It should come as no surprise that the global pandemic has significantly lessened your driving time. This is all thanks to the rise of remote working and distance learning, coupled with various government restrictions like localized lockdowns. With this being said, surely your vehicle has mostly been left parked within or near your property for more than a year now. This can prove to create some ills for your car.
Generally, your car should be used and maintained regularly. That’s how it’ll be able to stay in shape, especially if you’re barely taking it out for a spin. Now, more than ever, car maintenance has become important. In this light, there are some things that you can do by yourself to check up on your vehicle. Others will necessarily require the help of professionals since they have more specialized pieces of equipment, like machines for tire and wheel balancing.
Tools of the Trade
Making sure your car hasn’t deteriorated over the past year is crucial because it can genuinely affect your safety on the road. The country is slowly but surely beginning to open up thanks to the continued vaccination rollout programs being carried out. This entails a return to some form of normalcy and, consequently, more time on the road.
Car maintenance should not be overlooked, and being able to do this yourself will surely help you save a lot in the long run. You should definitely take the time to examine some relevant aspects of your vehicle just to make sure it’s in shape. Of course, to do this you’ll also need to have a mechanic toolset at the ready. There are plenty of toolsets readily available out there, but here are some things you should consider when you’re looking to purchase one.
A Wide Selection
Before getting a mechanic toolset, you should consider the variety of tools you’ll be getting from the kit and the kind of upkeep you’ll be doing. Moreover, you should also be aware of your own experience level when it comes to doing various repairs and checkups related to car maintenance.
If you’re somewhat of a beginner looking to accomplish very minor repairs, a toolset with the most basic pieces should be enough. These will often include less than 100 pieces. However, if you’re confident in your skill and you’re tackling more relevant issues, you should definitely go for a set that offers more than a hundred tools and accessories.
The Right Measurements
It’s important to note that mechanic toolsets will usually have two distinct measurement systems. The first is known as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which is measured in inches. The other is the metric system, which uses millimeters.
You should consider these measurements when choosing a toolset, but also know which one will suit your vehicle best. Just to differentiate, the SAE system is much more common in older American cars while metric tools are often used in newer American and most European vehicles. Ideally, you should look for a toolset that includes both of these, if available, to save you from confusion.
As your car continues to sit still, you’ve more than likely deferred maintenance on it throughout the global pandemic. This is highly understandable given the context everyone is in. While there are plenty of car maintenance tasks that you can technically put on hold, there are also others that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The most important among the things you shouldn’t neglect before taking your car back on the road is its brakes. It should be easy to understand why this particular component of your vehicle is critical to your safety. If you fail to maintain your brakes, that’s just a disaster waiting to happen.
Stop and Go
Checking on your brakes is fairly easy to accomplish. Rust on your brake discs is a significant indicator that your car isn’t being driven regularly. Applying a simple chemical-based coating on your brake discs should help solve this issue quickly. Once you start your car and drive it around, your brakes might generate some noise at the start particularly because of the rust. This should be polished off after a while.
There are other parts of your braking mechanism that should also be given notice. The hydraulic fluid, for instance, absorbs water from the air. This has a huge impact on its stopping power but you can have this tested. If a lot of gunk and dirt is apparent, that should tell you that it’s time to flush the system. Refill it with hydraulic fluid that meets the specifications of your car.
Ultimately, you should be checking your car on a regular basis. This is regardless of how often you’ve been using it throughout the global pandemic. As the world continues to recover, your car’s return to the road is more than likely. You wouldn’t want to compromise your safety and convenience once that time comes.