How to maintain your car during a quarantine
This is not something they include in the car’s manual folks. We’re in uncharted territory and with all of the craziness going on, it’s important to maintain essential, but less frequently used items like your car. For many of us, our cars aren’t getting much love these days, sitting idle, as bored as we are in our driveways. But just like people, cars need upkeep as well. Here are a few ways you can make sure your car is ready to go the next time you need it.
Many don’t think about or know that gasoline has a shelf life. If your car is sitting for long stretches of time, your fuel will degrade and eventually dry up. It is important that your car sits with a full tank of gas so that in case of emergency, you’re not stuck with an empty tank. A full tank of regular gas will last between 4-6 months depending on weather conditions, while a tank of diesel will last longer (between 6-12 months). However, if you are quarantined with a quarter or half tank of gas, it could last for only weeks or a few months, so be sure to check your gauge!
Much like your fuel, your battery will not last forever if neglected. It is important to start your car and run it for about 5-10 minutes once a week so that the oil can get up to temperature. This is especially important when it’s colder outside. It won’t be too easy to get someone to help jump your car while practicing social distancing and you can even treat your 10-minute trip to your car like a small vacation from your house.
Tires also degrade over time, even when the car is idle (I think we’re seeing a pattern here). When your car sits for long periods of time (even just a few weeks), the tires can lose air and even develop flat spots. To help prevent this, when you start your car every week, take a little road trip around the block to get those wheels turning. When you pull back into your spot, you will be resting on a different part of the tire and it will help prevent flat spots and degradation. Also, before your next long trip, make sure to check the tire pressures, especially if it’s an older car.
We are all in the same boat in that it is unclear when we will be able to resume a normal life. As the seasons change, it may be a good investment to get a cover for the vehicle. This will help prevent weathering from rain, snow, and even pollen/leaves, as well as, keep insects and rodents away from the car.
So there you have it! As we all cope with the new reality, let’s not forget the small things! You’ll thank yourself later when you need your car and it’s running just as it should. Stay tuned for more car tips!
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