Has your car been sitting in your garage for several months? When was the last time you took it out for a ride or for maintenance? In light of the past year’s pandemic, car maintenance may not be a top priority for many people. However, proper vehicle upkeep is more important than it may seem.
Allowing your car to sit idle unused for extended periods of time isn’t recommended. When your vehicle is unused for too long, the battery loses charge, your tires risk losing air, and creatures may even begin to reside in your engine compartment. These, among other things, can lead to costly repairs, or even irreversible damage, down the road. So how can you ensure that your car is properly maintained without compromising your safety?
Read on for some useful tips on how to maintain your car during lockdown.
Drive your car at least once a week
Car batteries can lose charge over time. To keep your battery charged, it’s recommended that you drive your car at least once a week, or at regular intervals. The frequency in which your vehicle should be taken for a spin may depend on your battery’s condition, the age of your car, and weather conditions. Another important factor to consider is whether your car is parked indoors or outside.
If your car is fairly new and is parked inside a garage, you can expect it to fare better than an older car, especially one that is parked outside. A colder climate will also cause your battery to drain faster. Some people resort to idling in order to recharge their car battery. While this may help, it’s better to drive your car around the block for at least 30 minutes to help your battery recharge.
Keep your vehicle’s moving parts lubricated
In addition to keeping your battery well-charged, driving your car on a regular basis also ensures that your engine and other components don’t dry out. A car that’s parked for prolonged periods of time is at a higher risk for damage because the fluids will start to separate, oil will begin to settle, and the seals will dry out. The way to avoid this is taking your car for a ride periodically.
Keeping your vehicle running regularly ensures that the fluids for all of your engine’s vital moving parts are circulating properly so that the components remain well-lubricated. This is why driving your car regularly is better than just keeping it idle.
Clean your vehicle’s interior
If your car has been sitting idle in your driveway or garage for several months, don’t expect it to smell too fresh. It might start to stink, especially if any food or beverages have been left behind. Make sure the inside of your car stays clean in order to avoid unpleasant odors from developing.
Check your tires
A car that’s been parked for too long can lead to deflated tires. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure and be sure to inflate your tires as needed. Follow the recommended pressure specified for your car.
Something else to look out for is “flat-spotting”. Flat spots can develop on your tire when the weight of the vehicle sitting on a certain spot flattens out the part where the rubber meets the road. Even just one month of being parked in one place can cause significant problems for your tires, especially during cold weather. Tires with flat spots may eventually need to be replaced. To avoid this headache, remember to check your tires regularly.
Protect your car from pests
Another problem you may encounter when your vehicle is unused for extended periods of time is unwanted pests. Rodents, for example, can reside in your car if it’s not used for a long time, which can lead to serious long-term problems. In addition to keeping your car clean, inside and out, take time to inspect your car’s wires and belts. Take note if anything has been chewed, and inspect your engine compartment for any unwanted visitors.
Whether we’re experiencing a pandemic or not, letting a car sit around for extended periods of time can cause a host of costly problems. Learn how to maintain your car properly by reviewing this list of tips so you can keep your vehicle in tip-top shape, even during a lockdown.
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