With the combination of wet roads, reduced visibility, and slippery conditions, the rainy season can be challenging for your vehicle. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the wet weather ahead! Here are some essential maintenance tips to help you stay safe on the road.
Check Your Exterior Lights
One of the most important ways to prepare for the rainy season is to make sure all your vehicle's exterior lights are working correctly. Not only do your lights make it easier to see the road during a storm, but they also make your vehicle more visible to other drivers. Check your brake lights, headlights, and turn signals; if any of the lights are burned out, get them replaced.
Windshield Wiper Condition
Along with your headlights, your windshield wipers play a crucial role in ensuring you have clear vision in the rain. Inspect your wiper blades for any signs of damage, like bent frames or cracked or frayed rubber. Give them a test run using your windshield washer fluid; if the wiper blades are in good condition, they should clear the fluid away easily. If they’re smearing the fluid instead, or you hear scraping or chattering noises, it’s time to replace them.
Good traction is essential for safe driving in the rain—and one of the most critical factors that influences traction is tread depth. Check the tread depth on all four tires using a tread gauge or the penny test. Place a penny upside down in the shallowest groove of the tread with Lincoln’s head facing you; if you can see the top of his head, it’s time for new tires.
While you’re inspecting the tread, you should also keep an eye out for uneven wear, cracked rubber, or bulges in the sidewalls—all of which are signs that your tires should be replaced. Finally, air pressure is also an important factor for traction. Use a pressure gauge to check the pressure on each tire and fill any as needed to the recommended tire pressure listed in your owner’s manual or on the sticker near the driver’s side door.
Well-maintained brakes are essential year-round, but they’re even more critical in wet conditions. Have your brakes inspected by our ASE Certified technicians to ensure they are in proper working order. Spongy brakes, squealing noises, or longer stopping distances are signs that you may need brake service or replacement.
Car batteries are sensitive to temperature fluctuations; wet, cold weather can put extra strain on older batteries in particular. If your battery is three years old or older, consider having it tested.
A functional defroster and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are essential for maintaining good visibility and comfort during the rainy season. The defroster uses the heater to remove condensation from the windows and the AC to dehumidify the air and prevent condensation—so if either isn’t working well, your defroster will struggle to clear away the fog. Our team can inspect and service these systems to make sure they work efficiently all season long.
Schedule Your Seasonal Maintenance Today!
At RPM Automotive Services, we’re here to help prepare your vehicle for the rainy season. With over 40 years of experience, our family-owned and operated facility is dedicated to providing reliable and superior auto repair services. Whether you need assistance with lights, windshield wipers, tires, brakes, the battery, or your defroster/HVAC system, we've got you covered.
Don't let the rain catch you off guard—contact us today at (707) 800-4586 or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment!