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Basic vehicle maintenance during MCO

02 Apr 2020 / 18:43 H.

AS the Movement Control Order (MCO) period has been extended and we are constantly reminded to stay at home, to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, this means most cars will be parked for up to 28 days and not many of us have considered what to do to our vehicles during this period.

Here are some suggestions from Proton on how to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition during the MCO.

Charged up

While technology has progressed since the early years of automobile production, one fact remains – a vehicle needs to be started periodically (the recommended period is every seven days) in order to maintain functionality.

One of the basic components a car has is the battery. The battery primarily starts the engine and provides electrical power to other parts of the vehicle. So, if the engine is not run frequently, the alternator is unable to charge the battery.

To avoid this, start your vehicle’s engine and keep it running for 10 minutes to allow the alternator to do its job. While you’re doing this, you might be tempted to blast some tunes or turn on the air-conditioning.

Don’t do it. Turning them on will draw current from the battery and reduce the effectiveness of the charging process.

Once you are done, don’t forget to lock your vehicle by arming the alarm.

Under pressure

Tyre pressures should be checked biweekly to ensure they are pumped to the recommended pressure.

The best way to check them is to use a tyre pressure gauge or view the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System display as found in the Proton X70.

If they are underinflated, go to the nearest fuelling station and pump them back up... and go back home!

Additionally, leaving your vehicle parked in the same spot for several days could result in flat spots on your tyres. Eventually, the tyre will lose its shape which can cause vibrations to be transmitted through the steering wheel when driving, even on smooth roads.

To avoid this, move your vehicle forwards or backwards when you’re charging the vehicle’s battery.

It’s all about sanitising

During the MCO, it’s a perfectly good idea to practise sanitising your hands and the surfaces you’ve touched, particularly in your vehicle.

After each journey, make sure you use some disinfectant to wipe surfaces like the steering wheel, door handles, window switches and gear lever.

If you have an audio system with a touchscreen, mist some disinfectant onto a soft cloth and gently wipe the surface. Take extra care not to overdo it as too much moisture could damage the vehicle’s equipment surface.

A tale of two wipers

If you leave your vehicle parked in the sun, it’s good practice to lift up the windshield wipers. The heat transfer from your windscreen glass and prolonged exposure to UV rays will cause your wiper blades to harden, making them less effective.

With these easy-to-follow steps, your car should be in great shape and after the MCO period is over it will be ready to take you back out again to go to work, to send the kids to school or just to drive somewhere for the thrill of doing so.

$!Basic vehicle maintenance during MCO

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