As we all surely know, the country has been under the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18. Just because you’re under lockdown doesn’t mean your car has to be locked down too! We have a little over a week to go with the MCO (or do we?), and if you haven’t yet, it’s time to take into consideration these tips for caring for your car during a lockdown.
First things first, make sure you start your engine and move your car every other day. Even just moving it back and forth for a few minutes is good enough to keep the tyres in shape. This not only ensures your tyres remain in good condition, but it also keeps your car alive. Tyres could become deflated and cracked from the constant pressure of your vehicle when not moved for a long time. Now that you have your car running head to your petrol station to check the tyre pressure and fill up where necessary. Don’t forget to fill up the spare tyre, too!
While you’re in the car, check to see if the battery is in good health. A good way to tell if the battery is in top condition is during startup. A weak battery will dim the meter cluster’s lights before cranking. If you own a hybrid vehicle, it’s vital to turn on the ignition and let your vehicle remain idle for 15 to 30 minutes at least once a week to keep the hybrid battery charged healthy.
Another thing we usually don’t think about is to care for the brakes. When not used for a long time, rust will begin to accumulate on the discs. On top of that, the brake pads can get too attached to the discs if left immobile for as long as the MCO lasts. You could leave the handbrakes down and keep your car from rolling by using a stone or tyre-stopper.
Once you’re done moving your car and wishing you could go further than the nearest McDonald’s, block all air intakes as well as the exhaust pipe(s) to prevent unwanted creatures from climbing into your unused vehicle. This will also ensure you don’t have to clean the vents every day. Remember to remove the blockages before starting your car the next time.
Other than taking care of your car health, you should also keep your car covered to care for its aesthetics as well. Leaving it out in the hot sun can not only damage the paint, but it would also make your car more susceptible to scratches. If you don’t have a proper car cover, thick bedsheets or cloth will do the job just as well.
Your wipers should also be kept off the windshield, even if you clean your car daily. Either pull them up or put something under the wiper blades to avoid contact between the wipers and your windshield. Social distancing isn’t just for people, it’s for wipers too.
Last but definitely not least, even if you aren’t going anywhere, you should keep your fuel tank full at all times in case of emergency. Besides emergency purposes, the air above the fuel could condense and cause rusting if the tank isn’t filled. However, if you realise you haven’t filled your tank recently, there is no need to rush out to fuel up now. Just do it when you can.
As long as you follow these tips, your car should remain in good condition even after being unused for a long time. At the moment, the most important thing is to stay home and stay safe.