Can You Keep Your Car (and Yourself) Safe during a Pandemic?
You need a dependable car but COVID-19 hasn’t gone away. How do you keep your family healthy and your car running safely? As car care professionals, we have some thoughts on how you can accomplish both of these as you navigate the new “normal.”
Let It Run
Cars don’t do well when they are parked for long time-periods. Batteries lose their charge, tires get flat spots, and rubber components such as belts and wipers dry out.
Take your vehicle for a 20-minute or longer drive at least once per week. This ensures the battery is charged, wears the rust off the brake discs, and keeps the calipers from seizing. It’s not just your car that can use a break. Getting away for a few minutes can improve your mental health, too!
Lengthening Out Service Intervals
If your engine light is on, bring it to a shop as soon as you can. But you can stretch out service intervals when you are not subjecting your car to harsh driving conditions.
When you bring it into a shop, ask them about their coronavirus procedures. Are they taking it seriously – disinfecting surfaces and your key fob? If you can, wait three days before picking up the vehicle since the latest data show that the virus can exist on some surfaces for up to several days, depending on conditions. When you pick it up, wipe down the door handle, interior surfaces, and fob before driving home.
- Oil Level: Check the level before you start your car, make sure that it’s on level ground. If the oil is low, go ahead and top it off. Just be sure you’re using the oil recommended by the manufacturer.
- Tire Wear: Insert a quarter into the tread with Washington’s head upside-down. If you can’t see the top of his wig you are good-to-go. If you can it means you have less than 1/8-inch of tread and need to start thinking about replacement. Though tires must be replaced when tread dips below 1/16-inch, braking distances are significantly impacted once you have less than 1/8-inch.
- Air Filters: These are easy to check and replace. Take a look under the hood for the air and cabin filters—use the owner’s manual if you can’t find them yourself. Changing these filters saves you money and allows the intake of healthier air, for the engine and passengers!
- Wipers: Did you know that wipers are intended to last 6 months? You can get more service out of wipers by washing them with a paper towel moistened by glass cleaner. Why not check the windshield fluid level while you’re at it? If it’s low, you can purchase fluid at auto parts stores and most convenience and grocery stores.
At Cline Collision Center, we work hard to make sure you are safe. When you run into trouble—or, trouble runs into you—we offer superior craftsmanship and use only quality parts. This commitment to your well-being includes following the most up-to-date COVID-19 protocols. Call 707-591-9909 or contact us online for the very best in Sonoma County autobody repair!