The ‘rona has stuffed us all around for a long time now, and in so many different ways - some much, much more extreme than others.
And with the pandemic has come intermittent lockdowns of various shapes and sizes. Considering Victoria has now been in lockdown for more than 200 days since this bloody COVID thing first reared its ugly head, we thought it might be a great idea to talk about how to keep your car in good running condition when you’re not able to actually drive it.
Some you might already be aware of, but there are sure to be at least a couple of them that you’ve either not thought of before or simply haven’t ever been made aware of altogether. Let’s get into them now.
7 ways to look after your car when it’s having a rest
1. Keep it covered
This holds especially true if you don’t have a garage or at least carport for your pride and joy. The combination of bird crap, rain, dirt and dust that can hit your car when it’s sitting in the same spot for a while means it’s absolutely vital to get yourself a decent car cover if you want to keep your paintwork in good condition.
2. Park it somewhere safe
What do we mean by ‘safe’ here? A couple of things, actually. First, you need to find a spot that doesn’t have a behemoth of a tree towering over it - yes, your car can and will get completely destroyed when that iffy-looking branch finally comes down on top of it.
Also, as we’re not all blessed with endless riches and don’t have a full-time driver to bring the Rolls around from the underground garage that houses tens of millions of dollars’ worth of cars, you should also evaluate the area with your sketch-ometer. If it’s super rundown and sketchy as hell, think about forking out a bit of coin for an offsite garage space. That’s if you value your wheels and don’t want to pay for new windows every second week because some skeezy unit saw your half-empty pack of durries in the centre console and decided they were for his lungs only.
3. Recharge and care for the battery
All car batteries will slowly drain over time when it’s not being driven or at least started and left to idle for a little while, because the alternator doesn’t have a chance to run and recharge it.
And yes, idling it for a while will recharge it a bit but if you can, get ‘er out for a quick cruise to really get its blood pumping and lube up all its moving parts too.
Hint: Think about getting yourself a trickle charger; it attaches to your car’s battery to keep it charged when it’s not possible to take it out for a spin. These days you can even get solar trickle chargers!
4. Keep the tank full
A full fuel tank will help to prevent the build-up of condensation within the tank while also reducing fume build-up.
There are a few fuel stabilisers out there like STA-BIL that, when added to your fuel tank, will work to prevent the degradation and oxidation of your fuel which will help protect your engine when it comes time to start it up again.
5. Continue with scheduled servicing
There’s a reason when you take your car in for a service they put a sticker up that shows you either the kilometre reading OR date for your next service. If you don’t hit those k’s it’s still important to take it in for the scheduled service because it’s not just kilometres that are important but also hours (e.g. idling it at home or sitting in traffic doesn’t add kilometres, but is still adding to wear and tear).
And as we all know, the better and more complete your service history, the better price you’ll end up getting when you sell it or trade it in.
6. Check tyre pressure regularly
The pressure levels in your tyres can change depending on the weather (hot = increase, cold = decrease), so when your car is laying dormant you should get yourself a tyre pressure gauge - basic ones are super cheap - and check it against the recommended PSI (pounds per square inch) in your car’s user manual or on the placard found inside the driver’s door.
If any or all of them are out, it’s time to visit the local servo and pump some air into them!
7. Shift its standing position slightly and often
The weight of a car on top of tyres is substantial. Now think about what that means if it’s not moved for weeks at a time? Flat spots in tyres can mean you need to throw them out and buy new ones, which can end up costing a pretty penny.
Avoid this by taking it out for a short weekly drive, which will also charge the battery and get all the moving parts fresh again. If that’s not possible, shift it ever so slightly forward or back at least once a week.
Prep for more freedom with a brand new beast
Whether you’re fully agreeable to the lockdowns or not, the continuously increasing vaccination percentages across Australia means there is, in fact, light at the end of this tunnel. And if you really want to take advantage of removed lockdowns by putting rubber to road, why not do it in a brand spanking new beast? You know, the one you’ve had your eye on for a while? As some say, we’re here for a good time - not a long time.
Getting behind the wheel of your gorgeous new set of wheels couldn’t be easier, either. Use our free car finance quote tool to find out how amazing your monthly repayments can be (and they most certainly will be). Then it’s as simple as applying online in less than 5 minutes.
From there you can engage with our industry partners at carconnect, who’ll tap into their massive nationwide dealer network to secure you the hottest price in the country. They’ll even sort out the sale of your old car while they’re at it!
If you’re in need of any further information about what we can do for you, get in touch with our friendly team by calling 1300 787 288 or sending us an online enquiry.