Coronavirus "Safer-at-Home" Advice for Your Car
Updated: Apr 6, 2020
For many Americans, stay-in-place orders (Like the Safer at Home Order in Wisconsin), business closures, and working from home are leading to a lot less driving. But if your car sits too long without being driven, that can lead to problems.
Like your body, your car needs exercise. We spoke with Dave Cappert, from the tech department at ASE, who recommends driving your car at least once a week. A 30-minute cruise will stave off a host of potential issues. Here are the items that can be affected when a car sits too long:
Modern electronics can cause a drain on the battery even when a car is just parked. A 30-minute drive recharges the battery to keep it from wearing down.
Oxidation (rust) can form on the surface of brake rotors after only a few days, particularly in a humid environment. The oxidation is not dangerous, but if left unchecked for too long, it can affect brake-pedal feel due to the difference in texture between the oxidized sections of the brake disc and those that were under the pad and are therefore free of rust. The good news is that using the brakes scrapes off that oxidation.
Modern air-conditioning systems should be run regularly to cycle refrigerant, which contains lubricants for the compressor and other parts. So be sure to hit the A/C button on your weekly drive.
Some, but not all, tires can develop a flat spot when a car is immobile for an extended period. Those flat spots, however, should disappear within a few miles of driving. Cappert suggests manually checking tire pressures (don’t just rely on your low-tire-pressure warning light) and keeping them fully inflated.
Ideally, your car isn’t parked outside under a tree, but if it is, check to make sure that seeds and other tree droppings haven’t clogged up the drains for the sunroof. Also, clear tree debris out of the plenum, or else it may wind up in your cabin air filter.
When cars are closed up, off-gassing from interior plastics, foams, and adhesives can form a film on the inside of the windshield and other glass. Use a window cleaner to remove it.
Cappert says today’s sealed fuel systems are less subject to problems related to stale gas, and that gasoline can go more than a few weeks without degrading. But a 30-minute drive every week or so will move fuel through the system, and replenishing with fresh stuff can’t hurt. Good thing gas prices are so low right now. Just remember to use safe refueling practices at the gas station.
Call us TODAY at (414)483-3631 to schedule an appointment if you have noticed any of these problems!
Packard Automotive - Quick, Qualified, Courteous and Convenient.
5780 S Packard Ave, Cudahy, Wi 53110