Car Maintenance and Repair During COVID-19
Due to the reality that many people are staying home more to protect themselves and their families form the corona virus, and as a result of many employees being asked by their employers to work from home instead of at the regular work site, this means that many people are driving their vehicles less frequently. This means that cars are staying parked in the same place for considerably longer time frames. When this happens, this can result in impacting the safety of the vehicles and the reliability of the vehicles in a potentially negative manner.
But there will come a time when you need your vehicle to go somewhere, such as to the grocery store or pharmacy, etc. You do not want to be shocked with some problems that will result in a decline in the reliability of the vehicle or its safety. Therefore, this article will address some tips that are easy to implement to help keep your car functioning well for when you may need to access it, though you are not driving it as often as prior to the outbreak of the corona virus.
Consider the tires
You can experience some flat-spotting of your tires. This is due to the fact of the heavy weight of the vehicle resting on the tires in one spot for a long period of time. The rubber of the tire then becomes flat. This will not usually happen in just two weeks. But if your car does not move for a month, this could certainly happen. That is why you should keep a tire pump on hand in order to pump up your tires when you need to go somewhere if you notice they are flat.
Consider the brakes
If a car is not used for a long period of time, the brake rotors can begin to get rusty on the surface. If your parking brake is on for an extended amount of time, this can result in the brake pads binding to the rotors. This may not happen in just two weeks. However, if your car will not be used for a month or longer, then it is highly recommended that you do not put your parking brake on. But do put safety at the forefront. If it is necessary to use the parking brake, certainly do so; as it is less of a catastrophe to repair a parking brake instead of a smashed up car.
Consider the battery
As time passes, the battery of your car can actually become discharged. This will make it necessary for your car to be jump-started. It is advised to use a battery tender to plug your car into if you happen to have one on hand. Also, to reserve the life of your battery, you can unplug it and then reconnect it when you need to use the car.
Consider possible pests
Be mindful that rats and mice could be a source of trouble for your car if your car is parked for a long time without being used on a regular basis. It is wise then to take actions that will aid in protecting your car from pests. It is wise to open the hood in order for you to check to see if the belts or wires have been chewed in any way by pests. Also, be on the lookout for any possible critters that may be hiding in the compartment of your engine. Another place to check is near the top of your tires around the wheel wells.
Consider the paint
In many areas, car washes may be closed during the pandemic of the corona virus. If you are parking your car outside for an extended period of time without driving it on a regular basis, you will probably see dust on your car. You may notice bird droppings and sap from trees as well that have found their way onto the exterior surface of your car. These elements can damage the paint of your car over time. It is highly recommended to park your car under cover if possible,such as a carport or a garage. If this is not possible, then it recommended to use a car cover. If you do notice stuff on your car as mentioned earlier, it is advised to use a spot cleaner along with a soft cloth to remove those unwanted elements.
When your car is not being used for a long period of time, then it cannot be denied that fluids can become a real problem to be concerned about. Fuel can tend to undergo separation. This can result in water vapor accumulation within the gas tank. Hoses as well as gaskets can also tend to become dried out and brittle due to not being kept lubricated on a regular basis. That is why you should drive your car for twenty minutes every two weeks to prevent these issues.
Consider going for a drive
Though we mentioned that you should drive your car every two weeks to prevent fuel separation and to keep gaskets and hoses well lubricated, the reality is that it is advised to drive your car for twenty minutes every two weeks. While we realize the corona virus is going on and you do not want to be in public much, you can still drive your car without getting out. Thus, driving your car will prevent flat tire spots, will keep your battery charged and will help to keep out unwanted pests from making their home in your car.
When you need services from an auto body shop
Though everyone is being told to stay home because of the corona virus, this does not mean that there will never be any cases when you do not need vehicle services from an auto body shop. While we certainly hope that you do not have a collision, if this does happen, you certainly will need to bring your vehicle in for collision repair. Or if your vehicle breaks down somewhere, you will certainly be in need of auto repair.
Auto repair shops are being regarded as necessary services. You are permitted to bring your vehicle to an auto body shop. But it is advised to call ahead. This is due to the fact that many have limited hours and they can better plan for your arrival. You will be better informed of when they will be able to service your vehicle.
Also, be mindful that you may be required to wait. If the repair will not take long, you may want to wait on site. But do ask about the waiting area if it is in compliance with the protocol for social distancing. If not, then you will want to arrange for alternative transportation to take you home until your vehicle is repaired. Also, you would want to arrange for alternative transportation if the repairs will take a long time, as it is not advised to wait anywhere in public for a long time even when the right protocols are in place during the coronavirus.
Moreover, when you get your vehicle back, it is a good idea to sterilize various areas that you touch, such as the door handles, seat belts and steering wheel, etc. This will just be an extra safety precaution to prevent contracting the coronavirus.
Manuel’s Body Shop is open
We all know the importance of having a vehicle in good condition, especially if you’re a frontliner fighting this virus. We’re here to help and we’re making sure that everyone will be as safe as possible.
A recent customer even left us a review on Yelp regarding how were handling the COVID-19 situation at Manuel’s Body Shop:
I had a significant dent in my passenger side front door and went to Manuel’s body shop for an estimate. Martin was quick and efficient in writing up the estimate for me. I expected the repairs to take 5 business days, but received a call on the third business day that my car was ready. The repair job was very well done and my car looks brand new! I experienced excellent customer service, and the body work and paint job were exceptional both in quality and timeliness. I want to add that in the midst of this pandemic, I noticed how conscientious all workers were at cleaning the office seats, desks, bathrooms, etc. as well as opening the doors for their customers and keeping the appropriate distance. I was happy to see that not only did they do a great job in auto body service, they are also taking actions to prevent the spread in our community while running their business. I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs auto body work done and plan on using them again in the future.
We also prioritize frontliners and essential workers during this pandemic. If you need any services, let us know. We give free estimates and we’ll try to get your deductable as low as possible.