A San Diego Guide To Driving In The Rain

2017 has started out wet and rainy for California with the water accumulation helping the state get out of its three-year-long drought. While many welcome the rain and drought relief, motorists unaccustomed to driving in the rain are adjusting their driving habits.

While facing difficult weather and storms can put additional requirements on all drivers, high-population cities like Los Angeles and San Diego face their own problems. Lack of regular rainfall and precipitation means oil dripping from vehicles tends to accumulate on road ways. When it finally does start to rain after being dry for so long, this oil loosens up and causes road ways to become even more slick than they otherwise would be. This is just another reason why it is good advice to drive with care in the rain to avoid a collision and a visit to a San Diego auto repair shop.

Well-tuned Brakes Work Best in the Rain

Drivers should brake more slowly to avoid hydroplaning and skidding into the vehicle or object in front of them. It is smart to increase the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you when driving. Proper braking means making sure your brakes are well adjusted and are not in need of brake repair.

If your brake rotors or brake pads are worn out and too thin or if your fluid levels are low, your vehicle won’t be able to stop properly. This means you are more likely to get in a collision, particularly in the rain when road conditions have already been compromised. If you hear a screeching sound when you apply the brakes or they just don’t stop the way they should, bring your car to an auto repair shop for brake repair as soon as possible.

Keep Your Windshield Free From Fog

If you are like most San Diego residents, you probably don’t think much about the heater in your car and regular car air conditioning repair. Yet the same system that serves as a heater also defogs your windshield on cold rainy days. High visibility is the number one most important element for safe driving.

To quickly get rid of the foggy windshield, turn on the defrost button (looks like a rectangle with three swirling arrows pointing up). It is also suggested to deactivate the “recirculate air” feature by making sure the button is turned off. This makes sure your car takes in fresh air from outside rather than recirculating air inside the vehicle. You can also crack open a window to help the process.

To quickly eliminate the fog from the windows, your defroster must be in top shape, which means your heating and cooling system needs to be running at high levels. You might need automotive AC repair or heating system auto repair if the windshield does not defrost or does not defrost quickly when you press the button.

Get Car Air Conditioning Repair for a Fast-Defogging Windshield

Your vehicle’s heating and air conditioning system is actually quite complex and various parts must work together in harmony in order for the defroster to work quickly and effectively. It’s a good idea to inspect your auto AC for repair or recharge once a year or once every other year. Making sure your windshield is clean and your windshield wipers are not worn out is also a good idea. When’s the last time you checked your wiper fluid levels?

Find a San Diego Auto Repair Shop to Replace Those Low-Tread Tires

Safe driving in the rain really comes down to tire conditions and proper tire traction. Worn out, bald-treaded tires can’t grip the road as they are supposed to. As a result, the vehicle will slide and skid when the brakes are applied or when it is going around a curve. Water on the roads puts a barrier between your tires and the road, which causes the hydroplaning.

According to auto mechanics, tires should have more than 2/32-inch tread-depth for safe driving particularly in rainy or snow conditions. You can check your own tire conditions by using the penny trick: insert a copper penny into the tire tread and if you can see any part of President Abe Lincoln’s head, then you need new tires. Most auto repair shops can balance and replace your tires or you can go to a specialty auto repair tire shop for the job.

Drive More Safely with All-Wheel Drive Audi’s and BMW’s

Speaking of tires and superior road handling, San Diego All-Wheel Drive (AWD) motorists likely have an advantage when driving in these wet road conditions. AWD added functionality gives your car, truck or SUV better traction in the rain, snow, sleet and ice. This is because AWD enables all four wheels to spin, which is helpful if the vehicle gets stuck. From Audi’s and BMW’s to Subaru’s, AWD enables you to maintain greater control of your vehicle during difficult road or whether conditions.

Car Repair for All-Wheel Drive Worth the Added Cost

Many Audi or BMW drivers living in Southern California do not have much opportunity to make use of their AWD functionality so rainstorms are a good time to do so. Even with AWD, safe practices for driving in the rain such as driving more slowly still apply. AWD vehicles can be safer but may require more costly BMW or Audi auto repair because their systems are more complex. Ordinary Southern California stop-and-go traffic generally doesn’t require the use of AWD but it certainly can provide you with added peace of mind during these fierce but infrequent rainstorms.

Abraham Chavez
About the Author: Abraham Chavez

Owner of Griffin's Auto Repair. Come visit us at our downtown location for all your auto repair needs!

Posted in Driving Tips
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