Non-essential vehicle usage remains highly discouraged. Even with the lockdown restrictions lifted off, your vehicle might not enjoy the same mileage as before and would be subjected to being idle, more often than not. Letting a vehicle sit idle for long is one of the most harmful things you could do. You don't need to be a racing car enthusiast to understand that your vehicle deserves your attention during the lockdown.
Your vehicle needs your care not only when you are driving it, but more importantly when it is sitting idle.
At CarX, we connected with our customers and industry experts to provide common-sense insights to maintain your automobile. Whether you are a fleet manager in charge of hundreds of vehicles or an individual worried about your favorite car, here are some helpful maintenance tips to avoid expensive bills, keep your vehicle healthy, and to make sure it emerges in working condition, once the lockdown is lifted.
1) Keep your vehicle's moving parts lubricated and move it around a bit: Driving your vehicle once per week, you can ensure that all the moving parts are in working order. As per the government regulations, remember to not venture out unless required. Moving the vehicle around, even for a small distance will get the job done. While you’re at it, don't forget to turn on the air conditioner as well.
2) Avoid tires flat spots: Move about the vehicle to avoid tire spotting and sustained damage to the tires. Tires can be very expensive to replace, so make sure they are clean and there is no excessive dirt on them. If possible, maintain the right tire pressure and do not drive larger distances with reduced tire pressure.
3) Keep the battery charged: Modern automobiles come equipped with highly efficient and reliable electrical systems. However, starting your vehicle once a week and running it for a few minutes will be a great way to keep the battery charged and in optimal condition.
4) Keep the cabin and interiors clean: Disinfect the interior with an alcohol-based solution and remove any organic material to prevent foul odors. Clean the exterior as well with a dry cloth to avoid damage to the paint and the body.
5) Avoid using the parking brake: Avoid using the parking brakes to prevent the brakes from sticking. Instead, leave the vehicle in the first gear. Using the parking brake for extended periods can lead to the brake pads and rotor parts sticking together. Humidity causes the parking brake to stick, so avoid using them especially if it rains.
6) Be aware of the parking spot: Be careful where you park your vehicle to ensure its safety. Keep an eye on what you park beneath to avoid any damage by dropping foreign objects.
7) Keep your fuel tank full: There are two important benefits of filling up on fuel before parking long term. A full fuel tank prevents fuel condensation from accumulating inside the gas tank, and it also stops petrol/diesel fumes from building up to hazardous levels.
8) Consider investing in a vehicle cover: A simple vehicle cover can protect your vehicle from the natural elements, so long as you clean your car thoroughly before putting it on. Remember putting a cover on a dirty car can do more harm than good since the cover can rub against the dirt and damage the paint job over time.
9) Be wary of rodents and insects: Depending on where you live, your car may attract rodents and pests if it sits neglected for a long time without any movement. Use rodent repellent in your garage and clean your car of any food material to prevent unwanted visitors.
10) Keep track of your paperwork: Last but certainly not the least, make sure all your vehicle paperwork is in order, which includes insurance premiums, bank's EMIs, and other RTO related documents. With the recent changes in the Motor Vehicle Act, compliance will be closely monitored and you could incur heavy fines for non-compliance.
There you have it. We hope the lockdown is eased soon, albeit in a planned and phased manner, and organizations get back to business.