In beautiful South West Florida, the span of time from June 1st to November 30th is known for two very distinct and different seasons. The first being Hurricane season which I’m sure that everyone is tired of hearing about and secondly is the “Rainy Season.”
The rainy season basically is three to four months of sweltering temperatures with humidity levels of 100 or so percent. Almost every day the sky’s will open, and the rain will come sometimes on and off for an entire day and sometimes for minutes to hours of “Frog Drowning Torrential Rains,” so heavy that you can sometimes not even see the front of your car, much less the car in front of you. However, if you’re reading this in the weekly paper you already know all of this, if you’re reading online, take notes.
The first of the most important parts of your car when it’s raining like this both contain rubber. Small rubber first, your wiper blades. You should think of your wiper blades like dental visits, once every six months. During the dry season, the winter months, your wiper blades are parked on the windshield just baking onto the glass. With temperatures in the eighties and nineties every day these rubber inserts are practically melting onto the glass. And the few times that they are actually used they are dry and ragged from being dragged over a hot windshield that is loaded with bugs and or sand. By the time summer has come they are not worth the packaging that they came in. My advice is to change the blades on the winter solstice and again on the summer solstice, that June 21st and December 21st in case you didn’t remember. Also, and most important is when shopping for these blades you will come across multiple price levels, from $4.99 a pair to $30.00 each. Once again, I advise you purchase the most expensive of these blades but not too far the ladder. You’ll notice that the better the blade the more silicone is built into the wiping portion. You’ll also notice that the blades are flexible and contoured so that they will conform to the shape of the windshield giving you a streakless area of vision. One last note by installing a glass conditioner or wax such as Rain X or Propel the rain will sheet better making the blades able to glide over the windshield.
The largest part of the vehicle that is made of rubber is, of course, the tires. The tires are a wonderful invention of its own. We use them as insulators from Mother Earth the biggest ground of all. We expect them to give us a smooth rolling area and to grip the road for traction but to be able to slide slightly when in sand or debris yet to hold the road while driving at breakneck speeds in puddles of water. The design of the tread is unique onto itself so that while driving through water it can remove the water away from the tire contact yet allow the tire to grip the pavement to give the vehicle stability and sure-footedness so that the vehicle never leaves the surface of the road. That my friends called hydroplaning, one of the most unfriendly and scariest parts of driving because you no longer have control of anything. The vehicle is actually being carried on a sheet of water unable to correct itself. For you sailors out there, this is akin to being in a sailboat in high winds across the beam and trying to point into the wind without a keel. Scary isn’t it?
So the most important facts about tire condition, there must be at least 3/32’s of tread. If you don’t have a depth gauge use a dime and make sure that Roosevelt’s head is partially covered, the more the better. Make sure that your tires are inflated to the proper specifications, there should be a sticker on the driver’s door jamb to tell you what that number is. If you must guess anywhere between 32 and 35 psi is a good number. And most important is to make sure that the best tires are in the rear, because if the rear lifts up just a little it WILL hydroplane, and you will be doing loops down the interstate.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact us at Gregg’s Automotive at 236 Tamiami Tr. Punta Gorda, 33950 or call us at 941-575-8868.
Remember this; it is always cheaper to maintain a vehicle than to repair it, ad it is always cheaper to repair a vehicle than to replace it.
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