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How to protect your car during the Valley's upcoming storms

Two things you should do right now to get your car ready for the weekend's storms.

PHOENIX — Rain and snow are on the way to Arizona at the end of the week. And like many drivers in Arizona, you probably haven't thought about whether your car's ready.

When the rain starts to fall, Valley auto shops say people flock to get their cars weather-worthy. But they said there are two things you should do right now to make sure you're prepared and not trying to fix your car in a downpour.

1. Check your wipers

We don't use our windshield wipers much in the Valley. Chances are, you haven't even turned yours on since the last monsoon.

Montgomery Miller with Sun Devil Auto said the summer heat tends to break down the rubber on windshield wipers faster than other places. 

That, combined with lack of use, means they're more likely to break apart when you use them again.

“The rubber on here should still be somewhat a little bit pliable," Miller said. "If you start to see that the blade itself is actually folded up...probably time to get those wiper blades replaced before the rain gets here.”

Credit: 12 News

2. Check your tires

Six inches of water can cause your car to lose traction with the road and spin out. A foot of water can cause your car to float off the road. Two feet of water can float a heavy truck.

So you want as much traction on your tires as possible. And the moment you start to lose control is not when you want to find out your tires are bald.

“We've got to have the traction to be able to move in the rain, we've got to the tracks to be able to stop in the rain," Miller said. 

Remember the old dime trick your dad probably taught you? Take a dime and put it in the treads of your tires...if you can see the top of Ike's head, you need new tires. 

But Miller said that test doesn't really work anymore. 

"Most of your tires actually have a tread wear indicator bar on them," he said. 

It's a strip of rubber going through the tread that marks a "safe zone" for the tread on your specific tires. 

Miller said the dime trick doesn't hold true anymore because of advances in tire science and because there are so many different tires for different cars and trucks. 

Storms are on the way, and Miller said you don't want to be the last one in to the shop. Take care of your car now to be safe on the road when the rain starts falling. 

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