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Automotive checklist—taking your car out of quarantine

When it comes to getting stuck at home, cars and people aren’t that different. Before you take your car back out, take a little time to give it a once-over to ensure that it’s ready to hit the road once again.

Battery

If you have a voltmeter, take a reading. It should be no lower than 12.6V. If it’s low, hook it up to a battery conditioner. If you can’t take a reading and it has difficulty starting, try to drive around for about 20 minutes and keep the tachometer at about 1.5K rpm if you’re running petrol.

Fluid levels

Did you fill the tank up before letting the vehicle sit? Make sure you check the fuel level before heading out and refill as needed. Do the same for engine oil, ATF, power steering fluid, and braking fluid. Checking under the vehicle to see if anything has dripped onto the driveway will clue you in.

Tire pressure

Tires don’t really have a perfect seal, so take out your tire pressure gauge and see if your tire pressure is up to spec. While you’re there, check if any cracks have formed on the sidewall, and make sure the tires are ready for the road.

A/C

Staying idle in a humid country like ours can do all sorts of funky things to your air conditioning system. If you run the A/C and it smells damp, run it on fan for a bit, as that might help, or better yet, get a can of air conditioning disinfectant to give the climate system a clean. If all else fails, you might need to take it to the shop for service.

Interior

The same humid climate does some nasty things to car interiors. Check that any leather of upholstery is free from cracks and mold, and give it a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. Solvents aren’t generally a good idea, so use whatever cleaner your manufacturer or car care person recommends.

Wipers

If your car has been out in the sun, your wipers might have suffered. Give them a look to see that they haven’t turned brittle, and that they haven’t started to fall apart. Replace if needed. Just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean freak rainstorms can’t appear out of nowhere.

Registration

Now that everything is running again, check to make sure your car registration is current. It’s just the law.

Minor edits were made to the original article published in GADGETS MAGAZINE April-May 2020 Issue
Words by Ren Alcantara