Making It Through the Rain: Car Care & Driving Tips for the Rainy Season

The monsoon season is well and truly upon us. More often than not, we will encounter a rain shower and damp roads while driving these few weeks.

During this period, car maintenance and driver safety become much more important. You need to be a bit more diligent in maintaining your car, as well as paying more attention on the road in order to reach your destination safely.

Here are some simple tips you can follow to make it through the monsoon season unscathed.

Caring for Your Car During the Monsoon Season

Do a Rain Check Through Navigation Apps and Social Media for Flood-Affected Areas

With technology so easily accessible at our fingertips, information can be sent and received much faster than before. Waze for example is a navigational app that allows user-generated input to give live feedback on roadblocks, traffic congestion, rain, and floods. Proper planning for your trips ahead will save you lots of trouble, especially this upcoming monsoon season. 

Social media these days such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can also give us user-generated information on what’s going on on-site. In addition, MetMalaysia actively publishes live information regarding weather conditions and potential floods. Information and knowledge are key to keeping you safe this monsoon season. 

Keep a First Aid Kit in Your Car 

Assuming the worst, if you do find yourself or someone else in an accident from rainy, slippery roads, a first aid kid will come in handy. While that may seem like extra work, a well-stocked first-aid kit in your vehicle can determine life or death should you get into an accident. A standard, fifteen-item first-aid kit should cost you no more than RM50 at your local pharmacy. Conversely, there are pricier and higher-end options available with more goodies. 

A few key items to consider when stocking up on one is a tourniquet for heavy bleeding, a bottle of iodine solution to stop infections, bandages, cotton balls, and antiseptic wipes ready to use. In the case of a crash or accident during this monsoon season, you’ll be grateful for stocking up prior to this monsoon season. 

Read More: Keep Yourself Safe With These Items From Car Accessory Stores

Park In a Covered Area

Water is your car’s worst enemy. It corrodes metal, attacks seals, and may lead to leaks. Parking your car outdoors leaves it exposed to the rain, leading to much-accelerated wear and tear.

Thus, if possible, always park your car in a covered parking lot. Whether it is underneath your house’s porch or in a basement parking lot, make sure your car stays dry and out of the rain.

Maintain Your Tires

Your tires make the difference between safely negotiating a corner and an accident. This is doubly more so in the rain.

In the wet, the grooves on your tires displace the water between the road and the rubber, ensuring grip. If the tires are worn, the grip is reduced significantly. Hence, you need to check for tread wear and ensure your tires are inflated correctly to your car manufacturer’s specifications.

Read more: What you need to know about car tires

Check Your Windshield Wipers

Without your windshield wipers, you will be driving blind in a rainstorm. Thus, it is crucial they work as intended. They should clean evenly without any squeaking noises. Replace them if they do not.

While doing that, you can also take this opportunity to ensure your windows are clean. Having maximum visibility is vital when driving in the rain, and clean windows are key to this.

Clean and Wax Your Car

Maintaining a clean car not only looks nice but also prolongs the life of the paintwork. Your car’s paint is not just decorative – it also serves as protection for the metal underneath.

Unfortunately, wet weather this monsoon season can wreak havoc on paint. To prevent that, you can apply a layer of protective wax to your car. Wax acts as a water repellent, where mud and rainwater can easily roll off. This not only helps prevent corrosion but will also help your car preserve its like-new shine.

Check Your Battery

Driving in the rain can cause more battery drain due to excess, but minimal energy flowing out from the water. Prolonged periods of exposure to deep waters can consume your battery reserves. Humid weather can also cause corrosion to the battery terminals and drain them overnight.

Pay attention to signs like dimming lights, difficulty in starting the car, etc. as they indicate a stressed battery. You also need to be aware of increased electrical issues during the rainy season as water can corrode wiring easily.

Driving Safely in the Rain

Turn Your Lights On

Turning your lights on during a downpour is not just for you, it’s also for other drivers to see you. A good rule is that when your windshield wipers are on, turn your lights on as well.

Note that you should not turn on your hazard lights. Hazard lights are only for when your car is stationary. Turning on hazards during the rain will only confuse other drivers, and rain driving is not a good time to be confused.

Slow Down

Driving slowly but steadily in the rain is key to getting home safely. Reducing your speed gives you time to react to anything happening around you while being mindful of other drivers. Braking distances also increase in the wet, so cutting your speed is vital to stop in time.

Stay Calm

No matter how heavy the rain gets, you need to stay calm and steady. Anxiety can lead to erratic driving and jerky movements, which may lead to your car spinning out of control. Stopping by the side of the road is an even bigger no-no, as reduced visibility and reduced grip will vastly increase the chance of crashing into a stationary vehicle.

Concentrate Fully on Driving

Even during normal conditions, you should be focusing on the road fully. When it rains, you need to dial that concentration up to 110%. Leave plenty of space between you and other drivers, and always expect the worst.

Take Note of Hydroplaning

What is Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning or Aquaplaning refers to your car tires being unable to grip the road properly when driving through a puddle. Picture a car going through a flooded road. A normal, functioning vehicle is still able to control its turns while in the water while a hydro-locked one will have difficulties doing so. This is caused by various factors, notably tire tread depth, puddle/pothole depth, and vehicle speed. 

While potholes and puddles are out of our control. We can make good practice by ensuring our tires stay in tip-top condition. Cars with worn-out tires suffer from hydroplaning more than brand-new tires. See the grooves inside your brand-new tire? They are not only responsible for keeping your car gripped onto the road, but also act as a drainage system to pump water away from the tire’s contact patch (where the rubber and tarmac meet each other). Do check your tires from time to time, especially this upcoming monsoon season. 

What to Do if Your Car Starts Hydroplaning?

Like driving through floods, slowing down is your best trick in this scenario. Driving too fast can make your vehicle lose control easier, especially when you have worn-out tires. Keep your hand tight and firm on the wheel and accelerate slowly till you’re in the clear. 

Get a Rain-capable Car with CARSOME

When you buy a car with CARSOME, you can expect the car to handle the rain as well as any other car. Our CARSOME Certified cars are carefully curated and thoroughly inspected with our stringent 175-point inspection to ensure the car is free from major accidents, as well as frame damage, fire damage, or crucially flood damage in this rainy season – CARSOME Certified cars are truly like one in a hundred.

Furthermore, every CARSOME Certified car includes:

  • A full, professional reconditioning both inside and out.
  • Fixed prices without any hidden fees, including road tax, PUSPAKOM inspection fee, ownership transfer fee, and loan application fee.
  • A five-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
  • A one-year warranty to ensure further peace of mind.

Drive with peace of mind this rainy season by visiting CARSOME.my or download CARSOME’s app here to start choosing your dream ride now.