It is now difficult to escape the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As more and more local and state agencies tell everyone to stay at home, traffic has dropped so much that air pollution in major US cities has decreased significantly (if only temporarily) as people do their daily commuting and give up their school runs. If the commuters are not on the calendar for the time being, you can easily forget your car. If that sounds like a description of your new reality, don't just park it and put the keys away. Being fully seated is bad for a car, just as it is bad for people. The following tips could be useful and don't worry ̵
Try to drive your car for 20 minutes at least once a week.
The most immediate problem is preventing your car's 12-volt battery from draining, and letting the engine – and therefore the alternator – run for at least as long as once a week. But getting your car moving helps more than just the battery. Oils, liquids and lubricants circulate around the parts they need. Brakes release their surface rust. And in the long run, you avoid problems like flat tire stains and dried out belts.
For households with only one car, this is likely to be unnecessary advice, as everyone will have to search for food at some point. But the United States is the country of two (or more) cars per family, and both of them occasionally need some attention. Even if you have a battery-powered electric vehicle that connects to a nice, dry garage every night, it should be turned on weekly – even some BEVs will discharge their 12-volt batteries if they remain idle for too long.
For larger jobs, you should still be able to take your car to a mechanic or dealer to have it repaired. Repairing broken cars has been considered an essential service in most regions. However, remember to make an appointment beforehand. When you pick up your car, you should disinfect the door handles and the interior.
Inside a Good Clean
The cleanliness of the exterior of a car is an important part of paint protection. When spring comes, you may have winter road grime to deal with in winter. However, don't forget the inside, especially since it contains most of the surfaces you touch. Even if you don't plan to have your car serviced by a mechanic, now is the perfect time to decontaminate the inside a little.
Everyone seems to agree that simple ethanol is the best way to clean and disinfect the inside of a car. A 70 percent solution of isopropyl alcohol (also known as cleaning alcohol) and water should do what all biomedical scientists know.
Mix your ethanol solution and use a spray bottle and a clean microfiber cloth. To clean all surfaces, do not forget to wash the microfiber cloth afterwards. You should be able to safely use ethanol on almost all surfaces of a car, from leather and fabric to screens, if not made of synthetic or natural suede if you feel like it. Do not use products that contain bleach, hydrogen peroxide or ammonia as these can destroy the upholstery and various coatings on screens.
You can prepare your car for long-term storage
If you think this is definitely not the case If you drive your car for many weeks, there are a few simple steps you can take to get it for moth for a while. A good inside and outside cleaning is the first of them, and you should cover your car weatherproof if you need to store it outdoors. Some OEMs recommend changing the oil as a precaution if you think your car will be off the road for more than a month. Even if you don't, it's a good idea to fill the gas tank one last time and add a fuel stabilizer.
If you park a car for more than a month and don't want to worry about driving it once a week, you can use a battery tender to do trickle charging. A cheaper alternative is to disconnect the battery from the car. However, be aware that some electronic systems can get confused when reconnecting, especially if the vehicle is relatively new. If you plan to store a vehicle long enough, you should invest in a set of jacks so that you can completely remove the wheels, which your tires will appreciate.
This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.  More from WIRED on Covid-19