The Covid-19 surge has meant that lockdowns have once again been put in place across several states in India and that means, our cars are not going anywhere as they remain parked – as they should be. So while all of us do our bit to maintain social distancing and staying home as much as possible to decrease the spread of the Coronavirus, here are some tips and tricks to take care of your cars and have them ready to go whenever you need.
-The car should be parked in a safe spot in the house or your building premises. Moreover, it is also important to preserve the functionality of its internal components.
-Avoid flat spot on tyres and maintain the right pressure.
-One should move their car forwards and backwards to keep it from remaining immobile for too long and avoiding flat spots on tyres.
-Periodic checks of tyre pressure are imperative to prevent cracking of the rubber and the side spots.
-Air valves should be checked as well.
KEEP THE IGNITION ENGAGED
-To keep the battery of the car charged, the car should be started once every week for around 20 minutes. This will ensure that the aux battery doesn’t exhaust itself.
-In an electric car, this can be done by starting AC remotely as well. Alternatively, remove the negative terminal of the Aux Battery. Keep the State of Charge (SOC) between 40% to 60%.
RESTARTING THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE AFTER LONG STORAGE
-Refit the negative terminal (if removed) and charge the vehicle up to 100% SOC on a slow charger before using the vehicle on road.
KEEP THE HANDBRAKE DIS-ENGAGED
-Keep the car parked in reverse gear if parked on a downhill slope, or on neutral on a flat surface and in first gear if it is on an uphill slope.
-It is important to provide wheel support through the medium of chocks/ bricks available at home (in case of Auto transmission, it is a must)
PROTECT THE FUEL TANK
-To reduce the effect of changing weather on the vehicle, the fuel tank of the car should be kept full to avoid moisture from settling in.
-Regular sanitization and periodic checks of the interior and car parts such as the steering wheel is important to maintain regular hygiene and ensure that the components are functioning.
-Interiors can be kept clean by vacuuming the carpets and mats as well as wiping car parts such as door handles with regular cleaning solution or disinfectant.
-Kindly maintain the cleaning solution – a mixture of car shampoo/soap and water, in a 30:70 ratio
-While using a shampoo solution, apply it on the specified surface using a microfiber cloth. Avoid spraying the solution directly. For example, on components such as the infotainment system.
-The wiper arms should also be in an uplifted position.
SHIELD FROM CHANGING WEATHER
-Use a car cover as it will protect the vehicle from getting affected by external factors and will also avoid the layering of dust on the exterior of the vehicle. This will also protect the paint job and chrome elements on the car.
Do note that these steps have been suggested by Tata Motors in an advisory for their customers, including customers of their electric cars. However, this practice is standard for cars of all makes and models and should be followed if the car is staying stationary at its parking spot for long periods of time.