What was once the typical routine of checking the daily report for traffic issues, has become inconsequential since the Covid-19 situation. Many shifted to working from home, and it has been a few weeks since they have been on the road. Cars have been sitting in the driveway, not getting much use at all during this time. There have been some advantages of not driving during this time. We have been saving some money on gas, and many insurance companies have offered discounts, due to the minimal amount of driving most of us have been doing. As things start to get back to some semblance of normalcy, it is essential to make sure our vehicles are ready for the daily routine.
Vehicles should get driven regularly. When the cars are not, specific issues can develop. Like the human body, if we get too sedentary, our joints tend to get weaker, and we gain weight. Therefore, we do things stay in shape; we run, bike, and stretch to keep in shape. We need to do similar things with our vehicles to make sure they remain in the best working order. There many of us neglected that neglected to do any maintenance on our cars before Covid-19. The chances are that there could be some issues that may have been come worse during the time the vehicle was idle. Few items may require immediate attention before getting your car back on the road safely.
One of the main areas that should concern most vehicle owners is the vehicle battery. Vehicles that have been parked and idle for prolonged periods will have battery issues. Unlike many of the battery-powered items we have our homes, vehicle batteries continued to get used. Even when vehicles are off, many cars continue to draw power, due to the multiple electronic. One item that can is to offset the consistent draining is a battery tender. This item works with boats, jet ski, and motorhomes that may not get used regularly. It plugs into a regular outlet and transfers the electricity to your battery to keep it in working fashion. Batteries typically lose their effectiveness under the proper type of usage. Adding additional wear to them from usage that is not frequent can make a battery life span even shorter.
Tires should need you to check for proper inflation after prolonged periods of not driving. A vehicle that has been sitting will lose air, especially if the tires were under-inflated before the car not being used. They are probably in worse shape than what they were before. Under-inflated tires can put drivers at risk of blown tires, which can be a hazardous situation. Most vehicles today have tire monitors that will alert drives if their tires are under-inflated. And unless you are the type of driver that ignores them, it is hard not to take care of them right away. The weight of a vehicle pressing on the tires will cause to lose some air over time.
Another problem that can arise from the constant pressure of the car pushing on the tires are flat spots. The only real way to prevent flat spots from occurring is to drive the vehicle, making sure to add the appropriate amount of air. If the car sits for an extended period without usage, the flat spots will become permanent. The flat spots appear every time you drive the vehicle. The only remedy at that point will be to replace the tires. Replacing several tires will be a costly expense, considering all the vehicle owners had to do was keep the tire adequately inflated and drive the car a few miles from time to time.
Engine and Corrosion
A car that is not in use will generally have some amount of oil run off its engines. Whether you park it overnight or just while it is sitting in the parking lot, that is only a few hours. A car that has been sitting for an extended period because of Covid-19. Should not be started and immediately thrust onto a highway. The lack of lubrication could cause a considerable amount of damage to the internal parts of the engine, therefore causing it to seize. It is best after a prolonged period of not being driven, to let the vehicle slowly assimilate back to a superior lubricated level. When starting the car for the first time, let it idle for 2-3 minutes, which will allow the internal engine parts to get enough lubrication. After that, the vehicle will continue to lubricate and prevent engine seizure adequately. All of this is can be a moot point if the oil levels are low. It is a good idea to check the oil level before starting the car. Considering it has been sitting for an extended period.
A concern when a vehicle sits for long periods due to the Covid-19 shutdown is corroded brakes. The shutdown started as winter ended, and spring barely begun. For that reason, the was plenty of moisture around to cause corrosion to a vehicle, not in use. The braking systems are vulnerable due to their exposure to the elements. For those that keep their car in a garage, corrosion may not be a concern since the vehicle is protected from the elements. Those that do park or leave their vehicle outside should be aware of the potential that the exposure to the elements can have on their cars.