COVID-19 Car Maintenance: How to Keep Your Car in Top Shape During the Pandemic

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A bird’s nest, rat droppings, webbing, the works — these are only a few things you should worry about with a car that’s been stuck idle since the start of the pandemic. This causes a lot of problems that you would be hard-pressed to solve. Another problem is that most car shops are closed, thanks to the lockdowns imposed on businesses.

You can take it out for a ride. It’s safe for people to ride in their cars, provided they ride alone or with people that they’re confident don’t carry the virus — people like your family at home. You can take your Subaru car in for general car repairs and maintenance, but don’t expect that there are many car repair shops open.

In case you’d rather do the repairs and overhaul on your own, here are some tips on what repairs can be done if you’re doing it yourself.

Keep That Engine Running

A car will suffer from a prolonged time of staying parked in your garage. If you have the time — and you should — consider taking it out for a drive. Aside from giving you a reason to go outside, it is also what your car battery needs. If it runs out of juice, you’ll be left looking for ways to jump-start it to life again. Aside from the batteries, you should also keep your car running to help various parts of your car shake off the rust, literally. One of these is the brake discs and calipers. When running, the rust on these brakes tends to fall off, therefore making it easier for your vehicle to brake at certain moments.

Not Using Your Car? Unplug the Battery

It’s easy to pick the choice not to drive outside, what with the general uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. If that’s your selection, then you should remember to disconnect the battery by taking off the connections to the negative terminal first, then the positive terminal. Doing this leaves you with a charged battery that won’t easily run out of juice. The next time you plan to go on a drive, simply plug back the connectors on both terminals by using a spanner from your car’s emergency tools kit.

Clean Your Car Inside and Out

Pay attention to your car’s exterior. Does it still look shiny? Is it looking a little dull? If so, then it may be time to take it to the car wash. You can also wash your car at home without having to go outside. In that case, you can also vacuum the inside of your car. Let’s face it — there are crumbs of whatever food you’ve eaten inside or discarded wipes that may have been left there. Cleaning your car is a good way to make sure nothing is left there to produce a smell, as well as remove mildew and other fungi that could be developing inside.

Keep Your Tires Properly Pressurized

When tires are left cold for long periods, they tend to deflate. If you’ve left your car parked idle for a long time, you need to check that your tires are still at the right pressure. There’s also flat-spotting or a portion of the tire that becomes too flattened after staying there for an extended time. If so, then you should move your car just a bit to keep your tires well-rounded. You should also make sure that they are inflated to specifications, which can be found attached near your car’s driver-side seat.

Hydrate Your Car — Replenish Fluids

woman's car breaks down

Maintain your fluids and keep them topped up. This is for the good of your engine, which can seize and leave your car rendered impossible to drive if you’re not careful. Remember to stock up on the recommended fluids for your car: the coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid are most important. Your car also has markers that you can refer to so that you know if your fluids are properly topped up. At this time, you can’t go to a car repair shop to have an engine oil change or to change the oil filter. Fortunately, there are videos available that help you change them even in a limited environment such as at home.

Don’t Leave the Parking Brake on Too Long

This sounds a little vague to the untrained ear, but this is recommended for cars left on a flat surface. If your car sits on an inclined space, you should leave the parking brake on, but remember to bring it out from time to time. This is because the rotors can suffer from accumulated rust. When this happens, the brake pad binds the rotors. If you’re leaving your car idly parked for a time, don’t leave the parking brake on for too long.

COVID-19 is a definite reason to stay at home. Remember these tips to care for your car; you would most certainly want your car to be ready to drive at any time, especially when the pandemic blows over and it’s safer to come out.

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