Considering how much rain many of Pakistani cities are getting nowadays, I think it is safe to say the monsoon in Pakistan has started. It is going to take some time for the rain to get up to the north of the country, but it will eventually. Many cities between Karachi and Lahore are getting some rain for a week or two now. But the problem here is that this rain can hurt your car or motorcycle if you are not careful. Sometimes, a little negligence can cause an unnecessary vehicular breakdown that could have been avoided easily.
It is quite common for water to pool up in the cities when it rains here. And that water can cause the vehicles to start misbehaving if you are not careful. Met Office in Islamabad has already issued a warning regarding severe rains coming in. These are the few tips that can save you from a lot of headaches.
Whenever it’s raining heavily, or you see a submerged road in front of you, slow down. Driving at high speeds when it’s raining is already quite tricky and dangerous. Your braking distances increase drastically when the road is wet. Give enough room in front of you for safe braking in case of an emergency. Also, when you see a massive pool of water on the road in front of you, don’t just march right into it.
Be careful when you see water accumulated on the road in front of you. First of all, you don’t know if how the road under all that water is. Even if you travel on the road frequently, chances are the road has gotten damaged after heavy rainfall. So it’s better to be safe. First, try to find another route to you destination. If there isn’t, wait for the water level to drop so that it is safe for you to cross it. But even that is not an option, be very gentle with the throttle and gently let it go in the water. If you see the water is going to touch the bonnet of the car, stop immediately. There is a high chance of the engine sucking up water through the air filter. And that is the last thing you need. If you have decided that the level of water is although high, but it is safe for driving through it, only then do it. Make sure you keep the car in first gear. It’s necessary for the car to push through all that water without stalling. And also make sure you don’t let the car die. Keep your foot on the accelerator so that engine makes enough exhaust gases to keep the water out of the silencer. It might not be an issue for cars with bigger engines but these small cars with tiny 3-cylinder engines can be in a lot of trouble. Use those radiator hoses on the outlet of the exhaust tip to raise the opening. Water won’t enter the exhaust system then.
You have a bonnet on the engine so no issue there. But some cars have spark plugs in a direction where it’s possible for the rain water to get into them. I am speaking this from experience. Suzuki Mehran owners would also know this. The spark plugs on the engine in Mehran are right in front of the front grill. Suzuki has changed the design of the grill several times. There were some designs where the plugs were exposed, and it was very easy for them to get wet. Wet plugs mean that they will start to misfire, and your call will start missing. You don’t need your car breaking down in torrential rains for something so trivial.
Wiper blades often get ignored. New car owners don’t need to worry about it but if your vehicle is 5-10 years older, or more, make sure you have gotten some good quality rubber for your wiper blades. The visibility gets severely hampered when it’s raining cats and dogs. Also, even when the rain has stopped, the fine mist of dirt and water flying off of from the cars in front will immediately cover the front windscreen of your car. Make sure you have clean water in windscreen washer bottle and the motor to spray the water works. Running wiper blades on drying dirty screen with no liquid to wipe the dirt and grime away is going to damage the surface of your windscreen if done again and again for a prolonged period.
The grooves in those tires are there to disperse the water on the road away. If your tires have worn out and the tread has started to thin, water will not dissipate efficiently, and that can lead to aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is when your car tire loses the direct contact with the surface of the road and starts to hover over the water. That means you have no control over that car. And that can be extremely dangerous even for a brief moment. Driving at high speeds on motorways and highways with worn out tires can become extremely dangerous.