Rain is completely unavoidable when living in the United Kingdom, and unfortunately, it can have serious effects on your car if you don’t protect it properly.
The month of April is a time of year that is well known for having some of the rainiest spells, so although summer is on its way, it is well worth thinking about protecting your car against water as well as heat and sunlight.
The number of vehicles that breakdown and require roadside assistance always increases during the wetter months. This is because even slight amounts of damp can cause huge problems if they get into the wrong parts of the car. Although cars are engineered to withstand a certain amount of rain, engines and electrical systems are not fully waterproof and could easily be damaged if exposed to too much water. Here are some helpful tips to give you some ideas about how best to protect your vehicle from the damaging effects of rain.
If you have a garage or a more sheltered place to park, use this to keep your car out of reach of the elements. Parking in a covered area not only protects your car from the rain but also from sunlight and extremes of temperatures. If you can find a parking space with partial covers, such as under a tree, then this is always preferable to leaving it out in the open.
Give it a wax coating
Coating your car in a wax finish not only makes it look extremely shiny but will also offer a layer of protection against the rainy weather. The wax forms a barrier between the outside of the car and the rainwater, stopping the two from coming into contact with one another. This means that the paint is protected from the water and doesn’t have the opportunity to rust.
Protect Your Exterior Paint
It sounds silly, but rain doesn’t exactly get along with your car’s exterior paint. Even though the exterior paint is protected against water and contaminants with a coat of clear paint, it will erode over time. To make it longer, it’s important to treat it. After being out in rain, wash your car with a hose and then wax it. Wax is a great way to maintain the integrity of your paint job intact. You can also add a paint protection film, which can be installed when your car is new. This will provide the ultimate protection to your original factory paint, helping to protect it from scratches as well. Plus, it can be easily removed if needed.
Invest in a car cover
If you have to leave your car parked outside in the rainy weather, investing in a car cover could be the answer to all of your problems. Car covers are usually made out of a material that is both waterproof and breathable. This means that the water cannot get in through the fabric, but any humid air which may be trapped underneath the cover will be able to escape. This creates the best environment possible for protecting your car against the elements, even if they can be a bit of a faff to put on and take off.
Make Sure Your Car is Properly Sealed
That little rubber strip between your car and the outside helps maintain the elements out. Make sure these strips aren’t damaged. Another way to waterproof your car is to apply a sealant. Your car’s exterior can quickly degrade if you go too long between washes because rain and salt can corrode it. The best way to prevent this is to apply a sealant after the wash. This can be anything from wax or car polish.
Because of the synthetic materials in sealants, it can protect your car from water damage. It is rubbed onto the clean paint, then buffed with a microfiber cloth. This protective coat can last up to six months, making it a great way to protect your car.
Don’t make unnecessary journeys in the rain
It is so tempting to use the car to get from A to B when it is raining, instead of finding an alternative method of transport. If you frequently drive your car in the rain, the parts will wear out and rust more quickly than if you drive in good weather. The water from the road splashes up against the underside of the car and can begin to wear away at vital engine parts. If your journey can wait until after the rain has calmed down then this is probably a much better option.
Mudguards do not just protect your car against excess mud from flying up off the road, but can also protect your wheels and brakes from water damage. The mud flaps will deflect water by creating a protective barrier to redirect the water, and mud, sprayed up into the air by the motion of the wheels.
Check Your Wiper Blades
As we’ve said many times before, windshield wipers are imperative for your driving safety, especially in the spring when the weather turns rainy. To make sure you can continually use your wipers as soon as it starts raining, ensure that they have the right level of fluid and that the blades aren’t worn out. Visibility in rain is imperative, so make sure to check these before the rainy season starts.
Plan your journey
If you know that the route you normally take includes areas that are prone to flooding, take a minute to re-plan your journey before you set off. Driving through deep water can cause irreparable damage to the inner workings of the engine. It is worth taking a 10-minute detour to avoid having to replace the entire engine of your vehicle. If you do have to drive through a flooded area, make sure that you test your brakes immediately afterward.
Keep You Car Sheltered When Possible
Garages and carports are made to protect your car from the elements. If possible, make sure you shelter your vehicle when you can, since water can seep in between your bodywork and other components. Water can easily make its way into areas where it takes longer to evaporate, which in turn accelerates the rate of corrosion. By keeping your car sheltered, you can minimize the rare in which corrosion happens.
If you don’t have a garage, think of a portable garage to shelter your car. They are sometimes more effective in sheltering cars because they allow for airflow under the cover. This means that your car dries out faster, minimizing corrosion. Another option is using a protective cover when your car is parked outside. These waterproof covers protect your car when they are parked outside, especially for long periods. They can provide on-the-go protection when you need it the most.
Clean the Underside of Your Vehicle
Regularly washing underneath your vehicle is as important as the exterior. This practice will protect your car from corrosion caused by water or even snow. Water can be particularly damaging to your undercarriage, so checking the underneath is an important part of waterproofing your car. Try to go to your local car wash at least once a month or do it yourself if you want to save. Just make sure you get in all the spots where water may corrode your vehicle. Make sure to wash inside the wheels as well, as it will help blast away salt and mineral deposits before they cause rust and corrosion.
Use a Rain Repellent
A what? Yes, many products help keep rainwater off your windshield or take it away quickly without obstructing your vision. These products can also help your defroster by reducing condensation and helping your windshield wiper do its job. Rain repellent is available in liquid form and can be a lifesaver during the rainy season. Be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations before using it and make sure the repellent is of high quality.
Although it is easy to apply, you should always know how to apply it properly. Before using, make sure
- Your windshield is clean. Use an ammonia-based glass cleaner to make sure its spotless
- Make sure the cleaner is wiper away and evaporated before applying the repellent. Use a microfiber cloth to help with this.
- Apply as directed. Instructions usually ask to use circular motions or vertical and/or horizontal movements to have even coverage.
- Allow drying according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Buff with a microfiber towel.
- After letting sit for several hours, rinse your windshield with water and dry with a microfiber towel.