By Staff Reporter
There is no doubt that we currently find ourselves in very uncertain times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, along with the current instability in the economy, has heightened stress levels for many of us and is impacting all aspects of our lives. Whilst many things are out of our hands, taking care of our cars during the lockdown will ensure that we don’t incur any unnecessary damage and that we are able to use our cars without any trouble after the lockdown.
Here are some tips for taking care of your car during the lockdown:
Try to keep the battery charged
The best way to do this is by starting up your car once a week and let it idle for 10 minutes or so to ensure that the battery is charged up. If your car is a garage, make sure this is open to avoid fumes. There is a narrative of disconnecting terminals on the battery, but this can affect tracking devices in some vehicles. It can also result in the computer error codes on vehicle and this could be problem to fix later. So, avoid it where possible. For batteries in good condition, you should not have a problem. Older batteries may need to be charged before you drive again.
Fill up your tank
Besides the fact that fuel is cheaper now and a full tank will go a long way during the lockdown. The other reason is that it will avoid moisture accumulation in your fuel tank. Which may lead to oxidization and corrosion.
Be mindful of what you park beneath
Depending where your car is parked a couple of things may affect the interior or paintjob. If possible, park under a carport, shelter, or a garage. These may not be available for everyone and rain may damage interior. Likewise, the sun may damage the paint overtime.
Keep it clean
Perhaps not the most obvious of tips, but water, dirt, grease and even bird droppings left on your vehicle can damage paint. Make sure to wash your vehicle thoroughly and then consider waxing it. Wax acts as a sealant and protects your vehicle’s paint from the fading properties caused by sun, dirt, and grease.
Clean and place a dehumidifier inside the cabin
Give your interior a thorough vacuum. Having a clean car will prevent insects and animals from entering your vehicle and potentially causing damage. Buying a car dehumidifier can help combat unwanted moisture from being absorbed by the interior’s softer materials, especially in more humid climates. Vehicle dehumidifiers require no power supply, thereby putting no additional drain on the car battery.
Daily or Weekly check up
Take five minutes to walk around your car and inspect some of the exterior stuff on the car. This include tyres pressure or bubbles on the sidewall, headlights, indicators, brake lights and taillights if they all still work properly. Also, have a peek at wiper blades as well. Lift the wipers and place a ball of cloth underneath it so the blades are not touching the windshield. Heat can damage the wiper blades over time and reduce wiping reliability. 5.
Apply silicone spray as a lubricant to the rubber door and window seals of your vehicle. This will prevent the rubber from cracking, or sticking to the body of your vehicle, especially during hot weather.
Driving also assists with avoiding flats
Generally, tryes may lose pressure over time and if the car is static for too long, the weight of the vehicle may cause flats. Coupled with charging the battery this may also help with flats. This of course is driving for essentials only.
Don’t use the parking brake or leave it down
Unless you park on a slope, it is advisable that the parking brake is disengaged and left at first gear on a manual transmission and shifted onto Park on vehicles with automatic transmissions. It is possible that after some time of the vehicle being parked, the parking brake can become stuck. If unsure about your surface or unfamiliar with parking your car without using the parking brake disengaged, rather not attempt this.
Service and Maintenance Plans
Some car companies have extended them. Here is a list of them. If your car company is not on the list, call them. Fortunately, some dealerships and manufactures are available online or telephonically to assist in terms of questions that you may need answered as a consumer. Keep safe.
Sources: Ford Motor Company South Africa and Master Drive.
Leave a comment