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Have you taken a rain check yet?

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With the monsoon around the corner, here are a few things you must remember

Start right. The first time. Top up windscreen washer fluid with a mix of water and wash fluid to remove grime from the windscreen more effectively. Check the wipers - they need to be shipshape, with no tears or cracks. Check that windscreen washer nozzles are correctly positioned to squirt water on the windscreen. Use the air-conditioning system when it rains - this prevents misting on the inside of the glass and ensures better visibility. Ensure that all lights work. Wet matting makes the car soggy and stinky. Air the car out often. If you find excess water in the carpeting, check all the door and window beadings for wear and damage, since water could be coming in through a ruptured beading. Also check the windscreen rubber surrounds as well as the grommets for the floorboard drain plugs. Ensure that the brakes and tyres are in good shape.

Stay away from rust

Water is metal's worst enemy, so send your car for a thorough underbody wash to get rid of built-up grime. If your car has a rust-prevention treatment such as Dinitrol, make sure that its underbody is not sprayed with diesel - some pumps do this. If your car has had a small shunt and the exposed metal has rusted, get it patched and painted ASAP. It is wise to park your car in an enclosed garage or invest in a good quality car cover.

Driving in the rain

Keep speeds down - it takes longer to stop on a wet road. Maintain thrice the distance you normally would from the vehicle ahead. Drive in the tracks of the car ahead as this is the driest path. Do not follow large buses or trucks too closely - they kick up blinding spray sometimes. Switch on headlights in dark, gloomy conditions so that others can see you - it doesn't have to be night. Plan your travel, drive easy, steadily and slowly. Avoid night driving in the rain - visibility is doubly hampered Dry your feet before entering the car - wet feet can slip off the pedals. Always carry a flash light and a large umbrella in the boot And, don't forget - always carry the 24-hour toll-free helpline numbers for your car.

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