How to prepare your car for the rainy season

Thursday March 19 2020

 

By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, I recently bought my first car. I live in the suburbs with a mix of bad and good roads. As the rainy season starts, what technical aspects of my car should I pay particular attention to in order to avoid getting in trouble. Celia

Hello Celia, rainy weather poses two main challenges to motorists; safety and confidence. Rainy weather usually affects road infrastructure which can become slippery or difficult to drive on. Poor visibility is another problem caused by rainy weather.

There are car components or features whose working condition you need to give particular attention. Tyres, brakes, wind shields, lights and general car integrity. Car tyres are your only contact with the road when you drive.

Get a mechanic or tyre dealer to inspect them and confirm that their tread depth is good enough to avoid skidding by evacuating water when driving on tarmac or provide traction or grip on slippery terrain and during braking.

The car brakes should be checked by a mechanic to confirm that their pad width is within the recommended limit, the brake fluid system is pressurised and the car stopping distance is within safe limits (50 km/hr -14 metres dry surface or 20 metres wet surface and 100 km/hr - 56 metres on a dry surface or 80 metres on a dry surface).

The car wind shield should not have cracks or streaks to allow good visibility and avoid glare from lights of oncoming traffic.

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The car windscreen wipers should be operational and not worn out. Check that the wiper washer system works and has window cleaning fluid. The car head lights should be tested to confirm that their low and high beams work. All other lights such as fog, turn indicator and brake lights should be operational and familiar to you.

Have your car washed with a wash and wax to protect the paint and body from damage and corrosion. Ensure that your car battery condition will enable prompt starting on a cold morning.

A set of rubber floor mats is recommended to keep your foot from slipping while driving and protect the interior. Service your car engine with reputable engine oil and reputable parts. Fuel from reliable fuel stations to avoid getting stuck.

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