The pandemic has changed the way people live at least momentarily. Students have been forced to attend classes online instead of in person. Delivery services are encouraged while large gatherings are banned. While only a small fraction of the population worked remotely before, millions of Americans are now working from home.
One of the side effects of quarantine is the reduced car usage. You may be saving money on gas by staying at home more, but the lack of use can lead to expensive damages. Here’s how you can maintain your car during the pandemic:
Go Forward and Backward
Every once in a while, it’s important to drive your car even if for a short distance. You don’t even have to leave your garage. You can just go forward and backward in your parking space. This will prevent your tires from losing a lot of air. You can also use a wheel balancer to maintain the quality of your tires. After thousands of miles of use, tires naturally lose their shape. Some parts are thicker while others are thinner. This can strain the rest of the car and cause an uncomfortable driving experience. Once you need to drive, especially in case of emergencies, it would be hard if you have uneven and deflated tires.
Besides the tires, driving every now and then can also help the rest of the car’s parts. When left unused, car batteries lose their charge. Some car owners choose to disconnect their batteries if they won’t be using their vehicle for a long time. The downside is that this will cause a reset to the car’s system. You’ll have to adjust the time, date, and other settings all over again. If you’re going to be using it from time to time, it might be better to keep the battery plugged. You can determine if there’s a problem with the brakes, heating, and cooling. The engine can also sustain corrosion when not used for a long period.
Cover the Car Correctly
If you’re not going to use your car for a while, you should store it correctly. For people who don’t have a garage, it’s important to use a quality car cover. It can keep debris from dirtying up the vehicle. It can also prevent stray animals from scratching its surface or getting inside. There have been instances where car wires were chewed up by rodents and squirrels. Of course, it can also help secure your car. A shiny, well-maintained car outdoors can attract thieves. On the other hand, a covered car blends better with the background.
The best way to store a car for a long time is by parking in a closed garage. You don’t have to use a cover because it won’t be affected by dirt or animals outdoors. Keeping your car indoors is also one of the best ways to prevent thefts. It’s much harder for outsiders to enter the garage without alerting the people at home.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Whether you’re keeping your car indoors or outdoors, you should clean it regularly. Dirt can still accumulate outside the vehicle and cause damage. Don’t just use any old cleanser. Look for one that won’t ruin your car’s paint job while still removing all the gunk and dust. You can use a good wax to keep the car looking shiny and new.
It’s important not to forget the interior before storing your car. If you tend to keep a trash can or snacks inside the car, it will rot and smell. After some time, it can lure pests who can ruin the interior. Remember to clean under your mats to get all the crumbs out. To minimize the dirt inside, brush and vacuum as you go. It will ensure that the dust isn’t just gone from the car’s nooks and crannies. You’re completely removing it from the interior of the vehicle
Treat your car as if you’re still using it regularly before the pandemic. This means that you should still follow the scheduled oil and filter change as scheduled. Otherwise, the oil can deteriorate and cause corrosion. This is especially important if you only drive in short distances. It can cause gunk to accumulate which means you’ll need an oil change earlier than necessary.
If you’re going to be using your car less, it’s important not to disregard the proper care. Just because you’re not driving often doesn’t mean your vehicle doesn’t need maintenance. Don’t forget to consult the car manual for the right instructions. Some manufacturers even include a guide for long-term storage.