As I sit writing this with it thrashing down outside it’s important to remember the majority of road traffic incidents happen in the rain. It’s not rocket science; we all know that reduced visibility, longer stopping distances and an increase in vehicles on the road all contribute to the increased risk.
There are however, a few things you can do to best prepare your vehicle for driving in the wet stuff:
1. Check your tyres
I cannot stress enough how important this is. If you do only one thing… please make it this. The grooves on your tyres are there to channel water away from the ‘contact patch’ of rubber that glues your car to the road. Excessively worn tyres with shallow tread struggle to move water out of the way. Hit a deep enough puddle and the entire contact patch can be momentarily lifted clear off the ground – causing the car to veer out of control or spin. This is called ‘hydroplaning’. And it happened to a friend of mine, a very experienced and ‘safe’ driver in fact – and sadly it cost him his life.
If you’re not sure how to check your tyres or simply can’t be bothered, please do just pop into us and we’ll check them for you.
2. Clean your windscreen
As water dries on the glass it leaves mineral deposits that dirt will stick to. This dirt can cause smearing when you use your wipers, and at certain times of day, mainly dusk and dawn, it can be really difficult to see through the smears. A quick clean and your sorted.
3. Speaking of wipers
Are yours working correctly… if you’ve been putting off getting replacement blades now is the time to do it! They are very cheap to replace and make a big difference to your visibility and therefore safety. We’ll even fit them for you if you like ????
4. Poke your nozzles
The windscreen washer nozzles can get clogged up over winter… simply wiggle a small needle in them and they should be right as rain (sorry!)… or if they are too far gone it’s relatively cheap and easy to replace them.
If you get a lot of moisture on the inside of your windscreen in the winter then try running an electric de-humidifier in your car now and then – or buy a reuseable car de-humidifier pack. Otherwise you can get fogging and visibility problems (for which you can get stopped by the police).
6. Check your battery
While some batteries can last several years, cold wet weather can stress your battery so it makes sense to keep an eye on it. If your car becomes harder to start, or the lights dim at idle, it’s probably time to change it. Spending for a new battery is a whole lot better than spending time stranded in the rain.
The Elite Team
For quotes, to book your car in or simply for some advice, please contact us at:
Elite Garage Services Ltd
Turnpike Industrial Estate
Newbury, RG14 2LR