The coronavirus pandemic continues to be strong in India even a year later. However, we all must do our bit to be safe, cautious, follow protocols and help those in need in any small way we can. The virus has thrown a curveball to public health and we must do all we can to stay stronger than it. Stuck in your homes during the lockdown, you look out of your window and spot your vehicle parked there like an obedient soldier. Waiting for you to be allowed to venture out, or more importantly be your first line of defence in the case of an emergency. If not taken care of, you might find yourself getting into your vehicle after lockdown or in an emergency and your vehicle breaks down. Even the strongest of soldiers needs some TLC from time to time. So here are some five really easy tips that you can do to keep your vehicle ready for any scenario. Provided you are healthy and it is safe to temporarily venture out and do so.
Leave your vehicle idle for too long and you may find that when you go to start your car, it just turns over. This would be down to the battery getting discharged when the vehicle is not being used. Once a week, just start the vehicle and idle for 10-15 minutes with all the ancillary components like the AC and lights turned on. This would allow the alternator to replenish the battery. If you can’t do that, bring out the spanners and disconnect them should your vehicle be left idle for a long duration. This small activity might save you the trouble of jump-starting your car during an emergency.
Even if you don’t have a puncture, the air in your tyres every so slight can escape. This is why it is recommended that you check your pressures ever so often. But leave your car in one place for too long, and this would lead to the tyres beginning to deflate and would create a flat spot. When you go to re-inflate them, the flat spots don’t fix themselves and you end up with vibrations while driving and the need for new tyres. If you can, drive the vehicle for a little distance and park it back so it doesn’t sit on the very same spot on the tyre. Or, just try and safely push the car 5-10 metres back and forth once.
It is recommended that you park your car and engage the handbrake. However, leave it in that state for too long, and it could be jammed in place. For a manual transmission, it is best to leave the car in gear if left idle for long. But in an automatic vehicle, it is best to put it in Park and still use the handbrake to not let the whole vehicle’s weight fall on the Park mode mechanisms of the transmission.
If you have the luxury to park your vehicle underground or in a covered area, it is best to use it during this time. Prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight can harm the paint, rubber beadings and other components of the vehicle. If it’s not possible, using a car cover can mitigate the wear on the exterior of the vehicle to some extent. Should it get too dirty, with bird droppings, the sooner they can be cleaned off, the better it will be. Dedicated car shampoos do wonders, but make sure to use clean water and fresh or clean microfibre cloths.
If you’re going to leave your car idle for a long period of time, like it is during the lockdown, try and make sure your fuel tank is brimmed up. Not only will it be a headache that you won’t need to worry about during an emergency, but it helps alleviate corrosion in the tank and fuel lines. Additionally, the air in the tank may condense and turn to water vapour. This would settle into the fuel tank and the water would not bode well for the engine in any way.
Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.