We are on Week 2 of the national lockdown and most of us haven’t been driving our cars since the lockdown began. Just like many of you I also haven’t been driving my car for a while now. In actual I haven’t been driving my in almost two months thanks to the kind manufacturers for the test cars (please check my recent review).

I have therefore come to learn that there are certain parts of the car that get compromised when the car is parked for too long. These parts can be costly to replace and given that we don’t know how long the pandemic is going to last. You might want to take some precautionary measures to ensure that your car is in good working condition when you want to drive it again.

Below are the top five tips on how to make sure your car remains in a good condition during the lockdown.

1. Prevent your battery from dying

The battery of the car is probably the first component that is more likely to let you down when the car has been parked for too long. To avoid the battery running flat and having to ask someone to help you jump-start or push your car, it is recommended that you start the engine and let it run for 10-15 minutes once a week. This will help in lubricating the engine and prevent dead battery cells from developing.

If you can’t switch on the engine at all, you may disconnect the negative terminal of the battery to prevent discharge.

2. Maintain good tyre pressure

As we stay to flatten the curve during the lockdown, unfortunately, our car tyres can run flat as well. Some parts of the tyres can begin to rot as well. This is not ideal, but it can be avoided. Moving the car every few days can help prevent flat spots on the tyres. If the flat spots are serious you may need to replace the tyers, which is quite an expensive exercise.

3. Don’t use the handbrake

We’ve always been told to engage the handbrake when we park our cars, however, when the car is parked for too long the brake pads can get stuck to the disc or drums. There are two things that you can do avoid this:

  • Leave the car on gear. Remember to leave the vehicle in reverse gear if parked on a downhill gradient and in 1st gear if parked on an uphill gradient. For the older vehicles with manual transmission, use a wheel chock to avoid a possible situation where the gear lever pops out of gear and the car can roll.
  • Use a brick or piece of wood to stop the car from rolling and still leave the car on first gear.

4. The exterior

When a car is parked outside for a long it gets exposed to many elements that can end up damaging it. For example, direct sunlight can damage the paint on the car as well as the interior. Also, bad weather e.g hail can dent your car. So it is important to park your car in a garage for protection. If you don’t have a garage good quality cover that is suitable for your car.

I hope you found value in this article. Please remember to share with your friends and family.

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Pat Mahlangu

Thokozani Pat Mahlangu is the editor of Pat on Brands and the founder and CEO of Lerato Agency. He is internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg.

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