As we are expected to practice social distancing and avoid going outside during the current lockdown period, use of your car must have significantly decreased.
Even if your road trips and drives to work have momentarily stopped, care for your car should not. When a car is left for prolonged periods without being used, it can start to deteriorate if it is not properly maintained.
In order to avoid a scary bill from your mechanic after the lockdown period is over, here are some easy ways you can keep your car in good shape during the lockdown.
1. Take Advantage of Online Shopping
You might have some spare time on your hand right now to try your hand at repairing your car or replacing a tire. It is understandable not to have the proper tools and parts to complete these tasks because of the sudden and unexpected lockdown.
However, that does not mean you should give up. Right now, online shops can be your car's messiah. A quick search for the supplies you need will lead you to a list of shops that can deliver the parts at your doorstep. A great and reliable car parts shop online is partsgeek.com, which can even provide hard-to-find parts for your car.
2. Where to Park
If you have a garage in your house, you are one of the lucky ones as you can protect it from heat, prevent some animals from making it their shelter, and bird droppings.
On the other hand, if you are like the rest of us, you must choose your parking spot in the open very wisely. Park your car in an area where there is sufficient shade or invest in a car cover because direct sunlight can damage your car.
Furthermore, try and avoid inclined areas if you are planning to park your car there for the period of the lockdown. Using the parking brake for a prolonged amount of time on inclined areas will wear it out.
3. Start the Engine
Leaving the car alone for a long time can be bad for the engine. Fluids can dry out which will lead components of your car to develop rust. Furthermore, since the lockdown is a matter of months rather than weeks, the battery will die out if the car is left entirely unused.Start your car up from time to time to make sure it does not stop working entirely.
4. Check Up on the Tires
It is likely for your tires to develop flat spots and lose pressure. That is why it is recommended you check on the pressure at least once every week.
Failure to detect under-inflated tires can be very dangerous and costly because maneuvering is less stable and uses more fuel.
5. Use the Car Occasionally
Take your car out on occasional drives around your area or use it to run errands instead of walking or using public transportation. Driving around, even twice or thrice a week can help your car more than you can imagine.
Not only does it give you an excuse to start your car to keep it running smoothly, but this will also prevent the tires of the car from losing pressure.
With that said, do keep in mind that you are not required to drive long distances, a short ten-minute drive around the neighborhood will do the trick.
6. Clean Your Car Regularly
Just because you are not taking your car out on drives amongst the dust and pollution, it does not mean your car will stay clean. As time passes, the car will become caked in dust and animal droppings if it is parked outside..
Cleaning will not only prevent your car from looking like an abandoned vehicle, but you might also discover stray cats and dogs that have settled under or around the car.
It is best to poke around your car and prevent animals from claiming it as their home, otherwise an accident might occur while pulling your car out of the driveway.
7. Clean up Inside As Well
Bugs and other small animals might be able to find a way inside your car over time. While washing down your car, don't neglect the interior and try to clean up inside as well.
Neglecting the interior of the car can later lead to infestation which in turn, creates an unsanitary environment for use.
8. Top Up the Gas
As the lockdown continues giving rise to uncertainty, it isn't crazy to start searching up how to adapt to different seasons in quarantine. This applies to your car as well.
Fill up your gas tank to prevent condensation in the tank. In cold weather, the moisture from the condensation can freeze the fuel line.
Aside from cold weather, the condensation can also cause the gas tank to rust. This will accelerate the wear of your vehicle and will cause more serious issues for your car in the future.
9. Check Your Car Insurance
Car insurance policies must be renewed once or twice a year to ensure overall safety. While in the lockdown, take a look at your car insurance and check when it should be renewed.
It is highly advised to renew the policy even if you have some time to spare before you need to renew it if you can find the chance. The current crisis has caused a string of unexpected events to occur so renewing it gives you fewer things to worry about in the future.
If you end up neglecting your car's maintenance, you will end up with a lot of issues that cannot be resolved until you hire a mechanic.
It is best to be proactive in this situation and adapt to the changes you must make in your life right now, which includes taking care of your vehicle when you are not using it.
During the lockdown period, it is all about learning how to make things work with what you have, and hopefully, by using these small tricks from home, you will be able to keep your car running smoothly.