With the Coronavirus lockdown seeing relaxations across the country, you might be ready to step out in your vehicle. And if you’ve been responsible and stayed inside your house for so long, you might be ready to get back into the action but your vehicle might not be. So, in order to make sure that you don’t face any trouble in these complicated times, here are some things that you can check before driving or riding out.
- Tyre Pressure
When the tyres are kept idle, they tend to lose air pressure over time. This might lead to the tyres developing cracks in the sidewalls. It is best to have them inflated properly. If it has been resting on the same patch of tyre for so long, it may have led to a flat spot so make sure you check for that too. If you find a flat spot on your tyre, replace it with the spare tyre immediately. Also, if you do happen to go for fill air in your tyres then do not forget to fill up the spare wheel too as it could come in handy in emergency situations.
- Charge the Car Battery
The battery might have been getting drained out all this while so it is best to check the health of your car’s battery much before the actual time that you have to go. Just turn the key and see whether your car starts or not. If it does, let it idle for about 10-15 minutes with the AC and headlights on, with the blower speed turned up, to let all the dust flow out and have the battery get some charge. If the vehicle does not start, then the battery needs to be jump-started. If you have a manual transmission car, then the old-school ‘push start’ system could help – where you push the car with the ignition on while it is in gear with the clutch pedal pressed, and dump the clutch after getting some speed and hope the engine starts. If despite this the vehicle does not start or you have an automatic transmission-equipped car, however, then you need jumper cables connected to another charged battery to start it. Once done, follow the above-mentioned charging procedure to have it ready to go.
- Clean Your Ride
All this while, your car would have been gathering dust, bird droppings, leaves, flowers and everything else. So without a doubt, it needs a thorough clean up. And when you do, don’t forget to do it on the inside too in order to remove chances of surprising yourself with a bad smell when you get into it the next time.
- Fill Her Up!
If your car has been staying idle with a partially filled fuel tank, then it might have developed some condensation which is not good for your drivetrain. So, it is best to have a full tank of fuel in your car whenever possible and in case you foresee that your vehicle will stay idle for long once again, keep it with a full tank of fuel.
- Listen for it
If you followed the steps mentioned above and your vehicle is now running, well, go for the drive you have been wanting to do all this while. But when you do that, be on the lookout for unusual noises coming from your vehicle as that could indicate a bigger problem that may not have been evident in the first place. But remember, do drive around your vehicle for a bit of distance first and if even then, the noise does not go away, well, you have to take your vehicle for a check-up at the service station. There could be some fuse that has gone out, some wire that could have been chipped away or any such thing under the hood which may not be visibly evident. In such situations, you need experts with appropriate equipment to deal with the problem. If you do happen to visit a service centre then you have to remember to stay safe, maintain social distancing and clean your car thoroughly before and after the service to maintain sanitisation.