These are strange times that we now find ourselves in, and lockdown requires a few adjustments for most of us. One of the consequences of staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is that our cars are now lying unused, either on the street, in our garages, or on our driveways. While this has the benefit of saving us the cost of the fuel that we would usually be using, cars are made to be driven, and having a car unused does require a certain amount of maintenance to ensure that they can run smoothly when the lockdown lifts again.
Here are some ideas to help you care for your car while in lockdown.
Maintain the Car Battery
Your car battery relies on regular usage to keep it charged and healthy. Sitting idly will, over time, cause your battery to discharge, which will, in turn, mean that you will be unable to start the car when you need it. Taking your vehicle out for a drive for around 20 minutes, once a week, can help to prevent this issue and keep fluids circulating around the engine. If you are unable to drive due to restrictions, then even starting your vehicle and allowing it to reach optimum running temperature will help ensure all the parts are properly lubricated.
Check Engine Fluids
It is sensible to check all your engine fluids each week after you have finished starting your car. This not only helps identify when fluids need topping up but can also help prevent oil from settling and fluids from separating, which can cause problems for your engine down the line. Remember to include the engine oil, transmission fluids, engine coolant, and brake fluids in your checks.
Keep Your Car Out of the Sun
As we enter the warmer months, it is a good idea to keep your car out of direct sunlight. This can not only play havoc with your car interior but can also have a negative effect on your paintwork. At the very least, it is a good idea to get a car cover or consider investing in a portable garage to keep your vehicle fully protected. There are several canopies available to suit all budgets, and this can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your car cool and clean.
Check Your Tires
Having a stationary car can lead to flat spots on your tires. Regular movement can assist with this issue, but also keeping your tires correctly inflated will significantly improve their chances of avoiding this issue. Check the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle using the handbook provided and consider topping up the pressure when you take your car for its weekly run around the block.
Avoid Parking Under Trees
While shade is highly sought after for your car, trees can leak sap, fruit, and bird waste, which will wreak havoc with your car paintwork, especially when the paint is hot and more prone to damage.