No lockdown policies have been implemented yet despite the surge of Delta cases. Nonetheless, it’s best to stay home and only go out when necessary. Social distancing and limiting your outdoor activities in crowded places are still some of the best steps to reduce your risk, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not.
But limiting your time outside also means your vehicle will stay idle for some time. Unfortunately, this is bad news for your car. Letting your car sit for too long can cause various issues that may be costly to repair.
Fortunately, there are many straightforward steps to maintain your car during the pandemic.
Watch Where You Park
Parking is a crucial factor in maintaining your car’s exterior. The surroundings of your parking spot can affect your vehicle if you leave it there for a long while.
You don’t want to leave your car on permeable surfaces, such as grass areas. The moisture condensation from these surfaces can stick onto the under chassis of your car and cause it to rust. Also, some areas don’t allow parking on the grass, so it’s best to just avoid it entirely.
Parking outdoors can also bring other problems. The UV radiation from the sun will make your car paint oxidize and fade over time. Also, the dust and other debris outdoors can cause small cracks on the windscreen that can eventually become spiderweb cracks that will affect your driving. And at this point, the best solution is to get a car windshield replacement.
If you have a garage, park inside if you don’t plan to use your vehicle for a few days. It’s probably the best way you can protect your car and maintain its value for longer.
Use a Car Cover
If you don’t have a garage and have no choice but to park outside, use a car cover instead. It will help protect your vehicle from the sun and dust.
Make sure that you use a cover made with breathable fabric. A non-breathable fabric can trap heat from the ground and create a “sauna” for your car. On the other hand, breathable fabric will allow moisture and condensation to evaporate more quickly, thus reducing the possible damage to your car.
Drive It Once a Week
As mentioned earlier, if you don’t use your car for a while, you may experience some problems. For one, your battery may degrade. So you need to drive your car at least once a week to recharge its battery naturally.
Your tires may also develop flat spots if your car is parked for too long. These flat spots can affect the stability and functionality of your tires. And as a result, your vehicle becomes more prone to accidents. It’s important to note that every year, 200 people die due to tire-related crashes. You can prevent flat spots and improve your safety on the road by driving your car at least once a week.
Another problem you might encounter concerns the liquids in your car. They can go stale if you don’t use it for a long time, thus making them less effective. For example, your brake fluid will absorb moisture during your car’s downtime. If the brake fluid goes bad, it won’t have enough power, and it will affect the performance of your vehicle. Thus, running your engine at least once a week will prevent the liquids in your car from going bad and will keep it lubricated.
You don’t have to go on a road trip to prevent these problems, though. You can just go for a short drive once a week when you run errands, such as buy groceries, pick up laundry, and so on.
Fill Your Car’s Tank
When your car’s gas tank isn’t full, it tends to accumulate moisture. This can affect your car’s performance. For example, you might find it difficult to start your engine. The water in the fuel tank may also cause your engine to sputter.
Thus, when you go out for your once-a-week drive, stop by your nearest gas station and fill your tank. This way, you prevent condensation buildup inside your car’s pipes and avoid costly engine problems. A full tank also has other benefits, such as better engine reliability and long-term savings on gas.
These easy tricks will help you maintain your car during the pandemic. But they shouldn’t replace regular car tune-ups. You still need to get your car checked now and then. But at least for now, you can resort to these solutions to keep your car in tip-top shape.