Don’t neglect your car or truck while you’re confined at home. Have the certified auto technicians one of Madison Auto Care’s seven NAPA service centers see that your car is in top condition.
Now that the stay-at-home order has been in place for a couple of weeks, you’ve developed a daily routine that includes a bit of outdoors exercise time by walking and jogging around the neighborhood. You’ve also started getting groceries and other necessities delivered. Thus far, you’ve managed to pretty much stick to the idea of social distancing and staying away from crowds and other places you might get COVID-19 coronavirus.
You wish you could say the same for your car. Although you mean to start it for awhile each day, you just haven’t gotten around to it. But, you figure that’s no big deal. Your car will be fine because it’s just sitting there, doing nothing.
You’d be wrong with that assumption, according to the non-profit Car Care Council.
“Just as it is recommended that people stay active during this time of social distancing, your car should get some activity as well,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “If your vehicle sits idle for too long, the battery could die, the tires can develop flat spots and the engine oil may start to deteriorate. Just a short solo drive once a week and a little car care will keep your car running efficiently and safely.”
When starting your car, the council recommends you also keep an eye on several system to make sure they aren’t deteriorating or need the attention of a good mechanic. Those systems, according to the council:
“Battery – Today’s vehicles have several computers that are always in operation, so if a car sits too long without recharging, the battery could die within a couple of weeks.
“Tires – Maintain proper tire pressure to improve vehicle performance and gas mileage. Doing so is also important for vehicle safety. Checking the tire pressure frequently is more important if the car is parked for long periods of time. Vehicles that sit idle too long can develop flat spots, so taking a brief drive every once in a while will help prevent bald spots, and recharge the battery, too.
“Fuel – Today’s modern fuel systems help preserve the life of the gas in your tank and also prevent fuel oxidation. Keeping a full tank of gas helps limit gas-tank condensation. If you are still concerned about the gas in your tank going bad, a fuel stabilizer may help extend the life of your fuel.
“Oil – If a car sits too long, the oil can deteriorate, so continue to change the oil at the proper time intervals, even if you are not driving your normal mileage. It is always best to check the owner’s manual for the maximum time you should wait between oil changes.
“Brakes – If a car sits idle, rust can start to form on the brake rotors, especially if the car is parked outside. Driving your car at least once a week will help prevent rust buildup.
“Cleaning – Removing the grime and sediment that builds up on the outside of your car helps prevent rust, and cleaning the interior is important, too. Wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, cup holders, door handles, vents and console with a quality, all-purpose automotive cleaner that will help disinfect the interior areas of your vehicle.”
If you see a problem with any of these, or if your car had issues before the stay-at-home order was handed down, then it’s time to find a trusted auto mechanic like the certified mechanics at any of Madison Auto Care’s seven conveniently located NAPA service centers: Clausen Auto, Handel Auto, Genin’s Auto, Capitol Tire, Odana Tire, Hansen’s Auto, or Aeschbach Auto.
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