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Car care while staying home

29/04/2020 by Lania Mason in Safety

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Federal and State governments have introduced restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus. These restrictions have many of us practicing social distancing, staying home, and driving a lot less.

Cars, trucks, and SUV’s that we normally see on our roads, are now sitting idle in carports and garages. But during this time, it is important to remember that a lack of vehicle use can cause problems.

Here are some tips to care for your vehicle and avoid potential maintenance issues.

Charge the battery

Many vehicles have multiple computers that are always on and monitoring car systems. When a vehicle is idle, the discharge is less, but over time will cause the battery to go flat.

Using your car for essential trips such as food shopping can help maintain good engine performance. However, if you’re not going out, you can avoid flattening your battery by simply turning the engine on and letting it run for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to run the vehicle in a well-ventilated space to avoid fume inhalation.

Pump the breaks

When you’re not driving your car, rust can form on the brake rotors especially if your vehicle is parked outside. This can lead to uneven breaking, brake pulsation, and noise.

By taking your vehicle for a quick trip and carefully pumping your brakes a few times, you can minimise and even remove rust build up. If your car has been sitting idle for a while, it may be difficult to release the handbrake, but just like your regular brakes, frequent use will keep it in good operating condition.

Check the tyre pressure

Tyres naturally lose air, and cars that are stationary for long periods of time are at risk of tyres going flat. Driving on a flat tyre may lead to wheel and vehicle damage, resulting in poor handling and control. A short drive will assist in avoiding tyre flat spots.

It’s also a good idea to frequently check the tyre pressure and top it up to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Service your car

Staying home and driving less does not mean you should delay a car service. A car service can also be scheduled by time as well as distance. Even though you may be travelling less, the service time clock is still ticking over.

Service centres are still open for business and are following rigorous hygiene procedures, and social distancing measures.

Clean and disinfect

Fleetcare have prepared a vehicle disinfection advice to assist the public in reducing the potential spread of disease, including Coronavirus COVID-19 within vehicles.

This includes regularly wiping down all commonly touched surfaces such as the steering wheel, door handles, gear stick, window opening mechanisms and indicators. Don’t forget to leave the windows down or doors open to air out the cabin once you’re finished.

If you’re parked outside, you can avoid paint damage by frequently washing your vehicle to remove bird droppings, tree sap and debris.

By maintaining your vehicle now, you’ll be ready to go when we’re able to get back on the roads and driving freely again. The safety of our customers and drivers is important, and we ask that you reach out to us if your vehicle needs any urgent maintenance and repairs.

For running updates on Coronavirus fleet news please visit our dedicated Coronavirus Fleetcare page.

IMPORTANT NOTE - This content is current as at 30 April 2020 and provided for information purposes only. The information may not be suitable or appropriate for your organisation’s operations and needs. As such, please undertake your own independent assessment(s) and take into consideration any specific government laws and guidance. Response and advice regarding Coronavirus is changing rapidly and it is important that you keep up to date with all relevant information issued by the Australian Government.

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