COVID-19 and your car
Our cars haven’t been getting the usual amount of use over the past few months with so many of us heeding the guidelines to stay at home. They’re working from home or no longer have a job to drive to. Instead of weekly grocery runs, they’re ordering food and just about everything else online. Now, most neighbourhoods are full of parked cars and resemble carparks.
The battery loses its charge
It might come as a surprise, but your car is still working even when you’re not driving it. “Just like your laptop or mobile phone, your car battery is running the computer inside your vehicle at all times,” says Joe Akers, a Nissan director of operations. If you’re not going to be driving your car for a few weeks, Akers recommends placing your vehicle on a trickle charger. “These chargers continue to supply power to a car battery when the vehicle is not in use,” Akers says.
Oh, and don’t forget to remove the phone charger, dash-cam, and any other power-consuming devices plugged into the cigarette lighter port. “These devices slowly seep your juice, too,” notes Jesse Yuvali owner of Jesses’ Garage European Auto Repair.
Tyres get flat spots and lose pressure
Have you ever woken up with one side of your hair flat because you slept on it all night? The same thing happens when tyres ‘sleep’. They develop flat spots when you don’t drive. “The weight of the car constantly putting pressure on the same part of the tyres create a dent,” says Akers. It’s something you’ll definitely feel when you get back in the driver’s seat.
Tyres lose pressure when they sit too – about one to two PSI per month. “A quick spin around the block once a week will help avoid this problem,” Akers adds. Use a tyre pressure gauge to check the pressure before you drive it again. You don’t have to worry about making it to the petrol station to get air when you have a portable compressor at home.