You may not be getting much opportunity to use your vehicle while the shelter in place orders that are in operation. However, you must still care for it correctly. Both in case of emergency and to ensure that you have an efficient working vehicle when things go back to normal. Read on to find out more.
When can you use your car?
In most locations, you can still use your vehicle even during a shelter in place order. If you are leaving home for essential food or medical supplies, that is. You may also use your car if you are in class as an essential worker and need to get to or from your job.
However, it is essential to note that different areas do have varying regulations. Therefore, you should check with your local government before driving if you are unsure. Otherwise, you could end up with a nasty fine or even a criminal record. After all, the overarching goal that most governments have right now is to keep the “r” rate or rate of infection as low as possible. Something that they are doing by limiting the general public’s movements.
Why you need a car, just in case.
Even though you cannot use your vehicle in the usual way right now, it is still imperative to maintain it correctly. This is for several reasons. The first is that if an emergency does occur, being able to drive means you will be able to provide assistance to them.
Additionally, your household will have their own needs to fulfill, such as grocery shopping. With a working vehicle being an essential part of this.
Finally, as any owner knows, vehicles are not cheap to purchase. Unfortunately, when they are not driven regularly as otherwise taken care of in the right way, all sorts of issues and damage can couture. Something that can cost you a lot of money to repair at a later date.
To that end, it is imperative that even during a shelter in place order, you take good care of the vehicle you have. A topic you can find out more about below.
What to do if your vehicle needs fixing, or you need to replace it entirely?
Of course, taking care of the vehicle you’ve got does assume that you have the right car and that it is roadworthy in the first place. However, many people found that they were not in this position when the shelter in place order hit.
In fact, those looking to replace or get repairs made to their car may think there is nothing they can do about their situation until things get back to normal.
The good news is that this isn’t actually the case. In fact, many garages are still open and offering repairs services for vehicles. Albeit at a slightly slower rate. Something that allows them to account for social distance and hygiene measures that will help minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Even those looking to replace their car can do so if needed. In fact, if you find yourself in such a position, all you need to do is find a car dealership that offers a touchless shopping service from home. A service that can help you find a new suitable vehicle. While assisting you with trade-in and social distance, safe delivery to your home as well. Something that will come as a significant boon to those looking to make sure they have a working and appropriate vehicle in case of emergencies during this trying time.
How to maintain your current vehicle to ensure it is roadworthy.
However, if your car is satisfactory and currently working well, you will need to make sure that you keep it roadworthy. However, there is a big difference between knowing that you need to do this, and understanding how you should go about it during a shelter in place order.
Happily, you will find a comprehensive guide to all the tasks you’ll need to complete on your vehicle below.
Turn over the engine.
The first thing that you need to do to your vehicle while the shelter in place order in operating is to turn over the engine. In fact, if you aren’t getting the engine regularly up to temperature for at least 15 minutes, you risk damage and even possible flooding.
With that in mind, it can be very worthwhile to allow your engine to warm up a run for a bit regularly. Just be sure that you do this safely on your driveway and not inside a garage. Oh, and remember to stay with your vehicle too.
Take care of your battery.
The good news is that turning the engine over ones a week will help to keep your car battery topped up too. Of course, this is pretty important because, without a working battery, you will not be able to start your car. Even if you have an emergency or essential reason to use it.
Unfortunately, not all batteries are made equal. In fact, it is common to find those in older vehicles do not hold their charge quite as well. With this in mind topping up your battery at home is an excellent move during the shelter in place order.
Be sure the brakes don’t seize up.
There is little doubt that of all the features in your vehicle, the breaks are some of the most critical for safety. That is why you must take good care of them even when you are using your car less during shelter in place.
Unfortunately, if a vehicle has been parked in the same spot for a long time, it can cause an issue with the breaks. In fact, these can end up seizing in position, which means it can be hard to get your vehicle moving.
To that end, you must take the tie to move your car regularly. In fact, even driving it a few feet further up your driveway and back down again should be enough to keep this particular issue at bay.
Sadly, seizing is not the only issue with vehicle breaks when they are not in consistent use. In fact, in more modern cars with ABS braking, the fluid used can begin to corrode when it becomes wet. To that end, making sure this fluid is changed every 1.5-2 years is vital. Especially if you find your vehicle is mostly stationary because of the current pandemic situation.
Take care of your tires.
Apart from brakes, your vehicle’s tires are also essential to safety and efficiency. The main issue here is that if a car has been stored in the same place for a long time, its weight can put undue stress on the parts of the tires that are in contact with the ground.
It’s actually a bit like wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes and having to stand in the same position for ages. In this case, we would expect particular parts of our feet to feel the most strain and perhaps develop calluses or blisters. Well, the same is true for your vehicle but is known as flat-spotting.
Fortunately, you can help to prevent this, bit by moving your car regularly, as mentioned above, for brake maintenance. Additionally, over-inflating your tires can help provide extra cushioning and prevent this from happening too.
Just be sure to check your tire treads are deep enough before you drive your vehicle after a long period in storage. A task you can follow the tutorial in the video below to learn how to do.
Lubricants are vital to the maintenance of your vehicle. In fact, there are several reasons why you need to make sure you keep your oil topped up even if you don’t plan on doing a lot of driving. The first is that when you do decide to use your vehicle again, you can be sure that it will run as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.
Additionally, if your oil is low, it provides more room for condensation to form. Something more likely if you are not regularly bringing your car up to temperature.
Sadly, when condensation gets into your car oil, it can cause acid to form. This can then end up destroying the delicate parts of your engine from the inside. Therefore both keeping your oil topped up and running your car to temp is advisable in this situation.
Windscreen and glass.
Finally, there are other maintenance tasks that you need to keep on top of when not using your car regularly.
In particular, do not neglect your windscreen and windows, as even a small chip can turn into a massive crack in a very short time. Luckily, auto glass repair is a service that can be offered while maintaining social distance. Therefore, while not using your car, it’s vital that you attend to this.
Even during a shelter in place order, you must take good care of your car. There are many things you can do to facilitate this. However, two of the most important things are to regularly get the engine up to temperature and to move your vehicle, so it is not static in a single spot.