Car maintenance and driving tips for wet weather
It’s been one of our wettest years on record so far in Australia, and many of us are feeling the pain. All the humidity and rain has got us dealing with mouldy houses, fixing leaks and using aircon to get our clothes dry. While the La Nina weather event that brought the rain has reportedly passed for now, the weather man says it may return soon. All this rain can be very hard on vehicles, too. Rust, decreased visibility and wet roads make caring for your car and driving extra safely vital during periods of wet weather. Here are our best wet weather car maintenance and driving tips!
Wet weather car maintenance tips
Even if you’re sticking to your service schedule, it’s a good idea to monitor some key things in your car when driving in wet weather frequently, like your brakes, tyres and wipers.
- Check tyre tread – Tyre tread is crucial for vehicle handling, safety and fuel efficiency. You’ll need at least 1.5mm of tread depth across the face of your tyres to drive safely in wet weather. Don’t forget to check the PSI too.
- Make sure your brakes feel and sound normal. If it’s making sounds when you plant the anchors or the brake pedal feels like it’s going almost to the floor, get your brakes checked ASAP.
- Replace dodgy windscreen wipers. Give your windscreen wipers a test run in the rain. If they’re leaving streaks across the windscreen or not completely suctioned, you’ll be struggling if you end up driving in heavy rain. Better to replace them before that happens!
- Check your headlights. You should always be using your headlights when it’s rainy, but check them regularly during periods of wet weather when the weather can turn quickly. Most new cars come with automatic headlights today, but if yours aren’t automatic, check all your lights – front headlights, back headlights, high beams and indicators for good measure.
- Make sure your demister (aircon) is working. In cold climates down south, a functioning demister is essential (unless you don’t mind the icy breeze).
Looking after your car is half the equation of road safety during wet weather – the other half is adjusting how you drive.
Wet weather driving tips
- Allow more travel time. Rainy days often mean more cars on the road during rush hours, so traffic can be heavy and slow. The last thing you need in high-risk driving conditions is to feel rushed and frustrated – allow plenty of time and take it easy instead.
- Double your following distance. We know – you already know. But we’re in a La Nina weather pattern, so it’s worth reminding ourselves to keep four seconds’ following distance on the highway and doubling your gap when still at lights too.
- Avoid accelerating or braking suddenly. This will significantly reduce your risk of skidding or aquaplaning.
Paying attention to these car maintenance and wet weather driving tips will ensure you stay safe and keep your car performing at its best. Remember, your mechanic will attend to all of the maintenance tips and more during a regular service – drop into your local Express Lube to get one today!