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What Should I Do To Prepare My Vehicle For Rainy Weather?
As we all know, Seattle is a very rainy place to live! On average, we experience nearly 150 days of rain throughout the year. That means we spend nearly half of our time driving in rainy conditions, making this month's blog even more important!
Rainy conditions are dangerous for multiple reasons. Beyond simply making the road more slippery and hard for your tires to maintain traction, the rain conceals potentially dangerous issues. Rainfall makes it difficult to spot potholes and other obstructions in the road; combine that with faulty brakes and windshield wipers that don't work, and you have a recipe for disaster. There are a couple of basics that you don't want to miss when it comes to getting your vehicle ready for rainfall.
We strongly recommend you consider your:
Brakes - Water is your brake's worst enemy; it causes corrosion, rust, and introduces particulate matter suspended in the water. If your brakes feel like they are skipping, grinding, squealing, or anything else, definitely have them examined.
Tires - We will go into more details about your tires below, but essentially, your tires are the first line of defense when it comes to battling the rain. Make sure they are healthy and ready for the rainy roads.
Windshield Wipers - It's very difficult to drive if you can't see! Your windshield wipers are the only things between you and visibility when it rains.
Covering these three essential bases is an excellent start to making sure you meet Mother Nature's challenge safely and effectively.
What If I Get Caught In The Rain, And My Windshield Wipers Don't Work?
This can be a very dangerous situation! You can go long stretches without a drop of rain and forget just how critical it is that your windshield wipers are functional and of good quality. If you do get caught in the rain with no windshield wipers, or ones that don't work, we highly suggest safely pulling to the side of the road and waiting for the heavier rainfall to subside. When the rainfall subsides, drive to your nearest auto shop and purchase a new set of windshield wipers, they are very easy to install, and most auto shop employees will help you install them if you need assistance.
How Do I Check If My Tires Are Ready For Rain?
That is a great question! You want to consider a few general things with overall tire health, especially if you live in a rainy area. No matter what type of vehicle you have and what brand of tires you purchase, you want to pay attention to these things.
Check Your Tires For:
Pressure - Your tires are designed to work best at a certain pressure. If you aren't sure what pressure your tires are supposed to be at, feel free to bring your vehicle to a trusted auto repair center, and they can assist you in the process.
Damage - It is very easy to pick up a stray nail, screw, rock, or other pieces of debris that cause damage to your tires. Any of the aforementioned items can cause cracks or potentially puncture your tire, leading to a blowout or a slow & gradual loss in tire pressure. This is dangerous because you can end up in a bad situation without even realizing it.
Tread Health - As you drive, the dirt, gravel, salt, water, and more, combine to wear down the tread on the outsides of your tires. This is even more of a concern in an area that experiences high levels of rainfall, like Seattle. As the tires go "bald" (lose their tread), they can't grip the road the way they used to. This can lead to you losing traction and control of the vehicle while you drive. Check the outside of your tire and see if it looks smooth or if the lines between the tread are beginning to blend together. That is a surefire sign that you want to start looking for new tires.
See and Be Seen
Your vehicle’s lights are also a key component for safe driving on “dark and stormy” nights. Make sure to use them, even if you can see the road ahead normally. Other drivers may not be able to see you as easily. If at any point you notice that your vehicle isn’t lighting up the road in front of you, there may be an issue with the headlight bulbs, or even the lenses themselves. If your headlight lenses have gotten hazy or clouded, consider having them repaired so that they can illuminate properly.
Stay safe out there on the roads, and make sure that you find yourself a trustworthy auto repair center that can guide you through prepping your vehicle for rainy conditions. Seattle's road can be treacherous when it rains, so it is best to prepare yourself; that way, you can stay safer on the road.
Please come to High Road Automotive in Seattle, WA, and we will help you prepare your vehicle for rainy conditions! We will perform a thorough vehicle inspection, including your tires, brakes, and windshield wipers, and help you make decisions on what needs to be prioritized. Beyond that, we can establish regular service intervals that ensure you meet any conditions the road presents; at any time! Schedule an appointment today and see what makes us so special in the Seattle area!