Ways Your Car Can Get Sick From Due To The Coronavirus Pandemic And Ways You Can Cure It

May 15th, 2020 by

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people around the world are staying home in hopes of slowing down the spread of the virus. Obviously, the concern for most people is the health of their families and themselves…but what happens to their cars when it sits for too long with little to no use?

For the past few months, many people are either on the road making very short and infrequent stops to the grocery store or none at all and while one might think that not powering up his or her car would decrease the required maintenance, it can potentially increase it.

According to a UK car servicing and repair company, Kwik Fit, there has already been an increased number of drivers having to buy new car batteries; this number has actually increased by double within a month in contrast to the same period in 2019, regardless of traffic amounts lowering to 60 percent during the pandemic.

Before the lockdown ends, you should know a few ways that you can prevent any car troubles.

Dead Battery

So you haven’t driven your car in a few weeks, because who needs to go to the grocery store when you have Instacart and all of the other convenient online delivery services at your disposal?

However, what you might not know is that although you haven’t spent any time pumping the breaks, there are still electrical devices running in the background, such as the car’s security systems and lights. What this means is, you’ve got a dead battery on your hands…

The Cure:

Start your car at least once or twice a week and allow the engine to run for at least 15 minutes (obviously outside). It’s also worth noting that when temperatures are cooler, it takes more energy out of the battery to start, therefore the run may require a lengthier time, but if possible, try starting up the car during a warmer part of the day.

During this time, it’s best to check underneath the hood of the car and see if the battery terminals have any sign of corrosion, and if so, this may be fixed by using a battery cleaner made for removing any residue. Also, check to see how old your battery is by assessing its stamped date code, as batteries that are more than five years are more at risk of damage, especially with sporadic use.

Sticky Brakes

When brakes being aren’t used for a lengthy period of time this can cause the brake pads to get stuck to the disks and if worst comes to worst, it may not be released when driving.

The Cure: 

One recommendation from a roadside assistance company, Green Flag, is for drivers to move their car back and forth at least once a week (if possible) to prevent the brakes from sticking.

Some suggest for those who park on an inclined surface, to keep their car in gear in as a preventative measure. Also, in this case, the front wheels should be turned toward the curb.

Brakes and fluids may need to be checked by a professional since moisture can accumulate and taint the fluid, therefore hurting vehicle performance.

Low Tire Pressure 

Even while parked, tires can eventually lose pressure. Before jetting off into the sunset, be sure to check your tires to know that they are inflated fittingly in order to reduce the risk of influencing a flat tire. 

The Cure: 

Just like with preventing sticky brakes, driving back and forth can prevent sitting tires from developing “bed sores”. Doing this can also prevent degradation since the oils are moving around the tire.

Soot Build-Up In Diesel Cars 

Apparently, even taking short trips just aren’t enough in some cars. These expensive diesel filters are usually able to burn off soot build-up when the exhaust system is warmed up at its peak temperature during daily runs on the highway. However, sporadic trips to the grocery stores won’t help since the soot will eventually start to choke the diesel particulate filter (DPF), making for a pricey replacement.

The Cure:

If possible, consider taking a drive on the fast-paced road. If you can do this, look for the DPF regeneration symbol on the car’s dashboard and see if the warning lights turn on, this will indicate if the DPF cycle has finished its course.

Leaks From Lack Of Air Conditioning

The car feature which keeps drivers cool during those unbearable summer months often uses a coolant that spreads through the car in order to lubricate its seals. While the car is in quarantine, these seals may dehydrate or cause leaks. 

The Cure:

The solution for this is simple, be sure to set the air controller on when starting up the car and keep it on while driving.

Erosion Of Car Paint

One of the downsides to parking underneath a tree is the greater likelihood of bird droppings and this is also a greater possibility while keeping it parked for so long without a cozy garage. Bird waste on most cars today will affect the water-based paint in as little as 90 minutes. 

The Cure: 

Other than giving your car a frequent bath, if you can’t get away from parking your car underneath a tree or outside in general, consider putting a cover on it to protect against the literal toxic waste.

Driver’s Auto Mart

If all else fails, maybe you just need another car and Driver’s Auto Mart is the perfect place to purchase one! We sell a wide variety of pre-owned vehicles that are up-to-date and inexpensive. Check out our pre-owned online car inventory, once you find something that catches your eye, please chat with an online representative for further assistance.

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