Frequent rains and bad roads can wreak havoc with your vehicles. Here are some tips and precautions to keep them in good shape

Turn on the heater: Otherwise rain or high humidity will cause your car windows to mist up. If your car has an air-conditioner, turn up the heat and direct the airflow to your defrosters with the AC switch engaged. In cars with no AC, open your side windows whenever possible to keep some air circulating. Most modern cars have a built-in rear-window defroster which clears the misty rear windscreen.

Drive slowly: Brake slowly. Use them sparingly. Drive slowly during showers. Avoid puddles as far as possible. Maintain a distance of atleast 15 feet from the vehicle in front to avoid hitting it.

Use headlights/ fog lights: Whenever there is poor visibility, switch on your headlights so the other drivers will be aware of where you are. Use fog lights in case of heavy rains, which will alert other drivers of your presence.

Use emergency lights in case of heavy rains: In case of rains, where visibility is next to impossible, switch on your emergency (hazard) lights, which will alert the vehicle behind you and pull over to the side of the road. Wait till the rain clears a little bit to continue driving.

Check your tyres: Keep checking the treads on your tyres. If there are less treads, there is a high chance of the vehicle skidding in wet conditions. Bald tires reduce your traction on wet roads and you will end up riding on a layer of water. Have a spare tyre for emergencies.

Keep wipers in good condition: Check your wipers regularly and replace them atleast once a year. Wipers in good condition will clear light rain from the windscreen in a few sweeps. Wiper blades in bad condition will not clear the rain effectively and can also distort your view. Make it a point to clean the wiper rubber with a dry cloth to avoid dirt coming onto the windscreen. Use the windscreen washers to clear the mud or slush that can fall on the windscreen.

Lower windows to dry the must: After returning from a rainy drive and parking the car in the shed, slightly lower all the windows to let out the musty smells. If parked in the open, open all four doors once the rains stop to let the smell escape. Dust the mud off the foot mats and wipe any dust off the seats with a cloth.

Wash the tyres and mudguard: Wash the mudguards and the tyres with water to clean out the mud and slush that will accumulate after a drive in the rains.

For two-wheelers

Check brakes and tyres: While it is not advisable to ride in heavy rains, you must ride slowly in mild rains. Check the treads in your tyres, as less treads can lead to skidding on the roads.

Wear helmet: Wearing a helmet is a must while riding in the rains. Roads will be slippery and a fall could prove dangerous in the absence of protective head gear.

Use headlights/indicator: Use your headlights in case of poor visibility and an indicator to alert vehicles behind you.