Rain repellents and hydrophobic coating

lexpresscars rain repellent

Rain repellents! They sound gimmicky–the glass of your windscreen does not absorb rain, after all–but they are essential to further protect your car and to improve driving comfort. A hydrophobic coating is more than a fancy wax you apply on your car. This is what allows water to run down a leaf without leaving a drop behind. When being launched at high speed on the roads, the hydrophobic properties of rain repellents works wonders.

Rain does not blind you

Rain repellents allow you to see when it rains! A light drizzle or a class 4 cyclone, as we so often see in Mauritius make the liquid stack on your windscreen. The effect is quasi immediate. It blocks your view but your wipers are not always effective. 

To keep it simple, rain repellents prevent water from bonding on the windshield. Instead, water forms droplets that get pulled away by the air flow. When water molecules come in contact with any object, they spread all over and coat the surface with a thin layer of water. A hydrophobic coating on your windscreen prevents water from dispersing over the surface as it creates a layer onto which water simply cannot grip.

Better than wax

While wax has hydrophobic properties, it is very ill-advised to wax your windscreen. Under the sun, wax on your windscreen will turn to grease and create grit that you will have to manually scrub away. Rain repellents function a lot like wax except that it is specifically designed for the glass surfaces of your vehicle. It makes cleaning smoother and gives the glasses an impressive mirror finish.

Hydrophobic coating does not only affect water but most liquid, including oil. As water cannot grip on the surface, it gets wiped away more easily. More water under your wipers lubricates the action of the latter on your windshield, preventing it from smudging all over the glass which in turn removes any squeaking your wipers make when turned on. When water slides down your car, it also traps particles on the surface, meaning that rain repellents allow you to take away all the grit when manually washing your car, preventing water spots on your vehicle after it has dried. 

Considering the weather conditions in Mauritius, rain repellents are an absolute must. Japanese and European cars are not designed for the tropical rain load and the only right thing to do is to put all the chances you can round up on your side. A hydrophobic coating is one edge your car will have against the elements.