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With the COVID-19 virus causing a pandemic of an unprecedented level across the world, most countries including India have ordered a complete nationwide lockdown. This involves everyone staying at home, socially distancing themselves from everyone else.
The central government of India ordered a nationwide lockdown in the country on the 24th of March 2020. The lockdown has been extended twice and is now scheduled to end on the 17th of May 2020. Amidst this lockdown, while people are staying home and following the rules, cars have been left unattended due to the restrictions imposed on intra-city travels.
While car companies are offering customers all the basic help, in terms of extending warranty, offering free service and other benefits. It is up to the owners as well to ensure their cars remain in good condition, even while being parked for months.
Here are some easy tips and guides to ensure your car remains healthy and in good running condition, amidst this lockdown.
1. Batteries & Engine
With the cars not having been driven for more than a month now, it is important to ensure the batteries haven't died. To keep the batteries charged and in good condition, owners can switch on the ignition and leave the car' engine running for a few minutes.
This not only ensures the recharging of batteries but also circulates all the oils and liquids inside the engine. This recirculation further helps keep the health of the engine in check as well. This process has to be done at least once a week to ensure your car's battery and engine health.
With the cars being stationary for a long duration, there is a good chance the tyres might become weak. Since the car is stationary, the part of the tyre touching the tarmac, comes under immense pressure due to the weight, creating a flat-patch.
To ensure this doesn't happen, owners are advised to move the car back and forth, once every four or five days. This small movement ensures a different patch of the tyre comes in contact with the surface, preventing the tyres from flattening.
Owners can also invest in tyre cushions, which does the same job, but without having to move the car every now and then. However, tyre cushions are an expensive product and are usually used for high-end cars.
3. Fuel & Oil Levels
Another way to ensure your car's good health is by keeping the fuel tank full. The full tank of fuel prevents any moisture from accumulating in the tank. This further ensures better combustion and power delivery when the engines are fired up after a long time.
This also includes all other oils as well, such as engine oil, coolant and brake fluids. These oils help lubricate the insides of the engine, when switched on, keeping it clean. They also ensure none of the interior components gets jammed due to long periods of inactivity.
4. Designated Car Parking
While cars will be parked for long durations, due to the travel restrictions, it is important that owners park their cars away from external hazards. Parking in a basement pre-allocated place protects the car from sunlight, birds and other external hazards, which could cause damage to them.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in India, personal hygiene has become extremely important to prevent the spread. This can be carried forward on cars too. Owners can and should take the time to clean the interiors of the car, especially the places with the highest point of contacts, such as the steering wheel, gear knob, seats, infotainment system and others.
Owners can use small amounts of sanitisers and other specific car cleaning products to ensure the interiors are clean and free of any germs. Car companies are also promoting this habit, with pick-up and delivery personnel sanitising themselves and the cars before handing over the keys to the owners. Customers can also vacuum the carpets and floor mats as well, for added cleanliness.
These are definitely tough times for everyone. COVID-19 has affected a lot of businesses and completely disrupted the daily routine for everyone. There are many people fighting the deadly virus and trying to ‘flatten the curve'. Until then, stay home, stay healthy and keep your cars healthy as well.