Welcome to the new world of working from home and sheltering-in-place. It’s not entirely conclusive how far and wide the long-term ramifications of the current global COVID-19 pandemic, but in the short term most industries have been severely impacted: and the automotive industry is no different. According to recent 1Q reporting numbers, car sales are down almost across the board.
There are fewer cars on the roads right now; some are even empty. As you protect yourself from COVID-19 through self-quarantine and observing basic recommendations, you should also take time to care for your vehicle.
Many car repair shops are closed at the moment so you should do your best to maintain your car at home. Make sure to park your vehicle correctly and observe the following care tips.
Care for the Essential Parts
There are parts of a car you can comfortably service at your home; these parts include the tires, fluid, battery, and fuel. For a vehicle to function correctly, every needed fluid should be at the optimum level, so invest in reserve coolant and engine oil during the quarantine.
Regularly check the engine oil using a dipstick and monitor the calibrations on the coolant reservoir.Since the car will remain in parking for a while, check and maintain the pressure on the tires regularly. Make sure you own a tire inflator at your disposal. During quarantine, fuel supply may dip, so make sure you have sufficient fuel, top-up whenever you use your car to ensure you at least have half a tank full.
Keep Your Car Running
If you can, go for short drives to exercise the engine’s movable parts. It is also suitable for the battery as it ensures it improves its life; keeping the car active keeps the fluids flowing as well. If you cannot go for a drive, you can maintain your car by keeping it running for 15 minutes often; it will leave your vehicle warmed up and functional.
The health of a car's battery is paramount, so it is one of the most crucial parts to monitor in your quarantine. It is wise to make sure the battery cranks up well. You do not want to have to jump-start your car during an emergency.
Additionally, if you leave your car in the garage for a prolonged period of time, the gas in the tank can get stale. Running stale gas through your engine can be problematic, and in even some cases cause damages to fuel injectors.
Clean the Car
In case you keep your car outside or leave it out, make sure you wash its exterior every 1 to 2 weeks to get rid of the dust, too much moisture, and grime. Keeping your car clean prolongs the life of the paint job; hence you will not have to worry about spending money repainting your vehicle. Once you wash it, coat it with wax/polish to keep the moisture away.
The cabin should also be clean; you do not want to drive a stinky car once the quarantine is over. Leaving the interior dirty attracts mice and ants as well. Before you store your vehicle, clean it, and spray it with air freshener.
If you are leaving your house for any reason, be sure to disinfect all points of contact with soap and water or makeup wipes (if you have leather). The makeup wipes have moisturizer that will avoid drying out your interior.
Maintain the Sparks Plugs
If you intend on keeping your car unused for a while, unplug and spray the spark plugs with some oil, then plug it in; doing so will prevent moisture from getting into the cylinder head's interior and protect it from rust. However, before you open your car's internal parts, make sure you are comfortable doing it and also equipped with the necessary skills.
Keep Rodents Away
Failing to watch out for your car may attract rodents who might end up chewing the car’s wiring. You can purchase deterrents and sprays to keep the rodents away while you spend quality time with your family. Place dryer sheets and mothballs on the bay of the engine or put rat traps around the car's perimeter.
Work With Your Car Repair Service Online
Your health is more important than your car; therefore, it is better to stay in rather than risk going out to service your vehicle. However, your vehicle does not have to suffer, work with an online-based car repair and Maintenance Service Company. Furthermore, you can email, call, or WhatsApp your regular car repair provider for maintenance tips.
As you work on your car at home, make sure you stay safe from infection by disinfecting the working area and wash your hands thoroughly.
"Dominic is a content contributor on behalf of Caliber Collision. Dominic covers a wide array of topics and themes ranging from distracted driving to paintless dent repair."