Take care of your car during “stay at home” time

Coronavirus

Advice from AAA to keep your car in shape when you're not using it

With “stay at home orders” in effect in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi for the foreseeable future, many will park one of their cars in the driveway for a month or more. While good for flattening the COVID-19 curve, that might not be a good thing for your vehicle.

“Leaving the car unused for an extended period of time could leave it vulnerable to problems with your battery, brakes, and tires,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “There are a few simple things you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready to roll when it’s time to hit the road again.”

AAA offers these car care tips for longer-than-expected parked vehicles:

Battery Boost.
Start your vehicle every couple of days to keep the battery at a full state and prevent deterioration. Let the engine run for a few minutes to recharge, then turn it off.

Tire Pressure. Add 10 psi of pressure (more than usual) to each tire to prevent flat spots from forming on the tires. This occurs when the area of the tire touching the ground becomes rigid due to sitting in one position for an extended period. You can also move the vehicle periodically.

Windshield Wiper Placement. Prop up the wiper arms so the blades are off the windshield and won’t get stuck to the glass.

No Parking Brake. Don’t use the parking brake when storing the vehicle. The brake could become frozen, and the brake pads could rust to the rotors, or brake shoes could distort the drums. With an automatic transmission, simply place the vehicle in park. If the car has a manual transmission, put it in first or reverse gear and use wheel chocks to help hold the vehicle in place.

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