Covid wreaks havoc with the health of those it infects. But the pandemic is bad news for automobiles as well. Vehicles are made to be driven. And so, if you leave your car unused for too long, it will suffer accordingly.
Many in the UK still drive to work every day. If you are, too, then you won’t be experiencing this issue. But if you’re working at home now or if you’ve been made redundant and no longer need your car, then you’ll have to make sure your vehicle stays in top shape.
Here are some of the best recommendations.
#1 Keep the battery in good shape.
The battery is probably the component which suffers most from extensive period of inactivity.
You can achieve significant improvements with a very simple step:
Run the engine for a few minutes roughly twice a week. You don’t even have to drive it. Merely allowing the car to warm up should prevent the battery from running empty.
#2 Make sure the car is in a safe place.
This also includes shelter from heavy wind and snow, dust and sunlight.
If you do not have a garage, then a protective cover can be a cheap alternative. These covers may not look very nice, but they do an excellent job in protecting your vehicle.
A garage would be ideal, obviously. If you do have one, Autocar has a great tip: Open one of the windows of the car just a tiny bit to avoid mould buildup.
#3 Clean the car before locking it away.
A safe place is important. But don’t just put your car there and throw away the key.
The Scotsman points out that dirt on the exterior of the car can ‘bake in’ and become very hard to remove if you don’t wash the car regularly. Also, some types of dirt can seriously damage the paint layer and thus require expensive repairs after a while.
A thorough cleaning before storing the car in your garage or outside, is therefore highly recommended. And if you’re not using a cover, then wash the car from time to time, just to prevent the detrimental effects of dirt.
#4 Take good care of the breaks.
You probably wouldn’t expect it. But next to the battery, the breaks are another component of a car which suffers tremendously if you don’t use them regularly.
Thankfully, there’s something you can do about that.
For one, don’t leave the handbreak on for long periods of time, as this can damage the materials.
Also, Which? recommends rolling your car back and forth a few times regularly. This is a good remedy against potential corrosion.
#5 Check Fluids
Autocar also wisely suggests replacing the current engine fluid with a fresh batch. These fluids contain plenty of chemicals and additives which can, if unused, damage the engine itself.
It’s an easy way to prevent serious problems and won’t break the bank either.