Lockdown Car Care
With the new coronavirus in our midst and the consequential national lockdown ordered by the government, we’re getting used to the ‘new normal’ – a new way of doing the same old things.
For many people, the new normal means staying at home for longer and using your car less. Remote working is encouraged, which means for those who can work from home there’s no more daily commuting to and from the office, and while touristy getaways are prohibited, your car stays put over weekends too.
It’s not an altogether bad thing to drive less, but cars are designed for driving and shouldn’t stand for too long. Your car will still need a bit of attention while you are practising social distancing and saving on fuel costs to ensure that it’s ready to run when it has to.
Here’s how you can make sure your car stays healthy and ready for action:
1. Keep the battery alive. Unfortunately, car batteries discharge over time when the car doesn’t run. The easiest way to keep it going is to go for a short drive, even if it’s just around the block. If you have one, you can connect a trickle charger to your car’s battery terminals to keep it fully charged.
2. Short drives are healthy. If you don’t drive your car, surface rust can build up on the brake rotors, especially in high humidity conditions, so go out for a short drive and apply the brakes as normal to wear off any rust build-up. A short trip out will also circulate all the fluids and charge the battery.
3. Check the fluids. Fluids such as brake- and transmission fluids and engine oil can cause engine issues if left for long periods – oils can settle and fluids can start to separate.
4. Keep the tyre pressure in check. Your car’s tyres can develop flat spots if it stands in one position for long periods. Check the tyres regularly and keep it to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Alternatively, sneak out for a quick drive around the block to avoid those nasty flat spots.
5. Give it a wash. Your car’s paint work can get damaged if left covered with dust and grime for long periods. If you don’t fancy washing your car often, then protect it with a car cover.
If you’ve never done any of these easy maintenance checks and you’re not sure how to, visit your vehicle service centre for help. Pay close attention to what they say and what to watch out for in your vehicle, because these mechanics have a wealth of knowledge that will save you lots in the long run.