Many motorists are still working from home during the various levels of the South African lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many cars are driven at a fraction of their usual annual mileage. A rarely used vehicle still requires good care, otherwise, this could end with some nasty repair bills. .
A car can’t be left alone for a long time, and so by following the next few steps to keep your vehicle in good condition, you are able to care for your car that is not used regularly. Please check with your vehicle’s manufacturer before you do anything and find out how best to care for your car.
Keep the battery in good shape1
The battery will go flat if the car is not used at least once every two weeks by driving around the block several times. This also depends on the car’s age and if it’s parked inside a garage or left on the street. The battery’s age is also a factor, and an old battery is not expected to last as long as a new one. Connecting your battery to a trickle charger is a great idea to keep the battery going while not in use.
By driving your car at least once every two weeks, the engine parts can stay lubricated. In this way, the oil doesn’t leave and settle out from the engine parts such as the gearbox, brake system and seals. Avoid running your car engine, as this won’t be sufficient to lubricate the engine.
When a car has been standing too long, tyres can develop a ‘flat spot’, where the tyre touches the surface. It would be unwise to throw away a new tyre just because of its ‘flat spot’. The good news is that your car’s weekly driving will eliminate this ‘flat spot’ development.
Be careful where you park1
Avoid parking on a lawn or soil surface, as moisture can cause rust to develop under the car. The best surface to park on is paving or concrete, followed by gravel.
Why fill the petrol tank before parking?1
A long term parked car with a full tank eliminates condensation from developing inside the tank, as well as fumes building up over time. Petrol can degrade with time, and a fuel stabilizer could possibly be added to the tank if the car is to be parked for a long time.
Keep up the servicing schedule1
Just because a car is not used as much doesn’t mean it should not be serviced regularly. Neglecting this could lead to a costly deterioration of individual parts.
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This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.
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