11 Car Care Tips to Protect Your Vehicle During Typhoon Season
Roughly 20 typhoons visit the Philippines every year. How prepared are you for the typhoon season?
Since we can’t predict how massive these typhoons will be until they start to happen, the only thing we can do to minimize their risks is to prepare for them.
Taking care of your car is just as crucial as protecting lives and your home during a typhoon. It’s expensive to repair or buy a new car to replace a severely damaged one, so it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive.
Here are things you should remember to protect your car during the typhoon season in the Philippines:
Table of Contents
- 1. Drive Safely
- 2. Park to Safer, Higher Ground
- 3. Protect Your Car from Flooding
- 4. Keep Electrical Parts Dry
- 5. Check Your Car Insurance Coverage
- 6. Wash Your Car Before and After the Rain
- 7. Check All Rubber Seals
- 8. Replace the Windshield Wipers
- 9. Clean the Windshield Washers
- 10. Monitor Weather Updates
- 11. Inspect Your Car
- Final Thoughts
1. Drive Safely
The importance of careful driving can’t be stressed enough during the rainy season. It isn’t just for your safety but also for the longevity of your car.
When driving in the rain, keep these precautions in mind:
- Remain calm and don’t make sudden motions.
- Avoid any distraction while driving. Keep a 360-degree vision of everything around you from your mirrors.
- Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.
- Drive at a speed limit that you’re comfortable with to make better driving decisions.
- Do not follow trucks and buses. Water splashed from their large tires will impair your vision. If you must pass, do so quickly and safely.
Read more: 6 Safety Tips When Driving This Rainy Season
2. Park to Safer, Higher Ground
If you’re at home or somewhere else, park your car safely to higher ground. Malls and offices are the best parking venues if you’re in a low-lying area. It’s better to pay for a parking fee than purchase a new car.
Also, avoid parking under large trees and electrical posts. Strong winds can blow them down and cause them to hit your car.
3. Protect Your Car from Flooding
Avoid driving through flooded roads and flowing water. If you encounter one, take a different route or wait for the floodwater to subside.
Once your car gets flooded, expect a series of unfortunate events: engine stalling, electrical troubles, faulty brakes, and more. So don’t risk it.
Read more: Flood-prone Areas to Avoid in Metro Manila
4. Keep Electrical Parts Dry
Protect your car from the effect of getting soaked. When you’re stuck in the flood (or your car is parked but floodwater starts to rise), disconnect the battery terminals to prevent electronic shortage. Keep the integrated circuitry and modules under the carpet and alongside the front interior. The engine bay should be kept dry as well.
5. Check Your Car Insurance Coverage
Contact your agent to ask for clarification on any vague detail regarding your car insurance coverage.
If you don’t have one yet, get a car insurance policy that not just covers loss and damage or when your car is involved in a collision. Make sure to include an Acts of God/Acts of Nature add-on—particularly with coverage for typhoons and flooding—in your comprehensive car insurance plan.
6. Wash Your Car Before and After the Rain
Just because it’s raining, doesn’t mean it should save you a trip to the car wash.
You can’t depend on rainwater to do the cleaning—it actually collects pollutants and contaminants from the air and can transfer them to your car. When rainwater dries up, it leaves hard-to-remove marks that are most visible on the windows, windshield, and headlights. Rainwater can also reach the metal parts and cause rusting.
Mud and grime can also accumulate on your wheels and tires if you fail to protect your car through a car wash after driving in the rain.
Washing your car gets rid of dirt and debris that can damage its paint.
Don’t forget to have your car waxed before the rain, too. Waxing will help repel the rainwater off your vehicle’s body and prevent it from causing exterior damage.
7. Check All Rubber Seals
Check the rubber seals around the trunk, hood, windows, and doors for water leaks. Puddles on the floor mats and a weird smell in your car are obvious signs of a leak.
While you’re at it, remove any debris around the seals. If the seals are worn-out or loose, they won’t be able to prevent water from entering your car and causing corrosion. Fix water leaks in your car before they cause further damage.
8. Replace the Windshield Wipers
Change your wipers at least once a year. Once they become cracked, brittle, or dry, wipers can leave streaks on the windshield as they move, reducing the visibility of the road ahead while driving in the rain.
9. Clean the Windshield Washers
When the nozzles of your windshield waters get clogged with water, they won’t be able to perform their function properly. Clean the washers using a fine needle or old toothbrush with warm water.
10. Monitor Weather Updates
Be equipped with the latest information on the weather, so you can plan your trips and protect your car accordingly. Check the PAGASA website or Facebook page for weather updates. Follow precautionary instructions from your local authorities.
If you don’t have electricity, keep a battery-operated radio to remain informed on the weather updates.
11. Inspect Your Car
As soon as the typhoon is over, check your vehicle’s condition and assess whether it’s safe to drive. Look for any sign of damage and being flooded. If you suspect that it’s flooded, don’t attempt to start your car, as it will cause more problems. Have it towed to the car repair shop for a more detailed inspection.
The rain can seem harmless to your car, but it can cause serious damage if you don’t prepare it for the typhoon season. While you can’t prevent a typhoon in a disaster-prone country like the Philippines, you can prevent your car from becoming a huge, useless piece of junk. Protect your car and make it last longer with the car care tips listed above.
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