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How to care for your car during lockdown

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Even as lockdown starts to lift, many drivers will still be working from home in South Africa and staying put as restrictions on social behaviour continue under level three regulations.

While that low monthly mileage might look good for your petrol budget, your vehicle still needs to loved during the lockdown. At Dialdirect, we want you to be prepared. Here are our simple, most effective ways to care for your car.

 

Car Care Checklist

  1. Go to the garage

    Not only will this give your battery a good juicing, but (let’s face it) it’s also probably time you got those tyres checked. Car tyres lose pressure over time because over time, the weight of the car naturally flattens the wheel where the rubber meets the road. Pump them up and while you’re here, might as well pop the bonnet to check the oil and fill up the windscreen wiper water container.

  1. Also, fill up on fuel

    Even if you don’t have any travel plans, a full tank of fuel helps to prevent any rust forming on the inside.

  1. Clean your car

    We’re not pointing any fingers, but it’s likely that things have slipped over the last two months. Did you know that bird droppings can damage paintwork? Yup, those nasty birdy doo-doos are rich in acid that eat into your car’s slick finish. Give your car a good scrub that lengthens the life of the paintwork and fish out any dead leaves or other matter that has gathered over time. Kids still stuck at home too? This is also a great way to keep them busy. Lastly, consider a wax and seal treatment if your car usually sits outside. It’ll help prevent dirt, dust and everything else sticking directly to the paint. While you’re rummaging around check that your car is kitted with the essential items. For example, a pumped-up spare tyre, flashlight and jumper cables, which brings us to the next key maintenance point.      

  1. Drive the car often or unhook your battery

    When not driven regularly, a car battery loses its charge and may not have enough juice to start the engine. It’s recommended you start the car at least once a week and keep the engine going for 15 minutes. (However, keep in mind that immobilisers can draw extra power from a battery, so start your car more often if necessary). Driving regularly also limits tyre degradation. If you’re unlikely to drive for two weeks or so, break out the spanners and unhook the battery so it retains charge. According to the experts at Battery Centre, it’s best practice to have your car, truck or motorcycle battery checked at least twice a year - and especially before embarking on a long trip (we’re sure sure many drivers are itching to do as soon as travel restrictions lift!). Battery Centre branches around the country are open for business so if you suspect your battery is not functioning correctly, pop in for a free inspection.

  1. If unhooked, clean your battery points

    Even if you are driving regularly, it’s a good idea to remove the battery clamps anyway to clean away dirt and grease. A messy battery connection can also weaken the charge.

  1. Park in a secure bay, preferably undercover

    Once fresh and clean, it’s best to keep the vehicle out of direct sunlight and extreme weather - especially since winter is here! Speaking of which, also read our tips to help you take care during the Cape storm.