Spring has finally arrived- along with an increase in rainy days. Heavy rain may be beneficial to flowers, but it is not the best weather to drive your car in. The roads become slick and visibility can be limited due to rain and fog. Use these tips to ensure a safe trip during heavy rainfall.
Slow down! Be sure to drive at or below the speed limit when the roads are slick.
Avoid hard braking, turn slowly, and ensure ample distance between the car in front of you.
Turn on headlights (but not the brights) In 18 states it is illegal to use your windshield wipers without turning on your headlights during inclement weather. Some of those states include Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio.
If you feel uncomfortable, pull over. Sometimes it is best to wait until the rain slows down before you continue your route. You should never drive when stressed out or uncomfortable about your safety.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires have less pressure pushing the car down on the road. You will you have less tire-to-road contact than a properly inflated tire, which increases your risk of hydroplaning.
If you find yourself hydroplaning- don’t slam on the brakes. Instead, ease off the gas pedal and use a light pumping method on the brakes.
Rain causes humidity. If you need to quickly de-fog your windshield, turn on the A/C to cool down the interior of the car.
If you hydroplane, steer in the direction your car is going. This will help your tires realign and gain traction back.
Above all, it is important to remain cautious and calm while driving through heavy rain. Stop in to your local Car-X if you need a headlight or wiper blade replacement, brake repair, or a general inspection of your car.
Spring is officially here, and with the season comes time for some Spring Cleaning. Spring Cleaning is not only something for the household or office but your car too. Now that we are all spending more time in our vehicles again, having a clean car can help with a clear and calm head. Here are some tips to help you with your Spring Car Cleaning:
Inspect your interior
• Take out any unnecessary items. Get rid of that unwanted trash (old receipts, take out bags, empty water bottles).
• Clean the plastic surfaces with a mild spray and cloth and vacuum the remaining surfaces. (For leather surfaces, use a leather cleaner). If you don’t have a vacuum many car washes and gas stations have self service vacuums you can use, some are even free!
• It is important to give your vehicle a good hand wash a couple of times a year. Make sure that your car is not in direct sunlight when washing. Use soap specifically for cars, and a hose with a mist-spray nozzle. Wash the fender and bumper areas last. Always blast the underside of the car with the hose to remove buildup. Dry the vehicle with a drying cloth instead of letting it air dry (to avoid those ugly water drop stains).
• Once your vehicle has been cleaned, look for chips, scratches, and rust. Repair any abrasions with a touch-up kit.
• Wax your car if you want it to shine. Paste waxes are easier to use than liquid waxes; liquid waxes cleaned the best; and spray waxes were easiest to use and left the fewest stains on plastic parts, but they didn’t last as long as other waxes.
• Windshield wipers – Check your wipers; if they leave streaks, miss areas or if they are ripped, it’s time for new ones. Most blades typically last 6 months, but you can extend the life by wiping them with cloth and glass cleaner.
• Tires – Check the tread on your tires and make sure they are properly inflated. The penny trick is and easy way to check tread depth!
• Under the hood – Clean engine parts carefully with soap and water, being careful around electrical connections. If you find encrustation on the battery, clean it with water and baking soda.
• Headlights – At around the five-year mark, many headlights become ineffective due to cloudy or yellow lenses. This can be dangerous and should be addressed. Headlight restoration kits can be found at hardware stores or online for less than $20.
• Locks and hinges – Use lubricant on your locks and hinges. Check your owner’s manual, as some recommend graphite lubricant on your locks.
If your busy schedule doesn’t leave you time to get this all done in one go, break it up into small increments. Take it one step at a time to get the job done.