As states implement stay-at-home orders and more businesses encourage workers to work from home, vehicles tend to get stuck in the garage. Unfortunately, leaving cars parked for a long time can result in serious consequences that can affect the car’s dependability and safety. With so much uncertainty these days, you may not want to drive your car for a while. Knowing the most common trouble spots will help you focus your attention on them when servicing your car during this pandemic.
In terms of tires, the main concern is flat-spotting. This occurs when the weight of the vehicle sitting on one spot flattens out a part of the rubber on the tire. Although this problem is unlikely to take place in two weeks, a month of being unused might be enough to cause it. Very cold weather and low tire pressure can contribute to the development of these spots. This makes it important to check your tire pressure and inflate the tire to factory specification.
Brake rotors can start to develop rust when left unused. Leaving the parking brake engaged for a long time can lead to the brake pads binding to the rotors. Although this might not occur over a few weeks, you must leave the parking break off if you will be parking your car for at least a month.
The battery of your car can discharge over time and require jump-starting the car. If you have a battery tender, you can plug your car into it. Or if you think you will be leading your car unused for a long time, just disconnect the battery.
During the pandemic, local car wash may not be open and your car may have accumulated dust, bird droppings, and other contaminants if it has bee parked outside. Over time, exposure to the elements can damage the paint of your car. If possible, consider parking your vehicle under cover or using a weatherproof car cover. A spot cleaner and a soft cloth can be used for removing droppings or other localized contaminants.
Fuel can separate and water vapor can accumulate in the gas tank as a result of long-term storage. Hoses and gaskets that are not frequently lubricated can dry out and become brittle. If you will be storing your car for at least three months, get the oil changed. Used engine oil contains contaminants that can damage the engine.