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Here’s How You Can Maintain Your Car Yourself During The MCO

Here’s How You Can Maintain Your Car Yourself During The MCO

Akmal Hakim

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So it’s been a couple of weeks since most of us have been stuck at home forced to sacrifice our normal lives and daily routines, and becoming accustomed to social distancing in order to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the country at large safe during the pandemic.

With all the different things that one needs to keep in mind during this global crisis, some of us might be neglecting one crucial part of our convenient, modern and comfortable existence: our trusty and ever-demanding automobiles.

TRP shares some quick car maintenance tips on how to better care for your vehicle when you aren’t driving it as often and to keep your pockets from being choked by repair fees after the lockdown.

Start your engines

Now I’m sure most of you have probably been told once or twice before to, once in a while, start your engines and keep it running idle for a quick warm-up if you aren’t driving it as much.

While this advice might be great for older cars that run on carburetors, modern fuel-injected cars are not required to be warmed up, even if it’s been left parked and not moving for a while.

In fact, warming up a cold engine might end up damaging it in the long run, costing you more money on repairs.
(Credit: Cars Of Japan)

However, starting up your car is important to keep the car’s battery in ship shape.

The battery is an essential component of the car that functions to start the car’s engine and provides electrical power to other parts of the vehicle.

Keeping the battery charged is important to maintain your car’s performance and overall longevity.

To avoid your car battery from dying out, start your vehicle’s engine and have it running idle for about 10 minutes, at least once a week, without turning on the air conditioning, radios or any other electrical features in the vehicle.

For those of you wondering why you’d need to charge the battery if the car ain’t moving? Well, cars like any other mundane electrical appliance have what they call a “parasitic load” where there is always a certain amount of power constantly being drained from the power source.
(Credit: How Stuff Works)

This would allow the car’s alternator to do its job and recharge the battery to keep it, for a lack of a better word, energized.

But if you’re unfortunate enough to already have a dead car battery during the lockdown, there’s always the option of contacting one of the many vehicle service operators that can offer you on-location assistance when needed.

CARPUT (Roadside Assistance)
There are many online applications available to get instant assistance on-the-go
(Credit: Gamuda Land)

Separately, if you think that your car won’t be moving for more than a month, then a better step would be just to take the battery out entirely and store it in a safe and secure place away from moisture and sunlight.

Be sure to have it fully charged up (or have the water levels topped up if you’re using a wet cell battery) and have the battery wires and terminal attachments greased up with lubricant (or petroleum jelly works fine too) to keep it from rusting.

Keep those plugs, sparkling

Again, if you think that your car would be left idle for an extensive period of time, it’s advisable to take out the car’s spark plugs as well.

Spark plugs are responsible for delivering electric current to the engine’s combustion chamber for ignition and like any other part to your car, needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained.

However, we warn you to only do this if you’re comfortable enough around cars and have the mechanical skills to do so in order to avoid damaging your vehicle.

Different cars have different specifications, so best to leave it to the experts if you don’t know what you’re doing.
(Credit: Your Mechanic)

Fill her up

Unused cars tend to develop rust on the inside of the fuel tank. To keep this from happening, simply fill the car to the brim with petrol and have it sealed tight to prevent moisture from entering and damaging the fuel tank.

Fuel prices have been falling dramatically around the world in recent months due to global market trends.
(Credit: Malay Mail)

It’ll also be nice to have a full tank of gas (while prices are super low now… LOL) once the quarantine period is over.

Keep the pressure on

Now it won’t be very pleasant to have a flat tire once you’re allowed to drive freely again. Make sure to check and maintain your car’s tire pressure at least twice a month so you’d always be ready to go on a roll.

If you don’t have the necessary tools to do your own checks at home, a good idea would be to make a quick stop by the petrol station to examine and refill the pressure when you’re out doing a supply run.

Flat, Busted: Best Portable Air Compressors and Tire Inflators ...
Or you can purchase your own tire inflator available online.
(Credit: The Truth About Cars)

Wipe it up

If you don’t have the option of parking your vehicle under the shade or have one of those neat “car blankets”, a good practice is to lift up your windshield wipers and have em’ standing in the upright position.

Prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight will cause your wiper blades to harden and crack, making it less effective in keeping your view clear during a drive.

It’s also recommended to replace your wiper blades every 6 months.
(Credit: Car Roar)

It’s recommended that you keep your wipers up (if you haven’t) throughout the MCO period if your car is left exposed to the elements.

Keep it clean

Not to overstate the obvious, but some people do treat their cars like mobile storage units or worse, moving landfills filled with crumbs, wrappers, and trash of all sorts.

Well since there’s a pandemic going around, it’s important now, more than ever to keep your vehicles clean and sanitized to avoid any unwanted pests infestations or it becoming ground zero to another viral outbreak.

Tips And Tricks On How To Properly Vacuum & Clean Your Car
Better to keep your car messy than throw garbage out the window, right?
(Credit: Awesome Jelly)

So keep your cars clean and tidy and take time to disinfect and wipe down all high-touch surfaces like the steering wheels, door handles, gears, switches, and knobs or any other places you’d think germs would thrive on.

Just be careful to use the right cleaning solutions for the job to avoid damage to your car’s interior.

With workshops and service centers only operating on limited capacity this MCO, its best to keep your vehicles in check to avoid any unforeseen problems that may occur.

Do you have any other car maintenance tips that would help during this quarantine season? Share it with us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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