If you’re on quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic, your car is most probably stuck in your garage, untouched. However, just like people, your automobiles also need exercise and will slowly wither if they sit and don’t have much activity for too long. Like how long? That depends. But with the shutdowns and shelter-in-place measures implemented in many states for months now, it may be too long since that car of yours has roared its engine.
The initial sign would often be a dead battery, although some other issues can arise as well. Let’s go through several ways you can prevent car issues and protect your car from the negative effects of COVID times.
Drive Around The Neighborhood
Drive it. That’s the most essential thing you can do to exercise its engine. Don’t just turn on the ignition and rev it up in the garage until your place is filled with smoke. Take a spin around the neighborhood or even a few blocks from your home. Drive it long enough so that you’re able to fully charge its battery, and the rest of the parts and fluids are working. Perhaps 20 or 30 minutes would go a long way. Don’t forget to turn on the music and the air conditioning so that everything in your automobile gets the exercise that it needs.
If, for whatever reason, you are not able to drive your car around, then turning it on long enough in your driveway would have to do for now. Just make sure that you get to listen to the way the cooling fan is working.
Check Fuel Status
This is the next important thing you should keep track of to ensure that your automobile is healthy during COVID times. Those who utilize gas-powered equipment, own a boat, or other recreational vehicles know that gasoline does have an expiration date. Lawnmowers, for example, need to be run dry when the season ends or else the fuel is wasted. If not, you’ll have to mix in some stabilizer to keep it from getting damaged.
For cars, it’s quite challenging to know precisely how long your gas can last before it is damaged, probably because there are a lot of factors that affect it, like the weather, what’s the ethanol portion, or when you bought your gas. Additionally, fuel manufacturers, like refineries, are less interested in having discussions about how long these fuels last. But experts do agree that they don’t last years – only months.
How about the time when you filled your tank last? And when will you be filling it again, considering how long – or short – you’ve been driving your car during this global health crisis? Some people may be using their automobiles in regular, although short, basis. However, for others who think that it would be months before they could refill their tanks again, the best advice would be to ask their insurance company to mix in some fuel stabilizer to their tanks.
Other things that car owners should consider during these times include:
Tires. Maintain high pressure for your tires, at the same time keeping in mind that an automobile that has not been moving regularly can get flat spots on their tires. If you don’t notice this while your car is stuck in your garage, you will when you finally drive it. Often, this disappears when the tires have warmed up, but sometimes it doesn’t. So if possible, do drive your car once in a while. If you can’t, then move it back and forth while it’s stuck there.
Brakes. The brakes are also affected when your car is idle for long periods, depending on where you placed it. This is typical of brakes, as most of their propellers are made from cast iron and rust quickly. Using your brakes while driving cleans them as the brake pads get rid of corrosion this way. If you don’t use your car regularly, you might hear the ‘graunch’ several times as you hit the brakes.
Batteries. Typically, car batteries need to be charged regularly. Driving your car often will do that, as these things do not want to be stored without getting charged. So if, unfortunately, one battery dies, jump-start your car immediately. If your batteries have not been ‘exercising’ regularly, you might consider purchasing a trickle charger.