India is currently facing a 21-day lockdown to battle the deadly novel Coronavirus pandemic. Not just India, the entire world has been impacted by the Covid-19 virus and everybody is confined to stay indoors. Coronavirus is the biggest topic in everyone’s minds currently. The last thing on many people’s minds will be the state of their car.
The Indian government has directed all to stop all non-essential travel. The lockdown announced by the government is for the good and prevents the virus from spreading at a faster pace. Along with our social distancing, even your car will lie idle and could take a toll on its health, mechanically speaking. So, here are some car maintenance tips during a lockdown that will keep your car in good condition.
- Car Maintenance Tips During Coronavirus Lockdown:
- FAQs About Car Maintenance During Coronavirus Lockdown:
You must maintain your car whether you are driving it around or if it is sitting idle in your house. Doing so will prolong the life of your car and means it is ready to go whenever you require it. It is essential that you carry out some basic car checks to keep its engine and other important parts healthy. Below are car maintenance tips and about ways to keep your car healthy:
1. Park Your Car in a Safe Place:
This is your primary goal during the lockdown period. Ensure you park the car in a covered area. However, if you do not have a dedicated car parking spot, then cover your car with a good vehicle cover. Sunlight and bird droppings can harm the paint of your car. Also, a car cover prevents the collection of dried leaves or flowers during a long period of parking.
2. Maintain the Car Battery:
Car batteries’ charge gets depleted when the vehicle is not in use. Start your car engine once in 3 days to prevent the battery from discharge. Ensure you run the engine at least for 10 – 15 minutes so that the battery is fully charged. However, if it is not possible to start your car regularly, then car manufacturers advise that the battery is disconnected from the negative terminal. This will ensure required battery charge so that you need not jump start your car engine when you eventually start driving the car around.
3. Avoid Using the Handbrake:
If you are not going to use the car for a longer period of time, avoid using the car’s parking brake or the handbrake as it could get jammed. You can leave the car in gear or you could simply use a wheel blocker, such as stone, wooden or brick to stop the car from moving from its parked position. For automatic transmission cars, leave it in the ‘Parking Mode’ or P Mode.
4. Ensure the Fuel Tank is Full:
It is advisable to fill your fuel tank to its full capacity. This will ensure the amount of air above the fuel does not lead to condensation or moisture being collected. When moisture enters your car engine, it can do considerable damage and can rust the fuel tank.
5. Keep Your Car Clean:
Washing your car regularly, be it during the lockdown or otherwise, will ensure there is no accumulation of dust, bird droppings, dried leaves, bugs, etc. The lockdown period is also a great time to clean your car. However, it is not just the exterior, you need to clean the interior as well. When you regularly start the car engine, switch on the AC and blower to get rid of any dust or dirt. Ensure there are no junk food or leftovers inside the cabin. A long period of storage along with food particles can lead to the growth of bacteria.
Also, read: Third-Party Car Insurance
6. Maintain Tyre Pressure:
Ensure your car tyre pressure is per the manufacturer’s specifications. Tyre pressure tends to leak when your car is kept idle for a longer period of time. This will also ensure prevention of any cracks being formed on the sidewalls. Try to move your car forward and backwards to avoid flat spots.
7. Close the Exhaust Pipe:
It’s a good idea to plug the exhaust in case you live in an area where wildlife cretins are abundant. You can use steel wool or of similar material to stop small creatures from entering the exhaust pipe. Ensure you remove it before you start the car engine again.
8. Wind Up and Down the Car Windows:
The car window assembly has several mechanical parts which could get jammed during a longer period of non-usage, especially in older cars. They could even rust. Even power windows’ assemblies are susceptible to get jammed. So, when you start your car engine regularly, ensure you wind up and down the windows to keep all parts in working order.
9. Turn the Steering Wheel:
The steering assembly components could get jammed during longer periods of non-usage. Hence, while starting your engine, move the steering wheel both sides to ensure the steering parts get its natural movements.
10. Check Fluid Levels:
Be it a lockdown or if you are running your car regularly, checking fluid levels on a regular basis is a good practice. Fluids include engine oil and coolant or brake fluid. If any of the fluid levels are low, top-up and ensure to check in a couple of days to see if there are any leakages.
Also, read: Tips To Keep Your Car’s Battery Healthy
Here are some frequently asked questions about car care during a lockdown:
For the time being ignore the scheduled maintenance as it should not cause any issues. Most car manufacturers have extended service periods or warranty during this lockdown period.
New-age digital insurance companies have made the process of renewing car insurance much easier than before. You can simply visit the insurer’s website or mobile app to renew car insurance online. This is also time to re-think about your car insurance provider. Online car insurance transactions are a lot easier during these long periods of storage as you can get it renewed with a click of a button with the power of the internet.
Ensure you make a checklist while you are prepping your car for longer storage or during a lockdown. You can refer to the checklist when you are finally ready to start driving your car. Apart from the checklist, check for any damages to the windshield wipers for any cracks. Check the tyre pressure and re-inflate if required. Wash your car before you are ready to start driving on the road.
While there is no time limit for longer storage of your car, it is important to follow the tips that have been provided above. This will ensure your car is in good condition when you have the opportunity to start driving again.
A brand new car battery typically offers more life than a used one. It depends on your car battery’s life. If it is not a new battery, it is important to start the engine regularly to keep the battery from discharging before it finally dies.
The condition of your brand-new car’s battery is presumably better than older cars parked on the street or inside the garage. Also, batteries tend to drain faster in colder climates. Keeping these in mind, your new car is presumably in a better position than older vehicles. That said, you need to follow the above car maintenance tips during a lockdown or after to keep your car in running condition whether it is a new or an old car.