As shelter-in-place orders are still on in many states, including Nevada, you are encouraged to work from home. You may find that your vehicle has been driven less than usual. In case you didn’t know, leaving your car parked for long periods of time can have real repercussions that can impact the reliability and safety of your car. Here are some trouble spots to watch out for and some solutions to help you maintain your car during COVID-19.
Common Trouble Spots
The most important thing to look out for is for a flat tire. This happens then when the weight of the car sits on one spot, flattening out a portion of the rubber on the tire. While this may not happen if your car has been sitting out for two weeks without moving, if the conditions are right, if it stays put for one month, it can start causing trouble. Our recommendation to you is to check your tire pressure and inflating them according to factory specifications. You can easily find these specifications on the placard attached to the doorsill of the driver’s door or in your vehicle’s manual.
When you don’t use your car, your brake rotors can begin to develop some rust on the surface of the rotors. If you leave your car parked with the parking brake engaged for a long time, it can cause the brake pads to bind to the rotors. Again, this shouldn’t be a concern if you leave your parking brake engaged for a few weeks. However, if you’re planning to leave your car parked for a month, we recommend not engaging the parking brake. Try parking on a flat surface to make sure the parking brake is not necessary.
When you’re not using your car, your battery can discharge and you will need to jump-start your car. You can always plug your car into a battery tender if you have one. However, if you know your car will not be used for a long time, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery altogether.
Another thing that can cause real trouble for your car if it’s sitting out, is pests. Protect your parking area from common pests, like rats and squirrels. We recommend you pop your hood and take a look every week for any evidence of wires been chewed on or droppings.
Right now, your usual car wash might not be open, and if your car is parked outside it’s likely to accumulate bird droppings and dust, as well as tree sap or water spots from rain. If you leave your car exposed like this for a while, these elements can damage your car’s paint. We recommend your park under a covered area or use a car cover that is waterproof.
If your car is parked for long, fluids can be a major issue. The fuel can separate and there can be vapor accumulated in the gas tank. If gaskets and hoses aren’t lubricated they can dry out.
Take Out For A Spin
The easiest way to avoid all the previous issues is to simply drive your car. At least for 20 minutes every two weeks. That is plenty of time to warm up your tires, protect it from flat spots, get your battery some charge, wear your brake disks, and keep all those fluids flowing. It’s very simple, but it works. Cars are meant to be drive, so what better way to maintain your car during COVID-19 than driving it?
COVID-19 Car Maintenance at Sudden Impact Auto
However, there are some problems that driving your car can’t fix. Your car might be in need of regular maintenance during COVID-19 or maybe there’s a check engine light on. Whatever the case may be, Sudden Impact Auto can help you. Call us at 702-457-3002 for a free inspection!