I can never tell if the weather predictions that the media puts out are because they want a prepared public, or a public that raises ratings. But just in case the rainy fury that these weathermen are promising does occur, here are a few tips for driving in the rain.
First, check your tires. A lot of people believe that until a tire is flat tire or blows on a highway, it is still a good tire. This is could not be more wrong. If the tread on your tire has been worn down, it does not allow the tire to get proper traction on the road. This means that the tire is more likely to slip while driving. This could occur while stopping or going around a turn and result in loss of control of your vehicle. Refer back to this previous blog post for how to check your tires and other vehicle maintenance.
Second, if you are not sure how deep a puddle is, DO NOT drive through it. After a recent storm a customer came in and asked us to tow his car in because it would not start. I asked him what happened and he told me that he “drove through a puddle”. I said how deep was the puddle? And he held up a hand about waist high! That’s no puddle mister! When you drive through a deep section of water, the water can get sucked up into the engine of your vehicle. This can cause the engine to seize up or bend a rod in the motor. That could result in the vehicle needing a new motor.
Just in case you do drive through a deep puddle and your car shuts off, do not try to restart the vehicle. Get the vehicle to a mechanic and allow them to flush your fluids. Get an oil change, cooling system change, and transmission fluid change. This could save you from laying out serious amounts of money if water mixed with these fluids.
If the damages become expensive enough, you can get your insurance company involved to help fix the car. However this can result in the vehicle being branded a flood car. A lot of companies, like ours, will not buy or sell flood cars. This would cause the value of your vehicle to plummet.
Lastly, drive slow and safe. A wet surface means increased stopping time. The moment that the road is the most slippery is the few minutes when it first beings to rain. This rain brings up all of the oil and fluids that have been leaked onto the road and coats the road in a mixture of water and those fluids. This makes for an extremely slippery surface to drive on. On a wet surface do not follow too close to the vehicle in front of you as it will take you longer to stop. And if they slam on their brakes, you may find that you do not have enough time or room to stop in the rain.
The amount of times that I have seen different weather conditions affect a customer are countless. From accidents to flood cars I have seen all that a rainy weekend can offer. Overall, it is a good idea to drive as carefully as possible. Take car of your car and take care of your life. Happy driving.