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Maintaining Your Car's Health While on COVID-19 Lockdown

CarPart  ·  April 2, 2020

Maintaining Your Car's Health While on COVID-19 Lockdown

It's now 02 April of 2020, and people all over the world are sheltering in their homes. Governments continue to fight the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the global strategies to reduce the spread, many countries are ordering their citizens to stay at home. Doing so is meant to 'flatten the curve', that is to slow down the daily spread of the virus to more manageable levels.

While some nations have gone on total lockdowns, others still allow minimal movement among its people, mainly for essential activities like going out to buy daily supplies, food, and medicine. In Australia, states and territories had been on various degrees of lockdown as early as mid-March with social gatherings limited to two persons only (down from 10 persons) as of 30 March, 2020. 

The rules may be different in your location, but one thing's for sure: your car is seeing a lot less action than it usually does, which could be awful news. As we all know, our vehicles are marvels of engineering with thousands of moving parts. These car parts need to move regularly to make the most of their lifespans.

So, while we're all doing our best and staying at home, here are a few things you can do to keep your car healthy while on COVID-19 lockdown.

Car Battery

The first car part you should keep in mind is your car battery. A battery does most of its job when you start your car. It delivers the charge that starts the combustion process in the engine, allowing your vehicle to come to life. On top of that, it also power your car's electrical and electronic system while continually being recharged by the alternator.

Here's the problem: as your car sits quietly in your garage or driveway, the battery still discharges a little bit of power day by day. The problem arises when you need to start the car again at some point, but the battery doesn't have enough power to do its job. Then, you're stuck, either needing a jumpstart from a generous stranger or needing to call for help.

When it comes to rarely-used cars, there's wisdom in 'warming up your car' now and then. There’s a little argument about how long you should do this for; some say 5 minutes every other day is enough, while others may tell you to do it for longer.

Whatever length of time you decide to go for, that's up to you. What I'm saying is that every day or every other day, start your car up for a little while to keep your car battery juiced up. 

After all, the battery isn't the only car part that you'll help by doing this. Even your car engine will thank you for it.

Car Engine

Inside a car's combustion engine alone, there are many moving parts and lots of fluids flowing around. You've got your fuel going through there; you've got lubricants and oils and so on. All of these movements and fluids have particular purposes, none of which can be served if the engine isn't actually being used.

Luckily, keeping the engine healthy during a lockdown is also pretty straightforward. Just as with your car battery, you can keep your car engine healthy just by warming it up occasionally.

Here's something to think about, though. For the sake of your car engine and the fluids mentioned, it might be wiser to warm your car up just a little bit longer. You see, lubricants and oils tend to function optimally at higher temperatures. Warming up your car for a little longer instead of just 5 or 10 minutes gives the whole engine a chance to reach its optimal temperatures while also allowing all the fluids inside to flow around wherever they're supposed to go.

Ideally, you should warm your car up by driving it around a little, like down the road or something. But during a lockdown, even driving short distances can be difficult or outright illegal. If you decide to warm your car up wherever it's parked, make sure it's a ventilated space. Letting exhaust fumes build up in a closed garage can be very dangerous for your health.

Car Tyres

This car part doesn't need a warm-up to stay at its best. When it comes to your tyres, you need to make sure that they rotate from time to time. 

You see, when you park a car in the exact same spot for an extended period, all of the car's weight rests on the same part of your four tyres. All that pressure on just one section for prolonged periods can cause them to develop flat spots, which aren't very helpful.

So, what you need to do is to keep those tyres rotated. Don’t get ideas like lifting the entire car to do this, though, it’s no time to get into an accident. Kidding aside, what you could do is park your vehicle in a different spot every other day, if that's possible for you. Alternatively, you could try moving your car a few inches backwards or forwards once in a while, so different parts of your tyres take turns bearing the pressure.

Fuel Tank

Here's another one that most people tend to overlook. When you're preparing for a lockdown, you should make sure that your fuel tank is full. I'm sure that this may sound counter-intuitive. After all, you're not allowed to drive, so why do you need a full tank of petrol? 

The answer is simple. When your tank isn't full of petrol, what else do you think fills up the rest of the space inside? The answer is air. A half-full petrol tank will have quite a bit of air (and oxygen) inside of it. That much oxygen in that tank could speed up corrosion and encourage rusting.

All you have to do to minimize this is to keep your tank full. That way, there's no room for air to fill up the rest of the space. 

General Cleaning

With all of the crucial car parts taken care of during your lockdown, you should also remember to keep the car clean. Just because you don't drive out, doesn't mean you shouldn't take care of your prized ride.

A simple wipedown of the exterior should be good enough to keep it looking its best. As for the inside, be sure to open up the windows a little to keep the air from becoming stale. On top of that, running a vacuum through it once in a while wouldn't hurt, either.

After all, you're on lockdown. You have to keep active, so you don't go stir-crazy. So why not spend some time taking care of your car?

Spare Parts

Countries are already enforcing different degrees of 'lockdowns'. Many are even trying to avoid using that word completely, though what they're already doing is a lockdown technically.

At the time of writing this article, it seems that even in a lockdown scenario, car mechanics are considered as 'essential services'. That means that your trusted workshop and mechanic will probably still be open should you need them.

However, with the way things are going, it's easy to imagine that getting spare parts and car accessories will be challenging. Thankfully, you can get the spare parts you need online through car part finder sites like You may also refer to our other article on locating auto parts while on lockdown. 

By Ray Hasbollah

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