With many offices, factories, stores and other workplaces remaining closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, motorists find they are rarely driving their vehicles – and that’s if they are driving them at all.
In response to this trend, General Motors has published a helpful list of tips and tricks for vehicle owners that may be preparing to store their vehicle for an extended period of time.
“During normal times, our vehicles are used for adventures, to make memories and to bring us to our family and friends,” explained GM technical training manager John Latner. “Even though we’re only using our vehicles for crucial trips now, we still need to make sure we’re doing what we can to keep them up and running. These steps can help ensure your vehicle will be ready when it’s time to get back behind the wheel and experience life outside your home.”
So what does GM suggest? Well, for starters, GM suggests starting the car – no pun intended. The automaker advises owners head out to the garage, start their car and let it run for a few minutes every so often. Not only does this help maintain the fluids, but it can also ensure there will not be a dead battery to contend with later on.
Even better than starting your car and letting it run, though, is taking it for a drive.
“General Motors recommends drivers take their vehicles for a short drive every couple of weeks and unplug any cell phone or tablet chargers,” the automaker says. “If drivers’ vehicles are parked in the garage, it is also recommended that they do not leave the key in the ignition or the key fob within 15 feet of the vehicle to help prevent battery drain.”
Going for a short drive can also help remove rust and debris that may have built up on the brake rotors.
GM also suggests owners frequently check their vehicle’s fluids while the vehicle is sitting stationary, including the oil. For GM vehicles, engine oil change service intervals remain based on time and mileage regardless of whether the vehicle has been stationary for a significant amount of time.
Checking the tire pressure is also advised before going for a drive if the vehicle has been sitting. Tires are also known to flat spot if they stay parked on the same patch for a long while, so GM suggests either moving the vehicle semi-frequently or parking it on a soft area with grass and dirt.
Stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and while out on the roads, GM drivers.