We know heavy rain and blowing dust creates challenging driving conditions, but they can also affect your car’s performance and appearance. Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) are available to explain how to protect your car and stay safe on the road during monsoon storms.

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How the monsoon can hurt your car

1. Appearance

Dust can cause fine scratches in your vehicles’ paintAlthough some dust will blow off while driving, washing your car as soon as possible helps maintain your paintA good coat of quality wax before the storms will not only protect the paint it makes it easier to clean as well.

2. Comfort

Driving your car in monsoon storms your cabin filter will likely become contaminated/restricted with dust affecting airflow and air conditioning performance. If you’re driving in a storm, switch your A/C to “recirculate” or “Max” to draw the air from the interior rather than outside.

3.  Performance

Driving in storms can drastically shorten the engine air filter’s life. Dust can restrict the filter, reducing fuel economy, causing poor performance and, in extreme cases can damage your engine.

4. Electrical systems

If the rubber molding around your windshield, windows and doors are not in good shape, water can get in and create big problems. It could take a couple months before your electrical systems start malfunctioning or you could flood your engine and experience problems immediately. 

5. Engine failure

Yes, if you drive through floodwaters you risk damage or even catastrophic failure of your engine and/or transmission.

Pre- monsoon checks:

• Be sure windshield wipers are working well, and the washer is full and functional.
• Make sure headlights and brake lights are clean and bright.
• Check tire treads and condition.
• Check rubber molding around windshield, windows, and doors.
• Carry an emergency kit and fully charged cell phone.

Monsoon driving tips:

• Drive with headlights on during rain to increase visibility.
• Slow down when roads are wet; maintain safe distance between you and the car ahead.
• Avoid getting close to big vehicles like buses and semis. They can create a spray that hits your windshield and can make it harder to see.
• Never cross a flooded road. Just a few inches of water can move a car, truck or SUV. 
• If you lose traction and it feels like your car is drifting or sliding, ease off the gas pedal. Do not slam on your brakes. If you’re drifting or sliding carefully turn your steering wheel in the same direction of your slide.
• If your vehicle died while driving in water or your parked vehicle was flooded have it towed ASAP. Getting professional attention rapidly is essential. Ask the driver to deliver the car without starting it so a mechanic can evaluate before turning the ignition.
• If you entered water pay close attention as you drive out. Gently apply your brakes a few times at low speed. Does anything look, feel, sound or smell different? If in doubt, have a trusted mechanic check it out.
• If you’re caught in a dust storm, pull off the road as far as safely possible, place your car in park and then turn off all lights, including headlines, emergency flashers and dome lights.  If you leave lights on, other drivers might follow and crash into your parked car because low-visibilityaffects depth perception.