By Atul Aggarwal, Head – After Sales, Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd.
Driving in the rain can be fun, but also dangerous at times. While one must be sure to drive safely, especially on tricky terrains, the car needs to be cared for to avoid any hiccups along the way. In India, where water logging can be a issue in some cities, there are certain essentials that you need to follow to keep your vehicle out of harm’s way. Here’s how you can prepare your car for the monsoons and make driving in the rain a truly enjoyable experience.
Tyres are the only part of a vehicle that come in direct contact with the road. So, checking on them before going on the road in the monsoons is vital for avoiding any unpleasant incidents. Uneven and worn out tyres don’t give a proper grip on the thin layer of water that accumulates on the road after heavy rains. Keeping a check on tyre pressure also impacts the grip. Contrary to popular belief of deflated tyres, they need to be inflated to the optimum pressure, which helps them push out enough water and give the best grip.
A dangerous practice prevalent in our country is that of changing single or two tyres. This not only affects the quality of drive but may accelerate wear and tear. Also, always use tyres as per specifications provided in the user manual. Align them regularly to extend their durability and avoid any untoward incident. All tyre brands have tread indicators that help check their wear and tear. It is advisable to inspect and replace old tyres before the monsoons.
Treat the interiors before it pours
Not many people do it, but it is important to disinfect the air conditioning system to avoid growth of bacteria, thereby keeping the interiors free from foul smell. The AC should run at ideal settings (as per instructions) to avoid frosting. Check with your authorised brand executive to know the correct settings. Electricals should also be inspected thoroughly to avoid contact with water. Try and keep a portable vacuum cleaner handy to dry the dampness in the seat covers to avoid foul odour in the car. No matter how much one tries to avoid it, there can be times when rainwater may enter the car. Small hacks can save one from long term damage to the interior. One option is to use fabric mats instead of rubber mats.
Wipers for visibility
Windscreen wipers are possibly the most neglected part of a car and this despite them being right there in front of our eyes all the time. Most car owners use the same wiper blades much beyond their usability. However, in monsoons, this can hamper visibility. One should get them replaced at the right time, ideally before the rainy season begins.
There are two kinds of people. Those who enjoy driving in rains and those who wait for rains to stop. It does not matter which group you belong to; you will find yourself driving in the rain anyway. Some simple hacks can be applied to avoid inconvenience. Use map apps to check heavy traffic zones after rains in the city. Consult friends before going to a new area or whether there are any chances of it getting flooded easily. Parking in a well-ventilated area is a good option. If in case you are carpooling, then there could be high chances of your car seats falling prey to careless passengers. It therefore makes sense to use old seat covers and mats during rainy days. Finally, apply branded rain repellent on the wind screen to avoid zero visibility while driving in torrential Indian rains.
If your car is stuck in water: Do Not Panic!
When the car gets stuck in water, a common reaction is to crank it. This, however, is the worst thing to do. Instead, begin by switching off the engine. If you feel that the damage is not much, then wait; or else, without wasting any time, call the 24×7 road-side assistance. Keeping emergency contacts handy is vital. In any case several automakers, today have their own apps like the Nissan Connect, which comes with features to book emergency services.
After care maintenance
After you have had fun driving around in the rain, it’s time for some after care maintenance for the vehicle. Wash your car thoroughly to clean all the mud and dirt. Make sure you vent the car by opening all the windows to prevent any damp odor from building inside and remove the floor mats to put them out to dry.
These are just a few essential car maintenance and driving tips to help you drive better during monsoons and take good care of your car. Enjoying responsibly, risking neither the vehicle nor your life should be the mantra for this season. Have fun and drive safe!