The monsoonal rains in India are a much-needed break after months of unforgiving summer heat. And while we have the luxury of enjoying the pleasant weather and the peaceful lull of the rains from within the safety of our homes, our vehicles are not so fortunate.
Our two-wheeler and four-wheeler conveyances are significant investments, and we go to great lengths to maintain them and keep them running smooth. However, the potential damage caused by the wet weather is an important aspect of vehicle maintenance that is often overlooked.
Left to their own devices out in the open, our cars and bikes are exposed to the rainwater and the plethora of contaminants that reach your vehicles via mudwater.
Water is highly corrosive, breeds mould and mildew, and can seep into any small crevice, rusting your vehicle. If the seals on your trunk, doors, windows or mouldings are broken or loose, water will enter through some unidentified opening.
And while parking your vehicle in a covered and raised spot can prevent most of the damage caused by the rainy weather, not everybody has access to such parking spaces.
Therefore, for those looking for timely advice, we have detailed some ways to protect your vehicle from the monsoons and ensure its longevity.
A dry chain in a rainstorm will inevitably rust and hence snap, which is why it is vital to prevent the chain from drying out. Keep the chain well-lubricated to prevent rain from getting on the surface.
Moreover, a chain cleaner gets rid of all the grime and gunk that builds up on the chain after repeated use. The combined use of a chain cleaner and a lubricant increases your motorcycle chain’s lifespan to a large extent. There are numerous chain lubricants and cleaners available on the market.
The application of grease or petroleum jelly on the battery terminals can also go a long way, as they prevent them from getting too wet. Petroleum jelly can also be lightly applied to rubber oil seals on suspension. Chrome-plated parts prevent all corrosion, and you can apply petroleum jelly or grease to any areas of chrome plating that have chipped or lost some of their chrome coatings.
If you can’t find a covered spot to park your bike, you can always invest in a good bike cover.
When it comes to actually riding your two-wheelers, N. Katheresen, a bike mechanic from Tamil Nadu, has advised: “While riding your bike through water-logged roads, make sure to go slow as speeding will result in the rainwater splashing and entering your vehicle’s engine. This may lead to your vehicle not starting for a while. Going slow also reduces the chances of skidding and getting hurt.”
Furthermore, washing your bike regularly is essential to prevent mud from building up on your vehicle and damaging it. Yes, it will get dirty again when you ride it in the rain, but giving your vehicle a good wash, if not a very thorough one, will prevent mud from accumulating on it. Simply spritz water on the footpegs, rims, tyres and pretty much wherever else you notice muck.
Your car’s exterior paint doesn’t exactly get along with rain and will be degraded. So, to make the paint last longer, give your car a good wash and wax it. Wax is a fantastic tool for keeping the quality of your paint job intact.
Once you’ve made sure the outside of your car is protected from nature’s elements, you need to ensure the rainwater doesn’t seep inside your car. The tiny rubber strip that separates your vehicle from the exterior keeps the elements out. So, you must regularly check to see if those strips are damaged or intact. Applying a sealant is another approach to waterproof your vehicle.
Meanwhile, it is just as vital to keep the underside of your car clean. Rainwater could damage your car’s undercarriage and corrode it. Washing it at least once a month is recommended, and cleaning the tires properly is also imperative.
Lastly, visibility during driving in the rain is crucial for road safety. So you must check if your wiper blades are worn out and need replacing, or if there are enough windshield wiper fluids.
Before you take out your rides, whether for a monsoon road trip or a regular commute to and from your workplace, make sure your vehicle is in proper shape. Regular maintenance and checkups are key.
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