During the lockdown restrictions that most countries are currently enduring, it’s just as important as ever to keep your car in good condition even though you may be using it less.
If your vehicle is being left unused for long periods of time, you still need to make sure that you give your car a reasonable level of care and maintenance. Otherwise, you may find that you car needs to be serviced before you can start driving it again.
Besides, with the majority of restaurants, bars, and other recreational activity centers closed, this is a great time to distract yourself with some DIY.
Here are some easy tips and tricks that you can use to help keep your car in good condition during this lockdown period.
- Release the Handbrake
The role of a handbrake is to permanently fix the brake pad in one particular place so that the car can’t move. The problem is, however, if the handbrake is left on for a prolonged period of time, the brake pads may end up becoming stuck to the brake discs or drums.
This can result in increased wear and tear on the rear brakes, which you will feel the next time you are out driving.
To prevent this, leave the handbrake off, and use a brick or a wedge instead to hold the car stationary. If your car has a manual transmission, you can leave it parked in first or perhaps reverse, but only if you aren’t parked on a slope!
2. Give the Battery a boost
Another consideration to keep your car in good condition when it’s not being used is the battery. Whenever your vehicle is left unused for an extended period, the battery will begin to drain. This is because the computers that are used in cars nowadays are active even when the engine is switched off.
To prevent this, start your car every 4-5 days to allow the battery to recharge again and avoid drain. If allowed, you may want to take your vehicle out for a short drive to recharge the battery and let the coolant circulate again.
If your car is electric, you should keep the charge between 40-80% during the lockdown period. Just because electric vehicles don’t require the same degree of maintenance as other cars, that doesn’t mean that the batteries don’t need the same kind of care.
3. Avoid flat spots
To keep your car in good condition during the lockdown, you need to keep an eye on the tires. If you leave your vehicle standing in the same spot for an extended period of time, it’s possible that the part of the tires in contact with the ground will form a ‘flat spot’.
It goes without saying that this is detrimental to your tires, and if left unattended, may even require replacement. In order to avoid this issue, you can just roll the car back and forth every now and again to change the weight distribution of the vehicle.
4. Watch the fluids
Fluids are another thing you should consider to help keep your car in good condition during quarantine. If you only fill up your car partially, there’s a good chance that moisture will form in the fuel tank. This can be damaging. So if you know that you aren’t going to be using your vehicle for an extended period, you should fill it up.
Additionally, your engine oil may suffer depending on the climate in which you live. The engine oil may actually become sludgy if it is left unused for an extended period of time. Therefore, once you are back on the roads again, you may wish to get yours checked out and changed.
5. Keep Your Car Smelling Fresh
Another tip to help keep your car in good condition is to ensure your car stays smelling fresh. If you don’t use your vehicle for an extended amount of time, the air can become stale and unpleasant.
To avoid this, make sure that the interior of your vehicle is immaculate and tidy. Remove any trash as well as any wet floor mats or other sources of moisture.
Using an air freshener in the car will go a long way towards helping keep it smelling clean and fresh. You can find all types of air fresheners at the store or you can make your own DIY air freshener to keep your car smelling fresh. Additionally, leaving your car out of direct sunlight can go a long way towards minimizing any bad or stale odors.
Does my car have to be insured if I’m not using it?
One of the most common questions that has been circulating in recent weeks is whether or not you need to keep your car insured if you are not using it.
The answer is yes; you should continue to pay your policy.
If you are a motorist who keeps your vehicle on public land – regardless of whether it moves an inch or not during the lockdown period, you will still have to pay your insurance.
If you wish to keep your car on private property, you could register it as a vehicle off the road, but it must remain on private ground.
If you forgot to renew your car insurance during this lockdown, then AA Insurance can help you save money by finding the cheapest car insurance renewal.
Final Thoughts on How to Keep Your Car in Good Condition During This Lockdown
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle in top shape so that it runs its best for longer. And the same holds true for when you are not driving it for long periods of time.
Using the tips above can help ensure you keep your car in good condition during the lock down.