Keeping Your Car Healthy During The Coronavirus Quarantine: 6 Expert Tips
Much like us, our cars aren’t accustomed to limited movement and staying in one place too long. It’s important to make sure you take care of your car (as well as yourself) while we find our way through this pandemic.
While our society continues to figure out their new normal as we navigate our way through the Coronavirus pandemic and government-mandated lockdowns, you might be forgetting about your car’s health. No matter what type of car you have, its engineers didn’t factor long periods of confinement into the engineering and manufacturing process. The best way to keep a car healthy and in good shape is to keep it moving.
Don’t panic though, your car will be okay and with our simple, yet effective tips, your car will be in pristine condition at all times.
6 Tips to keep your car healthy
1. Start it or get it moving
Your car is designed to be driven on a regular basis, and every mechanical component inside it suffers if it stays idle for a little too long. You should at least start the engine once every two weeks and let it run until it reaches operating temperature.
Hint: Do this outside and not in your garage. You don’t want to fill your garage or a confined and closed-off space with exhaust fumes.
If possible, you should go for a drive, even if it’s just a trip to the store for essential supplies or a quick drive around your complex.
2. Monitor your battery
You don’t have to worry about your car’s battery too much if it’s relatively new and if the charging system is in good condition. Your car will still start right up even if it’s been sitting untouched for over a month (we still recommended turning it on and driving it at least every 1-2 weeks).
An older battery may not last as long, and a small drain can completely sap it over time. You can assess your battery using a multimeter to check whether the voltage is dropping. It’s easy to do, takes just a few minutes, and requires no car-specific knowledge. If you don’t have the equipment to assess your car’s battery, make sure you turn your car on and let it run at least once or twice a week.
3. Have you had a look at your tyres?
Check the pressure in each one of your car’s tyres (don’t forget the spare!), and top them up if necessary. You can do this when you’re out for an essential shop by taking your car to the nearest petrol station.
Driving on a semi-regular basis will help ensure your tyres don’t develop flat spots, and it’s a good idea to move your car (even by a few feet) every now and then if you only take it out every few weeks.
Check out this blog on tyre checks you can do at home.
4. Are you worried about your fuel?
Have you heard about a fuel stabiliser.
A fuel stabiliser is generally designed for cars going into long-term storage, like a sporty convertible being kept indoors during the rainy season.
But right now, your car doesn’t need it. It’s going to take more than a couple of weeks for your fuel to go completely bad, especially if you drive on a semi-regular basis, and diesel lasts even longer.
You also don’t need to drain your fuel tank either - it will still be ok!
5. Keep your EV charged
If your car is electric, you obviously don’t have to worry about what’s in the fuel tank, but you do need to take simple measures to keep your battery healthy.
The pack loses electricity over time, even when the car is not being used, so you’ll end up with an unmovable car if you don’t keep it charged.
We recommend keeping the battery’s charge between 50% and 70% at all times. Some electric cars let owners dial in a charging limit, so they can set it and forget it. If yours doesn’t have this feature, keep an eye on the charging level by looking at the dashboard or the app.
6. Don’t use the hand-brake
Don’t engage the hand-brake if you know you’re not going to drive for a few weeks because corrosion could seize the system’s moving parts over time and make it really difficult to drop the hand-brake.
The risks of this happening are much higher if your car is an older model, or if you live in a particularly humid climate. Leave your car in park if it’s an automatic; engage first gear or reverse if it’s a manual car.
Please don’t follow this tip if you park on a slight slope or incline - you won’t be too happy to see your car rolling down the street!
Make sure you are looking after your car from the inside-out to keep it maintained and healthy while you aren’t using it as much. Be sure to remember to keep the interior of your car clean and sanitised at all times to prevent any spread of the Coronavirus.
Yours in affordable and reliable car insurance,