These are crucial times, and there is no denying that. With the COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus pandemic gripping the nation in lockdown, we must stay in the confines of our homes, and frankly, it is for our good. This is the only way we can contain this deadly virus from spreading. However, this hibernation period could take a toll your four-wheeler or two-wheeler from not being used for such a long period. So, here are some important tips and tricks to take care of your car or motorcycle during the lockdown.
- Make sure your car is parked in a safe covered area. If you do not have covered parking, then keep the car covered. This will protect it from bird droppings or excessive sunlight that could damage the paint. It's also important to remove leaves and flowers if your car is in open parking as flowers and leaves are a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, make sure that you thoroughly clean the cabin. Do not leave any kind of junk items in the car that might leave a bad stench and might even attract rodents.
- It is wise to maintain a full tank during such times. If there is less fuel, then overtime the air above the fuel would cause condensation which is not good for your vehicles. In the long run, it could even cause rusting.
- Avoid engaging the parking brake/handbrake when you leave the car idle for a long time as it could get jammed. It's always better to leave the car in gear or parking mode if your car has that feature. For additional safety, you could also go old school and use wheel chocks, like using a big piece of wood or brick to keep the car from rolling.
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- Disconnect your car's battery if it is not in use for a long time. This will ensure that the battery does not get discharged while staying idle. You can also start the car once on every 3-4 days and let it idle for some time, this too will keep your battery from depleting. Also, run the air conditioner with the blower on while you are doing this so that any dust or foreign particles get thrown out.
- Make sure that your tyres are properly inflated and are at the correct pressure. When kept idle for a long time the tyres could lose air pressure and keeping them inflated help prevent cracking of the sidewalls and flat spots. If you get a chance to move the car forward and backwards to avoid flat spots.
- The 'keeping it clean and covered' tip applies to your motorcycle and scooter as well. In addition to protecting your paint and chrome parts, covering the vehicle when parked in the open will also save rubber parts from getting crusty.
- If your two-wheeler has a centre stand, it will be wise to make use of it when parking. It keeps the fluids in the vehicle at a balanced level and it's much safer as chances of the vehicle falling and getting damaged are much less.
- In addition to keeping the tank full, also ensure that the chain, springs and cables are lubricated. Check if they need any lubrication at least once a week.
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- It is also wise to take some security measures when storing your two-wheeler for a long time. If you have a spoke lock of a disc lock handy, make use of it. Also, don't leave your vehicle documents, in the vehicle.
- Here too it is wise to keep the battery disconnected to avoid depletion, also, start your motorcycle or scooter once on every 3-4 days and let it idle for some time.
Do not worry about your periodic maintenance during such times. Once things are normalised, you can take your vehicle to the service centre or local mechanic for servicing, which is a must. Also, many automakers have already announced warranty/free-service extensions by a few months. So, if your free-service falls under the ongoing lockdown there's no need to be concerned.
When venturing out to check on your vehicle do take proper precautions. Keep your face and eyes covered and carry a pocket sanitiser so that you can clean your hands immediately after you are done with the task. Stay Home Stay Safe!