Want to maintain your car during the pandemic? Take it out for a drive. Here are five ways in which you can use your car to make sure it stays up and running.
COVID-19 precautions are causing people to stay at home more than ever before. As you stay quarantined, chances are your car hasn’t been of much use lately.
Sure, you might be saving money on charging your car less or not needing to fill up your gas tank as often. Maybe you’re even saving some money on your car insurance premiums.
But there is a flip side.
Keeping your car idle for too long can set you up for expensive repairs later on. If you are not taking your car out for a drive, you could be setting yourself up for future inconveniences.
What Happens to Your Car If You Don’t Use It For Long Periods of Time?
Your car is a lot like your body. Just like your muscles need exercise regularly, cars need to be used. Without an occasional drive, atrophy can set in.
Vehicles that have not been used for a prolonged period of time may face the following issues:
- Corroded Brakes: When your car is stationed at one place for long, moisture can seep into the brakes. The risk is lower for those who keep their cars parked indoors or in garages. But if your car is outside regularly, your brakes are at risk of corrosion.
- Discharged Batteries: Even when your car is switched off, it still draws charge from the battery. If a car is not used for long, you may find your car battery drained. In such a case, you may need to jump-start your car whenever you need to drive it, which can be a major irritant, especially if you are in a hurry.
- Lack of Engine Lubrication: If your car sits dormant for long, it can cause the engine oil to run off the car surfaces inside its engine. Ultimately, a lack of lubrication can make your car engine seize. Your car’s hoses and gaskets can also become brittle, causing major issues.
All in all, keeping a car unattended for long isn’t a viable option. Just like you go out for a walk or stretch during the day, your car needs some kind of activity as well. To keep your car in good working condition, it’s advisable to use it regularly.
COVID-19 Impact: 5 Ways To Use Your Car To Keep It In Use
With stay at home orders and gathering restrictions easing down globally, taking your car out for a ride is a must. If left unused for long periods, the reliability and safety of your vehicle can get compromised. Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can use your car while still following social distancing norms.
1. Take Your Car For a Grocery Run
Even if you are spending most of your time quarantined at home and relying on delivery services, chances are, you can substitute a grocery delivery for a quick grocery or essentials pickup once in a while. Use that opportunity to take your car out for a spin to help keep it running smoothly.
Typically, your grocery store won’t be very far, meaning travel shouldn’t require you to make any stops in between or come in close contact with others, making it relatively safe for you.
If you do go inside, upon leaving the store, be prepared to disinfect your car. It is advisable to clean any areas of your car that you may have touched or come in contact with. From your steering wheel to your grab handles, everything needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
For proper cleaning, wipe down these areas with a hot wash-cloth prior to using a sanitizer or cleansing wipe. To avoid damage to your car’s interior, make sure you are not using any products that contain bleach.
2. Go For a Drive Around the Town
The stay-at-home orders and increased restrictions due to COVID-19 have led a majority of people to spend their days inside, with a high number of businesses continuing to encourage their employees to work from home. After awhile of staying indoors, one may get a little stir crazy. To get some fresh air or change of scenery, we encourage drivers to take their cars out for a drive.
You don’t have to stop anywhere or get out of your vehicle. The point is to just give yourself some change, and at the same time, you would be doing your car a favor.
It’s recommended that you drive your car for at least 20 minutes a week.
However, it is important to educate yourself on your county or state’s COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions in order to avoid potential issue.
3. Take Your Car Out For Maintenance
Maintaining your car can be a demanding job, especially when it’s not in use every day. To ensure that it’s in good shape, we recommend taking your car to an auto body shop for scheduled maintenance.
The best way to keep your car running smoothly is to ensure that you get it checked regularly. Even basic maintenance checks can go a long way in improving the overall health of your car.
4. Visit Nearby Parks And Recreational Facilities
One of the best ways to stay healthy is to keep yourself physically active. Take a drive to nearby parks, nature preserves, or walking trails and go for a walk, run, or a hike.
While you recharge in nature, your car will come out of its slumber too. However, before you go, make sure to check that your vehicle is safe and opperational, and that these areas and their facilities (including restrooms and parking lots) are indeed accessible.
Keep in mind that you should avoid over crowded areas and parks, and while you are out, making sure to keep at least six feet distance from others around you.
5. Go For a Short Road Trip
If you can’ wait to get out and take a road trip post COVID-19 lockdowns, you’re not alone. In fact, a survey by the University of Illinois showed that post pandemic, people are more comfortable traveling in their cars as opposed to taking a flight.
The top reason cited is that people don’t want to travel with strangers in a closed capacity.
A solution to this could be taking a road trip. Road trips allow you to travel with people you are comfortable with, and whose health situations you’ll be aware of prior to leaving.
If you are taking your car on a road trip, make sure you thoroughly check the route and look for gas stations and food sources that offer little to no contact along the way. You may need to stop multiple times depending on your route and destination.
The best way to go about planning your road trip is to choose locations that are close by and not too crowded.
Even if you aren’t using your car as much as you used to, it needs your attention. To maintain its machinery, you should operate your vehicle regularly – whether it be for an essential grocery run or simply a long drive. Keeping your car running at least once a week will ensure the reliability and lifespan of your car.