This article is a basic handbook, not just for maintaining the car but it is a guide to as how to take care of your car at the most vulnerable seasons in the year, the rainy season where there is an active chance of damaging your vehicle which can lead to other costs.
The article highlights some amazing pro-tips and nitty-gritty’s of the monsoon car maintenance plan not only the maintenance plan but also the plans as to how to get rid of the wetness and mildew in the car and how to keep the car corrosion-free during the torrential rains.
This article also answers some basic FAQs that many people have relating to the car and rain, it also observes some basic blind spots that we leave unknowingly which can cause big expenses to the owner.
So this handy-book is the one-stop-solution for your rainy day’s problems.
Handy Car Maintenance Tips that you should be aware of
Monsoon is here in Pakistan, rains start from mid to end of June and stay till Mid of August and sometimes now even it rains hard in October and November as there is a climate change all over the world and sadly in Pakistan even though it rains every year.
here, sometimes the rain is torrential and causes so much damage to the vehicles and properties in the due course of time there has been no significant update in the infrastructure, the roads are flooded and there is always an active chance of urban flooding in the city.
Keeping in view the situation of the city and by large the country, we need to understand that the assets need to be protected at our own will and efforts. So we here at smartchoice.pk have compiled multiple lists of tips, tricks and methods to take care of your important asset.
As we all know that buying a car is an expensive affair but if you don’t ensure that your car is insured maintaining the car can prove to be even more expensive. Before you are done paying for the instalments on your car loan (if car bought from any lending agencies), you may find yourself shelling out a lot of cash for repairs if your car is not well maintained.
Car maintenance not only improves a car performance but also supports an individual to save money on repairs and enables you to obtain a good deal when you decide to sell off your car for another one. Yes, it is extremely important to preserve your car, and you shouldn’t ignore sending it to the maintenance and service facility as per the schedule provided by your car merchant.
Mentioned below are few important car maintenance tips to keep your car up and running smoothly during all seasons and weathers.
Check your car fluids regularly
It takes only about ten minutes to examine the car fluids and should be done at least one time a week. All you have to do is open your car engine when it is not hot or you have not just parked it and then detach the oil dipstick. The dipstick should be thoroughly washed before you put it into the engine. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and check the amount of oil sticking to it.
This is an indicator that helps you gauge when the engine oil needs to be changed. If you have a power steering you must also check the power steering fluid levels along with belts and hoses for signs of wear and tear of the steering. The transmission fluid can also be checked similarly, but you need to warm up your car for doing it. Checking for car fluids is one of the most basic car maintenance tips.
Inspect your car tyres regularly
Another part of the car that requires regular check-ups is your car’s tires. You need to check the pressure regularly, it shouldn’t be more than the average required nor less than of what is required and this can be done with the help of a simple gauge. You must ensure, however, the pressure for all tyres is correct and up to the requirement at all time. To reduce the wear and tear of tires, and to ensure that you don’t have to replace tires often you should conduct this check at least twice a month.
Inspect the air filter
Faulty air filters result in a lot of wear and tear which is why it is essential to change the air filters once a year or after every 15,000 kilometres completed, whichever comes first. If you ignore this car maintenance tip, you could face problems with the air conditioning of your car and end up inhaling unhealthy air. It is better to take the car to the vehicle showroom to get the filters changed instead of doing it on yourself.
Check the car’s batteries
You would not like a scenario when your car batteries will run out when you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, or a situation when you are driving in the late night and you have no help nearby or anything available at that hour.
It is therefore indispensable to pay attention to the low battery sign and get your batteries checked regularly. Another must is to check for inert build up or leakage around the batteries and clean it at regular intervals with the help of a battery cleaning brush, buy a battery cleaning brush and place it in your car only.
Inspect the brakes
Inspecting breaks are among the many easy yet one of the most essential car maintenance tips that can help increase your cars long life, while also ensuring that your car is safe while it is being used by you. It is very simple to get the brakes of your car checked as well as replaced if need be.
All that is required is to check your brake liquids and if it is even a little bit dark, you may need to change it. The blackness or the darkness of the oil indicates that it is filled with rubber and it is time to change the brake fluid as soon as possible. To increase the sturdiness of the brakes, they should be religiously replaced every two years and the rubber brake lines should also be changed for cars seven years and above, to attain a smooth driving experience.
Replace the spark plugs
Damaged and impaired spark plugs can affect the working of your car’s engine and its efficiency and proficiency. If you pay no attention to checking and replacing these plugs on time, they may wear out easily. Spark plugs usually last for up to 45,000 kilometres.
The owner’s manual when you purchase the vehicle comes with car maintenance tips and can give you an accurate idea as to when you should ideally change the spark plugs.
One thing that always needs attention first and foremost is as much as your vehicles spare parts require attention, your four-wheeler could face huge damage and loss owing to natural calamity or an accident.
All car owners know that it is difficult to maintain vehicles in the rainy season. Rains have a very bad effect on the vehicle body in contrast to intense sunlight. Though many people are aware of the safety rules for car driving in the monsoon weather.
So once you are taking the regular care of your car, your car is good to go, but in the south Asian region we face Monsoon starting from June to August are the months in which there is an additional risk to the car considering the flooded roads, compromised infrastructure and other issues. So few important things need to be kept in mind during these months, to avoid the extra hassle that may arise due to weather conditions and at the same time may lead to added expenses.
This includes driving the car at slow speed, turning on lights even during the day, and driving at a safe distance from the next vehicle on the road. But many people don’t know the essential tips for taking care of automobiles in the monsoon weather. It is important to protect your vehicle in rainy conditions to avoid premature ageing and unexpected damage, which shall lead to a huge financial dent in your pocket.
Here we’ve accumulated a list of effective tips for keeping automobiles in a good shape during the monsoon season.
Clear your vehicle windows, headlights and windshields
When driving a vehicle in rainy conditions it is important to ensure clear visibility. So, make certain to keep your vehicles windshields, headlights, tail lights, blinkers and windows clean. It is also crucial for the safety of drivers and passengers in the vehicle to keep them clear at all times.
Make sure your tyres have good tread
It is important to have tyres in perfect conditions if you want to enjoy safe rides on the road. Make sure that your wheels have good stride. If the tyres have shallow depths, it won’t be safe to drive it in the monsoon rainy conditions. Also, make sure to maintain just the right tyre pressure. If your tyres have low pressure, it won’t be able to squash the water out of your way while in motion.
Make sure to replace the windshield wipers
The idea of driving a car without a windshield wiper is a terrible decision during monsoon rains. Change them if you notice that they are dry, cracked or brittle rubber blades of the wipers, it will not give clear visibility in heavy rainfall. So be very particular if you live in a region which receives frequent rains, it is best to change the auto wipers once a year without fail.
Be sure of your car’s battery life
If you live in an area which receives rainfall now and then, it is bound to decrease the life of your car battery. Normally, it will decrease the life it to 1 to 2 years. So make sure that you take good care of your vehicle battery. If necessary, replace it with the new battery because batteries tend to get impaired under wet conditions.
Make sure that your vehicle brakes are working well
Roads become slippery and unmanageable during the rainfall. You need to be very careful while driving on the roads in that case scenario it is always important to have good working brakes in an automobile. Because no matter the way you drive but if you have very wet brakes it will create problems in bringing the vehicle to a halt effectively. It’s because the stones and grease can decrease the brake effectiveness when they splash on the car’s undercarriage. Thus, ensure that your vehicle’s brakes have sufficient friction material.
Wash and wax your vehicle properly
During the monsoon weather. While there are constant torrential rains it is very difficult to remove dirt marks and water spots from your automobile body. However, a good car wash and wax will aid in removing the gathered dirt easily from the car surface. It will also increase driving visibility. You can also use water-repellent products to clean the windows and windshield.
Always keep an emergency car kit
Normally, if you live in Karachi or any area of Sindh during monsoon it recommended staying indoors. However, sometimes you may need to leave the home during the monsoon weather. In such situations, it is the best way forward or to prepare yourself for any known unknown risk is to have an emergency car kit in the automobile.
Look for water leaks
The rubber seals are important as they prevent the water from getting into your vehicle. So, always check all the rubber seals of your vehicle. It is also a great way to prevent car corrosion. Before the rain starts look out for drain holes in the trunk and hood of your car and check and make sure that they are not clogged.
Use your car’s air conditioning system
It’s like a top rule in every driving book which every car owner knows that clear visibility is highly important while driving an automobile. Therefore, when it rains use your car’s air conditioning to prevent your windows and windshield from misting and condensation which might lead to impaired visibility.
Be cautious and drive slowly during the Rain
Being a good and seasoned driver even if are already following all of the aforementioned tips, make sure to drive slowly and very carefully during the monsoon season. This way you can avoid aquaplaning. Always remember don’t hit your brakes suddenly and also double your driving distance during wet conditions. This will help you prevent the vehicle from skidding. Try driving the vehicle in the middle lanes as the water most stagnant and stays on the sides of the roads.
Another a concerned individual for his car is about how to ensure that the rain doesn’t harm the body of the body and not only the vehicle body, the water doesn’t touch the engine area of the car as well. Few things which can be undertaken as during the monsoon season there is lots of rainy weather. Water can wreak havoc on your car if it gets in the wrong places, impacting your vehicle’s running condition and jeopardize its smooth running. You can’t prevent your car from getting wet with rain, but you can take clear and concise steps to waterproof your vehicle as much as possible. We have assembled some tips and tricks you can use to waterproof your car, ultimately helping it last longer.
Continue reading to check out how to waterproof your car.
Protect Your Exterior Paint
It may sound weird, but rain doesn’t exactly get along with your car’s exterior paint. Even though initially the exterior paint is protected against water and pollutants with a coat of clear paint, it usually erodes over time. To make the paint long-lasting, it’s important to treat it. After the car is exposed in rain, give your car awash with clean water and then wax it.
Wax is a great way to maintain the veracity of your paint job intact. You can also add a paint protection film to your car, which can be installed when your car is completely new. This will provide the definitive protection to your car original factory paint, and will it to protect it from scratches as well. Plus, it can be easily removed if and when needed.
Make Sure Your Car is Properly Sealed
That little rubber strip placed between your car and the outside helps maintain the elements out. That don’t belong inside the car. Make sure these strips aren’t spoiled. Another way to waterproof your vehicle is to apply a sealant. Your car’s exterior can quickly worsen if you take very long breaks between washes because rain and salt together can corrode the car surface and its body. The best way to prevent the damage and corrosion is to apply a sealant every car wash. This can be anything from wax or car polish.
Because of the artificial materials in sealants, it can protect your car from water damage. It is evenly rubbed onto the clean paint, then rubbed with a microfiber cloth. This protective coat can last up to six months, making it a great and intelligent way to protect your car.
Keep Your Car Sheltered When Possible
Garages and carports are made to protect your car from the elements that can harm the car. If possible, make sure you shelter your car whenever you can, since water can seep in between your bodywork and other components. Water can easily make its way into areas and small nooks and corners where it takes longer to evaporate, which in turn accelerates the rate of corrosion of the vehicle body. By keeping your car sheltered, you can minimize the rate in which corrosion happens.
If you don’t have a garage facility, think of a portable garage to shelter your car. They are sometimes more effective in sheltering cars because they also allow for airflow under the cover. This means that your car dries out quicker, minimizing corrosion. Another option is using a protective cover for the car when your car is parked outside. These waterproof covers protect your car when they are parked outside, especially for a long period. They can provide on-the-go protection when you need it the most.
You wouldn’t think this next point is important, but it is. Keep reading to find out why is it so.
Clean the Underside of Your Vehicle
Regular washing underneath your car is as important as the exterior. This practice will protect your car from corrosion caused by water. Water can be specifically damaging to your undercarriage, so regular checking the underneath is an important part of waterproofing your car especially when the rain spell is over.
Try to go to your local car wash facility at least once a month or do it yourself if you want to save. Just make sure you get in all the spots where water may corrode your vehicle. Make sure to wash inside the wheels as well, as it will help blast away salt and mineral deposits before they cause rust and corrosion.
Use a Rain Repellent
A what? Yes, many products help keep rainwater off your windshield and do not let water stay there or removes it quickly without obstructing your vision. These products can also help your defroster by minimizing condensation and helping your wiper do its job properly. Rain repellent is available from multiple companies and is available in liquid form and can be a lifesaver during the rainy season. Be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations mentioned on the box, before using it and make sure the rain repellent is of high quality.
Few things to keep in mind when using rain repellent
• Although it is easy to apply, you should always know how to apply it properly. Before using, make sure your windshield is clean. Use an ammonia-based glass cleaner to make sure it’s spotless.
• Make sure the cleaner is wiper away and evaporated before applying the repellent. Use a microfiber cloth to help with this.
• Apply as directed. Instructions usually ask to use circular motions or vertical and/or horizontal movements to have even coverage.
• Allow drying according to manufacturer recommendations.
• Buff with a microfiber towel.
• After letting sit for several hours, rinse your windshield with water and dry with a microfiber towel.
After using the tips to avoid corrosion to car body another important thing that needs to be ensured is to when the car gets wet during the monsoon conditions is to dry it properly and with proper care as driving through high flood waters or leaving a car door open while it rains can cause the interior of your car to get wet, especially the carpet and floors.
To keep mould and mildew from growing on and underneath it, lift the carpet, use towels and a shop vacuum to remove the excess water, and run some fans in your car to help evaporate all the moisture out. Afterwards, you may need to use some moisture reducing products to get any remaining water out of your car.
Getting Rid of Excess Moisture
Bring your car into a garage or covered area to let it dry. Leave your car windows or doors open in a walled space to help moisture evaporate. If the weather’s cleared up and there’s enough sunshine, you can also dry your car out in the sun.
Pro-Tip: Be sure you’re drying your car in a secure location so no one can steal anything (or the car itself) while you leave it open to dry.
Alternatively, if you can’t dry your car somewhere safe, keeping the windows and doors shut while running the Air Conditioner will help to suck moisture out of the car.
Dry Car Carpet Step
Soak up pooling water with a microfiber towel. Microfiber is a synthetic material that certain towels are made of that absorbs larger amounts of water than natural fibre towels. Use one of those, pat down the area where the water is, firmly press down your hand to soak it up as much as liquid possible. Unfold and refold it to use the other side of the towel, and ring it out when it’s completely soaked before continuing to pat dry.
If there is a need to move your car and your seat has gotten wet, place towels on it to avoid getting yourself wet when you’re sitting down.
Vacuuming the car
Vacuum in your car with a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck up additional moisture. Use a special type of vacuum which can be used to clean up liquid spills. Turn the dial on it to “wet” before you begin to suck anything up. Reprobate the vacuum’s hose over the seat, carpet, and any surfaces that have gotten wet. Pay special attention to dry out the electronics and buttons around the interior of the car, especially the ones on the door such as the window control buttons, or the car door speaker.
Evaporating the Rest of the Moisture
Put a fan in your car to generate airflow and evaporate moisture. Place a window unit or standup model fan in the car either in the open car door or right beside it. Allow it to run continuously for at least 2 days without any pause, or until the water in your carpet has evaporated. Check it frequently to see the progress of it drying, and move the fan around to have it hit other damp spots after one area has dried considerably.
A dehumidifier will also work well in the place of a fan to dry the moisture of the interior, or speed up the process if used in conjunction with one.
Lift the carpet from its sill by the door to help dry the foam underneath. When car carpet gets wet, the water seeps down underneath it to the foam backing, which can grow mildew on it if it stays wet. Use a tool such as a screwdriver to create force under the sill to prop it up. Use something firm, like a brick or wooden plank to hold it open and create an air pocket. Absorb the excess water underneath the carpet through the towel, and then run a fan or dehumidifier next to it to remove all the remaining moisture. It can take multiple days of running the fan under the carpet to completely dry out the foam.
There may be a plate along the bottom edge of the car door you have to try off before you can get to the actual carpet sill. You may need to remove the seats to lift the sill of the carpet to dry the foam.
Hang Damp Rid bags
Hang the damp rid bags inside your car to remove any remaining moisture. These bags suck up the moisture in the areas they’re placed, so hang down some from the handles above the car doors, your rearview mirror, or the headrest of the seats. If you can’t find Damp Rid bags, place some open boxes of baking soda around your car to achieve the same effect. Pour the baking soda in a separate container to prevent spilling it.
Hack-tip: You can also place socks filled with cat litter or uncooked rice on top of the carpet to help suck up some moisture.
Deodorizing and Preventing Mildew Growth
One of the tested and tried method to do away with the smell is usage of vinegar and water solution to clean mildew out of your carpet. Spray the solution and let it rest for 20 minutes. Once it’s done soaking, brush it and then dry it up with a towel. Repeat the processing time and again until the mildew smell begins to lessen in your car.
Another mixture which can be used is regular dishwashing liquid soap instead of vinegar, or even a tea tree oil and water mixture. Use 10-20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle with water for a solution. Do a patch test on your carpet before cleaning with it to make sure it won’t stain.
One thing more which can be done is to sprinkle some borax powder on any remaining mildew spots in the car carpet. Lay down the borax directly on a mildew stain and let it be for around 10 minutes. Vacuum up the borax, and repeat laying down more if the stain remains. Borax is a safe solution to use on any external of your car. Just make sure you vacuum up any you sprinkle around to clean at the time of cleaning.
Ensure it is all is dried…
Make sure everything is dry before putting the sill down or the seats back to its place. Check every surface in the car that was damp to make sure it’s adequately dry before you begin reassembling your car. The foam backing under the carpet needs to be 100% dry, or mildew can still easily grow there, which cannot only create unpleasant smell but also damage the whole seat. If you’re still smelling decay and fungus, check to see if there isn’t a damp spot you missed.
Some of the FAQS asked by multiple individuals
Is it OK to leave the car in the rain?
Not true. Rainwater can cause even more damage than it helps the car as the rainwater eventually evaporates, leaving a thin layer of contaminants that can damage your car’s finish and lustre. The longer you leave the impurities and contamination on your vehicle’s finish, the more damage it will inflict on your cars paint finish.
Why does my car carpet get wet when it rains?
It’s usually caused by an HVAC system component in the dashboard that leaks into onto the floor on the passenger’s side. As it works to keep your car cool, the air conditioning system creates a lot of condensation. This condensation normally drips down the evaporator drain hose and onto the ground harmlessly as you drive.
What happens if your car engine gets wet?
When the engine gets wet, the air enters the engine through the air intake, and aside from an air filter to catch dust, dirt, and light moisture, air goes straight into the engine’s cylinders (in a non-turbocharged engine). … So when water enters the engine and the compression stroke comes along the water simply has no place to go. Hence causing damage to the engine and halting the movement of the vehicle.
Sometimes being human we overlook the importance and need for car maintenance if you know that such human error is possible, one important step that you can take is to be responsible enough to get your car insured, rather than just contemplating about getting the car insured, the best thing would be to buy the insurance and very smartly shift the risk to the insurance providers. At the same time, insurance covers your risk of all the things that can go wrong during a natural calamity or such monsoon torrential rains, so as we say at Smartchoice “Insurance Karao, Tension Bhagao”
Create your financial cushion against your car-related expenses and drive freely with your peace of mind.