Covid Car Care

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Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Given the restrictions to our travel and movement in recent months, a lot of our beloved automobiles have been spending more time on the driveway then the highway. Sitting for extended periods can cause many different issues to our rust and corrosion susceptible vehicles. Given the high volume of customers experiencing issues related to these circumstances, we have chosen to share some information regarding these issues.  

Gaining kilometers is not the only gauge for knowing when maintenance is required. If your vehicle isn’t set to move very far for an extended period of time, it will do your vehicle and wallet some good to take it out on a drive just to stretch it’s legs. This is especially important for your brake and drivetrain systems.

There are multiple systems within your vehicle that rely on the circulation of fluids and lubricants to keep components in good working condition. Failing to let the vehicle run and fluids circulate on a regular basis can cause degradation of components in the way of corrosion and rust.

If you are not driving far distances or frequently, it is beneficial to shift the schedule upon which you service your engine oil and filter. Despite the engine not utilizing the oil actively over the specified KM range, allowing the same fluid to sit in your engine for a long period can create the opportunity for oil degradation and build up of moisture. It is recommended you service your engine once a year if you are not travelling the recommended KMs for an oil service in that time.

Another that can be negatively effected by inactivity is your braking system. Common failures include:

  • Seized Brake Calipers – creating inability to apply or release your brakes
  • Rusted Brake Rotors – causing uneven wear of pads & ineffective brake performance
  • Seized Park Brake Cables – creating an inability to apply or release your park/emergency brake

It is highly recommended to not leave your park brake engaged for an extended period, as this purely mechanical system is at high risk for seizure.

Being in a humid climate on Vancouver Island in particular, we are all familiar with how moisture can find its way into the nooks and crannies of our homes, garages and vehicles. Aside from the too familiar mould, this moisture can also cause electrical issues within your vehicle. As we learned in school, water and electricity are a dangerous mix and this includes the electrical systems of your vehicle. The computers, sensors and wiring can all be damaged by build up of moisture. Opening your windows, doors, and driving the vehicle on a more regular basis can help air out much of this moisture and prevent issues from occurring. The air conditioning system of your vehicle is also highly effective at removing moisture from the cabs interior.

Rodents can also begin to find their way into your vehicle if it sits as a welcoming safe haven. We often find they have snacked on electrical wires and found an ideal nesting area in the cabin air filter housing of a vehicle. Having your cabin air filter checked can be especially important to ensure you are not breathing in the mess they can leave behind.

If your car has been experiencing a lot of idle time since March 2020, it may be time to take it out on a nice drive, schedule an oil and brake service, change out your cabin filter and just show it some love. We are here and happy to help ensure your car is ready for the road after it’s mini vacation.


The Team At Cowichan Auto Repair