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Car care tips for the rainy season

South Africa’s rainy summer months are here and that might not bode all too well for your ride.

Rain isn’t the cleanest source of water out there and can do damage to a car’s paint and underlying components if it gets into the wrong place.

Motus Select has therefore provided helpful tips that will assist with keeping your vehicle in a good condition throughout the wet season.

Wash with care

Rainwater contains harmful contaminants that can erode the paint’s protective layer, and spray from the road surface throws up dirt and grime that sticks to the undercarriage and body of a car.

To prevent long-term damage, it’s recommended to wash the affected areas as soon as possible after the heavens have closed.

“Due to the abrasive nature of the road grime, which often contains fine particles of sand, it is best to avoid car washes that use hand washing, rollers, or brushes,” said Motus.

“Rather opt for those that utilise a high-pressure system before hand washing. If you are washing your car at home be sure to use two buckets and change the water regularly to avoid inducing micro swirls in the paintwork.”

Additional measures can be taken to protect the paintwork even further, such as applying wax or polish or going all out and installing a ceramic coating film.

Keep dry

Wherever possible, park your wheels under a roof or inside a garage overnight, or invest in a quality car cover if it must sleep outside, since being exposed to rain for extended periods of time will degrade the paint, rubbers, and plastics.

If water has somehow gotten into the car such as from someone opening the door in the rain and getting in with wet shoes, leave the windows open in a dry place or in the sun until the interior has a chance to dry out.

“Moisture trapped inside a vehicle can lead to the build-up of bad odours, mould, bacteria, and even rust if left for a long time, all of which will be very difficult to get rid of,” said Motus.

Driver checkups

Keeping your car in good shape will assist in preventing avoidable mishaps when driving in the rain.

It is critical to ensure that the tyre treads are above the minimum level as this part of the wheel is designed to displace water. The more worn the tread, the bigger the risk of aquaplaning the vehicle and losing control.

Another vital maintenance measure is to check and if needed, replace the windscreen wipers annually due to the thin rubber strips cracking and perishing over time. Treating the window with a water-repelling product will also assist the wipers in cleaning it as effectively as possible.

Equally as important, motorists must be certain that all the lights on their vehicle work as intended, as they “are critical in ensuring that other road users can see you in times of limited visibility,” said Motus.

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