It’s monsoon or mid-winter-rain-celebration here in California! However, do not be in dismay, here’s a checklist that would help your safety and keep you out of harm’s way:
You need your eyes not just at night but during the murky day when you need to look at some nooks and crannies. A head lamp or an ‘underwater’ waterproof flashlight may be even better. Your cellphone may have a ‘flashlight’ but it may not be luminescent enough. Plus, what if the cellphone battery dies? Sounds like the first chapter of a Stephen King novel.
Charged Up Phone
Before sleeping the night before work, plugging in the phone might be a great way to ensure that your phone is sparkling the next day. If not, at least charging it during your morning battle with the snooze button might be ample. Back-up battery juice packs are also available for extended battery life in various stores online
Emergency Contact Numbers
No, I don’t just mean 911. I mean, your close and dependable friends, relatives and co-workers. This could also include your boss who is one more bad day away from firing you so don't make this an even more special occasion. At any rate, you should have a few trusty people in your phone’s phonebook to ensure that everyone’s on the same page case something happens to you or your four wheeled asset.
Your car must be in optimum condition and this means having the water levels in the cooling system and engine oil at a reasonable level. The electrical components should be in tip top shape and insulated. Any water sensitive parts should be covered and protected. Please check the guides for your vehicle for the know-how in this regard... or YouTube.
Tire Treads & Air Pressure
The road is akin to hockey rink and without your trusty shoes you might as well stay in the locker room. If the treads are nearly out, then it might be a smart idea to drive slowly to the nearest tire shop (yes, the shop and not your cubicle honey comb!) and having the tires replaced. Bad treads are one of the most prominent causes of car slips. Besides that, make sure that the air pressure in the tire should be at adequate pressure.
Working Braking System
This goes hand in hand with the point mentioned above. Your braking system is the only protection you have between a high-speed wreck and a quick stop. Don’t delay replacing those calipers. Get those discs and drums in functional.
Spare Tire & Jack
You may have not changed your tires before but if it’s going to be your first, you need to be at least equipped for it. Sometimes, roadside assistance might not be able to make it or for some reason your phone is dead, it’s always a good idea to have a tire and jack incase technology fails on you. Then there is the chance that you didn’t buy roadside assistance and you are luckily in touch with a friend in your contact list who can walk you through a tire change.
You get out of your office and have left the lights on. You flick the keys and all you hear are distant clicks of a dying mechanical being. However, you have your trusty jumper cables and can now wave at Jim who can give your Camry a CPR using his minivan.
Insurance & Car Paperwork
Remember the first time you were caught without paperwork by the officer when you hit something? You don’t want that to happen when the chances of hitting something have improved drastically. If you haven’t hit anything ever, you don’t want it to be on a rainy day and without documents.
Headlights can get dimmer and lose their throw. Change the bulbs frequently when you start noticing that your headlight is 35-50% brighter than it used to be. There are several DIY options available if you search on google and videos available on YouTube that should get you going on the illuminated path. Do you notice oxidation or “yellowing” of the headlights? If you can’t shell out a full restoration cost, take a non-abrasive polish with a foam pad, rub in the polish and buff it off with a microfiber cloth. Voila! Nearly as good as new and you can make your spouse proud by another magic trick you just learned.
You can’t go to a 49ers game without a 49ers shirt right? Sorry guys, we support our team.
Simple sealants such as RainX or advanced hydrophobic coatings can provide protection by beading off water from the windshield. These are a great option for people who are on the highways and also want a backup in case the wipers fail or you have been lazy to not get them replaced in a very very long time. Plus, you can then take cool pictures like the one in this article and get likes on them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Car Phone Charger
In certain rare cases where your phone is dead and the car has stopped but the car battery is still operative, you can still charge your phone and be able to make that one lifesaving call. Besides that, you want to keep the phone at full charge to show Katie from work all the baby shower pictures you took and later use the extra juice for Pandora listening to Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran.
Adequate Fuel Levels
We're also picking on you Tesla owners! Your car may run on a stroke engine or Lithium Ion battery but having adequate charge or fuel is important in case your path is blocked by a fallen log and you need to take another route, you can at least rely on your car having that extra fruit punch.
Your car’s paint is getting pounded by minerals from the rain. Having a sealant, wax or coating can create a barrier between your car’s surfaces and the unending barrage of the animal kingdom pouring from the sky.
Portable Battery Charger
One of my customers introduced me to a portable battery charger. Now it goes with me everywhere in case a damsel in distress needs my help even if that damsel is myself. Invest in one of these and you can use Jim for getting you coffee instead of electrocuting your car battery. These chargers take time to charge up and dissipate their power. So, just be weary of that.
Just In Case:
Unless you like to sample the rain outside while sitting inside the car, this can easily wet your seats, your nose and your potential client's nose. There are several ways to seal the leakages with various tutorials available online. The products to seal may be available in your local hardware store.
Next to the tires, wheels are consistently getting barraged with dirt, grime and soiled water. Having a dedicated sealant or protectant on the wheels can prevent the damage and keep them smiling.
Time to put your fifth grade geography to the test. It’s always good to be able to go old school in case the cell service fails, your phone dies off or you use Apple Maps. Map pockets are still made in modern cars for a reason! Yes, now go make grandpa proud.
Weather Tech Mats
These mats are worth their weight in gold and the best part is you don’t need to buy WeatherTech. By that we mean any waterproof mats that are easy to clean and line up the flooring of your car that can thoroughly reduce soiling and damage done to the carpeting.
You don’t have to carry an array of batteries that would put Ferrero Rocher grand gift assortment to shame but maybe flashlight batteries and cellphone back up juice pack may suffice here.
Lastly, DO NOT even think of texting while driving! Hope you enjoyed the read. Happy Winters!