The new normal has become one of idleness; since we’ve all be confined to our homes for public safety, the world has been forced to quickly pivot entire routines. As a result, adapting to a healthy lifestyle has become a huge focus. People are wearing masks, reworking diets around grocery store visits, and getting creative with exercise. We can all admit, it’s a lot. But you’re doing great!
However, with so much change happening, it’s easy to forget about the routine tasks we left behind. One big one you should keep in mind: maintaining your car. Have you thought about your vehicle’s “health” lately? Fun fact: being idle negatively affects your vehicle too! With a few lifestyle changes, you can make sure that your car also emerges from this quarantine without too many issues.
Keep a Healthy “Diet”
Yes, even cars have an ideal “diet.” Unfortunately, using the wrong type of fuel can leave your vehicle worse for wear, and (just like food) it can also go bad. Fuel that has been stored for too long at the gas stations or in your vehicle will start to lose important chemical components as they evaporate/deteriorate. Then, using that bad fuel will sap engine power and cause stalling. If you plan to let your car sit for a long period of time, look for gas at the station that is made for recreational vehicles. Kwik Trip, for example, has this clearly labeled on their pumps. Pro-tip: fuel with ethanoyl will go bad much faster.
The same goes for your engine oil. All oil has a shelf life: standard oil is around 3 or so months, and synthetic oil has a longer shelf life of up to 6 months Even if your odometer says you don’t need an oil change, your oil could still be compromised. If you think that you can put off your regular oil change because you weren’t driving your car as much for a couple months, then you’re mistaken.
Just like you, your car should not sit for too long. An idle car will lack the necessary charge from the alternator, which means the battery will not get the energy it needs. Plus, if a car is not run, combustion gases associated with the oil will cause corrosion.
So how can you make sure your vehicle stays active? Avoid short trips and opt for a long one instead. At least once a week, take a 20-minute drive so your battery has enough time to get a good charge from the alternator. It will also be able to reach the ideal engine temperature before shutting off again. If, for example, one spouse is working outside of the home while the other is not, then you should alternate driving to work between cars so each one will have a chance to be run.
We hope these tips will help you better maintain your car from home!
As we start to emerge from our isolation and get back on the road, you might notice some new sounds or vibrations in your car. Superior Service Center can help! We offer complimentary pick up and drop for both of our locations (Eagan and Apple Valley), and we will continue to clean and sanitize vehicles before bringing them back. Payments can also be called in as a “no touch” option. Our priority will continue to be keeping our customers and staff safe at all times! Contact us or schedule an appointment on our website, and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.