Dubai: As most residents in the UAE now work from home following the government's precautionay instructions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, maintenance of cars parked for days has become even more crucial. Many residents in the UAE are not driving their cars as they have opted to work from home as part of the precautionary measures the government has taken to combat the spread of coronavirus and the National Disinfection Campaign.
Flat tyres, dead batteries and dust piling up on cars are some of the issues motorists may face while they stay home and leave their car parked for days or weeks.
Whether you park your car in roadside parking, in a building's parking lot or in a house garage, it is easy to ensure that that your car stays in top condition even if you did not drive it for months.
Gulf News spoke to an expert to bring you tips on how to maintain your car while they sit in parking lots. Hassan Butt, Managing Director of Al Tharaa Auto Mechanical Workshop in Sharjah, warned motorists that if they just let their vehicles remain parked for an extended period, they may return to a dead battery or a damaged engine or ruined tyres or all of these.
Following his advice can keep your car in top running condition even if you do not drive it for weeks.
*Make sure all doors are locked
*Close all windows and the sunroof but keep one window a bit open during hot summer days
*Choose a good place to park use protective cover to protect paint and interior of the car
*Do not keep any hazardous items in your car such as lighter, perfumes or spray
*Lift the windscreen wipers form the glass. But do not lift them fully but just a few centimetres to protect the rubber
*Never forget to check what’s overhead and do not park under a tree.
Here are some more important tips to protect your car
Always keep it clean
Always clean your car before parking it for a long time. Water stains or bird droppings left on the car can damage the paint. Make sure to clean the wheels and undersides of the fenders to get rid of mud, grease or tar. Get someone to clean the car at least once a week.
Change the oil
Consider getting the oil changed if you are storing your car longer than 30 days. Used engine oil has contaminants that could damage the engine. Skip this step if you are only storing the car for a week or two
Top Off the Tank
This is another long-term car storage tip. Fill the tank with petrol if you expect the car to be in storage for more than 30 days. Topping it off will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out.
Keep It Charged
It is ideal to remove battery terminal if you are parking the car for a long time. You can also ask someone to start the car every two weeks to ensure the battery is charged sufficiently because an unattended battery will eventually lose its charge.
Make sure someone move your vehicles ideally after every week to ensure that tries stay in good shape. Ensure the tyres are inflated to the recommended air pressure. If a vehicle is left stationary for too long, the tyre could develop flat spots as the weight of the vehicle presses down on the tyres’ footprints and can lead to a flat tyre.
What to do to bring your car back in action
Open the car hood and check for any broken or chewed belts, hoses or wires.
Check the windshield wipers to see if the rubber is cracked or brittle.
Check the tyre pressure and inflate the tyres to the recommended pressure.
Check fluids to make sure there have been no leaks and that they are at the recommended levels.
Reconnect the battery cables if you had disconnected them
Seek help from a qualified car mechanic in case of any issue