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With many people working from home during quarantine, vehicles aren’t being driven as much. Leaving cars parked and unused for a long period of time can be detrimental. There are several preventative measures you can take to maintain your vehicle when you’re not driving it as often.
Drive your car at least 20 minutes a week.
Driving your vehicle at least once a week keeps your battery charged and all the moving parts lubricated. Just turning it on isn’t enough; you really should drive it as well. Driving regularly also combats flat spots in your tires that come from the weight of the vehicle sitting in one spot for too long.
Disconnect the battery.
If you know you’re not going to be driving your vehicle for multiple weeks on end (whether during quarantine or even an extended vacation in the future), disconnect the battery to preserve it.
Stick to your maintenance schedule.
Even though you’re not driving as much, it’s still important to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Since you won’t be putting as many miles on it, use the suggested time interval instead of the mileage interval. This will ensure that your vehicle stays in tip-top shape.
Consider where you park.
When parking your vehicle long term, indoors in a garage is always going to be best. Unfortunately, that isn’t always an option. If you’re parking outside, it’s better to park on pavement than dirt or grass to avoid moisture in your car’s undercarriage. You also want to be aware of what you’re parking under. Try to avoid trees as much as possible; bird poop can be extremely damaging to a vehicle’s paint.
Invest in a car cover.
If you have no choice but to park outside, consider getting a cover for your car. Most cost around $150 to $200 and you can get one from the parts department at your local dealership. We carry them for Mazda.
Protect from pests.
Unfortunately, when cars sit for an extended period of time, pests often move in. Some resources claim that peppermint oil is a natural rodent repellent and suggest spraying it around your vehicle to ward them off. You should also periodically check under the hood for any evidence that rodents have chewed on wires.
Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at onechelofanadventure.com.
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