Stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders mean there is less time spent in your car. Since school carpools and work commutes have been canceled for the foreseeable future, your car is forced to remain parked in your garage or driveway. That said, an idle car is one that needs to be maintained. A car was never intended to stay unused for long periods. During quarantine, keep the following in mind to ensure your car is in perfect condition when life restarts.
Each part of your car needs maintenance. Here is a breakdown to keep in mind.
It is ill-advised to engage the handbrake for extended periods. The result can be brake pads stuck to the discs or drums. To prevent any issues or safety hazards when you wish to drive the car again, use wheel chocks (like a piece of wood or brick) to keep the car from rolling.
2. Where to Park
Parking your car indoors in a garage or using a car cover will protect your vehicle interior, as well as the paint job.
3. Spark Plugs
If your car is remaining idle for an extended period, it is important to remove the spark plugs. When it is time to reuse the vehicle, you should spray oil in the plug sockets before putting the plugs back.
4. Clean Interiors
Before permanently parking the car and retiring it during quarantine, clean your car. What does this mean? Remove trash, vacuum the carpet, wipe the leather seats – whatever your car might need. A dirty, idle car can attract bugs and rodents, which is less than ideal.
5. Fuel, Oil, Filters
To prevent rust from excess moisture in the fuel tank, it is recommended the car has a full tank. Also, be sure to change the oil and air filters to remove the moisture, metal filings, sludge and other elements that exist in old, used oil.
When it comes to the battery, it is advised to remove it during an idle period to prevent rusting and damage.
Finally, the best way to prevent damage to the tires is to fill them until fully inflated and then to jack up the car to combat flat spots.
To protect your windshield, cover your vehicle (as previously advised) or park it indoors in a shed or garage. Extreme temperatures can cause damage to the windshield, so protection from that is critical. Also, rotating windshield wipers and periodically can prevent future damage and needs for repair.
Your car was not created to remain idle. However, every person, animal, and vehicle has had to make some sacrifices during this global pandemic. If possible, we recommend you turn on the car for a few minutes once a week where it is safe to do so – for example, with the garage door open. By following this advice, you will have fewer concerns in a month or so.
For any repairs to windshields that have been on your to-do list, contact your local Glass America. With our free mobile service a technician can repair your windshield, while taking all the necessary health and social distancing precautions. Let us know how we can help!