Rain-proof your car
You might love the rains but it's not an easy time for your four-wheeler. Apart from the fact that driving in Mumbai's rains can get a tad tricky, there are a number of problems that stare at your beauty. To make your monsoon drive safe and fun, here's a handy guide to keep your car happy and healthy
>> Switch on the headlights and tail lights, even during the day when it is raining. This not just helps you to see better but it will also help others on the road see you. Do not drive faster than what the visibility allows as obstacles are harder to spot when its raining.
>> On wet roads, a car takes roughly twice as long to stop or reduce pace as compared to dry roads. So, drive slowly. Also, maintain twice as much distance between your car and the next car as it will give you enough time to stop safely.
>> If the car’s wipers stop working, check if the fuse to the wiper motor has burnt. Replace it, if it is burnt. If you cannot correct the problem or are unable to figure out what’s wrong head to a nearby cigarette shop and buy some cheap cigarettes. Remove the tobacco and smear it all over the windshield. The starch in the tobacco will cause the water to drip away. It will make it easier for you to see. But, this is temporary so get the wipers fixed soon.
>> Handle the controls gently including the steering wheel and the pedals. Sudden movements to the steering wheel can cause it to skid.
>> When you drive in the rains make sure the car’s tyres are in good condition. Get the brakes checked and make sure they are in good working condition. Get the mechanic to ensure the electricals, including the lights and wiper motor, are working properly. Also, make sure the gutters around the bonnet and boot are cleaned of all the accumulated leaves, dust etc.
>> Carry in your car some insulation tape, moisture dispelling spray like WD-40 for example, a screw driver, a torch, a first aid kit and a small hammer. The hammer can be used to smash the windshield in case there’s a flash flood and the car doors won’t open.
>> If you are driving through a water-logged area, make sure the water is not above half the height of the wheel of your car. Let another vehicle pass and gauge the height of the water. Proceed slowly in first gear. Rev up the engine at high revs to prevent the ingress of water into the tail pipe. If the car stops midway, do not try re-starting the car. Doing so might cause hydrostatic lock, which will wreck your car’s engine. Push it out and then get a competent mechanic to inspect the car thoroughly before driving the car again. As told by Srinivas Krishnan, editor, Business Standard Motoring