Tips to Maintaining Your Car During Quarantine

Man performing car maintenance and cleaning dashboard during quarantine.Though you likely don’t have many places to go during the COVID-19 lockdown doesn’t mean your car should suffer from neglect. It’s easy to let something like vehicle maintenance slip your mind given the severity of the pandemic. Still, the longer your car sits idle, the more risk it has of incurring permanent or expensive damage. Fortunately, we have advice for maintaining your car during quarantine to ensure its road-ready by the end of the lockdown.

Take it for a Joy Ride

Cars aren’t designed to endure extended nonuse. Much like our bodies, cars need exercise to prevent their parts from becoming rusty or brittle. Taking your car for a spin lubricates the engine and helps prevent these other issues that can arise from neglect:

  • Dead Battery: Depending on the age of your battery, letting your car sit for a week to a month could kill the battery. Drive your car for a few miles every few days to recharge the battery.
  • Flat-Spotted Tires: Constant pressure to the segment of the tire touching the ground can cause flat spots. This makes for an unpleasant drive and, in warmer months, may cause a blowout.
  • Corrosion: Over time, moisture can build up in your gas and oil tank and lead to corrosion. Your car is especially at risk if the tank is not full and the gas has been lying stagnant for a while.
  • Brake Pad and Rotor Fusion: If you park on an incline, you likely use your parking brake. However, if used for an extended period, this can cause your brake pads and rotors to fuse.

If your car has already been idle for quite some time and doesn’t start, we have tips that can help in our blog, Your Car Won’t Start—Now What?

Keep Your Car Clean

Not only will washing your car protect the paint, but it will also eliminate odors that can attract critters. Clean out the interior of any food sources that may entice vermin. If your car is idle for long enough, some creatures may find it an ideal place to nest. So, when cleaning your car, be sure to inspect under the hood, the undercarriage, and the exhaust pipe to ensure no animals have nested there. Not only is it for their protection, but vermin have been known to cause damage by chewing through wiring, and like home insurance, this damage might not be covered unless you have comprehensive car insurance.

Change Your Oil

Most car manuals instruct the driver to change the oil every six months or at 5,000 to 7,500 miles. The reason for this is that the oil can break down over time and take on acidic properties that can warp and weaken components of the engine. Auto repair shops are considered essential businesses, but if you’re strongly dedicated to social distancing, you can change the oil yourself by looking up guides on the internet. Also, if you do not have the tools, you can order them online to be delivered to your home.

You don’t have to be a car mechanic to follow these simple tips on maintaining your car during the quarantine. While you ensure your car is protected from the negative effects of reduced use, also learn how to maintain your car for the upcoming season by reading our blog, 4 Tips for Summer Car Care. If you take these simple steps, you can rest assured that TJ Woods Insurance will take care of your auto insurance needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about protecting your car during and after the quarantine.