Many Americans are experiencing remote work for the first time. Face-to-face work meetings have been replaced with Zoom virtual meetings and your new office or cubicle might now be your living room.
Just because your door-to-door commute has changed to kitchen-to-couch doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about your car.
With everything that is going on, your car may not be at the top of your priority list. That’s understandable, but you should still be mindful about it.
Here are 5 tips to keep it healthy while you go remote:
1.) MAINTAIN ROUTINE MAINTENANCE
Just because you aren’t driving as much as you used to, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security that your car doesn’t need the usual attention.
Social distancing from your normal maintenance schedule isn’t the right move.
If your car already has minor issues, the neglect of working from home and sheltering in place may be enough for something small to become a major problem. Maintaining your recommended maintenance will catch any issue, such as a failing hose, before it blooms into a full-blown catastrophe for your vehicle.
Luckily, car sales and automotive repair work have been deemed essential and most locations are staying open. According to USA Today, a lot of automotive service centers and dealerships are offering “no contact” service to help ease the wary minds of people in need of car repairs.
2.) CHANGE THE OIL
If you think that just because you aren’t going to make it to the 5,000 mile or 6-month marker to necessitate getting your oil changed, just keep in mind that how you drive your car matters just as much as where and when you drive. If you’re only driving for essentials, you might be only making short drives of 5-10 miles and idling in stop-and-go traffic (curbside pickup and drive-throughs at local eateries definitely count).
3.) CHECK YOUR BATTERY
Life gets hectic and you haven’t checked your car battery in a few months, or maybe over year, or...now that you think about it, have you ever checked your battery? Even though you may not be driving as much, if at all, it’s important to not completely forget about the main source of power for your car.
If your battery is several years old it may not hold a charge for as long as you might think. Be sure to go on small drives every few days or so to keep the battery charged.
This is also a great time to go ahead and clean up any corrosion that has built up around the terminals of the battery. If you’re not sure about how old your battery is, get it tested. You can do this at any automotive parts store or when you get your vehicle serviced.
4.) CHECK YOUR TIRES
In the spring, it’s common to have drastically varying temperatures. You could start a morning in the 30-degree range and end it in the 70s. That change certainly affects the tire pressure in your car. All that fluctuation could leave you with under-inflated tires. You may not notice the change at all if you aren’t driving daily.
So, when you do get back in your car, be sure to check your tire pressure to prevent the dangers of driving under-inflated. More importantly, you might just avoid an unnecessary flat tire while venturing out to pick up essentials.
5.) FILL UP YOUR TANK
This may sound like a simple idea, but aside from not having to worry about getting gas when you finally do leave your house, there are a lot of benefits with keeping your gas tank full.
A full tank prevents condensation building up in the part of the tank not holding the liquid fuel. This condensation (water) increases the longer the vehicle sits in place. Once the car is started, that built-up water enters into your fuel system. If it’s cold out, this could freeze and cause the car to not start.
Aside from avoiding condensation, a full tank makes it easier for the fuel pump to work, thus extending the life of the part which can be costly to repair if it fails. Though there are other things that are taking priority, keeping your car healthy enough to hit the road again will help ensure you have a smooth transition when it is time to head back to the office.