mantenimiento , maintenance

6 Things to Check Before Starting Your Car

Have you given a thought to the maintenance of your car after the quarantine? During what has been known worldwide as the “lockdown”, most drivers had to stop driving their vehicles for months. As a consequence, their cars have been parked for long periods of time in garages or even outdoors.

Unfortunately, parking a vehicle for a long period can result in different types of damages in different areas of the vehicle.

We have a few tips for you to make sure that your car is back in shape, preventing damages that could be caused by this involuntary pause.

1. BATTERY

Oddly enough, vehicles consume energy even when they are completely off. For instance, one of the devices that continues to operate when the vehicle is switched off is the anti-theft alarm.

The battery can be included among the most delicate components of a car and, therefore, it requires more care and maintenance than other parts. Without a battery, it is very difficult to start an engine.

If you are among these drivers that started their cars at least once a week during the quarantine, you should have no problems.

On the other hand, if you were not able to do that, it is very likely that you will have to take your car to a trusted repair shop or, alternatively, try to recharge the battery with a portable car battery charger. It is not difficult to get one, you can buy it at the nearest auto supplies store. 

2. TIRE PRESSURE

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Being the only elements that make contact with the road, the tires are a basic part of the active car safety of your vehicle. For that reason, they must be checked regularly, in order to guarantee a greater driving safety.

A long stop can cause changes or deflate the tires of your vehicle, affecting their grip on the pavement.

In this sense, a typical case is known as “flat-spotting”, a condition that occurs when a tire has been stationary under the weight of a vehicle for a prolonged period and it shows a flat spot in the area where it was in contact with the ground.

If you have been forced to leave your vehicle outdoors, but took the precaution to inflate your tires to a higher pressure than recommended by the manufacturer, you decidedly made the right decision.

Nevertheless, don’t forget to lower the tire pressure back to normal before starting a journey. 

3. MAINTENANCE OF YOUR FUEL TANK

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The first time you have to refuel after this forced lockdown, we recommend that you use better quality, higher octane fuel.

As a matter of fact, using a premium quality fuel will help the vehicle to eliminate residual substances that might have accumulated while the vehicle was not being used.

4. CHECKING THE FLUIDS: ENGINE OIL, COOLANT, AND BRAKE FLUID

To make sure that your vehicle is in top shape you will have to check the main fluids. You must do it after the vehicle has been turned off for a short while and it must be parked on a horizontal plane.

5. CAR WASHING

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A complete car wash will help you to prevent damages on your car’s paint as, for example, those caused by tree resin or bird droppings. 

Given the current post Covid-19 situation, new measures and practices have become necessary to achieve health safety,  both in the interior or the exterior of a vehicle. A meticulous sanitization of the vehicle is to be performed as often as possible.

6. SANITIZATION

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As we have mentioned before, here is something that is becoming a part of our lives, and probably will become commonplace: vehicle sanitization using special products.

This is particularly important in the case of families, which usually share a vehicle and, therefore, are more at risk of catching the coronavirus.

The most touched areas in the vehicle are the ones that must be disinfected more thoroughly. 

On the outside of the vehicle:

– Door handles

– Door frames and mouldings

– Trunk handle

On the inside of the vehicle:

– Armrests

– Inside handles

– Door panels

– Steering wheel

– Gear lever

– Seat adjustment controls

– Hand brake

– Radio controls / Touch screen

It will be necessary to clean also the other areas of the vehicle, taking care not to neglect such elements as the car dashboard and the window lifts.

The recommended products for the correct sanitization of the vehicle are isopropyl alcohol, ethanol-based (with a concentration of more than 70%), chlorine and bleach. However, these last two products must be used in the right dosage, diluted with water, as they can be very corrosive (never use products with chlorine in a concentration greater than a 0,1%). 

The same applies, in the case of window glass, to the products based on ammonia, especially if they are blue, as they would damage the vinyl in the dashboard, making it sticky after being exposed to heat or sunlight.

It is essential to use a microfibre cloth or disposable cloths to do this kind of cleaning.

OUR RULES

At our Express Repair Centers, we have implemented rules that will allow us to help our clients in the best possible way. 

In total there are 11 “steps”, that follow the local regulations, so that our clients receive their vehicles back perfectly sanitized.

This is our way of offering the best service, giving priority to the health of our clients.