Dear Start My Car, 

Summer has arrived. And that means that along with the heat, we can expect thunderstorms and rain. As much as we love and need the water, it is important to remind ourselves of what that means when it comes to driving. 

The initial rains are always more hazardous as the roads are invariably oily from the many months of dry weather. This makes them slippery and more dangerous.Below is a great article from Popular Mechanics, called “How not to be an idiot when driving in the rain.” Have a look at it, as its worth the read. 

It is also well worth having a look at some of Start My Car products and specials with regard to vehicle maintenance and the wet weather.If there is anything that you are looking for that you can’t find, please contact us so that we can make certain to get them for you. 

More importantly, stay safe. 



How Not to Be an Idiot When Driving In the Rain

Six quick tips so you can handle any storm—whether a light drizzle or a torrential downpour

Driving in the rain can be stressful, not to mention dangerous. It can be hard to see the road, and conditions can be less than ideal for tire-on-pavement transportation. Even without traffic, water affects how your car handles and turns what might otherwise safe ride into a major hazard. To get where you need to go safely when it's raining, it's best to plan ahead and adjust your habits behind the wheel. 

Here are six things you can do to drive safely in the rain: 

1. Check your tires
Car tires have treads, the pattern of grooves and channels along their circumference. The tread works to create grip on the road by channeling water, mud, and debris away from the contact patch. With use, the tread wears down and becomes much more likely to slip or spin on wet surfaces. 

If you're not sure your tread is deep enough to stay safe, use the penny test to check. Get a penny and insert it in the tread with Lincoln's head pointed at the center of the wheel. If you can't see his hair, your tires are good. If you can see the top of his head, it's time for new tires. 

2.Inspect your windshield wipers
Without windshield wipers, wet weather driving would be like swimming without goggles. Rubber wiper blades collect grime and wear out, leading to streaks or inconsistent wet patches on the windshield. You can clean them by rubbing the blade with rubbing alcohol, but if you notice any cracks or chunks missing, it's time to buy a new set. The motor and linkage that actually move the wipers can wear out, too, so if yours aren't working properly, get them inspected to see what's broken.

3.Turn on your headlights
Given how significantly rain can impact visibility, do everything you can to make yourself easy to see to other drivers. Driving a bright green exotic is one option, but there's a far simpler solution – just turn on your headlights. It's the least you can do to make yourself noticeable, and may be legally required in your state.
Repeat this rainy weather mantra: wipers on, headlights on. 

4.Avoid hydroplaning
There's a misconception that driving through a puddle quickly is safest because you'll get through it faster, but the inverse is actually true. If you're moving fast enough, your tires will skim over the surface of the water, causing you to hydroplane and potentially lose control of your vehicle. 

If you start to hydroplane, keep both hands on the steering wheel and gradually apply the brakes. Slamming on the brakes or jerking the wheel can cause a skid. The best way to avoid this situation altogether is to look far down the road and reduce speed when you approach a puddle. 

5.Never use cruise control
Cruise control is helpful when roads are dry, but can be a problem when it's raining. Cruise control works to maintain a constant speed, so it greatly increases the chances of hydroplaning since it's not smart enough to detect when there's water on the road. Keep your car under full manual control any time you drive in the rain.

6.Slow down
Wet roads can be slick and treacherous, increasing stopping distances and the potential for a skid. Give yourself more time to react by driving 5 to 10mph below the speed limit. Keep right, pass safely, always check your mirrors, and leave several car lengths between you and the driver ahead. It might seem like common sense, but anything you can do to be a slower, more attentive, more courteous driver makes rainy weather safer for all drivers. 

Rain forces drivers to adjust to an unfamiliar driving technique. Taking extra precautions and simple adjustments shouldn't make your drive much longer and your car and more importantly, you, will arrive at your destination in one piece.



JS Wallis




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Workshop Wisdom

Hose it right, first time

Engine overheating? – Give your customers a superior radiator hose
When it comes to automotive cooling system hoses, not all hoses are created equal. At first glance, one hose looks just like any other, but with the influx of cheap auto parts into the local aftermarket, buying a cooling system hose purely on price could land not only the motorist but also your workshop in pricey ‘hot water’.

An important fact to bear in mind is that cooling system hoses are particularly susceptible to ozone (a form of gas emitted by engine heat), which eats away at rubber hoses, particularly hoses made from inferior materials and poor manufacturing processes. And, we all know the damage caused to an engine when the cooling system fails… 

At you can get a market-leading range of ISO-accredited cooling system hoses manufactured in an ISO 9001-accredited factory that meet or exceed the recognised OEM specification, SAEJ20R4. 

The EPDM rubber compound used in DOE cooling system hoses can withstand high engine temperatures and ozone build-up in modern engine compartments, significantly increasing hose reliability and service life. 

If, after checking radiator hoses for wear/signs of perishing and any of the following are visible - bubbling, soft spots, rips and tears, do the following: 

• Equip yourself with pliers or a water pump spanner, a screwdriver and a bucket. Buy the upper and/or lower DOE radiator hoses along with hose clamps, plus a can of Q20 from  
• Drain the coolant. Place the bucket under the radiator at the lower hose coupling and detach it from the radiator. Allow all coolant to drain out. Remove the lower radiator hose. 
• Detach the old upper radiator hose and replace it with the new DOE hose. Tip: Soak the new hose in hot water and spray the coupling flanges with Q20 to make hose fitment easier. 
• Repeat the process for the new lower DOE radiator hose. 
• Make sure the new hoses are securely clamped in place. 
• Fill the coolant reservoir with filtered water and antifreeze. 
• Start the car with the heater on and allow it to run for at least ten minutes while keeping a close eye on the temperature gauge. If the gauge rises above the middle mark, there’s an air lock. Stop the engine, detach the lower radiator hose and bleed the coolant into an empty bucket. Replace hose and reuse the new coolant mixture. 

Apart from being a relatively simple job, radiator hose replacement is made more efficient with DOE hoses. Every DOE hose has a part number and replicates exactly the designs for leading Japanese and European car and LCV brands, allowing ease-of-replacement and a perfect fit, every time. 

Bottom line – replacing radiator hoses at an OE-workshop will cost a motorist upwards of R2K. You can offer a valuable service by using the DOE hose range that, alongside your skills can do the job for a fraction of the price – a win-win situation!