As there's a pandemic going on, most people of the world are stuck in their houses for an uncertain period.
While it's right for you to stay home and flatten the curve of spreading the virus, it may not be suitable for your car.
The longer your vehicle sits idle, the more risk for it to face permanent damage. You may end up with a car that doesn't run smoothly, or even start at all.
If you want to prevent the unwanted bills for repairing your car parts, you need to take some additional precautions to make sure before you're planning to tuck it away in long-term storage.
Tips to Take Care of Your Car During Lockdown
Any car, particularly the older vehicles, tends to show troubles if not used for a long time. The following tips will make sure you have your car running smoothly without any problem once the lockdown is over.
Start & Drive Your Car Occasionally
All the cars will suffer if they are idle for too long since they are designed to be driven regularly. That's why you should keep your vehicle functional by driving around the neighborhood once a week.
Driving the vehicle regularly will keep the battery charged and the moving parts lubricated. It will also help avoid potential flat spots of tires.
If it's not possible to drive the car during the lockdown, at least start the engine and allow it to run until it reaches operating temperature. Also, don't do this inside your garage since it will be filled with exhaust fumes.
Keep Up The Regular Maintenance Schedule
Even if you're not driving regularly, you should keep up a preventative maintenance schedule. Check the engine oil, battery, as well as other parts to check if they are functioning correctly.
If there's any damaged or faulty part found in the car, don't wait for the lockdown to be over. Change and replace the parts immediately since it may cause further damage to your car.
If the nearest shop for this particular purpose is closed, there is no need to worry. Order the required items from an auto parts website and fix your vehicle.
Fill Up On Gas
Don't forget to fill up the fuel tank before parking your car for a more extended period. It will stop condensation from accumulating inside the fuel tank and prevent the gasoline fumes from rising up to hazardous levels.
If possible, use a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of your gasoline. This product is specially designed for vehicles that are going into long-term storage. Keep a fuel card on you so that if you need to top up you can do at ease, read this to find out more.
Keep An Eye On The Tires
Tires tend to lose their pressure over time, especially when the car sits for too long. That's why you need to check the pressure of each tire and top it up when required.
Also, look for any tire that might have flat spots or any other defect and replace it with a good one. Do the same with your spare tire as well.
Charge Your Electric Vehicle
You may not need to worry about the fuel tank if you own an EV, but you need to take certain precautions to keep your vehicle functional.
The battery of an electric vehicle loses charge over time, even when it's not used. So, keep it charged if you don't want to end up with a powerless toy.
To ensure your car is in an optimal condition, keep the charge between 50% to 70% at all times. Also, monitor the charging level regularly by looking at the app or the dashboard.
You can also consider having a trickle charger, which will charge the battery only when it needs to. It's a bit costly, but still a better option than losing your car for good.
Don't Engage The Parking Brake
Keep your parking brake disengaged if you know you're not driving for at least a few weeks. It's because if you live in a humid area, the corrosion could seize the entire moving parts of the system, making disengaging nearly impossible.
However, before you disengage the parking brake, make sure your vehicle is on level terrain and will not move. Set the transmission or park for the automatic car and put it in the first gear if the car is manual. If possible, place a wedge under the wheel.
Be Careful About The Parking Spot
Parking your car in a safe area is essential since you're keeping it that way for a long time. While it's not a big deal for those who have a garage, it can be quite challenging for those who don't have a dedicated parking spot for their vehicle.
Make sure you don't park your car on grass since the moisture will cause rust and damage the auto parts. It would be better if you can park your car on the pavement.
Parking your car under a tree can be disastrous if there's a possibility of an upcoming storm. Certain things, such as dripping sap from trees or bird poop, can ruin your car's paint within hours.
Use A Cover For Your Car
Consider using a cover for your car if you have to park it outside, or under a tree. It will protect your vehicle from harmful UV rays and other elements.
However, putting a cover on a dirty car will do more harm than good. It will rub the paint and eventually erode the exterior. That's why it's highly recommended that you wash your car thoroughly before putting the cover on.
Keep The Keys Away
If you're planning not to use the car for an extended period, it's better to keep the keys at home in a safe place to prevent stealing of your vehicle.
Besides, if you have a smart key, don't carry it in your pocket since it will unnecessarily wake up the car when you're walking near the garage or the driveway.
Cars require regular maintenance to stay in good condition for a longer period. And the best way to keep your vehicle functional is to keep it moving.
While starting the engine and going for a short drive helps keep your car lubricated, some additional precautions may be in order if you won't be driving for an extended period.
There's no need to panic or take drastic measures to keep your car from getting damaged. Just follow the simple tips mentioned above if you don't want your vehicle to turn into a motel for rodents.