If you’re like most people, you probably spend a lot of time in your car. Whether you’re commuting to work or taking road trips, your car is an important part of your life. That’s why it’s important to keep it in good condition by performing simple car maintenance tasks and having the manufacturers’ recommended maintenance done by a professional.
But what if you’re stranded at home for an extended period of time? Maybe a natural disaster has made it impossible to leave your neighborhood, or you’re under quarantine because of an outbreak. In these cases, it’s important to know how to take care of your car so that it still runs well when you are able to get back on the road.
Here are the top 10 things drivers can do to keep their cars running great while stuck at home:
1. Park in a Garage if Possible.
Most types of damage to cars are caused by the sun, wind, rain, and snow. Parking in a garage will help protect your car from the elements and reduce wear and tear. If you can’t park in a garage, try to park in a shady spot or under a tree. The less your car is exposed to the elements, the better! That means less rust, fewer dings and scratches, and longer life for your vehicle.
2. Keep the Interior Clean.
Keeping the inside of your car clean will help preserve the upholstery, carpet, and dashboard. It will also make it easier to clean when you finally have a chance to get out and drive somewhere. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and dust and a damp cloth to wipe down the surfaces. If you have leather seats, use a leather conditioner once a month to keep them looking new.
3. Check the Fluids Regularly.
One of the most important things drivers can do is check the fluids in their cars regularly. This includes the oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. If any of these fluids are low, you can top them off yourself. But if they’re too low, you should take your car to a mechanic to have them topped off, and the system inspected.
4. Change the Oil and Filter.
The best way to keep your engine running well is to regularly change the oil and filter. You can do this yourself by buying an oil filter wrench and following the instructions in your car’s owner’s manual. Most mechanics recommend changing the oil every 3,000 miles or every three months.
5. Replace the Spark Plugs.
Another important task for drivers is to replace the spark plugs on a regular basis. You can do this yourself by buying a spark plug socket and following the instructions in your car’s owner’s manual. Most mechanics recommend doing this every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.
6. Replace the Air Filter.
The air filter is another important part of your car that you should replace on a regular basis. You can do this yourself by buying a filter wrench and following the instructions in your car’s owner’s manual. Most mechanics recommend doing this every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.
7. Check the Tires for Wear and Inflation.
One of the most important things drivers can do to keep their cars safe is to check the tires for wear and inflation regularly. You can do this yourself by using a tire gauge to check the pressure and looking for wear and tear on the tires. If the tires are worn down or the pressure is low, you should take your car to a mechanic to replace them.
8. Clean the Windshield and Windows.
Keeping your windshield and windows clean will help you see better while driving and make it easier for other drivers to see you. You can clean them with a glass cleaner and a soft cloth. Be sure to clean all of the windows, not just the ones visible from the driver’s seat.
9. Check the Lights and Wipers.
It’s important to check the lights and wipers on your car regularly to make sure they’re working properly. You can do this yourself by turning on the headlights and windshield wipers and checking to see that they’re both working. If they’re not, you should take your car to a mechanic to have them fixed.
10. Preserve the Battery.
One of the most important things drivers can do to preserve the battery in their car is to keep it clean. The best way to do this is to disconnect the battery terminals and clean them with a wire brush. To prevent corrosion, you should also coat the terminals with petroleum jelly or spray them with a silicone lubricant. If the battery is still charging slowly or not at all, you may need to have it replaced.
These are just some of the things drivers can do to keep their cars running well while they’re at home. For more information, be sure to consult your car’s owner’s manual. And remember, it’s always a good idea to take your car in for regular maintenance checks at a mechanic to ensure that everything is in good working order.
The Importance of Professional Maintenance
While at-home car maintenance is important, it’s also important to remember that professional maintenance is necessary for a car to run its best. Drivers should have their cars regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic to ensure that all of the parts are in good working order and that any potential problems are addressed before they become bigger issues.
Many drivers neglect to have their cars serviced regularly, and this can lead to costly problems down the road. It’s always a good idea to have your car serviced at least once a year, and more if you drive a lot or use your car for long trips. The more often your car is serviced, the less likely you are to experience problems with it.
So, while at-home car maintenance is important, it’s not a substitute for professional maintenance. Drivers should make sure they have their cars serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic to ensure they’re running in top condition.