With the extension of the 21 day lockdown, all our vehicles will remain parked at the same spot for a few more weeks. In such situations, how do we take care and undertake preventive maintenance to keep our set of wheels in pristine condition? Following is a step-by-step guide to help you out.
- The first and most important thing to do concerns the battery. Although the car is not under use, some system functions tend to drain the battery if not charged for a prolonged period. There are two solutions:
- Unplug the battery and store it in a safe, cool and dry place. The other one is explained below.
Charging the battery:
- If you do plan on using the car, run the engine once every week up to 2,000-3000 rpm (depending on the type of engine the car is running) until the car reaches the optimum temperature. This is recommended only if you have a private parking lo or a compounded society. Avoid revving the engine while stationary or idling as it might affect the long-term reliability of the vehicle.
- If you battery runs out of charge, you can charge it using a set of jumper cables and another car. We have a complete DIY guide for you available here.
Cleaning the car:
- Once the run is complete, take time to clean the interiors of the vehicle with the available tools at home. These can include anything from a set of brushes and cloths to a full-fledged vacuum cleaner. Remember to remove all packets that contained food items as they might attract insects or rats as the vehicle will remain stationary for a long time.
- After cleaning the interior, wash the exterior of the vehicle with soap or dry clean (err, wash) it with the help of a car duster. If you have an open air parking, we recommend using a car cover to prevent dust and bird droppings after the vehicle is wiped dry.
Checking the vitals of the vehicle:
- Remember to check all the fluids such as the wiper wash, coolant and top them up if you have the resources available with you at home.
- Check the air pressure of all four tyres once a week and try and move the car from its stationary position. If your parking is located on the main road, avoid taking it out for a drive, however small. Instead, you can move it forward and back in the parking space. This will avoid flat spots on any of the tyres.
- When the car is parked, avoid using the hand-brake as it can jam the brakes if not used over a period of time. Use a tyre stopper or take the help of a few medium size stones and place them at the front and back of the tyres to avoid movement when parked.
- In case of vehicles with a manual transmission, you can also park the car in gear instead of engaging the handbrake. Do remember to engage the clutch when starting the car the next time or it might result in a mishap.
- If you plan to use the vehicle to go and buy some medicines and groceries, avoid stopping at multiple locations in small distances as it does not effectively warm up the engine, thus reducing its life.
- If not using the car for a longer period, do check it at an interval of a few days for rat infestation and damage.