Coronavirus crisis: How to protect your unused car during Florida’s stay-at-home order

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With a statewide stay-at-home order in effect through the end of the month, many Floridians are parked in their home with their car parked in the driveway.

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order last week that lasts through April 30. Florida residents are being asked to only make essential trips to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. That means many people are using their cars less.

Leaving your car unused for a long period of time can lead to trouble. But experts say there are a few quick and easy steps you can take to help protect your vehicle.

Boost your battery

Experts from AAA say you should start your vehicle every couple of days to help keep the battery full and prevent it from deteriorating. They suggest you let the engine run for a few minutes to recharge, then turn it off.

If you have a maintenance-type battery charger, AAA suggests you use it.

Add tire pressure

AAA suggests adding 10 psi of pressure – more than usual – to your tires. They say that will help prevent flat spots from forming.

Flat spots happen when the part of the tire touching the ground gets rigid from sitting in one position for an extended period. Experts say you can also prevent it by moving the vehicle periodically.

Don’t use your parking brake

According to AAA, you should not use your parking brake when you park your vehicle for a long period of time.

They say the brake can get frozen and the brake pads can rust to the rotors. Brake shoes could also distort the drums.

If you have an automatic transmission, you should just place your car in park.

If you have a manual transmission, experts say you should put it in first or reverse gear and use wheel chocks to help keep the car in place.

Windshield wiper placement

AAA experts say you should position your windshield wipers so the wiper arms are propped up and the blade is off the window. That way, experts say the blade won’t get stuck to the glass.

Use a sun shade

If you’re keeping your car parked in a place that exposes it to the sun, experts say you should use a sun shade. That will help prevent the sun’s UV rays from deteriorating your dashboard and steering wheel.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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