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5 Simple Lockdown Tips To Maintaining Your Car That’s Sitting In The Parking Lot

Jolene Lee

19 Feb 2021

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Image via senivpetro

Having gone through multiple lockdowns now, you might be forgetting something important sitting in your porch or parking lot… your car.

Car maintenance skills may come naturally for some who are enthusiasts, but most people don’t know just how bad it is to leave your car parked for a long time. So, here are a few tips on taking care of your vehicle and why they’re important to practice:

#1 Drive it out once in every three to seven days so your battery doesn’t die

When a car battery dies, it’s gone for good as it can no longer support the electrochemical processes. Unlike a discharged battery, a dead one cannot be jump-started anymore. This means you have to buy a new one… which is pretty costly!

Therefore, you must get it charged and the easiest way is to drive it around. When the engine is running, the alternator recharges the battery. This is also very important for electric cars.

#2 Pump air into your tyres every month, even when you don’t drive it much

Your tyres can lose pressure when in cool places faster. Friction and hot weather can help heat up the tyres which maintains air pressure whereas a car in your shaded porch or parking lot is more likely to lose air quicker.

Tyre pressure is a very important part of your safety as it ensures the grip of your tyres to the ground is secure and ultimately keeping you from skidding into an accident.

Make sure to follow the correct PSI and don’t forget to pump some air into the spare tyre too!

#3 Start your car at least once a week to keep your engine ‘fit’

Like human bodies, car engines need exercise too and they get it by being driven around. So, if you’re can’t drive out at all, at least start it once a week for a few minutes until it has reached optimal temperature.

This increase in temperature dries out any condensation that might have built up in the fuel system. Make sure to rev your engine as well to drive out moisture through the exhaust pipe.

Besides that, it’ll circulate lubricants, oils, and other fluids to parts of the car that are necessary. Additionally, let go of your handbrake to release your brake pads from possibly getting stuck.

#4 If you’re not driving at all for more than three months, empty your fuel tank

Petrol has different lifespans depending on the density and chemical composition, which means it can last about three to five months. Meanwhile, diesel lasts about twelve months.

So, it’s advisable to empty your tank if you’re sure you’re not driving anywhere. Use the siphoning technique but make sure the hose is clean and dry as you wouldn’t want any water to mix with the fuel.

#5 Clean your car and consider fumigating once a year

A dirty car or one that’s been left alone for too long is a great place for cockroaches and rats to breed!

Even if you do drive it often, you might already have an infestation, but you can’t see it because they’re hiding in the crevices and air conditioner vents.

Make sure to throw out all the trash, especially food wrappers and containers; declutter your cabin and trunk; vacuum and wipe down the entire car regularly.

Once a year, send your car to professionals to fumigate it! They have special chemicals that are safe to you but deadly to pests. If you’ve sighted any bugs in your car multiple times, then fumigate it more often.

And no, pandan leaves aren’t helpful.

Love your car and it’ll last longer

Cars are a liability but the way you care for them helps maintain its value. These steps are important but relatively easy for anyone to do.

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