As the COVID 19 pandemic continues to keep people inside their homes, many find themselves driving less. Most readers will know that letting your car sit can be bad for it, but how does one go about taking care of their vehicle when they have no place to go?
General Motors recently put together a list of ways to take care of your vehicle as it sits stationary during the COVID 19 pandemic. The automaker says that “taking time to maintain your vehicle can help ensure that you have a healthy vehicle waiting for you, when it’s time to get back behind the wheel and to life outside your home,” so let’s go over the automaker’s various suggestions.
For starters, the automaker suggests starting the engine on GM vehicles at least once a week and letting it run for 15 minutes, allowing fluids to cycle through the lines. It should go without saying that the vehicle should be parked in an open or ventilated area when doing this. Additionally, vehicles should be moved within the parking area and have the brakes applied every week. It’s important to leave the parking brake in the off position while it is parked for long periods of time, as well, as long as it is on a relatively level surface, of course.
One area some people may overlook when leaving their car parked is the wiper blades. Dirt and other debris can build up on the blades, so it is advisable to wipe the blades down with a lint-free cloth or a paper towel soaked with windshield washer fluid. GM also suggests leaving your car parked with at least half a tank of fuel in it and says to never let the fuel run low when idling, as this can damage the fuel pump.
Tires are also susceptible to flat spotting when the vehicle is parked for long periods of time. If the tires develop flat spots, they have cause steering vibrations when driving. To prevent this, check the tire pressures regularly and re-park the vehicle after rotating the tires at least 90 degrees.
This is also a good time to clean the exterior of your vehicle, GM says. Most people won’t need a rundown on how to wash a car, but GM says to avoid using dish soap to wash your vehicle, as the harsh detergents can strip the vehicle’s paint of its protective wax layer. When cleaning the interior, avoid using scented wipes and wipes that use a bleach base, as these can damage the interior.
Stay safe readers. We’ll all be back driving and enjoying our vehicles soon enough!