Wet weather is a key cause of breakdowns with engines flooding and electrical systems failing if they get damp. It can also be hazardous for vehicles which aren’t adequately prepared for heavy rain, so if you really must drive in torrential weather, here are our top tips for keeping yourself and your vehicle safe.
- Take your time – plan your journey in advance and avoid areas which are prone to flooding. Factor in extra time for driving slower and heavy traffic and let someone know your intended route and arrival time. Check travel reports before setting off to find out about any road closures.
- Check your tyres – make sure the tread on all of your tyres is above the legal limit. Stopping distances are at least double in wet weather so it is essential your tyres are suitable. Leave more space between you and the vehicle in front and reduce your speed.
- Check your windscreen wipers – make sure both front and back wipers are working properly so that your vision won’t be impaired.
- Fill up before you travel – heavy traffic and using lights, heaters and wipers will affect your fuel economy and the last thing you want to do is run out of fuel in heavy rain.
- Light up – use dipped headlights to make your vehicle visible but don’t use your rear fog lights because they mask your brake lights and can dazzle drivers.
- Use air conditioning – this will stop your windows from steaming up and ensure you can see the road at all times.
- Keep your distance from large vehicles – as the spray they create will reduce your visibility.
- Drive slowly – driving too fast through standing water can lead to tyres losing contact with the road, causing aquaplaning. If this happens, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control again. Driving slowly also allows you to assess the depth of standing water before causing serious damage to your vehicle. If an area of standing water is too deep, do not attempt to drive through it.
- Drive considerately – try not to spray pedestrians or cyclists as you drive through puddles at the side of the road.
- Be prepared in case of a breakdown – if you do breakdown in the rain, keep your bonnet closed while waiting for help to arrive to prevent your electrical system from getting wet. If your engine cuts out after driving through deep water, don’t attempt to restart it until it has been professionally examined. If water is sucked into the engine, it can damage important engine components which will lead to a new engine needing to be fitted. This is a very expensive repair job.
If you do need any assistance following a breakdown in wet weather, our 24-hour recovery and rescue team can be contacted on 0370 4285191.