Don’t be afraid to tell your mechanic or your repair shop’s service manager about problems that you are having with your car. Your independently owned neighborhood repair shop has set it’s goal at proper vehicle care, vehicle safety and customer satisfaction. We want you to take care of the preventive maintenance required by your vehicles manufacturer so that you might avoid those big repair bills that come as a result of neglect.
A customer recently asked me about his car’s tendency to hydroplaning in the rain and what could be the cause of this.
My first piece of advice is to slow down when driving in the rain and on wet roads.
Hydroplaning or aquaplaning by the tires of a vehicle occurs when so much water builds up between the tires and the road surface that the tires ride up on a wedge of water and temporarily leave the surface of the road. This leads to the loss of traction and prevents the vehicle from responding to driver inputs such as braking, steering and acceleration. If this occurs on all four wheels the vehicle, in effect, becomes an uncontrolled sled.
Normally hydroplaning is prevented by your tires. The tread contains grooves that channel the water through the tire and allowing the surface of the tire to remain firmly on the road.
One possibility is that you don’t have enough tread left on your tires. If your tires are worn and the channels not deep enough you won’t be able to move water through the tire quickly enough to maintain firm contact with the road surface.
Hydroplaning can also be caused by worn shocks or struts that aren’t doing their job of keeping the tires pressed down firmly on the road. Worn shocks and struts, five years old or more, sixty-thousand miles or more, and worn tires could be the culprit behind your hydroplaning problem.
Ask you neighborhood mechanic to take a look at your tires and shocks the next time your car is in for routine maintenance. We want you to have a safe driving experience.