We are all living in an unprecedented time in history. Even with all the technological and medical breakthroughs, we are still not sure about the road ahead with the COVID-19. Leaders across the world are frantically advising people about the dos and don’ts regarding their health. While the world is getting smaller due to technology, the coronavirus pandemic is pulling us apart from each other in significant ways.
With the majority of us in some kind of lockdown, our vehicles are too left unused. However, unlike us, vehicles left on their own can cause serious issues to their well-being. At this time, as responsible citizens, we need to do our best in order to prevent the spread of the virus. However, as responsible owners, we also need to take the best possible care for our vehicles. Why? Most car and bike service centres and dealerships are closed, and we will find our vehicles in an unusable condition when we need it for emergencies.
After a thorough discussion with the auto insurance experts of PolicyX.com, we present to you the 10 tips to take care of your car/bike during the lockdown. We also recommend you to wear face masks and hand gloves while implementing these tips and apply appropriate sanitizers after you are done.
#1 - Choose the right spot to park your vehicle:
A significant amount of vehicle-related crimes happen when your vehicle is in the parking lot. Also, an equally significant amount of vehicle damage can occur if it is not parked safely. If you have the facility, park your vehicle in dedicated parking spaces in your society, in a well-lit area around other vehicles and not in an isolated spot.
For your car, choose a spot that is sturdy, and don’t park it on a permeable spot like grass or else the moisture may cause rust to your car’s undercarriage. For your bike, choose a spot that is not surrounded by big vehicles and ensure you have easy access to it.
#2 - Safety and Security of your vehicle:
Keep your vehicle covered to keep it safe from direct sunlight, dust, bird droppings, and thieves. Use thick bed sheets if you don’t have a cover and can’t procure one at this time. For your bike, keep it on the double stand or centre stand so that it doesn’t easily knock over and all the essential fluid balance in the vehicle is maintained. Use spoke lock or disk lock to ensure double safety.
#3 - Keep the vehicle clean –
If you have a dedicated place for parking, cleaning the vehicle daily is a wise option. If not, the vehicle should be cleaned thrice a week, without flouting any social distancing or lockdown rules. For your car, start the air conditioner and get rid of the dust particles in the cabin. Thoroughly clean the exterior and the interior to avoid the smell, bacteria, and rust. Use a damp cloth to clean the vehicle, and leave the windows and doors open for the car to dry out. Ensure that no perishable items are left inside or near your vehicle or else it will attract rodents, which can do substantial damage.
#4 – Keep the battery in check
Our vehicles are designed to be driven. To ensure that it stays so, take good care of the battery by removing the connections and preventing it from getting discharged. Also, start your car or bike every 2-3 days and let it stay still for some time to keep the battery from discharging. Another tip is to use a multimeter and keep checking the voltage of the battery regularly. If you have an electric vehicle, try to keep the charge between 50-70% always.
#5 - Avoid handbrakes
Prolonged parking without activity can get the handbrake jammed. Corrosion can jam the moving parts and disengaging the handbrake can become impossible after a few weeks. Hence, engage the first gear of your car and follow the traditional way by putting a brick, stone, or a piece of wood in front of the tyres to stop the car from moving.
#6 – Keep all essential parts lubricated
To prevent fatigue and wear-and-tear of your essential parts lubricate the bike parts like chain, suspension, springs, clutch/brake lever pivot points, cables, folding pegs, keyhole and fasteners properly lubricated once a week.
#7 – Take care of the Tyres
Prolonged inactivity may cause the tyres to lose air over time. It is important to keep maximum tyre pressure. A good way to keep the pressure steady and the tyre in good shape is to start your vehicle and move it a foot ahead and back. If possible, you can also reposition your vehicles every three days to keep from tyre damage.
#8 – Seal all vents, ports, and valves
Rodents are not on lockdown and may find parked vehicles a good place to burrow. To avoid this, use tape or simple cloth rag to block all the ports, vents, valve covers, cylinder heads, intake and exhaust ports. Unblock the exhaust ports if you decide to start the car.
#9 – Ensure you have adequate Fuel
It is advisable to keep maximum fuel, if possible full tank, to avoid condensation inside the fuel tank due to empty space. This will cause rusting inside the tank, and hence a fuel stabilizer helps prevent gumming, rusting, and evaporation. Apart from the stabilizer, if possible you can also change the engine oil if the vehicle is kept stranded for a prolonged time.
#10 - Insurance & Documents
It is pretty easy to forget about your vehicle insurance during the lockdown. It’s better to check details of your car Insurance / two-wheeler insurance and keep an eye out on its renewal dates. Since your vehicle is kept parked for a longer duration now, it is advised not to leave your necessary documents in the vehicle. It is better to keep it at your home and carry it with you personally when the lockdown eases up, or you need to use your vehicle for emergencies.
Our vehicles don’t need to hibernate while we are in lockdown during this COVID-19 pandemic. A few simple steps that we have listed above will not only ensure that our vehicle is taken care of, but that we also support the measures taken by the government to stop the spread of this virus.