Due to the current crisis, many of us are urged to stay at home. As a result, our personal vehicles remain parked in our garages as well. And while this allows us to somehow save on gas money for now, there are certain things we should still do to make sure that our cars are in tip-top shape.
Indeed, it seems that we will not be travelling as frequently as we used to — for the time being at least. Nevertheless, we should still learn how to keep our cars in good condition, regardless of how often we would actually be using them today and in the months (and years) to come.
- Guide to Keeping Your Car in Shape During this Period
- 1. Drive your car at least once a week or every 10 days.
- 2. Inspect your car tires at least once a month.
- 3. Follow your usual maintenance schedule.
- 4. Fill up on gas and top up the fluids.
- 5. Keep your car clean — inside and outside.
- 6. Wax and seal your car.
- 7. Keep your card protected and well covered.
- 8. Keep your car insured and store necessary documents.
- Staying Safe During Car Repair and Maintenance
Guide to Keeping Your Car in Shape During this Period
To help ensure that your car remains in great condition — even during this period — here are some tried and tested tips for you to consider:
1. Drive your car at least once a week or every 10 days.
Most of us are advised to stay at home, except when we need to buy food, medicine, and other essentials. You can do this once a week, while taking the opportunity to drive your car as well. Of course, don’t forget to wear a mask and take extra precautions!
Driving at least once every 7 to 10 days entails great benefits for your car. First of all, it can help you avoid a dead battery, which is what happens when a car stays idle for a long time. Head to your usual supermarket for groceries, or simply drive around your block a few times.
Another benefit of weekly driving is that it keeps your car fluids (i.e. coolant, engine oil, power-steering fluid, transmission fluid) in good circulation; hence, the different parts of your car engine remain well lubricated, as they should be.
2. Inspect your car tires at least once a month.
Tires tend to lose pressure over time, especially if they remain unused. Be sure to inspect them at least once a month, while driving your car weekly to keep the engine parts lubricated. When you park your car, it’s also a good idea to place wooden blocks underneath your tires; this helps prevent cemented surfaces from drawing air pressure out of them.
3. Follow your usual maintenance schedule.
Even if you are not driving frequently these days, it is still important to follow your usual maintenance schedule. Checking your car’s breaks, changing oil during the right time intervals — continue doing these things to keep your car in excellent condition.
4. Fill up on gas and top up the fluids.
Keep the gas tank filled even during this period, as this can help prevent condensation from accumulating and gasoline fumes from rising to dangerous levels.
Likewise, keep the fluids topped up to help avoid rust and corrosion. Have the oil changed at proper time intervals to remove acids and contaminants. Top up the brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid, as well as the windshield wiper fluid.
5. Keep your car clean — inside and outside.
Always check if there are any food, drinks, wrappers, and tissues left inside your car. Also, vacuum the carpet regularly to help prevent any molds and unpleasant odours from building up in the vehicle, especially since it will be parked for a longer period than usual.
Moreover, wash your car once a week, at least, using a wet cloth. This way, you can remove dust and bird droppings, which are acidic and could affect your car’s paint in the long run.
6. Wax and seal your car.
In addition to cleaning your car, consider waxing and sealing it as well. Doing so helps protect and prolong the car’s paint, even when exposed to natural elements.
7. Keep your card protected and well covered.
If possible, keep your car in a cool and dry space, such as the garage or in a basement/roofed parking lot. This can help prevent any vehicle-related crimes, while also keeping your car safe from outside elements like wind, dust, and rain.
Another alternative would be to use a bag cover to protect your car from natural elements. Don’t forget to choose a high quality cover that allows your vehicle to “breathe,” while still protecting it from general dirt and debris.
8. Keep your car insured and store necessary documents.
Crisis or no crisis, it’s always a wise move to keep your car insured. Don’t forget to store the necessary documents, in case you might need them during emergencies.
Staying Safe During Car Repair and Maintenance
While you can do most of the above activities by yourself, you might need to go out for some repair and maintenance procedures. If this is this case, here’s how you can stay safe:
1. Call the repair shop first.
Before anything else, call the repair shop first. They might be able to give you instructions on making a basic repair by yourself. Otherwise, set a schedule for bringing your car in.
2. Wear a facial mask and gloves.
This is a must for everyone going out these days. Wearing a facial mask and gloves can help keep you clean and protected. Make sure that the technician and everyone else you meet in the repair shop are wearing masks and gloves as well.
3. Avoid touching unsanitized items.
As much as possible, avoid touching items that have not been sanitized. Drop keys, documents, and cards onto trays or counters before handing/receiving them from others.
4. Have your car disinfected.
To help ensure everyone’s health and safety, don’t be shy to ask for your car to be disinfected. You can also inquire about the repair shop’s safety guidelines and protocols.
This should be common practice by now, but let’s not forget to practice social distancing at all times. Maintain at least a six feet distance between you and others, to minimize your risk of exposure.
By following the above guidelines and tips, you can keep your car in tip-top shape, even if you are not driving it as much as you used to. Moreover, don’t forget to take extra precaution — wear masks and gloves, practice social distancing — whenever you need to go out and have your car repaired.
As mentioned earlier, it’s still important to fill up on gas, even if you are driving your car just once a week. In relation to this, here are some tips on how to save money on gas, crisis or no crisis.