Has your Car been Affected by Covid?
While Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on human beings, what many people don’t realise is that it has also taken a toll on our cars.
As lockdown restrictions have started to lift, many of us are relishing the chance to get out and about – only to find our poor old cars have started coughing and sounding distinctly unwell.
No, it’s not a strain of coronavirus unique to cars – but indirectly, it is indeed due to Covid-19.
Mechanic workshops around Australia have been inundated with bookings and enquiries from concerned vehicle owners, worried that something is wrong with their car.
However there is a simple explanation, as Stan Balfour, owner of Euro-Aus Automotive in Capalaba on Brisbane’s bayside explains: “It’s because our vehicles have been mostly unused over the past couple of months – and that can create problems.”
What’s Wrong with My Car?
If you too have been wondering what’s wrong with your car, the good news is that it’s probably nothing too serious (or expensive!). Here are a couple of the most common culprits:
How Fresh is Your Fuel?
Not many people realise that fuel can go off.
“I often tell elderly customers – who don’t tend to take their car out much – to never completely fill their petrol tank, as the fuel can go off over time. They are much better off putting a quarter of a tank in on a regular basis, than waiting to fill up only when it’s nearly empty,” explains Stan.
If you feel your car is quite sluggish after not being used for a while, the solution could be as straight forward as filling up at your local service station – or if the tank is still quite full you could try a fuel additive such as an octane booster or fuel system cleaner.
In the immediate aftermath of Coronavirus restrictions, look for a busier service station to replenish your fuel tank. It’s important to remember that there wasn’t much demand for fuel during lockdown, so it may have been sitting around in bulk storage tanks for quite some time.
Bring your Battery back to Life!
If your car has been sitting in your garage for months, you will likely find that the battery has been drained and the engine won’t turn over. It really is a case of “use it or lose it”! Taking your car out for a run regularly helps to keep it in tip-top shape, but even just the act of turning it on, once or twice a week, creates enough charge from the alternator to keep your battery happy.
A flat battery may not necessarily mean that you need to buy a new one – depending on the age and condition of your battery, you may be able to re-start it with jumper leads.
With the economy practically ground to a halt these past few months, the last thing most of us need is the expense of car repairs – so it’s a relief to know that they probably won’t be necessary after all.
However, if you have any other concerns about your car’s health and wellbeing, we recommend you seek advice and treatment from your local mechanical professional.
Janet Camilleri is the award-winning owner of Front Page Web Writing, where she helps her clients to stand out in Google search results.