Most drivers never thought they would see the day they’d miss their daily work commutes, busy carpools for kids or traffic jams. However, with so many people staying home and sheltering in place, so are their cars. While regional climates affect various vehicles differently, all cars are built to stay active and cared for to achieve peak performances.
In the grand scheme of widespread concerns and worries COVID-19 has inspired, your parked or unmoved car may be a low priority. Do not fall into a trap of neglect to your vehicle because you stay home more. Parked cars at home have ongoing needs for activity and necessities just like their drivers who must go out and move.
These essential car maintenance tips will help you repair and even beautify your car during this time not many are on the roads.
CAR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE AT HOME OR WITH A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE SHOP DURING COVID-19
At all times, people need to stay on top of three basic levels of care for their cars:
- Routine maintenance and care
- Emergency, accident and usage repairs
- Body and interior appearance tasks
You can handle some of these necessities at home and turn to the professionals for others.
AT HOME, DIY CAR CARE
The easiest, most immediate efforts people can make for parked or rarely-driven cars are to wash and clean them well. Cars suffer when cities and towns use corrosive salt to melt snow in winters, leading to exterior deterioration and rust. By spring, dust and pollen build up quickly.
A hand car wash, dry, and wax is not only great exercise at this time when most gyms, parks, and trails are closed. People’s hands can also often reach those little corners and details a drive-through car wash doesn’t. This may be time for you to remove years of unnecessary baggage from your trunk, clean out under seats and sanitize interior surfaces. Since car washes might not be concidered “essential” in your area, washing your car at home is your best bet now.
WHAT YOU NEED TO WASH YOUR OWN CAR
If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get started washing your own car at home, make sure you have all the supplies you need. We recommend gathering all your car cleaning supplies. We recommend a clean microfiber wash mitt, car wash soap, detail brush for your wheels, microfiber towels to dry off your car, bucket, and water. Be mindful of the type of soap you use for your car. Use a soap that’s specifically designed to be used on cars and are less aggressive than other soap products. Don’t be tempted to use hand soap and dishwashing detergent, because that will corrode the protective wax from your car’s paint.
If you discover damaged, dull paint and evidence of bug acid or bird droppings, consider a paint protection film. A professional PPF installer can help you. This time you are making limited trips or have the advantage to garage your vehicle is perfect to let such a treatment take hold and sink in. The service offers protection and improved appearance from door dings, life scratches, and stone chips for the life of your vehicle.
CHECK UNDER THE HOOD: ENGINE CARE FOR A CAR THAT’S BEEN SITTING
To keep your car ready to run at a moment’s notice, you must drive it. The engine, transmission, brakes, and more need lubrication to work best. A 20-minute drive around blocks or down nearby roads circulates critical engine oil, transmission, coolant, and brake fluids.
Periodic driving also maintains the battery, which loses its charge when cars sit idle for long. Electric car maintenance requires even more attention to battery packs that drain down over long periods of inactivity. Do not go longer than a week without charging your electric car because of normal decreases in lithium-ion battery energy that occur naturally.
CHECK EXTERIOR NECESSITIES
When drivers work from home and families shelter in place, cars do not accumulate much mileage. For this reason, you may be able to dismiss your next oil change date and delay past it. However storms and chilly or hot days can still happen, so check your windshield wipers and climate systems. If wipers won’t clear heavy rain or the cooling system can’t produce cool air conditioning blasts quickly, go forward with an oil change and add on these crucial services.
Tires are also susceptible to changes from weather, pressure, and mileage. Use the mandate to drive for essential reasons only to develop a good habit: monthly tire checks. You can adopt this habit, or re-start it, with simple visible checks.
Flat or bald tires and poor tread are evident to the naked eye. These normal wears and tears affect your car’s performance in bad weather and even gas mileage. You should be able to find manufacturer’s or dealer’s recommended air pressure on a door jamb sticker so you can work to maintain it.
Now is time to conduct other visibility checks for simple remedies to light outages and safety hazards. Even during COVID-19, traffic laws apply for turn signals and brake lights.
Check your window tint to make sure it is installed properly and adhering to your windows. Some tints can peel over time and need to be replaced. Check with a local tint shop to see your options.
INTERIOR CAR CARE: DETAILING, CLEANING, AND PROTECTING
COVID-19 has caused renewed and necessary attention to disinfection and comfort indoors. With the amount of time you may spend in your car when things resume to normal, you have options to guarantee you are comfortable and protected. Hopefully, the present moment sparks you into new habits that continue.
In addition to regular sanitizing of cloth or leather seats and surfaces, a carbon-ceramic window film will preserve your car inside and keep you more comfortable in hot weather. Window tint can block heat and ensure your protection from the sun’s skin cancer-causing UV rays when you return to more time in your car. It also protects interiors from the sun’s ability to fade colors.
VISIT A REPAIR SHOP OR DEALERSHIP SERVICE DEPARTMENT
You can not handle all car repairs and emergencies at home. While your car is sitting, some problems you had before could exacerbate in frame and exhaust systems. The public health emergencies dictate essential businesses remain operational. These include reputable car maintenance companies people need to get around for unavoidable errands, business, and work.
When people search for “car maintenance near me,” a large pool of local options appears. As a consumer during COVID-19 times, you have healthy guidelines to insure car companies you visit are safe. With respect to the sweeping changes COVID-19 mandates, car services, and mechanics should allow people to stay in their cars or book private appointments if possible.
Businesses who care about customers have allowed phone bookings and online appointment settings, with staggered times between clients to maintain social distancing. Head to this convenient Rayno Tint Shop dealer locator to find the nearest car maintenance and upkeep professionals who take the proper precautions at this time while delivering top-notch car repair and maintenance.