How to prepare your car for this summer's monsoon

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

When the monsoon hits each summer, it can be tough on your car. Heavy rain and blowing dust can affect your car's performance and appearance. But there are ways to prepare your vehicle for the upcoming weather.

Local experts from Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) gave us some tips on Monday's Good Morning Arizona.

-Appearance

Dust can cause fine scratches all over a car. While most dust will blow off while driving, washing your car as soon as possible will help. Also, a coat of wax will protect the paint.

Comfort

-If you're caught in a storm, the cabin filter will likely become contaminated/restricted with dust affecting airflow and air conditioning performance. If you're driving in a storm, switch your A/C to "re-circulate" or "max" to draw the air from the interior rather than outside.

Performance

-Driving in a storm can drastically shorten the engine's air filter. Dust can restrict the filter, reducing fuel economy, causing poor performance and, in extreme cases, damage the engine.

Electrical systems

-If the rubber molding around your windshield, doors and cab isn't in good shape, water can seep in and create big problems. It could take a couple months before your electrical systems start malfunctioning or you could flood your engine and experience problems immediately.

Engine failure

-If you drive through floodwaters you risk damage or even catastrophic failure of your engine and/or transmission. If you can't avoid the water, here's what to do after you're safely off the road: shut off engine and evaluate whether you should have your car towed rather than keep driving and possibly cause more problems or damage.

NARPRO offers the following safe driving advice:

-Check rubber molding and windshield wipers for cracks.

-Make sure brakes are working well.

-Be sure that brake and headlights are clear and bright.

-Check tires for good tread to avoid slipping and sliding.

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