As the majority of South Africans heed the president’s call to stay at home during lockdown, Pieter Niemand, from the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), said motorists need to be cautious if they are not using their cars at all over this period. There are certain essential steps they need to follow at home to prevent experiencing a dead battery or even a damaged engine or ruined tyres when the lockdown lifts.
Here are some key things to watch:
- Battery care and maintenance. An unattended battery will eventually lose its charge, so, if possible, try and ensure someone in the family starts the car every two weeks and at least allow it to warm-up to normal operating temperature in order to give the battery some time to take up a charge. If you are going out during the lockdown and have two cars, try and alternate cars so each of them gets driven regularly.
- Move vehicle to avoid flat spots on tyres. You need to make sure your tyres are inflated to the recommended tyre pressure. If a vehicle is left stationary for too long, the tyres could develop flat spots as the weight of the vehicle presses down on the tyres’ footprints.
- Start the engine at least once every two weeks for oil circulation. It’s always a good idea to allow the car to idle for about two minutes to allow oil pressure to stabilise and cover all those splash lubrication points thoroughly.
- Leave windows slightly open to avoid stagnate air whilst parking in a garage. Most closed garages do not have ventilation, so it is recommended you keep your garage door open every third day or so to allow air to circulate and to leave your windows a tiny bit open to avoid that stale smell when you finally drive your car.