As the whole world continues to ‘shelter in place’ during this COVID-19 pandemic, our biggest concern is and should be remaining safe and healthy.
Since most of us are in self-isolation, it is safe to say that we are not using our vehicles as much as we used to or as much as we’d like to. However, it’s still important that we maintain the health of our cars in anticipation of that glorious day when we’re given the ‘all clear’ and we can start driving the roads whenever we want, no matter what letter our last name begins with!
Here are some tips to keep your vehicle(s) in good condition so that you don’t have to worry about an unplanned, un-budgeted car repair bill post-Coronavirus.
Check your Battery and Tires
This is probably one of the most important vehicle components to keep well maintained. You don’t want to find a dead battery a few weeks from now when you try to start your car. We recommend you start your car and actually drive it at least once per week. Make sure you do this on your designated essential errands day and during soft curfew of course!
Driving the car regularly also prevents the tires from degrading. Tires lose pressure over time, and if a car sits for too long, the weight of the vehicle can cause flat spots to develop where the rubber meets the road which means you may have to replace them.
Taking your vehicle out for a spin also keeps all the moving parts (i.e. the engine, other mechanics) in your car lubricated. If a vehicle sits for too long, oil starts to settle, fluids begin to separate, and seals can begin to dry out which may cause some damage. Driving it, even for just half hour, helps to keep fluids circulating and ensures all the moving parts — the transmission, brakes, etc. — don’t dry out.
Monitor the Filters and Fluids
Check your vehicle’s filters and fluids, especially if your car was scheduled for a service but also every couple weeks. Engine oil, coolant levels, brake fluid, washer fluid all need to be monitored. Take note of the levels and add fluids as needed, and also look for leaks while the hood is up.
Keep Topped Up
Make sure there is at least a half tank of fuel in your vehicle and if you use the car, make sure you top the tank back up. A full tank prevents condensation from accumulating inside the tank and it also stops gasoline fumes from building up to hazardous levels.
If your vehicle is going to be parked for a long time, try to park it on concrete (preferably) or gravel. Soft surfaces like grass or dirt allow moisture to travel up into your car’s undercarriage, causing rust. Also, try not to use the parking (emergency) brake. Leaving the parking brake on for an extended period of time can cause the brake pads and rotor to stick or fuse together. This isn’t a huge issue but if you already have problems with your parking brake it’s probably best to leave it off.
Keep It Clean!
A simple thing such as washing your car regularly during the lockdown will help protect the paint. Also, if you have a car cover, use it. Just make sure the car is clean before you put on the cover.
We’re here to help
The Tony’s Toys team is here for you during this global crisis. Our office and garage may be closed but our hotline is open to take your calls if you have any concerns about your vehicle or need some advice on how to maintain it. Give us a call on 946-TOYS (8697) from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.
We urge everyone to stay at home and continue to follow the instructions of the Government, medical authorities and law enforcement officials as we fight this virus together by staying apart. We are all in this together, and we WILL get through this together.
And that IS the true position at Tony’s Toys.