Flash floods, zero visibility, cold starts, loose brakes, rusted parts. These are the bane that the rainy season brings to car owners and motorists.
Filipino drivers have no choice but to deal with these challenges because of the number and frequency of typhoons and monsoon rains for the large part of the year. Because vehicles are made of metal, they suffer the most during this wet, wild and rust-producing season.
Because of the many challenges that our vehicles face, it is imperative for vehicle owners to drive safely and efficiently during rainy weather. Michelin Tires, which are built with safety as their No. 1 consideration, offers some rainy tips for safety and maintaining vehicle integrity.
First things first, always inspect your vehicle. Walk around your car. Check for fluid leaks, busted lights and loose wires. Test your tire pressure and wheel alignment. Check your radiator. Do not just jump into the driver’s seat and drive away. Address any car problem before you leave your garage.
Keep the windshield clean. Wash your windows and remove the dust and smudges. Invest in a windshield water repellant so you’ll have clear vision even in heavy rain. Good vision is the first rule in safe driving. Remove paper, stuff and other distractions from your dashboard as well.
Pay attention to weather forecasts. If PAGASA says it will rain, don’t be a smart aleck. Just give them a benefit of a doubt. Check out alternative routes that will enable you to avoid flooded areas. Make sure your umbrella, car tools and flashlight are with you. If you can, postpone your trip until after it rains.
Don’t swerve. Roads are extra slippery during rainy days, and most drivers have less control over their vehicles because of the road condition. Swerving may be a risky or even deadly mistake that may cause you to lose control. Avoid swerving at all times, even when it’s not raining.
Protect your under belly. Floods, mud and splashes, if left alone, will cause rust to form in your car and hamper your car’s performance. Rust proof your car and make sure you do this regularly. Spray a rust-inhibiting chemical on the underside and other rust-prone areas. It may cost a little more, but you will prolong your vehicle’s life and keep it working like new. This will give you peace of mind in the long run.