmer, they may need to be checked. You should also clean the lights regularly to maximize visibility.

  1. Check the car’s battery

Faulty batteries are some of the leading causes of stalled vehicles during the rainy season. Exposure to cold and water has adverse effects on your battery’s health. It can reduce its lifespan to 1-2 years due to corrosion. To avoid damaging your battery, look out for early signs of faults such as difficulty starting the car and dim lights. If you have been using the battery for a couple years, it’s time to replace it.

  1. Observe cars ahead of you

Driving in heavy rain is like driving with impaired vision. Apart from keeping a safe distance between you and other drivers, you also need to observe other drivers on the road. This will help you determine where the road is difficult to navigate and avoid getting in trouble. You should also avoid peak traffic hours as they increase your chances of getting into an accident.

  1. Drive slow

Most people’s natural instinct is to drive faster when it starts raining so they can reach their destination before the rain gets worse. However, this only puts you in more danger. Due to poor vision and slippery roads, driving at high speeds during the rainy season is a recipe for disaster. Slowing down ensures that you have better control of your vehicle in case you need to brake suddenly.

  1. Schedule an inspection

Getting a professional to inspect your car ensures that it receives the right attention and that any issues are fixed. Whether your vehicle is due for an inspection or not, it’s best to take it to a mechanic before the rainy season.