Sadly, due to COVID-19, we're not allowed to drive unless it's absolutely necessary and our vehicles are parked. Here are some tips to look after them.
We're a few days into the 21-day lockdown and the AA of SA has shared some tips on how best to look after your car and motorbikes. “Any vehicle that is left unused for a period of time may develop issues that require intervention to get running normally again. But the hassle of wanting to start a vehicle when the battery is drained, or driving on uneven wheels, may be alleviated with some proper home care for the next couple of weeks,” says the AA.
Vehicle Lockdown Tips
- If you can, park the vehicle indoors, under a roof, or use a car cover so it stays cleaner for longer.
- Some may have suggested removing the battery, but disconnecting the negative terminal will also be fine. Remember to never touch the terminals together and use vaseline on the terminals to prevent rust.
- Long-term dirt can cause paintwork damage so now is a good time to give it a good hand wash.
- If you can, block the air intakes and exhaust with some rags, which the AA says will stop rats and bugs from getting in. Remember to remove these before you start the vehicle, so leave a note on the steering wheel to remind you.
- Prevent your wipers from sticking to the windshield by putting some plastic wrap under the blades first.
- While we may not be driving, it's tempting to cancel your insurance policies for the period of the lockdown. The AA notes, "you may be flouting the terms of your lease or purchase agreements if you cancel"
- If the lockdown is extended, the AA says it's worth filling up with petrol as a full tank will prevent rust from forming on the inside. At least the petrol price is coming down significantly.
- If the lockdown is extended, flat spots may occur on the wheels and to prevent this, try jack all the tyres off the ground.
“Having a reliable vehicle is essential and should not be taken for granted. If you are leaving your vehicle unused for a long period, it will still require some maintenance. Do not assume that an unused vehicle is going to start first time weeks after it was last used if it is not properly cared for during the lockdown,” concludes the AA.