Do you miss going on long drives during the lockdown? Well, your car wants to go on a long drive just as badly as you do! This is because sitting in the driveway and collecting dust is not healthy for all its (intended to be moving) parts.
Leaving your car parked for weeks and months at a time will cause its components to corrode, rust and break down. This can be hazardous when you finally go for a drive after the lockdown.
You can avoid this by following the simple car maintenance tips mentioned below. They will help keep your car in good condition and ensure you can drive into the sunset when the lockdown is lifted.
When it comes to taking care of your car, your first concern should be your car’s battery. It is one of the few parts that require constant maintenance and upkeep. In fact, leaving your car parked for as little as two weeks can cause your battery to drain. Many believe that starting the car and letting it idle for a few minutes will be able to counter the problem. However, this is not true!
Most experts recommend taking the car for a small spin to recharge its batteries. If that’s not possible, car owners are advised to gradually rev the engine instead of just letting it idle. This is because you have to be in excess of 1,000 rpm before the battery starts charging.
You can also avail of a trickle charger that connects your car battery to a regular electrical socket. This will transfer a trickle of electricity into your car battery keeping it in optimum condition.
If you leave your car standing for a long time, the tires will develop flat spots. While driving every few days would help, there are some other options as well.
Choosing your parking spot is one of the key factors in maintaining your tires. Avoid parking on soft grassy ground for a longer time. The moisture from the earth tends to creep up into the tires making them weak and more susceptible to flat spots.
Parking on gravel or concrete is marginally better. But to keep your tires in the best condition, consider parking your car on wooden planks.
If flat spots do appear, change the tires out before you drive your car. This is because flat spots create a loss in traction which might lead to an accident. So remember to check your tires before you go on a drive after the lockdown.
This is one of the most important car maintenance tips during the lockdown. While revving your engine every now and then might remind it of its duty, you should take some extra measures to maintain it.
Remember to change the oil of the engine at a regular interval. During the lockdown you can do it yourself without much hassle. There are a lot of instructional videos on the internet that you can check if you do not feel confident enough about it. After the lockdown ends get your engine checked by a professional mechanic.
Another important step is to keep your vehicle clean of food scraps and keep it aired. You do not want small animals and insects to get in and nest inside your vehicle. They can chew through the wires and make your engine malfunction.
Leaving your car parked for a long time will damage the brakes. To prevent this, drive around the neighbourhood or the building a couple of times every week.
A lesser-known fact is that leaving your car parked with the hand-brake engaged might cause the brake pads and rotor to stick or fuse together. This is not a very common occurrence but the chances of it happening increase if it rains.
While you keep your car parked remember to top off your tank. A full tank will keep condensation from forming in your tank. It also prevents the potentially hazardous build-up of petrol/diesel fumes. You also consider adding stabilizers to extend the life of your fuel. This prevents it from degrading.
Preserving the paint is not as essential as maintaining your car battery. But no one wants to drive around in a car with paint peeling off.
Regularly clean your car, especially if you are parking it outside. Consider a car cover to protect the paint from bird droppings, since their acid content can permanently damage the paint job.
Avoid parking under trees for a long period as their sap can damage the exterior if it drips. To keep your car looking brand new, pamper it with a wax-and-seal. A gleaming car speaks volumes about its owner.
Follow these steps to keep your car in its prime condition through the lockdown. Also remember to renew your car insurance, to keep ahead of legal hassles. You never know when an emergency might force you to take your car out on the road, and driving around with an expired plan is a big no-no, lockdown or not!
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