Driving your car less this MCO? Here's how to keep it running smoothly.
Jason · Feb 14, 2021 10:00 AM
Just like that, we are 2 weeks into MCO 2.0. This most likely means that most of us are working from home, which then means our cars aren't driven much. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do to keep your car in tip top condition despite it being underdriven. Here are some pointers that might be useful to keep in mind in this second MCO season.
Don't park under trees
You might think that parking your car under trees is a good idea, since the car does get some shade from the sun. Well, if at all possible, avoid parking under trees altogether. Why? Firstly, bird poop. Birds love to perch on tree branches and go #2. Bird poop, if you didn't know, is bad news for your car's paint. It takes as little as 5 minutes for it to damage your top coat, and leave a scar.
In addition, some trees discharge sap that is really hard to remove once it gets on your paint. And you know, trees have leaves. Park a night under one and leaves will be all over your car, possibly blocking designated water channels. When water isn't drained away properly in your car, where does it end up? Yep, your interior, carpets et al.
Speaking of water, Malaysia's weather does have the propensity to serve up a thunderstorm or two randomly. Parking under trees just increases the risk of having bits of it falling on your car, or worse, the entire tree. If you can help it, just don't park under trees. It's better you park under the sun and protect your dashboard with a sundshade.
Clean your car
Even unused, your car will accumulate dirt, inside and out, especially if parked outdoors. I've even seen instances where cars have become a nest for pests like ants, rats and the likes. Make it a point to clean your car once every 2 weeks, or at least once a month. Not only will you get satisfaction from cleaning your car, you also get a good workout out of it, as opposed to just being a couch potato indoors.
If you have never washed your own car before this, then this is the perfect opportunity to do so. No equipment at home? You can pick up some Meguiar's products from their Lazada store. They have a range of high-quality exterior and interior car care products to help you clean and protect your car's paint and interior upholstery. You don't have to be a certified detailer to keep your car sparkling.
Check tyre pressures
Driven or otherwise, it's always a good idea to check your tyre pressure at least once a month. Driving with underinflated tyres will cause premature wear, increased fuel consumption and decrease its lifespan. How to check tyre pressures correctly, you ask?
On most cars, there's a sticker on the front driver/passenger doors specifying the recommended pressues. If you're the DIY type, simply get a tyre pressure gauge to monitor pressures yourself. Else, you can just drive to your friendly neighbourhood workshop or petrol station to get it checked.
It is also a good idea to have a portable tyre inflator pump in case you do have a flat or underinflated tyre. Again, you can check out products like this Xiaomi Mijia unit which is easily available on Lazada. Never know when you might need one.
Maintain battery health
Leaving your car unused for extended periods will hurt the battery more than most components. The easiest way to check on your car's battery health is to start the car. If the cranking process sounds weak, the battery levels are probably low.
To maintain healthy battery levels, start your car at least once a week. If possible, take a short, quick drive in your vicinity to allow the alternator to recharge the battery. No need for an extended drive, a five-minute jaunt will do.
If you want extra peace of mind, you could always invest in a portable jumpstarter. We have mentioned the Beatit G18 Pro before, and this might come in handy when your battery is flat.
So there you have it, some tips to help upkeep your car in this lockdown period. As always, stay safe and remember to follow all MCO SOPs and guidelines if you have to head outdoors.
Road Test Editor
Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.