Before lockdown, your car was the recipient of your consideration, she lavished in your adoration, care and attention and in turn provided you with the thrills and excitement that come with such a relationship.
Now it’s very possible that you might be ignoring her, thinking she’ll just hang in there while you do your thing inside the house. But know this, she’s not going to hang in there forever.
It’s probably a good call that you don’t let your cabbie gather dust, she’s not going to stand for it. No self-respecting car would, after all.
So, while we wait it out until we can give our cabbies a good run on the roads, here are some tips to keep the relationship alive during lockdown.
Firstly, there’s the battery. It’s widely known that batteries lose charge over time when not in use. Besides the natural self-discharge or internal chemical leakage, there’s also a tiny draw on power to keep the electrical systems alive.
The solution is straightforward. Keep the charge up by using a trickle charger if you have one. If you don’t, then start the vehicle every week and let it run for a minimum of five minutes, but be sure to open the garage door.
For batteries in good condition, you should not have a problem, while older batteries may need to be recharged before you drive again. If you are not using your car at all, simply disconnect the battery.
Then there’s the fuel tank. All cars love a good full tank, and at this time this is more important than ever. When the tank is not full, it is more likely that moist air can creep in and form condensation and probably rust. Water in the enemy of steel. So before you leave your car to sit, go on and full up the tank, and you’ll be thankful for this when you start her up again.
Another way to preserve your car, and this can be an activity, is wash her down thoroughly. Cleaning off dust and especially bird poop will help to preserve the paint. If your car is not under a carport, you can use a cover to keep her clean, even and old sheet will do the trick. Something is better than nothing.
Of course, pay some attention to the interior, you don’t want to leave old stuff in there, or kids lunch boxes and the like, to get a nasty surprise when you open that door in a month or so.
MasterDrive managing director Eugene Herbert says storing a vehicle during this time can be easily achieved: “If, however, you do not properly care for your vehicle during long periods where the car is not in use, it can result in additional maintenance and servicing costs.”
So ja, there it is. You can of course go the extra mile and give your cabbie a complete makeover, but either you’ve prepared for this and have all the add-ons, or you’ll have to make elaborate plans.