The Coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on human life around the globe, and it just doesn’t seem to end. Experts predict that the financial recovery period will take less time, but the emotional recovery period will be very long for some of us. All our loved ones are being affected, and that includes our vehicles too. While you have your family doctors and health experts to guide you about your family, we can let you in on a few secrets about COVID Car Care. Here are seven things you need to follow as a car owner during the lockdowns.
Do Not Engage The Handbrake
We know that when you park your vehicle, you always need to engage the handbrake, and this is Driving lesson 101. But this does not apply every time, and the exception is when you leave your car in the garage or your everyday parking space for too long. Anything more than a month can be classified as too long. What happens is, when you apply the handbrake and leave it as it is for an extended period, it tends to get jammed, and it worsens if they start getting rusty. It’s a simple solution for a car with a manual transmission as you can engage the 1st gear or reverse gear depending on the direction of the slope and leave it be. However, for an automatic transmission, even if you put it in park mode, you will still have to engage the handbrake or keep bricks at the tyre.
Take Special Care Of The Battery
A car need not be ON for the battery to work. While the vehicle is in motion, the battery gets charged by the dynamo, and hence it can keep running, but when the engine is off, the dynamo won’t work. But since the circuit is complete, from positive to negative, the battery will still lose charge, but the amount of discharge will be significantly less. So if you’re sure that you won’t be using your vehicle for more than a month, then you can disconnect the negative terminal of the battery. This will form an incomplete circuit, and hence there will be no discharge from the battery. If you don’t want to see a dead battery and rely on jumpstarting your car, then you might want to follow this method. If you’re sure you will use it within a month, then you can start the car at least once a week to replenish the battery and the engine internals.
Protect The Exterior
If a car is parked for more than a week, then it becomes a dust magnet, and that’s more than enough indication for you to clean your car. In case you have a garage or a closed parking area, then that is the best place to park your car to prevent dust collection, and you can extend the interval of the regular car wash. If not, then there lies the trouble. Extended exposure to sunlight can cause damage to the paint, rubber beadings and also increase the temperature inside the car. If it’s inevitable and your car has to be parked in the scorching sun, then we advise you to buy a good car cover to reduce the risk. While cleaning the car, kindly use dedicated car shampoos and not the ones used for your dandruff; you will know the difference once you start using them. Also, make sure you use only a microfibre cloth to clean.
Don’t Forget The Interior
The car’s interior is where you spend most of the time, so make sure they are cleaned before and after usage. In case you’re not using the car for an extended period, then you can do a regular cleanup once in a while. This will ensure that there is no unpleasant odour caused due to food, snacks or drinks. Using a vacuum cleaner is the best way to keep your mats clean, and trust me, it is far less time consuming as well. This can be followed not just as a part of COVID car care but to have a cleaner car overall.
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Beware Of Flat Spots
After the battery, the tyres are the most affected by prolonged non-usage of a vehicle. Not only do they deflate over time, but they also experience something called a flat spot. What happens is that the small contact patch of the tyre which is touching the ground starts getting flat due to the constant deflation, and after some time, it gets stuck in that position. This means that even after inflating the tyre, it will not curve again like it’s supposed to and retain the flat position. This will cause concern while driving on highways at higher speeds. The grip level on that particular patch also will reduce due to the flat spot. So make sure you take the vehicle out for a spin every week, and if that is not possible, then take it out of your garage and park it again; this should make sure that the car does not rest on the same spot on the tyre.
Keep The Pests Away!
Rodents and pests are a constant problem no matter how long you park your vehicle, but the longer you leave the vehicle unattended, the more damage they will cause while building their luxurious house in your car. This needs to be on top of the list in COVID car care for the potential damage they can cause. There are several ways to prevent it from happening, and apart from regular rides, you can make sure that there is no leftover food for the rodents to come sniffing. Nowadays, you get anti-pest sprays and pest killers that can be used to ward them off.
Fill-Up The Fuel Tank
During the lockdowns, or if you’re not using the car for an extended period, make sure you have filled the fuel tank completely. This gives you peace of mind in case of an emergency and helps prevent corrosion in the fuel tank as well. The air inside an empty or half-filled tank will condense over time and turn into water vapour, which will not happen if the fuel tank is full as there is no space for it.
These practices are something that you need to adhere to as a part of COVID car care, and they will make sure that the cars take good care of you as well. You can let us know any practice that you believe everyone should know in order to protect their vehicle during these perilous times. Hopefully, this shall end soon, and all of us can go back to how it was before the pandemic.