Covid 19 lockdown

Due to the pandemic worldwide, the lockdown has left people not using their vehicles for extended periods of weeks and months. However, now that things are getting back to normal, everyone would need to start using their cars once again. Therefore, some necessary checks are discussed herein that must be done before using the vehicles after so long. Following these would hopefully avoid a tow or roadside assistance I 95 Florida to kick start your car.

Battery check

Generally, checking a battery is not the norm, but it is essential to check the battery connections when starting a car after a long haul. The battery is by far the most common reason for calling a towing service. It needs little attention, like starting the engine occasionally even if not using it can keep the battery charged and healthy, but this can save you quite a few bucks and some precious time as well. A corroded connection eats up the power wire and terminal, which causes the connection to loosen up. If corrosion is there, the following procedure can be used to remove it DYI style.

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Use a socket opener to disconnect the wire from the battery terminal. Beware not to blow up the corrosion as it might get into your eye and be damaging. Next, powder some baking soda on the corroded area, add water, and use a paper towel to clean it properly. Use an old toothbrush to rub off the corrosion properly from the cable terminal connector. Use sanding paper to cleanse the terminal and connector even further. Finally, tighten the wire connector properly to the wire connector.

Trickle charging the battery before starting is another better option to bring the battery back to life. This can be done by employing a battery charger or by connecting a spare battery with the one installed in another car. Precautions must be practiced while working with the battery.

Tire Check

Longer halt periods can deflate the tires as they are susceptible to temperature changes and even can establish leakage over time. “Tire rot” leaves the tire hard and brittle and is commonly encountered when they are not used for long. Several activities can be done to avoid damage to tires, like inflating the tires to the correct pressure even when not driving. If not followed, deflated tire tends to create wrinkles and cracks on the sidewall, which becomes the weak point and might burst when used. Similarly, keeping the car on a dry surface is equally essential as water deteriorates rubber.

A tire gauge is another handy tool used to estimate the service life of a tire, like wear and tear, etc. More than often, it is said that the braking distance increases if tire tread reduces from a threshold value. It also exhibits the wheel alignment condition of the car and can enable drivers to take timely action like the rotation of tires.

Engine Oil Check

Engine oil must be checked before starting the engine using a dipstick. The dipstick location is easily accessible and can be known by referring to the owner’s manual of the car. Oil level must be in between the marked indications on the dipstick or as guided by the manual. If less, the oil must be added to the mark and then driven. It is also of prime importance that only recommended oil types be added.

The color and consistency of engine oil is another crucial parameter to be checked, and if the oil is dark-colored and gritty, it must be changed as soon as possible.

Lights Check

Headlights, brake lights, fog lights, reverse lights, and indicator lights must all be checked before aiming the road. A friend or family may be requested to check out all the lights when one activates and the other check if they are working.

Leakage Signs Check

Car standing for some time is an excellent time to check for any leakage, especially under the engine and gas tank. A rule of thumb is the color and texture of the leak, as it can point out and narrow down the options to look for, yet it is always recommended to consult professional towing network service providers for a more accurate inspection.

Generally, brown or black colored viscous liquid indicates engine oil leakage. Red or brown are leakages from the transmission, and transparent red to brown colored liquid is the steering leakage. The transparent yellowish color indicates a dripping braking system.

Braking Fluid Check

The braking system is of utmost importance when it comes to the safety of the passengers. Therefore, liquid levels in the brake master cylinder must be inspected before starting the vehicle after a long halt. It is typically located under the hood, in the back of the engine, in line with the braking pedal. The liquid level must be above the level marking on the reservoir; if the level is low, an add-in to the pool to avoid any mishap.

Visual inspection of the liquid condition is also recommended by physically removing the lid and observing a clear yellow liquid. If the fluid appears dirty, this indicates contamination, and hence new liquid is needed, and the old one must be flushed out.

Gas Check

Although it is recommended to keep the gas tank full while leaving it undriven, the gas also starts to chemically break down in the tank due to the evaporation of lighter compounds. This reduces the fuels’ combustibility and leaves a thick residue in the bottom of the tank.

The residue has a sour smell and is darker in color than regular gasoline. These conditions can only be observed if some are removed for observation. This gummy darker fuel causes the engine to misfire; thus, adding new fuel to mix up both and dilute the residue fuel is recommended.

The addition of a fuel stabilizer as a precautionary measure to the gas tank can stop this degradation for up to 12 months and is the easiest way to avoid damage to the fueling system.